Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Importance of Playing Games - Free Parent Handout!

As a speech language pathologist, I often incorporate game play into therapy. Sometimes it's a game specifically created to target language/speech goals. But sometimes I am using a regular ol' board game. No matter what kind of game it is, I am always amazed at how many of my students have no concept of playing a game. They struggle with counting spaces, remembering which marker is theirs, rolling dice, etc. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time teaching them how to play a game than targeting their therapy goals. This frustration lead me to create this: 
There is one handout for preschool/early elementary and one handout for late elementary/middle school students. The handouts highlight the different areas of development that games can help - social skills, fine motor skills, various academic skills, problem solving, language/vocabulary. It also give game suggestions for each age group. You can grab it for FREE here! 

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

TPT Back to School Sale! What's In Your Cart?? Linky Party!

It's that time again! TPT is holding their annual Back to School Sale! You can score 28% off of most items by using the code "BestYear." Jenna, at Speech Room News, is hosting a linky party where you can see what items sellers recommend purchasing and what items people are looking forward to purchasing.

Here are two items I think you should buy from my store, Smashingly Good Speech. First, I am loving my Year of No Prep Articulation Activities Bundle. This bundle is huge with almost 2,000 pages of material for p, b, t, d, k, g, m, n, f, v, s, z, s blends, l, l blends, prevocalic r, vocalic r, r blends, ch, sh, th, and j. Themes include: back to school, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Spring, and Summer. And the bundle keeps growing! Any seasonal or holiday No Prep articulation material that I make gets added to the bundle for no additional cost. 

I also think you should check out my Parent Handouts for Articulation. These handouts include checklists, ideas, and prompts to help parents practice with their kids at home to encourage generalization. Between these two items, your articulation students should be covered for the entire year! 

If you are looking for ways to increase communication with parents, you can also check out my Importance of Playing Games Handout - which a FREE!

Here is what I am looking forward to purchasing during the sale. 

This Irregular Past Tense Verb Packet from Cat Says Meow. 

This No Prep First Words, which as also from Cat Says Meow. 

I am also looking forward to purchasing this Picture Chat Bundle from Katrina Bevan. I own several of these bundles and use them often in therapy! 

I'm also thinking that my older students would love these Articulation Mazes from Speech Therapy Fun with Jennifer. 

What are you looking forward to buying? Be sure to link up! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why I Like Interactive Articulation Activities + Tons of Resources!

I am always looking for interactive ways to target articulation skills. I love interactive articulation activities for several reasons.

First of all, I work primarily with PreSchoolers and Kindergartners. These little friends just aren't made for sitting! Working at a table doing drill type activities is just not fun for them (or me either, really)!

There is also more and more research that keeps showing that movement is essential to learning. If I can incorporate fine or gross motor movements into any activities, I definitely want to do it! The Interactive Articulation activities that I have created or found so far always incorporate some sort of fine or gross motor movement. Sometimes it's digging or scooping in sand. Other times it's stirring, operating tongs, squeezing items, or throwing something. 

Sensory disorders are also on the rise. Many of these activities incorporate materials that are great for students with sensory disorders. Many students find focus when they can run their hands through sand, Easter grass, cotton balls, etc. And, as we all know, increased focus leads to increased learning.

And finally, I like Interactive Articulation Activities because I see quicker generalization for my students. I find that it might take a little longer to get the skill initially, but it quickly carries over to sentences, conversation, and classroom settings.

I have two different tubs for my interactive articulation/sensory bins. They are both simply rubbermaid containers I picked up at walmart. You can choose a size that works best for your speech room. I have one that I only use sand in. Sand can be a pain to clean up, so I don't want to have to take it out of my tub anytime I want to change material. I keep the other types of materials in large ziploc bags. I use my other tub to change these materials out depending on the activity. I have used Easter grass, cotton balls, water, beans, etc in my other bin. I have used a cooling rack, pans, and bowls from my own kitchen. I have also used a fly swatter. Now that you have an idea of what materials you might need, let me get down to the resources that I love to use.

