My Products

Blog Title: Cycles Approach

Cycles Approach: Making the Most Progress in the Shortest Time

By | My Products

We’ve all been there…a new student on the caseload who is maybe 25% intelligible…if that. They have so much to say, but also so many errors. Where do we even begin? It can be overwhelming at first, but there are things you can do that will ensure your child makes excellent progress in the shortest amount of time.

First, you absolutely MUST conduct a thorough evaluation. I’m talking more than just a quick administration of the Goldman Fristoe. Make sure you have as much data and information as you can to determine the best type of treatment for your student. When I have a child who is highly unintelligible, I immediately start by looking for error patterns. It’s important to note what sounds are being deleted, distorted, or substituted. If there are substitutions, what are they? Where are the errors occurring – initial, medial, or final position? Are errors consistent across words, phrases, sentences, and conversation? Your formal assessment (i.e. Goldman Fristoe or other articulation test) will provide some data, but I recommend going beyond that. If possible, record a speech sample. You can use sound loaded articulation scenes to help with this.

Once you have a good amount of data, start looking for phonological processes in the child’s speech. These are error patterns that occur across a wide variety of words. Examples include deletion of final consonants (saying “ba” instead of “bat”), stopping of fricatives (saying /p/ instead of /f/), or gliding (saying /w/ instead of /l/). The ASHA website has a summary of different phonological processes with examples. Click HERE to see it. I also love this chart from Little Bee Speech. It’s important to note which phonological processes are still being used that should have resolved by now (according to the child’s age).

If your student is indeed demonstrating some of the phonological processes listed on these charts beyond the age that is considered typical, you know you can proceed with the cycles approach. Using the cycles approach allows your student to make faster progress than they would with traditional articulation therapy. Rather than focusing on one sound error, treatment cycles through the error patterns focusing on one phonological process at a time and cycling through the others. This allows you to work on many targets in a short amount of time. You can read more about the cycles approach on Caroline Bowen’s website by clicking HERE. She has a great list of references and information on how to implement the cycles approach.

Here are my personal tips for implementing the cycles approach (please refer back to the websites I mentioned earlier for more specific information on the cycles approach):

1. Identify the phonological processes that may be impacting intelligibility the most. Start with the earlier developing patterns and make a list of all the deficient patterns. It’s also a good idea to list which targets the child is stimulable for. This will be your road map as you work through your cycles. I usually focus on 2-3 main phonological processes at a time.

2. Keep a cheat sheet handy to help you as you go through each session. In the Cycles Approach, each session follows the same structure. Having a cheat sheet handy will help you as you get started, so you don’t miss any steps. You can download my free Cycles Session Structure handout HERE.

3. Select 4-5 target words to focus on for each session. I use the same 4-5 target words for a total of 60 minutes (either 2 30-minute sessions, or 3 20-minute sessions) before moving on to a new set of targets. For example, if a student is deleting final consonants and fronting, I may work on words with final /p/ for a total of 60 minutes, then move on to words with final /m/. I would then move on to target fronting with initial /k/ for a total of 60 minutes, then initial /g/. I would then go back to final consonants.

4. Use familiar and/or frequently occurring words. In my experience, using familiar words helps reduce the amount of time spent teaching a new word. When the child is already familiar with the target words, they tend to be able to auditorily discriminate correct vs. incorrect productions faster. This helps them as they move through their cycles. If I have to use a target word that is unfamiliar to the student, I make sure to spend sufficient time making sure they really understand the word and what it is. I also often select target words from my minimal pairs bundle. I know many SLPs do not like to mix approaches, but this set of cards provides many different target words to choose from. While working through cycles, we won’t focus on minimal pairs, but I do like to use words that are part of a minimal pair so I can use the contrast approach if needed.

5. Encourage home practice. I always include parents and teachers in my treatment. It is so important to provide parents and teachers with the list of target words a child is working on. If I see the child for 20 minutes, 3x per week, they also should be practicing the target words in between sessions. You can jot down the target words on a sticky note for parents/teachers, or send a copy of your target word cards home for them to play memory or even just drill for a couple of minutes. I also demonstrate what a short practice session might look like to show them how quick and easy it can be. The easier it is, the more likely it is going to be done.

This may sound like a lot and be a little overwhelming, but I promise, once you get going, it becomes second nature and you will see so much progress!

Be sure to check out my Phonology on the Go resource, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Did you like this post? Be sure to pin the image below.
You can also click HERE to join our email list.


Progress Monitoring…Baselines and Beyond {Linky}

By | My Products

Whew!  The past few weeks have been hectic!  We are in our third week of school and it has been a whirlwind.  The start of the year is always pretty busy, but I feel like this year it is even more crazy than usual.  Maybe because I have three schools this year, two of which are new to me.  That means I have two entirely new caseloads to get to know and collect data on.  My days have been filled with progress monitoring, which makes it perfect timing for this Frenzied SLPs linky.  We are sharing all about…progress monitoring!

This topic is one of those areas that can vary widely from person to person.  Every SLP has their own way of collecting data.  I have been trying out new ways to collect and store my data this year, but I always seem to go back to being a paper and pencil kind of gal.  Most recently, I have been experimenting with using SLP Toolkit and some Smarty Ears apps for progress monitoring (more info to come in a future post), but I just really like good old fashioned paper data sheets.

I usually start my year getting to know my students and assessing progress on their current goals.  I like to do this right of the bat because it allows me to see if they have retained their skills over the summer break, and lets me know how much ground we have to cover before their next IEP meeting. 

