Yearly Archives

2015

What’s Really Going on in the Speech Room?

By | SLP Insights

We’ve all heard it before…

“All that speech therapist does is play all day.”
“Their job is not stressful at all.”
“She only sees X number of students.”
“She’s just sitting in there on her computer.”
“I could do that job.  It looks so easy.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?  I know I’ve heard  them before…if not as an SLP, I surely did hear similar things when I was a teacher.  I don’t have actual statistics to support this, but I think speech-language pathologists are probably some of the most misunderstood professionals in the world…at least in the school setting.  So many people have no idea what we really do, which is why I decided to write this post.  I want to share a little bit of what’s really going on in the speech room, because you can’t always tell just by peeking in.  I am sharing 5 common statements that I have heard about my job and a brief explanation of what is really going on in each situation.  I hope it brings more understanding to our position in the schools. Enjoy!

1. “They are just in there playing.” Yes.  Yes, it does look like we are just “playing” with some of our students…especially the little ones.  But we are actually providing many, many opportunities to use language and practice speech goals.  When I’m working with a 3 or 4 year old, I don’t sit and drill.  I bring out bubbles, balls, play dough, and other toys of high interest to the student.  I use these toys to provide opportunities for my students to use language to request, comment, describe, and protest.  If we are working on specific sounds, I build in opportunities to use the target sounds into each activity.  It may look like we are just playing, but I carefully planned the “play” session to target the child’s speech goals.  I even incorporate speech goals into the games I use with my older students.  My students may think we are just playing, but it’s much more than that.

2. “She’s not busy, she’s just on her computer.” This is a tough one for some to understand, especially some teachers.  I’ve been a teacher, so I can relate.  Yes, I have time in my day where I am working on my computer.  But it’s not just checking emails and piddling around.  I have TONS of paperwork and deadlines to meet.  Speech therapy is more than therapy sessions.  We have to keep detailed documentation, write progress reports, and there’s always the endless pile of evaluation reports and IEPs to write.  We have a TON of paperwork.  I’m sure any SLP would give up their paperwork in a second and just do therapy, but the paperwork is a necessary part of the job.  So, yes, I may have paperwork time built into my schedule, but it’s because I have deadlines to meet and legal mandates to uphold.  Trust me, I’d much rather be working with students.  🙂

3. “She’s not working. She’s not even in her room.”  I’ve heard it mentioned before that if the SLP is not in her room, she’s not actually working.  This is especially hard for us traveling SLPs who may only be at a school 1 or 2 days a week.  Believe me when I say that we don’t have to be in our rooms to be working.  Many SLPs do “push-in” therapy where the therapy is done in the student’s classroom, rather than in the therapy room.  That’s one reason we may be out of the office.  We might also be in a meeting, or discussing a student’s progress with a teacher, or at one of our other campuses…or we may even be somewhere in the building trying to find the students we are scheduled to see who are not where their schedule says they should be…sigh.  It’s not always evident to others, but we are very busy…both in and out of the speech room!

4. “All they do in speech is work on sounds.” We do work on sound production, but we also address language, pragmatics, and much more.  In the school setting, most of my caseload has articulation or language goals.  My students vary from those who only have a few sound errors, to students who do not speak at all.  I have some who are learning to use communication devices.  I also have students who speak very well, but need extra help with the social aspect of language use.  I have students with a variety of disabilities and academic needs.  In other districts and settings, SLPs also perform therapy for dysphagia (swallowing), voice disorders, and cognitive functioning after strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and more.  The field is great and the needs are many.  What one person sees an SLP doing with one patient/student is not at all the only thing they do.  We address many different areas depending on the needs our students have. 

5. “That student doesn’t need speech.  They sound fine” or “I’m not going to refer that student.  They won’t qualify anyway.”  These are not exactly related to what I’m doing in my speech room, but I’ve heard both of these statements at different times over the past few years and wanted to address them.  The problem with these statements is the assumptions being made.  In many cases, teachers and/or parents assume they know whether or not a student will qualify for speech therapy services.  Frankly, in many cases, even the SLP doesn’t know if a student will qualify or not until the evaluation has been completed.  So much goes into determining whether or not a student will qualify.  Assumptions are best left off the table and teachers/parents should talk with their school’s SLP if they have any questions about a particular student.

Have you heard any of these statements made in your school?  Maybe you’re a teacher or parent whose had these thoughts about your SLP once or twice before. One of my goals as an SLP is to help people understand what I do and why I do it.  This field is so exciting and rewarding.  I get to help students experience the joy that is communication.  It’s something many of us take for granted.  It’s not an easy job, and it’s not all fun and games, but I do it because I love it.

I hope other SLPs who read this will be able to relate a little bit, and I hope non-SLPs will gain a deeper understanding of what we actually do. Feel free to share your comments/thoughts below.

Go Sequencing App Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

By | SLP Apps

I just LOVE Smarty Ears Apps.  I have several of them and use them ALL.OF.THE.TIME.  One of my favorites is Go Sequencing.  I use this app daily and just absolutely love it.  I love it so much that I decided to write a review so everyone can see how great it is.  I also have 2 FREE copies to give away at the end of this post.  Yay for fun giveaways!

Go Sequencing is a great app for working on sequencing and retelling stories.  I use it with students who have sequencing goals, but I also use it with students who have goals for generating complete sentences, recalling information from stories, and retelling.  I love the visuals and ease of use, and my students love the graphics and being able to see their own progress.

