May 07, 2015

Triangles of Meaning {vocabulary activities)

a visual tool to make connections between word meanings

The majority of the students on my 3rd-8th grade caseload this year have an IEP goal related to vocabulary. We have spent a lot of time working on synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meaning words in an effort to help their speaking and writing skills become more advanced.

Visuals always seem to assist students to make sense of what we are talking about, and I found myself drawing this over and over again to show students a word might have more than one antonym:

This simple visual has really helped my students throughout this school year, so I decided to make something a little more permanent.

This packet contains 42 pages of hands-on activities to practice word relationships.

The Sorting Mats come in a variety of colors, and students use the Word Tiles to arrange sets of words on the mats so the relationships match the triangle. There are two levels of Word Tiles included.

Next, are the Task Cards! Again, two levels of difficulty are included. Students show understanding of word relationships by filling in the missing words on the triangles.

Finally, there are also Color by Relationship Mystery Patterns! Students read the pair of words in each box, decide how the words are related (synonyms, antonyms, or no relationship), then color the box according to the key to reveal the mystery pattern. There are five different patterns included, and each page provides 100 pairs of words to practice.

Download Triangles of Meaning in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop! Also, I'm giving away a copy to one of you! Enter in the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Abby had a fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta last night.

May 03, 2015

What's In My Cart {TPT Site-Wide Sale}

treat yo'self to a site-wide mega sale!

We've reached that point in the year where we all get swamped with piles of paperwork and progress reports, try to schedule therapy sessions around field trips, hold back to back to back to back transition meetings, and still try to keep therapy fun and exciting for our students. We all can hardly wait for summer break to arrive! You know what? YOU deserve to treat yo'self!

Teachers Pay Teachers is treating Teachers (and SLPs!) with an Appreciation Sale on May 5-6! Get ready to stock up on new materials to keep your students engaged for the rest of the school year, summer, and beyond. These site-wide sales are the BEST time to empty your wish list because most stores are 20% off, AND you can treat yo'self extra 10% with the promo code: ThankYou

I'm going to showcase some of the items I can't wait to pick up during the sale, but first let me highlight a couple items from the Schoolhouse Talk shop:

Triangles of Meaning includes activities which target word relationships through visual sets of antonyms and synonyms to help students make connection between vocabulary words. You and your students will love the color by relationship mystery pictures!

Your students will be masters at making predictions after using the leveled activities in Spoiler Alert!

I adore how these Articulation Puzzle Mats turned out, and your students will adore practicing their sounds as they put them together!

The entire Schoolhouse Talk shop will be 20% off during the sale.

I'm definitely going to take advantage of 28% off prices by buying these items:

1. Secret Messages for Main Idea - by Teach Speech 365

Each reading passage in this packet includes a secret number, and after students identify the main idea for the passage, it tells them which letter to put in that number box. The holiday elves edition was fun for my students so I know these will also be a hit.

2. Spring Cut & Paste Articulation - by Mia McDaniel

I have never been disappointed by anything I've purchased from Mia's store. I could really use more articulation products to get me through the rest of the school year, and I know my students will have fun with these. Plus, you can't beat print-and-go activities!

3. /S, L, R/ Blend Flip Books - by The Dabbling Speechie

I've seen the CH, SH, J edition of these flip books and they are FANTASTIC! I can't wait to add this one to my materials. The graphics are so eye catching, and it includes multiple levels of complexity as well as writing and picture scenes (great for carryover!).

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

You can also see what others are stocking up on by clicking through the linky over at Speech Room News.

Happy Shopping!!

May 01, 2015

Friday Funny

I *heart* puns so much!

Happy Weekend! Only 5 Fridays left of school for me!

April 29, 2015

SLP Trading Post {giveaway}

a product review and giveaway from Small Talk SLP

This week I'm participating in a fun party hosted by Sounds Like Fun! Several SLPs signed up to trade an item from their Teachers Pay Teachers stores, review the product, then host a giveaway. We're calling it a Speech Trading Post!

I was paired up with  Small Talk SLP and she was generous enough to let me preview her Fast Pace Race for S & Z.

What attracted me to this packet was that it's aimed at students who are moving away from drill practice and are working on generalization of their target sounds into conversation.

What's Included:
Three different activities are included to help students practice carryover of their skills:

Warm-Up Tracks: students produce their target sounds as they move down the track. I really enjoyed the variety of tracks that were included in this level. There are multiple warm-up tracks for sounds in the initial, medial, and final positions of words. My students used these in plastic sleeves and marked off their words with dry erase markers. I also have sent these home with students for additional practice!

Qualifying Races: students say a series of words or phrases (multiple levels of difficulty included), racing to beat their previous time while still producing accurate sounds.

Fast Pace Races: students produce carrier phrase sentences, racing to beat their previous time while still producing accurate sounds. These were my favorite cards for my students since many of them are working on their sounds at the sentence level or while reading aloud.

Additional Features:

Game Cards: tell students which race to complete

Pit Stop Cards: can be used by students or SLPs to stop the race and try again.

Flat Tire Cards are presented to students if they produce errors during their races.

Game Cards: a random pick from these cards tells students which race to complete

Prize Cards: trophy and ribbon cards to award students after their races are over

Things to Note:
- I printed about half of these pages in black and white to save on paper. I printed the cover pages for the decks in color, and also the prize cards. The Pit Stop and Flat Tire cards printed well in black and white on colored paper.

- Many of the elements of Fast Pace Race can be used with other phonemes or goal areas. For example, I used the Flat Tire cards with a 5th grade student who was working on her spelling words. If she didn't produce accurate Rs while conversing, the Flat Tire cards served as an excellent visual prompt to correct her sounds.

- Qualifying Race and Fast Pace Race cards were also excellent practice for students who are working on reading and fluency skills.

