Saturday, December 27, 2014

Do You Make Professional New Years Resolutions?

What are your professional goals for 2015?

 New Year's Day is a great time to reflect on your professional year, and chart a fresh start! Are there ways you would like to grow professionally this year? The American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association posed the question in January's ASHA Leader. Check out page 63 to see my resolution and those of many of my blogger buddies!

Challenge yourself to meet your goals this year. Do you need to get organized, increase collaboration, want to start a new initiative? Grow through additional professional training? Improve communication with parents, students or clients? 

Setting goals helps make us accountable to ourselves, and yikes! Seeing it in print makes me feel that I am more likely to get  those goals accomplished. You can do it too, so get out some paper, write down a few goals and post them where you will see them. Better yet, share with some professional friends and I bet you will stay on top of it.

Here's a cute "contract" to get you started.

 Free for you. Just right click and choose "save image as". Name it and save to your documents. Then print.

Good luck and best wishes for a very Happy New Year from Speech Sprouts!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Speech Therapy

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my speech therapy room! Even though we usually don't expect much snow for Christmas in Texas (but it has happened a few years!) our kids still love dreaming about snowmen and sleds and Christmas time.

Here are a few activities going on in my therapy room:

Last week we targeted /st/ blends. Talking about Christmas stockings is a natural. I hid objects beginning with /st/ in a stocking (It's a perfect "feely" bag.) Included were a tiny stocking, a mini book (storybook), a stick, a stamp, a sticker, a star, a stop sign, a stone and a guy named Steve!

Christmas speech therapy ideas for articulation
We sorted some silly "presents" and put the ones that began with /st/ on our "stocking."  (this page is from my Articulation Cards and Activities for ST- with min pairs.)

Christmas Speech Therapy for s-blends

Then we made glittered stockings. While we decorated them. We talked about what we might like in our stocking. This was a great opportunity for category work (candy, toys, games, stuffed animals, etc)

S-blends articulation activities- make a glittered stocking in speech therapy

Next we practiced /st/ blends. We put a second plain stocking behind the first and stapled them to make a pocket. We cut out cards with /st/ words and named them before tucking them in our stockings. For those at sentence level we said "I stuffed a ____ in my stocking."

I created this freebie for you, so you can try it too! Click the pictures to go to Speech Sprouts on TpT and download. You can also use it for describing and phonological awareness sorting as well as Christmas vocabulary. I hope you enjoy it!

Free Stocking Stuffer Craft for speech therapy

Here are some some hints to manage working with glitter: Use a cookie sheet to contain it. Before opening the glitter, take a dryer sheet and wipe down all surfaces that the glitter will contact- cookie sheet, table, maybe even the chairs. This will keep down the static electricity and the mess! I usually make a paper funnel when finished to get the leftover glitter back in the container.

When dry, we stapled another stocking on the back to create a pocket. Then we slipped in pictures of /st/ words. "There's a stamp in my stocking, there's a stop sign in my stocking."

My kids are so proud to take art projects home and tell their parents about it-  it really encourages home practice.

I would love to hear what you do in your therapy room for the holidays!

In the meantime, a girl can still dream about a white Christmas!

Snow in Texas 2010!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Favorite Things- Holiday Bloghop!

The holidays are a great time to reflect on all the moments and wonderful things that put a smile on our face, make life easier, lift our spirits. So, I am getting together with some blogging friends to share some of our favorite things with you! There are awesome prizes to win, fabulous bargains to be had, and lots of fun window shopping along the way!

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom, and see what I have donated for you to win, and you can enter the giveaway!

Here are some of my favorite things. What are yours?

#1 Cranberry Bread

When the holidays near, I start wishing for.....cranberry bread with pecans from our pecan trees! (If you don't have pecans, walnuts are yummy too.) It's definitely a must-have at my house. My hubby and sons all love it. I use the traditional recipe, and bake plenty to freeze. It disappears fast, so you may want to double or triple the recipe!

Here's the recipe I love:

When it comes to chopping the cranberries, I found myself chasing those little red, rolling cranberries around the room as they would slip away and try to make a break for it.  Then I got smart. (Well, that's my story anyway. Better late than never!) Now I use my Zyless chopper from Pampered Chef  or my food processor to chop cranberries- no more escapees.

#2 Puppets!

