Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School Bonus Sale

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a bonus sale tomorrow!

This is your chance to stock up on all of your speech therapy material needs, speech room decor, and organizational materials. Be sure to enter the code ONEDAY at checkout!

This is also your very last chance to purchase the Evidence-Based Practice Quick Reference at this price. There is a massive update coming on August 29, and the price will be increasing. Purchase this now and then return to download it on August 29 with the update.

Happy Shopping!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Decision Time for Fluency

I am always searching for fun fluency activities for my clients. I have my go-to resources, but my clients get bored and like to mix things up.  I was so thrilled to see a fun, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style activity just for fluency from Activity Tailor!

This book is written at a Grade 3.5 level and it has content appropriate for grades 2 through 6. I love that it's appropriate for multiple grade levels.  It allows for easy planning for multiple groups or for a single group with multiple grade levels in it.

What I like to do is have my clients read the book out loud, practicing their fluency strategies. When they come to a decision point, we stop and talk about the decision.  We talk about the pros and cons for each decision. This is a great way to work on some language skills such as compare/contrast, opinion giving, building on another person's statements, and maintaining conversation, to name a few!

There are some stuttering facts embedded in each of these stories. This is a great way to not only have the clients practice their strategies but also learn more about stuttering in general. When I write goals, I always include one for them to become more aware of stuttering and information about it. What a great way to practice that!

love that there are options for boys and girls.  It just makes it a little more personal for my clients.  

My students are having so much fun. This style is just perfect for them!  They love a little sense of adventure!  I would love to see more products just like this one.

If you think your students would enjoy this as well, check it out here on Teachers Pay Teachers!

What are some of your favorite products for fluency? 

Note: A copy of the resource was provided for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

TpT Back to School Sale 2016

Can you believe it's almost August? I cannot believe it.  For those of you in schools, it's time to start thinking about a new school year! Wow.  The good news is that TpT's back to school sale is happening tomorrow and Tuesday (August 1 and 2)!

 Here are some items from my store that you won't want to miss:

Evidence-Based Practice Quick Reference: Speech-Language P
EBP Quick Reference

*A note about the EBP Quick Reference--it is under going a full makeover and new research and apps will be included. This sale will be the LOWEST price you will ever be able to purchase it at.  Buy it now and download the new version August 29!

Simplified Speech Therapy Planner
Simplified Speech Therapy Planner

Summer Sports No-Prep Speech and Language Packet
Summer Sports Packet

Speech Farkle
Speech Farkle

Here's what's in my cart:

Speech & Language Developmental Checklist: Infant to 5 Years
Speech and Language Developmental Checklists from Speaking Freely
Apraxia {No Prep}
No Prep Apraxia by Primary Punch
Interactive Nursery Rhymes
Interactive Nursery Rhymes by The Speech Bubble SLP
Articulation Progress Trackers
Articulation Progress Trackers by A Perfect Blend

What's in YOUR cart? Happy Shopping!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Importance of Movement in Speech and Language Therapy

Movement is important in speech and language therapy.  Yes, I said it.  We need to try and get kids up and moving during our speech and language therapy sessions.

Here's why:
There is research showing that movement could help facilitate spontaneous language in developmentally delayed children.

When I was working in the schools, the most amount of movement we did was the occasional dance party or acting out dares while playing I Dare You Articulation from Erik X. Raj. The movement was never intentional, if I'm being honest.

It wasn't until I moved to an outpatient clinic where I started learning about movement more.  I work in a clinic of primarily occupational therapists.  They pride themselves in being sensory specialists. Our clinic is two large gyms with lots of equipment (and then some rooms off to the side).  They have taught me everything I know about sensory because, if you're like me, my six years of college and graduate education taught me NOTHING about it.  One of the OTs put an article about this on my desk, and I could not believe that it dated back to 1981. 1981--that's 35 years ago. 

Magrun, Ottenbacher, McCue, and Keefe (1981) wrote "Effects of Vestibular Stimulation on Spontaneous Use of Verbal Language in Developmentally Delayed Children."  Just a quick summary of the article for you. In this study, vestibular stimulation or movement was incorporated by having them ride a scooter down a ramp, spin in a net hammock, or swing on a platform swing. Treatment was for 10 minutes a day for 5 days straight. Language was recorded in a 5 minute free-play session. The results indicated that vestibular stimulation might be an effective way to stimulate language.

Ok so if we know this, why aren't we using it?   I don't know the answer to that question, but let's start incorporating it in our speech sessions. Get those kids up and moving.

Here are some ideas for you:
  • Play freeze dance. When the music pauses, they have to say their target words, answer a question, follow a direction, etc. 
  • Make a life-size game board that stretches across your room or down the hall. 
  • Play Simon Says to target following directions and incorporate large movements in.
  • Have kids jump on a trampoline during some of the session.
  • If you're lucky enough to have a swing, have the child sit on a swing during the session. 
  • Do some jumping jacks prior to starting the session. 
  • Incorporate yoga into your session. 
  • If possible, do therapy outside on the playground.
Those are just some ideas to get you started.  Consult an occupational therapist for more.  Take a baseline, try this with your students, and then do a post-test.  I'd be curious to see how they do.

I'd love to hear about how you incorporate movement into your sessions.  Leave a comment below and let us know how you do it!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Free CEUs through Presence Learning

Do you need CEUs?  How do some FREE ones sound? This summer, Presence Learning is hosting the Decathalon Challenge!  Read more below.

