Thursday, September 15, 2016

10 Things You Should Never Say to a School-Based SLP



Sometimes school-based SLPs feel a bit misunderstood, and there a few things we would love everyone to know. 


10 Things you should never say to a school-based SLP. Which ones have you heard? www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Don't get me wrong, working as a school-based SLP is very rewarding. I love my school. We have a terrific principal, and we have a warm friendly staff who can be very supportive and understanding. I wouldn't trade working with my children, and many of my parents are absolutely wonderful.

Still, speech-language pathologists are often reminded that many people at school really don't understand what we do. I am not really sure why. I know I explain it all the time, and it's something we have to work on every year.

There is no mystery surrounding the role of teachers, the school nurse, the school psychologist, diagnostician or even the physical therapist.  Yet somehow, people have a hard time understanding what SLPs do, and that we are highly trained specialists with a lot to offer.

There are certain comments SLPs hear that can make us feel less valued. 

I asked my fellow SLPs to share, and the following list are some of the most commonly heard remarks. Have you heard these, or GASP! said some yourself?  Please, if you are an administrator, staff member or parent, inform yourself and think before you say anything like the following comments.

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10 comments that can make SLPs cringe!


1. "You work on vocabulary too? I thought you only did speech." 

If you didn't know: SLPs work on articulation, fluency (stuttering), language skills (vocabulary, concepts, comprehension, expression, grammar, inference and more), voice disorders, swallowing disorders, and social skills.

2. "It must be nice to only have 4 or 5 students at a time." 

Actually, it can be very difficult to address 5 sets of individualized goals at once, while taking data and scaffolding for each child. I am very aware that teachers have a demanding job, please understand we are working hard too.

3. Are you the speech teacher? 

Here's the thing: I am not a teacher. My mom was a teacher, my sister is a teacher. I am not. I do not hold a teaching certificate and have never taken education coursework. This is true for SLPs in many states.

I am a specialist with medically-based graduate training. While I highly respect our amazing teachers, when you call me a "speech teacher" it creates misunderstanding about my area of expertise and what I have to offer. Please call me the speech-language pathologist, or if that is too long, the SLP works great.

4. You play games all day, don't you?

I do play games with my young students. A motivated student is a child who is engaged and learning. The games are a tool. Serious work happens in the therapy room.

5. Can he bring his snack to speech? 

Well...no. Speech therapy is a setting where we talk while we are learning and practicing important foundational skills for academic success. These are areas your student has demonstrated weaknesses. Your student can't do that with his mouth full, and it will distract him from the work. Please have him leave the snack behind when he comes to speech.

6. My child doesn't need to see the speech teacher. I take her to a real speech therapist after school. She has a master's degree and knows how to help my child.

Dear Parent: There is no difference in our credentials and training. School-based SLPs and private therapists both go through the same coursework and hold the same degrees. I choose to work in the schools. (This is one example why calling me a "speech teacher" causes misunderstanding).

7. He needs additional help in math and reading, so we want to start him with a speech label. What can we qualify him for?

A speech impairment is based on a speech or language disorder and is a disability requiring specialized speech services. It is not a gateway for services for children who do not qualify under another recognized disability. Please don't ask this.  It is unethical and illegal to "qualify" a child as speech impaired when the child does not demonstrate a speech or language disorder and doesn't require speech services.

8. We need your room for storage/ another staff member's office/ employee lounge or a "real" class. 

You can do therapy in this closet. It has room for a table and a couple chairs.

Ask a group of SLP's about the spaces they are given to work in, and you hear tales of the hallway, the bathroom, tiny crowded closets, an area in a noisy cafeteria or other inappropriate areas. Suffice it to say that when SLPs are given inadequate facilities to see children, there is a negative consequence to student progress and therefore the school may not be providing FAPE. There is also a negative consequence to the SLP's morale, who may feel they are last on the list, and their services are not valued.

