Connecting and Reflecting Over the Summer

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!

1 comment

  1. It was such an incredible honor to finally meet you in person! No awkward moments between any of us!!!
    The "lapbook" is such a GREAT idea! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!!!!
    Enjoy your last few days of summer!

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