Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Free Resources!

Ahh....Here I am, feet up,  typing away after a night spent with some grad school friends. Good food, good conversations, great friends :). I don't know about you, but I really need those conversations once in a while. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only SLP out there. My office is in the middle of the school but I sometimes joke that I'm an "island." So.... graduate students-make sure you keep in touch! You'll need each other!

If you haven't been over to my TPT store, make sure to check it out (click over on the right)! I've reached well over my goal of 25 followers so I listed my Drop Plop!-A Phonological Awareness Game on it for FREE! Make sure to download it and share it with those kindergartners!

I was so excited and honored to make it into the Teachers Pay Teachers August newsletter! Thank you to my friends at school who pointed it out to me!

Also, I found these on a new blog I'm following: http://shenanigansinsecond.blogspot.com/.  I absolutely love them for social skills! So many of our kids need a boost in this area! I thought I'd pass them onto you! Here they are in my room :) Thanks Hope!

How's your school year starting? Or has it? Let me know what you're doing!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Hard Part of a Fantastic Job....

Here she is. One of my middle school students opens the door to my office and sees I've been waiting for her. Her eyes immediately light up upon seeing a familiar face. "Mrs. Allison!" she squeals. (My students are always suprised seeing me at the middle and high school because they tend to think I only work with elementary.) I smile back at her and then stop. She looks so different. The few short months from fifth grade to sixth grade have stole that little girl look. Her hair looks thin and she has bags under her eyes. "How are you?" I ask. She looks at the floor now and shrugs. "Do you like being at the middle school?"
"No." she replies.
"Why?" I ask.
"I'm scared. No one's my friend and the kids are all bigger."
"How was your summer?" I ask as I try for a happier topic.
"My dad went to jail. I might be moving."

Here I am, my third year as a speech therapist just beginning, and some things still get to me. I thought perhaps time would lesson the shock-no hurt, but it seems as though more time spent with these kids makes me feel it even deeper. The neglect, the bullying, the abuse. I know them now. I know their strengths, I know their weaknesses. I've known this middle student I see for language and pragmatics for over 2 years now. I know her home life is non-existent. She wants so badly to make friends but lacks the social skills to do so. Kids are mean. And most of her teachers become frustrated with her abilties a few weeks into the school year.
I want so badly to "fix" all of their problems. Sadly, I realize this job I love contains more things I can't control than things I can....

I turn back to her.
"Well, I'm working on my schedule. I should see you for speech in a few weeks."
Before she turns away, I see her eyes light up and she smiles. "Can't wait." I hear her say.

I can't control everything in my student's lives, but the small percentage I can, I'll make count.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My New Teachers Pay Teachers Store

So I'm finally doing it. I jumping on the Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) bandwagon. When I first started blogging, it was purely to share resources and find some of my own. It still is.  However, after buying a lot of other's products on TPT, I saw how it is a win-win for all involved. Instead of buying a whole book for an absurd amount of money, I can now buy a material for a specific skill and spend only dollars!

However, I'm asking for your help. I would like to have some followers on my new site:). I've decided that if/when I reach 25 followers on my TPT store, I will list my new Drop-Plop! Phonological Awarenss Game on it for FREE! This is a great game for students needing practice phonological awareness skills!

1 gameboard
1 Directions List
18 cards of "Name a word that rhymes with..."
18 cards of "Tell me the beginning sound in..."
18 cards of "Do these words rhyme?"
18 cards of "How many syllables?"
Total of 72 cards!

To become a follower, simply click in the upper right-hand side of my blog or go HERE.

I can't wait to give away some FREE materials!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Common Core Standards for the Busy SLP!

By now you've heard those three little words a thousand times:
Common. Core. Standards. 
As speech therapists in the schools, we are expected to know and write "Standards-based IEPs." What does that actually mean? It means that for each and every goal we write, we must link it back to the Ohio Standards. These are not just meant for teachers-they include us.
When IEP time comes rolling around, if you are anything like me, there's not a single speck of clear space on your desk! Typically, cluttered around my desk would be the Ohio Context Standards Book, the IEP Annotations, and my data sheets for the student. Ahh!

These new Common Core Standards are not going away any time soon.  They are being assessed during the 2012-2013 school year and full implementation will be during the 2014-2015 school year. Even so, many school districts are already turning to them. My in-services are all about them.
So....what did I do? I decided to make it easier on myself and create a resource that has it all: topics, IEP goals and standards for Kindergarten - Fifth Grade!

And.....I also made one for those of us who teach older students (6-12 grades)

This is a great resource not only for Speech Therapists but also for any Intervention Specialists working on language arts. Look ready and prepared for the new standards with this document! I hate charging money for it but I know how long it took me to make it and know it will save you hours of work!  Find them HERE on my *NEW teachers pay teachers store! Grab it quick and start saving yourself valuable hours!
As always, feel free to email me with any questions or suggestions!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's that time again!

Papers rustling, new students being entered onto a caseload, checking and then re-checking IEP due dates, does this chaos sound like you right now?

Over the summer, my office was painted-thank you school! A light, calming sky-blue color. It was actually titled "open air" from Sherwin Williams. In preparation for the new color, I thought about and planned what I wanted my speech room to look like. I had two requests:
I wanted something functional.
I wanted something welcoming.

I finally came up with this "tree" themed bulletin board. I am constantly rummaging for words with targeted sounds. If I don't have them on hand, I have to quickly think through and come up with a list in my head. Oh, and I printed off the cute speech signs from http://howpintearesting.blogspot.com/ for free on her TPT site! Thanks Laura!

Now, any time I'm in my room, I only have to look up and voila!-there are hundreds of words at my disposal!
Okay, so I also wanted a little, shall we call it "escape" by my desk. Here, I placed some pictures from our recent vacation to Ireland, yes Ireland, along with encouraging cards I've received along my journey as a SLP.  Now, when I have one those days (we all have them), I can escape to a happy place. :)

I enhanced my whiteboard.......

And also organized my materials by color.
Yellow=phonological awareness skills
Blue=reading comprehension

Whew! I love ideas! Tell me some things you've done to prepare your "little bit of speech heaven" this year!