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I'm fortunate to be the recipient of many acts of kindness. I must be lucky at choosing some really special people to surround myself! The Frenzied SLPs are just one of the many circles that spread their kindness my way. We've teamed up again this month, this time to bring you a sharing kindness blog hop with sweet posts and FREEBIES!

My first random act of communication kindness is to give you this Sharing Kindness Articulation FREEBIE for print and go therapy this month. It includes a worksheet for /k, f, s, r/ sounds, open-ended worksheets to create your own targets, and a carryover sharing kindness flap book to use in a variety of ways.  Go ahead and download this freebie!

This month, I'm teaming up with another SLP in my district to share random acts of communication kindness lessons in classrooms! Her students have already practiced their communication skills by delivering kindness classroom packets to all teachers in our building. The packet challenges classrooms to become part of the Kind Kids Club by completing acts of kindness. You can find some ideas and be inspired from the originator on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation site (no affiliation). When we carryout our lessons, we plan on discussing communicating with kindness, working on some conversational skills activities, and completing a short kindness craftivity. We are bringing along our OT pals too for our push-in co-treating lessons, as students on our caseloads will be our go-to communication assistants! Some students will create the flap book (from my freebie resource) to illustrate how to share kindness and others will create a "just write" craftivity using hearts and pencils. This later craftivity is part of my Valentine Speech and Language packet, but you can make your own easily with these items.

How will you share kindness this month?  Check our the other posts and freebies by clicking below!

As we make our resolutions for 2017, I am adding a literacy resolution to the list. You might know I absolutely love bringing literature books into my therapy sessions. This practice likely accounts for more than 50% of my therapy plans. I can target just about any goal using a literature book and really stretch its content from kindergarten through grade 3 and sometimes beyond (although, I often use curriculum texts for grades 4 and 5). Today, I'm focusing my literacy resolution on my phonological kindergarteners.

Since sight word reading is such a huge part of the kindergarten curriculum, why not make a resolution to include sight word practice within my therapy sessions? I have quite a few students receiving therapy for phonological disorders within my kindergarten population.  I love working with these patterned errors and highly motivated littles. The progress they make is truly remarkable!

I'm impatient!  {Yep, it's officially in print.} I find drill at the isolation, syllable, and even word level pretty monotonous. I often move past these levels quickly. It may even help generalization occur quicker. In fact, just before break, I was talking with a kindergarten teacher about a student I recently re-screened. All of sudden, she asked if she could hug me. Well, I agreed, and she proceeded to tell me she was thanking me for the progress one of her unintelligible students has made. I picked up this student week one of school when we knew she needed my help:) Cycles, minimal pairs, carrier phrases, and reinforcement have been my go-to tools with lots of repetitions!

I made this carrier phrases in action DIY some time back and I use it ALL THE TIME!  My students always grab a phrase on their way to the table now! In fact, if I don't plan to use phrases, they take one anyway!

This year, I'm resolving to use sight word practice within my phonological therapy regularly, if not every session. I've updated an old go-to Carrier Phrases product to help you add this resolution to your literacy list as well {it's pictured to the left of my DIY above}.

The freebie comes with a variety of carrier phrases and images to help those little readers. There are also additional cards to manipulate the sentence for your needs.

Just pair with your favorite stack of articulation cards or write words right on the strip. I laminated all of mine and placed them in a handy zippered pouch.

What are your literacy resolutions for 2017?

Don't miss our Instagram giveaway that begins 1/6/2017 at 7:00am EST and ends 1/8/2017 at 8:00pm EST!  Start @sparklleslp. You could win four Yeti-themed products, a Yeti mug, and Yeti in My Spaghetti!  

My students had so much fun with Gingerbread Speech and Language that I created Yeti Speech and Language. I never knew I would learn so much creating these units. Do you believe in Yetis? Would you like to stay in the Yak & Yeti hotel in Nepal?  I have experienced Expedition Everest quite a few times at Animal Kingdom and even enjoyed the cuisine at the Yak & Yeti restaurant there. This Yeti theme is already a huge hit with my students. My daughter received the game Yeti in My Spaghetti for Christmas and it has already made its way to my therapy room!

Check out a few of the contents in my unit, which will be on sale for 50% off on 1/7/2017 for the #jan17slpmusthave SALE too!

Reinforcement activities galore!

A non-fiction text, conjunctions, analogies, listening for details, and Tier 2 vocabulary.

A barrier activity, word list and articulation open-ended worksheet, Tier 1 describing, and Yeti-themed recipes!

Regular and irregular verbs, verb worksheet, and location concepts.

Don't forget to check out these other Yeti-themed materials from my SLP friends!

Yeti Inferencing and Vocabulary

Yeti Subordinating Conjunctions

The Abominable "No"-Man

Are you Yeti for a fun speech and language theme? I'm Yeti for a giveaway here too! Comment below with your email for a chance to win my Yeti Speech and Language Unit.

Today, I am reflecting on the highlights of 2016.

