Thursday, October 27, 2016

Work-Team Relationships

Building relationships is important in all facets of life, and work-team relationships are no different! These are the people you see and work closely with, day in and day out.  During the week, you spend more waking hours at work than you probably do at home.  Not only is it important to just "get along" with them, but when you can really grow close as a team, it makes your job that much more enjoyable.  Having at least 1 or 2 close friends at work that you can go to to vent, laugh, cry, etc... in my experience, is priceless.

I just started a new job last summer and had to start all over again at ground zero in building my work-team relationships after being at my previous job for 5 years.  That being said, I have had wonderful work team relationships in both places I've been, so I want to share with you some things I think have made it work as well as it has (and a huge thank you to my work friends who helped me brainstorm ideas for this post!).

I'm writing about building relationships both from the perspective of being a fellow team member on the therapist/teacher team, and also from the perspective of building a relationship with someone you are supervising.  This is a long post, but stay with me.  I have some valuable input for you!

First up.. building relationships with fellow teacher/therapist colleagues!

Be open-minded and don't take offense.  I just had this chat last week with the BCBA I work with.  No one on our team gets offended if she (or anyone else) asks if we need help or steps in when a kid's meltdown is escalating and she/they have a strategy to try.  The reverse applies, too- she has told me multiple times that if I want her to be using a different communication method/strategy with a kid, to please tell her and she will not be offended.  I think a big part of being on a successful team is knowing that you are knowledgeable in your specific area, but that because our professions all overlap in so many ways, we all have things we can learn from each other.  As long as no one oversteps boundaries (e.g. making decisions about another professional's area without consulting them), it can be a wonderful learning experience.  I am always eager to learn more behavior strategies from our BCBA and more about sensory processing from our OTs.  Keep an open mind.  You might just learn something that completely changes the way you view a particular student or situation!

Pitch in.  The other day at work, during my therapy time with one of our kids being potty trained, there was a "misfire" all over the bathroom.  One of my team members got me some towels while another one wiped up the floor, while I was cleaning up the kiddo and getting him changed.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the help! At my last job, there were a few times where I helped with administering language-based tasks of G-3 testing (our PreK testing in the school district that happened 3x a year) for kids on my caseload if the teacher was getting really backlogged.  My therapy schedule was shot during testing week, anyway-- pitching in a few minutes here and there doesn't take a ton of effort, and lets your team members know you're a team player.  A small gesture often times goes a long way!

Co-teach! I know this is a lot easier in the early childhood setting, but I always LOVED doing in-class services in our preschool classrooms.  It gives the teachers a chance to see what you do, what you're working on, cuing strategies you use, etc... so they can carry out the same things throughout the rest of our students' days.  The early childhood teachers I worked with loved having SLPs and OTs come in and do a small group rotation.  The reverse is true, too-- I would see an activity the teacher was doing and would be inspired in how I could spin it into a language activity! Buy-in is way higher if the teachers can SEE what you're doing and see it implemented successfully!

If you're in an elementary school setting where in-class lessons are a little trickier, and the buy-in is much lower.. pick 1 teacher you get along with who is open to you coming into their classroom.  Start with that one classroom, and when things go well, inevitably they'll tell their other grade-level teammates, and they'll start to get interested, which may open up doors for you to work with other classroom teachers, too!

Celebrate! Celebrate the funny stories and little successes with your team members.  Even if you have nothing else in common, you have your students in common, and that is something you can bond over.  We all need encouragement to keep going sometimes-- sharing a breakthrough is sometimes the confirmation that "I AM doing it right and we ARE making progress!"  Sharing successes also allows your teammates to see your passion for the kids you are working with!  Additionally, a funny story to make your teammates laugh is sometimes just what they need after a stressful morning/day!

