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The saying about March coming in like a lion...is so true figuratively not only due to weather, but as describing my school SLP schedule. Between larger than usual initial assessments, reevaluations, IEPs, as well as progress reports, there is little time for planning. Thank goodness for books and materials to address all the speech and language target skills during therapy sessions.


If you have been following this series, the books I share can be used for traditional elementary/pediatric caseloads and often your entire caseload for multiple weeks, using one book. For me, currently pushing into the literacy block in classrooms, my pace has changed to reflect that of the teacher's. In some classrooms we focus on a single book per week for each grade level. I use these books in 1st and 2nd grades.

Here’s the list of books I have in my March bin.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Here’s what I target with just about EVERY book:

→Sequencing, retelling, summarizing, story grammar/elements (character, setting, problem, events, consequences, ending/solution)
→Tier 1 describing, Tier 2 vocabulary, synonyms & antonyms
→Comparing & contrasting/similarities & differences
→Basic concepts, direction words, temporal concepts
→WH questions-basic and inferential
→Inferencing-social/pragmatic
→Verbs & pronouns
→Sentence generation-higher level structures, conversational, expansion
→Articulation

Here are my "top targets" for each book.


Salt in His Shoes
Story Grammar
Summarizing
Inferencing
Mindfulness

My students immediately become enamored with this book within the first few pages. They can relate because of their own fears and failures. The story of Michael Jordan's pursuit of his dream and the inspiring outcome fills their little hearts with hope. The lesson alone is epic and the speech and language targets available complete the cherry on top. You can find materials here.


Too Many Carrots
Problem/Solution
WH Questions
Basic Concepts

If you read A Loud Winter's Nap as one of my February suggestions, your students will be familiar with the characters in this book. This time, it is rabbit who needs some support from his friends. Rabbit loves carrots, which creates a big problem! Will his friends be able to change his ways? Check out my book companion to support your lessons.




That's What Leprechaun's Do
Story Grammar
Sequencing
Predicting
Tier 2 Vocabulary
Inferencing-Social/Pragmatic (behaviors, joking)

What do leprechauns do? Get into a lot of mischief as they tackle their main job of burying the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Your students will have fun predicting what might happen next. Take a look at my book companion to help with your planning.




Tops and Bottoms
Problem/Solution
Inferencing
Social/Pragmatic
Tier 1 Describing
Comparing & Contrasting
Spatial Concepts

How can Hare solve his family's problem? Tricking lazy Bear might be the only way to accomplish this task. See if using wit to figure out the best way to share the crops (tops vs. bottoms) gives Hare what his family needs. There are tons of no prep activities here.

The Seven Silly Eaters
Sequencing
Tier 1 Describing
Spatial Concepts

This is a new story for me and I get such a chuckle out of this story.  Maybe it is because I can relate to being a picky eater and having a crew at home that each have their persnickety moments! Here are some no prep activities to accompany your read aloud.

Library Lion
Story Grammar
Summarizing
Inferencing-Social/Pragmatic 
Tier 2 Vocabulary

When a lion enters the library and walks past the circulation desk, no one is quite sure what to do. Can a lion really be allowed in the library and be able to follow all the rules? I love the illustrations and descriptive language used in this text. I have not (yet) created a book companion to support this text; however, we work on Tier 2 vocabulary encountered within the book as well as visualizing (and drawing) the events in order to aid our comprehension. This book is also great for feelings and character traits.

Do you have any other books that I should add to March? I'm also accepting tips on how to survive this season of workload overload!




Have you started using books in speech therapy? Books provide all the language you need for any session. I've compiled my list of February books. I hope you can find at least one to use in your lessons. 


If you have been reading this series (you can check out January here), the books I share can be used for traditional elementary caseloads and often for your entire caseload and for multiple weeks, using one book. For me, currently, pushing into classrooms has changed my pace to reflect that of the teacher's and focus to a single grade level per book. 

Here’s the list of books I have in my February bin.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Here’s what I target with just about EVERY book:

→Sequencing, retelling, summarizing, story grammar/elements (character, setting, problem, events, consequences, ending/solution)
→Tier 1 describing, Tier 2 vocabulary, synonyms & antonyms
→Comparing & contrasting/similarities & differences
→Basic concepts, direction words, temporal concepts
→WH questions-basic and inferential
→Inferencing-social/pragmatic
→Verbs & pronouns
→Sentence generation-higher level structures, conversational, expansion
→Articulation

Here are my "top targets" for each book.

A Loud Winter's Nap
Story grammar
Summarizing
WH questions
Social/pragmatic-flexible thinking

If you have read Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson, you will enjoy this story with familiar characters. Tortoise doesn't like change, but when forced to try something new, he discovers something magical about winter. Check out my book companion.



Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Comparing & contrasting
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Synonyms & antonyms

Mr. Hatch is a very predictable character who keeps to himself. One day, an anonymous valentine changes his life. This is a must read for February. If you are looking for a book companion to help with your planning, check out this one here.



