April 23, 2014

"S...Peachy" Feedback {linky party}

rewarding people for leaving great feedback on Teachers Pay Teachers

Every item I create is a little part of me, and it really brightens up my day each time someone leaves helpful and meaningful feedback. This feedback party is hosted by Nicole at Allison's Speech Peeps as a way to reward YOU for your encouraging comments. Click on over her way to check out her new website and to see who else is giving away freebies.

I really enjoy reading each and every bit of feedback that is left on product pages. Truly great feedback helps me learn what my buyers like, which activities are useful, and even ways to improve the activities I make. So make sure you leave detailed feedback, even on free items.

This month, I'm so grateful for all the kind words Speechasaurus had to say about the usefulness of my Speech-Language Therapy Rubrics.

Speechasaurus, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! Please email me at schoolhousetalkslp@gmail.com with your choice of a product from my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Congratulations!

If you didn't win here, you may be the lucky one at a different blog. But you MUST leave helpful feedback on your TpT purchases to be considered. BONUS: Did you know you earn credits towards future purchases on TpT if you leave feedback on the items you buy? Happy shopping!

Abby is out jumping puddles today, and drowning in paperwork.

April 18, 2014

Friday Funny

For your Easter enjoyment:

22 Worst Easter Bunnies of All Time! Nightmares! The full list can be viewed here...if you dare.

Have a blessed weekend!

April 07, 2014

Using Rubrics to Track Speech Therapy Data

rubrics are an efficient way to track student data 

Raise your hand if you have a student or two on your caseload who has more than one speech goal. Raise your other hand if you have students who have really extensive goals which require you to track many different elements. I'm talking multiple speech sound errors, including various story grammar elements in a story retell task, or using language functionally in different ways (i.e. asking questions, answering questions, and using greetings).

We all have these sorts of goals we address every week. Tracking data on so many different aspects of communication can get messy. None of us have the time to constantly round up several data sheets or log notes for every student every time we update their progress. How can SLPs quickly and efficiently track student data in a way that measures their true progress and still makes sense?

Rubrics. Rubrics are the answer! *cue angelic music* Rubrics are an efficient way to track and score goals which contain many components, and also measure student progress over time. They are also an excellent way to give students more credit for the progress they are making, or measuring the amount of prompts/cues that are required for success.

So what kind of communication goals benefit from using rubrics? Well let's see, I have used rubrics at some point for each of the following goals: MLU, AAC, story retell, articulation, wh-questions, functional communication, vocabulary, semantics, phonological processes, and fluency. So, really, rubrics are appropriate to use with any speech goal and can help you determine the course of instructions (i.e. increasing complexity of speech targets or fading prompts).

Create Rubrics in 3 Easy Steps:

1)   Determine the elements of your goal that need to be measured (i.e. steps to mastering an articulation goal). This could be the same as your short-term objectives, or might be in-between steps for reaching the ultimate goal.

2)   Set performance levels and assign points to each level. I like to set 3-5 criterion levels (generally, they are: not yet demonstrating, approximate, and proficient).

3)   Include descriptions/examples in your rubric cells of what would qualify for that score rating.

There are three things I like to keep in mind when I am creating my speech therapy rubrics:

1)   Include a score for each element of your rubric.

2)   Keep it simple – Just say no to 150-point rubrics! Your criterion must be clear and easy for others to interpret. If your student moves away and a new SLP inherits his goal/rubric, you want them to be able to continue using it with the same reliability.

3)   Allow yourself to score several weeks’ worth of data on one piece of paper. I don’t like rubrics that take up a whole page for each data point. That bulks up my student folders too much when I have to print off a new sheet every other week. Plus then I still have multiple sheets to sort through when it comes to writing progress reports. Not to mention the printing/environmental costs.

If you'd like to start using rubrics in your own speech therapy room, I've already done the work for you: here are 21 rubrics all bundled together. The packet includes instructions and scoring examples, as well as blank rubrics ready to print and use. So go ahead, try rubrics out for yourself! I bet you won't go back :)

Abby typed the word rubric 18 times in this post.

April 01, 2014

Easter Egg Matchups

I found these cute foam Easter eggs at the Target Dollar Spot a few weeks ago (8-pack for $1), and I have been (impatiently) waiting for April to roll around so I could debut my activity idea!

The foam eggs were pre-cut into halves, which naturally led to some matching activities. I used some clear packing tape to make pockets on each half of the eggs. Cut one piece about an inch longer than the second piece, then match them up sticky sides together. The longer piece will overlap the shorter piece and will be used to attach the "pockets" to the eggs.

Here's how we used these in therapy:

This student was working on final consonant deletion. So we matched up words that have the same phoneme at the end, then practiced making sentences with those words.

matching up opposite pairs

For my articulation students, we played a matching game with our phoneme pictures.

Some students matched up community helpers with their related objects or tools.

And others matched up rhyming words. We practiced making lots of sentences with our targets throughout the day.

This was a fun activity, and we'll be using up until Easter. Let me know if you try it!

Abby's Mom made her a bunny birthday cake when she was younger because her birthday is around the same time. :)