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Frenzied SLPs

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

My SLP Story {A Frenzied SLPs Linky}

By | My SLP Story

Do you ever wonder what led your SLP friends to become SLPs? We all have our own story, but often do not know each other’s. This week, the Frenzied SLPs are hosting a linky to share our SLP stories. Sharing your story can be a great way to remind yourself why you chose this field, and relive some of the passion and excitement that can often fade over the years. I encourage you to read our SLP stories and reflect back on your personal story. Feel free to link up with your own blog post, or share in the comments.

My personal SLP story begins around 2009. I was a 4th grade classroom teacher who knew very little about what went on in the speech therapy room. I had very few students who received speech therapy services and really never knew what they did while they were out of my room. I didn’t think much about it…until my own daughter began stuttering. Taiylor was 2 and struggled a lot as she began learning to speak. Our family doctor wasn’t concerned about it, but I was. I finally pushed for a speech evaluation after her third birthday. She began attending private speech therapy in 2010. I was able to watch every speech session via video in a parent viewing room. I was so impressed with her SLP, and my curiosity about the field began to grow.

This was also around the time that I was beginning to think about leaving the classroom. I had taught for several years and just knew I didn’t want to be a classroom teacher for 20 more years. I knew I wanted to stay involved in education, but just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I changed schools hoping new scenery might change my opinion of teaching, but it did not. Every day I prayed and researched about what other careers might be a good fit for me…and everything kept pointing back to speech-language pathology.

At this point, my daughter was no longer in speech. After a few months of therapy without a lot of progress, she woke up from a long nap one day with no more stutter. She actually walked up to me after her nap and said, “Mommy. I don’t have to think when I talk anymore.” We went back for a few more speech sessions, just to be sure she really no longer needed it and it never started again. Some say this was purely developmental stuttering and she outgrew it. I say it was God’s way of leading me to what would become my new career.

After many prayers and discussions with my husband about speech-language pathology and needing to go back to grad school (I already had a master’s degree in teaching), I took the leap and enrolled in a leveling program.

I completed my leveling courses while I finished my 7th year of teaching. After being accepted into my graduate program, I found a job as an SLP assistant and the intense journey to becoming an SLP began.

Grad school was amazingly difficult. Working as a full-time SLP Assistant, being a mom, and pulling off projects and late night study sessions was a challenge. However, my husband instantly saw a difference in my happiness level and passion for my new field. I knew in my heart I had made the right choice.

Graduation 2015

I graduated from grad school in August 2015. I knew I wanted to work in the schools, and that is where I am today, but I also discovered I love working with adults. My clinicals in the SNF and hospital settings were life changing experiences. One of the things I love about this career are all the different options. Every setting is different. Every patient is different. Every school is different. Every SLP is different.

I love helping others improve their lives. I love being able to help a child learn their first words, produce that tricky /r/ sound for the first time, and experience success in the classroom or in a group setting. I love helping my stroke patients improve their communication skills or improve their swallowing so they can eat the food they want to eat. Being an SLP has changed my life in more ways than just where I go for work. I am inspired and passionate and thankful for this field every day.

I am still a new SLP. I actually just got my CCC in July 2016. The passion and excitement that led me to becoming an SLP is fresh in my mind and heart. By writing down my story, I know I will be able to read it on those difficult days in the future when I need encouragement. I hope sharing my story helps inspire others who may not be feeling the passion anymore. I encourage each and every one of you to think about what led you to this field. Think about the new graduate excitement you had and dreams of improving the world and the lives of your clients. Write your story down and share it with others. You never know who you may inspire…including yourself.

To read more SLP stories, click through The Frenzied SLPs linky below.

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!

https://www.facebook.com/thefrenziedSLPs

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. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Cards-Data-Collection-Bundle-1433355

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. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Cards-Data-Collection-Bundle-1433355

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.  🙂

Water Fun in Speech!

By | Speech Therapy Ideas

Water in the speech room?  Crazy…no!  I’m linking up with The Frenzied SLPs to share some speech therapy water fun!

Incorporating water into speech therapy can either result in great fun, a great mess, or both!  I have one favorite water activity that I save for days in which I’m feeling extra adventurous.  It involves water and…cars!

These are not just any cars…are “magic” cars (as my students call them). They change color with hot and cold water.  