Henry's Freedom Box
Inferencing
Summarizing, retelling
Sentence generation-expansion

Henry dreams of freedom in this true story of the Underground Railroad. His courage will inspire your students while opening the discussion about real historical events. After reading, try using my free language expansion booklet.


Love Monster
Basic concepts
Inferencing-social/pragmatic

Love Monster finds it hard to fit in a world of cute, fluffy things. His journey to find love results in love finding him. Take a peek at my book companion.


The Day it Rained Hearts
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Similarities & differences
Sequencing, story retell

When it rains hearts, Cornelia Augusta knows just what to do with them. This sweet story sparks creativity and thoughtfulness. Try using my freebie for story retelling.

Each Kindness
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Comparing & Contrasting

Get ready to tear up when reading this story aloud. Each Kindness is a powerful story that shows even small acts of kindness can change the world.



Town Mouse Country Mouse
Story Grammar
Compare & Contrast
Tier 1 describing

Jan Brett retells this classic Aesop's Fable of mice longing for something different and in the end learning to be content. Check out my book companion.

I hope your February is filled with literacy! Let me know if there is a book I must add to this list?







Collecting speech samples with elementary-aged students can aid in goal generation and progress monitoring. There are times when I find the need to transcribe portions of the sample for later analysis, but not often. I usually have a target in mind when listening and will take notes on that target skill. When I'm doing progress or writing a new IEP, I am ever grateful for these notes! If it's a sample for speech intelligibility or speech sound production in connected speech, I will use a 100 word grid to chart unintelligible productions or sounds in error (you can find a 100 word grid here). I’m sharing some easy ways to collect these samples during school-based speech therapy.

⇏Personal Retell
Enter a classroom on Monday morning and you might find a routine task involving writing an over the weekend journal entry. This is a great way to collect a speech sample. If your goal is past tense verbs, you have your progress monitoring checked off. This also is great for checking sequencing of events. Often, just asking students to share is all they need to provide their weekend story. If your students struggle with this task, try using some prompts:

Where I went...
Who I saw...
What I did...
How I had fun...

⇏Topic of Interest
I'm sure you know a lot of students that can talk on a topic for quite some time. For those students, I cash in on their interest and get my sample. Whether I'm with my sports stat addict or my Greek mythology buff, you know I’ll first be taking copious notes so I can have an intelligent conversation about the players, statistics, or gods and goddesses. Secondly, I'll be charting words with their target sounds for later practice. Getting a sample this way allows you to select articulation targets that are meaningful for your students. This type of sample is also great for examining sentence structure, vocabulary and overall organization. Again, what you have on your side is the interest of the student, which should yield increased output!

⇏Scripted Prompt
Would you rather... is one my favorite scripted prompts for observing connected speech. I have a general book of would you rather questions as well as many seasonal collections. You can bank that this is a once monthly activity within my speech therapy sessions. The students never seem to tire of this activity. Bonus, if your students are working on /r/ or "th" sounds, this prompt is perfect for charting those trials.

⇏Describing Scenes
For my younger students, I love using describing scenes for speech samples. If you have interactive scenes/barrier activities/mats, it's almost like play as you scaffold describing and narrative generation. Model, model, model before you expect a sample and you may even get your exact targets included in the sample. If you need scenes, you can check these out.

⇏Story Retell
I cannot say enough for speech samples from story retelling! I incorporate retelling within my sessions using literacy regularly, as the benefits of explicit teaching of narratives and story grammar is evidenced-based. This is where I will transcribe a retelling at least 1-2 times yearly for students. I love to see the progression year after year.

Do you have favorite ways to collect speech samples? I'd love to add more ways to my collection.

Yes! Another chance to share my favorite books to use in speech therapy. January is the perfect month to make a resolution to start using books in therapy.


If you have been reading this series (Don't forget to head back to December for links to months in the first half of the school year.), the books I share can be used for traditional elementary caseloads and often for your entire caseload and for multiple weeks, using one book. For me, currently, pushing into classrooms has changed my pace to reflect that of the teacher's and focus to a single grade level per book. 

Here’s the list of books I have in my January bin.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Here’s what I target with just about EVERY book:

→Sequencing, retelling, summarizing, story grammar/elements (character, setting, problem, events, consequences, ending/solution)
→Tier 1 describing, Tier 2 vocabulary, synonyms & antonyms
→Comparing & contrasting/similarities & differences
→Basic concepts, direction words, temporal concepts
→WH questions-basic and inferential
→Inferencing-social/pragmatic
→Verbs & pronouns
→Sentence generation-higher level structures, conversational, expansion
→Articulation

Here are my "top targets" for each book.

Snow Day!
Predicting
Inferencing
Summarizing
Describing

We all wish for snow days, am I right? Your students will love the unexpected twist at the end of this story. Here is the link to my book companion.


