December 21, 2015

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

you'll want to add these goodies to your holiday treat platter

Something that is always right at the top of my to-do list each Thanksgiving/Christmas season is baking! There are so many recipes that are "must-bakes" each holiday season, and often we only enjoy them this one time throughout the year. My must-bake cookies include krumkake, cereal date balls, and chocolate mint puddles.

I'd love to share a recipe with you today as part of the virtual cookie exchange hosted by Annie at Doyle Speech Works!

These are a really easy cookie to whip together, and the dough handles beautifully. I suggest you keep the dough in the fridge in between pans. That helps the cookies hold their shape better.

Tip: Bake them small so there is a pretty even cookie-to-mint ratio, and so you can enjoy more than one :) Enjoy! Happy Holidays!!

November 22, 2015

Frenzied SLPs: Gobble Up Holiday Goodies!

get ready for the holidays with recipes, crafts, and therapy activities

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Here in North Dakota we have a little dusting of snow on the ground, and it's really starting to feel festive around here. The Frenzied SLPs are back to get you in the holiday spirit with a link-up of Holiday Goodies for you :D

I can NOT wait for Thanksgiving next week - extra time with family, a couple days off of work to relax, and don't forget the yum-o food! I'd like to share a recipe with you that my family traditionally only makes for the holidays.

Krumkake is a Scandinavian dessert that my family makes every single Christmas. You do need a special iron to cook these on, similar to a waffle iron. This is the type of iron I use (not an affiliate link). After baking the batter in the iron, you roll the delicate disc into a cone shape and let it cool. Then it becomes a delicious, sweet, crispy treat. In my family, we eat these plain, although I've seen pictures of them dusted with powdered sugar or filled with whipped cream.

What else does the holiday season mean to me? Lots of homemade crafts and gifts! A couple years ago I made all my nieces and nephews (that's 13 total!) homemade bookmarks for Christmas gifts.


I made monster ones for the boys, and scalloped edges for the girls using this pattern. Since then I've made more for myself and have also used them for Secret Santa at work. Quick, easy to personalize, and they go along with my love of reading. They would also be an excellent therapy activity/gift for your students. Win-win-win-win :)

Need a Thanksgiving-themed craft for your students or family celebration? This Thankfulness Wreath was so heartwarming to make last year at school. I simply cut out a basic leaf shape in a variety of fall colors, students wrote the things they are thankful for in metallic markers, then we pinned them to a styrofoam wreath form and hung it outside my therapy room. I can't wait to make another one with my students this week!

Finally, don't forget about holiday-themed fun in your therapy room. The following activities can be found in my shop:


And the 2015 edition of the Gifts of Gab Holiday ebook is hot off the presses! It's packed full of FREEBIES and fabulous therapy resources from over 70 #SLPBloggers! Download your copy here and you'll be fully prepared for the upcoming busy holiday season.

Thanks so much to Sparklle SLP, Speech Universe, and SLP Runner for hosting this Holiday Goodies linky! If you'd like to add your own ideas, feel free to join using the link below. Blessings to each and every one of you for reading!

November 13, 2015

Friday Funny

Happy Birthday to my husband Tony!! I think I have something better than this planned for you today :)

November 08, 2015

Frenzied SLPs: Thankful and Grateful Blog Hop

the Frenzied SLPs are thankful for our readers!

Halloween is over, and now it's time for my absolute most favorite holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas! I adore the coziness of November and December, all the get-togethers and extra time with family, some time off from work, and of course the food! It's just an awesome time to pause and count your blessings. The Frenzied SLPs are doing just that, and this week we are passing our gratitude along to our wonderful readers:

Three lucky readers will each win a $10 gift card to Starbucks AND a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers! Here’s how you can participate:
1. Read through the cycle of Thankful and Grateful posts from the Frenzied SLPs.
2. On each post, collect the character at the bottom. Don’t forget to write down the characters in order to discover the secret phrase.
3. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of any post by typing the secret phrase.
4. An extra entry can be found on The Frenzied SLPs Facebook page.
5. You have until 11/13/2015 to read all the blog posts and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Here are the things I am so very very grateful for in my life:

T: Teachers Pay Teachers and Technology
Starting this blog 3 years ago and creating activities for Teachers Pay Teachers has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Schoolhouse Talk gives me an opportunity to be creative and motivates me to keep my therapy interesting and fun. I have virtually “met” so many new and talented friends through the blogging world as well as on social media. If you’re not on Instagram, I highly suggest you join. Every single day I am inspired by the things my fellow SLPs all over the world are creating and sharing in that virtual community. Technology is amazing!