When you first enter the app, you are prompted to enter or select players.  You can use this app with one or multiple players.  When using it in a group, each student works on their own level. The app automatically starts each player at level one, but you are able to modify this before beginning play. Just click the “Modify” button and select which level you would like your student to be on.  Each level targets different skills, from answering “What happened first/last?” to sequencing 6 steps with text+audio (no pictures). You can even build your own custom sequences!

Each turn begins by presenting the sequence to the student.  The cards are shown one at a time as the story is told along with each card.

Then the child has their opportunity to respond.  Responses vary depending on what level the child is on.  On Level 1, children will answer questions about what happened first/last in the sequence (pictures are provided).  In higher levels, the child will put the pictures in the correct order.  Some levels provide pictures for sequencing and some only provide text depending on the level of difficulty.  The app automatically keeps track of the child’s progress, which you can review in the reporting center (see below).

As the child progresses through each level, rewards are earned.  There are rewards for earning stars and completing different levels.  You can track the child’s rewards in the Reward Center.

At the end of each level,  a screen will pop up showing how the child performed on that level.  You can have the child remain on the current level for additional practice, or proceed on to the next level.

In the reporting center, you are able to view each child’s progress, print completion certificates, and access the reward center.  Information from the reporting center can also be shared by email or uploaded to the Therapy Report Center App (free download).

What I love about Go Sequencing is how easy it is to set up and get started.  I also love that it tracks progress automatically so I don’t have to keep data on a separate sheet of paper.  Results are automatically added to the report center after each level is completed.

My students ask to “play” this app all the time (they just think they’re playing, but they’re actually working on goals).  They love it so much!

I highly recommend this app!  It’s definitely one of my favorite purchases!  You can get more info on Go Sequencing on the Smarty Ears website and you can purchase it in the app store.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!  I am giving away 2 FREE copies of Go Sequencing.  This is a $22 app, and you have the chance to win it for FREE!

There are two ways to win: One winner will be selected from those who enter in the Rafflecopter below.  The other winner will be selected from those who enter on Instagram.

To enter on Instagram (one entry per person):
1. Follow me (@TalkinWithTwang)
2. Like my post
3. Tag a friend in the comments

To enter here use the Rafflecopter below.  Winners will be selected on Sunday.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Ways to Bring Holiday Fun Into the Speech Room

By | Speech Therapy Ideas


I just love this time of year.  Holiday decorations are up, people are (generally) cheerful, kids (and teachers) are getting excited about the upcoming winter break, and we get to have fun with holiday activities.  I’m always looking for ways to bring the fun into my speech room.  This year, I decided to share some of my favorite activities for bringing the holiday fun into the speech room […]

1. Speech Room Elf on a Shelf – We have an elf at our house (Jingles) and I have several friends who are SLPs and/or teachers who have brought the fun of the elf into their classrooms.  I have not been able to “adopt” a speech room elf yet myself, but I think some of my students would absolutely LOVE to have one in the room.  Just think of all the great language you could work on each day while they look for the elf.  I’m thinking pronouns, prepositions, etc. A Google search for speech or classroom elf will yield TONS of great ideas for using an elf in your speech room.  Click HERE to see an older post from Jenna at Speech Room News about how she used her elf in speech. 

2. Use winter/holiday themed apps – I love the Articulate It app from Smarty Ears and it has themes you can change throughout the year.  The theme I am using now is the Christmas theme.  My students love that I can change the theme and get more into the holiday spirit. I also love Toca Hair Salon Christmas (free).  We use it to elicit language and also for reinforcement.  So fun!

3. Hide the present – this is another fun way to get students into the holiday spirit.  Place your activity for the day (artic cards, game, worksheets, etc.) into a wrapped box (with a lid for easy opening) and hide it before each session.  Have the students look for the present at the start of each session.  This will give them some excitement and curiosity as they open the gift to see what activity they will doing that day.

4. Craftivities!  I love doing craftivities in speech.  It breaks up the typical routine and gives students a finished product that they can show off to their class, teachers, and family…and gives them something to use for practice at home!  There are so many Christmas/winter/holiday themed craftivities out there.  An easy one to do is just a large piece of green construction paper cut into a triangle (tree) with circles of different color construction paper for ornaments.  I print out small pictures that go with my students goals (target phonemes, verbs, pronouns, vocab, etc.) and they just glue them onto the ornaments and then onto the tree. Another great craftivity can be found over at Allison’s Speech Peeps (pic below is from her blog).

http://speechpeeps.com/2012/12/christmas-speech-craftivity-freebie.html

5. Christmas/Holiday books – There are so many great holiday books for children and so many book companions on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I love to bring at least one holiday book into speech and base the lesson around the story.  One of my favorite Christmas stories is Oh, What a Christmas! I’ve been working on a book companion for this story, but it won’t be ready this Christmas…be sure to check back!

Happy Holidays!

December Lesson Plans & Activities for Speech & Language

By | SLP Resources

December is such a crazy month and I am always scrambling to get things done.  To help with prep time, I decided to plan for the next three weeks all at once.  I really want to use some of the great products I have purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers, so this was my chance to sift through my purchases and get organized.  I don’t have any winter or holiday themed products in my own store, so I’m relying on my fellow TPTers for activities this year.  I have so many great items already purchased and a FULL cart for the Cyber Monday sale and I can’t wait to use them. (Quick reminder: The sale is on Mon, Nov 30 – Tue, Dec 1.  Use the code SMILE at checkout to save an additional 10% off all purchases).

I am sharing a pdf of my plans HERE (dropbox link, but you do not need a dropbox account to view).  It’s not fancy, but it does have clickable links to each of the products I will be using.  Feel free to download and use it as a guide for your planning.

