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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?








Here it is, the November installment of my favorite books to use in speech therapy. These posts are really very exciting for me to create, so thank YOU for reading! If you checked in for September and October, 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 when I push into classrooms and I like that my first graders won't know the books I'm using when they get to 2nd grade.


If you are wondering about other grade levels. These books can often be used across elementary grades and when I did more traditional, pull-out speech therapy, these spanned a greater range of my caseload. I'll share more about my current kindergarten plans in a later post. For 3rd-5th grades, I use whatever is happening in the classroom. Sometimes that is a picture book. Other times it's a novel, grade level passage or text book. The focus is more on strategies, so I will pull from materials like this, to support language and literacy. 

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

Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler
Duck for President  by Doreen Cronin
Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano 
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

If you don't use books about Thanksgiving, check back to the September or October posts for books you may not have used.

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.



Turk and Runt
Similarities & differences
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
No one EVER listens to Runt. Thank goodness Runt does not give up trying to win the attention of his family. This is a great book for multiple perspectives and persevering through challenges. Check out my book companion.


Duck for President
Problem solving
Story grammar
Duck takes matters into his own hands to attempt to achieve an easier life. This story has a lot of wit and will definitely connect with kids wishing to show some independence. If you need a quick prep lesson plan aid, check out this resource.

Balloons Over Broadway
Tier 1 describing & Tier 2 defining
Sequencing events
This book was shared by one of my dear friends, over at Doyle Speech Works. It is a true story of the Macy's parade puppeteer. The pictures are amazing, the story is engaging and it's perfect for budding engineer minds. I created a book companion and if you need to extend this for older students, make sure you see this resource.


'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
Story grammar/elements
Past tense verbs
Tier 2 vocabulary
Predicting
This was my second ever book companion created. This story never gets old. I always anticipate what my students will say when the children become "mysteriously fatter” at the end of the story (spoiler alert). If you need some engaging resources, check out this companion.



The Scarecrow's Hat
Story grammar (problem/solution)
Predicting
Choices (Would You Rather...)
Tier 1 describing
One resourceful chicken gains help from the farm animals to come up with many solutions to the animals' requests.

Stone Soup
For some reason, I never get around to using this book in therapy, likely because my teachers use it during the short week before Thanksgiving, so my reason for including it is the yummy "stone soup" I get to eat. I can smell it now. Each student brings in a can of vegetables, broth, or potatoes for the soup. It’s all thrown in a crock pot and simmered all day for our afternoon enjoyment! This would be a great speech and language activity.

Are there any books I have missed that I must add to my collection?








Are you trying to make your selection of articulation targets relevant to your students? Are you finding yourself pushing into classrooms and overwhelmed with providing effective articulation therapy? Keep reading for some easy, practical solutions.



➜I posted a free resource to use with classroom book bins (storage containers filled with "just right" books for each student). Print out your FREE Book Bin Buddy to work on articulation effectively within the routine of the classroom, using materials readily available...books! As students are reading books from their bins, model first, then encourage writing of targets with their speech sound(s) encountered during their reading. This can be a great push-in therapy session, a tool for home practice and perfect for a follow-up session of high repetition drill.


➜This next quick prep activity is similar in the idea that students are encouraged to "find" their speech sounds within classroom materials and then add some repetitive practice. You can find this interactive activity within my Graphic Organizers and Strategies packet. Below, is an example of discovering complex /k/ words within a reading selection and then using this activity to gain some quick drill and visual support for sound awareness. You would be surprised at how many of your students aren't aware of their speech sounds in their classroom materials. It is like they think speech sounds only exists in the walls of the speech room. Herein lies the benefit of some articulation practice within the classroom!


➜You may also like this post on generalizing speech sounds using reading fluency passages. Simply use reading passages at or slightly below a student's reading level and have them highlight sounds prior to practice. Then use the passage for daily quick drill in school or at home.

➜I find my students enjoy jokes, would you rather activities, and silly sentences, so I created Articulation Silly Strips which can easily be used a desk strips. Just take one right on the student's desk and prompt practice when you are in the room and encourage daily review.


➜This next set of resources has been a LABOR of love. This set of ELA and Math strips are designed for grades K-2. They focus on common core curriculum vocabulary and are arranged by grade and sound for ALL speech sounds. You can choose to print all sets and combine them on ring(s) by sound or grade level. You can also create individual file folders for your students with their target sounds for quick drill and to keep in their classrooms. This allows you to practice speech sounds AND vocabulary. Check out the bundle here.



