May 21, 2014

Summer Speech Activity Calendars

use these calendars to help your students with their communication skills over summer break

Summer is almost here! I'm just so tickled to have more time to work on more activities and blog posts soon. I feel like Schoolhouse Talk has been so neglected lately! :( Just 5 more days with students plus 2 paperwork days before I'm done!

A couple of the preschools I work with are finishing up this week, so I've been putting together my activity packets to send home with students. I wanted to repost this post from last year highlighting what is included in these FREE packets:

(Note: This post originally appeared on June 14, 2013)

There are two sets: Articulation Calendars and Language Calendars. Each set comes with a color version and a black-and-white version to make printing easier. The calendars contain free, fun, and quick activities that your students can complete with their parents to work on improving their communication skills during June, July, and August.

Instead of activities for parents to have to do every single day, each month contains 20 activities that parents can complete as their schedule permits. They can choose to do something daily, or do a few activities on the same day. They can even have weekends off if they want! Activities are brief, and can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

Articulation Calendar Activity Examples:
*I Spy! Find 10 foods with your sound and say them 3 times each.
*Arts & Crafts! Cut out letters from magazines to create words that have your sounds. Say them 3 times each.
*Play Time! Say a word with your sound 4 times before you take a turn blowing bubbles.
*Book Worm! Read and book and listen for your sounds, then say the word 4 times.
*All Ears! Listen for your speech sounds while riding in the car.
*Action! Use your good speech sounds while eating a meal with your family.

Language Calendar Activity Examples:
*Answer category/describing wh-questions about pictures.
*I Spy! Find 10 things that go outside and make a sentence about each one.
*Arts & Crafts! Cut out pictures from a magazine and think of a word to describe each one.
*Book Worm! Read a book with a friend and then retell the story in your own words.
*Tell what the word BAT means and use it in a sentence.
...and MORE!

Each calendar also includes:
*Parent Letter
*Online Resources
*List of Favorite iPad/Smartphone Apps

You can download these {FREE} resources here:
Summer Speech Homework Calendars for Articulation
Summer Speech Homework Calendars for Language


I've added these activities to Bright Ideas' post today. Click on over to see other summer activity packets that are available. :)

Abby is trying to find part-time work for the summer. Does lounging by the pool count?

May 19, 2014

"S...Peachy" Feedback Time!

rewarding people for leaving great feedback on Teachers Pay Teachers

Each month, this feedback party is hosted by Nicole at Allison's Speech Peeps as a way to reward YOU for leaving encouraging comments on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click on over her way to see who else is giving away freebies. (Note: This will be the last feedback party until school starts again in the fall.)

There were so many wonderful and helpful comments left in my shop during the TpT sale at the beginning of the month, so I'm choosing TWO winners! One for feedback left on a paid product, and one for great feedback left on a free product.

Samantha, thank you so much for your kind words on the Summer Homework Calendars for Articulation. I'm so glad you are finding them useful for your students! (FYI, be sure to also check out the language calendars!)

Jessica, I am thrilled that this packet is versatile for all your students. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback!

Samantha and Jessica, thank you so much for your wonderful comments! Please email me at 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 discounts on future purchases on TpT if you leave feedback on the items you buy? Do it!

Abby is almost caught up on Community. #6seasonsandamovie

May 12, 2014

Pep Talk for The End of the School Year

the end of the school year is a stressful time. i think you need a pep talk

It's May. May! Speech-language pathologists who work in the school setting are getting frazzled, running around like chickens with their heads cut off, caffeine-fueled, and just trying to catch up on their ever-growing to-do lists, end of the year progress reports, meetings, annual IEP meetings, fitting in evaluations before the school year ends, more meetings. State reports are due. Medicaid billing is due. IEPs are due. It can certainly be an overwhelming time, and we all could use some motivation to get us through the last few weeks of school.

Music always helps me through any tough situation. Here's my playlist for the end of the year:

When you need some motivation to write all those pending reports:

When you're feeling overwhelmed by all the work you have left to do (on top of seeing your students for therapy):

When you have numerous meetings to attend and no time to finish all your paperwork:

As you submit those IEPs and check another item off your to-do list:

On the first day of summer break:


It can be a challenge to focus on the positive this time of year. I get it. It's difficult to think about much else when there are 3 evaluations due, a last-minute IEP meeting gets scheduled without notice, there are 5 annual IEP reports sitting unsubmitted on your desk, and you just received 2 new referrals in May. I get it! That's when I need to stop, remind myself it will all get done, and think about how blessed we are as SLPs working in the school setting.

*We get 2+ months off in the summer to refuel, enjoy the beautiful weather, and take a break from our hectic work schedules.

*We get to have the same school breaks as our children, and can enjoy that extra time with them.

