Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Wonderful Spring Break {and Sale!}

My spring break was this last week. As I sit here writing this, I'll admit I'm a little envious of all of you who are just now beginning yours. However, I do wish you a safe, fun, relaxing vacation!
At first I was feeling down that (like usual), I did not get nearly as much done as I wanted to. However, as I reflect in this post to you, I realize that I actually did accomplish some things!

  • It started off looking like this:
 Neighboring school districts were calling for snow days. There is something wrong when your friends are enjoying a snow day on your first day of spring break. I also came home with the flu on my last day of school. Boo! Don't worry though-it got much better!

  • To comfort myself (and bring a little summer joy), I made a batch of strawberry shortcake.

Okay, I actually made this twice on two different occasions while on spring break (but who's counting!)

  • My husband and I finished our bedroom. Those of you who keep up on this little blog know that we are currently renovating a 125 year old house. We were finally able to move downstairs after sleeping upstairs for over a year and we are loving it! For more pictures, come visit me at my other blog:

  • We went on a flash vacation to Niagara Falls. We found a Groupon for an amazing deal that we just couldn't pass up (although it was a little hard to leave our newly finished bedroom:-)). Ironically, this was my very first visit to Canada eventhough I live in Ohio. We had a wonderful time!

  • I detailed my husband's car. He's an accountant so this is his "busy time." I felt a tad sorry that I was on spring break while he was working long hours so I spent a considerable evening cleaning and washing every particle in that car. I'll admit-it sparkled when I was done. And...a happy husband makes a happy wife :-)

  • Last but not least and just for you, I worked on creating an extension pack (grades 6-12) for my Curriculum-Based Language Assessments. They're not quite done but I wanted to let you know they are on their way!

For those of you who are just beginning your break-I am wishing lots of sun and relaxing days toward you! My TPT store will be joining others as we celebrate Easter-enjoy 15% off!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Speech’s Tangled Together: Allison's Speech Peeps and Major Speech Pathology Fun by a Minor Girl

Today I am super excited to be part of Tangled Tuesday by Major Speech Minor Girl! If you have not checked out her blog yet, I highly recommend it. Not only is it packed full of GREAT speech therapy ideas and interventions, this (not so minor) girl blogs about other topics as well, such as listing a gluten-free recipe once per week. My mother-in-law recently found out that she has a wheat allergy so I frequent this blog for some yummy recipes!
This week I've had the honor of using and reviewing Amy’s activity It’s Raining Cats and Dogs Figurative Language Activity.

Let me just tell you that this activity is jam-packed full of common idioms, similes and metaphors. Just look at that huge stack of cards!!!

In this activity, you receive:
-160 total cards
-80 animal idiom cards (cat cards)
-80 explanation/meaning cards (dog cards)
-20 “Test Your Knowledge” questions
-“Rain Puddle- Miss your turn cards”

-1 Game Board

The graphics (Scrappin Doodles Clipart) are adorable and instantly grabbed my kiddos' attention. Each cat card is matched with a dog card. 

One of my favorite things about Amy's activities is that she includes multiple ways to use her activity but also gives you the freedom to choose. This activity is also great to use with second grade all they way up to middle school.

Here are some fun ways to play:

1. Lay out card pairs face-down on the table (including some puddles of rain cards). Students take turns drawing pairs to see if they have a match. If they draw a puddle card, they miss one turn. Perfect to use with middle school students!

 2. Use the game board included and grab a few game pieces. Sort out and use only the "cat" figurative language cards. Students can take turns drawing a card and interpreting it's meaning in order to move to the next space. 

3. For my younger students, I sorted out the most common statements and then placed them face-up on the table. I gave my group 8 minutes to work together to figure out all the pairs. 

And...don't forget this activity is supported and aligned with Common Core Standard: Language: 5.
Head over and pick up this activity HERE!

Grab Amy’s button below to check her blog and to also see her review of my Context Clues using Tier Vocabulary product (with a special freebie included).

Blog Button Real photo blogbuttonmajorspeechrealone_zps37c8148e.png

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blast Off into Spring with a HUGE Speech Giveaway!

Blast Off into Spring Speech Giveaway!

