February 28, 2014

Friday Funny

The way this winter is going, I'm really looking forward to that one day in March. I don't know if spring is ever going to come!

(By the way, a good way to beat the winter blues when you're cooped up inside is with some online shopping! Today is the last day of the Teachers Pay Teachers sale - don't forget your promo code: TPT3)

February 27, 2014

The Wolf's Chicken Stew {book companion + giveaway}

a book companion to accompany one of my favorite picture books

What's the one food you enjoy more than anything? I used to say creamy pasta, but I am really loving pizza all the time now. I'm pretty sure I could eat it multiple times a week. Every week. In The Wolf's Chicken Stew, the wolf loves to eat more than anything. And one day he gets a hardcore craving for chicken stew. This book is adorable, has a simple plot, and really hits all the story grammar elements really well. Come see what I came up with to help use this book with my students!

A large chunk of this book companion is dedicated to story comprehension. Question cards are included to check comprehension with picture prompts, and another sheet has questions without prompts:

I'm a big proponent of boosting story retell skills and identifying story grammar elements. This packet has it all! A rebus story for joint story retell:

Large pictures for sequencing events in the story and for story retell activities:

A mini-book for students to color, take home, and practice telling others the story of The Wolf's Chicken Stew:

Story grammar elements and story retell can also be addressed through these story maps and elements cube:

This packet also has lots of vocabulary activities, including a matching game, quick vocab check, compare/contrast graphic organizers, and a vocabulary web:

Articulation skills are also addressed through a cut-and-paste activity targeting /s/ blends! Students add the /s/ blend pictures into their Silly Stew!

There's even more in this packet that isn't pictured here: word webs, writing prompts, and open-ended game board! I'm really excited about the way this packet turned out - I think it's my favorite book companion yet! 

You can enter to win the packet using the rafflecopter below! If you don't want to wait and see if you win, you can take advantage of the Teachers Pay Teachers sale going on now and buy the packet here! Don't forget your promo code: TPT3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Abby never was much of a soup eater until she married her husband. <3

February 26, 2014

What's In Your Cart {linky} + a SALE!

Schoolhouse Talk is having a sale!

Psst! There's a mega-huge Teachers Pay Teachers sale going on! The website has hit 3,000,000 users. THREE MILLION! We're celebrating by throwing a site-wide sale, and you better believe Schoolhouse Talk is participating.

Everything in my store will be 20% off February 27th and 28th, and if you use promo code TPT3 you will save a total of 28%!

In case you missed them, be sure to check out the newest items I've created:

Umbrella Categories - Perfect for increasing receptive and expressive vocabulary and language skill

The Wolf's Chicken Stew {book companion} - This is such an adorable book, and my book companion has tons of activities targeting story comprehension, story grammar/retell, and vocabulary.

Story Grammar Prompts  - This is a comprehensive packet for teaching story grammar elements, targeting story retell, and creating stories of your own. Includes developmental expectations and Common Core Standards.

Bugs and Kisses Preschool Articulation - Just because Valentine's Day is over doesn't mean you can't continue the love! This packet includes tons of activities for addressing P, B, T, D, K, G, F, M, and N with bonus pages included for S practice.

Year-Round Fortune Tellers - These are fun cootie catcher hand games that can be used along with any therapy goal. A variety of themes make them perfect any time of the year. This is also a progressive packet (meaning new themes will be added in the future).


Now, here are the items I can't wait to buy :)

Tackling Apraxia (from Mia McDaniel) - I love all of Mia's activities, so I know this one will be perfect for my preschoolers who are really struggling with their speech sounds.

1...2...3 Artic and More for Me (from Tech 'n Talk SLPs) - These loaded scenes are full of practice words and a variety of phonemes are available. I'm excited for the S-Blends packet!

Match It Quick - /K/ from Courtney Gragg) - Students search for the picture in common on two cards and be the first to say it out loud. Sounds like a fun time to me!

Oh, and of course there's also some secret clip art in my cart for new creations ;)Head over to Speech Room News to see what everyone else is buying! If you have any requests for new activities, please let me know in the comments. If I use your idea, you will get the packet for FREE!

One more thing: before you make your purchases, be sure to leave feedback on items you've previously bought. You can earn credits towards purchases if you leave feedback on items, so get going!

If you'd like to get in on the blessing that is Teachers Pay Teachers and start selling your own resources, just use this referral link to get started. Thanks! Happy shopping!!

February 24, 2014

Umbrella Categories

a new activity for increasing vocabulary and language skills

Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of winter! (*raising hand as high as I can*) I am longing for spring, so I created a new activity to get everyone in the mood for some spring showers!

This packet is chock full of goodies! But why should I tell you about what's inside, when I can show you? Take a look!

