Tag

Freebies

Busy SLP? 5 Tips to Make Your Life Easier and Less Stressful

By | SLP Tips And Tools

Welcome to post #3 in my series, Tips and Tools to Make Your Life Easier and Less Stressful. I’m sharing tips and tools that help busy SLPs on a day-to-day basis. You can read about tool #1: SLP Toolkit HERE.

Today I’m sharing some tips from my SLP life that will hopefully help you in your busy SLP life. I work for a rural special ed co-op and serve 3 different school districts. Most days I travel to at least 2, if not all 3 of my schools. I have to manage my caseloads at each of the districts, juggle meetings, conferences, RTI, therapy, testing, and all that other fun SLP stuff with limited time on each campus. That means I need to be on top of things and stay as organized as I can. If I slack even a little, all of the plates I have spinning come crashing down and it is exhausting trying to get things back in order.
So here are my top 5 tips to make your busy SLP life easier and less stressful:
#1: I know this may seems impossible, but I do my very best to never take work home with me. Taking work home means you are also bringing the stress home with you. I always try to keep work at work so I can focus on my family and recharge for the next work day. Think about all those times you have brought work home and then you don’t get to it. Do you feel guilty for letting it sit? Do you forget about it and have to lug it back the next day still unfinished? Or maybe you actually get it done, but end up staying up late to do so…On days when I feel swamped and think I need to take my work home, I fight the urge and leave it. I think it’s better to go in early, stay a bit late, and work through lunch if necessary. You need time to escape the chaos of work and recharge. Keep the work at work. 🙂

#2: Find a planner or calendar that works for you and USE IT! Everybody has different ways of keeping track of important dates and deadlines. Are you a phone person? Does Siri remind you of your deadlines? Or maybe you are like me and love a good paper planner. Whatever it may be, find a way to keep track of deadlines and stick to it so it becomes a habit. I love my Happy Planner from Michael’s. I got it on sale and used my educator discount, so it wasn’t very expensive at all. I love that it has 3 rows for me to track my life. I use the top row for work related events, the middle row for family/life events, and the bottom row to help me track  my TPT Store and blog. This is the best way for me to stay on track and not forget meetings and deadlines. I look at my planner every morning so I know where I need to be that day…especially since it’s always different! If you need some help finding the perfect planner, you can check out this SLP Planner Roundup post.

https://www.talkinwithtwang.com/2016/07/slp-planner-roundup.html

 #3: Build reminders into your calendar. Yes, I write down meetings and deadlines, but I also write myself reminders into my calendar. If progress reports are due on March 24, I will write a reminder to myself on March 20 that I need to make sure I have good data for each student. If I have a meeting on April 17, I will write a reminder to myself in the margin of the week prior so it doesn’t sneak up on me. IEP meetings due in May? I’ll make a list in the margin of April to remind myself that I need to schedule and prep the meetings. These little reminders help me to stay on top of my schedule rather than being overwhelmed by it. 

#4: Take 5 minutes of your day to breathe and recharge. Use this time to do something that helps you to take your mind off your busy day…breathe, take a long restroom break, sip your coffee, check social media, read a page of a magazine or book, or just sit and enjoy the silence or a good song. Just make sure you set a timer so you don’t go over your time and end up more stressed. I like to sit in my car for 5 minutes before I get out at each school. I gather my thoughts and go over the game plan in my head before I go in. This time helps me to focus and prepare because once I get out of my car, it’s fast paced and go go go until I get back in my car. 
#5: Try using no print or no prep materials with your students. I have to admit, I am a speech therapy materials junkie. I love interactive books and cute themed games and activities…but I also have 3 schools I have to carry my materials to/from and very little time to laminate and prep. This year, I have developed a love for no print and print-and-go types of resources. With no print activities, all I need is my iPad and I’m ready to go. I use articulation apps in place of artic cards. I download no print resources from Teachers Pay Teachers into iBooks and have them on hand at all times. Print-and-go activities are great because it takes less than 5 minutes for me to access the file on my computer, print it, and set it down on the table ready to go. There are so many great no print and print-and-go resources on Teachers Pay Teachers and many are free! Just add NO PRINT or NO PREP to your search when you are looking for resources. I have several FREE print-and-go resources in my TPT Store, including activity booklets for /th/, activity booklets for /f,v/ (temporary freebie), articulation sudoku, a spring themed compound sentences packet, prefix & suffix worksheets, and a comprehension and sequencing freebie. Click on the links or the images at the end of this post to get these FREE NO PREP resources.
These are just a few things that I do to help me manage my busy SLP life, making it easier and less stressful. Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments or feel free to send me an email. 🙂
Links to my FREE NO PREP resources on TPT. Click each image to be taken to the file. 
 FREE /th/ Activity Booklets

