Thursday, January 31, 2013

St. Patty's Literal, Inferential and Evaluative Question Pack

You know the type:

We can say them in our sleep. Probably like you, I have decks of literal WH questions lining my room. I love these and they are a great starting place, but for some of my kiddos, I'm trying to move them into inferential and evaluative -type questions. 

So...what do I do? I head on over to my computer and begin a product that I will use with my kiddos. That's how it always goes, you know. I need something, like aligning the Common Core to what we do as therapists, or Articulation for Reading and Conversation for my students and figure others could benefit too. I hope you do. :-)

That's how this one began. I needed some more inferential and evaluative type questions so I created this St. Patrick's Day Question Pack

In this fun "Green-themed" pack, you receive:
  • 1 Game Board

  • 48 Literal (WH) Questions

  • 24 Inferential Questions

  • 24 Evaluative Questions

  • 1 St. Patrick's History Story

  • 1 Question Page

I think you're going to like this packet.'s here only for a limited time! You can grab it in my TPT store or my Teachers Notebook store

Comment below for your chance to win a copy for free! I'm giving away two!
Winners are chosen by random generator.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sunday Super Sale

Just giving you a head's up on the Sunday Super Sale on TeachersPayTeachers. With this sale, I'll be offering my entire store 20% off. Then...TeachersPayTeachers will be giving an additional 10% off for a total of 28% off! I've been filling up my wishlist since Christmas so I'm pretty excited about this sale! make it a better Tuesday, I'm giving away some products. The first two people who tell me how they've used one of my products can choose an item out of my store for free!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Adapting Apps for Therapy

I like incorporating my iPad for therapy…only I don’t always use it the way it’s intended. I’m always finding apps and then adapting and changing them to fit my needs and students.

 Here are some ways I'm currently adapting my apps for therapy:

1.       Creating Visuals using Class DoJo
This app is normally a classroom management app and can be used for rewarding students (see my post Classroom Management for Older Students).

Students are assigned an avatar and are given points based on behaviors. However, I found out that you can upload your own pictures instead of using the avatars. Because of this feature, there are numerous ways you can use this app!

During my social groups, I have a few students working on replying with an “on-topic” remark. I was using On-Topic/Off-Topic visuals which you can download HERE.

If the student received more green cards than red cards by the end of the session, he/she could have a reward.

However, it was getting tiresome keep track of these cards and managing them.  So…I now use on-topic and off-topic visuals on the iPad. I uploaded pictures of my on-topic and off-topics cards onto Class DoJo. Instead of keeping track of cards, I have the iPad sitting open on my table and simply press the picture to award a point. If the green on-topic button has more points at the end of the session, the student receives the reward. No more keeping track of cards!
Here is what the students see:

Another idea is uploading choices of rewards. I did a Winter Bulletin Board with my elementary students. However, for my middle school/high school students, I used Class DoJo.  Simply upload pictures of the reward onto Class DoJo and award points based on great behavior. Students can then use those points to vote on a treat. Cupcakes won. :-) Yum! 

2. Using Quizlet for therapy.
Do you have a Quizlet account yet? I would recommend getting one! Simply sign up (it's free) at and start reaping the benefits. Quizlet is an online learning tool used to create flashcards. When you create a set of flashcards, you can determine if it's set to "public" or "private." Most people set theirs to "public"-which is great for us.

After you sign up, download a free flashcard app. (I use Flashcards+). After you open Flashcards+, you can input decks of flashcards from Quizlet.

For example, I just went to an in-service on the benefits of using sight words in sentences or phrases (you can download the list HERE). Since students don't use sight words in isolation when reading, giving them context is beneficial. I wanted to start practicing these phrases with my kiddos but didn't want to keep track of flashcards. So...I simply created a list on Quizlet titled "Sight Phrases" and downloaded them into my Flashcards+ app.

Now, I can just use my iPad to flip through these phrases! An example flashcard is below. And...see that little checkmark at the bottom? You can keep track of correct answers using this button.

