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?

December 01, 2014

What's In My Cart {TPT Cyber Sale!}

Get ready for some online shopping because Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide sale! My wish list is overflowing so I need to limit myself, but here's what I recommend from the Schoolhouse Talk shop (shameless plug ahead!)

Best-Seller: Speech Therapy Rubrics

Many of you have requested via your feedback, so I'm pleased to announce the rubrics are now editable! Save money by buying the bundle packet, otherwise the individual packets can be found here:

Seasonal Fun: Build a Snowman {open-ended game}

Christmas Goodies {speech and language activities}

New Series: Ready, Set, Communicate! {task cards}

You can find the Vocabulary task cards here, and the WH-Questions task cards here. There are additional task cards in the works, so stay tuned!


Now, what's already in my shopping cart?

1) Speech and Language Wish Lists - Speechasaurus

Articulation and language practice all in one. Sign me up!

2) Nonfiction Texts Bundle - Nicole Allison

This one looks GREAT for targeting wh-questions and comprehension as well as throwing in some articulation. Talk about getting the most for your money!

3) No-Words: Wordless Picture Books for Speech Therapy - Teach Speech 365

These look amazingly creative!

4) Idiom of the Week - Speech with Sharon

So many of my students need help with figurative language. I'm looking forward to making this packet into a bulletin board in my therapy room.

If you need additional assistance figuring out what to stock up on, be sure to check out the Best of SLPs on TPT Winter Catalog. You can also see what others are buying over at Speech Room News.

Happy shopping, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

November 20, 2014

So You're Not at ASHA14...

5 things to do if you're missing out on the 2014 ASHA convention

So you're not at the 2014 ASHA convention. Me either! And the constant barrage of pictures and posts on social media is tough to look at. So what are those of us on team #noASHA supposed to do (besides crying on the inside)??

Team #noASHA

1) Live vicariously through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Yeah, there are tons of pictures and status updates that show all the fun we're missing out on. But it's also fun to see everything that's going on. With all the constant updates, it even feels kinda like we're there. A little bit? Maybe...?

2) Watch your favorite movie related to speech pathology.

I'm talking The King's Speech, Wretches and Jabberers, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, even My Fair Lady! You'll laugh, you'll cry. You may forget you're missing out on all the ASHA14 fun for a couple of hours. Until you check social media again...(see #1).

3) Complete some CEUs.

One of the best things about the ASHA convention is the opportunity to get all the CEUs you'll need until your next certification cycle all in one weekend. Missing out? Get some online CEUs! Autumn Bryant - Speech Language Investigator has compiled a great list of FREE online CEUs. Go check it out and get your learning on!

4) Try some retail therapy! You should probably go buy a new scarf.

Grab a latte while you're out. Then go home and apply your new Jamberry nails while you shop for helpful new materials on Teachers Pay Teachers. Retail therapy always makes things better.

5) Download some new apps for your iPad!

Tons of app developers discount the prices of their apps during the ASHA convention. May as well take advantage! I strongly recommend signing up for email alerts from Smart Apps for Kids. They send out one email per day with a list of free and reduced apps. They almost always highlight useful apps for special education and will be the best place to get updates of which apps are free or reduced during the convention.

So now you know what I'll be doing to pass the time during the ASHA convention. Who's on team #noASHA with me?!

Disclaimer: I would completely ditch Team #noASHA in a heartbeat to go to the ASHA convention. Hopefully next year!

Abby has been to one ASHA convention: Chicago 2008!

November 16, 2014

Penguins at Play {FREEBIE}

enjoy this free winter game for use with any of your students

Winter is beginning to rear its ugly head around here, and while I strongly dislike the cold temperatures, I love how peaceful and cozy the falling snow feels. It makes me so excited for Thanksgiving time with family, and then all the fun and good cheer that comes with the holiday season. I can't wait!

I just posted a new forever freebie in my shop, and it goes right along with the winter weather. This one is an open-ended card game which can be used with any group of students. As students work on their learning goals, they take turns picking a penguin card. Whoever collects the most points at the end of the game is the winner!

You can download this free game over on Teachers Pay Teachers. Please leave feedback if you download the packet. Don't forget to follow my shop while you're there so you get first notice of each new posting!

This post was also shared on SpeechieFreebies:

You might also enjoy these other open-ended games:

November 04, 2014

Role Reversal - Let Students Be the SLP!

having your students be the SLP for one session is a a quick and fun way to see how well they understand their speech therapy goals

This year one of the QR codes in my student reward system allows students to "be the SLP" for their next session. It has turned out to be one of the best rewards in my whole system - for myself and my students. Allowing my students to be the SLP for the day enables them to be in charge, which helps them "buy in" to what they are learning, and gives me a nice way for me to assess how well they actually understand what we have been working on. A type of formative assessment if you will.

Typically during these role reversals, we start with a quick review of the concept or vocabulary we will be using that session. I am still in the teaching role at this point. Basically, I review the learning target for that session and prepare them for what we will be doing. I also make sure to have all the materials ready to go. That way we won't be using up precious time searching for board games, books, or flash cards.

Then we switch roles (Freaky Friday style), and I'm now the "learner"! I always throw in some incorrect answers or inaccurate sound productions from time to time. If I get an answer wrong, that allows me to see if my student can recognize my mistake and help me correct it. It shows a higher level of understanding on their part. If they don't catch my error, I will step out of my "learner" role back into the "SLP" role and make sure we both understand the error and how to correct it.

While I'm being the "learner" I can never quite fully stop being the SLP. I make sure to take note of any terms or concepts that my speech therapy students seem to struggle in "teaching" me. At the end, when we switch back to our regular roles (me as SLP, student as the Learner), I go back and review those tricky concepts and follow-up with them again the next time we meet.

So far, my students have had a blast being the SLP! They really get into their new roles and make sure all the rules are being followed. They're not afraid to give behavior warnings or remind me to listen with my whole body! It's a win-win situation for both of us: they have fun taking over that leadership role and showing me what they know, and I benefit from seeing what they have mastered and what still needs to be worked on further.

Have you ever let your students teach you? What have you learned from them?