Take an interest in their lives.  Ask about how their weekends went when you see them on Monday.  If they mention their significant other, ask how long they've been dating/married.  Ask how they met.  Ask about their kids.  They have a dog and you're a dog lover, too? Share a funny story about your dog! They did something really cool over the weekend that you love to do or have been dying to try, too? Share that! Take an interest in their lives and make connections.  If there's really no common ground you can talk about... See "Celebrate" above ;-)

Understand that each role on the team has their own set of stressors.  Maybe you're stressed because you have 8 IEP meetings next week and you're the case manager for 5 of them.  Maybe your OT is stressed because all of a sudden there's 10 new kids in K-5 who need sensory supports and she has to find a time to get in and observe them.  Maybe one of the ECSE teachers is stressed because she just got 2 new kids added to her already-too-full classroom.  Maybe your PT who is only there once a week found out that an IEP meeting was rescheduled for that same day and the case manager forgot to tell her.  Everyone is stressed.  Respect that.  It is never okay to play the "one-up" game and make others feel like their stressors aren't as valid as yours.

From a supervisory/assistant relationship standpoint...

When I had my school job, I had my own para for the last 3 out of 5 years.  We had a wonderful relationship and by the end of my time there, I (only half)-jokingly referred to her as my life coach because I frequently asked for her input/advice.  I told her I was writing this post, and asked her what she felt like made our kind of supervisory/assistant relationship work as well as it did.  Here's what she said:

1.  Respect: "You always acknowledged me (and others) and never made us feel inferior for having a different job title."  It's not hard to greet people and respond when they greet you.  Not everyone at my last job did that, but it's something SO simple and makes a world of difference.  When people feel acknowledged and welcomed, they're happier and perform better at their jobs.

2.  "You gave me areas of responsibility so I could keep busy, grow in ability, and feel accomplished.  That made me better and made me more valuable to the group as a whole."   Play to your assistant's strengths and interests.  My para became excellent at running small group rotations in the classrooms.  She learned how to adapt my activities to different levels of kids and could run these without needing much guidance from me.  This was a win for me, too, because I often used this time to pull kids for IEP/eval data, or to sit down and work on reports for a little bit.  Sometimes, we would both come in if a classroom had a kid that needed more support during a group or a rotation in general that needed two sets of hands to keep things running smoothly.  I could let her run it while I focused more on specific kids.

My para was also really great with the language kids, too, and I felt like that was her strength more than articulation.  Articulation therapy was also less of an interest to her, so when I scheduled her with kids, I tried to have her seeing the language kids more than articulation kids.  Our elementary SLP saw the opposite in her para- she thought articulation was a great strength for her para, so her para saw a lot of artic kids.  Figure out a way to use their strengths to your (and the kids'!) advantage!

3.  "You always complimented when you saw good methods and teaching, but took in stride things that didn't work by trying something else.  It was never a big deal."   Positive feedback is so important! Even if you know you're doing a good job, it's always nice to hear it from someone else, too.  When you're supervising a para or SLPA, they need to know what they're doing well (increased confidence = increased job performance, which benefits you and your students, too!) as well as ideas for strategies they might try to change things up next time if something didn't go well.  They're not trained SLPs, and don't have the same extensive background as us.  We can't expect them to just know how to do things.  It's our responsibility to give feedback and gradually shape them into effective therapy providers under our supervision.

4. "You asked for my input and you always included everyone when the breakthroughs happened so we could celebrate!"  I feel like part of why my para enjoyed her job was because I frequently shared new ideas I was excited to try and shared mini milestones of success.  Your passion for your career is contagious and rubs off on people.  Your assistant is doing therapy, too-- asking for their input and including him/her in the excitement shows them you value them and their efforts, as well.

Whew! Are you still with me? I know that was a long one.  But, building relationships at work is so, so, SO important in job satisfaction, and I hope you felt like these tips were useful.  For other bloggers' tips on building relationships at work, check out the link-up below!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween Speech and Language Therapy Ideas

Ah, October.... Colorful leaves, cute boots, scarves, pumpkin-flavored everything.... :) Just a few of my favorite things! Halloween is just on the horizon, and if you need some fun, easy ideas to fill in some holes in your therapy plans for the next week, check out these activities I've been using!

1.  Alien sensory bag

I used this last Spring for an Outer Space unit, but what better time for a #TBT activity like this than in a Halloween post? ;-) I used green hair gel, but recently read about making sensory bags with colored water instead of hair gel.  I haven't tried that yet, so if you do- let me know how it works! You can buy cheap hair gel at the Dollar Store.  Be sure to tape up the opening of the bag with some heavy duty packing tape or duct tape so it doesn't accidentally open and spill everywhere!