9. You are going to make up the sessions you missed when you were at assessments, ARD/IEP meetings, mandatory trainings, or out with the flu, right? 

10 Things you should never say to a school-based SLP. Which ones have you heard? www.speechsproutstherapy.comDear teachers, admins and parents, I may not be able to. That is the real truth. When other staff members are out, a substitute is hired so that children continue to be served.

Speech-language pathologists are very rarely given qualified subs, and the burden is placed on us to meet therapy time. This is often impossible with bulging caseloads, even if we give up planning time and lunch.  If the school district would hire more SLPs, this would be possible. Please talk to them about staffing adequately.

10.  Do you have to take Johnny right now? We were about to.....

Please understand that my schedule is filled with over 60 students. There is virtually no wiggle room and as I mentioned, it is unlikely that a session can be made up.  If this is Johnny's scheduled time, he needs to go. Thank you for understanding.

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SLPs,  it's our job to educate others about our profession.

It's up to us. In order for others to understand our role, and the expertise we have to offer, we need to speak up. Often. With everyone.

Don't be shy, tell others about your background. Talk about the goals you are currently working on. Discuss the challenges you have with caseloads, facilities, and scheduling. Get out of the therapy room and mingle occasionally at lunch. Give your administrators literature from ASHA to read on caseloads, and scope of practice. Advocate for your students and yourself. Share this list if you like, and keep on talking!

Until next time,




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why Back to School Just Got Less Frenzied! Super Speech Therapy Tips and a Bonus Sale

This SLP went home Friday and fell asleep on the couch.


Why Back to School Just Got Less Frenzied! Tips for SLPs www.speechsproutstherapy.com


I just finished my first week back to school, and I have to admit, it kinda kicked me in the ____! 

With five ARD meetings (That's what we call IEP meetings in Texas), new software to learn, several move-in students added to my already bulging therapy roll, staff meetings, presenting my in-service on CAS, unearthing my therapy room, staff meetings, welcoming and orienting my new paraprofessional and my new SLP-A, and the staff meetings....did I mention the staff meetings? Whoooo! I was frenzied and exhausted. I'll bet you know exactly what I mean.


Why Back to School Just Got Less Frenzied! Tips for SLPs www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Students start on Monday, and those bright shiny faces are expecting a great year. I'm going to help give it to them too. We are going to have fun, make some awesome progress and have our best year ever. But sometimes we need a little help, because time is at a premium.

Super Speech Therapy Tips and a Bonus Sale www.speechsprouts.com

The Frenzied SLPs know how crazy it can get- 


we are all headed back to school too! So we are getting together to offer you some terrific therapy tips and tell you about amazing therapy materials to cover your caseload and help make your year, well.... a little less frenzied!

So here are my tips for therapy planning:

1. Plan for high-interest themes and activities in speech therapy. 

When students are engaged, therapy becomes a breeze and a pleasure. I love themes, it keeps me interested too! We'll be thinking about yellow school buses, apples, owls, monsters, spiders, pumpkins and turkeys this fall.

2. Use visuals whenever possible! 

So many of our students with language delays are not strong auditory learners. Visuals can really help.

One of my favorite activities in my store, Associations and Describing: In The Doghouse. combines a favorite theme (pets) with strong visuals to assist children in describing similarities or associations. The describing mat gives children cues to helps them decribe the similarities. For example: They both have...., they are both part of...... The puzzle mat helps students format their sentence in reply to "How do they go together?"



The cute little puppy-dog themed game is fun, and adds a few more language opportunities. What is the dog doing? Why did his pawprints change color?

3. Using one versatile activity that's adaptable for multiple goals, mixed groups and ages will save you time and your sanity!

I aim to build in versatility to my packs for this reason- pull one and done! Associations and Describing in the Doghouse works great for pre-k to 3rd grade. Little ones work on vocabulary and basic go-togethers. Older children work on describing the associations. Modify up or down by requiring more attributes per description. Voila! Easy planning.