The best thing about Quizlet is that you can benefit from the work of other educators (AKA....less work for us!) When I searched for "Sight Words" in Quizlet, here is the long list of flashcards others had already created. No need for me to re-type them!
If you search for "Sight Phrases" you will come across the 81 flashcards I just created.
3. Tapikeo.
This app lets you create picture books with your students. The possibilities are endless with this app but I've enjoyed using it during social group.
First, I search for pictures of people displaying emotion on the web. When I find one I like, I simply hold my finger down and "Save Photo." The photo will be saved in your camera roll.
Then, I can easily upload them onto Tapikeo to make a grid.
The best thing about Tapikeo is that you can record a voice over the picture. In social group, my students record their own voices over the pictures.
They must state what they think the person is saying AND say it like the picture would. This means that for the girl with her hands on her hand, she is not calmly saying "My meeting is in less than an hour and I'm not ready." It's a great way to incorporate prosody and inotation during therapy.
I'm always adjusting my materials to reach students. Hopefully, you came across some new ones you can incorporate in therapy.
 I'd love to hear about you! What "adaptations" do you use with your iPad?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Language Writing Activity Upper Level {Freebie}'s cold out there! Here I am, snuggled up with Toto (my adorable little poodle) on my  lap drinking hot chocolate (the kind with the mini marshmallows) and I'm still cold :-)

I want to let you in on what I've been busy doing lately. I've been focusing on my older students in middle and high school. I find that sometimes, I can get so caught up with the elementary kiddos making cute crafts, having fun activities, creating rewards and visuals that I sometimes neglect my older students. Then, these students are left to the same old drilling and boring worksheets. 
Not so though these last few weeks! Instead, with these new materials I'm sharing with you, my therapy room has been packed full of learning AND laughter (a great combination in my mind) over at the middle and high school.  In addition to my newest activity, Ultimate Figurative Language Pack for Upper Level Students, I've created this freebie activity for you to use. 

First, start with the poem by James Parton. It describes snow without ever saying the word "snow." I have my students close their eyes and put themselves in the position of "I" when I read it to them. 
The poem contains great figurative language so I've included a few questions about it as well. 

Next, I wrote some winter words on cards and had my students draw a card. They then had to create their own riddle/poem. Using "I," my students had to describe the object without saying its name. 

They came up with some really neat riddles! Take this one for example:

"I am warm and cozy, 
People can wear these in a band
but most of all,
you'll see me on someone's hand." 

Can you guess it?! A mitten :-) 

Have students write their poems and display them or send them home to see if family and friends can guess their riddle. 

You can find this free activity in my TPT store HERE
I love to know if I'm meeting the needs of your caseload! Do you work with middle/high school students? Do you find these types of materials beneficial? Please let me know by considering becoming a follower of my store and leaving feedback.
Have fun!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Evidence-Based Intervention Page

I have a new idea. One of those that quietly whispers to you when you least expect it. I am sooo excited about it and I think you will be too :-).
As you know, I have my first student teacher. As one of her semester objectives, I'm requiring her to help me build an evidence-based intervention binder. (Yeah, I know, I'm tough). This binder would contain research articles for strategies in the areas of speech and language that provide evidence for using them.
I was thinking about it one morning last week as I was getting ready for school and that's when the idea whispered to me....It said "Why not share these strategies and benefit more therapists?" As soon as I heard it, I ran to my husband, jumping up and down thinking of all the possibilities. he usually does, nodded and smiled. :-)
So...I am creating an "Evidence-Based Interventions" tab. You will see it at the top of this page (right under "Speech Peeps").
The page will contain sources with:
1. the strategy
2. the research supporting it
3. links to more information and activities you can use for this strategy. (I'm trying to create some more on TPT).

My vision for this page is to become a one-stop location where you can come for research-based strategies and get activities to use with your students.
In order for this to work though, I will definitely need your help. Research can be tough to sort through (as my student teacher and I have already learned) so this page will can not just be me attributing to it.
I will need you (therapists, teachers, educators) contributing to it as well. PLEASE, please if you have strategies that you know are evidence-based, send them to me to place on this page. You may email me at: or post it in the comments below. When you email, please include at least:
1. The strategy
2. The research supporting it
3. Any activities/worksheets/links with more information on it

We definitely need to cite and give credit to the researchers out there and any website we take information from. Unfortunately, I will not be able to post anything you give me without the references to support it.

Let's make this page grow together! PLEASE, please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A guest post on Social Skills

Today I have asked, Felice from thedabblingspeechie to guest post on Social Groups. If you don't currently have a social group, Felice's tips prove that starting one is easy! 