- I used the Warm-Up Tracks with some language students. They had to make a grammatically correct sentence using whichever word they landed on. Then we worked on expanding their sentences to include more details.

- You can choose to play this game as designed or just pick and choose the elements that will be most helpful to your students. That's the beauty of this packet - it's soooo versatile!

Overall Thoughts:
This was such a creative and original packet! The multiple levels and activities are so very well thought out making this packet useful for students no matter which level of difficulty they are working on. My students were insanely motivated to try and beat their previous race records, and came into my therapy room asking if they could play "that racing game" again! I can't wait for other versions of this set to come out! In fact, I request a rush order on the vocalic R set please!!

Want to win your own Fast Pace Race set? You know you do! Just enter the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't want to wait until Friday to see if you've won? Snatch up your own copy here. And check out the TH version while you're at it.

One more thing!! Small Talk SLP is hosting a review and giveaway of my Fun in the Sun packet. Go check it out!

April 25, 2015

Spring Bulletin Board

a bright and eye-catching bulletin board idea for the spring season

I spent the better part of three days in late March designing and assembling the parts for this bulletin board display:

This board is in the hallway right outside my therapy room. I've had the same display on it since the beginning of the school year:

It was fading a lot and I was just ready for an upgrade to get me through the remaining two months of the school year. I was also hoping for something that would remind people that speech-language pathologists work on more than just speech sounds.

The light blue background is a tablecloth from the dollar store, the rainbow is made out of construction paper, and everything else was cut out of bulletin board paper from school.

Abby is still waiting for spring to arrive (and STAY) in North Dakota.

April 24, 2015

Friday Funny

We're getting to that point in the school year where everything gets really hectic. Congratulations on making it to Fri(YAY) and enjoy the weekend!


How many days of school do you have left? My countdown is at 30!

April 23, 2015

Paper Airplane Activities

paper airplanes can be used to target many communication goals

This week we have been making paper airplanes, and it has been a blast! A quick Google search led me to three different websites with step-by-step instructions.

I found this website to be the best because it includes printable pages with the fold lines numbered which I found really helped my students understand exactly where to make their folds.

So how in the world can you use paper airplanes to target communication goals? So. Many. Ways. :)

- how to fold the airplane
- how to fly the airplane

- giving instructions and providing details in their descriptions
- prepositions ("The plane flew OVER the table.")
- pronouns ("YOUR plane flew farther than MY plane.")
- sizes/measurement ("The BIG plane flew a LONG WAY!"; "This time make the LITTLE plane have a SHORT flight.")

SEQUENCING: All of these planes include step-by-step instructions. Cut apart the instructions and have students put the steps in order.

- Spread target words on the floor and try to fly the airplanes onto the cards
- Write target sounds and words onto the completed planes

- discuss similarities/differences about different styles of airplanes
- fly two different airplanes and compare their flight patterns

FLUENCY: Students can read the instructions aloud and practice their fluency building strategies as they do so.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS: All this folding and holding is great practice for our friends working on their fine motor skills.

Students are so proud when they're finished:

And then you get to enjoy the thrill of flying them!

Try it!
Abby thinks the Bullet plane is the best for speed and distance, but the Condor does sweet tricks.

March 17, 2015

Spoiler Alert! {making predictions}

leveled activities for predicting what will happen next

Do you use Netflix or Hulu Plus to catch up on all your favorite television shows? If you haven't watched the most recent episode of a show and you hear people talking about it, do you plug your ears and hum a tune so you don't hear what happened? That's because we all hate spoilers, or when we hear what happens next. If you're reading a book or movie review and you see the words "Spoiler Alert", you know to look away because someone is going to reveal what happens in the plot.

My newest activity packet is full of spoiler alerts, because it's all about predicting what is going to happen next.

The download includes an anchor chart to help you teach your students what it takes to make logical predictions. I also use this as a learning target when we are practicing making predictions.

Three levels of prediction cards are also included. Level one includes scenarios which have only one plausible outcome.

Level two cards include scenarios which might have more than one outcome, but multiple choice answers are provided to assist students in picking which outcome makes the most sense.

Level three cards also have situations which could have more than one possible outcome, but no prompts are provided.

There is also an open-ended board game to use alongside any of the prediction card sets. Students take turns moving around the game board. If they land on a space labeled "Spoiler Alert!" they get to select a bonus card and follow the instructions on the card they draw.

At the end of the packet there are three writing sheets which are great for homework. Each page presents three movie plots. Students need to write their predictions about what will happen next in the movie.

Click here to view the packet for yourself in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Enjoy!

Abby watched all 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix this weekend. Spoiler alert: it's awesome :)

March 13, 2015

Speech Room Records {Bulletin Board}

a functional and motivating bulletin board idea

Since January, I have been making an effort to review speech/language goals with my students to help them be more aware of why they come to speech, which skills they are working so hard to improve, and that coming to Speech is more than "playing games".

There's also a push in my district this year to have students be a part of tracking their own progress through the use of rubrics and scales. So since we were regularly reviewing their performances anyway, I decided my students deserved to be rewarded for their efforts. Voila - the Speech Records Bulletin Board!

When students achieve a personal best on a certain skill, they get to fill out a speech record ribbon and hang it on the bulletin board.

Now students come into my room asking what their records are, and are so motivated to try and beat their personal best. I love it!

We even recognize "fun" achievements, like the all-time speech room Jenga tower record!

A few records have been shattered this week: one student went from producing vocalic /r/ correctly 60% of the time when reading aloud to 78%! #speechroomwin

Give it a try with your own speech students - and get ready for lots of celebrating :)

Schoolhouse Talk achieved a personal record yesterday: Ready, Set, Communicate {task cards for Grammar} was featured on the TPT home page!