February 24, 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday!

a quick tip to help make our work as SLPs easier

Hi everyone! I'm linking up with the fabulous Kim over at School SLP to provide a tidbit that has helped me the past couple weeks.

One thing I've noticed when laminating materials on my personal laminator is that the first sheet or two comes out of the machine a little wavy. Now I've discovered that if I first run a plain sheet of paper (no laminating sheet) through the hot-and-ready machine a couple times, it helps prevent the first couple laminating sheets from coming out wavy!

Head over to School SLP to see what other quick tips are being shared this week!

Abby has used 69 laminating sheets in the past month.

February 23, 2015

What's In My Cart {TPT Sale}

get ready for a one-day site-wide sale!

Get ready for some online retail therapy because Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating how SUPER educators are by having a site-wide sale! This time it is a one-day-only sale on Wednesday, February 25, so I'm going to save you some browsing time and recommend some SUPER items that I can't wait to snatch up.

First (shameless plug warning!), let me recommend a couple new items from the Schoolhouse Talk shop:

I have been using these (along with the WH-Questions and Vocabulary sets) like crazy the past couple weeks for progress monitoring and updating data! Parent-teacher conferences are coming up in my district, and these have saved me so much time.

These seasonal packets will also be included in the sale:

See if you can figure out what the majority of my caseload is working on by taking a peek at what's in my shopping cart? :P

1) Context Clues Packet (using Tier Vocabulary) - by Nicole Allison

Nicole's products are always extremely well thought out and nicely put together. I love how this one has multiple levels of difficulty, incorporates Tier 2 vocabulary words, and teaches students exactly how to use context clues.

2) Comprehending and Paraphrasing Expository Text - by Speechy Musings

I've been using a ton of nonfiction passages with my students, and this will be a great addition to my collection! The topics included in this packet are interesting and fun to read and multiple tools and graphic organizers are included to help with paraphrasing and comprehension.

3) Inferring and Predicting with Figurative Language - by The Speech Bubble SLP

Talk about a 1, 2, 3, punch! This packet helps students with inferring skills, making predictions, and understanding figurative language all at the same time! This will be so, so useful for all of my 4-8 grade students.

4) Flip Flap Definitions - by Speech2U

I love that this will make our work on improving describing skills much more hands on and interesting! My students love getting crafty in the speech room, and I can't wait to see what they can learn and do with this packet.


If you need additional assistance in figuring out what to stock up on, be sure to check out the Best of SLPs on TPT Spring Catalog.

You can also see what others are buying by clicking through the linky party over at Speech Room News.

Happy shopping, and STAY SUPER!

February 20, 2015

Friday Funny

I couldn't stop laughing at this video, especially at 0:44! Enjoy!


Whelp, I need to go adopt a puppy now...Enjoy your weekend!

February 10, 2015

Bouncy Balls Valentine Printables

free Valentine printables to make a bouncy ball treat for your speech students

Happy Valentine's Day from my speech room to yours! Each year I try to do something special for my speech therapy students for Valentine's Day. Last year, I was working with the preschool population and gave them bubble treats. This year, I have 3rd - 8th grade, so I was looking for something a little more on their level. By far, the most-picked item from my prize box has been bouncy balls, so that's what I went with!

The bouncy balls were purchased in the party supply section of Dollar Tree, and the 3" x 4" treat bags were purchased in the candy making aisle at Hobby Lobby. I created three different label options, printed on neon colored cardstock, and was all set! Simply fold the baggie over, and staple a label on top. Click HERE to download these labels for your own use.

I can't wait to give these to my students! Happy Valentine's Day!

Forget the roses, Abby's favorite flowers are tulips {hint, hint dear husband}.

February 01, 2015

For the Love of Speech Blog Hop

click your way through the loop and download nearly 30 free Valentine activities

Welcome to Schoolhouse Talk! I'm so twitter-pated to be a part of this "LOVELY" blog hop hosted by Speech to the Core and The Speech Owl! If you're new to my blog - welcome! I am a school based speech language pathologist working with 3rd through 8th graders on a military base in North Dakota. I love reading, watching movies, checking Instagram, baking, crafting, and creating materials for my speech room. Be sure to follow along with me for therapy ideas, new materials, freebies, and all things SLP:

So how does this blog hop work? It's simple - you will click your way through 28 different blog posts or Facebook pages collecting Valentine's Day materials at each stop. By the time you've looped through all the posts, you'll have an entire Valentine's Day unit ready to go! SWEET! The blog hop path is a loop; so it doesn't matter where you start, you'll eventually find your way to all the blogs. Be sure to leave a little SLP love at each stop and say "thanks for the freebie". You should also consider becoming a follower of each blogger - these ladies work hard and are full of completely inspirational ideas!

Let's get to the fun! My freebie for you is "Capture the Whole Picture", which targets inferencing skills for 3rd-5th grade students. This packet includes inferencing task cards - students will read the paragraph and will have to infer in order to answer the question at the bottom. Then they can scan the QR code to see if they are right! There is also an anchor chart to use as a reminder of how we make inferences, plus other goodies too! Just click on the picture below to download. This packet will only be free February 1-4, 2015.