Nicole has asked me to guest post on about how I implement social pragmatic skills in my therapy groups.  First off, let me just say that I love her blog.  Her therapy ideas are very innovative and creative and she has a heart of gold, so it was a no brainer that I would agree to share some of my insights about teaching social skills.
Even though teaching social skills is a passion of mine, I still get overwhelmed with how to serve students with social-skill delays because pragmatics affects SO many areas of communication and functional life situations.  It can be a very daunting task to be the “social skills expert” on your campus that your colleagues turn to for resources and help. 
I decided last year to target social communication in the classroom setting as opposed to in my therapy room.  I work with an amazing speechie SDC 4-6th grade teacher who agreed to let me push into her classroom once a week for 30 minutes to do a social skills lesson.  Each week I plan an activity and try to tailor it around the needs of her classroom (we often collaborate via email or in the hallway, lol).  In the beginning, I spent 3-4 sessions reviewing and teaching social skill vocabulary such as expected vs. unexpected behaviors, good thought vs. not so good thought, how we make an impression, whole body listening and keeping our brain in the group.  This gave my SDC teacher time to watch me teach and use the vocabulary.  It also allowed her to assess how she could infuse my lessons and social vocabulary into her curriculum.  Now, my SDC teacher uses the vocabulary concepts all day long during classroom instruction time to provide feedback when students are making a “good” impression, displaying an unexpected behavior (i.e. shouting out in class, knocking over chairs, refusing to do work, etc) or when their brain isn’t in the group.  Since I have been pushing in her classroom, the students are now using the vocabulary with each other and beginning to identify when their behavior, words, and nonverbal cues are expected or unexpected for a social situation.  The success with my SDC student’s social skills is largely due to using a team approach and working with their teacher to implement the lessons that I bring in the classroom.  I do not use this model with all my kids on my caseload who need social skill development because of many factors.  Sometimes I do not have buy-in with the teacher or our schedules do not match up.  Secondly, my caseload can get rather high in numbers and I do not have extra time to spare (I may only have one student in a classroom and need to use that time slot to service many children from other classrooms as well).  This model can be great if you have a lot of kids in one class that need to be serviced.  You can see the whole class, making sure 10 students get intervention in a 30 minute period instead of 5 students, so it can be a time saver and more efficient service delivery model.  I would love to use this model more often, but as we all know, all the pieces to the puzzle have to fit in order to make something work.  So, I developed a few tips about implementing a social skills curriculum in the classroom setting.
  • a. Start small.  Try out some of your resources/activities in your therapy room first before you branch out into the classroom setting.  You want to make sure you have enough curriculum resources to use in the classroom setting as well as feel comfortable with the material, so that you are confident when teaching in a larger setting. 
  • b.  Pick a teacher that you like and work well with.  You want to work with a teacher who is open to new ideas.  This will help you out with public relations.  Teachers and staff talk.  So, word will get around about ALL the cool things you are doing in their classroom and pretty soon, more teachers will want you helping them out!
  • c.  Think functional.  Ask the teacher, parents, recess duty, office staff and para-educators what the student is struggling with during the school day.  You can then target those skills in the therapy room or classroom.  Some examples of therapy lessons would be talking on the phone, expected/unexpected behaviors on the school bus, asking for information in the office, wanting to join a group on the playground, etc.
  • d.  Go with the flow!  If a teachable social skill happens to come up during therapy, address it right then and there.  I have abandoned many elaborate lesson plans to work on why it’s weird to ask girls we DON’T KNOW to be our girlfriend or why it’s annoying to poke your friends after they said “Stop!”
  • e.  Put a time frame on your services.  If you aren’t able to stay consist with the service for the whole year, agree to push in for a 6 week period.  This allows you to show case your skills as a therapist and train a teacher with the essential tools they may need without being locked in for more responsibilities then you can complete.  It also frees you up to then spend another 6 weeks helping out another teacher, allowing you to share your knowledge with more teachers and staff.

Most of my resources and vocabulary concepts come from Michelle Winner Garcia who has broken down the layers of social communication, so that it is easier to teach these skills to students who have a hard time grasping the big picture of social thinking!  I would recommend attending one of her conferences and/or purchasing her resources Thinking About YOU, Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition and Think Social!  A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Aged Students to help you with assessment, writing goals and conducting therapy.  I have found that Jill Kuzma's blog to be very helpful as well.  I also want to share some fabulous resources I have been using from my fellow speechies that I grabbed off of TPT that are affordable and very functional for our caseloads.
My Help! I Need Social Skills pack has lessons to work on perspective taking, tone of voice, identifying expected vs. unexpected behaviors,  identifying what is missing from a social situation, and explaining the impression people are making.