Here are some of the things we will be using in speech over the next few weeks […]

 For Articulation:
The Peachie Speechie’s Holiday M&M Challenge – My students love these because they get to take their candy home with them at the end of the session. I love them because it helps us keep track of our trials and get 100 in each session. I will pair this activity with my articulation cards and apps. 

TLC Talk Shop’s Winter Open Ended Games – This will work great paired with my articulation apps on the iPad and my articulation cards (which I will use for data collection before break).  I love the different activities included.

Teaching Talking’s Roll, Say and Color sheets from her Winter Themed Articulation Packet – These are great because all of my kiddos can have their own page for their target sound, but we can all do the same activity…and they can take their finished product home to practice their words.

Speech in  Bag, also by The Peachie Speechie – My kids will love decorating their bags with colors and holiday stickers.  Then they will get to take them home to practice over the break.

With my phonological students I will be using Kristine Lamb’s Grab N’ Go Phonological Processes.  I love how organized these packs are.  Just grab and go!

For Language:
Speech Therapy Fun’s No Print Christmas Language and Articulation – I am so excited to have a no print activity to use on the iPad or computer.  It has several different activities included, but my students will be working on pronouns, wh- questions, and categories.

Panda Speech’s No Prep Christmas Language – This packet includes print an go sheets for a variety of goals.  I’m especially excited about this one!

I also have several middle school aged students.  These groups will be using The Peachie Speechie’s I Mustache You a Question Conversation Starters.  We will be working on articulation carryover, as well as conversational skills and social skills.  I will be collecting data and recording progress using The Speech Bubble’s Social Language and Pragmatics Rubrics

My middle schoolers will also be working on multiple meaning words using the Middle School Multiple Meaning Words Bundle by Natalie Snyders.

I’m still looking for a quick, holiday activity for my middle school students to complete, but our sessions are so quick I may not have time for one.  Comment below if you have any suggestions!

What’s in Your Cart {Linky}

By | Teachers Pay Teachers
http://thespeechroomnews.com/2015/11/cybermondaywhatsinyourcart.html

It’s time for a Teachers Pay Teachers site wide sale! That means I’ll be shopping!  I’m linking up with Jenna at Speech Room News to share some of the products I think you should grab during the sale.  My store, along with many others, will be on sale for 20% off.  Plus, you can use the code SMILE to save an additional 10% off your purchase at checkout.  The sale will be […]November 30-December 1. Happy shopping!

From my store: Talkin’ with Twang you will want to be sure and get my Articulation Sudoku pack.  It includes 63 pages of printable Sudoku pages to target a variety of phonemes in a variety of positions.  I like to bind mine into a book and copy the pages I need for sessions/homework.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Print-and-Go-Articulation-Sudoku-2201820

Also be sure to check out my Articulation Scenes packet.  These scenes are loaded with pictures targeting specific phonemes.  Grab it now and you will get all additions to the product for FREE.  I plan to add many more pages in the future.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Scenes-1549728

You will also want to check out my newest product, Themed Sounds in Syllables Practice. This packet helps make practicing sounds in syllables fun!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Themed-Sounds-in-Syllables-Practice-2231360

I will also be shopping!  Here are some of the items I plan on getting during the big sale.

Winter Holidays: Open Ended Games by TLC Talk Shop

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Holidays-Open-Ended-Games-2221095

No Prep Christmas Language Pack by Panda Speech

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/NO-PREP-Christmas-Language-Pack-Speech-Therapy-ELA-2229750

 No Print Christmas Language & Articulation by Speech Therapy Fun

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Christmas-Language-Articulation-Games-No-Print-2212933

Articulation Secret Codes by Kiwi Speech
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Secret-Codes-1846841

Core Word of the Week by Speech Room News

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/AAC-Core-Word-of-the-Week-Set-1-1925411

Happy shopping!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About This SLP {Linky}

By | My SLP Story

Happy Thanksgiving Break y’all!  I am writing from sunny San Diego where I’m celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.  For this post, I’m linking up with The Speech Space to share 5 little known things about me.  So let’s dive in […]

1. I have a background in theater.  I actually got my bachelor’s degree in theater.  I went to the University of California, San Diego, which is one of the top three theater schools in the country.  I did a little acting and really enjoyed it, but I was actually a pretty good stage manager…probably because I’m so organized.  While I did not pursue theater as a profession, I still love going to shows and try to attend performances when I can.

2. I jumped out of the first plane I ever flew on.  Yes. I have been skydiving.  Growing up, I didn’t travel far from home, so I had never been on an airplane.  But when I turned 18 I went skydiving.  It was fantastic…but it was also my very first plane ride ever.  I think I was so in awe of being up that high in the sky that I didn’t really think the whole jumping thing through.  But I loved it.  Such a thrill.  And for a while I could tell people that I had been in a plane, but never landed in one!

3.  I’m a complete Disney fanatic.  It’s true.  I love all things Disney.  Disneyland, Disney World, Disney cruises, shows, merchandise, songs, you name it.  If it’s Disney, I will love it.  I think my daughter is a little embarrassed by me, which is sad because she’s only 8!  But I am a forever Disney fan, no matter how old I get.

4. I teach Sunday School at my church.  I have the 1st and 2nd graders and we have such a good time together.  I just love teaching Bible stories to the little guys.

5. I moved halfway across the country for love.  Call me crazy, but I did it and am glad I did.  I met my husband in San Diego when he was just out of the Navy.  He was from Texas and moved back after we started dating.  I was young and in love and just up and moved.  But we’re going strong and will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in January.

So there you have it.  Now that you know a little more about me, head over to The Speech Space and see what others are sharing about themselves.  Thanks for stopping by!

