Monday, April 29, 2013

Common Core Summer Packets for Speech and Language

I can’t prolong it anymore-I am sooo excited for summer! 
Here are the Allison Household plans for this week:
Monday: cookout with my in-laws
Tuesday: switch out my winter clothes for my summer ones
Thursday: order mulch
Saturday: plant flowers

If you’re like me, this winter has been abnormally long. That’s why I just couldn't wait any longer and created my Common Core Summer Packets for Speech and Language

I love creating summer speech books for kids to take with them over the summer. It helps bridge the long gap between sessions and allows me to sleep better in the summer (even if I know some of them aren't completing them!) 

In fact, my very first post on this little blog was last year around this time. And the topic?....Summer Speech Books. Click HERE to read. 

So...because of my love, this year I decided to create my very own Summer Speech Packets to share with you! 

This product contains 4 complete summer packets with daily questions for 8 weeks of learning. And...because I know we all like to know what we are doing counts, they are all aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This is great because they let parents know why we want our students working on these skills. 

With this huge packet, you receive everything you need to send your students off with the skills they need, including:
*3 Coloring Covers (pages 3-5)
*1 Parent Letter (pages 6)
*8 week Language Packet for grades K-1 (pages 7-14)
*8 week Language Packet for grades 2-3 (pages 15-22)
*8 week Language Packet for grades 4-5 (pages 23-30)
*8 week Articulation Packet (pages 31-38)
*Credits (page 39)
Here's what I do:

1. Print out as many of the packets as you need (depending on area and grade level). 
2. Students choose one of the three coloring pages to decorate on the last day of speech. 
3. Staple the entire packet together (cover, parent letter, packet)
5. Enjoy! (I always promise a special treat for kiddos who bring their's back completed in the fall). 

Students color in the circle for each day they complete the activity. 

Be one of the first to check it out! 
1. Comment below for a chance to win a copy. 
2. Head on over to download the Preview and grab some freebies!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Craftivity {Freebie!}

Here in Mrs. Allison's room, my little chipmunks have "spring" on their mind and so does this lady! With the nice weather and beautiful flowers also comes busy bodies, bottoms that can't sit, and hands that just can't seem to keep to themselves! order to keep their little hands busy, I created this free kite craftivity.

Since I own the Expanding Expression Tool, I had my kiddos use their kites to describe objects. If you do not currently own this amazing tool, I highly recommend it (please don't attempt to make your own version).  

However, I made the download generic so that you could choose the skill you want to work on. The possibilities are endless: creating sentences (one word for each bow), prefixes (a word that starts with a certain prefix on each bow), word ladders, synonyms/antonyms, articulation sounds. Have fun!

In addition to the download, all you need is ribbon. 

To download, simply click HERE!

I'd love to see how you use them! Please send pictures for me to share of the ways you utilized them in therapy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finally, Curriculum Language Assessments for Grades 6-12!

This past weekend Ohio finally had some nice weather. At a family gathering, I captured this candid of 3 generations of Allison men (including my husband in the middle) gathered together churning ice cream-yum! I hope you were able to get outside and breathe in some fresh air as well.

I've also been busy creating an extension for my Curriculum-Based Language Assessments. I received so much positive feedback from my K-5 pack that I finally made some for older students 6-12

What are curriculum-based language assessments? . Theterm “curriculum-based assessment” (CBA)simply means measurement that uses"direct observation and recording of a student's performance in the localcurriculum as a basis for gathering information to make instructionaldecisions" (Deno, 1987, p. 41).These provide a picture of the child’s strengths and weaknesses based onwhat they are expected to do in their grade-level. 

For some of our students,the questions may seem difficult. However, these are the types of skills theyare expected to know according to the Common Core Standards (for moreinformation, see 
For myself, I know I can forget what "average" looks like. At times, the only students we can compare our students with language difficulties to are our students with articulation delays who perform better in the classroom. This, however, is not an accurate gauge for "average." The stakes are becoming higher. To see how well we know what's expected of our students, let's take a pop quiz. See how many you can answer correctly. 

Pop Quiz 
1. By the end of the year, kindergartners are expected to:
a. With prompting and support, compare and contrast theadventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
b. With prompting and support, identify the main topic andretell key details of a text.
c. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing tonarrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the eventsin the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

2. By the end of first grade, students are expected to:
a. Write narratives in which they recount two or moreappropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened,use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
b. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name atopic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
c. L 1f. Produce and expand complete simple and compounddeclarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in responseto prompts.

3. By the end of second grade, students are expected to:
a. Useadjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to bemodified.
b. Determinethe meaning of the new word formed when a known prefix is added to a known word(e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell).
c. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of aword or phrase.

4. By the end of third grade, students are expected to:
a. Usea known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the sameroot (e.g., company, companion).
b. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence and cause/effect. 
c. Use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently. 

And the answers are....drum-roll please?....all of them! It's hard to believe our kindergartners are expected to identify the main idea, our first graders are expected to write narratives and informative texts and, don't you just love "b" in question number 4? "Using language that pertains to historical events, time, sequence and cause/effect." Wow! I'd be happy if some of my middle school students could do this!