Speech Room News blog by Jenna Rayburn has lots of great social skill packs.  The pack I have used the most is her In Your Shoes feelings, problem solving and inferencing pack.  It is based on teaching students that expression “thinking in someone else’s shoes”.  You can change the activity to have students answer the questions the way a teacher might think, a 3 year old or a mother.  The possibilities are endless.

The Super Social Skills pack was made by If I Only Had Super Powers blogger.  It is a great pack filled with super hero posters, social stories, and game activities to work on expected vs. unexpected behaviors, emotions, asking questions in a conversation, thinking about others, problem solving and how to be responsible.

Last, but not least, The Speech Bubble has created a very cute Social Skills Circus pack that works on perspective taking, conversation starters , problem solving, and working on how to keep a conversation going.

My last piece of advice is TRY SOMETHING NEW!  Even if the lesson fails because the kids weren’t interested or it was WAY over their heads, you still learned something about teaching social skills.  Most of my aha moments come from just jumping in the game and trying out a new move.  Thank you for having me and I hope this post brought you some direction with how to implement social skills with the kids on your caseload.  Good luck on the rest of the school year!
Take care, Felice (thedabblingspeechie)

*Thanks so much Felice! What easy and practical tips! Also-I just saw this! For information about secondary social groups, hop on over to Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ultimate Figurative Language Pack for Upper Level Students

Finally…a language packet designed for your middle and high school students! This packet teaches figurative language skills in a way that students can relate to, containing real-world activities that students observe their peers doing.
I just know your students will love the Song Companion Activities which take a popular song and students interpret its meaning. Or how about matching expressions such as “Chill,” Bummer,” or “Busted” with their meanings? 

Teaching real-life skills is perhaps my favorite aspect of this job. I mean, how many other professionals can address the Common Core Standard Language: 5 (Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings) in such a fun and meaningful way?!

In this “Perfect for Valentine’s Day” packet, you receive:

*30 Idiom Situation Cards (Students are given a situation containing an idiom and are asked to interpret it)

*10 Idiom Bingo Cards (Students play BINGO, matching idioms to their meanings. Perfect to use in a small classroom!)

*36 Common Expression Cards (These are sayings that are common in casual situations such as “Chill,” “Bummer” or “Busted”)
*1 Relationship Expressions Worksheet (Students match relationship terms such as “Crush,” “Head Over Heels,” or “Puppy Love” with their meanings). I had a few high school students who are interested in learning dating rules. This Relationship Expressions Worksheet creates the perfect opportunity to address these figurative terms (not to mention, it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day activity!)

*3 Song Companion Activities (Students are given the lyrics to the popular songs “Ours” by Taylor Swift, “Firework” by Katy Perry and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and complete figurative language activities using them)
Worksheet to go with Taylor Swift's "Ours" song

Don’t have time to use it for Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry! This packet can be used anytime!

Create some fun (and meaningful learning) during your middle and high school therapy!
Grab this packet HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Finally...a facebook page for Speech Peeps!

I did it. I finally did it! I created an Allison's Speech Peeps facebook page. I must say, I've seen a lot of other speechie blogs doing it lately and I've been hesitant-even resistant to it. I'm not sure why it made me nervous, but it did. Perhaps I felt that Speech Peeps would turn out disappointingly boring on facebook or that I would not have insightful things to share or that no one would "like it." Anyways, it has been a topic that's been on my mind for a while now.
This week, I started having these thoughts pop into my mind:
  • "I wish I could just say something quick to other speech therapists out there without creating a whole blog post"
  • "I would love to share that picture with other therapists"
  • "I would love to know how people feel about this topic"

So then it got me thinking-a facebook page would do just that! This page is going to be entirely for you and now I can't stop thinking about it! It's main purpose is to pass along information that is helpful, give you quick updates and (of course), share resources and products with you.

I would absolutely love to have you follow my facebook page. Please feel free to post on it anytime!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

100 Days of School Articulation Challenge

Hello there!
I don't know about yours, but my school loves to celebrate the 100th day of school. Classrooms have parties, count 100 M&Ms, sing songs and read 100 words. Sounds like a blast to me, so I thought..."Why shouldn't I?"

I've created a fun little product that allows SLPs to join in the fun:

In this packet, you receive:
  • 13 Word lists each containing 100 sounds (34 in initial position, 33 in medial and 33 in final)
/k, g, l, f, v, s, z, sh, ch, j, th, r/ and /s/ blends
  •  Bulletin Board labels
  • Awards

I have included black and white copies as well as blank forms. You can be as creative as you want!