I also tend to have quite a few new transfer students each year.  That means I have 30 days to assess, plan and revise goals as needed. 

Needless to say, my first few weeks of school include data, data, and more data! 

For articulation, I like to use simple data sheets where I have the list of target words down one side and dates across the top.  Then I can use a quick +/- or write in a sound substitution as we go through the word list.

I have several ready to go data sheets with word cards in my Teachers Pay Store.  All can be purchased separately or in the bundle.  I keep these cards laminated in a 3 ring binder with extra copies of the data sheets in sheet protectors.  This allows me to grab them quickly when I need them.  You can also cut the word cards and store them on a binder ring or in bags, or even just display them on an iPad.

My bundle includes several different target sounds, with more to be added in the future (all can also be purchased separately).   Each set comes with a ready to use data sheet, saving you time! 

When collecting baseline data, I always use as many words as I can for each target sound and assess the sound in all positions.  My baselines include anywhere from 20-40 words, depending on the phoneme.  I run through all words on the list because it may be that the student has the sound in one single word.  That would be a great place to start when teaching! 

After I have my initial overall percentage, I then select 5 words that the child missed and use those words to teach and practice the sound.  We will practice for 3-4 sessions (depending on the child), informally assessing the target words at the beginning of each session.  Once the child is able to produce the 4/5 target words correctly, I will then run through the entire baseline again to see if they are able to carryover the phoneme into other words.  Then, if needed, we will select a different 5 words to teach and practice and repeat the process. 

Collecting baseline data can be time consuming, which is why I like to keep it as simple as possible.  Having prepared data sheets and word lists allows me to grab and go with little prep time.  I then have records of student progress that I can add to their file for documentation. 

For more info and tips on progress monitoring, be sure to check out the other bloggers in the Frenzied SLPs linkup.  And feel free to share your tips for progress monitoring in the comments below.  🙂

New Product: Verb-Pronoun Flip& Practice

By | My Products

I’m happy to share my newest product with you today!  I have several students working on pronouns and verbs, and this product is a great way to give them some extra practice. You can use this product in a variety of ways.  I put it together as a flip book…

The product includes 20 verb pictures and word cards (10 he cards, 5 she cards, and 5 they cards).  It also includes word cards for the pronouns “he/she/they” and “is/are” with a visual cue and without.  Non-readers can use the cards with visuals and the verb picture card to generate their sentences.  Readers can use the word cards without visuals to create their sentences.

The flip book is designed to be cut and assembled so the student can flip the various cards to create sentences.  You can view the short video below to see how the flip book works. Assembly instructions are provided with the product. 

This product can be used for students with goals for pronouns, -ing verbs, or is/are. It can also be good for wh- questions (What is he doing?  Who is crying/dancing/etc…?). You can build on each picture by asking questions like “Where do we…? When do we…? and so on.

You can find the Verb-Pronoun Flip & Practice in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store by clicking here.  It will be 50% off for the first 24 hours (until 8:00pm Central Time on Sunday)!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @beautifulspch I will be giving a free copy of the Verb-Pronoun Flip & Practice to one follower and a friend.  Look for the giveaway post to enter.  

SLP Must Have Sale!!!

By | My Products

Tomorrow is the 7th, which means it’s time for the monthly SLP Must-Have sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Each month, participating SLPs and Teacher Pay Teachers sellers choose one special item and mark it down 50% for one day only.  This month, my Articulation cards BUNDLE is my must have item!  You can’t miss this!  Regular price is $7, but tomorrow only it will be ONLY $3.50!!! Visit my store between 7am-10pm central time to snag this great deal!

Articulation Cards Bundle

This bundle contains all of my articulation cards at one low price. Included:
Initial /f/
Medial /s/
Medial /t/
Medial /d/
/s/ blends
Voiced /th/
Multisyllabic /l/ words
Multisyllabic words (variety of phonemes)

Please follow my store and blog to stay up to date on new items posted, including freebies!

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter

And don’t forget to check out what other SLPs have on sale in their stores!  

Articulation Cards Bundle

By | My Products

These first few weeks of the new school year have been exciting and exhausting!  I’m getting to know a new group of kiddos at a new campus and traveling back and forth between 2 different schools.  I discovered quickly that I did not have articulation cards for all the kiddos on my caseload.  Being a grad student I also do not have tons of extra dough to purchase cards….so I decided to make my own!  The articulation cards in my Teachers Pay Store are cards I made specifically to use with the kiddos on my current caseload.  I plan to add to them and make the sets more complete in the future.  Take advantage of the low prices now.  When I add to or edit a product, anyone who has already purchased it can re-download for FREE!

If you follow my blog and TpT store, you will always be the first to find out when I post new products or have items on sale.  Also, my products will always be on sale (or FREE) the first day I post them, so make sure you follow me so you don’t miss out.

I also posted a bundle of all of my current artic cards (plus a few extra sounds).  I am giving away a free copy of that bundle.  Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Product in TpT! {Wh- Question Cards}

By | My Products

I’ve been working on a new product for my Teachers Pay Teachers store and it’s finally ready!  It is a packet of cards and teaching aides targeting wh- questions.  I spent several evenings working on this and trying to get it just right.  I am learning how to create great looking products to use in my speech therapy room.  It’s been fun learning new “techie” things. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting the hang of it.  I am  looking forward to sharing more products in the future.  

 My Wh- Questions Packet can be purchased in my TpT store.  It is listed for $4, but will be on sale during the TpT Boost sale on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.  Use the promo code “BOOST” at checkout to save some $$$.

You can also enter to win a free copy!  Enter below and I’ll be choosing 2 winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway