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 the ASHA Convention...

5 things to do if you're missing out on the annual 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 cry 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! And don't forget the FREE 0.5 CEU offered online by ASHA each month!

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?

October 31, 2014

Friday Funny - Halloween Edition!

BOO! Raise your hand if you're excited Halloween is on a Friday this year. All our students can work off their sugar rushes over the weekend :)

Hope you get lots of treats and few tricks tonight!

Abby is partial to Twix and Skittles. She will also take any Almond Joys that are not wanted.

October 29, 2014

Phonological Awareness Wizards

introducing a new wizard-themed game for phonological awareness

Wizards have taken over my speech room!

Phonological Awareness Wizards is a magical new item up in my shop, and my students have been having so much fun with it all week. It includes a game board and everything you need to target phonological awareness skills - we're talking rhyming, syllables, and phonemes. In fact, with this one game board and the 594(!) accompanying playing cards, you are able to target 10 different phonological awareness skills:


Deck covers are also included for each set of cards if you wish to use them. The game board comes in two different sizes, and there are also game pawns and a die to coordinate. I cut out the pawns and used binder clips to stand them up - voila!

That's not all - kablam! There are also take-home pages, a progress monitoring rubric, and dot reinforcement pages!

So go ahead, wave your magic wand, and hop on over to pick up this game for your own use. The little wizards you work with will thank you ;) I waved my magic wand and this packet is 40% off until Friday, October 31. Enjoy!

October 04, 2014

WH-Questions Therapy To Go!

introducing a grab-and-go tool for the busy SLP

This year I work with 3rd through 8th graders. My classroom is on one end of the school, and my students are on the very opposite end of the school. Let me tell you, I am logging lots of miles throughout my day just by picking up and dropping off students. In fact, I put the Map My Run app on my phone and was very surprised by how far I walked just in one day!

It can take five minutes for us to walk to and from my therapy room. We all know SLP schedules are tight, and I did not like wasting those precious minutes. So I needed some way to utilize that time in the hallway.

Viola! Grab-and-go therapy materials! This first version targets WH-Questions (who, what, when, where, why, how) and changing statements into questions.

The booklet is sized to be handheld (5 1/2" x 4") and fit easily into your therapy bag or purse.

Perfect for the busy SLP on the go! See it here on Teachers Pay Teachers. Additional booklets in this series are in the works, so stay tuned!

Abby averages 14 miles walking per week just walking around school with students.

September 29, 2014

Speech Therapy Reward Board

an alternative way of reinforcing good behavior in the speech room

Whew! September is almost over and I'm finally getting back into blogging again! I ended up taking a much-needed break from writing blog posts this summer because I was busy packing up my apartment and moving a few states away. My husband and I are now residents of North Dakota (The Peace Garden State), and I have a new job working with 3rd through 8th grade.

It was a busy summer, and while this blog was nearly abandoned I did use social media frequently including giveaways, so be sure to follow along! You never know when some fun might pop up ;)


Things are finally starting to feel normal at my new job, and I'm ready to get back into blogging more regularly. I'll start today with my reward system for this year: my Reward Board!

Thanks to The Speech Bubble for this idea! The school I'm in this year has a building-wide superhero theme, so I had each student personalize their own superhero which I then laminated and cut out. Each time they come to a session, they have the chance to advance their superhero, but only if they are good workers, great listeners, and super friends. There are a couple spots on the board labeled "PRIZE" and when they land on those squares, they get to pick their prize:

I wanted to get away from a prize box this year since I'm working with older students (3rd through 8th grade). So I created QR codes with their rewards. Each time a student lands on a prize space, they can pick a code out of the envelope, scan it, and find out what their reward is.

Rewards range from 15 minutes free time, to listen to music, to game day in speech. Of course, the illustrious prize box is still in there, but only one code leads to it!

This reward board system is working well so far for me this year. Hopefully it will help my students learn that toys and trinkets aren't the only thing that can be rewarding for their hard work.

You can try them out for yourself here with this freebie!


Abby was going to have a "piece of candy" prize code, but nixed that idea because she knew she would eat it all.