If you haven't heard,

Teachers pay Teachers has announced The Best Year Ever Bonus Sale for Monday, August 22nd! 

I plan to pick up some products to help me plan out my fall and early winter too,  because this one-day only sale means 28% off  in most stores. Everything will be on sale at Speech Sprouts store including In The Doghouse. To grab it at his discount, be sure you use this code at checkout: oneday.

Gift Certificate Giveaway! 

Good news, I have another $10 TpT Gift certificate to give away.  More good news! I am going to be joining in an instagram hop with 19 other SLPs who also have gift certificates to give away!! That means you have 20 chances to win a gift certificate, which are awesome odds, woohoo! It will start at 6pm ET today, 8-21-16. So head over to my insta @speechsprouts and be sure to follow me. Then at 6pm ET, head back and start hopping!

Bloggers, if you would like to link up with one of your sale products and therapy tips, add your link below!

Be sure to check more tips and great products from the Frenzied SLPs and friends. Just click any post in the linky! I hope you find some awesome new activities you'll love.





Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to Create an Amazing Therapy Plan for Childhood Apraxia of Speech



This is Part 5 of my series for SLPs on Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Let's Talk!

Today, we are going to talk about planning your therapy for CAS.

Create an Amazing Therapy Plan for Severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Congratulations, speech peeps, we made it through a lot of information on assessment together. I have been sharing what I learned from a top expert in the field, and wonderful clinician, Dr. Edythe Strand of Mayo Clinic.

I hope you have a better understanding of how to plan an evaluation for a child whom you suspect has childhood apraxia of speech, and a better understanding of how to make your differential diagnosis. I really think that's the hard part! We even learned how to identify emerging skills that will be great starting points in therapy.  So now, it's time to get a therapy plan going, and get some progress rolling for your student.

If you are just joining in, I recommend reading the earlier posts, and then catching up with us here. You can find the first post in this series here: Childhood Apraxia of Speech: What SLPs Need to Know. It's okay, Go ahead. I'll wait!

So let's talk about the principles of motor learning theory and making progress with childhood apraxia of speech.

This is important to your therapy plan, I promise. Let's think about this. We want to improve skills in motor planning, retrieval and carrying out the muscle movements (motor movements) needed for speech. So we need to know what research says is the most efficient way to do that.


Motor learning theory has been applied to rehabilitation of limb movements for many years, and in the last 10-15 years,  to the treatment of CAS. 

Some studies have supported it's application to speech movements, others have not. Speech is, after all, a complex behavior, involving language and motor movements. The severity of CAS appears to be a large factor.

So what needs to happen to learn a motor skill? We need practice. Lots and lots of repetitive practice of the movement. How did you learn to ride a bike? Steer a car? Did you do this smoothly at first? Probably not, but the more practice you got, the better you were.  You practiced until the movements came automatically.

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First things first.

We need a few skills in place to make the most progress. The child needs to be able to imitate you, be willing to watch your face, maintain attention. If these are not in place yet, build these into your therapy plan.

Here's how:
Create an Amazing Therapy Plan for Severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech www.speechsproutstherapy.com1. The child needs to imitate your movements. Do a few minutes of warm-up, where you practice imitation of your movements.  Reinforce imitation of large movements- arms waving, clapping, then finer movements, fingers wiggling, then oral movements: moving your jaw, lips, and tongue. Talk about and practice the difference between big movements and little movements, fast movements and slow movements. Draw attention to how the movement feels. Does it feel tight? Now let's try it loose.

2. The child needs to watch your face: Hold activities and reinforcers near your face, not on the table, which encourages the child to look away. Place the child at eye level with you. Raise the child, or lower yourself! Dr. Strand sometimes puts them on top of her desk. I tried that, and it works great. Face to face, with no table in between. Attention is on your face.

3. The child needs to sustain attention on you. Use activities that are motivating, but really quick. Don't let them distract the child's focus. Get back to practice immediately. The more responses per session, the faster the progress!

