Sunday, March 29, 2015

Give A Dog A Donut!

This last week has been Give a Dog a Donut week in the speech therapy room. I LOVE Laura Numeroff's books and "If You Give A Dog A Donut" was a huge hit with my kiddos this week. I developed a packet of activities that targets a HUGE variety of skills, so I was able to use the book and the companion pack with nearly ALL of my students from Pre-K to 4th grade. And they all loved it! I really thought my 3rd and 4th graders might think it was "babyish," but they really seemed to enjoy the activities and thought the book was very funny. Anyway, here are some things we did this week with If You Give A Dog A Donut by Laura Numeroff.

This packet includes several grammar activities for those kiddos struggling with syntax. It has cards that target plurals, past tense -ed, and present progressive -ing verbs.

 This packet also included a sorting activity to target noun-verb agreement when working on is/are, was/were, has/have, and do/does. There are 18 apple cards for each set along with two trees to sort the apples on.

This packet includes several language skills, too. There are cards to target categorization, cause & effect, sequencing, inhibitory words, and word associations.

We also worked on descriptive concepts - in both receptive and expressive activities. Students listened to the description and picked the donut or dog from one of two choices on the card. There is also a set of cards without a description. I use these to have the students play "speech teacher." They then use their best describing words to tell me which donut or dog to pick.
And I don't know about you, but it seems like EVERY kid on my caseload needs to work on answering "wh" questions - so I made some "wh" question flashcards that target events in the story. It's a great way to check for comprehension. There is also a yes/no question sorting activity included.

We also used the story telling map to help kids sequence events and retell the story. It was also a great way to introduce verbs by talking about all the actions the dog did in the book. Then the students drew pictures of things they would like to do with a dog.
We also targeted part to whole relationships.

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole activity were the adapted activities and symbols for my AAC students. I have several pre-kindergarteners that use PECS and several more students who just need the visual support of symbols to complete some verbal language tasks. I included explanations for four different activities that I adapted for my AAC kiddos and all the symbols we needed to do them. 

And last, but certainly not least, are the two generic games that can use used to target any skill or can be used with articulation cards. The first is a print & go Do-A-Dot page in black and white. All you have to do is print it out, grab some bingo markers, and you're ready to go.
It also includes a donut board game.

This game is two pieces of paper that you'll have to cut and assemble to make the donut board game. Just grab some dice and game pieces and you're ready to go!

This whole packet is available here in my teacherspayteachers store. 

Let me know what you're favorite book to use in therapy is! I love to incorporate literacy into therapy! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

So It Begins...

Welcome to Smashingly Good Speech! After starting my Teachers Pay Teachers store about a year ago, I've been making a ton of new games and materials for Speech and Language therapy. Some friends and fellow co-workers had mentioned that I should start a blog. So here I am! I'm hoping that starting this blog will keep me inspired to provide new, fun materials for my students while encouraging others to do the same. I would also love to join to world of speech and language bloggers - I think it could be such a great support system! As we all know, our job can be tough sometimes!

Anyway, I'll share a little bit about me. My name is Jessica and I have been an SLP for a few years at an elementary school in rural Illinois.

Unfortunately, this district also has a very high poverty rate. As a district, we are experiencing many budget cuts. In fact, many rural Illinois schools are fighting to keep their doors open as we experience more and more budget cuts. This motivated me to start making materials - since there was little money to buy them. I figured if I was making the materials, I might as well sell them. And that was how my teacherspayteachers store, Smashingly Good Speech, was born. It has turned into more than I ever thought and I have developed a love for making the materials. It definitely encourages me and inspires me to be a better clinician. Hopefully, the store will continue to grow - as most of the money I make from it is reinvested back into my students by buying other materials for them.

I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I also minored in Spanish during my undergrad. Which came in handy as I started my current job. The district I work for now has a population of dual language learners that makes up about 40-50% of the student body. The majority of those students speak Spanish as their first language. We also have a growing French speaking population. This brings about a whole new set of challenges during assessment and treatment - but I love it! I service students PreK -4th grade, with the majority being in Pre-K While there are many challenges to my job, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My students continuously bring a smile to my face and my coworkers help make it the best place to work!

On  personal note, I live in a neighboring town to the district I work in with my husband and our two fur babies - Bridget and Molly. They are both rescue dogs - which is something I encourage people to do! In my spare time (Ha! What spare time?!), I love crafting, building/refinishing furniture with my husband (he's a carpenter), working out (so I can eat, eat, eat - especially Italian food!), and spending time with my family and friends.

Anyway, I'm just trying to be a better therapist and person with each passing day. And I hope you'll follow along with me on this journey!