Thankful and Grateful Blog Hop (Frenzied SLP)

The Frenzied SLPs are bringing you a fantastic scavenger hunt style “Thankful and Grateful Blog Hop” and we want you to be a part of it!!! Three lucky winners will be chosen to win a $10 TPT gift card and a $10 Starbucks gift card. 
Click the image above to be sent to The Frenzied SLP Facebook page. 

Here’s what you do:
  1. Read each of the “Thankful and Grateful” blog posts written by individual Frenzied SLPs. 
  2. Collect the letters at the bottom of each blog post. (Make sure you write them down.)
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter. It can be found on any of the blog posts. 
  4. Visit the Frenzied SLPs Facebook page for an additional entry. 
  5. Wait until 11/13/15 to see if you are one of the lucky winners!
Now let’s get down to what I am Thankful and Grateful for! 

1) I am thankful for my friends and family, who support me, love me, and call me out when I need a reality check! I don’t know what I would do without each and everyone of these people! 

2) I am thankful to be a member of the Frenzied SLPs! (Thank you Laura!) I am also thankful for the amazing friendships and collaborative community that I have found through Facebook, my TPT store, and blog. Each of you are included in this community! I have learned new things about myself and our profession through the amazing amounts of constant collaboration! 

3) I am beyond thankful for my new job and the amazing people I have the opportunity to work with! Over the past few months they have shown me that they will be there to support me, teach me, learn from me, pray for me, and talk about life with me. I hope they each know they can expect the same from me! 

4) I am thankful that I have the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing students I have every met! I love finding new ways to help them grow and supporting them in their academics. Not only am I able to teach them, but they teach me new things each and every day! 

What are you thankful for?

Don't forget to write down my letter and check out all of the other blog post, before you enter the Rafflecopter. 
Click the image for the next blog.
Click the image to start at the beginning. 

Middle School Materials and Motivators (linky party)

Oh middle school...working with middle school students is unlike working with any other age range. How do you find materials for the kids? How do you keep the kids motivated? How do you keep the kids from suddenly being too embarrassed to come to speech/language therapy? Those are some tough questions! Luckily, the Frenzied SLPs have you covered with this fun “Middle School Materials and Motivators” linky party! I'm linking up over at Twin Speech's blog
Let me give you a peek into my MIDDLE SCHOOL therapy and how I’ve combated some of these issues. 

How do we find great materials for middle schoolers?
The first thing I want to show you is my newest MIDDLE SCHOOL product! I am so excited to share this with you! I spent well over 40 hours working on this to help my kiddos and we are loving it! Over my years in this field and after talking to tons of teachers about how my students are performing in the classroom, I have become a firm believer that vocabulary is a huge factor in their classroom and comprehension difficulties. Here’s the problem though...I can’t teach my kids every vocabulary word they will ever need to know! Neither can you! But...I can teach them strategies to help them figure out what unknown words mean. One of the main strategies I teach kids is to USE CONTEXT CLUES!!!!! Here’s how we’re working on context clues...
This packet contains important Tier 2 Vocabulary Words for 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grade!!! There are almost 200 total Tier 2 Vocabulary words included!!! WOW!
We start by using our context clues to define made up words! I want to know that they really understand how to use the clues and that they aren’t correctly defining the word because they happen to know what it means already. 

I have included Level 1 cards (with multiple choice answers), Level 2A cards (same words and sentences as level 1 without multiple choice options), and Level 2B cards (same words with different sentence context and no multiple choice options).
Level 1
Level 2A
Since I have large groups of kids, I make them each a packet based on their needs. If they need multiple choice answers to assist with defining the Tier 2 word, I give them Level 1 cards. If they don’t need the multiple choice answers and will be able to determine the meaning without extra support they receive Level 2A. I read the sentences to the group and the students are responsible for highlighting the important clues. If we need to use a graphic organizer we pull those out too. After they highlight the clues they either circle the letter they believe to be the correct answer or they write the answer on the card. We go around and talk about whether the answers are correct and or incorrect and discuss the clues used to determine the the meaning. 
If I need to address skills with one student, I let the others work on a “Context Clue Center”. They have a mini dictionary (pages with each word and definition) that they can use to check each others answers while they are completing their packets. 
Level 2B
When we are ready to practice our vocabulary in other contexts, we use the Level 2B cards. The words are the same but the sentences are different. 