Now click on the picture below to be taken to the next LOVELY stop:


January 23, 2015

Friday Funny

I think SLPs would get a kick out of this game too!

Have a wild and crazy weekend friends!

January 22, 2015

Nonfiction Text Sources for Grades 3-8

resources for SLPs to find high-interest nonfiction reading passages to use with 3rd-8th grade

Have you noticed a push for using nonfiction and informative texts with our students? Standardized assessments and the Common Core both emphasize familiarity and use of informational texts. As a result, I have been attempting to focus more on using news articles and other informative texts with my students this school year.

Nonfiction passages are also great because they provide ample opportunity for progress monitoring. You can have students use context clues to figure out what vocabulary words mean, predict what will happen next, infer feelings and actions, answer comprehension questions, retell what they learned, paraphrase the article in their own words, identify the main idea by coming up with an alternate headline, and practice articulation targets. Whew, talk about a one-stop shop! Here are my go-to FREE resources for finding high-interest nonfiction reading selections for 3rd-8th grade students.

This website is great. It has tons of articles about a variety of subjects. When you click on an article, there are many options to help students:

Underneath the headline you can click the "CCSS" button to see how this passage can be used to address critical thinking skills, vocabulary, and writing for various grade levels. The "NAS" button matches the article up with National Academy of Science Standards. The blue grade levels button tells you which students the article is appropriate for. Click the green "word search" button to complete a word search of vocabulary words from the article.

DOGOnews also has wonderful vocabulary tools. A floating list of vocabulary words always stays in view even as you scroll up and down the page. Each vocabulary word within the article is hyperlinked - just click the blue word to see its definition. Love that feature!

Other superb features include comprehension questions and critical thinking questions to complete after reading, and hyperlinks to geography locations mentioned in the article.

Newsela is another go-to resource that should be bookmarked on all your computers/tablets. You can register for a free account to access this entire site. A neat thing is that you can set up classes of your students if you'd like. If you do that, you can assign articles to students and you can see their answers to the writing questions. I haven't tried this feature yet since we go over articles together in our therapy sessions.

The absolutely best feature of Newsela is that you can adjust the reading level of each article. Just click on the lexile levels in the blue bar on the right hand side of the article. When you adjust the lexile level, the grade level and word count information below the title of the article will change (see the picture above).

Some articles have writing prompts or quizzes, which can be accessed in the blue pane on the right-hand side of the screen. The quizzes are great because they address main idea, summarizing, recalling details, and defining vocabulary from context!

There are many other useful kid-centered news sites out there, but these two are my favorites and most-used. Others include:
Are you using nonfiction texts with your students? Comment below with your favorite resources!

Abby read the rock-climbing article 5 times today.

January 09, 2015

Friday Funny

Happy Friday! We may all be a little tired, but we survived the first week back after winter break. Hopefully you're not as tired as these cute critters (click the link or picture to be redirected):

Have a great weekend everybody (with plenty of naps)!

December 05, 2014

Friday Funny

It's that time of year once again! Time to spread cheer, eat lots of goodies, spend extra special time with family and friends, and enjoy the sounds and sights of the holidays! I hope this little diddy gets you in a festive mood. It's one of my favorites to listen to every year!

December 03, 2014

Bookmarks Craft

getting crafty in the speech room with personalized bookmarks

First of all, I want to thank everyone who supported Schoolhouse Talk during the big Teachers Pay Teachers sale this week. You are all such a blessing to me! I have some goodies up my sleeves to thank you in the next couple weeks. It will be to your benefit to follow my shop so you don't miss out on the surprise! It would also probably be a good idea to follow along on Instagram, or click "get notifications" on Facebook to stay in the know! Just sayin... ;)


Here's what we've been up to in my speech room this week:


We have been busy crafting our little hearts out creating personalized bookmarks to take home! Let me tell you, my students have been loving these. I was observing students in a fifth grade room yesterday and saw a student using her bookmark in her silent reading book :) Students were even asking to make more, and one asked if he could make one for his mom <3

Crafts are a messy business!

I have an abundance of paper scraps leftover from the homemade cards I make, so I brought that in to school along with some paper punches, stickers, washi tape, and every crafter's must-have tool - glue gun!

You could easily do this with construction paper, washable markers, and reward stickers that you probably already have in your speech room anyway.

These bookmarks have been a good activity for following directions, encouraging creativity, and practicing carryover of articulation phonemes. I have one student who is working on carryover of those pesky 'r' sounds, and this activity naturally lends itself to lots of practice! All of these words came up over and over while we were working: bookmark, paper, scissor, marker, sticker, star, heart, stripes, ribbon, letter, glitter, reading ...and more! We even wrote some of her trickiest /r/ words on the back of her bookmark.

I love how each one is unique and reflects the personality of the student who created it! Give this activity a try in your speech room.

Which skills would you target by using this activity?