 The first one up is Rake 'Em Up, which you can find here. Simply cut apart and laminate the leaf cards and add them to your sand bin. The students can use a sand rake to "rake up" their leaves.
 Have them say the word on the card as many times as you want, then they can add it to their pile of leaves.

Next up is Articulation Grilling, which you can find here. You'll need a set of tongs and a cooling rack for this activity.
Cut the hamburger and hotdog cards apart. I taped two of them back to back before laminating. That way the students could "flip" their burgers to get a new target word.

Articulation Fishing is always fun, too. You can use Activity Tailor's activity for this.
Simply cut out the fish, add the paperclip, and put in a bucket. Then create magnet fishing pole by attaching a string to a pole with a magnet at the end. You can also use this activity again in the winter. I put the outside ring of blocks in my Don't Break The Ice game and put the fish in the middle. Then we go ice fishing! You can find the resource here.

I love to use this next activity during our "Growing Vegetable Soup" unit based around Lois Ehlert's book. You can find the Vegetable Soup Articulation Activity here. 
 I use one large bowl, a few smaller bowls, and some spoons. We "mix up" the vegetable soup by placing the articulation cards in the bowl after the students say the word. Then we can "serve" the soup by putting it into the smaller bowls. We also "stir" our soup and talk about what we see floating in the soup to get in some more articulation practice.

For a fun flower based interactive articulation activity, check out The Dabbling Speechie's Flower Garden Sensory Bin.
You can put the flowers in Easter grass or beans. The students pick the flowers and then label the pictures on them. You can find the activity here.

I use the next activity the week before and the week of the Firefighters visit to our school. The kids LOVE getting to play with the squirt water bottle. You can find the Firefighter Articulation Activity here.
Cut the flame cards apart and double laminate for extra protection against the water. Then put them in a bin and give the students a squirt bottle to put out the flame. I like to do this one outside!

I also love this Articulation Cookies Activity, which pairs well with Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." But the activity can easily stand alone as well. You'll need a cookie sheet and a spatula for this one. 

I have the students say the words as they put the cookies on their cookie sheet. I have also used a cookie jar. I put all the cards in the cookie jar and have the students say the words as they pull them out. 

Let your students become paleontologists with the Diggin' Up Dinosaur Bones Activity - which you can find here.
Once again, simply cut apart and laminate the cards. Hide them in a sand bin and have the students find them using shovels, sand rakes, etc. They can practice saying the words on their card and seeing who can find the most dinosaurs.

During the winter months, I like to use my Mitten Search Interactive Articulation Activity. It pairs very well with "The Mitten." Hide the mitten cards in a bin filled with cotton balls. The students then find the mittens and label the words on them.

Jenna Rayburn, from Speech Room News, also created an awesome interactive articulation activity centered around gardening.
Put the vegetable cards in a bin filled with beans and watch the students "pick" the vegetables. You can find this activity here.

The Shamrock Search Game is great to use around St. Patrick's Day and pairs well with the book "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover."
Simply cut out and laminate the shamrock cards and place them in a bin with green Easter grass. The students search for the shamrock cards and label the items on the cards. You can find this activity here.

Right after St. Patrick's Day, I can swap my shamrocks for Easter eggs by using The Speech Attic's interactive Easter Egg Hunt. 
I keep the Easter grass and hide the eggs inside. My students find the eggs and label the pictures on them. You can find the activity here.

Articulation Bugs is another fun springtime activity. 

I place all the "bug" cards on the table and have the students "swat" them with a fly swatter. They must say the word on each bug before they can swat it. 
 I have also hidden the bugs in Easter grass. The students search for the bugs, say the target word, and add it to their bug catcher. You can find the activity here.

During our pirates unit, we play Pirates Treasure Hunt Articulation. 

Hide the "coins" in a sand bin and have the students search them out. They need to say the word on the coin and then they can add it their treasure chest. 

As the school year draws to an end, I love to bring out Jenna Rayburn's, from Speech Room News, Beach Hunt game. 
For this game, you hide shell & crab cards in a sand bin. The students then find the cards in the sand and label the pictures on them. You can find the Beach Hunt game here.

