Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Bulletin Incentive

First of all, I just would like to say “Thank You" for supporting my little store during Cyber Monday. TPT broke all sorts of records for the amount of products that were bought. (See my last post for some items I splurged on). I am still constantly amazed that other therapists and teachers are using my products in their rooms. Your positive feedback and encouragement keeps me creating!

Next, I would like to take a moment to recognize some of our very own amazing bloggers out there that are making such a difference in our profession.  

First, Jenna Rayburn of Speech Room News was recently featured in the TPT monthly newsletter. You go girl! You are bringing spotlight to our profession and getting the word out about all we do! Not to mention, you have helped thousands of SLPs like myself become better therapists with your versatile and well thought-out materials. Thanks for all you do, Jenna!

Next, Cheri of If I Only Had Super Powers was featured in the latest ASHA Leader. I absolutely LOVE Cheri’s blog for her great ideas (especially with her use of visuals) and her amazing sense of humor! Whenever I need a laugh at the end of the day, I head on over to her blog :-)

I also wanted to share what Mrs. Allison’s speech room has been up to (post-Thanksgiving break). We had our first snow-covering Tuesday and I am ready for it! We've been doing some very "cool" things in the speech room concerning snow :-).

My usual incentive program (Super Speechie) is being abandoned for the time being (leading up to Christmas) and replaced with this one. The kids seem super excited about it!
I saw this really cute bulletin board idea over at Sugar and Spice and knew I had to somehow incorporate it into speech. So….I made my own “Good Speech is “Snow” Problem for Us!”

Every year, I am fortunate enough to work in a district that allows me to bring in a treat for my kiddos at Christmas time. I usually bring in cupcakes or cookies to decorate. (I’ve even incorporated a “following directions” lesson decorating with icing!). This year though, I decided the treat should be up to the kids.

I made this bulletin board with three sections (sugar cookies, cupcakes, and candy).
When the students are demonstrating good behavior (or going up on their clipboard), they receive 1 snowflake. They can choose where to place the snowflake on the bulletin board. The square with the most snowflakes at Christmas is the treat I bring in!

The kids love it! If you can't bring in food, there are other ways you could do this bulletin board too. If they build a snowball to the top, perhaps they can have their choice of game at Christmas.

Yum, it seems like cupcakes is winning!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Purchases (and Recommendations)

The huge TPT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale has hit and yes, I'm guilty of spending some money. I'm in awe of all the new and exciting materials out there for SLPs! I love creating materials-yes, but I also love spreading the love and buying other seller's materials out there as well. It's a win-win.

We had our first covering of snow today in Ohio so my purchases today seem to be "snow-themed." Winter activites that I can use for months are popping up everywhere! I love it!

Here are a few of the products I bought and would recommend:
Winter Wonderland Social Pragmatics Pack by The Dabbling Speechie

Why I like it:
This product is packed full of good winter activities for those social groups. I love that it contains posters that you can laminate and write on with dry-erase markers for responses in a flash. I also like the "Tone of Voice" cards as this is something I rarely address but is a needed skill for a lot of my students.

Another goodie is Receptive Winter Language: Speech Therapy by Jenna Rayburn. I love all of Jenna's products and this one is no different.

Why I like it:
I love the comprehension piece of this packet. Stories are read and students must answer questions based on main idea, prediction, recalling details, character, and setting. I'm all about how skills worked on in therapy translates into the classroom and this packet gets them in gear for understanding how to answer these types questions.

Why I like it:
I love the sequencing activities in this packet. A lot of my students have sequencing goals and this fits perfectly! You can make it harder by covering up the choices and letting them come up with the steps to complete the task themselves. I also like the "If, Then" cards because it provides a quick warm-up or fun activity to get my kiddos thinking.

