January 25, 2016

Activity of the Week: 1/25/16

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to share what kind of activities I am offering my students, as well as reference different therapeutic and compensatory strategies I am targeting.  Not only will this practice help me go back and have a "catalogue" of all the various offerings that I am exploring with students, but it can also hopefully help any other SLPs out there who might be looking for something to do with their students and give them ideas for school-based therapy.

One of the things I like to do with my students is pick ONE overall, structured theme or activity and tie all lessons to that activity if possible.  In other words, I might have the activity of Grannie's Candies game as a reinforcer while every student that plays will practice their targeted goal when it is their turn, be it an articulation, fluency, or language student.  Some weeks I offer homework assignments that are specifically tailored to each student and his/her goals.  Sometimes we do a week where all we do is iPad practice, with evidence or research-based apps that are targeting goals for each student.

This week we are doing Mini Mystery stories:

They are by Remedia Publications.  I got this book from another SLP friend who was selling many of her school-based products because she was in a medical rehab setting and didn't see herself working with children any time soon.  She needed to empty her garage and I, as a new clinician, needed as many therapy materials as I could get my hands on! Win-win!

I also paired this activity with some great strategy reminder cards by: Autumn Bryant. Each of my students made a set of reminder cards for themselves depending on what skill or goal they were working on.  There are cards for inferencing, comprehension, -WH questions, articulation, pragmatic language, grammar, to name a few.

Students were asked to read the mini-mystery stories out loud (especially if they are a fluency or articulation student, practicing their speech sounds at the sentence and reading level!) OR some students could hear the stories as an auditory exercise (the book came with a CD with each story narrated with sound effects).  Then, after the story is read, the students worked on the following skills while answer a variety of questions:

--Predicting answers
--Inferencing information from a text
--Answering -WH questions
--Verbal problem solving skills
--Grammar and punctuation in writing sentences
--Answering verbally for a structured speech activity for targeted speech sounds or fluency

I love it when I can use one activity to target so many goals for each student!  Once we practiced this activity in my classroom, students then take a new story and answer page home with them as extra homework practice.  When students bring back their homework signed (so I know a parent looked at it and can see what we've been practicing/working on) they get a treat from my treat box (usually filled with candy).  Homework pages also count towards our end-of-the-semester celebration party.

How do you manage your classroom and therapy structure? Do you do do the same or do something totally different? The reason I love being an SLP is because every session and every student is totally different and you can make each interaction something truly memorable! Happy speeching!

January 24, 2016

New year, new blog design!

New year, new blog look and design!  When I first began this blogging endeavor, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it.  In all honesty, it was a project of labor that began during my last course in my masters program for communication disorders, Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology.  I decided to try to continue the project to enhance my ability to share with others the nuances of this amazing profession and scope of practice.

Life events got in the way and this little blog began to collect dust, but with 2016 I hope to reinvigorate this project and give it new life... and the first step was to shed the look of the old style and enhance it with a new, polished look!  Below is what speechieevie.com looked like before, I hope you enjoy the new look and style it now represents.  Here's to a new year and new adventures!

January 23, 2016

Welcome 2016

Welcome to the new year, 2016! What a whirlwind 2015 was... as much as I had high aspirations of putting great efforts into this blog, no sooner had I decided to really grow this endeavor that I discovered I was pregnant! Thus, 2015 made for a very exciting and unpredictable year.

Picture credit: root weddings.com

In that time I successfully navigated my first 10K (the Disney Princess 10K at Epcot):

We dressed up as Haunted Mansion cast members for the run!

We also attended DragonCon in Atlanta when I was 8 months pregnant which was quite the adventure.  We cosplayed some of our favorite characters, Phil portraying Kirito from Sword Art Online (anime) and I was Khaleesi, Dani the Mother of Dragons (pregnant version) from Game of Thrones. Fun times!

Can I just say that wearing that costume and wig while being so pregnant was NOT advisable...! especially in Atlanta in early September.  I thought I would die but it was all for the good of the character and we definitely had a lot of fun.  

See, speech-language pathologists can do much more than just treat communication disorders!  While I am definitely, unequivocally dedicated to my career and making a difference to those who struggle to communicate, it is very nice to take a break from therapy, progress notes, lesson planning, materials hunting or creation, research, and everything else in-between. As with anything, having hobbies to fall back on is so important! It makes coming back to work that much sweeter in the end when we take time to take care of ourselves and enjoy the little things.