Name That Category! These umbrellas each have two pictures underneath.
Say or write the appropriate category on each umbrella.

 What's Under Your Umbrella? Cut apart the raindrop pictures,
then place them under the appropriate umbrella.

Category Match: Match the category (umbrellas) to the picture (raindrops). Even
blank cards are included to allow you to add your own items as needed!

What Doesn't Belong: cross out the item in each group of three that doesn't belong.
Then explain how the other two items are related.

Of course, reinforcer activities are also included! Use this dot marker page for any therapy activity!

An open-ended board game is also part of the fun!
There are two sizes: single page, and a larger two-pager.

You can find the entire packet here on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I hope you enjoy all these category activities! Now I'm going to go endure the 20* temps this week...

Abby has a serious case of Spring Fever.

February 21, 2014

Friday Funny

I love these Kid Snippets videos, and this one is one of my favorites! Enjoy your weekend!

February 14, 2014

Lucky in Love {linky party}

see what I'm loving currently

I'm linking up with Lucky to Be in First's Lucky in Love party! Click over to her blog post to read more and see what other bloggers are loving right now.

Here are a few things I am loving:

1) MY HUSBAND. He rocks my world. He always thinks of me first. He's considerate and caring. He keeps me laughing. He's the best, and he's alllll mine!

2) GOODREADS. I am reading with a vengeance in 2014! I set a goal to read 25 books this year, and am already 6 books in! Goodreads is an awesome way to keep track of what you're reading, rate books you've read, and find ones to read in the future. Right now I am reading Reconstructing Amelia. It's great :)

3) TRADER JOE'S DARK CHOCOLATE ALMONDS. So much yum. Can't stop eating these!

4) CALL THE MIDWIFE. This show is the best! Great characters and heartwarming episodes. I can't get enough! I just finished season 2 on Netflix and am longing for season 3!

5) DIY PROJECTS. I love making my own cards and other craftivities. This year I also DIY'd my own Valentines for my students. Crafterdays are my favorite kind of Saturdays!

What are you loving right now? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday Funny

I'm so glad this is a thing!
Be sure to click here to go see more amazing examples :)

February 12, 2014

Nellie and Ned Phonics Videos

this series of phonics videos are perfect for your speech therapy room 

A colleague of mine (hi Nicki!!) alerted me to a video series on You Tube, and I am in love with them! The videos feature enthusiastic Nellie and her puppet friend Ned, and in each video they talk about a different letter of the alphabet.

The videos are pretty short, about 5 minutes in length. They start out with an introduction to the letter's sound, then give clues to a few words that start with that sound before practicing together.

The great part is that Nellie and Ned encourage the viewer to practice the sounds and words along with them! Here's an example of one for the letter L:

And as a grand finale, they make a sentence chock full of words that start with that sound! I think these videos are fantastically engaging and would be perfect for starting out articulation therapy sessions or to send to parents for home practice.

Nellie and Ned have videos for each letter of the alphabet, and also have additional videos such as manners, sounds of the jungle, and other preschool concepts. Check them out!

Abby likes to be lazy like a lion licking lollipops.

February 06, 2014

5 Instructional Strategies for Narrative Language

strategies to make your teaching more effective and efficient

A couple weeks ago I touched on the importance of teaching narrative language and story retelling skills. These are vital skills that have an impact on a student's reading and writing skills and build the foundation of literacy skills. And we all know that literacy skills are crucial for a student to experience academic success. Now let's discuss some instructional strategies you can use to make your teaching time more effective and efficient.

What it is: Structured repetitions and expansions upon student utterances.

Who to use it with: Everyone!

Main ideas:
- There are different forms of language facilitation.
- Form Recasts increase the length/complexity of a child's utterance:
Student: She throwed ball.
SLP: She threw the ball really far!

- Content Recasts add new information to what the student said:
Student: Throw ball.
SLP: Throw the red ball!

- Vertical Structuring is a way to ask questions that elicit various pieces of information, then model the utterance as a whole for students:
SLP: How does our character feel?
Student: Sad.
SLP: Why does he feel sad?
Student: He dropped his ice cream.
SLP: Yes! He feels sad because he dropped his ice cream.

What it is: Use simple stick figures to generate and help students retell stories.

Who to use it with: Students in grades 1 and older can usually draw their own pictures to help retell stories. For younger students, you can draw your own pictures for them to dictate.

Main ideas:
- Keep drawings very simple. The focus should be on the story retell, not the artwork.
- Provides support for language development.
- Assists students in remembering and organizing their ideas when producing oral narratives.
- May need to teach students to emphasize the main points by keeping their drawings quick and easy.
- Set a timer if needed to help students focus and make their drawings quick.

What it is: Help students retell a story complete with story grammar elements using cues and prompts.