I kicked off 2016 with my 40th birthday and the verdict is still out if indeed my 40s will be the best years of my life. I believe I slowed down a bit this year. I'm still pondering this effect.

While I created many posts this year that are still in the draft queue, during 2016, I was honored to have guest posted at Speech PeepsTeach Speech 365 and Doyle Speech Works. It has truly been a great year for meeting new SLPs across the country! I attended the Teachers Pay Teachers conference in July and stepped even more out of my comfort zone, meeting many lovely SLPs in real life. I still smile when I think about the memories and friendships I created during that short time.

My TPT store continued to grow with products that I use regularly in my speech room. This hobby of making products while time consuming is very rewarding for me. I also joined in on a collaborative blog hop with some new SLP friends and kept up my participation with The Frenzied SLPs. Such a wonderful and inspirational group of SLPs, many of which I call my very dear friends!

To round out 2016, my blog got a professional makeover!! Avatars are amazing! Wrinkle free, grey removed salon ready hair, and a slimmed down physique are benefits I wasn't expecting upon revealing myself. Hahaha! The shoutout goes to A Little Peace of Africa for her design style and blog expertise.

Above all in 2016, I continued to learn how to juggle a school-based SLP career, involved speechie hobby, and raising 3 school-age children. I have no intention to stop blogging or creating for TPT in 2017; however, I'm okay with pursuing other hobbies and maybe some new adventures while keeping it all in perspective!

Here's to 2017!

Do your teachers use novel studies within their classrooms? Have you considered novel studies within your speech room? Maybe you already have a fondness about using books in therapy. Or maybe you have an aversion because you can't see spending all that valuable therapy time reading a book during your session. Let me take a moment to share my experience.

A novel study is defined as an in-depth study of an author's work through guided reading and independent activities. Many classroom teachers use novel studies regularly, even in the primary grades. What better way to bring the curriculum into your speech room or bring your speech and language support into the classroom than through extended novel studies. SLPs bring knowledge of communication development and language underpinnings necessary for literacy success. SLPs always exhibit "guided reading" when we do read-alouds, teaching a text in ways that are related, yet different as compared to a classroom teacher. I always exaggerate target speech sounds for auditory bombardment, emphasize target grammatical structures that reoccur within the text, and scaffold to aid understanding of vocabulary and higher level language contain within the text. 

If you have read this little blog before you know I do have a fondness for using literature books during speech and language therapy sessions within my speech room. I pair popular children's books with book companion activities that I have created targeting speech and language objectives. This year,  I've been spending more time in classrooms. As I'm working with my students in one particular classroom, I'm noticing these fabulous novel studies happening. The read aloud usually ends just as I enter the room and then the students begin independent activities surrounding the text. What I realized was that my obsession with using literature books in therapy was actually more relevant than I sometimes led myself to believe. I too, stressed over the time I spent reading the book during my already short therapy session as well as at my limited tallied data collection. Often I told myself to ditch the books and go back to straight skill and drill. What kept me buying books and creating new companions was the active interest my students showed during therapy with books.

Simply stated, literature books offer thematic content, varied vocabulary, plentiful sentence structures, higher level language, social lessons, and speech sound targets galore. Check the objectives on your students' plans and decide if these categories fit your needs. Let's take a closer look at a novel study from classroom to speech room.

Over the last two weeks my students have been working with The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. Some of the 2nd grade classroom teacher's targets included:  cause and effect; the "lesson" of the story; and non-fiction (reindeer) research.

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Using this same text (that the teacher already read and discussed with her students:), I created activities that matched my students' therapy targets. (I actually used this text with all my 1st-3rd grade students covering plans for roughly 30 students on my caseload). It is not necessary to have a formal book companion pack, rather I am discussing what I have targeted to give you an example of the wide variety of objectives that can be addressed using one book.

Articulation/Phonology Targets:
auditory bombardment of target sounds
writing target words from the story (sorting into beginning, middle, and end) for quick drill
story retelling for carryover
student read aloud for articulation in reading

emphasis of target structures within the text
practice with target sentence structures using the vocabulary from the text
retelling using story grammar elements for narrative development
recall of sentences from the story
pronouns, verbs, conjunctions, compound and complex structures

Sample activities from The Wild Christmas Reindeer Book Companion

Semantics/Expressive & Receptive Language:
tier 1 vocabulary for targeting category, function and attributes
tier 2 vocabulary for targeting synonyms, antonyms, multiple meanings, and context clues
"WH" questions
barrier activities
linguistic concepts
figurative language

character feelings
social inferences
reader's theater

While our therapy time with students is limited, our role in literacy development makes our services relevant to student needs. When children have problems acquiring language, they are at risk for difficulty in learning to read. Bringing novel studies from the classroom to the speech room achieves a collaborative role and ultimately the goal of academic success.

What are some ways you bring novel studies from the classroom into your speech room?  I would love to learn your experiences. You can download The Wild Christmas Reindeer Speech and Language Speech and Language Book Companion FREE until Christmas 2016 if you want to start preparing for next year!

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