December 27, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from Speechie Evie!

Activity of the Week: 12/12/16

IT IS SPEECH FUN WEEK! That means that we have arrived at our end-of-the-semester party.  In my last week's post, I mentioned how the party is earned through the completion of 1/2 their Mickey Mouse reward chart in their personal folders.  Each student gets to participate but their reward chart determines how long they get to celebrate, that way no students are excluded in any way.

This is what one side of my classroom looks like:

I offer two types of cookies: Oreo and Chocolate Chip (chewy) and fruit punch to drink as well.  For their sessions, students are able to pick a game or activity to play or they can choose an iPad of mine to tinker with.  I have a good selection of basic board games and activities and I usually choose items that I do not typically use for therapy tools.  I do not do any kind of formal lesson, but I do make minor prompts and corrections for things like grammatical utterances, articulation performance (depending on the level of practice for the student), and pragmatic needs.  Speech fun holiday week is a good time for me to sit back and observe students to see if they have generalized learned skills into other activities or settings or conversational speech.  In a way, I am collecting informal end of the semester baselines to compare with August performances.

Some students love to play in groups; other students like to just do "their thing."  For this week, anything goes as long as it is EARNED from hard work. 

For my special forces students, we went on a world journey and "visited" other countries to see how other cultures celebrate the holiday season at this time of the year.  I had a fun pdf presentation and then we had videos of each country and how they celebrate the Christmas season.  Each student had a personal "passport" and was given a flag to glue inside to serve as their "stamp" to show they had visited that country.  They loved it!  It was a great multi-sensory activity that had visuals, tactile and manipulable pieces, and they could personalize something to take home and share with their family.


What a fun time of the year to celebrate with students and co-workers!  To end the week, students were visited by Santa and his elf pal.

Happy holidays and have a wonderful Christmas break! 
Happy speeching!

Activity of the Week: 12/5/16

December is finally upon us, and with that festive time of the year, my special forces students worked on holiday vocabulary with these interactive books.  We got to discuss elves, Santa, and the process of delivering gifts at Christmas, we discussed basic clothing vocabulary with a fun "dress Santa" book, and we opened gifts to see and label what was inside and what the child (using pronouns he/she) got for Christmas. Here are some of the books in action:

Other groups were focused on wrapping up our semester.  December does not leave much time to really dig into therapy with all of the seminars, class events, and other activities that are going on at this time.  I like to bring out each student folder and review it with them.  Here are a few close ups of their working folders (each student has one):

Each folder contains an attendance form that helps me track if a student has had unusual absences or misses from therapy.  I try to maintain a 95-100% therapy fulfillment but sometimes things happen and sessions can't be made up (though I make every attempt possible!).  Ultimately and officially, it is up to the IEP team to decide if make up sessions are warranted for each individual student. Again, I offer make up sessions as much as possible but somethings things just happen.  Here is ASHA's official stance on the matter of making up missed sessions.  Their folders also contain collected data information from previous sessions, graphed progress (that the student tracks), and class/homework.

Students had the opportunity to graph their performance, ask questions about things they learned, review content we had discussed and practiced, tally up homework that was returned to me (important for the following week!), and discuss the reward of speech fun week party.  Each student has a Mickey Mouse reward sticker chart in their folders and they earn stickers by turning in homework, remembering their goal, and remembering to come to sessions independently.  The chart holds 30 slots, with 15 required to attend the following week's holiday party.  If students do not have enough stickers, they still get to attend the party, but they must complete a worksheet packet in order to make up the required missing work for their sticker chart.  After the short work is completed, the student can then attend and have fun at the holiday party, that way no one is excluded.

For our special forces room, we decided on the craftivity of making glitter Popsicle snowflakes. This was a great activity for vocabulary, sensory (glitter, clue), pragmatics (requesting and sharing), following simple directions, and sequencing.  We had a blast!

Next week is speech fun week and the last week of our semester!  Stay tuned for more holiday fun!

Happy speeching!

December 4, 2016

Activity of the Week: 11/28/16

This week with my special forces students we began discussing the topic of... Christmas!  One of my favorite times of the year, I love teaching holiday themed lessons with my students.  We worked on the Christmas Vocabulary interactive books by Speech Room News. Can you tell I love her products?!  Disclaimer, all therapy materials and items are purchased by me for me directly with no ties or affiliations, so my comments and remarks are truly of my own opinion.  Unless I say otherwise, I am not affiliated with any company or product and my raves are uniquely my own. So anyway, back to the holiday season... here's some snapshots of these books in action:

I will often use gestures and signing to help get attention, foster joint attention to something, or prompt for a targeted response.  Here I am using signs and a finger gesture and head nod to help this student answering with a yes or no response.

Other groups completed a review of their speech folders (I'll do a post on those and how they are set up very soon), their reward chart progress, and their classwork we've completed together.

As the semester wraps up, I like to do sessions with students that summarizes what we learned together.  Students also received a homework packet from me to earn more stickers for their reward chart.  The holiday Christmas party is coming up but must be earned through specific practices and behaviors!

I also cut the week short a tiny bit to take a few personal days to attend my best friend Lauren's Disney wedding!  She got married at the Disney Wedding Pavilion (just like us!) and it was a joy and treat to be able to spend the special day with her and her new husband George!

 Next week things are back to normal!  We will review our goals, graph progress, discuss and review the semester's work, and many other fun things as we wrap up this first 1/2 of the school year! Stay tuned!

Happy Speeching!

November 27, 2016

Activity of the Week: 11/14/16

This week's activity was a fun and old favorite; I kept the activity light and easy since it is the week before Thanksgiving break and both the students and myself are ready for a little time off from school!  We played a game called Pirate Talk by SuperDuper, Inc

 Here's a small video of the game in action:

I love it because the game play is simple (less fighting over the rules!) and it has picture cards that target a wide variety and range of language skills for both expressive and receptive goals. Here's a short snapshot of a few cards that includes skills like repetition, -WH questions, following directions, categories, inferencing, describing, and social questions.

I also used some cards from the SuperDuper, Inc game Grammar Chipper Chat so students that were working on syntax and grammatical goals could use these cards for their turn at the game.  Some examples of work included nouns, verbs, plurals, irregulars, and many, many more!

For fluency students, we worked on slow rate while speaking structured sentences and using deep full breaths before speaking. These cards came from another fluency set (to be discussed in another post). 

My articulation students worked on structured sentences with speech fundecks from SuperDuper, Inc. I guess you could say it was a SuperDuper week! I have no ties or affiliation with this company at all, but I do own many of their products and they make the "grab 'n go" style of therapy very easy to do.  The upside is that the materials are already made for you, there's absolutely no prep involved as opposed to gathering and acquiring materials from, although there are many low or no prep materials being offered now due to rising demand and request for such items.

For other groups, we utilized Speech Room News' Thanksgiving-themed interactive vocabulary books. We discussed prepositional concepts in the Where is Turkey book and food vocabulary in the Thanksgiving Dinner book.  We also looked at sentence strips with our vocabulary words like "I see a ________." for example. 

 Here is a small video of us incorporating the vocabulary books with some practice. We are also targeting joint attention, following directions, matching, and receptively labeling.

I also have a student who utilizes a Dynavox AAC device and we incorporated some of the vocabulary and concepts with the device for this activity. 

I also wanted to showcase/show off the cool project we completed for Veteran's Day.  We did this activity last week but it was pulled together into a presentation and went on display in the hallway so visiting Veterans could see it for our school production.  This is how it turned out:

I think it turned out nicely! In other news, our school also put up new signs for the teachers and staff and mine finally came in:

I love it! Sometimes it's the little things that make us so happy and excited. Especially in education. ;) Last, I spent most of my Friday planning time working and prepping homework packets for the week following Thanksgiving break:

Fun fact, I go through approximately a ream (packet) and a half of paper each time I print out homework pages for my students.  That's a lot of paper!  That is one of the (many) reasons that I only offer homework once a month, it's just too expensive and time consuming to prepare more than this! If you are a working SLP, how do you offer homework?  I am always looking for better ways to fulfill this area for my students in a functional and productive way.

Happy speeching!