*We get to work closely with children during their formative years and watch them change from dependent little slobber-machines into lovely young adults ready to take on the world.

*We get to help prepare those same children for the future and lead them to the skills they need to function successfully in this world. Pretty amazing.

Top 3 Reasons to Get. Sh*#. Done.
1) You will have more time for pleasurable stuff...whatever that may mean for you ;)
2) You will feel proud and accomplished as items are checked off your to-do list.
3) Your nerves will decrease as you have fewer and fewer tasks to complete.

Now get out there and finish the school year with a smile!!

Abby is going to just keep swimming through 15 more days of work until the end of the school year.

May 05, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers Site-Wide Sale!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide sale! Grab your promo code in this blog post

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week (but we appreciate all school staff, including speech-language pathologists!), and Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale to celebrate! Many SLP Bloggers will have their shops on sale, plus if you use promo code: TPTXO you will get an extra 10% off! The sale will be May 6th and 7th, so don't delay - shop away!

Here's what I already have in my cart ready to purchase:

Match It Quick S-Blends (Speech Therapy With Courtney Gragg) - I have a ton of kiddos working on /s/ blends and this should be a great way to keep them focused and excited during therapy sessions.

A Year of Language Calendars (Speech Universe) - I get a lot of requests from parents for home activities. These will be excellent for sending home with students to keep them practicing their skills in other settings. Can't wait!

Quick (shameless) Plug:

These rubrics for therapy have quickly become the best seller in my shop. They are excellent for any SLP to track data on the go, keep their data organized, and collect meaningful information towards many goals. You'll definitely want to take advantage of the sale price and add these to your tool box for before end of the year progress reports are due.

So don't forget:
1) TpT Sale May 6th-7th
2) Schoolhouse Talk shop will be 20% off
3) Promo Code: TPTXO for extra discount
4) Leave feedback on your previous purchases before you make additional purchases. You will earn credits for leaving feedback, leading to additional discounts.

Have fun, and THANK YOU to all teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals, and everyone who helps our children!!

(Schoolhouse Talk linked up with Speech Room News for the What's In Your Cart linky. Click here to see what others have in their carts.)
Abby went to bed at 4am on Sunday morning and is still recovering. #notincollegeanymore

May 03, 2014

SLP Facebook Frenzy!

20 SLP bloggers are giving you freebies May 4-5. Don't miss it!

Can you smell that? That's the smell of pure excitement! There's a Facebook Frenzy coming from your favorite SLP Bloggers, and it's going to be so much fun! If you aren't familiar with a Facebook Frenzy, here's the gist: you travel through a group of Facebook pages and download a FREE activity packet on each page! For real! There are activities for spring, articulation and language goals, Better Hearing and Speech Month, and more. You will not want to miss this!

Here's a map of everyone who is participating. The map is interactive, so once you download it (by clicking on the image above), you can click on any of the pictures to get started. Or, just make it easy and start right here on Schoolhouse Talk's Facebook page. Each page links to the next in a circle, so you will eventually hop around to all 20 pages.

As you hop from page to page, you will look for a tab that looks like this:

Just click on that tab, and you will be able to download the free item for that page. After you download, click the flower or sign to move on to the next participant. Some things to keep in mind as you travel through the Frenzy:

The Facebook Frenzy will only last from 8am EST May 4th - 10pm EST May 5th, so get going! Have fun, enjoy your freebies, and take some time to write a quick 'thanks' on each Facebook page.

Abby nearly screamed out loud when she was asked to join in this Facebook Frenzy.

May 01, 2014

Make Paper Bag Books to Take Home

paper bag books make great take-home activities for your students

WOWZA! April really turned into a crazy wack-a-doo of a month, and I have been pretty absent from posting on the blog. I've been taking lots of pictures of the activities we've been using lately, but just have not had time to write up any blog posts. My apologies. That changes now!

My number one most favorite activity of the past couple weeks has been making paper bag books. Once the prep work is done, these are quick to put together during a session and are adaptable for many student goals.

I found this idea on Teacher Mom of Three, and you can read her post for more instructions on assembling your books. I did use ribbon instead of pipe cleaner for the handles because I felt they attached better.

My students made books containing their target speech sounds. I made an assortment of covers and black/white pictures ahead of time. We also included a few blank pages for them to draw and add their own pictures.

We also made some story retell books. This student was working on identifying story elements for The Wolf's Chicken Stew. As my preschoolers described the story elements and plot events, I helped them write in the books, and they drew the pictures. Pretty good illustrations for a 4-year-old if you ask me :)

You could use these for ANYTHING! Let me know how you'd use paper bag books in your speech sessions.

Abby is so glad May is here! Only 21 work days left in the school year!