Blog Archive

Monday, January 13, 2020

6 Picture Books About Winter Clothes for Speech Therapy

Winter is here! that means cold days, comfy slippers, and warm blankets. Snuggle up with a good book and share your love of reading with your students. Read alouds and repeat readings with students are the perfect way to build background knowledge, share common experiences, target multiple objectives during speech therapy sessions, and spark a passion for reading. In this blog post, I want to share with you my top 6 favorite picture books about winter clothes. (Amazon affiliate links are included)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

5 "Easy Does It" Practices at Work

The new year is the perfect time for me to reflect on what was successful in the workplace and set goals for the new year.  It's also a great time to evaluate my mindset and approach to teaching. 

As speech-language pathologists, we love to teach idioms to our students. Teaching figurative language such as: "It's raining cats and dogs," "hot off the press," and "feeling under the weather" are just a few of the common idioms we teach students. This year, I want to approach the new year with an "easy does it" attitude. What does "easy does it" mean? This idiom simply means, slow down, relax, and take it easy.

In this post, I want to suggest 5 "easy does it" practices you can apply in the workplace in 2020.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

How I Use "Lucky Ducks" in Speech Therapy

Who's the lucky duck in your classroom?
Parents, speech-language pathologists, and classroom teachers can target color and shape recognition, social skills, and critical thinking skills with the moveable memory game Lucky Ducks ™ (Amazon affiliate link) by Goliath Games U.S. This game is appropriate for children ages 3 and up and includes a motorized pond with 12 ducks.  The game requires 2-AA batteries for the “pond” to rotate clockwise. Players choose which shape they want to look for (circle, square, triangle, star) and take turns picking a duck from the pond to see if it matches the shape they are looking for.

In this post, I want to share with you how I use Lucky Ducks in my speech therapy sessions, as well as ways to differentiate instruction to meet students' needs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Best Bug Books for Speech Therapy

Creepy Crawly bugs! I don't like them in my house, but I love them in my speech therapy sessions. What is it about bugs that fascinates children? These bright colorful creatures intrigue children of all ages. Whether you share your favorite rhyming book or non-fiction reference book about bugs, your students will ask for them again and again.  Engage in conversation, ask critical thinking questions, connect text to life experiences, learn a new word, and play with sounds, rhymes, and syllables. In this post, I want to share what I think are the BEST Bug Books for Speech Therapy. (Amazon affiliate links are included)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

10 Speech Therapy Goals for "The Doorbell Rang" by Pat Hutchins

The Doorbell Rang
Pat Hutchins is one of my favorite authors. Her books are rich in content and engaging for young learners. If you have not read my previous blog post, Teaching Basic Concepts Using Rosie's Walk, I recommend it as a follow-up to this blog.The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, is written for early elementary. Activities can also be adapted for students in alternative curriculum classes needing age/grade level appropriate content. (An Amazon affiliate link is provided)

In this post, I've identified 10 target goals for The Doorbell Rang that you can encorporate in your speech therapy groups today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

5 ways to Avoid Burnout in the Workplace

The new year is the perfect time to set goals, start a new habit, reflect on what you've learned from the past year, and let go of what holds you back. It's also a time to reflect on your choices and move forward. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." If you are feeling burnout and want to recharge for the new year, I have 5 suggestions for avoiding burnout in the workplace.

1. Know Your Purpose. In order to be fulfilled in your job, you need to know why you do what you do. Think back to why you became an SLP. Every speech-language pathologist and educator has their own unique life experiences, and no two stories are the same. Ask yourself, what do I need from my job? What part of my job is most rewarding? What successes have I seen in my job? It is easy to get caught up in the "to-do lists" and forget our purpose.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How to Build Social Competence with Simple Science Experiments

my speech tools
Social competency involves the social, emotional, and intellectual skills and behaviors needed for social adaptation. It involves the ability to use past experiences, social communication, emotional regulation, and intellectual reasoning successfully across different contexts. Social competency also looks very different in different stages of development. Our roles and responsibilities as speech-language pathologists in building social communication skills includes consultation, education, collaboration, and intervention. In this blog post, I want to share how you can use simple science experiments in your social language groups to facilitate social competency.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

How to Use "Smellies" in Speech Therapy

The beginning of the school year is my time to reflect on what worked from last year and what didn't. Returning to school refreshed and relaxed always motivates me to try something new in the speech room. This year, I wanted to find an alternative to sticker charts and treasure boxes in speech therapy. The early childhood special education teacher and PreK teachers on my campus were using flavored lip balm on the back of little hands as a tangible reward for sitting during carpet, or completing work in a learning center. I started off the year experimenting with this reward system and realized that PreK students were not the only ones motivated by my "smellies." Turns out that three year-olds and fifth graders all love smellies in speech therapy. You can purchase several flavors of lip balm for $1 each, and you'll have enough to last the entire year.  But after a couple sessions of smellies, I discovered there are so many more uses for flavored lip balm than just a reward for good behavior. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Speech and Language Activities for "The Apple Pie Tree"

Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year for speech therapy. The warm smells, vibrant colors and cooler weather provide a platform for rich literacy and language opportunities with children. If your speech therapy groups are anything like mine, you have mixed articulation, fluency, social and language needs throughout the day. 

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, is a sweet and engaging book for kindergarten through upper elementary. Activities can also be adapted for students in alternative curriculum classes needing age/grade level appropriate content. (An Amazon affiliate link is provided)

I've outlined a few target skills and included a freebie at the end of this blog for you to start using today. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

How to Make Glitter Glue Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles have many names, calm down bottles, sensory bottles, discovery bottles, and sensory jars. It's safe to say that sensory bottles have become my go-to for children who need an opportunity to process their emotions and anxiety, and organize their sensory system in a way that is meaningful and appropriate. 
Sensory bottles can be used at home, in  classrooms, clinics, after school programs, and therapy rooms. Children with  ADHD, sensory processing disorders, language disorders, autism, and behavior disturbances can all benefit from using sensory bottles. The key is to create one that the child will engage with. 

In this post I want to share how to make the perfect glitter glue sensory bottle. (Amazon affiliate links are provided).