ASHA Recap with “The Twang”

By | ASHA

I’m back to reality after ASHA and I have to say, it was AMAZING!  I had so much fun, so I decided to share a quick recap with all of you.  If you were there (or have ever attended an ASHA convention), you probably understand how much fun it was.  If you were unable to attend, hopefully you can live vicariously through all the posts myself and other bloggers have shared, and make plans to attend one in the future.  It’s definitely a great time […]

I flew in to Denver on Wednesday evening and had the privilege of rooming with the fabulous Mandi from Panda Speech.  It was too late to start the ASHA festivities, so we had some dinner and got settled into our room so we could be ready to go first thing Thursday morning.

Thursday started with the opening session, which was a great intro to ASHA.  I enjoyed it very much and was just a tad disappointed to find out it didn’t count for any CEUs (although since I’m a CF I still don’t really NEED any CEUs yet).  After the opening session I headed over to check out the exhibit hall, where I may or may not have stayed most of the day.  It’s just too easy to get caught up in all the fun of the booths and giveaways!

I enjoyed talking to different folks in the exhibit hall and entering all of the fun giveaways.  I met some of the SLP Bloggers at their booth, stopped by Jen’s Speech Therapy Fun booth, and posted a TON of pictures on Instagram.  It was so fun to share my adventures and see what everyone else was up to.  We all used #ASHA15 and could keep up with all the ASHA happenings that way.  I posted so many that by the end of the convention, there were other exhibitors who started to recognize me and greeted me by “The Twang” (from my handle, Talkin’ with Twang).  It was a lot of fun.  And, all of my running around the exhibit hall did pay off because I won a few giveaways.  One of which was $100 iTunes card from The Speech Wizard.  Thank you to them!

 I also stopped by The Peachie Speechie’s booth (several times) and picked up some great t-shirts and even got tattooed!

I also picked up some goodies to give away.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram so you can enter.  Details will be posted soon.

Thursday night, we stopped by the SLP Bloggers meet and greet, which seemed to be a big hit!  There was a nice crowd and tons of giveaways.  Thanks to the SLP Bloggers for hosting that event and for the $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers I won.

On Friday, I did make a point to attend several sessions.  I really liked the session I attended on using recasting to increase comprehensibility in students with Downs Syndrome.  Very interesting.

I also got to help work the Smarty Symbols booth on Friday, which was a lot of fun.  I just love Smarty Symbols and use them with my students as well as in my products, and it was an honor to be able to represent them at ASHA.

Friday night, we attended the ASHA Tweet Up with Gift of Gab Resources.  That was a ton of fun and I got to meet the beautiful face behind @ashaweb on Instagram.

On Saturday, I attended a few more sessions and finished out the day wandering the exhibit hall and getting to know some of my fellow SLP friends.  I also attended the closing party Saturday night, where I got to spend some time with Speech to the Core and some great ASHA and NSSLHA people.

The days flew by and my brain definitely felt over loaded and over stimulated at times, but I would go back in a second!  I learned a lot, made some great friends, and got to take a glimpse into the vast world that is everything ASHA.  I don’t know if I will be able to attend every year, but I will definitely be back sometime in the future.

Did you attend ASHA?  Feel free to share some of your experiences in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!

Once Upon a CF…

By | My SLP Story

This is a tale of an overconfident SLP Intern who quickly learned she did not know as much as she thought she did…

Yes.  Yes, it’s true.  When I completed my SLP graduate program (a mere 2 months ago), I thought I was ready to be on my own.  During my two years of grad school, I gained so much experience working both as an SLP Assistant and as a graduate student clinician.  I clocked well over the required practicum hours and planned all of my therapy sessions.  I had great supervisors who prepared me well.  I was great with time management and even had time to start my very own Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I was feeling confident and ready for my very own caseload.  Who needs a CFY…I was ready for that CCC!

Fast forward 2 months and here we are […]
News flash: I don’t know as much as I thought I knew.  We are only 2 1/2 months into the school year and I am exhausted.  Being a CF is hard work!  I’m really not doing anything new, but I am feeling the pressure of being responsible for deadlines, paperwork, and decision making without having the safety net of a supervisor right beside me every day.  It’s a bit more stressful.

Don’t get me wrong…I still have a supervisor/mentor and she’s great.  She’s the best I could ask for, but I have had to call/email her way more than I would have predicted.  Sorry, Sharon!  Just when I think I have things down, some unique situation pops up and I’m emailing/calling again.  Overall, things are going well and I don’t think I’ve messed anything up too bad, but I have felt overwhelmed at times and a bit stressed out.

Reflecting over the past 2 1/2 months has led me to write this post.  I’ve done some self-reflection and came up with a list of things I think are important to remember as I move through the reminder of my CFY and into my career as an SLP.

1. The learning doesn’t end with graduation.  Every situation, every child, every challenge, every failure and success will bring opportunities for learning and growth.  I plan to embrace all of my experiences and use them to help me become a better SLP and a better person.

2. You have a supervisor for a reason…don’t be ashamed to seek their help/advice.  There is a reason we are not sent out to be SLPs on our own right away.  The CFY is a great way for us to jump right into the pool, but with a lifeguard standing by to help us if needed.  I’m so thankful I have a great supervisor who is approachable and helpful.

3. There is an endless supply of resources available and waiting to be used.   I am so thankful for all of the great resources available to me as an SLP Intern.  Of course, I have my text books and class notes, but there is so much more out there, too.  I have discovered a great support system through SLP Facebook groups, bloggers, and long distance SLP friends.  And don’t forget about all the online webinars and professional development opportunities.  There’s just so much available to us!

