SLP Resources

Teaching Wh- Questions…Why you may be doing it all wrong

By | Language Skills, SLP Resources

Who? What? Where? When? Why? But…how?

In my experience, goals for answering wh- questions are some of the most common speech therapy goals. At any given time, I have several students with goals for answering wh- questions, and I imagine you do, too. Being able to answer wh- questions is a skill that is so necessary in both academic settings and for basic communication. Understanding the best way to actually teach this skill is where many new SLPs struggle.Blog Title: Teaching Wh Questions Why You May Be Doing It WrongWhen beginning to teach this skill, we first need to understand common language development. Children typically develop the ability to respond to who, what, and where questions first, and then when and why questions.

If a student is struggling with all 5 questions types, it’s best to start from the beginning. Otherwise, begin with the type that is appropriate for their current needs. You can determine this by giving a good informal baseline. I recommend going through at least 10 of each question type (more if you are able) to determine a starting baseline. You can determine what goal accuracy is best for your student, but I typically aim for 70%-80%. While analyzing initial baseline data, be sure to look at how the student is responding. It is important to determine if they are struggling with the vocabulary required to answer, or if they are struggling with the question form.

For example: I might show a picture of a girl holding an umbrella in the rain. I can ask, “What is the girl holding?” If the student understands the question and knows the word umbrella, they should be able to answer correctly. If they understand the question, but do not know the word umbrella, they might respond with another noun or say they don’t know. This would indicate that vocabulary might the area of concern. If the student responds with a word that is not a noun (such as girl, holding, raining, etc.) this would indicate they did not understand how to respond to the question asking WHAT.

When I teach Wh- questions, I try to remove the element of vocabulary in order to ensure that I am correctly teaching and assessing the ability to understand and answer each question type correctly. To do this, I start with pictures paired with a spoken sentence. I might show a picture of a boy wearing a hat and say, “The boy is wearing a hat. What is the boy wearing?” If necessary, I will also provide 2 picture choices for the student to choose from. To ensure that the student is understanding the question type, I will provide one picture choice for the correct answer (hat) and one picture choice that would answer a different question type (girl).¬†Once the student is able to correctly answer with the picture choices, I will then remove the answer choices and just present the main picture, the sentence, and the question.

One struggle with teaching wh- questions is finding materials that allow for teaching of the actual question types, rather than vocabulary. Many published resources rely heavily on the student having the vocabulary knowledge to correctly answer the question. This is why I created my leveled wh- questions resource.

Image of Wh Questions Resource

This resource includes picture cards for each of the 5 types of wh- questions at varying levels of difficulty. There are visuals to help teach each type of question, cards with 2 picture choices, with no picture choices, wh- question scenes, and question lists with no pictures at all.

image of question visuals image of question cards with answer choices image of wh questions without picture choices

You can find this leveled wh- questions resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE. You can also get it as part of the Language on the Go Bundle by clicking HERE.

image of language on the go bundle

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Story Champs – Why Every SLP Should Have this Resource

By | SLP Resources

Let’s get straight to the point. There are MANY different commercial products on the market for language intervention. But have you heard of Story Champs from Language Dynamic Group? I have had the privilege of using Story Champs in my speech room this year and it has been a game changer.

Story Champs is a language intervention tool that can be used by SLPs, reading intervention teachers, general education teachers, ESL teachers…pretty much anyone who works on language or narrative skills. It can be used in large groups, small groups, or one-on-one.

I have been using Story Champs with most of my students this year. We started back in September and they still love it. I use it to work on listening skills, story retell, sentence structure, vocabulary, comprehension, answering wh- questions, sequencing, articulation, and more. My students love the stories and I love that I can differentiate for each student, even within mixed groups. It’s great for grades pre-k and up and for students with a variety of disabilities and cognitive abilities.

The Story Champs kit comes with:

  • Storybook
  • Illustration Cards (digital version, too)
  • Icons
  • Games
  • Flashdrive with loads of extra printables
How I Use Story Champs:
Students are taught what each of the story icons represents – character, problem, feeling, action, ending. There are additional icons for more advanced students, including setting, plan, consequence, etc. The elements and icons are used through every story. 
I then present the story to the students using the illustration cards. As I tell the story, I place an icon on the corresponding card to help make the connection between the icon and that part of the story. 
After I tell the story, we discuss it and work on answering questions and practice vocabulary. We then review the story and each element. 
With the illustration cards and icons still on the table, we then retell the story together. I help my students as much as they need it, modeling language and vocabulary use the entire time. 
I then allow them to retell the story on their own, supporting them as necessary. Once they are ready, I remove the illustration cards and allow them to retell the story using only the icons. The final step is for them to retell the story again with no icons or illustrations. 
We always wrap up using a printable from the flash drive where they can cut and glue blackline images of the illustrations on a story board. They get to take this home with a parent letter that explains the story and has information for parents to extend the learning to the home setting. 
I have also been able to use Story Champs for large group lessons in the kindergarten classroom. Every Friday, I  led a lesson with the entire kindergarten class (my little school only has one kinder class). We went through the story, discussed the story elements, practiced listening and retelling together, and in partners. We all loved this time we shared and I was able to monitor my speech students during the activity, too. Students can then work in centers on extension activities related to the story. 
Overall Opinion:
Now that I have had the opportunity to use Story Champs, I am hooked. I absolutely love this tool and how versatile it is. I can modify the stories and the level of difficulty for each and every student. The illustrations are appropriate for all ages and really help students focus on the elements of the stories. 
Once students have a good grasp of the story elements, we work on carrying these elements into their own narratives. This is a great way to extend their learning and allows them to make personal connections with their own experiences. 
I love that I can use Story Champs with mixed groups. Students with language goals get what they need, and my students with articulation goals have the opportunity to practice their sounds. I sometimes modify names or vocabulary in the stories to add specific phonemes for articulation goals. 
The best thing about using Story Champs is that all of my students are ENGAGED and actively participating through the entire session. 
I highly recommend Story Champs to anyone who is looking for a great language intervention tool. If you have any questions about this resource, feel free to comment below or email me at You can also reach out to Language Dynamics Group. They are very helpful!
Special Offer: If you are ready to get your very own Story Champs kit, Language Dynamics Group has provided me with a discount code to share with you! Enter code LDG10MP at checkout to save 10%