Goal areas targeted: 
-sorting googly eyes by size (small/medium/large) to target size concepts
-following directions: "Put X amount of sm/med/lg eyes in the bag" (e.g. "Put 2 small eyes in the bag" "Move a big eye above a little eye" "Make a row of 3 eyeballs")

2.  Craftivities
I love using my Cariboo vocabulary and phonology cards as the base for crafts-- you can read my post on using them here.  Printing them on colored computer or construction paper makes these crafts super easy! (Note: the Alien craft features pictures from Primary Punch's No Prep Apraxia set, while Frankenstein and the pumpkin feature my Cariboo cards)

Goal areas targeted: articulation/phonology, vocabulary, WH questions, object functions

3.  Playdough Monsters for Speech AND Language!


I first tried this out last year in my small group lessons in the ECSE classrooms, and the kids LOVED it! I cut some straws and gathered playdough, fruit loops, googly eyes, beads and some super skinny dowel rods that I happened to have on hand.  BUT, this year, I used pipe cleaners instead of dowel rods when I did this in therapy and it was WAY better.  I also only used beads instead of fruit loops, which still let me incorporate colors, but was easier than the fruit loops which sometimes crumbled.

Goal areas targeted:
-basic concepts/following directions ("Put two straws under the eyes" "Put 3 purple fruit loops on the tall stick" etc...)
-fine motor skills (Maybe if you ask your OT or ECSE teachers nicely, they'll even have kids cut straws as a fine motor activity ahead of time to give you ;-))
-articulation (as a speech activity, each production gave them a piece to make a monster of their own.  5 productions = 5 fruit loops, 5 beads, etc...!)

4.  Print and GO Craftivities --Haunted House + Pumpkin Patch
I have two print and go Halloween craftivities in my TpT store that are perfect for when you're short on time (aka ALL. THE. TIME. #SLPLIFE) and can't laminate/prep in advance.

"Spooky Speech" features early sounds /p, b, m, n, w, h, t, d, y, k, g, f/ and s-blends
There IS an option to laminate and assemble to make a large haunted house and get your kids up and away from the table, but if you're short on time, just use the craftivity option!

Print out the single page haunted house, glue onto black construction paper, and glue on the ghosts as you practice.  If you're using it in a group (which, let's be real- if you're working in the schools, you're definitely using it in a group) and need to keep little hands busy, let them color the target word pictures as they wait their turn!

Goal areas targeted: 
-Pronouns (using the sentence, "He swallowed a...")
-Spatial concepts ("Glue the apple at the bottom of the house" "Put the paint at the top of the house")

"Pumpkin Patch Articulation" is a no-prep articulation activity that covers earlier AND later-developing sounds.  Pumpkins are a great alternative to ghosts/witches etc... if you're not allowed to use "Halloween" in therapy.  There is a lot to color on the background scene page, which, again, is great to keep your kiddos busy when it's not their turn in a group.

Goal areas targeted:
-Spatial concepts (giving specific directives about where to place pumpkins-- "Glue the slide next to slash" "Glue the scale under the slide" etc...)

5.  Halloween Wind-Up Toys

Grab these at Michaels for $2 a piece!

If you have kids working on combining two icons together with PECS, you can use wind-up toys to target this goal by having icons of the wind-up toys (either an actual photo or clipart of "pumpkin" "skull" or "ghost," as an example using the toys above).

Combine the wind up toy icons with the icon for "go" (e.g. "go pumpkin" or, with the 'I want' sentence strip, "I want ...'pumpkin go.' "  You can also bring in some color concepts, and use icons "orange" + "pumpkin" or "white" + "ghost" to model expanded language, as well!

Hallie at Speech Time Fun wrote a post about using Wind Up toys with sheets she made based on language goals, while I've seen posts from Speech Room News and Crazy Speech World about using them with articulation sheets!

6.  Halloween Erasers

I found these in the Target $1 spot about a month ago! These are perfect to use with a Halloween bingo game, or instead of Chipper Chat tokens on a token board. Danielle over at Sublime Speech also had a great idea to use the candy erasers for the Granny's Candy game!

7.  "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" book
Goal areas targeted:
-Body parts/clothing items
-Action words
-Following directions

One of my super smart ECSE teachers gave me the inspiration for this activity! I used this book for one of my kids working on following 2 step related directions.  I cut out the printable props from Toddler Approved but didn't have time to color them, so I left them as is.  Confession: My therapy materials aren't always pretty ;-) I also used a die where you can insert your own pictures, and cut out the printables from 3Dinosaurs to put in it.

The kiddo I was working with rolled the die, and then I'd give him a directive to act out from the story.  For example, if he rolled the pants, I'd tell him "Get the pants and make them wiggle" or "Find the gloves and make them clap" if he rolled the gloves, etc...

8.  "Spookley" book

This book is great for talking about attributes (colors + shapes of the pumpkins) with your little ones! Round pumpkins, square pumpkins, rectangular and triangular pumpkins, blue pumpkins, purple pumpkins, etc...! It's also FULL of s-blends, which is great practice for your artic kids working on those blends.  We also made our OWN Spookley with pictures of target words from my Cariboo phonology set printed on orange paper.  You could print on blue, purple, or pink paper, too, to make the other types of pumpkins that grew at the end of the book!

Goal areas targeted:
-Attributes (colors + shapes)
-Expanding utterances with attributes

Which one of these activities is your favorite? What are some of your most favorite go-to activities around this time of year? Share them with me in the comment section below!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Pirates always give me a flashback to my college days. My husband and I went as pirates together one Halloween when we were dating in college, so pirates always make me think of him! (Also, I probably always associate him and pirates because he defaulted to going as a pirate for 3 out of 4 years we were dating.. and also maybe also because when he ordered a pirate costume the first year, the company accidentally sent him a women's pirate costume, so he could only wear the eye patch and head wrap for Halloween...  ha.  Still cracks me up to this day!)

Anyway, I also love incorporating fun pirate activities into speech, and wanted to share with you a few of my favorites for a link-up by Ashley over at Sweet Southern Speech!

1. "Ahoy, Pirate Pete" is one of my favorite books to use in therapy.  I love how interactive it is, so it keeps my little guys engaged throughout the entirety of the book.  They get to choose how the story reads on each page, and I get to hit multiple language targets! They never get tired of it because they can change the way the story reads each time.  For a video to see examples of the pages, click here (I have been searching my house high and low for my Pirate Pete book, and can't find it anywhere to take an example picture of one of the pages! Womp womp)

Easy targets:
1.  Pronouns- On each page, they can describe what's happening on the page starting with "He is..."
2.  WH questions- ask WH questions about the objects on the page ("Where would an pig REALLY live?")
3.  Absurdities- The perfect book for describing how/why something could not be used for a specific function or be in that location

2. To go along with the book, I created a pirate-themed articulation sensory bin.

Sidenote: If you are transporting your sensory bin in a vehicle, make sure it's in a bin with a lid.  I made this novice mistake, and when someone cut me off and I had to slam on my brakes, my bin FULL of beans went flying EV-ER-Y-WHERE!  I'm still finding beans randomly in my car! When I took my car in for an oil change to Jiffy Lube recently, I felt like I should explain to the mechanics why they might find randomly find beans while they were vacuuming the inside of my car.. ha. #totallynormal #slpproblems

I bought the gold coins from Michaels around St. Patty's Day one year, but you can find some at your local party supply store (like Party City) or on Amazon (note: the link is an add-on item, but I'm sure you can find something else you need to purchase on Amazon!).  I put scotch tape on the gold coins and wrote numbers 1-5 with a sharpie on the tape, so I could take the numbers off and reuse the coins for other purposes if I so desired.  No- cost alternative: Cut out some "coins" with yellow construction paper-- super easy, but even easier with a circle die-cut, or the craft circle punchers if you have one!

I did this activity over the summer for a kiddo I was seeing for private therapy, and forgot to print off some target word pictures before I left, so I (very poorly) drew some on a sheet of paper.  When he found a coin with #1 on it, he practiced the word under the 1 column ("spider").  When he found a #2 coin, he practiced the word under the #2 column ("spoon"), so on and so forth.  If you have picture cards, I'd lay them under each number in a column (however many you can fit on a page) for a more visually appealing setup ;-).