If the standards are this high for K-5, imagine what our middle school and high school students are expected to do...Well, actually you don't need to imagine. Now, you have this product, which will give you a good idea of how your students are performing in regard to the Common Core Standards. Each question identifies the targeted standard. Because the actual standards don't vary much between 6-12 (they just become more complex), I only created one for middle school students and one for high school students. You reap the benefit though because they are only listed for $3!

Ifind these especially helpful during a student's first week in speech/languagetherapy or prior to writing a student's IEP. They provide a picture of how mystudents are performing on language standards andwhat areas to target. They are perfect for obtaining that end-of-the-year data we're all craving right now. 

I'm looking to give this product away to 3 lucky commenters! Comment below for a chance to win! (*Hint-I'm looking for people who comment and who have already "liked" my facebook page ;-))

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Into Speech Blog Hop

As I type this, I am literally sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair in 74 degree weather listening to chirping (you can see my laptop perched on the rocking chair :-)) Spring is finally here!

To kick off this long-awaited for season, I've joined some friends in the Spring into Speech Blog Hop! Seventeen fabulous bloggers have joined together to provide you with a freebie from each of us. As you stop at each blog, you will be given a clue. Then, to add to your delight, put those 17 clues together to form a phrase and you have a chance to win much-loved TPT gift cards!
Hop on through the blogs and at the end, enter via Rafflecopter to win!

1st Prize - $50 Gift Certificate to TpT
2nd Prize - $30 Gift Certificate to TpT
3rd Prize - $20 Gift Certificate to TpT

Wow!-17 freebies AND TPT gift cards?! This is one blog hop you don't want to miss!

Here is my spring freebie just for you-"Spring" into Parts of Speech! 

I've created visuals working on the following parts of speech.

You also receive two worksheets targeting the identification and application of these parts!

You can grab my freebie HERE! are the secret letters as my clue to the phrase!

Now you're set to continue your journey. Make sure you check out all of these wonderful blogs!
Good luck and thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 8, 2013

April is National Autism Awareness Month!

To celebrate, this post is all about autism spectrum disorder. I’m sharing some of my favorite therapy activities, facts on autism and ways you can celebrate this month! Hold on tight-this post is jam-packed!

Therapy Activities 
1.     Social Videos (all ages). These have worked incredibly for my caseload this year. Students are able to watch themselves performing a task with complete independence. For more information on social videos, see my post HERE

2.      On-topic and Off-topic visuals (all ages). Students are made cognizant of when they are providing an on-topic remark and when they are not. I reward my students at the end of my session for having more on-topics than off-topics. Click HERE to download my visuals for free! 

3.     Social Language Development Scenes (sells in both Adolescent and Elementary from Linguisystems).  I absolutely love these pictures for social group at my middle school/high school level students. Each scene comes with questions on the back to ask. Click HERE for some amazing sample pages!  My students love discussing and describing the situation. 

4.       Turn-taking (upper level grades). For practice on conversation skills, I love these conversation sticks by Liz's Speech Therapy Ideas. Oh, and this Conversation OO-NO by Debra Brunner is genius! To pair it down, I remove all the wild and draw 2/4 cards so my students are only practicing asking and commenting. 

5.  Figurative Language Activities (upper level grades). Students with social language disorders benefit from practicing non-literal activities. See my Ultimate Figurative Language Pack for Upper Level Students to practice these statements using BINGO, situations, and popular songs!

6. Asking Questions (elementary). Perhaps one of my favorite apps to use with younger students who are on the spectrum: Bag Game. One student chooses an object to hide in the bag and others ask questions to try and figure out what it is. This app is asked for over and over during social groups.

Facts on Autism Spectrum Disorder (information found on
*Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States
*Autim receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
*Boys are 5 times more likely than girls to have autism
*There is currently no known medical cure for autism
*The diagnosis criteria changes in May 2013 to eliminate previous subcategories on the autism spectrum, including Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS, childhood disintegrative disorder and autistic disorder. Instead, all of these subcategories will take on the broad term "autism spectrum disorder."
*Speech-Language Pathologists are a vital part to an intervention team as "social communication impairment" is now one of two categories under which a person can be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Ways You Can Celebrate Autism Awareness Month
*If you know a relative or friend with a child having autism spectrum disorder, offer to give them the night off and babysit for free. As you know, this disorder can take a lot of energy so giving parents/caregivers respite goes a long way!
*Post a sign on your therapy room door making others aware of autism spectrum disorder. List facts and information for others to become better educated.
*Make a resolution to spend a few more minutes (than what their IEP states) with a student having autism spectrum disorder, either during therapy or consulting with teachers about strategies.
*Throw a social party at the end of the month, inviting those with autism spectrum disorders and peer models. My students love having fancy tea parties or popcorn parties. Just make sure to check allergies prior to celebrating.
*Donate to the cause. or Organization for Autism Research are the big organizations but finding one locally would be really neat too.

Finally, I just wanted to give you a word of encouragement. Students identified as having autism spectrum disorder are perhaps some of the most challenging kiddos on our caseload at times. We see progress one day and none the next. Negative behaviors all too often arise with difficulties in communication. However, as therapists, we know it's all worth it when we see that little light of understanding come into a student's eye. Keep persevering  It will come and it will be worth it....

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blooming into Spring Sale!

I'll be joing others in the Spring Sale taking place tomorrow (Sunday, April 7th and Monday, April 8th). My entire store will be 20% off!

Thank you, Felice for making this amazing graphic!