Sunday, October 11, 2015

Opening the Door to Possibilities: Taking a Second SLP Job

One thing I haven't written much about this year is taking on a second job.  Last year, I completed my clinical fellowship in the schools.  I had a pretty good experience, had a mentor who was very patient with me and all of my questions, and had a principal who supported special education.  However, I had 70 students on my caseload to start the year that year and was constantly writing IEPs or attending meetings.  I struggled with balance at first, but decided to work as hard as possible not to take work home so that I could have time with my husband and friends.  My district ended up getting me some help, but I still had 55 kids on my caseload.  It was still really busy.  On top of that, they asked me to become building coordinator for the next year.  I was excited to be getting more responsibility at school and gain some leadership experience.  I knew it would be a lot on my plate, but I was excited about it.

So then, I went and got a second job starting this August.  Actually, it kind of fell into my lap.  A clinic emailed me and asked if I would like some evening hours.  I accepted because it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down.  It would put me at a combined 40 hours of work a week with school and clinic hours.  It would allow me one-on-one with kids and the opportunity to co-treat with occupational therapists.  It would possibly open doors for the future for me.  It would allow me to learn more about sensory and integrating movement and sensory activities into my therapy.  It would allow me to learn more about autism.  Ultimately, it was a way to keep my skills fresh in another setting.  So, I said yes. 

I know it's not for everyone, but I want to encourage you to think about it.  Maybe it's PRN-ing at a SNF or a hospital.  Maybe it's doing a few hours for your state's early intervention program. 

It has turned out to be a great decision for me.  I cannot wait to share more about it with you as I learn more and more!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

The Hanen Centre Preschool Language and Literacy Calendar {giveaway}

If you have ever worked with the preschool population, you've likely heard of The Hanen Centre.  If not, be sure to check them out because they have awesome resources and workshops!   They just came out with an awesome new product that I want to talk to you about today--the Preschool Language and Literacy Calendar.

This year's calendar focuses on critical thinking skills such as problem-solving and predicting.  Each month features real photos, a theme about a language skill, research for building language and literacy, and weekly tips for home and school!

To read a little more about critical thinking, check out these articles:
-Preparing Preschoolers for "School Talk"
-More than ABCs: Building the Critical Thinking Skills Your Child Needs for Literacy Success

Here's what I love about these calendars:
-They are practical--everyone uses a calendar.
-It discusses research and research-based tips.
-It is good for parents and SLPs.
-It's focus is critical thinking skills, which are so important for school and the rest of their lives.

If you would like to check out a sample page, click the picture below:

If you are interested in these calendars, head on over to The Hanen Centre's website for more information about ordering.

The Hanen Centre is generously giving away a few copies of the calendars to interested SLPs!  Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I was contacted by The Hanen Centre about the calendar.  No compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

SimuCase Virtual Case Studies

Have you heard of  They have a new case study series called SimuCase, and it is awesome!!

It was originally used by students in Ohio, but they are expanding it to all SLPs to use to hone their skills.

Check out this video tour:

This site is designed to help walk you through the assessment process and really fine tune your skills.  It walks you through assessment, diagnosis, and making recommendations.   They are real cases that people have submitted.  The videos are animated, but you get to hear the actual voices and work samples of these clients.  Experts in the various areas have reviewed these cases and the scoring is based on their recommendations.

I believe this is an extremely valuable tool for students and SLPs to use.   It allows you to practice your skills and shows you what "good" versus "excellent" skills are.  SimuCase allows users to analyze which team members are necessary and which types of questions will get the point quickly without being redundant.  I would recommend this to anyone looking to further their skills.  It's definitely something I wish I had in graduate school!  Another thing I really like is that it has case studies for a wide variety of ages and disorders--it includes preschool, school age, and adults with diagnoses of language disorder, fluency disorder, TBI, dysphonia, stroke, articulation disorder, voice disorder, and developmental delay. It is extremely comprehension in the variety of the clients and in the process of gathering a case history, selecting assessments, diagnosing, and making recommendations.

Now I know the question on everyone's mind is about CEUs.  Right now, they are not offered as part of it, but they are working on it!  So definitely check back if you need CEUs because this is worth your time!  They are also planning on adding more cases over time.

If interested, you can check it out here!

What do you think?  Would you use this?

Note:  Trial access was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Articulation Card Games to Play in Therapy

We are all familiar with Webber Articulation Cards from Super Duper.  If you're like me, you use them daily in therapy.  You can only play so many rounds of the same game before you get bored and the kids get bored.  Today, I want to share with you some of the games we play in my speech room.

I love them because they get the students up and moving.  I also love that they require minimal planning and preparation on my part! Some of them have language components as well!

Go Fish:
Deal 5 cards to each person.  On your turn, ask another person if they have a given card.  If they do, they will give it to you.  If not, they will say, "Go fish" and you draw a card from the draw pile.  Put any matches you have down in front of you.

Put 5 cards face up on the table in front of each person.  On your turn, draw a card and say, "Does anyone have _____?"  If you have the card, you place the card you just drew on top of it.  If someone else has it, give it to them.  If no one has it, you place it in front of you.  Whoever finds matches for all of their cards first wins.

If you have bowling pins, place them on top of the cards.  If not, you can use cups or something along those lines.  Roll a ball and knock over pins.  Say the words on the cards under the pins you knocked over.