With a mixed group, you could lay different target cards below each other, and each one of your kiddos can have a dedicated color (think Webber artic cards-- whoever is working on their /k/ sound always knows to use the pink card in each column, whoever is working on /f/ knows to use the red card in each column, etc...).

3.  Another pirate-themed activity I used was a pirate game board from the phonological process palooza pack from Mia at Putting Words in Your Mouth.  It's super cute and an easy thing to pull out and use with any target!

What are some of your favorite pirate activities to do in therapy?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Progress Monitoring: A Frenzied SLP link-up!

The Frenzied SLPs are linking up today to bring you some information on progress monitoring and data collection! Truthfully, this is not my area of forte.  I never have managed to come up with a general data sheet that I have just *LOVED*, but I'll share with you what I found worked best for me with my caseload in the schools!

I tried binders.  I tried folders.  I tried every data sheet under the sun!  Nothing really stuck with me, but I did find a system that worked well for me with regard to taking data quickly in groups, and having a way to track data in the preschool classroom without carrying around a bulky binder or stacks of folders.

Enter: Return Address Labels

Each morning before I started the day, I'd grab a new sheet of address labels (or use a partial one from the previous day) to use to take data throughout the day.

I only had to have one page out for each group, no matter how large the group was, and could take individual data on individual labels, to peel off and stick onto each of their data sheets later.  If it came down to it, you could even put a few of them on your leg to jot notes down if you're going to be on the floor, say, in the dramatic play area, or otherwise in a situation where it's not ideal to have a full sheet out to write on/keep track of.

At the end of the day, when it came time to do Medicaid billing, it was easy to just run down the sheet(s) from the day and enter in the system for each kiddo who required billing.

Harry Potter, anyone? ;-)

From there, the sticky labels are transferred onto their individual data sheets (kept in a binder) in the individual goal columns.  This way, even though you don't necessarily always have their full data sheets out in front of you, you are still looking at the data sheets frequently to see how they are progressing with their goals, which goals you haven't targeted or taken data on for a bit, etc...

(This is just a makeshift data sheet I quickly drew up by hand for the purpose of this blog post, but for my real data sheets, I printed the label template sheet from the Avery website, for the size of labels I had, and wrote goal areas at the top of each column)

It's not a perfect system, but it's what worked best for me, my schedule/time constraints, and my caseload!  I didn't waste time flipping through data sheets, and the sticky labels are at least transferable, so I didn't have to re-write data onto data sheets, or fear that the labels would lose their stickiness over time on the data sheet, like post-it notes would!

What system works for you? Have you found anything you loved? Be sure to read the other posts in this link-up for some great ideas!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

15 Simple Craftivities for the Year- Using Cariboo cards!

Things I love:
1.  Cariboo
2.  Craftivities
3.  Easy therapy planning with minimal prep work involved
4.  Adapting a set of materials to use with a variety of kids
5.  Hitting "print" and walking to a nearby printer to pick up all of my papers, versus flipping through a bulky spiral-bound book to make copies of each page I need, holding up a line of fellow teachers/therapists who also need to make copies ASAP, who are also silently cursing me and hoping that the only copier in the school doesn't break again before it's their turn.

If you love all of these things, too, (especially #5), then you're in luck.  Today, I'm going to show you a variety of CUTE and SIMPLE themed craftivities that you can make throughout the year by printing my Cariboo language and Cariboo phonology cards on colored printer/construction paper!

Fall Craftivities:

1.  School bus
Materials Needed: paper plate, yellow copy/construction paper for the bus, and black construction paper for the wheels

Take a paper plate and fold it in half, and glue the yellow target pictures onto the plate.  I used the "back to school" cards from my original language set, which are great for targeting school supply vocabulary and object functions.  I used 4 wheels per bus since I was using the front and back.  I also cut off the top rounded part of the plate when I was done, to have a flat edge at the top.

2.  Apple
Materials needed: paper plate, red (or green or yellow!) copy/construction paper, brown construction paper (stem), green construction paper (leaf)

Print any set of cards (two syllable words from my phonology set are featured in this one) on red, green, or yellow paper, and glue all around the plate! You can also have your kids color the plate with a crayon ahead of time so the empty spaces between the pictures are the same color as the pictures, too.  Add the stem and leaf, and voila!

