Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easy (and Pretty) Spring Crafts For All Your Students

Confession: I do not like to take a lot of time to make crafts. The crafts I love usually have 3 elements:
1. made out of construction paper 
2. don't take a lot of prep 
3. can be used with my all my elementary grades K-5. 
If it doesn't have these characteristics, forget it.

Here are two super easy crafts you can incorporate for spring and hopefully, the weather follows! With these basic crafts, you can work on tons of goals. 

Flowers and Clouds:

First, you will need some supplies:

For the Flowers:
  • Green construction paper strips for stems
  • Green leaves cut out
  • Cupcake wrappers

For the Clouds:
  • White construction paper clouds
  • Blue construction paper raindrops
  • Yarn
  • Cotton balls (optional)

I can usually cut out around 5-6 pieces each when I fold the construction paper. For more craft tips, check out this fun video from Crazy Speech World!


My kindergarten and first grade students made the clouds. Write on the raindrops to address goals. Here are some ideas: 
  • Write out CVC or consonant blend words on the raindrops and have students read them. 
  • Write out words and have students arrange them to make sentences
  • See how many rhyming words students can come up with and write them on the raindrops

Then, have students tape yarn onto the back of the cloud and tape raindrops onto the yarn. To make them fancy smancy, add some cotton balls.

They are adorable!

I had my second grade through fifth grade students make flowers. It's amazing how kids never get too old for crafts. 

For my younger kiddos, I wrote antonyms on the leaves and had them match them up in pairs. For my older students, we used this craft to help prepare for the Ohio Achievement Assessment (coming up in April). We discussed various vocabulary terms such as "compare, edit, contrast, classify, predict, calculate, and infer." Then, they had to choose two to write the definitions on each leaf. 

Tape the leaves on the stem and top it with a cupcake wrapper. Cute!


I don't like to brag, but I have received a LOT of compliments on these simple crafts. The teachers and students passing by are loving having a little spring in the hallway. I hope they bring some sunshine your way as well!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fun Ways to Promote Autism Awareness

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? That's good news for us because it means we can have a presence in our workplaces and promote what we do. Let's face it: because autism is so closely tied to deficits in communication, SLPs know a little about this topic.

Here are some fun ways to promote it this month (without making a whole bunch of extra work for you).

1. Place an autism awareness handout in your teachers' mailboxes.

Here's one that I love from The Speech Bubble


And here's another one to help increase sensitivity from Speak Listen Play.


If you want to get your teachers' attention, attach a piece of candy along with your handout. It could be anything (who doesn't like chocolate?) but I found these adorable autism suckers from the Oriental Trading Company. 55 suckers for $5.50!



2. Jamberry has some fun autism awareness nails going on right now. I've been sporting mine all week and love the way they look! And...if you check out this site, a few blogger friends are supporting Juvenile Arthritis with the proceeds!


3. Bake some cookies for your staff! Who doesn't love cut-out cookies?! With this adorable puzzle cookie cutter from Autism Speaks and a "Thank you for Supporting Autism!" sign, your staff will love you. 


4. If your school has morning announcements, make a 2-3 minute video promoting autism. I use the curriculum Superflex for my 3rd grade social group and we made a video explaining who Superflex was and what the terms "flexible thinking" and "social smarts" were. Then, we aired it on our morning announcements. It was fabulous! Even my kiddos with autism were so excited to see themselves on the screen! I so wish I could show you (because they did an awesome job) but I can't for confidentially reasons =(. 


5. And... of course, make a point to target social skills this month. Even with kiddos who don't have pragmatic language goals, a little social tip here and there never hurt anyone. 

Here are some great ideas and products out there:








I hope you found some fun ways to promote autism awareness this month!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Take the TPT Plunge Linky!



I still remember when the beautiful world TeachersPayTeachers first opened up to me. The first thing I saw? That fabulous little button on the side that said "sort by price." Only free items?  Check. There were hundreds of these free items that seemed to shout to me "Download me!"
I soooo could have used this when I was in graduate school! All the creating, designing, cutting and painstakingly laminating with individual sheets of contact paper was enough to make any sane person pull their hair out. 

However, as I become more and more comfortable navigating the waters of TPT, I've realized how valuable the paid products are. And when I say "paid," 90% of the time I'm talking about under $5. 

Today I'm joining TheDabblingSpeechie's linky party and sharing some of my staple materials. 
Here are two of my favorite products I've purchased from TPT to date: 

1. 
Selling for only $4.50, these come in handy during language sessions, social groups or in classrooms. They include both problem-solving and perspective-taking questions and include sets for elementary and higher level students. They are quite a deal when I consider how much use I've received out of them! Grab them up HERE! 


2. 

These $6 Articulation Menus definitely come in handy when I want to "spice up" some of my articulation therapy. The kids looove pretending they are ordering at a restaurant with each other and it gets some great practice in at the conversation level! 