SLP Planner Roundup

By | SLP Resources

Can you believe summer break is over already?  I have a few more days before I return to work (although students don’t return until the end of August).  Whether you’re back already, or returning soon, it’s time we start talking about planners.  To help everyone out, I have compiled a list of some great SLP planners that will be so helpful for you as you prep for the new school year, with some tips to help you select the best fit for you.

1. The first decision that has to be made is whether you will have one main life/work planner, or if you would prefer to keep separate life and work planners.  I prefer one because I like to be able to have all my important dates and appointments on one calendar, but I do have separate work/personal sections built in.  Many of my SLP friends prefer to keep their work planners separate.

2. The next thing you need to decide is what pages you would most use in a planner.  I need to have a monthly calendar spread, as well as weekly pages for more specific notes.  I also like to add in pages to help me keep track of IEP meetings, evals, and reports due each month.  I also add in my school calendars. This year I will have 5 different district calendars to keep up with!

3. The last big decision is how you prefer to bind your planner together.  Do you prefer spiral bound? Do you want to be able to add/remove pages during the year? Maybe a three ring binder would be a good option for you.  There are many different binding options, and most are fairly inexpensive to have done at your local office store.  I always take mine to an office store to have it spiral bound.

Now…where to look for the best SLP planner for you? Teachers Pay Teachers of course!  Quite a few of my SLP friends have created beautiful and functional SLP planners.  The best part of theses planners is that they have been created by SLPs.  The prices are great, too!

Last year I actually purchased two different SLP planners and merged them into one.  I selected the pages I liked best from each and added my district calendars and contact info page.  I enjoyed being able to customize my planner, and I spent less than $15 on the entire thing!

This year I made the leap to an Erin Condren planner.  I love the vertical weekly format with three sections.  I use one for work, one for personal, and one for TPT/blogging.  Her planners are on the pricey side, but you can use my referral code and get $10 your first order! Just click HERE

 Erin Condren Referral Code

If you’re not that thrilled about spending $$$ on an expensive planner, the following is a list of SLP planners sold on Teachers Pay Teachers.  You’re bound to find a style you love on this list, or you can purchase several and combine them!

No matter what kind of planner you choose, be sure to check out these awesome planner stickers from Kiwi Speech on Etsy.  They are great for SLPs and teachers!

And Wilma Dean Trout has handmade planner accessories, too!  Get them in her Etsy shop starting August 1.

Happy planning!

Planners are listed in no particular order. Click on links to view descriptions and prices.

Editable SLP PlannerSLP PlannerOrganization & Data PlannerSLP PlannerOrganization PacketSLP PlannerSimplified Speech Therapy PlannerSpeech PlannerUltimate Editable Speech Language Therapy PlannerLife & Therapy Planner for SLPsSpeech Therapy Yearly Organizer & PlannerSLP PlannerSLP Planner & Fillable FormsUltimate SLP PlannerEditable Planner-Binder Covers/Forms for SLPs & Special Education TeachersSuper PlannerSLP Like a Boss Planner

1. The Speech Attic – Editable SLP Planner
2. Speech Language Pirates – SLP Planner
3. The Speech Bubble – Organization and Data Planner
4. Crazy Speech World – SLP Planner
5. The Speech Owl – SLP Organization Packet
6. Kayla SLP – SLP Planner
7. Carissa Speelman – Simplified Speech Therapy Planner
8. Word of Mouth – Speech Planner
9. Doyle Speech Works – Ultimate Editable Speech Language Therapy Planner
10. Speaking Freely SLP – Life & Therapy Planner for SLPs
11. Busy Bee Speech – Speech Therapy Yearly Organizer & Planner
12. Sparklle SLP – SLP Planner
13. Speech to the Core – SLP Planner and Fillable Forms
14. Road to Speech – Ultimate SLP Planner (Editable)
15. Speech Wonderland – Editable Planner-Binder Covers/Forms for SLPs and Special Education Teachers
16. Super Power Speech – Super Planner
17. Beautiful Speech Life –  SLP Like a Boss Planner

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!

Speech & Langauge Screeners Linky Party

By | SLP Resources

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!