These materials were great choices-way to go girls!
Here are a few tips on how I choose the materials I buy:
1. Read the reviews. They are from your fellow speech therapists and will tell you a lot about a product.
2. Look at the overall seller. Do they have a 4 star rating? Do they have decent-sized following of people?
3. Make sure the seller owns all the clip art being used. I buy my own clip art when creating materials and then always give credit to the designer in my product. Some sellers have come up with products using clip art such as Google Images or Microsoft Clip art. Unfortunately, they do not own this clip art. I have read through numerous license agreements and the safest way to know for sure is to buy the clip art being used.

Hope this gives you some ideas! I love shopping, don't you? If you haven't hit up the sale, there is still time to shop today, using the code CMT12 to receive an additional 8% off.
Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) Sale!

Just a reminder that I will be having 20% off all of my products on TPT this Monday and Tuesday, plus an additional 8% off if you use the code: CMT12

Stock up and Save!

I would also like to thank Jenna over at Speech Room News for nominating me for the EduBlog "Best New Blog" award! Thank you so much Jenna and I'm constantly in awe that other SLPs think my ideas are worth reading and sharing!
Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thankful Post (and sale)!

During this time, I am reminded of how very blessed I am. Looking over this past year, my life is full. Some days may be difficult, but most moments are beautiful.
Looking back at all the things this year, I am thankful for:
  • A loving and forgiving God whom I believe directs my steps. I am so very blessed to know Him and for Him guiding me into this profession.
  • An amazing husband. While I work all day and then come home to work some more, he is always patient. He reads my blog and encourages me when I make materials to share. Just so you know, he knows a lot about you! When I find an interesting post or someone comments on my blog-I excitedly tell him. He knows (by heart) what the initials TPT, IEP, ETR, and LRE all mean! He is what I call....a support SLP :-)
  • My amazing job. I love every aspect. Every aspect. I love the light in a student's eye when he finally understands, the sound of a perfectly made /s/ sound, the excitement in the student with ADHD that prevents him or her from sitting that bottom in that seat, the detailed writing of IEPs (yes, I even love writing IEPs) and the willingness when one of my parents ask "What can I be doing at home?" I love it all and I'm so very blessed to be in this profession.

  • My little dog Toto. When I get home from work, he snuggles up to me while I blog. Creating materials is even more fun and comfortable when I have Toto warming my feet :-)

  • My house. Yes-it's weird. But a year ago, I had no kitchen, no living space. We are renovating this baby (with all that extra time) and I must say, she is looking better every day. This year I have a kitchen to bake in and a living room to place a Christmas tree. Life is good!
  • This past year, we were blessed to take a vacation to Ireland! It was beautiful and highly recommended if anyone is looking to travel to Europe.
  • You! Your comments, encouragement, posts, and suggestions make me a better therapist. I've gained valuable knowledge this past year and can pass the benefits onto my students. Thank you so much for challenging me and ultimately helping me help my students.
  • My TPT store. When I started this store 4 months ago,  I never dreamed that I would have 20 followers, much less over 300! The teachers and SLPs on here are amazing and I'm so thankful to be part of a coalition of great professionals!
Because you have been a blessing to me, I want to thank you by having a sale at my TPT store and Teacher's Notebook store.
From tomorrow until Sunday, I will be having a 10% off sale (for those who would like to get some materials cut out during the off days).
Then, on Monday, my entire store will be 20% off with an additional 10% off that TPT and Teacher's Notebook are throwing. That's a total savings of 28%!!! (The reason it is up to 28% off and not 30% is because the additional 10% comes off the already discounted prices). is time to stock up!!!

 Thank you for all your support and have a GREAT Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't throw those pictures away!!!


First, I am excited to announce that I am a guest blogger today on Speech Room News! Click HERE to head on over there and read up on evidence-based vocabulary strategies!


 Okay, so I finally came up with a use for all my school pictures. You know the type-the kind every teacher/staff member is required to get, along with the students. I've always disliked this and never knew what to do with all those pictures! They almost always found their way to the bottom of my trash can. Not this year!

Carry-over of skills is hard. Many of my articulation kiddos can say the sounds but forget to say them in the classroom with their friends or teacher. I’ve been known to jokingly say to some of my students “Just imagine a little Mrs. Allison there on your shoulder in your class-reminding you to say your “good sounds.” Okay, I know I sound a little desperate but I am willing to stoop low for these students to master these skills.
Bingo! I came up with a use for my pictures! I simply cut out a little speech bubble (download HERE) and tape it onto my picture. I keep a few pictures on my counter and for students who are able to say the sound but are working on carry-over, I offer one to them to tape on their desk. I always keep it voluntary. I mean, I wouldn’t want to look at me all day either!

The result was surprising!

My kiddos love it! “Mrs. Allisons” have been popping up in several classrooms on desks at the elementary. Teachers and my principal laugh when seeing my picture but say it is working in their rooms! Even students that don't receive speech all of a sudden want their own "Mrs. Allison" on their desk. So…as long as you don’t mind your picture in a few classrooms-brave the laughter and try this out!

Do you have any neat carry-over activities or techniques? I’d love to hear about them!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Year Prediction Pack

Can you believe it's almost 2013? I feel like I've just become comfortable writing "2012!"

I wanted to get this Prediction Pack out to you before the craziness of the holidays is upon us! Christmas is my favorite holiday but with all the hustle and bustle, New Years can sometimes be forgotten. This activity pack is great because you can use this for a New Years activity or it can be used any time of the year! It contains "party" clip art so have fun with it even after the holidays!

Here's what's included:
24 "Predict the Book" activity cards. Students are given a possible title of a book and must guess what it will be about.

24 "Predict the Situation" activity cards. Students are given a situation and must predict what will come next. Great for cause and effect goals as well!

"Predict 2013" activity sheets. I included one with lines and one without for the younger students to draw their answers.

"Predict the Future" activity sheets. Students complete time capsule activities to predict the future. So fun!

Don't forget about the New Year! You can find this new pack on my TPT store HERE or my Teachers Notebook store HERE.
Happy predicting!

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Mostly Free" Food Apps for Therapy

I love food. My students love food. What better way to teach following directions than to incorporate recipes. It makes teaching sequencing and vocabulary more functional and real-life as well.
Here are some great apps to work on following directons that my kids ask for over and over. The best part? They are all sold for under a buck or two.  But be prepared: After reading this-you may need a quick trip to the kitchen :-)

App #1 Cookie Doodle
A must-have for Christmas. Around each holiday, I let my groups working on receptive language skills make a cookie. This app has a nice selection of recipes and then can be decorated for a specific holiday.

I like this app because it seems real-almost as if you're in the kitchen making cookies. Kids love tilting the iPad to pour in the baking powder, touching it to crack the egg, or even-careful now with my precious iPad!-shaking it to shake the salt. I always work in temporal directions. "First sift the flour, then add the sugar." or "Before you cut in the butter, pour in some vanilla." It makes working on these types of goals fun!

App #2 Cake Pop Maker
Love, love, love cake pops! I even bought one of those cake pop makers. I'm corny, I know.
Anyways, this is the same type of concept but this app is completely free! It doesn't have as many options as Cookie Doodle but, as I always say "Free beats cheap any day!"

And thanks to my friend Stephanie for pointing out that dragging those sticks works on those fine-motor skills for preschoolers-you're welcome OT!

App #3 Easy-Bake Treats!
This sure takes me back! Did you have an Easy-Bake Oven? Some of my kiddos know what this is but for the rest of them, I get to retell the story of one of my favorite Christmas gifts. ;-)

Another great food app that comes free! Hooray!
Have kids make pizza using steps and sequencing.

