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.