4. It will get easier.  I know there will always be challenges, but I also know I will find my groove.  I am looking forward to discovering my niche.  As I get more comfortable being on my own, I know it will get easier to manage all of the day-to-day “stuff” that comes with the job and I will grow into being a fabulous SLP.

5. You are not alone. Every year, every graduating class brings a new batch of SLP Interns who are in the same boat.  Every CF experience is different, but it’s something we all must go through.  In my moments of panic and stress I try to remind myself that others have survived the CFY and I will, too.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with others and hearing their experiences, too.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  Are you also completing your CF?  How’s it going?  Are you an SLP supervisor?  What advice do you have for us newbies?

Reflection: Choosing Service Time for Speech Students

By | My SLP Story

Lately, I have found myself reflecting on the amount of speech time each of my students receives.  As I acquire new students and re-evaluate IEP goals and objectives, I need to decide on the best service delivery time to meet my students’ needs.  I decided to write a post about the process of deciding on service delivery time for speech.  This is a moment of self-reflection for me, but may be helpful to others also […]

When I start thinking about how much speech time a child  needs, I always look at two very important points first:
1. The chronological and/or developmental age of the child, and
2. The goals and objectives I have written for the child.

The age of the child is a huge factor in making my decision about how much speech time the child  should receive.  I always take their actual chronological age into consideration, as well as their developmental age.  If the child is very young, I don’t usually propose a speech time longer than 20 minutes.  The little ones I see tend to lose focus around the 20 minute mark and it can be difficult to fill more than 20 minutes with enough activities to keep them engaged the entire session.  But…it depends on the individual child.  I have had some pre-k students who I could keep for 30 minutes at a time and they did great.  The same is true when looking at developmental age.  I may see a 10 year old, who is closer to the age of 3 or 4 developmentally.  They may benefit from shorter sessions as well. 

The other big factor I take into consideration when assigning speech time is the child’s goals and objectives. I never, ever decide on a speech time before my goals and objectives are written.  This is so important because the service time needs to be appropriate for the needs of the child.  If I have written a lot of goals for the year, I may propose 2 or 3 30 minute sessions per week.  I generally stick with 2 sessions per week, unless I have a child who really needs more than that.  If a child has just a few goals, they may not need 2 sessions a week, or they may need 15-20 minute sessions as opposed to 30 minutes.  Again, it all depends on the needs of the students.

Another piece of service delivery time we need to decide on is the frequency of the sessions.  I prefer to see my students for 2 or 3 days a week.  I usually save my one day a week sessions for students who are working on maintenance/carryover of a skill and just need a weekly push to keep at it.  Otherwise, I tend to stick with 2 sessions per week.  In an ideal world, I would love to see all of my kids every day of the week, but this is just not realistic.  I always keep in mind how much class time they will be missing when they come to speech, as well as how frequently I am on their campus.  I travel between different districts and it’s not always possible to be on every campus every day of the week.  Sessions 2 or 3 times a week are generally appropriate and what I will most often recommend.

The most important thing to remember when proposing speech time for your students is that it is always an individual decision based on the needs of the student.  It’s very easy to get into a habit of giving every student 2 20 minute sessions a week, or 2 30 minute session a week.  But we have to remember to select our time based on what the child needs, not what fits into our schedule best.  If we can keep this is mind, and communicate that with parents and teachers, we will be able to better serve our students. 

By | Uncategorized
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New Blog – Check it Out!

By | My Historic Blogs
www.talkinwithtwang.com 
 I have a new blog and a new name!   
If you follow Beautiful Speech via email, thank you so much!  Now that I have a new blog, you will need to head over to Talkin’ with Twang and sign up to follow by email so you don’t miss out on any future posts. 
I do have a new blog giveaway planned, so be sure to follow me over there so you will be the first to find out about it.  
If you follow me on other social media sites, you don’t need to do anything.  I was able to keep all of my original followers.
Thank you so much and I’ll see you over at Talkin’ with Twang!
www.talkinwithtwang.com

Speech & Langauge Screeners Linky Party

By | SLP Resources
http://twinspeechlanguageandliteracy.com/speech-and-language-screeners-linky-party-freebie/


Thank you to Twin Speech Language & Literacy for hosting this great linky focusing on speech and language screeners.  There are so many times when I have needed a quick screener and just didn’t have time to search for a good one.  Now I won’t have to search because there are several SLP bloggers who have linked up to share their screeners.  I have an articulation screener that I use often and wanted to share, too.  My screener is designed to be used by other SLPs, as well as classroom teachers who are in the process of gathering information for a possible referral […]

SLPs often complete informal screenings on students before a formal referral is completed.  Every district has different guidelines on when an SLP can complete a screening.  Some do whole class screenings for younger students at the beginning of the year and some do not.  Sometimes a district does not want the SLP to screen a student until a formal referral has been completed and consent from the parents has been obtained.  In this case, the teacher may need to conduct the screening or gather specific information on the child’s articulation development to help determine whether a referral will be appropriate.

My screener was designed for SLP use, but also simplified enough that a classroom teacher could use it as a way of gathering more info for the SLP prior to the formal referral.

This product includes:

*Stimulus pictures for 47 target phonemes, including blends and clusters.  Most phonemes have stimulus items for the target sound in word initial, medial, and final position (when applicable).

*A recording sheet with an area for the SLP to make notes/analyze 
the results to help plan future action. 
*A phoneme development chart to use as reference.
*Detailed instructions for teacher use 
(SLPs may want to use the screener more specifically).
You can find my Teacher Friendly Easy Articulation Screener in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE
Also, be sure to head over to Twin Speech Language & Literacy to check out all the other screeners.  There are some really good tools over there!  

