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?

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!