H: Housing and Health
These are things that are so easy to take for granted. My husband and I are so fortunate to be able to afford rent on a spacious townhome which is in a super convenient location in our city. And we have no health issues limiting our daily activities. Completely blessed.

A: All my students
This year I am grateful to be working with the grade levels I prefer. I get to have fun and make a difference in the lives of PreK – 5th grade students every time I go to work. They keep me creative, they make me laugh, they are hands down the best part of my job.

N: New pets
In September my husband and I adopted two kittens and they have been so nice to have around! I won’t go so far as to call them my “fur babies”, but Callie and Lucy have sure been fun and I love them ☺

K: Knowing I make a difference
Every time I go to work, I have the privilege of doing a job where I make a difference in the lives of my students. Talk about a blessing! As SLPs, we get to help students learn to communicate and interact with the world around them. It’s such an important job and I am so proud every time I get to tell someone I’m an SLP.

F: Family and Friends
I don’t want to brag here, but I really do have the best husband. Tony, you support me, keep me grounded, believe in me, and make life fun. They say laughing adds years to your life, so I’m sure I’ll live to be 129 years old with how much you make me laugh. You know what else? He came with fantastic in-laws! I also grew up with the best parents who raised me right, and am blessed with 5 sisters whom I am so glad to say are also my friends.

U: each and every one of U!
Wow, I cannot say enough how thankful I am for you, my readers. The fact that people believe in what I write and create enough to spend their own hard-earned money on those resources blows me away! I love connecting with the readers and supporters of Schoolhouse Talk. A million thanks to all of you for the blessings you are in my life!

L: Life
Well, as you can tell from all the items discussed above, I have so much to be thankful for! Writing this post has helped me see I have a pretty great life and should feel blessed every day. Thanks for reading along ☺.

Here is my letter for the secret phrase:

Trot along to the next post and keep collecting those letters for a chance to win one of our three prizes ☺

Once you have visited all 22 blog posts and collected the entire secret phrase, enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter entry on any post. Thank you for reading, and have a blessed holiday season!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 26, 2015

Halloween Language Tricks and Treats

spice up your language therapy with these spooky Halloween activities

The Frenzied SLPs are back! This time we are sharing Halloween Tricks and Tips for Language :) Your therapy room will be loaded with fun, just in time for Halloween on Saturday! I started using Halloween activities in my room last week, and here's what has been successful.

Green Ooze! This was a super fun project that I was able to complete with a couple students last week, and will use with the rest of my older students this week. It's a great activity for following directions, sequencing, and making descriptions about the texture, smell, feel, and behavior of the ooze. If you'd like to make your own, here's an instruction sheet with visuals that I put together. This was so. much. FUN!

For the past couple years I've made a masking tape spider web on the floor during the week of Halloween. This is a reinforcement game students can play while they practice any therapy goal. I added point pumpkins and ghosts throughout the web and had students toss glow-in-the-dark spiders. If the spiders hit or land on any pumpkin or the ghost, students get that many points. So easy and simple, but the kiddos LOVE it.

Another perfect activity for this time of year is Ned's Head! My students can't get enough of this gross game and all the disgusting items packed inside Ned's noggin. I love to use this game to talk about making thorough descriptions of objects. We talk about the features of all the items inside - size, shape, soft/hard, does it have legs, will it be flat or bumpy, etc. We also look at the cards first and predict how those items will feel so they can be more successful at picking out their object.