Welcome to My New Blog!!!

By | My Historic Blogs
Welcome to my new blog!  I have been laying low on social media this month while I transitioned over to my new blog and it has been so difficult!  I have wanted to post and share every day, but I was waiting for the blog to be ready and now I am excited to share it with you all.  I want to thank Blogs Fitfor a Queen for designing my new blog.  They really did a fantastic job and I HIGHLY recommend them for all of your blog design needs. Thank you Blog Queens!
A few months ago, I began thinking about a blog change.  I really liked “Beautiful Speech,” but there were several things that got me thinking about a change.  The biggest reason for my name change was that the name “Beautiful Speech” was already taken on several social media sites (I had to use “BeautifulSpch”) and I was unable to take ownership of beautifulspeech dot com.  I also wanted something with a little more personality and Talkin’ with Twang was just perfect. (Shout out to Jenna Rayburn at Speech Room News for helping me come up with the new name….isn’t she amazing?) These reasons, among others, were what convinced me to go ahead and make the switch.  And I am LOVING the new blog so much!
Eleven years ago I moved from San Diego, CA to a very small town in Central Texas.  I immediately embraced the small town Texas life and have loved every day I have lived here.  Speech therapy in rural Texas can bring some interesting moments and challenges that you may not find in more urban areas.  I hope to share some of my Texas speech adventures with you through my blog posts. 
I also love creating materials to use with my students and hope that others may find use for them as well.  The main purpose of every product I create is to fulfill a need I have in my therapy room.  I always work from my caseload, but try to make my products general enough that others can use them, too.  Not everything is Texas/southern themed, but I do hope to create some new products over the next few months that will showcase my new theme of Talkin’ with Twang.  I am looking forward to sharing a bit of my small town Texas life with you and hope that you may be able to add a little southern twang to your speech room, too! 
Thanks for stopping by! 

Back to School (Internet) Scavenger Hunt

By | Fun Activities For Speechies

It’s back to school time!!! This is always such an exciting time of the year.  I love school shopping, decorating my speech room and the overall joy and excitement that comes with a fresh start to a new school year.  I also LOVE scavenger hunts.  What better way to celebrate back to school than with a scavenger hunt?

http://bit.ly/1Mc0Jbc

This scavenger hunt is not your typical hunt.  Instead of gathering items or pictures, you will be looking for “secret” words.  The google doc (listed below) has all of the instructions and hyperlinks to a variety of different SLP sites.  Some will be blogs, some will be Facebook pages, and some might be Instagram pages.  Your job is to visit each link and find all of the secret words (one for each link).  Once you have gathered all of the words, you will use them to enter the rafflecopter below for the GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!  This is a great prize y’all.  Our grand prize winner will receive: $25 Amazon gift card, $25 Teacher Pay Teachers gift card, $25 iTunes gift card, a free app from Smarty Ears, a free app from Language Learning Apps, LLC, and several free products from some of our awesome SLP bloggers.  What a great prize!

As you are collecting your secret words, we hope you will enjoy learning more about your favorite SLP bloggers, meet some new bloggers, and you may grab some goodies along the way.  There are so many SLP bloggers who have great information to share.  We hope you enjoy getting to know us.  If you read something interesting, be sure to leave a comment for that blogger.  We love getting comments from our readers!  🙂

Ready to start?  Click HERE for the instructions and links. (All links should be live by 10:00pm central time on Saturday, August 8.)

Once you have found all of your words, enter the rafflecopter below.  Enter by midnight on August 14 (Central Time). Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Funny Directions {App Review & Giveaway}

By | SLP Apps

I hope everyone is  enjoying their last few weeks of summer.  My summer break is officially over.  I went back to work on August 3.  I won’t actually see students until the end of the month when school starts, but we are all back at the office.  I have been busy prepping for back to school and shopping the big Teachers Pay Teachers sale.  Now I am going to take a few minutes to share an app review with you and give you a chance to win a FREE copy (see below to enter).  The app is Funny Directions and it’s brought to you by Speecharoo Apps.

You will love this app if you have any kiddos who are working on goals for following 1, 2, or 3 step directions.  It offers a simple way to practice listening and following directions, while playing and having fun on the iPad.  And we all know kids love to be on iPads.

When you first open the app, you are greeted by the cute little Speecharoo kangaroo.  You can then proceed to the home screen where you will select your practice level.

There are 4 practice rooms to choose from.  Each room has options to practice following 1, 2, or 3 step directions.  Simply click on the corresponding balloon to enter the desired room.

Once you are in the room, you will see a variety of items spread about.  Each set of directions will be presented one at a time, up to 10 trials.  The directions are presented in both verbal and written forms, but you can turn each on/off to meet the needs of your students.

After the child  has successfully followed the direction presented, the item will activate and do something (make a noise, or move).  If the wrong item is selected, the directions will repeat until the correct item is touched.  After 10 trials in one room, our cute kangaroo friend will appear with a screen that says “Great job!”  He will hop around releasing balloons from his pouch, which the child can pop as they float up the screen.  This screen appears after 10 trials, no matter what the score was.

After a few balloons are released, an arrow will appear at the bottom of the screen.  Touching this arrow will move you into the next room with the same level of directions as you were on previously.  After all 4 rooms have been completed for each level of difficulty, the app will automatically move you up to the next level of directions.

I was very pleased with this app.  It is simple to use, easy to understand, and has fun animations to reward the children for correct answers.  I like that the directions are simple and clear and that there are opportunities to practice at 3 different difficulty levels.