My students love watching the cars change color and playing in the water.  I love that we get a TON of language practice.  The basic set up includes a cup of ice water, a cup of hot water (not too hot, though), the cars, and I also have paintbrushes available.  Students change the color of the cars by dipping them into the cups of water, or by painting them with the paintbrush dipped in either hot or cold water.  
As they play, we work on requesting (they request hot/cold water, a particular car, a paper towel, etc.), adjectives and opposites (wet/dry, hot/cold, full/empty, etc.), colors, basic sentence structure, vocabulary, and even some articulation!  
For students who need extra visual support, I use communication boards with pictures of cars, colors, and visuals for hot/cold, etc.  
These cars are so much fun, but it does require a little bit planning/prep.  Here are my suggestions for a successful color changing car water session:
*Allow for time to prepare cups of hot/cold water.  I like to include my students in this process, but you could also have it ready to go when the session begins. 
*Clear the table because spills are difficult to avoid. 
*Have paper towels handy for quick clean up.
*Plan your language targets and model correct forms while the students play. 
*The water temperatures don’t stay hot/cold for very long, so don’t expect it to last an entire session unless you have additional ice and a way to heat the water in your room.  
*Have visuals ready for students who may need them.  
*Be ready for fun and excitement!
This is such a fun way to incorporate water play into therapy.  For more great water play ideas, head over to Speech2Me and check out the other blogs that have linked up with The Frenzied SLPs.  

Things SLPs Should ALWAYS Say {Frenzied SLPs Linky}

By | SLP Tips And Tools

For this week’s post I am linking up again with the fabulous Frenzied SLPs.  A couple of weeks ago, we shared things SLPs should NEVER say.  For part 2, we are sharing things SLPs should ALWAYS say. 

https://www.facebook.com/thefrenziedSLPs

Since we work with so many different students and staff members, there are not really any cookie cutter sayings that are always good all of the time.  For that reason, I am sharing two general ideas about what SLPs should always say.

1. Always share a student’s STRENGTHS.  When we are in IEP meetings, writing progress reports, or discussing students with their teachers/parents, it is so easy to get caught up in the child’s weaknesses or difficulties.  Often times, challenging behaviors, lack of progress, or just overall severity of their disability can dominate our discussions…especially during annual IEP meetings.  It can be discouraging for everyone, especially the parent.  To help these situations, we as SLPs can really lead by example and share our student’s strengths.  Yes, we are required to do so in our IEP documents, but I’m talking about really sharing some good info on what the child is doing well.  Don’t just rush over this part.  Providing good positive information to the team can impact the mood of the entire meeting.  It’s so important to have good information to share about what the student is doing well because there’s always something. 

2. Be specific.  This ties in with number 1.  Providing specific feedback is much more constructive and useful than general statements.  Instead of saying, “Little Bobby is making good progress in speech,” give specifics.  A statement such as, “Little Bobby is attentive during speech sessions and is now able to produce his /r/ sound 50% of the time,” provides much more specific information to the parent and teachers about how our student is doing. 
We also need to be specific when providing feedback to our students.  Saying things like, “Good job,” don’t let the student know what they did RIGHT.  “That was a great /s/ sound,” or “I didn’t hear your /s/ sound that time,” provides more specific feedback so they can replicate it or try to correct their error.  It’s easy to fall into the habit of giving general feedback statements (and I have to really fight it myself), but providing specific feedback is more helpful to our students. 

These are two areas that I always try to be conscious of in my own SLP life.   To read some other things SLPs should always say, be sure to click back to Doyle Speech Works and read the other blogs that have linked up. 

My 3 Favorite Organization Tips for SLPs {Frenzied SLPs Linky}

By | SLP Tips And Tools
http://sparklleslp.blogspot.com/2016/01/organization-tips-for-slps-frenzied-slp.html

I have to start off by saying that I am a pretty organized person, but sometimes my business overpowers my need for organization.  As each school year goes on, my therapy room and desk gets a little less organized every week.  I always say I will get back on track, but materials pile up and my shelves get messier. But there is one area that stays organized all year long…my therapy binder.  I cannot function with a messy therapy binder.  The 3 organization tips I am sharing today all relate to this binder.

1. Have a place to keep all of your important working paperwork.  For me, it’s a 3 ring binder.  My binder has a section for each student on my campus.  For every student, I have a “face sheet” with their name and eligibility info, copy of their IEP, sheets for recording daily notes, and parent contact log.  I use these pages daily to keep track of progress and record session data.

2. Use a calendar to keep track of important deadlines.  In my therapy binder, I also have a master calendar.  I have 4 different school calendars to keep up with, plus paperwork deadlines, and other misc. events.  To help keep track of important dates, I keep a master calendar where I mark all important deadlines, including school holidays, report deadlines, meetings, etc.  I keep this with my therapy binder so I can access it anytime I need it.

3. Use a caseload summary sheet to track FIE and IEP due dates.  I keep a caseload summary sheet at the front of my binder.  This sheet has every student, their date of birth, service time, date of initial evaluation, due date of their re-eval, and IEP date.  I mark on this sheet throughout the year and update it as needed with new student info.  Many IEP programs have an option to print a form like this for your caseload, but I also have the one I created posted for free in my TPT store.  You can download it HERE.

So, those are my organization tips.  Good organization can really impact your day.  For more great tips on organization, be sure to check out the other posts in the Frenzied SLPs blog linky.  Click HERE or on the image below.

http://sparklleslp.blogspot.com/2016/01/organization-tips-for-slps-frenzied-slp.html

Thanks for reading!