Wow-1300 words for only $3.50. That's a deal!
Try it Free! Go to my store to download the /k/ sound list. Find this product HERE for only a limited time. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Articulation for Reading and Conversation {and Freebie}

Guess what? I’m getting a student speech therapist! Yes! Starting next week, I am very excited to be getting a student and…hopefully can provide a good school setting experience for her. I think I will have a lot to learn as well! Keep your ears open-you just might be hearing from her perspective on here.

I also have some great news for other speech therapists out there and it has to do with my newest (and most proud-of-to-date) product: Articulation for Reading and Conversation.

After months of work on this newest little big addition to my store, I am finally able to say it is done!
This is a perfect intervention program for those students who are able to say sounds at the word and sentence level but don’t transfer it when it comes to reading or conversation.

This incredible 101 page packet contains over 45 original reading prompts (created by me) that target common phonemes in the initial position of words. Each passage contains exactly 20 target words (with sounds in the initial position) for easy data collection.
Here’s how I’ve been using it:
1. Students begin by highlighting words beginning with their sound and read the passage.
2. Next, students track their own data using a bubble graph.
3. Last, students draw the story and use sounds in conversation while retelling the story.

Each story comes with one student copy and one therapist copy. The therapist copy provides space for you to track students’ progress as they read and speak.

 Here are the sounds included broken down:
/k/ and /g/
/f/ and /v/
/l/ blends
/s/ blends
/s/ and /z/
/j/ or /dz/
/r/ blends

Tips and Suggestions:
* I printed off the entire packet with multiple copies of the most frequently occurring sounds on my caseload. Placed in an easy-to-grab binder with labeled tabs makes intervention a snap.
* I only created initial sound prompts. However, most of the prompts do contain words with sounds in medial and final positions. For more advanced students, monitor progress in all positions of words.
* For younger students, I read the story to them and have them retell it and illustrate it using their good sounds.
* Can be used in a small group or individually when performing intervention
* Can be used as a screening tool to determine baseline data with students at the conversation level.

Find this amazing packet at my TPT store or TeachersNotebook Store.

Try it free! Go to my TPT store and download the preview for a free /r/ passage!
In addition, the first 3 people to comment will receive this entire packet for free! Please leave a comment pertaining to working on articulation at the conversation level, as well as your email.

I sure hope you enjoy this product as much as I do! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Unit on Prefixes, Suffixes and Root Words

It's me-Nicole Allison from Allison Speech Peeps! I feel like it's been way too long since I've blogged and just wanted wanted to say-"I miss you! I'm back!"
I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing break-I sure did!
Reflecting back on my break, I feel like I accommoplished a lot.

I ate way....too much

Fancied up the house for lots of get-togethers....

Made a few New Year's Resolutions that include worrying less, eating healthier and exercising more. favorite part (still)... having the family gather around the living room as my dad reaches for the Bible and reads the Christmas story. I love it!

I know Christmas remains a very hard and difficult time for some of you out there. When hard times come around Christmas, it seems to magnify them more. My prayers were with many of you out there. it's time for me to get back into the routine.

Here is a new product I've been working on that I think know you will like.
You already know my stance on using evidence-based interventions. I like to know that what I'm doing with my students is proven to work. So, like my other product Context Clues Packet, I've included research and reasons for teaching these skills:

1.Teaching prefixes and suffixes (also called morphological knowledge) targets more vocabulary. Students will have better word knowledge when working on morphemes (the smallest unit of meaning in language). Surprisingly, more than 60% of words encountered in academic texts can be taught morphologically (Nagy & Anderson, 1984).

2 . Prefixes and suffixes provide students with strategies to figure out an unknown word independently. Since we want our students to become more independent, targeting vocabulary through prefixes and usffixes gives them a strategy to turn to! 

3.These skills are a requirement and listed in the Common Core State Standards:
      *RF 3a. Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.
      *RF 3b. Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

4. Here are some sources for you that supply evidence for teaching vocabulary through the use of morphemes:


In my racecar-themed packet, you receive:

*15 prefix cards to be used as matching or flashcards
*15 suffix cards to be used as matching or flashcards
*1 match the word mat and game
*12 create your own word cones
*3 “Match the Prefix and Suffix” worksheets
*1 “Find the Root Word” crossword
*1 “What does it mean?” worksheet
*1 Graphic Organizer

My entire store is 20% off right now. Grab it HERE soon!