Monday, April 29, 2013

July and August Home Program FREEBIES!

I wanted to do a quick post sharing my July and August Elementary Language Home Program.  That was a mouth full!

These documents correspond with the Home Program Family Letter and the June Home Program for elementary language.  The calendars target general skills, such as: problem solving, categorizing, answering questions, sequencing, narratives, and vocabulary.  Because they are so general, I encourage you to supplement this home program with materials that are personalized to your students' goal(s).

Check out the FREE July calendar here and the August calendar here!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mouse's First Spring

One of my favorite books to use during speech/language sessions is Mouse's First Spring.  It is a great book for easy sequencing skills and also great for the kiddos who are beginning talkers or have a limited vocabulary since it contains a lot of fun and noise mimicking phrases.

I created an expressive and receptive language unit pertaining to the book for PK-1st grade that focuses on skills, such as: sequencing, retelling, categorizing, vocabulary, turn taking, answering questions, and describing.  

Check out the details at my TeachersPayTeachers store here!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Home Program FREEBIE!

Now that the end of the school year is winding down (or winding up, depending on how you look at it!), it is time to start thinking about home programs for the summer.

I have started to create a home program series for elementary language skills.  The program targets skills, such as: vocabulary, divergent naming, convergent naming, narratives, sequencing, answering questions, and more!  The home program is designed in a Monday-Friday format for four weeks.  The packet includes four weeks of activities already planned and a blank weekly calendar to fill in yourself for a 5th  week or to create your own activities.  Each activity can be completed in a matter of minutes!

This program is very general and I encourage you to supplement the program with materials that directly relate to your students' goals.

Grab the family letter for the home program here and the June Language (elementary) program here.

Keep a look out for July and August programs!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

IEP at a Glance Freebie!

What a busy week this week!  I did want to share a FREEBIE at my TPT store while I had a minute.

This FREEBIE corresponds with my Speech-Language Pathology Organization and Documentation forms at my TPT store.  This single sheet document works as a quick overview of your students' IEP.  It contains information, such as: date of birth, IEP due date, IEP minutes, team members and their roles, accommodations, and modifications.  Grab your free copy here!


Saturday, April 20, 2013


Yesterday, one of the wonderful special education teachers I work with shared this wonderful website called ToonDoo.  This site is GREAT and FREE!  I have had so much fun playing around with it for the last couple minutes...okay hours.  It's basically a site to create your own comic strips.  But, for us SLPs, it is a great site to create social stories, sequencing activities, and even retelling/narrative activities.  Not only is it great for us to make materials, but it is a great (and fun) tool for the kids to engage in!

This is a screenshot of a social story I had worked on:

This website is great because you can pick from a high range of characters, change their facial expression and their posture.  You can also pick from different backgrounds, props, and speech bubbles.  One of the features I like most is that you can put your own pictures in there!  So instead of having a cartoon depict a social story, you can add a picture of the actual student!  They also have different cartoon strip formats, this is just an example of the four box plot.  

You can also create your own characters.  Below I have made my husband doing the Blue Steele look.

You do have to register to use the site, but no fee!  So check it out!


Beach Game Freebie!!!

Hello! As Courtney mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm joining in her blogging fun on The Talking Owls. We work for the same agency in different schools and both love spicing up our therapy to make it interesting and keep the kids engaged! Sorry for the delay in my first post, but for all you fellow SLPs out there, you know how it goes... Paperwork, visuals, lesson planning, paperwork, paperwork, did I mention paperwork! It's been a busy few weeks in my speech bubble, but I'm happy to offer you a free game set that can be used for any speech-language target as a reinforcer, Beach Games, that you can grab on my TPT store here! Enjoy!

SL Love

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

While I was on maternity leave, I had posted about my Very Hungry Caterpillar speech and language unit.  Now that I'm back into action, I was able to implement my materials!

The kids loved the directions and sequencing activity where they place the food cards into the caterpillars mouth.  I implemented this activity in several ways.  During the books, I had them feed the caterpillar as we read to keep them engaged and to brush up on their listening skills.  After the book, we practiced following directions while feeding the caterpillar.  For instance, I would give directions, such as: "Feed the caterpillar one apple after feeding him the pears."  My lower functioning students worked on labeling while feeding the caterpillar and requesting using the phrase, "I want (one apple)."  Note:  Kids love when you make the munching sound to mimick the caterpillar eating.  

However, some of my kids really needed something tangible and concrete to be interested and engaged.  Cue the panty hoes, googly eyes. and play food...

Before you ask, yes, that is a fish in the picture.  No, the Very Hungry Caterpillar did not eat a fish.  However, one of my kiddos would not come to speech without it today, so this particular caterpillar had a hankering for fish this morning.

It's not pretty, and it  may look more like a worm, not to mention that I am technically feeding the caterpillar food through his bum rather than his mouth, but the kids love it.  The tangible objects really keep them engaged and they love that they can see the food!  Not to mention it addresses language skills, such as labeling/vocabulary, requesting, sequencing, and directives.

Feels good to be back working with the kids, especially with fun activities like this!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Past Tense Pizza

I was lucky enough to spend all day today at the Building Bridges conference to learn more about assistive technology.  Anytime I go to professional development, a seminar, or a conference, I always walk out feeling refreshed and am always so excited to implement what I have learned.  After the conference I was planning on posting about some amazing apps we learned about, however, being the smarty pants I am, I decided it was a good time to update my iPad, which all my notes were on, and it is still updating...about two hours later.  So, for now, until I  have access to my notes on my iPad, I thought I'd share another activity I recently posted on my TeachersPayTeachers store.

It focuses on both regular and irregular past tense and better yet, the game is centered around pizza!  If I wasn't trying to loose this baby weight, I'd be eating pizza for every meal, of everyday, for the next year.  But unfortunately, pizza is not recommended for my post-baby diet.  So, this game is as close to pizza as I am going to get for awhile.

Below are some examples of the game:


The game comes with 48 regular past tense and 48 irregular past tense cards, four pizza crust game boards, and all the toppings needed to play.  I'm not going to lie, this is a 45 page document and will probably take a hefty chunk of time to cut out.  So, buy yourself a pizza, pop in a movie, and start cutting!

Check out the details of the game at my TeachersPayTeachers store!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Growing Vegetable Soup

I decided to make one more unit before my maternity leave is over so I would have at least two weeks worth of lessons done for my preschoolers!

Since it is Spring, I decided to make a unit pertaining to the book, Growing Vegetable Soup.  This book is wonderfully simple and great for Spring.

The unit I created addresses vocabulary, answering questions, sequencing, reasoning, scanning, associations, turn taking, and comparing/contrasting all related to gardening and vegetables!  I was also thinking it might be fun to actually plant little plants with the kids!  That would be a great way to work on sequencing and following directions in a real life context.  Now, I just need to find cheap little flower pots...

If you want to check out my Growing Vegetable Soup unit, feel free to visit my TeachersPayTeachers store here.  Below are some examples from the unit.

What fun Spring activities are you all doing?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Some Great Changes!

I have some exciting news!  You may notice a couple changes around here in the next couple weeks.  One being changing the blog title from The Talking Owl to The Talking Owls.  I know!  Why would I make such a drastic change?!  It's because...

My good friend Lauren and I decided to collaborate and combine our blogs together!  What could be better than two SLPs?  Well, maybe three or four SLPs, but for the time being, you will get not one, but two SLPs contributing to this blog!

With work and such, it may take us sometime to get all the changes made, but continue to keep your eyes open for new posts!

Thank you for your patience during this transition.


My Playhome Lite

Oh, the iPad, what a wonderful tool for speech-language pathologists!  Using the iPad, at least for me, can be a double-edged sword.  It is extremely motivating for my students, but when I don't do an activity using the iPad, some of my students will look at me with a facial expression that says: "um, lady, did you forget your brain today or something, where's the iPad?"  Or some students simply just come out and say, "where's the iPad?"  Those blunt little boogers.  

One of my favorite apps to use for language, especially with preschoolers, is My Playhome Lite.  This is a great app for working on concepts, such as prepositions and following directions.  I also get a lot of language out of my kiddos when using this app.  Here are some screen shots for your reference:

When working on prepositions, I have students place one of the family members "beside the table" or "in front of the chair."  I also place the family members myself and ask them where the family member is to address prepositions both receptively and expressively.

This app is very interactive, so it is great for working on following directions.  For example, in the kitchen you can pour cereal, eat pizza, do  laundry, do the dishes, and even fry an egg!  In the living room you can open and close the curtians, turn on music and tv, and turn on the light.  I may have kids follow simple directions, such as: "turn on the light" or more complex directions, such as: " eat the apple before you pour some cereal."

Usage of verbs is another great area to target with this app.  Once the child does an action on the app, you can expose them to verb vocabulary, such as "cooking, sitting, standing, swimming, watching, listening, washing, eating, and baking."  Once they learn the verbs, you can start working on past tense.  For example, if they have the mom cook an egg, you can model "she just cooked an egg" and reinforce this skill by asking what the mom just did.

This app is FREE, so there is really nothing to loose by downloading it.  I believe they have a full version that maybe includes a bathroom and backyard, but I can't promise anything!

What are some of your favorite apps?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Go-To Games

Didn't I just create a post about trying to steer away from games?  I did.  So, this post is a little contradictory, but there are a handful of games that I use that are really quick and don't take the attention away from producing and practicing target speech sounds.  

I found this game at a novelty store in Galena, IL randomly with my good SLP friend, Lauren who just so happens to blog over at Speech-Language Love.  My kids love this game!  One way I use it is by drawing a target on my white board and assigning a number of productions the kids must produce when they shoot.  For example, the center is three productions, the middle ring is five productions, the outer ring is eight productions, and anything outside of that is ten productions.  The only down side is I have already lost one of my balls to this game and I died a little bit inside.  Someday when I'm cleaning out my room I'm sure I'll find it.  Also, if you're not a fan of penguins, they have other animals that can be purchased here.

I love this game because it's simple, quick, and easy.  I usually have kids produce at least ten target sounds, if not more, and then we do three rounds of spot it, which literally takes about five seconds.  In this game, each player has one card and there is a pile of cards in the middle with the top card flipped up.  Each card has a set of several small pictures on it and each card also has one picture that matches another card.  The first player to spot their matching picture is supposed to yell "spot it!" and then the take the card and put it on top of their deck.  During speech, I usually have students yell out the name of the matching picture so it gives more of an opportunity to practice their target sound when appropriate, unless they are working on /sp/, then "spot it" is perfect!.  There is also an easier version for younger kids called Spot It Jr.

Hungry Hungry Hippos App for iPad

This game is also a really quick one for the kiddos, and also does not make all the obnoxious noise that the original game does.  I like to use this game after practice of target sounds in groups because up to four players can play at once.  One kids have mastered a certain target word, I have them repeat that practice word over and over while they playing the game to help with generalization across activities and actions.  I got this app for free on my iPad from the app store.

If you have already clicked on the link to this game, don't freak out.  I did not pay $175.00 for this game.  They do not make this version of Cariboo anymore, so I found one and bought it off of ebay.  I believe they also have a different and newer version of this game that can be found at Target or Walmart.  In this game, there are pictures of shapes/colors on flip lids that you can open with a key.  The goal is to find the six balls that are under the various flip lids in order to open the treasure chest.  In my case, I have made several sets of stimuli cards to replace the color/shape cards with target sounds.  I have my students practice the word/phrase several times before they can check under the flip lid.  I also will sometimes put candy, like Smarties, in the treasure chest so they get an extra surprise when they find all the balls!

What are your favorite quick and easy games for speech?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Favorite Topic: Organization

Like most Type-A SLP's, I love to organize.  I'm not sure how to express how much I love organizing, but let's just say that the thought of organizing all my children's books into thematic units this summer makes my heart smile and action of paper clipping a set of IEP documents into little packets warms my soul.

With that said, I took on my favorite project this year so far of creating documents to help keep me more organized and the best part is these documents are all owl themed!  So, not only will I be the most organized SLP on the block, but I will also be documenting in style.

I would love to go more in-depth of how I keep organized, but I did not really like how I organized myself this year, which is why I will postpone such a post until next school year (oh my, how I have ideas for next year!).  The documents I created will be the forms I plan on using next year.  I will only have 6 weeks when I return from maternity leave and I don't think redesigning my system is a good idea at this point!

So, for those of you who are looking for a new system, either this year or next, I have created a packet of forms.  Learn more about the documentation system I created at my TeachersPayTeachers store here

Speech-Language Pathology Organization and DocumentationSpeech-Language Pathology Organization and DocumentationSpeech-Language Pathology Organization and Documentation

I would love to hear how you all keep organized!  Please share in the comments section!