I hope you find a few resources you can use with your kiddos! And I hope you see the same success with them as I have with my students! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Diggin' for Dinosaur Bones Interactive Articulation Activity!

Each year, I love to do a dinosaur unit with my pre-kindergarteners. So many students LOVE dinosaurs, so it's usually a big hit! I decided to add a dinosaur activity to my interactive articulation activity stash. So I made this: 

Each card has a picture of a dinosaur bone and an articulation target word. I just laminate them and put the cards each student needs in my sand bin and have them dig them up with sand toys. My little anthropologists love this activity. 

After they dig out each dinosaur bone, they practice saying the word on the card. 

If you need an articulation activity that's dinosaur related - check it out here!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Using Crazy Pictures in Speech

We've all seen the posts pop up on our facebook feeds. The ones that say something like, "25 Craziest Pictures" or "10 pictures that will make you wonder 'how did that happen?' I love looking at those crazy pictures, so I thought my kids might too. I also love free therapy activities. Since I can simply screenshot the pictures and either print them out or have the students look at them on the ipad, this can be a no or low cost activity. So, how can you incorporate these crazy pictures into therapy?

1.) Asking Questions - Obviously, these pictures make you question what the heck is going on. So it makes them great prompts for asking questions like, "How did the baby get duck taped to the wall?" or "Why is that cat painted like an American flag?" Students respond well to this type of activity because the pictures are hilarious.

2.) Past tense verbs - I have the students make up a story the leads up the picture. They make a story about why there is a horse in the McDonald's drive thru. They activity elicits several past tense verbs - irregular and regular.

3.) Articulation - Once again, you can have a student make up a story about the picture, but focus on their speech sounds as they are telling the story.

4.) Story telling/retelling - You can tell the child a story about the picture and have them tell it back. You can also have them make up their own story.

5.) Pragmatics - You can discuss why some of the people in these pictures are being socially inappropriate. What could they have done differently? What is the social norm?

6.) Problem Solving - Have the student explain a way the could help the person in the picture or a way the person could get themselves out of the sticky situation. What can you do to help the baby with spaghetti on her head?

7.) Sentence structure - The child can make up sentences or stories about the picture, allowing you to target grammar goals - noun/verb agreement, pronouns, verb tenses, prepositional phrases, etc.

I'm sure there are many other ways you could incorporate these pictures into therapy, but now you might be wondering where you can find them. Below are some links to these kinds of articles. Of course, you'll have to sift through the pictures to find ones that are appropriate for your students.

Engineering Fails


20 Images that Make No Sense

25 Stock Photos That Make No Sense

Do you ever use crazy photos in therapy?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Firefighter Interactive Articulation Activity

Every year, we have a Firefighters visit the preschool to talk about fire safety with our students. I usually do several activities with the students the week before the firefighters come - mostly language related. However, I felt like my articulation kiddos weren't getting in on the firefighter fun. That, paired with my love for interactive articulation activities, led to this new activity! 

Just print, cut, and laminate the fire cards (I double laminated since they'll be exposed to water). 

Then put the cards with the student's target sounds in a rubbermaid bin or water table. Have them practice "putting out the fires" with a squirt water bottle.

As they are putting out the fires, they can practice saying the articulation target on each flame card.
You can use fun carrier phrases such as “The tub is on fire” or “I saved the ball from the fire” to practice articulation sounds in phrases or sentences. 
I also have a transformers fire station I picked up at a yard sale for $5. If you have a toy fire station or fire truck, you can place cards around the room and have the students drive the truck to the various "fires" to put them out. My students have loved both activities! 
If you'd like to download this activity, you can find it here!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Winter NO PREP Articulation!

Yesterday, it snowed here for the first time of the season! I'm not the biggest fan of winter, but even I have to admit the snow is beautiful! Anyway, since it snowed, I thought now would be the perfect time to write about my Winter No Prep Articulation Packet! I used it all last week and the kids loved it!

You can find it here! As usual, these no prep packets save my prep time for those articulation kiddos on my caseload. 
You can check them all out here.

I hope you enjoy and stay warm!