3.  Farm
Materials needed: red construction paper for the barn, and red copy/construction paper for the pictures

Cut out the shape of a barn on red construction paper, and glue your pictures on! Featured here are the farm animal and initial /f/ sets of Cariboo cards.  Using the farm animal set, you could target receptive/expressive vocabulary with animal names, identify animals by the sound they make, talk about what they like to eat, how they move (galloping, running, hopping, flying...), etc...!

4.  Pumpkin
Materials needed: paper plate, orange copy/construction paper, brown construction paper (stem)

Print the desired set of cards on orange paper (featured here is the Halloween set) and glue all around.  Again, you can have your students color the plate orange before gluing on the pictures.

5.  Frankenstein
Materials needed: paper plate, white construction paper (eyes), black construction paper (hair, eyeballs, mouth, screws), green copy/construction paper

Print a set of cards on green paper (initial /f/ featured).  Cut the paper plate in half, and glue the green pictures all around the half plate.  Cut the hair from black construction paper and glue (I just drew "humps" for lack of a better term, across a sheet of black construction paper, and cut out several strips at a time, and just cut them down to size based on the length of the paper plate).  Glue on a small black rectangle for the mouth, white and black circles for the eyeballs, and black screws on the side of the head.

I would suggest cutting all of the extra pieces (hair, eyes, mouth, screws) ahead of time, and cutting several at a time.

6. Fire Truck
Materials needed:  paper plate, red copy/construction paper, black construction paper (wheels)

October is fire safety month! This would also be great for a transportation or community helpers unit.  This one is made the same way as the school bus listed above, just with red paper.  I used the fire safety Cariboo cards to make this one.

7.  Owl
Owls just always remind me of Fall!
Materials: yellow and black construction paper, brown copy/construction paper

Optional: Having your students color the paper plate brown before gluing.

8.  Pumpkin Pie
Materials needed: Paper plate, brown copy/construction paper, cotton ball
Optional: A real slice of pie because you'll probably be hungry after making so many, and you should probably just #treatyoself (Any Parks & Rec fans reading this?!) after all of your hard work.

Cut the paper plate into a triangle and glue on the brown pictures (/sp/ and /st/ cards featured).  Top with a cotton ball in the middle of "whipped cream" and you have a super cute Thanksgiving craftivity! The Thanksgiving vocab cards would be perfect for this, too!

Winter/Spring Craftivities

1.  Christmas Wreath
Materials needed: Paper plate, green and red copy/construction paper

You may have seen this craft previously posted on my Instagram page, but I love it! I took a paper plate, folded it in half, and cut out the middle circle.  I printed the target pictures (in this instance, Christmas vocab cards) on green paper, and printed a black/white image of a bow onto red paper.  Glue the green pictures all around the plate edges, and glue the red bow at the bottom when you're done!

2.  Hot Cocoa Mug
Materials needed: blue construction paper, cotton balls

This one is great to use at any point in Winter! I cut out a large rectangle from blue construction paper as the base of the mug, and then cut out a skinny half circle for the handle to glue onto the side.  Glue on the blue pictures (initial /t/ cards for 'backing' featured) that you printed either on blue construction paper or copy paper, and then glue the cotton balls at the top for the whipped cream.

3.  Polar Bear
Materials needed: paper plate, black/white construction paper, white construction or copy paper for pictures

This is a cute craftivity to make during an arctic animals unit!

4.  Valentine
Materials needed: pink construction/copy paper

Super simple! Just cut out a heart from pink construction paper and glue on the pink pictures of your choosing (Valentine's card set shown here)

5.  Shamrock
Materials needed: green construction/copy paper

Again, super simple (drawing the shamrock to where the leaves came out evenly was the most challenging part- ha).  Print your pictures on green paper (I used the St Patty's Day/"green things" set) and glue around the construction paper shamrock.