WhooHoo! Spring is here and I'm VERY excited to be part of a HUGE give-away from a group of some wonderfully talented Speechies! You definitely won't want to miss out on this one-it's giving away everything from TeachersPayTeachers gift cards to over 20 speech therapy products!
Thank you Kids Games for Speech Therapy for putting it all together!

All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter below!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • The 1st Prize Winner will receive a $25 Teachers pay Teacher Gift Certificate plus all of the following Speech Therapy product downloads.

  • The 2nd Prize Winner will receive a $10 Teachers pay Teacher Gift Certificate plus 10 downloads.

  • The 3rd Prize Winner will receive a $10 Teachers pay Teacher Gift Certificate plus 2 downloads.

  • Click the links below to view the selection of sponsored products for yourself!

    Crazy Speech World: Social Candy Monsters
    WordNerdTeachSpeech: Butterfly Categories
    Kids Games for Speech Therapy: Easter Language Activity Pack
    Rae’s Speech Spot: Sequence Comprehension
    Nicole Allison: No Print Expressive Pack
    Ms. Jocelyn Speech: Buzz Words
    Danielle Reed: Hedgehog Grammar Unit
    Busy Bee Speech: Monster Mash Artic
    Speech Time Fun: Spring Word Fun

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Teaching Following Directions

    You know the lingo.

    1 step
    2 step
    all but

    Last year, I worked on following directions constantly. I would target the above vocabulary and usually students understood what to do after a few sessions. I found that my kiddos would do a great job following directions in my small group but teachers continued to come to me saying “Little Johnny cannot follow directions!”

    “Why is this?” I wondered.  I continued to work on following directions in my small group and I continued to have success. However, still no carry-over or transfer of skills. Definition of insane? Doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. I finally decided I needed to do something different. I needed to give my students a STRATEGY for following directions.

    Rehearsal with Visualization

    This evidence-based intervention provides direct instruction on successfully following directions. The group that was taught Rehearsal with Visualization was shown to demonstrate better skills when following directions than the group that was not. Here’s the citation to the full article for more information.
    Gill, C.B. Klecan-Aker, J., Roberts, T., Fredenburg, K.A. (2003). Following directions: Rehearsal and visualization strategies for children with specific language impairment. Child Language Teaching and Therapy February 2003 vol. 19 no. 1 85-103.

    Basically, it’s how all of us typically follow directions but this breaks it down into steps for students to follow.  

    Steps for students:
    1.       Repeat the direction. Before completing a direction, I need to say it aloud.
    2.       Visualize myself following the direction. (I tell my students to close their eyes and “make a movie” in their heads to visualize the direction).
    3.       Follow the direction.

    Now, every time we practice following directions, my students know before they even move to follow the direction, to repeat it and close their eyes. I tell them, in class you don’t need to say the direction out loud (otherwise other students might think you’re talking to yourself) but you do need to say it in your head and picture yourself doing it first.

    I've even taken this lesson to the classrooms. I have a strategy to offer when a teacher tells me so and so is not able to follow directions.

    Here are some of my favorite activities I use when practicing following directions:

    I absolutely LOVE these following directions pages from
    I have students arrange the Velcro squares on the page (using our Rehearsal with Visualization strategy) and have them give each other directions.

    Students must use specific vocabulary when giving these directions. I hear a lot of “Which banana do you mean?” or “Which monkey?”

    Sometimes we pretend we are working at a fast-food restaurant (can you say functional skills?) and I have students make me a hamburger using our visualization strategy.

    And don’t forget the ice-cream!!! Yum! Warning-these activities can make you very hungry!

    I also love this free activity that Jenna made Ice Cream Truck Following Directions 

    So....the next time you are working on following directions or hear that common "Johnny can't seem to follow directions!" give your students a proven strategy! 

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    St. Patrick's Day Activies {and Freebie!}

    Hi there!
    How are you doing out there? Have you found any fun St. Patrick's day activities to start doing? I feel like I'm finally ready to start thinking about St. Patrick's Day. For the last few weeks IEPs have been the only thing on the brain!
    This year, St. Patrick's Day is especially special for me. Last July, my husband and I were blessed to be able to take a trip to Ireland! It was my first time traveling outside the country (I haven't even been to Canada and I live in Ohio!) so I was pretty excited! If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend it! The scenery just speaks of God's amazing beauty and the people there are wonderful!