Bean Bag Toss:
Spread cards out on the floor.  Have the students throw a bean bag toward the cards.  They say the words on the cards where the bean bag landed.

52 Card Pick-Up:
Flick the cards around the room.  Students race to see how many cards they can pick up.  They say the words on the cards they gathered.  Whoever has the most wins.

Feed the ____:
Find a bin or a tissue box.  Place a monster or animal head on it.  As the student says the words, they can feed the monster/animal.  Continue until all of the cards are gone.

Hide and Seek:
Hide the cards around your room.  Describe the card you are looking for.  The students see who can find it first. If you find it, you get a point.  Whoever has the most points at the end wins!

The name comes from a game we played in Spanish class with a fly swatter.  We spread the cards out on my table.  Two students face each other.  You describe the word, and they have to swat it.  Whoever swats at it first gets a point.  At the end, whoever has the most points wins.

Dice Roll:
Form six piles of cards and label one through six.  Students roll a dice. The number on the dice indicates which pile they will pull from.  Say the word the number on the dice times 3.

Giant Board Game:
I spread out the cards across the floor as spaces on a game board.  Students roll dice to determine how many spaces to move and then say the word on that space.

Spider Web:
Use tape to form a spider web on the ground.  Place the cards throughout the web.  Students walk around the web and gather the cards.  Say the words they have gathered.

Card Grabber:
Place the cards on the edge of the table, hanging over slightly.  Using tongs or a pincher of some sort, students try and grab as many as they can in a given amount of time.

Password/ Catch Phrase:
Students describe the word on the card to the group without saying the word on the card.  The rest of the students try and guess what it is.  Whoever guesses it first gets a point.

Play Jenga as normal, but place the articulation cards between layers.

Place articulation cards on the spots.  If the students moves wants to put his/her hand or foot there, they must say the word on the card.

I Spy:
Place the cards on the table.  Take turns playing I Spy while spying things on the cards.  On your turn, you say, "I spy with my little eye something ____."  The students have to guess which word/card you are referring to.

 Have students sort the cards.  They could sort by number of syllables, people versus object, etc.

What games do you like to play in therapy? 

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Emotions and Emotions 2 {app review}

I have a student on my caseload this year who is working on identifying emotions and picking up on social cues.  I am always looking for new ideas for him because we tend to do the same thing over and over.  I was excited to see two apps from I Can Do Apps to work on these skills!  Check them out below:

The first app is called Emotions.

The second is called Emotions 2.

Both apps are set up the same way.  As you can see, there are five different activities. On each screen you have text at the top and then three answer choices.  You can also select the speaker button to have them read out loud.

1. Identify picture with the emotion

2. Identify emotion with the picture

3. Identify picture based on scenario + emotion

4. Identify picture with label based on scenario.

5. Identify picture based on scenario

At the end of every activity, a summary is given.

Overall, these apps are simple to use and help target identifying emotions in a variety of ways.  The different levels create easy scaffolding.  I really like that they are created by a speech-language pathologist and that they use real images (instead of cartoons).  They are also aligned with Common Core standards, which is great for those in schools.

If you are interested in Emotions or Emotions 2, you can find them in the App Store for $2.99 at the time of this review!

Note: Copies of these apps were provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, September 7, 2015

September Must-Have Sale

Happy Must-Have Sale Day!!

Every month on the 7th, your favorite bloggers will be hosting a must-have sale.  They will discount one item each month in their store.  You can get AWESOME items for 50% on that one day only.

This month, my must-have is my Arrrr! Pirates unit! If you are celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) or costumes, or are simply just having a Pirate theme in your room, this packet is perfect for you! It is designed to meet the needs of all of your students in just one packet. This includes various speech/ articulation and expressive/ receptive language goals.   Check it out in my TpT store!

You can find all my pirate-themed items here!

Happy Shopping!

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Lingraphica Apps {app review}

For those of you who work with adult clients, I have a few more apps for you to check out!  If you don't work with adult clients, that's ok!  Keep reading because you might find that you could use these with your students/patients.

SmallTalk Frases de Conversacion

The first one is called SmallTalk Frases de Conversacion.

Perhaps you are familiar with Lingraphica's SmallTalk apps.  They have a lot for the adult and geriatric population.  Today, I'm excited to show you an app in SPANISH.  The Small Talks apps offer short phrases or sentences that the client can simply click, and it will speak for them.  This is the same, but in Spanish!  This app is designed for adults originally, but it might be a great way to give a young student some quick phrases to say.  The best part is it's FREE.

TalkPath News

Another app I want to share with you is TalkPath News.

The awesome thing about this app is that it is available on both the Android Market and in the App Store!  It is also available online here.  It is designed to help clients with reading and understanding our daily news.  One feature I love is the one-minute news.  These are quick summaries of the news stories.  These apps are also FREE.

I don't work with adults, but I think I can use it with my older students.  One of my goals for my evaluation system is interdisciplinary instruction.  I always try and incorporate in current events and topics from other areas.  This app could make it very easy to pull in those themes.  Check out the science page below:

What do you think?  Could you use apps like this in your practice?

Note:  I was contacted by Lingraphica about these apps.  No compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine.  

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