App #4 Cooking Mama Lite
This app was even "kid-suggested." It's pretty popular out there. The full app is $6.99 so I only downloaded Cooking Mama Lite (free). It comes with just one recipe, but...for those hard to motivate kiddos-this does the trick! And...they like talking about it with their friends. I've found that when I really want my "not so social kiddos" to fit in, I turn to the "cooler" apps out there. They're great conversation starters!
I can also work on concepts such as "Quickly cook the onions so they don't burn!" or "Slowly turn the skillet." Watch out though-Mama gets angry if the recipe isn't cooked just right!

App #5 Toca Kitchen
This app is sold for $1.99 (my most expensive cooking app) but I love it. It's from the same producers as my Toca Tea Party that I use in social group. Kids serve 4 characters by slicing, boiling, frying, cooking, or  microwaving food. This is another great app for social group as they have to "perspective think" What would a cat want for dinner? I make my kidds "pretend" they are working in a restaurant and say "What would you like to eat?" "Can I take your order?" and wait on them.

I hope these gave you some really inexpensive ideas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas Inference and Problem-Solving Activities

Confession: On November 2nd, I turned on my Christmas music. I know, I know too soon! I must say though, I love Christmas. Last year, when my husband and I were tearing apart our house, I had no kitchen. There was no tree. No baking. No lights. So....this year, I'm making up for it and starting 2 months early! "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells!" Okay, okay...I'll stop. :-)

Anyways, throughout October, I was working slaving away on my new Christmas packet: "Christmas Inference and Problem-Solving Activities." Seriously though, I don't know how some of you amazing ladies do it-always popping out new and lovely materials! My TPT wish list is full-just in time for the holidays! :-)

This unit is based off of my "Inferential and Problem Solving Language Activity Pack" that you can find in my TPT store.

I am soooo excited to do some of these activities with my kiddos! Hmmmm....I wonder what they would think of an early Christmas ;-)
This fun activity pack includes:

*30 cards of "Guess the Gift" cards. Students are given 3 clues and must try to guess what is in each stocking.
*24 cards of "Take off the Beard" cards. Students must take off the Santa disguise by reading the quote and determining who said it.

*24 cards of "What Comes Next" to work on cause/effect and prediction goals.

*AND 3 "Look for the Difference" Worksheets. Students compare and answer inferential questions about objects.

You can grab this pack on sale now until after Thanksgiving! Find it at my TPT store HERE or my Teachers Notebook store HERE.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Find It" Game for Speech Therapy

Have you heard the newest!? It's the "Find It" game where kids sort through little beads in a bottle and try to come across objects on a list. Students love it and thanks to my friend, Jacquie, I decided to make one for myself.

Here's what you do:
1. Grab an empty bottle and fill it with small beads.
2. Hide objects in the bottle. My bottle was filled with /r/ words to make /r/ articulation a little more exciting. Things like "rocket, red dog, ribbon, heart, car, truck, etc...." were hidden. You could do "things that rhyme with....things found in the animal category.....things that start with....." The possibilities are endless!
3. Take the lid and hot glue AND duck tape that sucker on there. You have no idea how many of my students thought the object of the game was try to spill the beads on the floor.

Kids shake and twist the bottle until they find the objects. We had an 8 second rule. Once the 8 seconds were up, another student took a turn.
Have you thought of anything YOU could use this game for...?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Auditory Feedback Idea-Cheap!

Hello there! If it's your first time joining my little world over here, my husband and I are renovating our 125 year old house-which makes my life a little crazy a times! I've told some of my teacher friends "Can you please let me know if I come to work with sawdust in my hair!" No one's told me yet-which I take as a good sign :-).

Anyways, I make a lot of trips to home improvement stores and sometimes, I come up with an idea to use in therapy! For ideas on using paint cards, click HERE.

Here's another one I came across-using PVC piping for auditory feedback. Some of the kindergarten teachers use this in their classrooms when teaching letters and sounds. This stuff is super cheap as well. I think I bought mine for around $1-$2.
I bought two different kinds.

It works about the same as a plastic microphone. Kids love practicing their speech with them because they can hear their sounds amplified.  Love cheap and easy :-)
Have you found any cheap therapy uses lately?