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'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!!!


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.