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I blinked and September vanished. It was an extremely busy month with my family and I have been navigating my way through 100% classroom push-in K-5. In time, I will share the highs and lows. For now, I'm excited to share that I have again teamed with some fabulous SLPs to bring you a collaborative SLP Halloween Hop!



You can check out The Pedi Speechie to gather the links to all the resources! My contribution includes Smash Strips, Story & Song Visuals, and Sentence Strips. Check out my freebie here



Thanks for hopping by!
The Frenzied SLPs are up for some challenges this year. Are you ready for a challenge? Our frenzied nature requires a challenge, with parameters and a deadline to stay motivated! Actually, these are good life tips to keep you going!


We are starting off with a speech room challenge. Are you that creative SLP changing her room every season, the minimalist with clean white walls and possibly a sign, or somewhere in between?

We all spend a lot of time in this often tiny space, so giving it some character may help increase your motivation or creativity, without distracting you too much! I'm challenging myself to add some functional organizational decor that I will still like by the end of the year.  This is my biggest challenge. I get so tired of my style, organization and layout.

This Thirty One (no affiliation) file folder holder is perfect for corralling my therapy materials. I can toss books, themed therapy packets, cards, and reinforcement activities in this bin for grab and go between sessions.



I organized this beauty at the end of last year to be the home of my monthly thematic therapy cards. You can find the freebie toolbox labels here.



This cart is love! It honestly makes me smile when I enter my room. This is the Target version (no affiliation) and I love the functional handles and its slim design. I'm using it to hold my therapy essentials, including visuals, school supplies, articulation sticks by Mia, mirrors, and my classroom bin (more on that below).



If this next unit were only in grey, I would be even happier!  The organization inside is nothing to write home about; however, the ability to sort like materials and grab and go worksheets is key. For now, it's working!



I went with a Modern Rustic Speech Room Decor theme this year and the best part is that I didn't even have to change the bulletin board background and border! Learning targets are posted and bins below organize our interactive notebooks. Under the curtain is a rolling library bookshelf that houses my bins of thematic materials by season and theme!



I recently added dividers to my interactive notebooks to organize grade levels.



A while back I posted this container on Instagram. It is so very old and formerly used for scrapbooking materials. When I started regularly pushing into classrooms last year, I finally settled on using this caddy. The good news is, it is still available, in a very similar model. My Occupational Therapy friend showed up with this one (no affiliation) last week.



I received plenty of comments about how SLPs would fill up this caddy for classroom-based services. Mine is ready to go and I made a little video showing the contents. You can check it out on my Facebook Page!

Did you accomplish your speech room challenge this year?



You either love or loathe back to school shopping. As a school girl, I always looked forward to back to school shopping. As a mother of three, any type of shopping is a bit more stressful these days. It's often a fill up the cart (in real life or virtual) and hope for the best! By nature, I consider myself a bargain hunter and generally very frugal when spending money. Add in the hectic lifestyle and these traits are difficult to maintain. I thought I'd share a few of my suggested stores and items to help you on your back to speech shopping journey.



First off, at no surprise to many of my readers, I shop almost solely at Teachers Pay Teachers for therapy resources. You can find an overwhelming (in a great way) amount of materials from SLP authors with prices that fit every budget. If you haven't yet taken the plunge and made your first purchase, by all means, go for it!

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

You guessed it! Amazon provides my speech therapy office supply staples, including laminating sheets, sheet protectors, metal rings, and colored folders (I use these for TPT purchases, color-coding areas of speech and language.  I also order a box of grey folders for my book companions!) What saves me time is I can go back into my past orders and just reorder when my supply runs low!

                 

I also shop Amazon for games, books, and other therapy or organizational finds, like these:

Erasable Highlighters (I'm using these in 3rd grade novels to highlight Tier 2 vocabulary.)


Plastic Drawer Storage (This just makes me smile when I walk into my room.  The drawer labels are free here.)





















 


Digital Tally Counters (SLPTalk turned me onto these beauties. I own quite a few 'old school' tally counters that my students love, so these will be a novel item. The bonus, they are super tiny for easy transport to classrooms or hallways.)




















Target is my stop for seasonal containers. I have a little addiction. The good news is, I really do use these containers regularly in therapy. Most often one just sits in the center of my table with a reinforcement activity inside.