Once my kiddos understand how to use context clues, I start to see more progress in the classroom. They start trying to figure out what the unknown words mean which leads to better comprehension of the material being presented to them. 

How do we keep middle schoolers motivated?
This year my theme with for the middle schoolers is employment!
We started the year with a conversation. During the conversation we discussed responsibility and taking responsibility for your actions. I told them for the rest of the year speech was their job. They would be responsibility for showing up to “work” on time. They would be responsible for completing all of their work in a timely manner. They would be responsible for completing and returning all paperwork or homework. They would be responsible for their actions on the way to and from speech. They would be responsible for their actions in the speech/language sessions. Finally, they would be responsible for learning, doing their best and making progress. We also discussed that I will be responsible for making sure they are provided the information and strategies they need. I will be responsible for planning our work tasks. Since this is now their job they will earn a daily “wage”. Their wage will be dependent on their ability to fulfill their responsibilities. Their “wage” is in actuality me making tally marks. I don’t do the whole treasure box after each session thing, however, they will be allowed to cash in their wages at various times to earn some type of reward. The reward may be school supplies, it may be a special activity, or anything else decide I make up!

That all sounds crazy right?!?! Do you know every single kid shows up to speech on their own every single session!!!! Do you know every single kid works hard and completes all of the tasks I give to them!!! Do you know every single kid returns their paperwork and homework!!! 

To make sure the kiddos (they’re too old to be kiddos right) students didn’t forget when their “appointment” was, I made them “appointment cards” that were discreet but able to be used as a reminder! 

I made a list for all of the teachers telling them the students who receive speech/language services, the day of services and the time of the services. 

I hope this has helped you out in your journey into middle school! Now head back over to the linky party (click here) and grab some other great tips, materials, and motivators from some other amazing SLPs! 

See you soon!

Talk Like A Pirate Day Linky Party!!!

Ahoy, matey! Did you know September 19th is “Talk Like A Pirate Day”? Many SLPs will be using pirate themed therapy materials all week in preparation for this oh so special day!!! My sweet friend Tracy, from Gold Country SLP, is throwing a pirate themed linky party to make sure you are set with all the best pirate themed products from TPT!

If you know me at all, you know I love incorporating a good book into therapy! And this “holiday” is just one more reason for me to buy children’s books! I absolutely love the book “How I Became A Pirate” by Melinda Long and David Shannon!!!! Check out this book companion I created to use as a supplemental material with this book! (You will need to purchase the book separately!) 

***Note: When you purchase this book companion you receive both a color version and a black/white version!!!
(Click on any of the images to be directed to the product in my TPT store.)

Look at all of the skills addressed in this book companion! There’s something for just about everyone on your caseload and you can easily adapt many of the skills based on age and ability levels!
This book is full of both tier 1 and tier 2 vocabulary! 
Working on object functions? There are 2 different levels included. This book companion also includes cards to assist with “wh” comprehension and yes/no questions. 
Working on prepositions? No problem...let’s see where those pirates are hanging out! 
Talk about these simple pictures to address pronouns in sentences. 
Working on plural nouns or past tense verbs? No problem!  Do your older kids need vocabulary practice? How about some synonyms and antonyms related to the story?
How many of our kids need work on describing? Taking those descriptions and using that information to compare and contrast is tough for our kiddos!
Have an artic kid instead of a language kid? No worries! I have included target cards (including images) for /r/ in all positions and blends, with a game board for reinforcement. 
Smartly, me, don’t walk to The Speech Owl’s TPT store and grab this Book Companion!!!

Here are some other pirate materials you might want to check out!
1)This Sheep on a Ship Book Companion from Speech Sanity looks so cute! I don't know this book, but love learning about new books for therapy!!!
2) This Pig Kahuna Pirates Book Companion from Old School Speech look fantastic also!!! Another book I don't know, but can't wait to check out!

Click here to voyage back to Gold Country SLP’s blog to see all of the other links!

Wild About Books...If you take a mouse to school

Have you started back to school yet? I’ve been back for over a week! How did summer go by so quickly?!?! Oh, well! I am super excited to get to know some fantastic new kiddos and see what kind of progress we can make! If you know me well, or at all, then you know I love using books for therapy! I think literacy is super important for all students, but especially for our speech and language students!!! Since I love books in therapy so much I am joining Scarlett over at Speech Is Sweet for her weekly “Wild About Books Wednesday” linky party. 
In honor of the start of another school year, I want to talk about a book you probably already know! Do you love the Laura Numeroff books too? Lets talk about “If You Take A Mouse To School.” I’m going to tell you a little about this book, show you how I use it in therapy, and give you a link to grab my book companion. (Scroll to the bottom for the link.)