One of my products that I literally use every day-yes, every day- are my Common Core Cans



My students know without a doubt that they must answer a question at the end of speech in order to receive their sticker. They don't even ask-they just get up and grab a question. Some of my students even beg me to let them pick from the can that is a grade higher than the one they are in. My response? Go for it!

This sells for $8 and based on it's daily use, I'd say it is worth every penny! 





Thanks so much for letting me share some of my favorite TPT purchases! If you've only been utilizing TPT for freebies, it might be time to "Take the Plunge!" Hop on over to TheDabblingSpeechie to check out more favs!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Post

Today I'm over at Major Speech Pathology Fun with a Side of Gluten Free as a guest poster! Head on over to check out some easy (and fun) ways to spice up simple word therapy....even hide and seek can be incorporated!


On a personal note, my due date is Tuesday...I cannot wait this little bundle of joy (seems like I've been waiting all my life for her!) I would especially love any prayers =). 

I've been reminding myself of this verse: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him-Psalm 37:7.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nonfiction Texts Targeting Multiple Goals-Spring Summer Edition {with a Freebie!}

"In like a lion....out like a....lion?"

It sure feels that way in Ohio, at least! I cannot wait to see my little daffodils pop their pretty little heads out of the ground this year. We have endured such a harsh winter that, although next week is technically our spring break, our district is required to make up three snow days from earlier in the year. So...technically, we'll be off Thursday and Friday of next week. I'm refusing to even call it "spring break." Perhaps "spring long weekend" would fit better? Okay, okay, enough complaining! 
To help with my "winter blues," I created these nonfiction passages with a spring/summer theme. We've been reading them this week and my kiddos loooove them!


This fun product contains 15 nonfiction texts (written by me) with a spring/summer theme to target multiple areas of Common Core. 

Each passage is written two ways:
One targeting grades K-2 and one targeting grades 3-5. The passage for my older kiddos has more advanced vocabulary and more difficult questions. 





Each passage also contains
One student copy (for reference) and one educator copy (with passage and questions)




These quick passages are perfect for language groups or centers within the classroom. Students read the passage and then address four areas of the Common Core Standards: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Foundational Skills and Grammar. 

Topics are ones that kids can relate to and contribute discussion: 
Tulips
Ladybugs
Independence Day
Easter
Ice Cream
Frisbee
Labor Day
Baseball
Conchs
Rainbows
Camping
Diving
Bumblebees
Jellyfish
Kites


With my caseload of super-diverse student student needs, I knew I needed something that I could pull out and would work with multiple students. Your students will have fun learning and relating to these spring/summer passages and you will be confident in the skills you are building!

You can find this product HERE in my TPT store and HERE in my TN store. 

Please make sure to head over there to download the preview for a free K-2 passage and free 3-5 passage!

Monday, March 17, 2014

"S....Peachy" Feedback Linky Party




I love these Speachy Feedback parties. They make me realize how fast the time is going. As I was putting together this post, I realized that next month I will probably have Baby Allison sitting here on my lap as I write the next Speachy Feedback. Incredible!


This month's feedback party includes the huge TPT sale. This is even better for you because us bloggers are choosing 2 winners this month! I received so much feedback during the sale my phone notifications were going off like crazy! Because you have done such an amazing job providing feedback, we are choosing two winners, one based on feedback left on a paid product and one based on feedback left on a free product!
If you have a blog, it's super easy to join. 

1. Head on over to your TPT store (or TN store) and scour over your feedback. Find one that was left on a paid product and another left on a free product that really made your day, was informative and gave good insight on these products. 

2. Blog about it and give a shout-out to the TWO usernames who left it. Tell those people to contact you for a free item of your store. 

3. Link back to me using the image above. 

Here's mine!


I love what Jenna Rayburn said about my new product, "Readers' Theatre for Articulation.

And I'm so glad readers are using this little freebie I created for St. Patrick's Day!

Jenna and Robin W., please email me (nrallison@gmail.com) for a free product out of my store! Congrats and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tricks of the Trade Blog Hop



Well, here we are...the last stop on Tricks of the Trade Blog Hop! I hope somewhere along your journey you learned some new magical tricks that will save you time and help your students when planning therapy.  I know I have!

Wait! Missed a blog along the way? Start by clicking on the First Blog


Here is my "trick!"

"Using File Tabs to Break Down Vocabulary"

Remember these little guys? I have tons of these file tabs laying around in drawers. I bet you didn't realize what a great visual they can make!

Write your target words on the little file tabs that come with them. 


Then, you can slide the portion of the word you're targeting under the file tab. For example, we talk about what "heat" means: 

Then, we discuss what the prefix "pre" means:

I've even utilized these little guys to break down suffixes "s" and "ed." 


Thanks so much for letting us share some tips and tricks with you-I hope you found them useful! 
Here is the last letter you should need to complete the secret phrase: 

Type the secret phrase in the rafflecopter below for your chance to win 3 gift cards!

First Prize: $50 TPT Gift Card
Second and Third Prize: $15 TPT Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway