Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SLPs in Vegas LInky Party

I was one of those fortunate speech-language pathologists who attended the Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Conference in Las Vegas last weekend.  It was such an amazing time of learning, inspiration and friendship that I just have to share what I took away from it!

First, let me just say that I love to create my own treatment materials and share them with you, but I am NOT a Mover or a Shaker in the TpT world. I am just a lowly little seller trying to build her store and learn some things along the way. But the opportunity came up for me to attend this conference, and I decided to go, despite the fact that I had only "met" the other SLPs in the group online. I even agreed to share a room with one of them!

My roommate, the lovely Tracy from Gold Country SLP
Meeting Tracy and all of the other amazing SLP creator/sellers was BY FAR the best thing about going to the conference. Look who I got to spend time with:

That's Lisette from Speech Sprouts...

...here's Lynda from Lynda SLP 123 with Susan Berkowitz...

...Ashley from AGB Speech Therapy and Ashley Rossi...

...Kelly from Speech 2 U (who is extremely witty and hilarious)...

...and the Fabulous Mia from Putting Words in Your Mouth! I was star-struck!!!

There were many others too, but I wasn't fortunate enough to get pics with all of them.  But here's the whole group:

We ROCKED those t-shirts, by the way. Everyone at the conference knew who the SLPs were! Here's me wearing mine on the day it arrived in the mail:

I was so excited! I had no idea what to expect before I went, but I knew it was going to be fun.

So, what did I take away from this experience besides meeting new life-long friends and colleagues? I learned A TON about marketing, the ins and outs of being a TpT seller, using social media, and product design.  I can't share any of the conference sessions' info or content, but I can tell you this: if you're a TpT seller and you want to improve your skills, GO to this conference next year. Why?

1.  Networking! Many of us SLP sellers/bloggers already belong to Facebook groups and have gotten to know each other through social media, but actually meeting these wonderful people in person is beyond compare! Even though we're all sellers competing for our share of the market, this group of ladies is incredibly supportive of each other's efforts. We talked about tips and tricks that have worked for us, laughed about failures and mis-steps, and taught each other things about PowerPoint, Pinterest and Periscope.

2.  Inspiration!  I met so many inspiring people and heard so many encouraging words from other sellers and presenters. Teachers Pay Teachers is an incredible resource for speech-language pathologists, too, and I am blessed to be a part of it.

3. Motivation! All kinds of sellers were represented at this conference. Those who are just beginning, those who (like me) keep plugging along and want to build their stores, and those who have reached the stars in their success. Regardless of where you are on this continuum, this conference provided the motivation to improve your skills as a blogger, seller and professional. I left feeling overwhelmed by my new to-do list, but at the same time, ready to move forward and grow with a clear plan in place.

I came home with my mind buzzing with new ideas, ready to put some new-found energy into my products and blog, secretly wondering how in the world I was going to juggle it all, and reminded myself that the key is BALANCE. So I took some time out to go watch some of the Special Olympic events taking place at a nearby high school on Sunday.

Wow, talk about inspiration and motivation! Those athletes are the epitome of those two words! How can I not be inspired by the athlete who stopped to pump his fist in the air to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd before crossing the finish line? Or the athlete with physical challenges who ran the race to the best of his ability, even if it meant finishing minutes behind the winner? Watching these athletes compete and succeed and observing the pride and support of their families reminded me that THESE are the lives we are impacting with our services and products. If I can make a difference for one, that is reason enough to keep going. I may finish miles behind other sellers and their sales goals, but I am going to celebrate my victories along the way.

Want to know what some of my friends took away from their time at the conference? Click on the link below!

Speech Sprouts SLPs in Vegas Linky Party

Monday, May 18, 2015

Homework Hotline Linky

I'm linking up with my friend Tracy from Gold Country SLP  to let you know about two of my products that would be fantastic to send home as homework this summer or any time of year. They are both designed to be used with preschoolers and K-1, and are completely black and white with no prep required!

The first one is my Blowing Bubbles Categories.  This one has four different activities for identifying members of categories and naming categories in three different formats: dot paint worksheets, cut and paste, and flip books, which are great for using in the car. My parents tell me they like to pull them out and use them when they're in carpool lines, or at the gas station, or anytime they find themselves waiting for a few minutes. Great idea!