At school, one of my favorite things to use in speech therapy is a good story and story-telling puppets. I splurged this past year and bought a couple awesome puppets from Folkmanis.(the Gruffalo and the crocodile puppets).  My preschool kids get so involved with the puppet, it's like they forget I'm there. They have conversations with the puppet, squeal with delight, and are happy to answer any questions it asks. I love it!

Ok, I admit it. I am proudly a word nerd. During the holidays I love to get together with family and friends and gather for a good game of Scrabble. Words with Friends is great, but sitting across from each other is even better.

# 3 Scrabble
 Here's my favorite Scrabble board, I love that it has raised plastic edges on the squares the tiles nestle into, to prevent the letters from slipping and sliding.
Add caption
Growing up in upstate NY, we used to frequent neighborhood bakeries with wonderful breads and pastries. I love the smell of fresh baked bread! Hmm, can you tell I love carbs?
We are all transplanted to Texas now. After a busy week at school, I love to take my mom and sister to my favorite restaurant: Panera Bread. They have all kinds of good things, delicious salads, yummy soups and you guessed it: Fresh baked bread for their sandwiches.


Panera Bread Gift Certificate!

I want to share a little holiday fun with you, so I am donating a $20 gift certificate to Panera bread! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter giveaway. There are tons of great favorite things to win!
Finally, who doesn't love snagging great bargains during the holidays?

50% off sale!

There will be some awesome 50% off deals coming December 7th! 

1. One must have product for SLPs and teachers too, will be 50% off December 7th in my store for one day ONLY for the SLP MUST HAVE SALE. You will find it in the #SLPMusthave category in my store on December 7th.

2. But that's definitely not all! You will find 50% off 3 more great products to celebrate My FAVORITE THINGS from December 7th to December 14th! They will be tucked into the category #myfavoritethings2014 in my store. These 3 will be 50% off from Dec 7th -Dec 14th.

WOW!  So if you stop by on the  December 7th, there will four, count 'em 4 products on sale for 50% off.  You can visit my store here: Speech Sprouts

Don't forget to hop on over to all the other great blogs. More Favorite Things and more amazing bargains and please enter the fantastic giveaway below!

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays to everyone from Speech Sprouts!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Freebies Galore! Look who's in the 2014 Holiday Tips and Freebies ebooks on TPT!

I am so excited to share that Speech Sprouts is included in the Pre-K to K edition of TpT's annual Holiday ebooks!

Speech Sprouts is on page 44
Click the Cover

 I look forward to this amazing collection each year and EEK! I get the opportunity to spread some cheer by offering my Santa advent Calendar! It comes with the numbers for the countdown, or without for a craftivity. Black and white versions are also included!
Click the picture

 What's my tip for working with glitter this holiday season? (We have been adding sparkly glitter to our activities twice this week already :)

Tip #1: Of course use a cookie sheet.

Tip #2:  Check out page 44 of the ebook for another great tip to contain that beautiful, static-laden, stick-to-everything stuff. Hint: It involves dryer sheets.

 The e-book is chock full of fabulous freebies and amazing holiday tips. Just click the cover above and go download it now. TpT educators have worked hard to bring you all these incredible freebies, so don't forget to return the love when you download the e-book or one of the freebies by leaving sweet feedback. You can't imagine how much sellers truly appreciate that.

Happy Holiday Freebie Browsing and don't forget to share the links to the ebooks with your friends so they can grab some great freebies too.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Crazy Busy December? Your SLP Survival Guide.

Are there ever enough hours in the day?

Therapy, reports, shopping, cooking, assessments, wrapping,  baking,  documentation, billing, parties, decorating,  more work.... you know the drill! I love the holidays, I really do. But it can stress you out, with everything that has to be done. How to survive it?

Take advantage of the great products available on Teachers pay Teachers to make your December easier, and you concentrate on family rather than therapy planning. Tpt sellers have done the work for you, yea! 

The TpT Cyber Sale coming December 1st-2nd. Planning done? Check! And at bargain prices too! Be sure to use the code TPTCYBER to get the full discount.

Stop by Speech Sprouts Store and pop some of these goodies in your cart, and you will have December (and beyond) all wrapped up!

My kids adore this book. At night while the world is sleeping, these snowmen go out and have the most frozen fun ever! The story sparks the young imagination, and everyone loves to take turns telling what THEY would do if they were a snowman at night. 