Screenshot of Presence Learning's website

What is the Decathalon Challenge?  It is an opportunity for you to complete 10 self-study webinars.  That means 15 certification maintenance hours or 1.5 CEUs.  That is HALF of your required CEUs for FREE. 

Topics include Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Behavior Challenges, and Special Education Law and Ethics.  Presenters include Temple Grandin and Barry Prizant among many others!

Complete these now through August 10, 2016!

Note: I am not affiliated with Presence Learning nor was I contacted by them to promote this.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Printing/Ink Solution

Friends, I have to tell you about something that I think just changed my life! It's not necessarily something brand new, but I honestly don't know many people who are doing it, so I wanted to let you know about it.   It has also come up a lot recently in Facebook groups as people are preparing for Back to School and Fall schedules.

So, what is it?  HP Instant Ink

Here's my story:
Our previous HP printer stopped working. We tried multiple things to try and fix it. I had heard about this HP Instant Ink thing awhile back, but thought that it was a waste of money.  I thought that you would pay them a monthly fee and they would send you ink, but that you still had to pay for the ink.  Well, after a little more investigation, I discovered I was very wrong!  You pay a monthly fee for them to send you ink, BUT you don't have to pay more for the ink cartridges.

If you're like me, you are a numbers person and like to budget.  So let me break it down for you.

We purchased the HP Officejet 5744 for approximately $100.  It came with 6 months free of Instant Ink.  When we were signing up for the Instant Ink package, I noticed there was a coupon code right now for 3 months free.  Sometimes coupons don't stack, but I thought, "Why not try it?"  Guess what? It worked!  So for $100, I got a new printer and 9 months of free ink, printing 300 pages per month! Pretty awesome, right?

After the 9 free months are up, we will switch to a subscription plan.  There are three plans:
Occasional printing: $2.99/mo for 50 pages
Moderate printing: $4.99/mo for 100 pages
Frequent printing: $9.99/mo for 300 pages
 The price includes them shipping the new cartridges to you, the ink itself, and recycling of the old cartridges. 

My husband did a comparison.  The ink we would need to print that much would be about $65 in cartridges.  For two rounds of ink, it would be $130. Who knows how many rounds I would need to print 300 pages per month.  With Instant Ink, even the highest level (~$10) would only be $120 per year!  Is it adding up in your head?  You can save A TON of money!  Oh, and I think I forgot to mention that you can change the plan anytime you want. So if you find yourself needing to print more than the allowed amount, you can change it.  If you aren't printing as much, you can bump down to a lower one.

Want to know the best part? The unused pages roll into the next month!  That means if I don't print anything one month, I have now doubled my page amount for the next. 

I know you may not be thinking back to school or fall yet. But seriously, if you are in the market for a new printer and print a lot of fun TpT activities for your clients or students, you should consider this!

Check it out via my referral link here and you'll get a month free!  Which means you could have up to 10 months free (if you buy a qualifying printer and use the code SCHOOL3 when signing up). You won't regret it!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Games to Play: Fast Flip and Dr. Eureka

I play games all of the time in my therapy sessions.   In the clinic, our goal is to make therapy fun, and a lot of the times, the kids think we are just playing.  They don't always realize it's therapeutic.  I recently received two new games from Blue Orange Games, and my clients have been LOVING them. I couldn't wait to share them with you!

The first is Fast Flip!  If you and your students/clients love Spot It, then this is a game for you!

Here's the description from Blue Orange Games:
"Get ready to scramble for the match in this crazy fruit salad! Match your fruits to a number, or numbers to a fruit; you don’t know what match you’ll have to find next! Whether you play with the tokens or with the cards alone, all players of any age will be fast flipping for this brain teasing match up. The game comes complete in a tin for your cards and tokens, making it an easy travel item. The magic distribution of fruits on the cards guaranties that there is always one correct answer. You just need to be the fastest to find it!"

Watch this video to learn how to play:

They state that it is a perfect game for visual perception, processing speed, and focus/attention.  I agree with all of those. I also think it's a good game for describing and using specific language.  One of my clients kept saying "4 of those" and I kept cueing for her to tell me 4 of what exactly?  Describe by color, number, function, origin, parts, etc. You name it, we talk about it!

I also use this game for pragmatic skills.  Students sometimes get frustrated when they don't find the match or have difficulty in multiple rounds.  I use that opportunity to discuss what we could say during games and how to be a good sport.

The next game is Dr. Eureka!  My clients love this one too.

Here's a description from Blue Orange Games:
"The brilliant Dr. Eureka has important experiments for you to complete! Pick a challenge card, 3 test tubes and 6 colorful balls to solve his scientific formula. Carefully move your materials from tube to tube without dropping them, and position them as illustrated on the challenge card. This brainteasing party game can be played solitary or competitively. The high quality components and the creative concept make it a challenging game for the whole family."

Watch this video to learn how to play:

The description states that it is a perfect game for fine motor skills, visual perception, processing speed, and attention/focus.  While it is a good game for all of that, what about SLPs?  Well I think this is the perfect game for describing/following directions.  I modified the game a little bit when playing with my clients.  Instead of it being a race to see who could complete the card the fastest, I described the card to my client to see if they could follow all of my directions. Then, I had them describe it to me using specific language! Of course, this is a fun one for pragmatics as well.

Overall, my clients and I love these two games.  In fact, I had one client in particular ask me every session if I had more new games like these because she loved them so much.  These games are engaging and are a fun way to target some of their goals.   They can be therapeutic while still playing.  They have quickly become favorites in my speech room.

What do you think? Do you think your students/clients would like these games?  

Note: Blue Orange Games provided me a copy of both games for my review.  No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mind.

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