The second one is a companion product that targets early developing sounds, called Blowing Bubbles Early Sounds. These print-and-go worksheets feature 5 different words per page and are great for using with dot paints, but you could cover the pictures with chips, erasers or anything else you'd like. Picture cards are also included. My families LOVE these!

You'll find both of these items in my TpT Store!

Thanks for stopping by! Now go back to Tracy's blog and visit some other talented blogger's pages to gather some more awesome homework ideas!

Monday, May 4, 2015

What's in My Cart: Teacher Appreciation Sale Linky

It's that time of year again, time for the Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation Sale! Yay! I always find some awesome products to buy at a bargain price. I've linked up with Jenna at Speech Room News to show you what's in my cart this time around.

I'm definitely going to grab Brittany's Summer Print and Go Language Pack. I've got a couple of her other seasonal print and go packs and they are AWESOME! Very versatile and very little prep, and they cover a multitude of goals. Perfect for the end of the year and all summer long!

There are two great baseball-themed products I'm looking at...

Speechasaurus' Baseball Themed Language Activities, which targets describing, WH questions, vocabulary and categories...

...and Jessica's (The Speech Space) Baseball Mania! for targeting auditory and reading comprehension.  They both look so awesome, so maybe I'll get both!

Gold Country SLP's Summer Mystery Pictures is another item in my cart.  Kids love these! And this pack includes 6900 words! I think these will be great to send home as homework.

I was lucky enough to preview this one, and it is adorable!  Be sure to check this one out!  It targets pronouns, past tense verbs and adjectives. It would also be a great one to send home as homework!

My cart is getting full, but I can't check out without this one!  Super Power Speech's Social Language Informal Assessment is a must-have!

A product I'm loving right now is my Goin' to the Zoo  Early Language Pack.

It targets all sorts of early language skills including pronouns, plurals, WH questions, basic concepts, and possessives, and even has a set of cards and directions you can use with your Cariboo game.  I used this set for two whole weeks and my kids loved it! Be sure to check it out if you've got little ones on your caseload!

So that's a look at what's in my cart.  What's in yours?  Are you still looking?  Then head back over to Jenna's site and see what some of my friends have in their cart!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chicken Soup for the SLP Soul: Funny Edition (Linky Party)

It's May, so if you're an SLP you know what that means, it's Better Hearing and Speech Month! To kick off this month that highlights what we do as professionals, Felice, our very own Dabbling Speechie thought it might be fun to share funny moments from our lives as SLPs. I think it's a great idea, so I'm linking up to tell you about one of MY funny moments.

I love to work with preschoolers, and about a year ago, an almost-two-year-old joined my caseload. He was full of personality and charm, even with a very limited expressive vocabulary. He won my heart from the start! I suspected childhood apraxia of speech, so we began to build his vocabulary using Nancy Kaufman's method of successive approximation. In this approach, the SLP models simplified word pronunciation patterns (word approximations) to the child using early developing speech sounds and sound combinations.  This approach was working well for this little buddy, and we began simplifying many words in his environment to make them easier for him to say.

My office is in my home, which is a complete blessing.  One of the perks is that each day, my little dog, Bruno greets each child as they arrive at the door. We say hello, and give Bruno a pat, and then head to his crate to safely lock him in. Next, the child feeds him a treat and then off to the speech room we go! The kids just love Bruno, and he has become a very special part of our daily routine. But his name is difficult to say for many little ones, so over the years, his name has been simplified to "Boo No" for those little ones just learning to talk.

Back to my little buddy. This little guy could say "Boo" and "No" separately, but as soon as we tried to say those syllables in sequence, he would say "NeeNew". For WEEKS we worked on blending and shaping, and still, Bruno's new name became NeeNew.  Then, my charming little friend decided that I was no longer Pam, but I was, in fact, NeeNew.  His mom and I chuckled, and resigned ourselves to the fact that I was now NeeNew, even when we prompted "Pam".  Well, one day, we were deeply engrossed in play when his mother's stomach rumbled loudly.  My buddy, who at this point was still only using single words,  sat upright in his chair and said, "What's that?" Then he looked at me and pointed and said, "NeeNew toot!" and broke into a fit of giggles. His mom and I dissolved into puddles with laughter. Not only did I bear the disgrace of being called my dog's name, but I was also falsely accused of tooting during a treatment session! Only a child could get away with that! But he DID combine two words together, so I was willing to sacrifice my dignity for his success.

What's YOUR funny story? Surely, you've got one, too. Please share it in the comments, or link up with The Dabbling Speechie here!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SLP Trading Post and Giveaway

I'm participating in Sounds Like Fun's Speech Trading Post.  A number of participating SLP's were paired up and asked to trade products from their Teachers Pay Teachers stores and then review them on their blogs.  I was so fortunate to be paired up with one of my favorite fellow SLPs/sellers, Abby Goldenstein from Schoolhouse Talk, who so generously shared her Fun in the Sun Beach Themed Speech and Language Activities with me.

First, let me just say this is one very versatile product!  Fun in the Sun is jam-packed full of bright, engaging summer-themed activities including...

...these fun flip-flop synonym and antonym cards, irregular plurals and irregular past tense verbs strips. I love treatment materials that I can put on binder rings! Those rings make life so much easier! And aren't those flip flops darling???

But I didn't have time to prepare those before I worked with this student last week, so we just opened the file on my iPad and used them there! It was so convenient to have so many targets right at our fingertips!

I also used my iPad for the Compare and Contrast Fishies activities. These pages were awesome for finding similarities and differences, and I loved how Abby included the sentence prompts. This is definitely a new twist on many of the compare/contrast materials I've seen, and I really like the format.

Another activity you'll find in this pack is this set of cards targeting vocabulary words which are commonly found on high-stakes testing. The students match the vocabulary word to its definition. One student and I have been working on high stakes testing vocabulary for the past few months using Natalie Snyders SLP's High Stakes Testing Vocabulary Product and this activity is perfect to use as a review!  I was so happy to see it included in this pack!

Fun in the Sun also includes a number of print-and-go activities that require no prep.  You'll find a Fun in the Sun board game and dot reinforcers for open-ended activities, and targeted activities like Speak and Color by Syllable, Splendid Blend Mazes for articulation of blends, Sea Life Word Search, and Fun in the Sun Fortune Tellers. I can't wait to use these! Not to mention, these will be so great to send home as homework!

I'm so glad I got to tell you about Abby's product! Isn't it great??? It's so flexible, fun, and targets so many skills that it's sure to be just what you need for many kids on your caseload.  You can enter to win a copy at the end of this post...you'll love it, too! But if you're not that one lucky winner, you can still visit Abby's store and grab a copy of your own for only $4.00.  Be sure to visit Abby's blog,  Schoolhouse Talk to see her review of the product I gave her, and a chance to win that one, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Getting to Know Your Favorite Online SLPs Linky Party

I'm linking up with Natalie Snyders for her Getting to Know Your Favorite Online SLPs Linky Party to tell you a little bit about myself.

Who am I?

I am a pediatric speech-language pathologist with 25 years experience. I am in my eleventh year of operating my own private practice, serving toddlers through middle schoolers, and loving every minute of it. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my wonderful husband. We are the parents of three boys, ages 25, 24 and 17. We have a dog, Bruno, and a cat, Bella. My oldest son is married, so I am also a mother-in-law!

I am active on both Facebook and Instagram. You can find me in both places by searching for Small Talk SLP.

What do I offer?

In my practice, I strive to make learning fun for the kids and their parents.  I love to rotate through thematic units, keeping it fresh for everyone, including me! I love to have parents participate in my sessions, and teach them how to work with their child at home. While I like to be fairly organized and like to have a plan for each session, I tend to be pretty flexible when things don't go as planned. I view adapting my goals to their needs for the day as a challenge!

In addition to serving kids in my practice, I love to create materials to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. I started my store just over 2 years ago, with the goal of sharing quick little activities with all of you at low cost. Some of my best sellers cost just $1.00 each! I have learned so much since starting my store, and now you'll find many of my products include multiple activities.  I'm especially proud of Goin' to the Zoo, an early language skills pack, and my Fast Pace Race Articulation Challenges.

My dream job?

I'm living it!  I love being my own boss, and setting my own hours. I truly love the flexibility of having a private practice! I also love being able to get to know my clients well. It's like having a great big happy family!

My 3 Favorite Things:

After my family, I love food (cooking and eating!), my garden, and being outdoors.  We have fabulous places to hike and explore nearby.

Who else should you know?

Annie Doyle of Doyle Speech Works blog. Annie's blog is always full of insight and inspiration! I have plans to meet her in person someday.  We're going to share a bottle of wine :-)

Who else have you gotten to know?  Go back to Natalie's Page to meet some other awesome SLPs!

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!!!