Now let's talk about what motor learning theory says about scheduling practice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How often should therapy sessions be scheduled? How many words should I work on in a session?


Motor learning theory tells us about the benefits and drawbacks of different schedules of practice.

* Mass practice may be scheduling 5 sessions in one day or one really long session a week.  It can also mean working on a very small set of words per session. You get a ton of practice in a short period of time. Mass practice will lead to quick development of a skill. However, carryover and generalization to other motor movements and words is poor. So this might be the initial option for severe, highly unintelligible children to help them be more accurate with a small core vocabulary they can use, and get them communicating verbally.  Work on only 5-7 words per session, and schedule many frequent sessions. Later, you will want to move to distributed practice.

* Distributed practice may be working on 10 different words in a set during a session, or scheduling less frequent sessions. Distributed practice yields slower progress, but better learning and generalization.

* Block Practice is practicing each word in a block of many repetitions. For instance, practice "me" 50 times, them "mine" 50 times, then "up" 50 times. You get better performance on trained words, but less generalization. A "modified" block may look like 50 reps on "me", 50 reps on "mine" 20 reps on  "up".

* Random Practice is taking those same words and mixing them up randomly. Say "mine" then "me" then "up". This yields better motor learning, but slow progress.

Vary your set of practice words and how they are presented. 

Movement sequences should be practiced under different conditions and contexts to improve motor learning. Choose a movement sequence, but practiced varied examples, different coarticulatory contexts and manners of production. For instance, you could choose a bilabial to a vowel. Your set could include me, my, bee, baby.

Don't forget prosody!

Work on this early and often. Once the child is successful in one context, practice the word or phrase loud and soft, hi and low, normal or slow. Say it as a statement or with rising question inflection. Go out! Go out! Go out? Just be sure you never segment your model. Teach "shhhhhhhoooo" and not "sh"+"oo".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


What should feedback look like?

There are two types of feedback that play a part in learning:
* Intrinsic feedback is sensory information- what the child hears or sees or feels. Sensory feedback may not be enough in CAS.

* Extrinsic feedback, which provides information on how accurate the attempt was "That's right!" and what the child needs to do differently "Be sure your lips are together." This is especially important early in treatment. As a child progress, reduce extrinsic feedback, to so the child does not become overly dependent on it, and can improve self-monitoring. 

The amount of feedback needed changes over time. Start with frequent, immediate feedback, and move towards intermittent feedback with greater delays in delivery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


So what do you do exactly? 

For the child with severe apraxia, start with mass practice and blocked practice, with frequent and immediate feedback.


Create an Amazing Therapy Plan for Severe CAS www.speechsproutstherapy.com1. Start off with a small stimulus set of 5-7 utterances.
2. Plan shorter, more frequent sessions using block or modified block practice.
3. You may want to choose stimulus words with two different vowels.
4. Target functional words such as hi, bye,  out, ow or down. Check with family to see what words are important to the child: a pet's name, favorite toy, family names, his own name, are all good targets to include for functional speech.
5. Provide immediate, frequent and very specific feedback.

As the child progresses, move toward distributed practice and random practice, with less frequent feedback, delivered with greater delays.  

1. Increase the number of stimulus words: up to ten.
2. Sessions can be longer and less frequent.
3. Don't provide feedback for every trial. Make it less frequent and less immediate. I would continue to make feedback specific.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


You've done it! You have an awesome therapy plan in place for your student. 

We have our diagnosis, we have identified emerging skills and functional words to target, and have designed a therapy plan with careful consideration to the intensity and frequency of practice and feedback. As our preschool teacher would say... "Kiss your brain!"


Next time I will be talking about Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) and some awesome therapy techniques, tips and tricks.

See you soon, and please don't forget to share this post so we can spread the word!



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Best-Ever Books for Back to School Speech Therapy: The Kissing Hand and a FREE Treat too!

Welcome your children back to school with a favorite story: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.


Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Mommy loves you. Many children feel anxious about the newness of  heading back to school, and this sweet book assures them that they are loved and will have a wonderful time. It's great for preschool to second grade, you can find plenty of ways to share and target goals too.

Just so you don't miss it, I have a freebie for you too, so be sure you read all the way through!

The story begins with a little raccoon named Chester.

Chester cries, because he is a bit scared to start school. He begs his mama to stay home with everything that is familiar to him, so he can play with his friends, his toys and read his books.

Mother gives Chester a family secret: the kissing hand. She places a kiss right in the center of his palm. Now, when Chester places it on his cheek, he can feel the warmth of Mommy's kiss, and he thinks "Mommy loves you."

Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Chester loves his kissing hand, and he knows his mother's love will go with him... even to school. He loves it so much, that he gives mother her own kissing hand at the end of the story. She presses it to her cheek and she knows: "Chester loves me."

Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com

The Kissing Hand is the perfect storybook for back to school.

Here's my plan for Week ONE! We'll read the Kissing Hand with my students. We will talk about feelings vocabulary. So many of my children with language goals have limited descriptions for emotions: happy, sad, and mad. Sometimes scared. We will talk about words like worried, anxious, excited, fearful.


I needed book companion activities for The Kissing Hand!


I created a The Kissing Hand Back to School Speech Therapy Book Companion, so I could address the numerous goals of my growing caseload. I am really excited to tell you about it, I can't wait to kick off my year with this pack.

School hasn't started yet, but I understand my school has already gained 76 kids this year. That will surely mean more speech therapy IEPs for me. Yikes. This year I will be supervising an SLPA and will be all about multitasking and making things versatile. Starting with week one!

I love that I have small groups, and can really give individualized attention to my children. We'll start by drawing our worries, and talk about what made us feel better.


Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com


There are plenty more activities to cover nearly everyone on the caseload.  Here are a few pictured here: Category sorting for school supplies. (Everything you see is also available in BW for those who need to be ink-conscious. I always include BW or gray-scale options for you.)


Check out the cute writing craftivity on the left:


Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.comWelcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com
Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion for this beloved story. www.speechsproutstherapy.com
There are wh and yes/no questions, following directions, story sequencing, story vocabulary and articulation too. 

I made articulation puzzles for minimal pairs. 

These will be great for my pre-k and kinders. 

I glued mine onto file folders to make it easier for little hands, and will be adding Velcro when I get back to school. The file folder makes it pretty convenient to hold the pieces. just pop them in a baggie, and into the inside pocket.

Like most of us, I have a range of ages on my caseload.

 I needed higher level activities as well. Vocabulary task cards, more advanced category cards, story map, and an open-ended board game for back to school: Scamper.

I really love using mini-book readers. 

The children enjoy the hands-on activity and they are proud to share them at home, giving additional practice. So I created Chester, Chester, I Need a a Kiss Quick! 

Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! Freebie and book companion that includes this adorable reader.www.speechsproutstherapy.com
Fun reader to learn body parts and where questions.
Cut out the included heart shapes, or better yet use stickers or die-cut hearts if you have them. Fun! Stick the heart on the children on each page... on a hand, a head, a knee, and on the heart! Your students will practice basic body parts and answering where? questions with this cute little rhyming reader.


We will wrap up our first day with this cute little treat.

I created these treat toppers for a sweet little welcome to go along with the story. You can print them double-sided to include a parent note, encouraging story re-tell when the children get home. Tell the children they will get a kiss for themselves, and need to share a kiss at home with someone they love. 





You can download this FREEBIE in my store here: The Kissing Hand Treat Toppers

Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too! FREE treat topper with a parent note to encourage story re-tell. www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Prepping these is easy! Pop a few candy kisses in a baggie, Staple the labels on top, and you are ready to go!


I hope you have a terrific back to school, whether you are starting this week (like me) or in a couple weeks! 

Welcome your speech therapy students back to school with The Kissing Hand and a sweet treat too!  Download a FREE treat baggie topper too. www.speechsproutstherapy.com
The Kissing Hand
Until next time my friends...



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever!



I'm ready to capture my student's back to school excitement with some terrific new speech and language activities!


Who doesn't love something shiny and new for back to school? In addition to that cute new outfit, I want to knock my student's socks off with speech therapy activities that are super fun and engaging. So, I have been busy creating a few and shopping for more of the best activities to add to my wishlist.

Best Back to School Activities for SLPs Ever! Linky Party with Speech Room News

The first place I head (okay, after the Target bargain aisle) is to TPT. The problem is, there are tons of great activities and stores, and it can be time-consuming to sift through it all. No worries! I'm going to save you some time and show you what I've found. But this will make it even sweeter:

Back to school Teachers pay Teachers sale August 1-2nd

You'll save up to 28% on your picks, including everything at Speech Sprouts Store. Just don't forget the promo code: BestYear

Want the lowdown on even more activities? A big thank you to Jenna Rayburn of Speech Room News for hosting her What's in Your Cart Linky. After you read my picks, head to the linky so you can have fun seeing what everyone else has in their cart!

A new speech and language activity at Speech Sprouts

I have been busy creating this summer and am excited for you to check out my newest addition to my Back to School Activities at Speech Sprouts. Ta da!

Back to School Bingo Riddles Speech Therapy activity  www.speechsproutstherapy.com

I have had requests for more Bingo Riddles games, 

Back to School Bingo Riddles Speech Therapy activity  www.speechsproutstherapy.com
Back to School Bingo Riddles
so I created this one with a fun school theme. My best-selling Bingo Riddles packs combine fun rhyming riddles with a favorite game. (You should hear me walk around the house talking to myself, as I make up new riddles. Hubby thinks I'm a bit crazy anyway!) You'll target vocabulary, inference, listening comprehension and rhyme. 

I love using it for push-in activities or large groups (plenty for everybody with 28 boards) as well as my small groups.

A sweet comment

on another of my Bingo Riddles games: "This is the 2nd year that I have used these, and I had to write a review...because I love it so much. I have used it with preschoolers, 6th graders, and all of the grades in between. All of the clues are clever and witty and fun and appropriate. I just can't rate this high enough." 

If this is your lovely comment, please e-mail me at speechsproutstherapy@gmail.com. I have a surprise for you!

Back to School Bingo Riddles Speech Therapy activity  www.speechsproutstherapy.com      Back to School Bingo Riddles Speech Therapy activity  www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Just posted today! 

Whew! Been working day and night to bring you this speech therapy book companion for one of my all time favorite back to school stories: The Kissing Hand. And guess what? Uh huh, uh huh...It's on sale, cause I want y'all to get happy and have your best year ever! Head over to take a peek at cards, puzzles, printables and a minibook reader too! Find it HERE.

The Kissing Hand Back to School Speech Therapy Companion www.speechsproutstherapy.com
The Kissing Hand Back to School Companion!

 Now for a peek at some more back to school activities that I will be popping in my cart for the sale. I will have planning wrapped up for a least a month. SWEET!

Here's What's in my Cart:


First up is a pack from Mandi of Panda Speech. Some days we just need to print and go! This school-themed pack will have you covered!

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Check out this resource from SLPTalk with Desiree, using paint sticks. What a fun twist on articulation therapy! My kids really enjoy manipulative activities.

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Next up is this cool activity from Creative Speech Lab.  My kids will love these little pop-up style stories as they practice sentence and conversational level articulation. I love that it will work for my language kids too.

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever www.speechsproutstherapy.com

Get the conversation going with these ice breaker activities from The SLT Scrapbook.  All about me, conversation starters and partner up activities. Perfect fit for back to school and social groups too.

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Enter my $10 Giveaway!

To say thank you to my newsletter subscribers, I am giving away a $10 TpT Gift certificate. To enter, sign up for my newsletter in the side column and comment on this blog post with one of YOUR favorite back to school activities. If you are already a subscriber, all you need to do is comment! I will pick a random winner at 12 noon  on August 2nd.

UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Ashley Kerekes, I will email you the code for your $10 discount. Thanks to all who entered, you shared lots of great ideas.

Best Back to School Speech Therapy Activities Ever!  www.speechsproutstherapy.com


Good luck, and don't forget to check out more of What's in Your Cart?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Articulation Ideas: Playtime for S-Clusters- Review and Giveaway

I can always count on having children with s-cluster goals in speech therapy.

Preschoolers and kindergarteners are cuddly, cute and very wiggly- they need hands-on activities! So I am ever on the lookout for fresh ideas and activities to keep those little ones engaged.

Articulation Ideas: Playtime for S-Clusters- Review and Giveaway www.speechsproutstherapy.com
Spoon drop s-blend activity

Enter S-Blend Playtime! Activities for S-Clusters, a new resource by Kim from Activity Tailor. What I love about this pack is that it is chock full of great ideas to get kids up, moving, digging, sliding, opening and exploring as they practice those s-blends.

S-Blend Playtime Activities includes creative ways to use stuffed animals, toy planes, miniatures, play dough, shaving cream, blocks, and stickers. You could easily fill up to 8 sessions per blend, which would carry you through at least 2 cycles with little to no planning and prep required! I love that.


Included are ideas for play activities, games, recipes (make some slime!) and tabletop activities for seven blends: SK, ST, SP, SL, SM, SN, and SW.  

For each blend, there is a printable tabletop activity, from coloring ice cream scoops (/sk/) to adding smiles on fun faces (/sm/). There is a listening list for auditory bombardment in therapy, 6 play activities, a movement activity and a send-home parent note with instructions and pacing boards with a list for parents to read, and pictures for children to name.

The play activities use items you probably already have in your therapy room, cutting down on expenses. I don't know about you, but materials usually come out of my own pocket, so that really helps!

I think one of my favorite ideas is making scary/ not scary boxes. 

Most of my preschoolers are fascinated by anything a bit creepy. I happen to have scorpions, snakes. beetles and spiders in my bug collection- perfect! Maybe a skeleton would work also, hmm.

I think I need to make some slime too. Slippery slime slides slowly. Oooh, this will be fun!

Click HERE to see the details in Activity Tailor's store.



These activities would fit right in with my intensive preschool program.

I do centers and hands-on activities for my littles to fill two-hour sessions. Read more about this service delivery model and what's included here:  Intensive Service Delivery Model for Preschool Speech Therapy.

Would You Like to Win a Copy?

Leave a comment with your favorite activity for s-blends, and I will pick a winner at random!
I will pick a winner at 12 am EST on July 25th. The winner will be announced here and on my Facebook page, so check back!

Good luck, I can't wait to see your ideas!

Update 7-25-16, We have a winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared ideas. A winner has been chosen by a random number picker: Lisa Filion! Congratulations Lisa, please email me at speechsproutstherapy@gmail.com  and I will send your copy of S-Blend Playtime! Activities for S-Clusters. A special thank you to Kim from Activity Tailor for providing a free copy.

Monday, July 11, 2016

10 Terrific Storybooks for Speech Therapy and How To Use Them.

What are your favorite storybooks for speech therapy? 


That is what I asked the bloggers at Speech Spotlight, and I am excited to share their favorites with you. Speech Spotlight is my other blogging home, where I collaborate with nine talented SLP blogger friends. Stop by and visit, if you haven't already!

Is your favorite here? 10 Terrific storybooks and how to use them in speech therapy. www.speechsprouts.com
Is your favorite for literature-based speech therapy here?
If you have visited me before at Speech Sprouts, you know I think literature-based therapy is terrific. The cat's meow. Awesome. Outstanding. The bee's knees. Fabulous. (Maybe I like synonyms and idioms a little bit too?)

I will be definitely be headed to the library to check out this list of delightful children's books. 

There are some new ones in here for me. I'll tell you about one of my new favorites too!


1. The Pout-Pout Fish Goes To School by Deborah Diesen


Is your favorite here? 10 Terrific storybooks and how to use them in speech therapy. www.speechsprouts.com
Build vocabulary with
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School
Ashley from Sweet Southern Speech posted about her favorites in her post Building Vocabulary With Back to School Books. She writes "The Pout-Pout Fish series of books offer an excellent opportunity to use imagery for vocabulary building. Just look at his face on the cover!" 


2. Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke


Susan from Kids Learn Language said, "One of my favorite books for therapy (only one???) is Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One, by Kate Duke." It's an engaging story that walks kids through how a story is written - what elements you need to have. 

Aunt Isabel tells her nice and nephew about stories, as she makes up a story from elements they all suggest - and the heroine saves everyone. Her kids have always loved it! Susan has a companion resource for this book in her store. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Story-Elements...


3. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Ashley also shared this lovely book in her blog post Fall Books and How I Use Them in Speech Therapy. She targets compare and contrast, sequencing, vocabulary and superlatives. It's also a terrific book for incorporating fall art in speech therapy. 

4. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

Linda from Looks Like Language  loves using A Bad Case of Stripes to help students make inferences and work on social skills. It helps students understand that other people have different perspectives. Linda reads it with her students to work on interpreting facial expressions and talk about how people feel about each other.  

5. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague

Linda also really likes this book for teaching students to look for pictured clues to make inferences, compare and contrast, and for talking about how different people can have different viewpoints in the same situation. 

6. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Is your favorite here? 10 Terrific storybooks and how to use them in speech therapy. www.speechsprouts.com
Teach Describing words with Dear Zoo.

Colette from Alberta Speechie shares this favorite in her blog post on Bringing Children's Lit Into Speech. She says Dear Zoo is not only great for teaching the names of different zoo animals, but it also uses describing words such as jumpy, fierce, grumpy and naughty which might be new to the children. Children love to act out the different descriptions! 

7. The Apple Pie Tree by Zoee Hall

This favorite is from Ashley at  AGB Speech Therapy. She loves to use this book for teaching seasons and sequencing. The book is colorful and engaging, and has a delicious apple pie ending! I can see myself making some mini-pies with my students after reading this one.

8. Press Here by Herve' Tullet

Is your favorite here? 10 Terrific storybooks and how to use them in speech therapy. www.speechsprouts.com
Follow one-step directions
with Press Here 
Jennifer from Speech Therapy Fun says she loves Press Here because it's so different from the average book. It's great for one step directions and the students love seeing what happens when they follow the directions. I definitely agree, Jennifer! It's one of my favorites, and you can read a review of this book HERE at Speech Sprouts.

9. The Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Sarah of Speech is Beautiful picks this adorable book as a favorite of hers. The main character is a little green pea who does not want to eat his candy. (What a fun turnaround to read with any veggie-hating children!) This simple story is perfect for initial /p/ and story retell.

10. Peck, Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins
This story about a young woodpecker and his daddy is one of my newest favorites at Speech Sprouts. You can read the full review  HERE. I am always looking for sound-loaded books, as you may know if you have read about my sound-loaded storybooks for articulation freebie. This book is repeats the word "peck" over and over as the little woodpecker flies off to try out his new skills. Perfect for teaching final /k/. It's also great for where questions, categories and rhyme too. 

There you have it! 


I hope you have discovered a couple new titles for your therapy room.


I know I can't wait to try out some new storybooks with my students. You can always find my reviews of more great children's books by clicking the Storybook category at the top of my blog on my home page. I will be adding new ones to my Best-ever Storybooks series, so check back often, and let me know if you have a favorite you think I would like. 

Now, where's my library card?  I'm going to need it!


Until next time my friends.