In “If You Take A Mouse To School” by Laura Numeroff, this sweet little mouse is headed to school with his human friend. Of course they have to get ready, catch the bus, put their belongings away, go to class, learn new things, have lunch, get into some type of trouble, play and go back home to rest before the next day. This precious mouse is busy as a bee. 

How do I use this book in therapy?
  1. Vocabulary: You know I love teaching vocabulary! There are so many school related items to teach in this book! These school locations, supplies, and everyday objects are a perfect introduction for the new school year. 
  2. Sequencing: My students need help with sequencing and retell skills! We work on putting the scenes in order and then retell the story. Want to relate this skill to daily tasks? Talk about your daily schedule, what happens first in their day, what happens last in their day? Have the students tell you about what they have been learning in their classes. 
  3. Comprehension: We answer tons of questions as we read the book to work on comprehension questions. Need extra visuals...just open up the book. Want to related "wh" questions to their daily life? Ask them general questions about their day...When they do things, why they do things, where they do things, etc.
  4. Object Functions: We talk about how (or why) we use various school supplies. This is great for introducing or reminding students of expectations with school supplies and appropriate uses for the supplies. 
  5. Cause and Effect: We start talking about cause and effect relationships. When someone does something what will happen? It's also a great way to talk about both positive and negative consequences to a variety of behaviors. In the book because the mouse wrote a book, you get to listen to the book.  

Click the picture above to be directed to my book companion for this book. This book companion lays out activities for the following language skills:
1)  Vocabulary     
2) Sequencing       
3) Comprehension     
4) Object Functions     
5) Pronouns          
6) Same and Different
7) Big and Little    
8) Following Directions       
9) Some Things About Me

How would you use this book in therapy?
Head over to Speech Is Sweet to see some other great books!

See you soon, 

We've been under CONSTRUCTION! (updates from The Speech Owl)

I don’t know if you guys noticed but, The Speech Owl blog received a major facelift this summer! That was only one of the many things under construction over here! As we’re all starting to think about the start of another school year, I wanted to make sure you are up to date! If you own products by The Speech Owl there may be some updates. Below I am giving you a quick peek into NEWLY CONSTRUCTED and REMODELED products made by The Speech Owl!

Newly Constructed:


Happy Back To School Prepping!

Let's rethink negative consequences!

It’s almost time for us to return to our schools, to our students, and to our therapy! That’s why I decide now is the time for this post. As we all know, kids have behaviors! Some behaviors are positive, some behaviors are negative, some are for avoidance, some are for attention, and some are for escape. 

Let me start by saying, this post is NOT about how to deal with behavior! This post is NOT about types of behavior! I thought long and hard about how I wanted to address this! I didn’t want to offend anyone or step on toes but, I decided I needed to say this! You don’t have to agree with me but, please respect my opinion!

Over many years in the schools, I’ve heard it over and over again! I’ve heard it from SLPs. I’ve heard it from graduate students. I’ve heard it from teachers. I’ve heard it from administrators. I’ve heard it from parents. I’ve even said it myself when I was at my wits end. What have I heard, you ask? I’ve heard....speech, language, and other educational skills being used as a negative consequence! Have you heard it?

“If you don’t stop ____ you are going do nothing but say your speech sounds!”

‘If you don’t stop ____ you are going to your desk and doing worksheets!”

“If you don’t stop.....”

What do all of those sentences have in common? Do you see it? Every sentence uses a positive thing (practicing speech sounds, practicing language skills, practicing classroom skills, etc.) as a negative consequence to behavior! 

We want our kids to practice these skills! We want our kids to make progress on these skills! We want our kids to enjoy working on these skills! A natural positive consequence of practicing is making progress! If we are using these skills as a negative consequence to behavior aren’t we contradicting ourselves? 

Am I saying there shouldn’t be consequences to behavior? Absolutely not! There are consequences to everything we do! What I am saying is that we need to become acutely aware of the way we are wording consequences. What is the real consequence?! The consequence may be “You will lose a turn.” If the child loses a turn it doesn’t necessarily mean he gets out of his skills practice, it just means he lost his turn! Instead of “If you cheat, you will not get to do anything but say your speech words.” couldn’t we say “If you cheat, you will lose your turn.” It’s the same thing...but, the negative consequence is actually a negative consequence instead of something that should be viewed as a positive. 

Have you heard it before? Have you been guilty of saying it yourself? It’s ok...but, from now on...think about the consequences! Make sure the negative consequences are truly negative consequences. Make sure the kids know that practicing and making progress is POSITIVE!

See you soon, 

Big Bug Surprise for Wild About Books Wednesday (Freebie)

It’s Wednesday...time for another “Wild About Books Wednesday” with Scarlett from Speech is Sweet! I love this linky party because I get to learn about so many new books! I hope that you enjoy learning about some books you have never heard of before, or at least getting some new therapy ideas for some great, old books. 
Today’s book is a favorite of the kids because it’s all about BUGS! Have you read Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran? Prunella (the main character) tends to be a bit of a know it know the person...the one who pesters and pesters with all of the knowledge. Well...Prunella drives everyone a little nuts but...she also saves the day! Join Prunella and Ms. Mantis for a day of show and tell. See what bug Prunella takes for show and tell...See how everyone reacts to Prunella...See what happens in the classroom...And, see how Prunella saves the day! 

How do I use this book in therapy?
  1. Comprehension: There are tons of questions that can be asked! Answer basic “wh” questions and you can even have the kids research the facts presented in the book. Can a dragonfly really fly 60 mph? Do queen bees really never fly alone?
  2. Pragmatic Skills: Talk about peoples reactions when you talk about one topic all the time. Talk about ways to make sure people don’t get annoyed with all your wonderful knowledge on a particular topic. Talk about patience. Talk about doing things to help others. 
  3. Prediction: Have the students guess what bug Prunella will take to school. 
  4. Articulation: Great /pr/ practice...her name is Prunella after all. 
  5. Categories: Use the freebie (click here) to categorize different “buggy categories”.

Hope you enjoy this book as much my little ones do! Head back over to Speech is Sweet to see who else linked up! 

See you soon!

The True Story of The Three Little Pigs (Wild About Books Wednesday)

It’s that time again! Time to join the lovely Scarlett from Speech is Sweet for the “Wild About Books Wednesday” linky party. Last week I told you a little secret...I love spin off books! I decided to keep the “3 Little Pigs” theme going this week with another therapy room favorite. 
You’ve heard about the Three Little Pigs and their “encounter” with the Big Bad Wolf, right?! I bet you listened to those rotten Little Pigs, didn’t you? You can admit it! Haven’t you ever been told there’s always 2 sides to every story? Now you can hear the other side...with 


This funny story tells how the wolf saw things go down. Maybe he’s not quite so big and so bad...just maybe! 

If you haven’t found this book need it! Trust me! If you have found it let me give you a few of my therapy ideas!

-Of course as with any book we can work on vocabulary, sequencing and story retell. 
-I love COMPARING/CONTRASTING the spin off stories. Talk about how “The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf” and “The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs” are similar and how they are different. 
-Talk about PERSPECTIVE TAKING! How were the perspectives of the Pigs and the Wolf different? How can 2 people see the same event in different ways? 
-Talk about Appropriate /inappropriate behaviors! If you needed sugar what would you do? The wolf eats the pig when he finds him. Would that be appropriate or inappropriate? You get the idea! 
-Let the kids EXPLORE! Bring in some straw, sticks and blocks (bricks). Let the kids try to build with each material. What works? What doesn’t work? Why does it work or why does it not work? Then they can even DESCRIBE the straw, sticks and blocks or bricks!

Hope you enjoy this book as much as we do! Now, run over to Speech Is Sweet to find some more fantastic books and ideas!
See you soon!

#Nashteacherbash: A Blogger Meet Up

Last weekend I attended the #Nashteacherbash in Nashville! Did you see all of the pictures on IG?! It was a wonderful meet up, mostly attended by amazing teacher bloggers...there were a few librarians...and there was me, the SLP. I was so worried that I would feel out of place...I did not know a single person going into the weekend. But guess what, this introvert was welcomed with open arms!!! I absolutely loved talking to and learning from these top notch educators, and I met some great new friends too! 
The first night, Friday, we met up for a fun filled night of baseball and fireworks! Emily, from A Neighborhood Kindergarten, was looking for a ride so I picked her up and off we went. (Turns out Emily knows some of my cousins.) We spent the evening hanging out without everyone, watching the Sounds pull off a win, and then watching a fantastic fireworks show. 

The beginning of the game was sunny, thankfully, Go Noodle sent us some sweet sunglasses! 
Check out these fantastic educators! Group shot at the game!
Emily (A Neighborhood Kindergarten) and I at the game. 
I absolutely LOVE fireworks! 

Saturday, we met at Atmalogy for some more conversation, lunch (from Jim N’ Nicks...thanks for paying Go Noodle), and giveaways! There were $14,000 worth of stuff donated (WOW!)
I won a $50 gift card from Educents! Thanks a bunch!
We even got Go Noodle swag bags full of treats!
I got to hang out with the 2/3 of the AMAZING women from All Y’all Need! I absolutely adore Amy and Lisa (we missed you Laura)! 
Look how many people were there! I met a ton of other women, I just don’t have pictures. 

When lunch was finished, we all went our separate ways before meeting back up for dinner and shopping. I may be biased but, I think we had the best dinner table! I spent the evening getting to chat with and getting to know some more people you should probably checkout: Jodi and Jamie from Kindergarten Glitter Girls, Megan from Mrs. Wheelers First Grade, Stacy from Simpson’s Superstars and of course Amy and Lisa from All Y’all Need

Sunday Morning, we all met up for one finally meal and hang out at Monell’s. There was soooooooo much food! After breakfast we all headed to the stairs for a group picture, before everyone started their treks home. Luckily, I live in Nashville so I didn’t have to go far but, we had bloggers from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi and Florida. I can’t wait to see everyone again soon! 

Thanks for hosting Greg (Kindergarten Smorgasbord), Latoya (Flying Into First), Dana (Common to the Core), Cindy (Exploring is Elementary), Alexandria (Classroom Action With Ms. Jackson) and Lawren (Teaching is A Royal Adventure)! I truly appreciate all of the time and effort you spent making this a fabulous weekend! 

See you soon, 

The Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark (Plus a Freebie)

Eeeeek....I’m so glad you decided to join me today! It’s Wednesday, which means the always sweet and precious Scarlett over Speech is Sweet is hosting her weekly “Wild About Books Wednesday” linky party! If you are like me and LOVE using books in your therapy sessions you don’t want to miss this party! 

This week I am sharing one of my all time favorite books with you! Here’s a fact you don’t know about me...I LOVE spin off books!!!!!!! You can use them across ages, abilities and goals with simple activity adaptations! With out further ado, I present to you...

The Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark
By Ken Geist

In this amazing book, the Big Bad Shark tries to eat those three little fish... Swim little fish, swim! Where can they hide? What can they do? Can they build a house strong enough to keep the shark out? You and your kids are guaranteed to have a HOOT following along as the fish build houses and try to outsmart that mean ol’ shark!

If you don’t know or own this book you can grab it by clicking here

Need some therapy ideas?!...

1. Interactive reading...Have the kids help you read   the repetitive lines, “...I’ll munch and I’ll crunch and I’ll smash your house in.” Interactive reading makes books much more fun for little ones!

2. Sequencing...Put the houses in order! So easy! 

3. Retell...Yup, no need to explain! 

4. Vocabulary...Talk about different things you can find in the ocean (seahorse, shark, fish, seaweed, turtle, coral, ships, etc). You could even throw objects in a sand sensory box and let the kids dig through the sand to find and label the ocean animals. 

5. Following Directions and Positional Concepts...Let the kiddos cut, color and glue to make an ocean theme by following positional directions (put a jellyfish over the get the idea).

6. Following Directions...Let the kids follow directions to help make cloud dough (grab the recipe here). When it’s ready, throw some plastic shovels and pails in to make sand castles. 

7. Attributes...Describe sharks, fish, ships, etc using simple graphic organizers. 

8. Compare and Contrast...Talk about similarities and differences between “The Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark” and “The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf”. 

You can grab an EXCLUSIVE, blog only, FREEBIE to help you and your kiddos out. Click HERE or on the image at the top of this post!

I hope you and your kiddos have a SMASHING time reading this book! Now head over to the linky party (by clicking on the image below) to check out some other fantastic books! 

See you soon! 
The Speech Owl