S.L.A.P. for Halloween: I created this packet so I could use it with every language goal on my caseload - following directions, inferences, vocabulary, synonyms/antonyms/multiple meaning words, categories, plural nouns, past-tense verbs, story sequencing, compare/contrast, barrier game - it's loaded! Bonus - it's almost completely black and white printing!

These Sentences are Scaaary: This is a semantic absurdities packet, and my students have loooved it this year! Each student gets a sorting mat, then they draw a card and correct the semantic error in the sentence. If they get it correct, they can add the card to their mat. First student to fill up their entire mat is the winner!

Spooky Spiders Halloween Words: Need some seasonal vocabulary ideas? This packet has lots of great new Halloween words to learn, and they are sorted by phoneme in case you have some articulation students in your groups. I've been helping students look up the definition of their card, then they have to teach the rest of the group what their word means. Sometimes we draw definitions of our words on the back of the cards. You can also put the cards in a pile and play an open-ended game.

Build a Monster Play-Doh Mats (from The Speech Bubble SLP): My preschoolers and early elementary kiddos had a blast with this one. It's great for following directions, number sense, identifying colors, basic concepts, and body parts.

Apps: Don't forget apps - there are so many great ones! I especially love Mask Jumble Halloween, SagoMini Monsters, Millie's Book of Tricks and Treats, and Parents Magazine Carve-A-Pumpkin.

Thanks so much to Doyle Speech Works , Twin Speech Language & Literacy LLC, and All Y'all Need for hosting this linky. If you'd like to add your own ideas, feel free to join using the link below. The linky will run through October 30th. Happy Halloween!

October 22, 2015

2015 Speech Therapy Room Tour (Part 1)

come see how I set up one of two therapy rooms I share this year

The new school year brought a lot of changes to my assignment this year. Instead of working full-time in one building, my assignment is now split between two buildings within my district. I spend 40% of my time (2 days per week) at the same school I was at last year, but I moved from 3rd-8th grades down to Preschool and Kindergarten. I had to change rooms, and this meant going from a full-size classroom all by myself, to sharing a room with the occupational therapist. Come see how it's turned out!

This is the view when you walk into the room. The OT has all her stuff on the other half. (The bookcase with the pinwheels is the divider.) I chose teal, apple green, and pink as the main colors, with snippets of orange throughout.

To the left of the doorway there is a narrow storage area. Two 2-door cupboards, a bookshelf, and this shelf set with paper cubbies. I keep handouts and homework pages for each speech sound and many other therapy targets stored there. It makes grabbing practice sheets quick and easy for this last-minute-planner.

Continuing around the room, there is a bookshelf where I keep therapy books. I also have a small whiteboard in this corner.

In the center of the room is an interactive white board. I added some positive quotes around it to try and cover up the green chalkboard peeking out. Did it work?

My one bulletin board is brightly decorated, but holds minimal items at the present time (including FREE Speech Sound Banners!). I was planning on hanging a bunch of my materials that are on rings, but they were too heavy and I couldn't get them to stay hanging on the bulletin board! Any ideas? Underneath the bulletin board I have milk crates holding all my picture books, pockets with artic cards, and my precious laminator.

On the other side of the room are file cabinets full of student files, testing materials, and themed/seasonal therapy materials. Three bookcases full of goodies also help form the divider between my half of the room and the OT's side. You can see her therapy balls peeking out behind the tallest bookshelf. I sewed a curtain for the shelf that held the games, but I think I need to add a second curtain to cover the tallest bookshelf too. All those fun toys are right at eye level for my 3-year-olds! By the way, I bought a clearance set of sheets from Target and used that for the curtain material. Yards and yards of material for $8!

I. love. having. windows! The sun shines in during the morning and it's so cozy. The windows look out onto a small courtyard that is between two wings of the building. It's been nice to see the leaves changing! A simple fabric garland and leftover wedding lanterns decorate the windows. I also crafted up some pinwheels and a banner for my desk. Plants are also something I love having in my therapy room. They just seem to make things a little more homey.

Desk organization: student working folders on the left, office supplies in front, sticky note command center next to my chair. Don't forget family photos on your desk!

That's it! Any questions?