Monday, March 23, 2015

It's National Puppy Day!

My Grand-Puppy Murphy!!!
I opened my computer this morning and discovered that it's National Puppy Day! It couldn't have come at a better time, because it's been all about dogs around here at Small Talk.  Want to know what we've been doing? Great! Because I can't wait to share!

We've been playing fun games like...

Puppy Pursuit by Melissa and Doug, which is so versatile with 10 different game possibilities. My kids just love playing hide and seek with the 6 adorable puppies! They never tire of this game!

Another fun game is Diggity Dog, a color matching game great for working on colors, turn-taking, listening skills and following game rules.

I used a great book about dogs with my EET kit materials to work on organizing information from non-fiction text with my older kids:

...and this great pet hospital toy for pretend play.

But no dog week would be complete without celebrating my favorite little furry pup, Bruno!

My little buddy turned 6 years old last Thursday, so I created a whole packet of fun activities in honor of him!

It's got 8 delightfully fun activities that your kids will surely love, including Cariboo cards that can be used with your Cariboo game...

or without it by using bones to cover up the pictures if you leave them as a whole sheet, or by cutting the pictures out and hiding bones under them!

It includes 2 levels of auditory directions to make data tracking a breeze, which is something you don't often find with Cariboo card sets.

There's also a color matching game, a fun hide and seek game, an activity targeting verbs and WH questions, auditory comprehension paragraphs, a take-home book about Bruno's day, a category game and some open-ended materials.  My kids LOVED these activities and I'm sure yours will, too.  You can find it here.

Happy Puppy Day!!!


Monday, February 23, 2015

What's In My Cart Linky Party

The Teachers Pay Teachers "Teachers are Heroes" sale is just 2 days away and I am VERY excited to get some new products and save money, too.  I've been shopping around and finding some fabulous things, so I thought I'd join up with Jenna and the other SLP bloggers and share them with you.

The first item I'd like to share is The Speech Owl's No Print Spring Time Fun for receptive and expressive language.

This one covers it all - positional concepts, pronouns, negation, categories, inferencing and many more skills, and the best part is, it's no print so I can use it with my iPad!  I have her winter version of this product and love it, so this one is a MUST HAVE!

The second item I can't wait to buy is The Pedi Speechie's You Can Social Skills.  I am building my library of social skills activities and this one looks awesome!  Do you have any of The Pedi Speechie's products?  Her stuff is unique and incredibly clever.  She makes wonderful products! And this one is no prep, too.  Yes!  I love that!

My kids and parents love the Speech Summit's Sound Rings, so I am going to give this one a try:  WH-Question Rings.  I send the sound rings home for homework and the parents love them because they are so easy to use and convenient.  I'm guessing these will be a hit, too.

Here's another super convenient product in my cart:  Articulation Strips for R by Sublime Speech. These look like they would be great to send home for practice, too

So that's a look at what's in my cart.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has in theirs!

I'd like to tell you about my newest product that I'm very excited about.  It's called Fast Pace Race.

It is an articulation challenge activity for students who are moving beyond drill and practice and are moving toward skill generalization.  The students race against the clock to beat their own times in three different challenge activities and earn trophies and ribbons, each with different point values according to their performance.  My kids ask for this one again and again!  The challenges include Warm-Up Tracks...

Qualifying Races with three different levels of difficulty...

...and Face Pace Races.

This 42-page set includes challenge cards for Voiced and Unvoiced TH in the initial, medial and final positions of words, phrases and sentences, game cards and token boards as well as detailed instructions for use.  Check it out!  I'm sure your students will love it as much as mine do.  And then be on the look out...I'm working on new sound sets that will be added soon!

You can find this in my TpT store here.

So what's in YOUR cart?  Leave a comment and tell me!  I always love a good sale!!!

Click here to peek into MORE SLPs' carts!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

For the Love of Speech Blog Hop

I am excited to be participating in the For the Love of Speech blog hop!  Isn't this a fabulous way to get a whole lot of Freebies you can use for Valentine's Day???  And even better, it's a chance to visit a whole lot of amazing SLP's blogs and Facebook pages!  Isn't social media awesome?  I think so!

If you haven't visited me before, welcome!  I'm glad you're here! Let me tell you just a few things about me.  I'm a pediatric SLP with my own private practice.  I work with kids age 1 through middle school and love all things speech and language.  I've been having fun with my first ever social skills group...four boys, ages 9-12, and I realized that I really need to target perspective taking skills as well as making inferences and other critical thinking skills more in our sessions.  I made a quick little activity before Christmas where students chose presents for imaginary people based on their likes and dislikes. It was one of my favorite activities all year, because it got them all talking about another person's likes and dislikes, their own likes and dislikes, and helped them to choose something for someone else that might not be one of their own favorite things.   It really helped them to be able to take another person's perspective and make inferences about what would be the perfect gift.  You can find that freebie here in my TpT store, if you're interested.

Anyway, I wanted to make a similar activity for Valentine's Day since doing things for people you love is such a big part of this holiday.  So I created Choose the Right Valentine:  A Critical Thinking Activity.   I'm offering several pages of this activity as a FREEBIE for a limited time.

This freebie version contains four mini-character sketches that list each person's likes and dislikes, one page of Valentine Cards, one page of Kindness Coupons and two blank character sketch pages.

Students are given one character sketch and are told they need to choose a Valentine Card to give that person as well as a Kindness Coupon.  Students make their choices based on their character's likes and dislikes.  These are the Valentine Cards...

...and these are the Kindness Coupons.

After the students make their choices, they must explain to the group why they chose the cards they did.  The group decides whether or not the student made good choices.  The SLP can also ask about alternative cards and have the student explain why or why not that card would be a good selection.

This is a fabulous way to help your students think about what another person might like to receive on Valentine's Day as well as help them see why things they personally like might not be the best fit for someone else.  I am using this with a group, but it would also be great to use with just one or two students at a time.

Grab this FREEBIE here.  It will only be available today, February 1, through February 4.

Don't go yet though!  I want to tell you about the second part of this activity that is ONLY available by purchasing the full product version.

This version includes twelve character sketches (8 more than the freebie version), the Valentine and Kindness Cards, blank templates to create your own Valentine and Kindness Cards and 24 Critical Thinking Task Cards.

These task cards are designed to be used with the completed character sketches as an extension activity.  These cards provide opportunities to target problem solving, empathy, inclusion/exclusion, perspective taking, inferencing and using social graces in a Valentine's Day context.

I really LOVE this new product!  I just know you will, too.  You can find it here at my TpT store.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll visit me again soon!  But for now it's time to hop on over to Figuratively Speeching's page to show her some love.  Click on the arrow below!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Early Intervention Therapy Bag

Today I'm linking up with Kristin at Simply Speech to tell you what is in my Early Intervention Therapy Bag.

1.  My number one thing I can't live live without when working with the little ones:  BUBBLES!  Of course, not just any bubbles will do, I must have the ones from Gymboree. They are the best because the soap liquid is thicker and the bubbles last long enough to reach out an pop them. Seriously, what good are bubbles that pop immediately upon blowing???  No cheap bubbles for me.  It's not worth the frustration.  And of course, you need great bubble blowers, too.  I like ones that the kids can do themselves, like the fish pictured above, where a gentle squeeze is enough to make bubbles.  The other two blowers are ones that the kids can put in their mouths and easily blow their own bubbles.  I love these blowers!  I've used them to target so many oral-motor skills, such as lip rounding, breath coordination, and sequencing.  Unfortunately, I've had them so long that I cannot remember where I purchased them.  Bummer, because I really need a few new ones!

 2.  My favorite oral motor tools are ones that are sturdy and easy to clean/sanitize.  The NUK brush and the ARK brush are both wonderful for oral motor stimulation exercises.  The brush heads are gently textured and small enough to fit comfortably in little mouths.  I also love Chewy Tubes and ARK Grabbers.  You can find all of these items at Talk Tools.

 3.  Puzzles!  I love the wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug, which I have featured in this post, but I also love this one from Fisher Price for my littlest ones.  The pieces are easy to hold and have unique features such as a door that opens and closes, rattles and sounds.

 4.  What could be more intriguing than wind-up toys?  All the kids love this one, a wind-up Thomas the Train that goes around its own carry-along track.  This one is from Tomy, from a long time ago, so it might be hard to find.  Thankfully, mine is still in good condition!  I have a large collection of other wind-up toys, too, that also work well to target a variety of skills including turn-taking and requesting.

5.  Lift the Flap books are always popular with the EI crowd.  The Spot books by Eric Hill are some of my favorites.

6.  I love cause and effect toys that easily facilitate interaction opportunities.  I love marble mazes and car ramps, because the children quickly learn to put the ball or car at the top of the toy and let go and are mesmerized during its journey down the track.  When it reaches the bottom, I quickly grab the ball or car, and wait for the child to indicate he'd like another turn.  This type of toy never seems to get boring!  The one pictured above is another vintage toy that I've had for 25 years, but you can find similar ones in any toy store.

7.  Magic wands are always fun, just because they are!  Especially when they make a magical sound, light up and spin!

8.  Last, but not least, I love Noisy Stories by Joan and Jessica Rivard.  This book is a collection of stories that feature repetitive line text and early developing sounds. They are so wonderful for use during my sessions but also to send along with the parents for home use. You can find this book at Mayer-Johnson's website.

Thanks for checking out what's in my EI Therapy Bag.  Go to Simply Speech's page to check out what others have in their EI bags for some more great ideas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why SLPs Need TpT: Fabulous Materials!

Today I'm linking up with Speech Time Fun to tell you why I think SLPs need Teachers Pay Teachers.

I've been using Teachers Pay Teachers for a couple of years as both a buyer and a seller.  It has become my go-to resource for all things speech and language related.  There are so many amazing products available, and all at extremely reasonable prices.  The products have all been created by talented SLPs and are often just the thing I need to address a specific goal at a specific time.  The quality of all the products I've purchased is top-notch, and the kids on my caseload have loved them. It is also incredibly convenient.  All the digital products you purchase are available for instant downloading, which is a huge benefit.

I have a GIGANTIC collection of TpT materials, and if I listed them all, you'd be reading this post until Christmas!  So I think I will just tell you about several that I just can't live without.

One of my favorite sellers is Mia McDaniel. She is an incredibly creative person who creates extremely useful products.  Some of my favorites are her Tackling Apraxia Products.

I have used these with many children in countless ways.  The kids love the variety of popular characters featured in these sets, and I love that I can just print them and be ready to go.

Another favorite product I've purchased this fall is Preschool Speech/Language Probes and Data Collection by Lauren LaCour.

This tool has been enormously helpful for establishing and tracking both expressive and receptive language goals in my preschoolers.

I love to use games in treatment, and I have found some really great ones on TpT.  One of my favorites is Sizzle by Sublime Speech.

Kids turn over cards that have a letter and a category on them and have to come up with an answer that matches.  It is great for working on categorization, word associations, word finding, and processing speed.  I've used this game to target fluency, too.  I've even sent home sets of cards to be used as homework.  This is an awesome game and you NEED to add it to your collection!

Another go-to item I purchased this year was Cariboo: Year-Round Vocabulary Cards by Kari Radovich.

If you've been on social media in the last year, you know how much SLPs love the Cariboo game, and this one is an excellent resource to make that game even better.  This product includes cards to use in place of the original Cariboo cards, all organized by themes.  It is so useful!

I could go on and on about the materials I purchased on TpT.  I'm pretty much addicted and with new products being added every day, I can't see stopping anytime soon!  But I'm a seller, too, so let me tell you a little bit about my store.  I opened my store with the intent to share inexpensive materials with other SLPs, so almost all of my products are priced less than $2.00.  I love to make quick little games and materials to go along with favorite games and books.  I do not have it in me to make large, comprehensive attention span is too short, so if you're looking for those types of materials, you probably won't find them in my store.  But let me show you some of my most popular items.