Where is Home Little Pip?
Describing
Where questions
Tier 2 Vocabulary
Social Inferencing

Curiosity will attract the listener to this story. The descriptive language and character feelings make this a great language and engaging read aloud. Check out my companion activities, here.

Snowmen at Night
Predicting
Describing
Rhyming

Have you ever wondered what snowmen do at night? This is a great book to spark your imagination. Check out this FREE language expansion booklet to use with this book.

Tacky and the Winter Games
Summarizing
Problem/Solution
Sequencing
Verbs

Tacky is a classic character. His uniqueness and zest will have your students entertained through his winter sport adventures. You can find quick prep activities to go with this book, here.

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee
Story Grammar
Predicting
Rhyming
Tier 2 Vocabulary

I truly adore the Mr. Magee books. These are books that can be read over and over again! In his winter adventure, find out who might be better suited for skis. Take a look at my interactive notebook companion.

Flight School
Problem/Solution
Growth Mindset
Social/Pragmatic

This is a great book to pair with a penguin unit in the classroom. Penguins aren't built to soar, but this one has a dream! Check out my companion activities, here.

Have I missed any of your favorites? I already have my eyes on a few new ones!





If you are not yet using books in therapy, it's time for you to jump on the bandwagon. You can read all about tips for using books in therapy in this post


Here is my December list of favorite books to use in speech therapy. Can you believe it's almost time for the holidays? I'm ready and it will be here very soon! A note about this month, while I know there are many that do not celebrate Christmas and refrain from holiday related activities in the school setting, this list contains Christmas-themed books. 

If you checked in for September, October and November, you know that I don't use all of these books each month every year. I generally choose two per month for grades 1 and 2, separately. I do this because often times the teachers also use these books and I push into classrooms. I also like that my first graders won't know the books I'm using when they get to 2nd grade (not that repeated readings is a bad thing by any means:).

A note about books I use for kindergarten students, as I don't generally use these monthly choices. For me, kindergarten students need their very own set of materials, so my selections vary. For therapy, I will use There Was an Old Lady books, Bear books and familiar rhymes or interactive song books. Last year in my kindergarten push-in classes, I chose to read books by the same author each month for a whole group lesson. Each lesson focused on comparing and contrasting, which was a district focus. We were able to compare authors and illustrators, across stories, characters, and pictured items within each book. Here’s an extra added benefit I witnessed. My caseload students were ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS in our discussion. Their confidence in communicating within my small groups carried over into the large group setting. This year I am choosing books from my one page language book plan (OPLBP) products and I am focusing on character thoughts and feelings throughout our stories.

I've gathered some of my favorite books for December. Below you will find links to the books as well as a long list of general targets and a short "top targets" list to help your therapy planning needs for each book.

Here’s the list of books I have set aside for December.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Here’s what I target with just about EVERY book:

→Sequencing, retelling, summarizing, story grammar/elements (character, setting, problem, events, consequences, ending/solution)
→Tier 1 describing, Tier 2 vocabulary, synonyms & antonyms
→Comparing & contrasting/similarities & differences
→Basic concepts, direction words, temporal concepts
→WH questions-basic and inferential
→Inferencing-social/pragmatic
→Verbs & pronouns
→Sentence generation-higher level structures, conversational, expansion
→Articulation

Here are my "top targets" for each book.


Santa Bruce
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Tier 2 vocabulary
Compare/contrast

Bruce is the victim of mistaken identity...again. This time, the animals are convinced he is Santa. Check out my OPLBP here.


A Pirates Night Before Christmas
Tier 2 Vocabulary
Retelling

This is a twist on the classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and is sure to get your students interested with a pirate-theme. Here is a book companion to check out.


The Wild Christmas Reindeer
Tier 2 vocabulary
Story Grammar
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Compare/contrast

This is a must read! Your students will love the transformation Teeka makes in carrying out her special job. You might also love this companion.



Mooseltoe
Descriptive language
Rhyming
Tier 2 vocabulary

Moose is quite the organized holiday character, until he forgets the Christmas tree. Check out these interactive notebook activities.



Gingerbread Mouse
Sequencing
Predicting
Tier 1 describing

This book is definitely underrated. Ever year that I bring out this book, the kids just fall in love with it. We do a simple retelling activity, using this free material.



Turkey Claus
Predictions
Story grammar
Compare/contrast

If you started with Turkey Trick or Treat and added Turkey Trouble during the fall, you must bring Turkey Claus into your lesson plans. Turkey is relentless when trying to save himself from being eaten for Christmas dinner. Interactive notebook activities are also available here.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas (not pictured)
Tier 1 describing
Story Grammar
Inferencing-social/pragmatic

The Bear books are such a great series. With consistent characters and sweet stories, your students will love these books. You can take a peek at my book companion.

Olive the Other Reindeer (not pictured)
Story grammar
Problem/solution
Compare/contrast

When Olive, a dog, hears "all of the other reindeer" she instantly decides she must be a reindeer! You can find lots of speech and language activities for this book here.

What are your favorite Christmas-themed books?








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