I can see that some of my students may need to be taught certain vocabulary words prior to using this app (such as “globe”), but most of the items are very common and easy to identify.

This great app can be found in the App Store for only $2.99.  However, I have a FREE copy to give away!  Enter below for your chance to win.  Enter by Friday, August 7 at midnight (really Aug. 8, right?).  I will post the winner on Saturday morning.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Sale What’s in Your Cart? {Linky}

By | Teachers Pay Teachers

It’s that time again…back to school!  I start back on August 3, but won’t actually have students until the end of August.  That should give me plenty of time to prep my speech room, organize, and plan for the start of the year.  To help get us all started on our back to school planning, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site wide sale.  These sales are great because many TPT sellers put their stores on sale at the same time, allowing buyers to save up to 28% on almost everything (discounts vary from store to store).  For this sale, I have linked up with Jenna over at Speech Room News for a What’s in Your Cart linky party.

For this sale, my entire store will be 20% off and you can save an additional 10% off by using the code BTS15 at checkout.  That will give you a total of 28% off!  This is a great time to pick up some of the helpful resources I have in my store.  Here are a few that you will want to check out:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Friendly-Easy-Articulation-Screener-1942959

This articulation screener has everything you need to quick screen students at the beginning of the year.  There are picture prompts for all phonemes in word initial, medial, and final position (blends, and clusters, too), data sheets, a phoneme development chart to use as reference, and instructions for use as a teacher screener.  See more about this product in my blog post. Grab it during the sale by clicking here.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-About-Me-Interactive-Book-1794790


This interactive book features pages with manipulative pieces for students to tell about themselves.  This is a great getting to know you activity in which students can practice giving information about themselves.  Visuals are provided for every sentence on every page, making this a great tool to use with young students, students with autism, limited verbal ability, or just about anyone.  Grab it on sale by clicking here

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pronoun-Verb-Flip-Practice-1859039

This pronoun-verb flipbook provides great practice for students who have goals for pronouns (he, she, they), verbs (is, are), and/or -ing verbs.  Students can flip the pages to create sentences to match each picture.  See more of this product in the blog post I wrote about it and grab it on sale by clicking here

I will also be doing some shopping during the big BTS sale.  Here are a few of the products I have had my eye on and will be buying during the sale:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiple-Meanings-Activities-for-Middle-School-BUNDLE-1234858

Multiple Meaning Words for Middle School Bundle by Natalie Snyders.  You can purchase each set separately, but I’ve had my eye on the bundle.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Little-Fish-Cut-Paste-Articulation-and-phonological-processes-1988282

Little Fish Cut & Paste Articulation by Mia McDaniels

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fall-Interactive-Books-1967978

Fall Interactive Books by My Speech Universe

I have my wishlist all ready to go for the big sale.  Comment below and share the great resources you plan on picking up during the sale.

Don’t forget to head back over to Speech Room News to see what others have in their carts.  It’s a great way to browse through different stores.  Happy shopping!

The Best Thing I Learned This Summer {Linky}

By | My SLP Story

I can hardly believe summer break is almost over.  I have been so busy, and it has gone by too quick. For this post,I am linking up with The Frenzied SLPs to share the best thing I have learned this summer. Click the image below to see what others are sharing.

http://www.slprunner2013.blogspot.com/

This summer was my last semester of grad school (woo hoo!), and I had three classes to complete before officially graduating.  One of the classes I took was Pediatric Dysphagia, and let me tell you, I learned a lot!

We had completed adult dysphagia during a previous sesmester, so I figured pediatric dysphagia would be the same thing.  I was so wrong!  Evaluating and treating pediatric dysphagia is very different from evaluating and treating adult dysphagia.

Our class covered feeding and swallowing disorders in children.  We discussed different types of feeding disorders, different types of syndromes and birth complications that can result in difficulty with feeding/swallowing, and different treatment options.  One interesting thing I learned was that very few school based SLPs feel competent to treat dysphagia. As a school based SLP Assistant now SLP Intern) I can say that in the rural areas of Texas where I live, it is rare that we ever have a kiddo on caseload who needs treatment for feeding/swallowing disorders.  That’s not to say it never happens.  But it is rare.

Because it’s so rare, many school based SLPs don’t stay up-to-date with research/treatment techniques in the area of dysphagia.  But we never know when we might get a new student with dysphagia/feeding goals.  It’s usually a school district decision on whether or not to treat dysphagia at the school, but my take away from the class (other than evaluation/treatment skills) was this:  We, as school based SLPs, need to do what we can do to stay caught up with our ability to treat pediatric dysphagia.  Easier said than done, I know, but we just never know when we might get a student who will benefit from our skills. This can really be true of any area we address through speech services (voice, fluency, etc.).  The discussion of dysphagia in the schools reminded me of the importance of being ready for any child we might need to serve through speech therapy in the school setting.

I am hoping to keep up with my newly gained knowledge of pediatric dysphagia through research articles, trainings, and hopefully by working with some kiddos after school hours through home health or a pediatric clinic.  Do any of my school based SLP friends work with dysphagia in the schools or on the side for a clinic?  Do your schools offer training related to dysphagia? 
 

First Day Jitters (with a FREEBIE)

By | Freebies

As the school year quickly approaches, I find myself growing a little more nervous each day.  I have to admit, I have some first day jitters!  This year, I will be starting at a new campus, and I will be on my own (mostly).  For the past two school years, I have been an SLP assistant and graduate student with quite a bit of supervision.  Even when I wasn’t being directly supervised, my SLP mentors were always nearby.  Things are changing this year.  I will be working as a CF, which requires much less supervision.  I am so excited, and I feel very prepared, but those jitters are still there.