Snowman Slam is a great little game for following auditory directions.  It can be used with kids preschool through first grade.  To see this game in detail, click here.  By the way, this is just one of my popular Slam! games.  Check my store for the farmyard, Santa, Valentine, picnic and Valentine versions.

My Take Out Topics are great little no-prep sets for working on carryover for R, S-Blends and CH.  View them here.  I get lots of positive feedback on these and they are only $1.00 per set!

I'd love it if you'd take a look at all my little games and materials.  I think you'll really find something useful and fun.

Please let me know why YOU love TpT!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5-Star Products for SLP's: Feed the Monkey by The Speechstress

I have had the pleasure of linking up with nine other wonderful speech language pathologists to share some amazing products with all of our readers.  We all got together, swapped products from our Teachers Pay Teachers stores, and chose one to review.   I was fortunate to have the privilege to review this one by The Speechstress.

I was so excited because I just knew I'd be able to use this one with many of the kids on my caseload. This 51-page packet includes 5 different food category games, crafts and activities designed to target a variety of common early language goals.  I really love it, and I'm sure you're going to love it, too!

The first activity in the pack is a pack of black and white worksheets called Food Sort.  

There are three different worksheets, each comparing two different food groups.  Each page contains a written objective and directions for use, as well as descriptions of each category.  The children cut out the food items on the bottom of the page and glue them in the appropriate box.  This is great activity for sorting categories, but also for working on vocabulary and and comparing and contrasting.

The next activity features a worksheet for each food group with silhouettes of food items in that group.  It includes corresponding pages with food items to cut and paste, and suggestions for use. These pages can be used as a direction following activity, talking about similarities and differences, learning attributes, and answering WH- questions.  It's so versatile, and keeps the children engaged with cutting, coloring and gluing.  So fun!

The third activity is one for comparing and contrasting food items.  It includes two cubes to cut out and assemble and a wonderful visual aid poster that gives fabulous information to help them compare and contrast the food items.  I can't wait to try this one in January when I do my Grocery Store unit! It was easy to prep and I'm sure the kids will love it!

The fourth activity is the Monkey Grocery Grab game.  This cute activity includes a cube to roll, a basket to fill, and a variety of food items to put in the basket.  Depending on the level of the children you are working with, you can either let them cut and paste the basket and cube, or you could do it beforehand.  To play the game, each child rolls his or her own cube, and finds a food item that matches the category to place in the basket.  The first child to fill his or her own basket wins!  This would be a great activity to send home with the children as homework, don't you think?  I know my students always love to take home materials they make in my speech room.

The fifth activity is the Hungry Monkey Board Game, and it is so much fun!  You attach a darling monkey face to an empty tissue box and cut a hole in his mouth to feed him.  It includes this game board and food pieces...

...and these adorable game cards.  Aren't they so cute?  You print them double-sided so they have graphics on the front and back.  What a great idea!  It makes it so easy to keep them separated at a glance.  To play, players roll the dice, move their game piece the corresponding number of spaces, and follow the direction on the space.  They draw cards, find an item that matches the description on the card, and feed the item to the monkey.  The first person to the finish line wins!  This is just so fun!  You can play this game using one set of cards, or multiple, depending on the students' needs.  

I think this is a fabulous product, and one you should consider adding to your collection.  Here's what I like about it:
  •  It's a very comprehensive, well-designed product for learning about basic food groups
  • There are both color and black-and-white activities, which is always great for saving ink
  • The graphics are neat and appealing
  • It is so versatile; I can use this product for a variety of goals and with students at a variety of skill levels
  • It includes clear directions for each activity and suggestions for use to target specific goals
  • I know the kids will enjoy using it!
If you love this product as much as I do, go to The Speechstress's Store on TpT and check it out. Please make sure to look for the green star next to her logo and click on it to become a follower so you'll get updates on all her great products.  Then go check out some more fabulous product reviews on the amazing blogs listed below!