Thanks to my friend Kayla for sharing this one :) Have a fantastic weekend everybody!
January 25, 2016
Quick Cassoulet is a speedy recipe for when you're short on time or energy
The Frenzied SLPs are back! This time we are sharing recipes that are simple and quick to make because we all know how hectic life can be for any SLP. If you're like me, you are drowning in referrals, evaluations, progress reports, and IEPs! I'm a big fan of popcorn supper if I have no energy to cook, but if you're looking for something with a little more sustenance, this meal is one of my absolute favorites. It only takes about 30 minutes start to finish, and it's super delicious :)
1 (16 oz.) kielbasa or polish sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4" slices
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes and chilies (aka Rotel)
8-10 oz. frozen corn (can also use canned corn)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Saute meat in large skillet or cast iron pan to brown sides. Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Heat through, about 15 minutes. Makes ~6 servings.
Note: You can mix and match using the beans you like. We also add some diced jalapeños, cayenne pepper, or use spicy kielbasa sometimes to make it spicier. And we usually double everything except the kielbasa so we have more leftovers!
If you'd like to share your go-to quick and easy recipe to help other busy SLPs out, please join us using the link below. Thanks to Old School Speech, Speech Sprouts, and Speech2U for hosting this week!
January 13, 2016
a tour of my second therapy room this year
While one of my therapy rooms is full of soft muted colors, the room at my other school is bright, bright, bright! This is a classroom that I share with the special education teacher at this school. We work together with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The room can get pretty hectic with students, teachers, paraeducators, and the occasional student needing to visit the reset room, but it's fun! Take a look around:
This is the view as you walk into the room. As you can see, we are blessed to share a full-size classroom. The special education teacher works on the right side (with the blue rug and kidney table), and I work on the left side (by the windows). My roommate took the lead with the decorating, and I followed suit using the same color scheme. I love the bright green and black!
This is a close-up picture of my work area. I mainly work with students at the small rectangular table, but we sometimes overflow onto the round table. The game board under the window that says "We are stars!" is my reinforcement system. Students all colored their own stars, and each time they come to speech/language they get a chance to move their star one spot closer to the coveted prize space.
My desk area contains binders of printables used most often. The four file trays near the front allow me to keep materials I need for that week ready to go near the therapy table.
Behind the green curtain is where I keep all my therapy games, and the doors under the windows slide open for additional storage for articulation cards, etc. I made my own bulletin board between the windows by stapling bulletin board paper/border and nailing thumbtacks into the wall to store task cards and materials on binder rings. You can also see one of my all-time most often used therapy items - Articulation Cans (LOVE them!).
Finally, the view towards the back of the room. We arranged a bunch of file cabinets to have a little break area in between (you can see this area in the first picture - it's full of cushions and visuals to calm down), but that left me with a big blank file cabinet to stare at. So I taped up some fabric and created another "bulletin board". This one is magnetic! I keep a "Mystery Object" of the week up there, and sometimes attach articulation pictures on the bottom half for target practice. The blue curtain in the back of the room hides a reset room, and a bathroom :D
That's it! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Thanks for reading!
January 12, 2016
start the second half of the school year off with revamping your organization
I'll admit it. Organization is not my strong suit. In my home life I live in what I'll call "organized chaos". There are usually a few piles of mail on my kitchen counter, a craft project might sit out for a few days before I put it away, and I usually don't have all my clean laundry in the closet before it's time to wash another load. But the good thing is that I typically know where things are when I need them. I've learned to accept this and love me for me.
At work, however, I operate a little differently. I'm a spontaneous SLP - meaning I typically don't plan out a day's or week's lessons in advance, but there are little tricks I use to help me stay organized and on top of things while splitting my time between two different buildings.
1) Clean up after myself.
At the end of each day, take a few minutes to put away your materials from the day, and clean anything "extra" off your desk. Sometimes this means I'll still make a pile of things that need to be immediately addressed the next day, but if they're there in plain view for me, I'm more likely to remember to get them completed. And it's so nice to arrive to a clean desk in the morning.
2) Keep supplies handy.
I keep a three-shelf cart of my most-used supplies right next to my therapy table. The cart carries markers/pencils/dry erase, magnetic chips, dry-erase sleeves, game tokens/dice, and student learning goals. That way, I don't have to get up to collect these small items in the middle of a therapy session, and since they are things I use multiple times per day I don't have to spend time taking them out and putting them away again.
3) Write everything down.
My memory is terrible. Really awful. I can't rely solely on my Google calendar to keep every due date and meeting and task in mind. I need to see things written down in front of me to remember. My Post-It Note lists were getting out of control, so I created a Sticky Note Command Center that is on top of my desk at both of my schools. It is a life saver to help me prioritize my to-do list and remember the important things each day/week. Download yours for free here.
January 04, 2016
kick off 2016 with The Frenzied SLPs' take on resolutions
Happy New Year! The Frenzied SLPs are back and we are sharing all the things we'd like to work on improving in 2016. It seems I tend to make the same resolutions each year: be more punctual, finish projects, stop procrastinating, etc. We often make resolutions so strict and extreme that they are easily abandoned within a few weeks of starting. The Frenzied SLPs are accepting that fact, so we are kicking off 2016 with some things we'd like to try in 2016.
1. Blog more regularly
In 2015 I averaged 3.5 blog posts per month. I just wasn't always motivated to write, and I know if I write just to publish something, it won't be the quality I strive for. But I miss creating content for this blog and sharing activities that have been successful in the therapy room. There are 145 unfinished posts in draft form on this blog. 145! So I'm going to create a calendar to try to schedule blog posts in advance and increase the content seen here. In 2016 I will try to post at least four blog posts per month that are not related to Teachers Pay Teachers.
2. Prep at night to have a smooth morning
I am NOT a morning person. At all. Every night I set my alarm and swear to myself I will not hit snooze. Every morning I curse myself for hitting snooze and having to rush around like a crazy person to get out the door on time. One thing I'd like to improve is prepping lunches and coffee, and selecting an outfit each evening to help me have a smoother morning. If I can just grab my lunch out of the fridge instead of having to take 10 minutes to put it together, that will save me valuable time. If I can just fill the travel mugs with delicious coffee without needing to wash them first, that will make me a happier person. If I can just get dressed without staring at my closet for 15 minutes, I'll leave the house with a smile on. In 2016 I will try to prep lunches, coffee, and choose an outfit for the next day before I go to bed.
I'd love to hear what you are going to try in 2016! Thanks for hosting this week's linky All Y'all Need!