For grades 3-5, I decided to focus on /s, l, r/ sounds when creating the speech sound strips. I changed the format and went with black and white only for these older students. These are designed to be kept right in student textbooks or folders for routine practice. It's like a personal speech sound word list of words, many of which, they will encounter daily within their classrooms. I have the ELA set finished and I hope to get some motivation to complete the math version. You can purchase the ELA 3rd-5th grade resource here.


I am fully aware that articulation therapy within the classroom has its challenges. The need for a quiet environment for auditory discrimination and feedback with opportunities for placement and production cues makes the classroom challenging. This post hopefully gave you some ideas for resources to use within the classroom to aid generalization.

What are the ways you are providing articulation support in the classroom?







If you caught my September post about books in speech therapy, here is the October edition! If you have been around here before, you might have a hunch that I love using books in therapy. Honestly, it's my favorite way to plan lessons. Using a book really takes the chore out of planning, makes the perfect material for mixed groups and can be used for multiple sessions!


I've gathered some of my favorite books for October. The list is already long and keeps growing. I really have a hard time not using ALL of these books, as I really love this collection. 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. There are MANY surrounding . Halloween, so if you don't use holiday books, check out some of the non-holiday titles in my Interactive Notebook Book Companions Bundle.

Here’s the list of books I have set aside for October.
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.


I Need My Monster
Describing characters, similarities & differences
Synonyms & antonyms
Asking questions
I just LOVE this book and so do my students. It's the perfect combination of sweet mixed with scary. Here is a link to my book companion.


Crankenstein
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Problem solving
When questions-complex sentence structure (ex: When there's no more syrup, Crankenstein feels...)
This, too, is a MUST read. It's a quick read and will be one you may read over and over again. You can find my book companion activities here.


Big Pumpkin 
Sequencing
Tier 1 describing
Predicting
Problem solving
I've been using this book for so many years. Earlier in my SLP career, we used to do a whole interactive skit with our students, complete with costumes and all. Check out my book companion here.


Room on the Broom
Sequencing
Predicting
Tier 1 and Tier 2 vocabulary
This book is full of colorful language. My quick prep book companion can be found here.



The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
Sequencing
Problem solving
Onomatopeia
Tier 1 describing
I have been using this book since I was in grad school. I also have been known to bring in all the props and make a scarecrow with my students to leave up for the month. You can find my (first ever) book companion for this book here.


Creepy Carrots
Problem solving
Sequencing
Conjunctions
This book is a great reminder for anyone that might be getting too greedy! You can find my interactive notebook activities in this set.


Monsters Love Underpants
Story grammar
Rhyme
Some giant chuckles AND added language.
Combining monsters and underpants is definitely a win! Check out the interactive notebook activities in this set.


The Hallo-Wiener
Story grammar/elements
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
Similarities & differences
A great book for teaching students to rise above challenges. You can find interactive notebook activities within this set.

Turkey Trick or Treat
Predicting
Tier 1 describing-costumes/disguises
Regular past tense
Inferencing-social/pragmatic
The entire series by Wendi Silvano is just perfection. Your students will be rooting for turkey and all his disguises. You can find interactive notebook activities here.

Otis and the Scarecrow
Perspective taking
Tier 1 and Tier 2 vocabulary
Otis is seriously the sweetest character around. While this book tends to be on the long side when trying to fit it into a short session, the story line is absolutely worth it. You can find my quick prep companion here.

Now, which ones to choose this year? Do you have any other favorites? I'd love for you to check out my October Book Companion BUNDLE to start your therapy planning now.



Literature books provide ALL the vocabulary we need to help our students develop their speech and language skills. Classrooms are full of varied children's books providing easy accessibility for the school SLP.



While pushing into classrooms, I've focused on finding ways to support communication skills within everyday activities. Book bins, or containers for housing student selected books that fit their reading level, are prevalent within the classrooms around my building. I decided to adapt a way to use this container for further articulation and vocabulary practice. I created the Book Bin Buddy to keep within containers for writing and/or drawing articulation or vocabulary words as encountered within text.



These are easy to download FREE, then print, copy and place in student book bins. You can provide explicit instruction by modeling their use during speech therapy sessions. You can have students focus on finding words with their speech sounds or new vocabulary encountered within text. Encourage students to use their Book Bin Buddy during their independent reading time within their classroom. These also lend themselves nicely for a follow-up therapy session for review and even for sending home for more practice.



What other ways have you found to promote generalization and utilize routines in the classroom to build communication skills?


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