    This year, I thought I would share a few of my pictures with my kiddos and bring some vocabulary to life! Come along for a quick tour tonight!

    Our first day there....At beautiful Howth Head.

    And here's me pondering a way I could stay in this spot forever....

    Jesse and I climbed the Wicklow Mountains. Can you spot him?
    Here's a view of me sitting on ancient monestary ruins! 
    Of course, we had to visit the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral!

    And last but not least, I just had to capture these little guys. And yes-I did look but no-I did not find any four leafers. :-( 

    Okay, now that we're "back," there are a ton of ways to bring a little "Ireland" into your therapy room. I thought I'd share some favorites.
    1.  (From Pinterest) Make a pot of gold. Grab a few of those gold foil chocolates and write synonyms, antonyms or sounds on them before placing them in the pot. Kids will have a blast making the fingerpaint rainbow! And I don't even have to tell you what to do with the leftover chocolates....

    2. (From Pinterest). This little guy is just too cute! Work on emotions and feelings with your little leprechauns. Take pictures of students being mad, happy, frustrated, tired, silly, scared and turn them into leprechauns. See if others can guess what they are feeling!

    3. (From Pinterest) Work on naming! Make hats for the kiddos to wear and then place a word on them. The person wearing the hat does not know what the word is but other students can see it. Then, students take turn giving clues to help the person wearing the hat guessing what the word is.

    4. St. Patrick's Question Pack -only $3.50

    Work on literal, inferential and evaluative questions in this fun game!

    4. {Holiday Freebie} You know my way of showing love is by offering a freebie every holiday. Well, here it is! Students compare and contrast Lucky Charms using Semantic Feature Analysis (which is an evidence based intervention!)
    Download it HERE.

    How is Ireland entering your therapy room? I'd love to know! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    No Print Expressive and Receptive Language Packs!

    Hello there!
    Well, I am so excited to finally share this with you! Prepare to make your life a little easier :-). I received so much lovely feedback from you on my No-Print Grammar Jeopardy, that it got me thinking… Being a busy speech therapist myself, I understand our time is valuable. I love every single one of the TPT purchases I have made but my pile of laminating has become out of control! All of those beautiful little cards just stare at me from a pile of unfinished work. They long to join in the fun and actually be used for therapy but I have set them aside for a time when they can finally be beautified (aka laminated).

    I started thinking…I need to make more no-fuss materials! Enter : No Print Receptive and Expressive Language Packs.  These huge language packs can be used immediately upon purchasing. The best part? You can use them on your iPad!

    How do you use these packs? Simply download and save to your computer. If you want, email it to your iPad or save in a cloud program such as Dropbox. Open it and begin right away!

    Let’s start with the No Print Expressive Language Pack. In this whopping 229 page download, you receive:
    *25 Antonym cards
    *25 Synonym cards
    *25 Multiple Meaning cards
    *25 Asking Questions cards
    *25 Giving Directions cards
    *25 Sequencing cards
    *25 Explaining cards
    *25 Describing cards
    *25 Compare and Contrast cards

    Simply open the download and you will see this “Home” screen. Click on the deck you want to work on.

    On each card, you will see a “Next” button (to go on to the next card) and a “Home” button to go back to the main screen. The last card in each deck does not contain a “Next” button. I was wishing there was a way to mix the cards up but after I started using them with my students, I realized that it makes it much easier with the cards in the same order! 

    Watch out-There are a few “Bummer” cards throughout!! I keep a post-it note next to me to keep score or have the students keep track of their own points.

    Okay, now onto the No Print Receptive Language Pack.

    This pack contains 157 pages (smaller in page number but this pack contains a ton of info-main idea cards took quite some time to create!) In it, you receive:
    *27 WH Question cards
    *25 Inferencing cards
    *25 Main Idea cards
    *25 Following Directions cards
    *26 Naming cards
    *25 Predicting cards

    How much is your time worth? I so want to make your life a little easier! You can find both of these products in my TPT store and Teacher's Notebook store. 

    Comment below to win a free copy of each!