 This pack has so many activities, you will find something for all the PK- 4th graders on your caseload.  Wh? and Yes/No questions, categories, story sequencing and re-tell, prediction, inference, definitions, phonological awareness and articulation of s-blends, r, l, and s! 

Will you be the first one to build your snowman? The Build a Snowman Game is a hit with all ages. Roll the dice and collect the snowman parts. Or color, cut and assemble your own for a craftivity. 

Need an open-ended game? 

 Pick up Winter Vocabulary Games and you get 3 games in one: one for December, January and February! The kids love drawing the cards to see who can be the first to spell the word (Santa, Winter or Hearts)

Do you have little ones on your caseload?

I have plenty! Age 3 to first graders will love Where is Rudolph? Interactive Story and Language Activities

I do push-in services as well as pull-out services for my littles. I love creating packs that are versatile, so I can pull one resource and be set. Where is Rudolph? has me covered!

I wrote this cute repetitive story to target Where? questions. The kids love lifting the Velcroed story pieces to see if they can find Rudolph. They join in as I read "Is he under the _____? No, he's not! But no worries, Santa does find him in time for his midnight ride!

The story is also presented in an animated PowerPoint version- go paperless if you like. After the story, choose from activities to cover prepositions, Hot/Cold categories, same/different, associations, plurals, phonological awareness, and story re-tell. Puzzles, game, dot marker sheets, dough mats... this one resource may be all you need for your littles.

Need a fun Christmas activity for groups? 


Push in to the classroom, have small group fun or double up groups to get your caseload covered. You can handle it with Christmas Bingo Riddles.

This resource was in my last post,What's in Your Cart? but it bears repeating. My kiddos literally beg to play Bingo riddles, and the Christmas version is loads of fun. With 28 boards, you can target listening, critical thinking, describing, rhyme and vocabulary with any size group. Yea! Awesome therapy session accomplished.

Savings Supersized!

If you love riddles, you might want to grab the Speech Therapy Bingo Riddles 4-Holiday Pack to save $. It will be on sale for over 40% off the price of the individual packs. WOW!!

Here's another great bundle, Stuff Your Stocking Speech Therapy Bundle.
It includes Where's Rudolph, Winter Vocabulary Games and Winner, Winner, Turkey Dinner!

Can't wait for the sale... I have been looking forward to snagging some great products.  See you there!

I hope everyone has a wonderful happy December. Stay tuned for some fun events coming very soon!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What's in Your Cart? Making my list and checking it twice!

I am excited to link up with Jenna of Speech Room News for the upcoming Teachers pay Teachers Cybersale coming your way on December 1st to December 2nd.

Linking up with the Speech Room News.

Do you wishlist products that you would love to have, so you can come back later and grab them? Well,  now is the time to empty those wishlists because your favorites will be up to 28% of for the site-wide Teachers pay Teachers sale. Everything in my store will be 28% off when you use the code TPTCYBER.

Stop by Speech Sprouts and be sure to grab Christmas Bingo Riddles!

This new Bingo riddles game is the Christmas version of my best-seller. Not your ordinary bingo, kids LOVE solving the riddles to play! Critical thinking and listening skills = a no-guilt fun holiday activity! It comes with low/color grayscale options too, so it's perfect for small group or the whole class! Christmas party, yes!



See Christmas Bingo Riddles Here


Now for a peek to see what's in MY cart!

You can find these awesome products here:

Naughty or Nice, You Decide by All Y'all Need

Articulation Placemats by Figuratively Speeching

Conversational Turn-Taking by Looks Like Language

Verbal Apraxia Packet by Kathy Grover's Speech all the Time

Be sure you stop by my store to see what I have for you at Speech Sprouts!
Everything will be 28% off, including bundles! That especially makes the bundles a huge savings as they are aready discounted.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Count Down to Christmas With This December Freebie!

Kids love to count down the days until Santa arrives.

Here's a fun freebie for you.

I have lot's of little ones on my caseload, and they are already thinking about Christmas coming. I love to have a few Santa-themed activities for them in December, so I made this cute Santa with 25 circles for a fun countdown.

There are lot's of ways to use this cute holiday gift:

1. Use it as an advent calendar, and glue a cottonball on Santa's Beard each day. It is provided in both color and black and white for you.

Free Santa Advent Calendar or craft for Christmas
Santa  Advent Calendar or Craftivity!

2. Use  as a craftivity during your December speech sessions... Give a cottonball or crumpled piece of white tissue paper for each response. and cover each circle. Choose the black and white version if the children will be coloring Santa.

3. Use the black and white sheet without the numbers as a dot marker sheet or with bingo chips. Fun!

 Free Santa Advent Calendar or craftivity for Christmas
Craftivity or Dot Marker Fun too!

Here are some of the comments and ideas on how to use this resource at my Teachers pay Teachers store, Speech Sprouts:

Lauren R. said:
This is great to use as a game in speech-language therapy where they fill in Santa's beard! Thank you!

Lisa H. said:
Looking forward to using during artic drills - cover with magnetic chips or do-a-dot. Thanks for the freebie.

Jodi C. said:
great for roll and cover during articulation therapy. Thanks so much for the Santa theme.
Buyer said:
Love this! When I was little, I think a soda company gave out the same type of thing. It was always a favorite!

Counseling with HEART (TpT Seller) said:
This is adorable! I have kindergarten lunch duty each day and I will be using this as part of my behavior management. Each day the class earns a brag during lunch, they get to put a cotton ball on Santa's beard. Once they fill his beard completely, I'll give them a yummy treat: candy cane or hot chocolate or holiday cookies... So excited!
Grab your copy at Speech Sprouts here: Christmas Santa Advent Calendar.

I linked up this post with Speechie Freebies. If you haven't checked it out, stop by here!
Friday Speechie Freebies Link-up
Linking up for Manic Monday too!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 2: More Spider Fun!

Our second day of targeting /sp/ included more spidery adventures.

Day two of spiders! We read I Love Spiders by John Parker. I like to choose sound-loaded books for the target of the day. Lots of repetition of the sound is great auditory bombardment and gives plenty of articulation practice opportunities as we discuss the book.
I Love Spiders by John Parker

I Love Spiders repeats the word "spiders" over and over. Perfect! It has adorable illustrations, simple text and describes spiders with simple adjectives. We learn basic concepts and opposites too, as the book talks about spiders who are  round/flat, young/old, fat/thin and more!

Descriptive concepts and opposites to talk about! 

I have a larger group in my preschool program (It can be up to 10), and not everyone may need the target of the week. Research tells us that kids with speech and language delays are at higher risk for difficulty with phonological awareness skills and reading skills, so everyone benefits from the phonological awareness emphasis of the target sound(s) throughout the session.

During centers, my kids come to "teacher time" for one on one practice with me. Each child practices his or her specific targets with me, but everyone gets to do the activity. And if you haven't read my previous posts, don't worry, I am not doing 10 kids by myself! (Do not, I repeat, do not try that by yourself) I have an awesome assistant and the kids rotate in centers for about an hour. It's during that time they each come to me for individualized practice.

Spider Activities in Speech therapy
Dot marker page from my Itsy Bitsy Spider Unit

We practiced our articulation words again, and this time we got to use tongs to give the spider some juicy bugs. Only one bug per word, so the kids were anxious to practice! I always have the kids repeat their word 5 times, to get in plenty of repetition.

Speech Therapy Itsy Bitsy Spider Unit
Plurals practice and a fun puzzle game too!


Our phonological kids need practice with grammatical word endings too. We practiced plurals, initial and final s-clusters with this fun  plurals game.But look! There are spiders all over the farm? Where is the spider? "On the horses ear..." I try to grab every opportunity during an activity to work on those tricky wh? questions.

 I have an old Fischer Price farm set. We got it out and placed those plastic spiders everywhere. More where? opportunities. Plenty of fun, hands-on practice with prepositions.

Finally, we sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider Song and then read it with my Itsy Bitsy Spider Flipbook. We talked about top/bottom and middle, and everyone got a turn to put the velcroed spider on the spout to show those position concepts.

Itsy Bitsy Spider for Speech Therapy
Itsy Bitsy Spider Interactive Flipbook

The printables are from my Itsy Bitsy Spider Unit. You can see the unit here:
 Itsy Bitsy Spider Speech Therapy Language and Articulation Unit.

If you try any of these activities or have some great spider activities of your own, I would love to hear from you! Till next time, watch out for creepy crawlies!