Blog Archive

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 the burnout from 2018 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).

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Jaw-dropping Shark Theme Activities in Speech Therapy

My Speech Tools
SHARK WEEK 2018 begins July 22nd and I am ready for some fabulous FUN! Whether you work with preschool, school age, or high school students shark mania is the highlight of summer. I've researched some fun shark activities and short videos you can use this week in therapy. I've included Amazon, Pinterest, and YouTube links, as well as links to my fiction and non-fiction products highlighting sharks. So here are my favorite shark week activities.

( Affiliate links are included. Purchases made through the links may result in a small profit for Lisa Erwin, M.S. CCC-SLP and My Speech Tools)

Smiley Shark  by Ruth Galloway is a sweet story about a the biggest fish in the ocean. He's so big that no one wants to play with him until he shows how much he cares for his friends and saves the day. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Growing Up with Dyslexia: A Teen's Struggle to Learn

I've been working on this blog for several weeks now. I had planned on the post going live during the month of May in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month. But because of the style and topic, it took me a little longer to release it. 

If you've read the "About Me" section from my blog, you know that I have three children. What you may not know is that two of my children have dyslexia. Over the years, I watched my children struggle with their learning disabilities. I advocated for their educational rights, and I dried many tears. In this blog, my daughter shares her story of growing up with dyslexia. She recounts her elementary years, talks about her struggles, and reveals her personal understanding of dyslexia. She also offers advice to other teens living with dyslexia. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

5 Reasons Why I Use Lift-the-Flap Books in Speech Therapy

There is something about using lift-the-flap books that draws in children and creates opportunities for engaging language and fabulous therapy sessions. Lift-the-flap books are typically promoted as "baby" books. However, I have found that toddlers and preschoolers are intrigued by these sturdy interactive books with flaps on every page.

So why do I love lift-the-flap books? First of all, they are interactive. Early language learners have short attention spans and learn through experiences. They want to touch, feel, and interact with people and objects around them. Lift-the-flap books offer a platform for young language learners to run the show. They are able to shift joint attention from book to adult readers rather quickly.