/f,v/ Activity Booklets

 FREE Articulation Sudoku

 FREE Comprehension & Sequencing Practice

 FREE Compound Sentence Packet
 FREE Prefix & Suffix Worksheets

SLPs Sharing Kindness (with a Freebie)

By | Freebies

Do you love freebies? The Frenzied SLPs sure do, and we have a special treat for you! In the spirit of spreading love and kindness throughout our lives, we have linked up to share a variety of kindness themed resources for you to use with your students. To gather all of your goodies, just use the link below to hop to the next blog. Each blog has a kindness themed resource for you to download for FREE. You could have the next few weeks of therapy covered with all of the fabulous materials you gather!  How amazing is that?!

One of the ways I think people can demonstrate kindness is by helping in their communities. No matter where you live…big city or small town…there is always work to be done. Our communities thrive when we take care of each other and our towns. From helping neighbors with yard work to picking up trash, there is something for everyone to do to pitch in.

My free resource focuses on this idea of being a community helper. Your students will love reading about how Martha spent a day showering her community with extra kindness. Your download will include a short narrative with sequencing, context clues, and comprehension activities. This 2-page no prep product is great for older students to work on reading for details, sequencing, vocabulary and more. 

You can download this special freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE.

For your next freebie, click on the image below to hop to the next blog, All Y’all Need.

http://www.allyallneed.com/.../sharing-kindness-slp-way.html

Back to School Freebie!

By | Freebies

This time last year I was preparing for back to school, going through a blog overhaul and prepping for my first ever Disney cruise.  It was a crazy August for sure.  This year, I’m less overwhelmed as I prepare for back to school, but I still find that last year’s post applies to me now.  I don’t think the first day jitters will ever go away, and I’m not sure I want them to.  I love the excitement of back to school.  That’s why I’m sharing this post again.  I hope you find it helpful!

From Aug. 2015:
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. {Update: I now have my CCC!!!}

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.

SLP-Teacher Communication Forms

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

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!

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

Hopping into Spring – Newbie Blog Hop {with 14 FREEBIES!!!}

By | Freebies

Happy spring and welcome to my blog!  I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this blog hop (Thank you, Jen and Chelsea)!  Blog hops are a great way to get to know bloggers, and I’m so excited to share my blog with all you “hoppers.”  Plus, I have a great freebie for you at the end. In fact, every blogger in this hop has a freebie to share, so make sure you “hop” through and grab up all the great spring themed goodies!

About me:  My name is Kristin and I am currently a licensed SLP Assistant working in the public schools.  I also am a 2nd year graduate student.  I am in a fabulous grad school program in which I get to work as a full-time assistant while I complete my degree.  It’s a lot of work, but I am getting so much experience.  Even though I don’t start my CF year until the fall, I have gotten a good taste of what it will be like because of the nature of my program.  I have been able to do therapy, write reports, conduct IEP meetings, and everything else an SLP does (with supervision, of course).  It’s been really great and I feel very prepared for my CFY. 

I started blogging because I LOVE reading speech blogs and they inspired me to start my own.  I think it’s so great that other SLPs are willing to share their great ideas and experiences.  I learn something new from every blog post I read.  I’m just so thankful for all of the great posts I read that help me to become a better therapist.  I am also a Teachers Pay Teachers addict!  I have a huge wishlist and spend many nights browsing through products, marking my favorites.

Now for the freebie!!! It’s my spring themed, Print and Go Simple & Compound Sentences Pack.  This product will be great for students working on compound sentences.  There are 4 different no prep, printable activities targeting conjunctions and compound sentences.  You can print and use them right away, or laminate and use with a dry erase marker. You can grab this awesome freebie in my TPT strore by clicking on the link below.

Compound Sentence Freebie
Freebie! Compound Sentences

The other fabulous speechies participating in this blog hop also have freebies for you!  Use the links below to continue on to the next blog, or hop back to the beginning.  You definitely don’t want to miss out on all the great FREE products being shared…and meet some great new bloggers, too!

http://www.schoolslp.blogspot.com/
Continue on to Kim at School SLP

http://www.speechtherapyfun.com/
Start at the beginning with Jen at Speech Therapy Fun

Freebies!

By | Freebies
I have been swamped with grad school projects and report writing, so I haven’t had much time to blog or work on new products.
I have created a few items that I’ve needed for my own students, and I’ve decided to share them!  You can find these products for FREE in my Teachers Pay Teacher store Beautiful Speech on TpT.
First up: prefix and suffix worksheets
Next: /k,g/ sentences – this product is to use with those articulation kiddos working on /k,g/ in structured sentences.  I’ve included picture/word cards for initial /k,g/, medial /k,g/ and final /k/.