6.  Tree
Materials needed: paper plate, green paper, brown construction paper

Optional: color the paper plate green before gluing pictures on.
This craftivity is great for Earth Day, a plants/flowers unit, or any time in the Spring!  Cards featured: final /f/

7.  Flower
Materials needed: paper plate, green construction paper, pink (or any color you want your flower to be) paper

I printed the "Spring" vocab set onto pink paper for this one, and glued the pictures all around the paper plate.  I had cut out a strip of green construction paper for the stem, along with two green leaves, to glue onto the bottom of the paper plate, as well.  Another great craftivity for Earth Day, a plant/flower unit, or any time throughout Spring and Summer!

1- Use flimsier paper plates (ones with the ruffled/wavy lines around the edges) that fold easily-- not ones with the raised edges.  This will make it easier to cut the plates when needed, and to stick pictures along the edges.

2- Prep the extra pieces ahead of time, and cut several at a time.  Fold construction paper into at least halves (or use a few sheets at once) when cutting pieces with scissors or with your die cut machines at school/at the clinic.  Cutting out multiples at once saves time in general, and cutting them ahead of time saves you time during your session.

I love using craftivities in speech and incorporating the targets we worked on, because it lets the parents know what we worked on, so they can reinforce at home, too.  My Pre-K kiddos always loved going back to their classroom to show their teachers, too, so that was yet another person to ask them about what they're practicing, and get that reinforcement/generalization.  Win win! 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What's In Your Cart Link-Up

The big Back to School TpT Sale is just about here, and I am SO excited! I love getting to stock up on great materials from my other blogger friends to kick-start the new year! I'm linking up with Jenna at Speech Room News to share some materials from both my store, and materials from others' TpT stores that I have either purchased in the past and love, or ones that I plan to purchase this upcoming sale!

From my store...

1- All About Me/Back to School Dot & Dough:
Get your first week of baseline data using these fun playdough and dot marker pages that your students will LOVE! If you use 3-ring page protectors rather than laminating, this pack is essentially no-prep (other than sliding pages into the page protectors!)- even better!

You can target vocabulary, object functions, WH questions, categories, pronouns, -ing verbs, and basic concepts with these pages, as well as open-ended pages for targeting other goals. 

2.  Woof! A dog-themed unit

Pictured: Category sorting, open-ended playdough page, and Cariboo spatial concepts

This unit has helped me through a jam with super shy kiddos more than once-- I was able to get those kiddos to warm up and feel comfortable talking to me during evaluations much more quickly with puppies, because who doesn't love puppies, #amiright?! Ha.

With this unit, you'll have activities to target SO MANY goals- receptive/expressive category sorting, pronouns/'be' verbs/-ing verbs with dogs doing different actions, spatial/qualitative/quantitative basic concepts with graphing pages and adorable Cariboo cards, interactive WH question books, and dot marker pages to target WH questions about dogs!  There are even several open-ended activities to use with any goal.

My own two dogs, Molly and Bruce, approve of this unit, and the interactive books based on them (and how do you disagree with two sweet faces like those?! ;-))

From my other blogger friends' TpT stores!

These look SO cute, and I am all about making my organizational materials look pretty! It helps keep me motivated to be organized if I can be organized with #alltheprettythings

I haven't purchased any of these yet, but plan on it this go around.  I love the unique-ness of her interactive books, and that you can target a variety of goals with the books.

I own the "what" and "where" books, and plan to pick up the "who" book, as well! These are great for teaching the concept of those tricky WH questions, and I love that I can target pronouns, 'be' verbs, and action words with the "what doing" book to meet the needs of other kids on my caseload, as well.

Never have I ever used an interactive book so frequently as I have this summer with my new caseload :) Music is the way to many of their hearts, so we've done quite a few renditions of Wheels on the Bus.  I've been able to target some core vocabulary with AAC devices by having something tangible paired with the song, too!

This. Is. Amazing.  I can't even tell you how much use I've gotten out of this.  There are enough icons in here to be able to put together a PECS book, and I love the core/fringe vocabulary file folder sets.  You'll also get visuals for some different "snacktivities" along with visual schedules, a couple social stories, and "I am working for" templates.  If you have kiddos with Autism on your caseload, you NEED this!

What are you looking forward to purchasing this sale? Click the image below to find others who have linked up to Speech Room News to share what they are purchasing this sale!

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