Shopping at half-price book stores is something I do a few times a year. I find treasures for my own children as well as my therapy lessons. While this takes a bit more time searching, you can always bring a list and have the reference clerks do a little search if you are pressed for time.

I also frequent my local dollar store, due to sheer convenience of its location near my son's karate studio. I mostly shop for prize box items as I only buy school supply items for my prize box. I can pick up pencils, erasers, mini-notebooks, markers, gel pens, grippers, and many other school supply items at my local dollar store. Now that I have dabbled in sensory bins (thanks to The Dabbling Speechie), dollar stores are a perfect place for purchasing supplies.


Thrift stores are ideal for inexpensive board games. I am still searching for Cariboo. (Yes, I donated my copy that my own children had before I realized the speech therapy adaptation.) Through my trips, I have found several other games I use in therapy, so that's at least something!

Now let's talk about my go-to places for school SLP clothes. Let me start off by saying, I am not a fashionista and I don't even attempt to try. I don't have an eye for fashion at all. I know what I like on others and I have no idea how to make it work for myself. Well, I'm really selling these suggestions, right?! Regardless, here are my favorite places for school SLP clothing.

Thred Up is an online consignment shop. You can find tons of name brand clothing items with new items arriving daily. I can shop early in the morning or late and night and my items will arrive at my doorstep. I love how you can shop within categories of clothing, sizing and fashion trends.

Remember the convenience of the dollar store above? TJMaxx is in the same shopping center and I have a slight addiction. I find most of my clothing, shoes and accessories at TJMaxx. I can also snag gifts for just about anyone on my list here as well, so that's very effective for saving time!

My new favorite pants are from Athleta. They are in the Midtown line. Remember what I said about being thrifty, well here is the exception.  These pants are priceless. I have been wearing the shorts from the same line all summer long and they are the best shorts I've ever worn! If you are into Project 333 or creating a capsule wardrobe (see my Pinterest board here) these pants would be a staple! I absolutely do recommend a capsule wardrobe.  It will save you time and money!

If you are feeling a little less than excited about back to school shopping this year, I suggest you create a list of those items you need frequently and find your go to places. Make the trips fit into your schedule (online early morning or late evening or that shopping center near to that extracurricular activity). Maybe even try a capsule wardrobe. It's never too late to become an SLP fashionista (#dreamer)!
I guess I spent my summer without regard for this little blog.  Maybe I didn't have much to say about speech therapy as my mind needed a break from the plummeting finale of the school year. Now that my anxiety is building about going back to speech in just over a week, I thought I would reflect on how I spent my summer.


First and foremost, I am a mother to three active children. From lacrosse, karate, cheerleading, swimming, gymnastics, horseback riding, theater, running, and soccer, I keep myself busy packing and driving across town for various events. On the weekends, I spend as much time as I can on Lake Erie involved in boating, tubing, swimming, and beach bumming with my family and friends (oh and my labradoodle, Piper). My house is not nearly as tidy or organized as I once relished. Some days I feel like I am going to explode managing activities and temperaments, so I remind myself that these days will be gone all too soon which is when they will be missed.

                    

I attended my first ASHA Connect conference in New Orleans in July. Ever since I started blogging and through my endeavors on Teachers Pay Teachers, the unforeseen benefits have been my strong connections with SLPs across the country. I had absolutely no idea that these SLPs, some known as Splitcoast Speechies, would become some of my closest friends, despite being miles away. Sharing, not only speech and language discussions, but also life events daily is something in which I look forward through our social media connections.  It reminds me of my sorority in college, a group of women there for you at the exact time in which you need. For me, ASHA Connect, was a time to connect with my Splitcoast Speechies in real life. The memories (and the taste of the cookies at Willa Jean's) will remain forever!





In between shuttling kids, beach bumming and traveling, I spent some time creating materials that will help me in my back to speech transition this year. (I also cut a lot of laminate.) During the last school year, I spent an increased amount of time pushing my services into classrooms. I intend to increase this service delivery even more, so I thought about what I might need to support this change.

While I hope to have the time to share about my classroom-based therapy services throughout the year, I want to first show you some materials that I know will be my go-to materials.