Even as a teacher I experienced first day jitters each year.  It’s really a combination of excitement and the unknown mixed together.  Starting at a new campus is a  little scary.  Will they welcome me?  What will my caseload be like?  All the unknowns make me a little nervous.  So I try to channel my nervousness into productivity.  🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot about this school year and what I can do to be the best SLP this campus has ever had (it’s good to have aspirations, right?)  Thinking back to my years as a teacher, and conversations I have had with my SLP supervisors over the past 2 years, I know that communication with the teachers is a key part to having a successful year.  To help with this, I have created a FREE teacher communication packet which will hopefully make the communication a bit easier.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Communication-Forms-for-the-SLP-Editable-1966347

My packet includes the following:
*A blank “Notes From the Speech Room” page
*A “Today in Speech” page for sharing what students are currently working on in speech
*A blank “Important” page
*A blank “Reminder” page
* 1/2 sheet “Speech Meeting Reminder” pages (for IEP meetings, conferences with teachers, etc.)
*A speech schedule page to help teachers keep track of when their students will be going to speech

All of the pages are in black and white for quick printing.  There is an editable file to use when you would like to type directly on the pages.  There is also a pdf file if you prefer to hand write on the forms.

This product is a freebie that I hope will be useful to other SLPs, assistants, and graduate students as they start the new school year.

You can download the file in my TPT store by clicking HERE.  Please leave feedback and let me know if this product helps you as you get ready for the new school year.

🙂
Kristin

Summer Speech Fun {Linky}

By | Speech Therapy Ideas
http://kcummingsslp.blogspot.com/2015/07/fun-in-sun-summer-time-therapy.html

I. LOVE. SUMMER. I absolutely love it.  Even here, in the heat of Texas, I just love summer.  The other seasons don’t even come close for me.  In honor of my love for summer, I am linking up with Simply Speech to share some of my favorite summer themed games and activities that can be used in speech therapy.  Read on to see what I have to share, then click back to see what favorite activities Simply Speech has for summer and check out the others that have linked up, too.

(I’ve included Amazon affiliate links on each picture, but there are many different places you can find these games/activities. )

Playing in the sand is the perfect summer activity.  I especially like it because here in Central Texas, not every child has the opportunity to visit a beach and experience the fun of making a sand castle.  I love kinetic sand because it’s not as messy as real sand and you can use it in so many different ways.  I like to bury target cards or items in the sand and have my kiddos search for them.  I also like to work on following directions while playing in the sand.  It’s also great for describing and exploring new textures.  There are so many different types of sand you can find at different prices.  There are also recipes online that show you how to make your own.  It’s the best!

Sidewalk chalk is fun for days when you just need to get out of the speech room and enjoy some fresh air.  I use it to write target words on the ground for my kiddos to practice their sounds.  You can also draw a series of shapes on the ground and have the kids follow directions using the shapes (stand in the circle and clap your hands, sit in the square and close your eyes, etc.).  You can also work on basic concepts such as big/little, in/out, and so much more.  The options are endless!

I love cooperative games.  Some kids just aren’t ready for competitive games and I can’t always lose valuable therapy time dealing with a child who is upset over not winning.  Cooperative games allow the kids to work together to complete the game and then they all “win.”  This Birds of Summer game allows the kids to work together to save the baby birds from predators.  It involves so many skills including memory and problem solving.  Your kiddos will love it!

Summer is about being with family, barbecues, and eating pie!  I love this game because it reminds me of delicious apple pie served at a family picnic.  You can use it to work on carryover of articulation skills, turn taking, conversational skills, and so much more.

Those are just a few of my summer fun games and activities.  What are your favorite summer fun favorites?  You can write a blog about it and link up over at Simply Speech, or tell me in the comments.

Happy summer!!!

Kristin

Make Your Masterpiece ~ TPT Seller Challenge Week 3

By | Teachers Pay Teachers

I have been participating in the TPT Seller Challenge and challenge #3 was a biggie!  Make Your Masterpiece was the challenge for the week and it motivated me to complete a product I had started, but not finished.  I present to you, my Teacher Friendly Easy Articulation Screener.  Read on below to learn more about this new product in my store.

SLPs often complete informal screenings on students before a formal referral is completed.  Every district has different guidelines on when an SLP can complete a screening.  Some do whole class screenings for younger students at the beginning of the year and some do not.  Sometimes a district does not want the SLP to screen a student until a formal referral has been completed and consent from the parents has been obtained.  In this case, the teacher may need to conduct the screening or gather specific information on the child’s articulation development to help determine whether a referral will be appropriate.

My screener was designed for SLP use, but also simplified enough that a classroom teacher could use it as a way of gathering more info for the SLP prior to the formal referral.

This product includes:

*Stimulus pictures for 47 target phonemes, including blends and clusters.  Most phonemes have stimulus items for the target sound in word initial, medial, and final position (when applicable).

*A recording sheet with an area for the SLP to make notes/analyze the results to help plan future action. 

 *A phoneme development chart to use as reference.

*Detailed instructions for teacher use (SLPs may want to use the screener more specifically).

I am excited to have this product ready to use before the new school year starts. Thank you to Mandi at Panda Speech and Kristi at Learning with Leaders for reviewing my product and helping me improve it. I really appreciate your help!  I know I will use it frequently and I hope others find it useful, too!

Thanks for checking out my new masterpiece!  Don’t forget to check out other new products by visiting the linky at Sparkling in Second.

Kristin