Who to use it with: Students who can identify each story grammar element in a story.

Main ideas:
- Icons are a great way to help students remember which story grammar elements need to be included.
- Co-Telling is meant to be supportive, so point to and use your picture icons frequently.
- Encourage students to "assist" you in telling the story.
- The SLP leads the story-telling and points to the icons as they come up in the story to cue the students to add that element.

What it is: A chance for students to practice developing and retelling stories which contain all the story elements.

Who to use it with: Students who have been taught and can identify each story grammar element in a story.

Main ideas:
- Students can develop their own story as a group with the support/guidance of the SLP.
- Story boards, grids, story maps, and icons are excellent tools for parallel story development.
- Once each part of the story is developed, give each student the opportunity to retell the story.
- Parallel story retell can also be done using previously developed stories that students are familiar with and making a very slight change for the student to retell (for example, change the types of animals in the story).

What it is: Visual aids to assist in story development, comprehension, and retell.

Who to use it with: Everyone!

Main ideas:
- Story maps guide students through the story retell process.
- Story maps and storyboards can be as simple or as complicated as the student is ready for.
- Use pictography on your storyboards to help students remember the story (see #2).
- As students' skills develop, move away from using graphic organizers so they have to internalize the skill of story retelling.

Some of these strategies are things I think we inherently do as speech-language pathologists. Pat yourself on the back! Feeling overwhelmed by the others? Just take on one strategy at a time. Implement it until you are comfortable, then add in another. Thanks for reading!

Abby is grateful pictography is meant to be simple. Stick figures are about all she can artistically handle.

February 05, 2014

Just a Snowman {product swap}

 a review of Just a Snowman book companion from Let's Talk

Well, that groundhog predicted winter will never, ever, ever end, and he was right! We're in the midst of a blizzard as I type. School let out early Tuesday due to the snow, and a Wednesday snow day is pending today school is cancelled thanks to 6 inches of snow. I did get a couple days this week, thankfully, to use this book companion from Whitney over at Let's Talk with my students, and it is great!

Just a Snowman, by Mercer Mayer, is such a wonderful book for preschoolers during the winter time. It's full of winter vocabulary and activities, adorable Little Critter pictures, and it's not too long in length. Whitney creates super great book companions, and I especially love her Just a Snowman packet for my preschoolers. Here's what we did with her activities:

There are two versions of story comprehension questions included in the packet: one version with picture choices, and one without. For my preschoolers, we used the questions with picture choices. These were easy to use as during-story questions (see above), or as recall questions after the story was over. Tip: Write the page number the question cards coordinate with for easy sorting.

There are also picture cards included for detailed story sequencing, which makes it easy to adjust tasks for each student's ability level. For instance, I used just three pictures for one of my kiddos so she could unscramble and identify beginning, middle, and ending events:

A sorting activity targets winter clothes and summer clothes:

I did end up drawing a sun and a snowflake onto the sorting mats to help my littles out remembering the difference between summer and winter. Tip: attach to a file folder and laminate for easy storage/use. The clothing items were also great for targeting vocabulary. There was a regional vocabulary difference in the label for the hat (the picture is labeled 'toboggan', but here in Iowa we know it as a 'stocking hat'), but my students never knew since they can't read. We used them while reading the story to identify the clothing Little Critter and his sister were putting on to go play outside:

Additional sequencing activities include Building a Snowman and Making Hot Chocolate:

 we also used these during story reading

I love barrier games, and this one has amazingly fun pictures to go with it!

For my articulation students we used the Snowy Speech sheets after reading and identified words from the story with target phonemes:

The packet also includes awesome story maps, vocabulary sheets, and writing prompts! Since my caseload is of the preschool variety, I used the writing prompts as conversation starters, then wrote their answers for them, then had them draw pictures of what their answers would be. It was fun!

Additional activities include winter coloring pages, a snowball fight board game, compare/contrast pages, and What's Different cards:

I chose not to print these differences cards out, and instead we used these pages on the iPad. I am going to attach the snowball fight board game to the back of the clothing sort file folder to keep everything in one spot.

Overall, I highly recommend this book companion! It has adorable graphics, a wide variety of activities, and it's very detailed and well made. Get your own copy here. Let's Talk has a ton of other great book packets to check out. She's super thorough with her activities, and creates them specifically to coordinate with Story Grammar Marker. Be sure to browse through all her activities on Teachers Pay Teachers.

You can also find and follow Let's Talk around the web:

(P.S. I found this video online of Mercer Mayer reading his Just a Snowman book!)


Disclosure: Whitney was so kind to provide me with a copy of this book companion for review. All opinions are my own!

Abby prefers a hazelnut latte over hot chocolate after playing in the snow.