   

This Back to Speech and Language Lap Book will be created during my first (and second) week in speech with many of my 1st-5th grade students. I always enjoy refreshing my memory of student interests and family structure to continue to build that rapport. I also want to discover their preferred learning style and review therapy goals. This lap book includes all of these activities, while also supporting data collection, strategy use, and home practice.


Carrier Phrases for Increasing Utterances is a freebie that I use consistently within my phonology therapy sessions. Even kindergarten students are ready for reading sight words and developing independence!  You can read more about how I use these phrases here.

   

Essential Visuals for Speech Therapy is a labor of love I just recently finished. Over my almost 20 years, I have collected and created many visuals to use with my students. I wanted these ready for classroom use and not all over my speech room. I kept putting this organization off...until I realized that when I was in the classroom, I did not have all my visuals with me when needed during therapy. I learned that unexpected therapeutic moments happen in the classroom. There were numerous times that I wished I had that one visual to support the student. I will be armed with my ring of visuals and accordion file of brightly colored copies to keep with the student in the classroom.


Over the last several years, I have found myself obsessed with using books in therapy. You can read examples of how I use books in therapy here or here. What I discovered, when pushing into classrooms, is that books are everywhere and teachers and students are reading real literature all the time; however, I couldn't possibly keep up with which book was being read in which class at what time, even though I might have resources to support that book. It was also quite apparent when I saw my stack of books, in which I wanted to create companions, was constantly toppling over waiting for its chance to receive a book companion:)! So, I chose the template from my most recent companions and created an open-ended Speech Therapy Book Companion for use with any book. The best news...I could use the created resources seamlessly with that stack of books. I can just imagine how those books feel now:).

Summer was good. Routine and back to speech will equally be welcomed. If you don't hear from me as often as I might like to share, please don't give up on me. I'm going into this school year with all my children in school full-time in three different schools in three different cities. The extracurricular activities will remain a large part of their lives, as well, and of course many of you know the demands of a full-time SLP in the schools takes a significant amount of brain power, energy, and organization. And if I discover tips to help the busy SLP mom, I will sure try my best to share!
Summer break has arrived and although I plan to turn off my SLP brain and relax for a good portion of my summer, therapy finds seem to always catch my attention, even on vacation! All of my children have enjoyed 'I spy' type books. We have acquired a collection, so while I was once again cleaning out a bookshelf, I found myself tempted to pull these unique books for my therapy room rather than find a place for them back on the shelf. This is a habit of mine and my children will often inquire about their missing items or even ask when a new item is bought if it is indeed for my therapy room. Hmmm.  Maybe? Caught once again!


So today, I am blogging about using I spy type books during a therapy session. First, here are a few from my collection.

Disney addicts like us would obviously have an assortment of princess and movie-themed books.


This Usborne The Great Castle Search book (no affiliation) was given to my son by his grandmother after she visited the British Isles years ago. The vocabulary in this book is rich with historical references and could be of high interest to many students.



I also have a collection of Highlights magazines (no affiliation) which are always a place for hidden picture scenes for more spying fun!



Now let's discuss some therapy ideas for using I spy/look & find/hidden picture type books with your students.

Incorporate these books into your themed-therapy planning coordinating with the book topic/theme (e.g. beach, castle, monsters). The images will provide visual supports to enhance the vocabulary development of the target thematic vocabulary.

Increasing utterance length. Use carrier phrases (like these) to aid expansion of sentences as your students search and find items.

Asking and answering questions. Do you see?  Can you find?  Where is ...? What can you do with?

Defining and describing items using category, function, and attributes. You can also practice associations.  What goes with ...?

Compare and contrast. Choose two images and discuss similarities and differences.

Listening comprehension and recall.  Usually the text in the book contains a short story on each page for practice with listening to text.

Search and find for target articulation sounds. Give the student a target speech sound and have him find and say the items to practice articulation targets.

Additionally, have students create their own list of items for peers to find. Give the student category, defining feature, or speech sound constraints when creating. This is great for expanding expressive language and vocabulary.

You can even incorporate technology by using a search and find app, such as Highlights Hidden Pictures App (no affiliation) or allowing students to use a camera to take a close-up picture of their discovery within the books.

What other ways would you incorporate these types of books in your therapy?

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