Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Speech Therapy With The Mitten

The Mitten is one of my very favorite books for winter speech therapy.  

This sweet and simple story is a Ukranian Folktale beautifully re-told and illustrated by Jan Brett.

The Mitten Story: Best-Ever Winter Storybooks for Speech Therapy

The story tells about a young boy named Nikki who wanted snow-white mittens. 

His very wise grandmother, Baba,  didn't think that was a very good idea. Nikki might lose them in the snow. But she knits them for him anyway. Sure enough, he does lose them!

What child can't relate to getting so busy playing that they have lost an item?  (Judging from the many, many jackets that are left on our school playground, I think it's most of them!)

Pretty soon a little mole discovers the mitten, and burrows inside to stay warm. He is soon joined by a series of forest animals: a hedgehog, rabbit, owl, fox, badger and and even a bear. The mitten stretches and stretches as each animal wiggles in. Finally one more animal, a tiny, tickly field mouse arrives to sit on bear's nose. Bear sneezes, the mitten explodes, and animals scatter everywhere!

The Mitten Story: Best-Ever Winter Storybooks for Speech Therapy

Nikki catches his mitten in the air and heads home to a confused grandmother, who can't imagine how Nikki stretched the mitten out.


Here's why this is a terrific book for language development:

1. Children can relate to the busy boy who loses his mitten. Perfect jumping off point for story-telling. Did you ever lose something? What happened? How did you feel? Did you ever find it? How did Baba feel at the end of the story?

2. Animals: Children love re-telling a story with animals. What fun to have this delightful series of forest creatures. It's a great opportunity to introduce some new vocabulary like hedgehog and badger.

3. Simple repetitive plots such as this one aid young children in comprehension and story-retelling.

4. Sequencing. First the mole squeezed in, then the hedgehog, then.....

5. Verbs: Lots of great action words to discuss: knitted, dropped, tunneled, hopped, snuffled, swooped, poked, lumbered, swelled, tickled, scattered, caught.

6. Describing and categories. The hedgehog was covered in prickles. How did they feel? What else is sharp?

Activity and Game Ideas:

I love using hands-on art activities, so creating our very own mittens will be perfect! There are plenty of fun ideas on Pinterest, see some on my Winter Pinterest board HERE.  

If you have a die-cut machine at school, you can cut out plenty of mittens and add articulation words, synonyms or  antonyms. 

For young children, hide some mittens and play Where is the Mitten? Where did you find it? Under, behind, on top?


The Mitten: No-Print Story Companion

I have created a brand-new book companion for you to accompany this wonderful book!

 I needed some great therapy activities to use this winter after reading the book. My kids have really enjoyed my other No-Print language units, so I designed this one with several fun interactive activities.

The Mitten Story: Best-Ever Winter Storybooks for Speech Therapy

Disclaimer: The book is not included, and should be purchased separately. I am not affiliated with the author.

The file is interactive on a computer, tablet or interactive whiteboard. I am fortunate to have a whiteboard, and it's great to have a group story time with the children coming up to touch each answer. I also use it on my Ipad, as shown in the pictures.

The Mitten: No-Print Story Companion includes five activities:  Wh and Yes/No questions, simple analogies, describing and story re-tell. Both text and pictured answers are included, so both readers and non-readers can answer the questions.

The Mitten: No Print Story Companion

The Mitten: No Print Story Companion

The Mitten: No Print Story Companion

Embedded in the activities every few slides are fun motivational activities: 

What's Different? Find the Mitten, Help Nikki Get Dressed and Match the Snowflakes.

The Mitten: No Print Story Companion
CLICK HERE to view on TPT

I would love your feedback on NO-Print activities. Do you prefer No-Print activities, Printables or enjoy having both?

I hope you stop by often, I can't wait to share more great books with you this winter!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What are the 100 Best SLP Blogs and Websites of 2016?

Want to find the very best websites and blogs for SLP's? There is so much great information out there, and wonderful fresh ideas. But where to start?

TOP 100 websites for SLPS 2016 - Speech Sprouts is honored to be chosen
Great List of  top SLP bloggers and websites

The list is out!

Every year Kidmunicate does a comprehensive round-up of the best SLP blogs out there. I am very excited to tell you that Speech Sprouts is listed in the top 100 for 2016!

I feel like I am in fantastic company, along with well-established blogs by friends and colleagues like Activity Tailor, Putting Words in Your Mouth, Natalie Snyders, All Y'all Need, The Speech Room News, and so many more.

You will definately find great new blogs to explore, and you can also check out excellent sites for SLP resources, information on disorders, and SLP technology websites.

Taking this journey with you is an adventure!

This nomination has me reflecting where we have been together over the past year. Let's see....

We've talked about my favorite sound-loaded books:

Sound-Loaded Storybooks List
Free Sound-loaded Storybooks List

Using puppets in therapy:

Using puppets in speech therapy:Story-telling
My Favorite things: Puppets for Story-telling

Holiday crafts with awesome language opportunities:

Free Stocking pattern and /st/ cards to stuff inside!
Free Stocking Pattern and /st/ cards to stuff inside!

Spreading the word and advocating for our kids:

Word Retrieval Demonstration
Demonstration: Perfect for Faculty Meetings
Tips and handouts for teachers

Getting our kids up and moving:

Where is the Bus? Get 'em moving in speech therapy.
Wheels on The Bus

Art because its FUN! (And kids will go home and TALK about it!)

Apple Stamping
Apple Stamping
Dot Marker Fun in Speech Therapy
Dot Marker Fun

And of course some great prizes, freebies and therapy resources too!

Apple Freebie
Apple Freebie

FREE same/different activity: Buttons for Corduroy

Quantity Concepts for Spring: Frogs and Flies
Teach Quantity Concepts with this Spring Freebie

So What's in Store for 2016?

I hope to honor my selection by bringing you some great content in 2016. You know I love storybooks and my littles, so there will be plenty more literature-based ideas to come.

 And you may have discovered that I love doing hands-on, messy, artsy, manipulative activities that engage my kiddos.I totally believe in the power of play to make learning stick. And themes. Love themes.And not just for little kids!

Are there certain areas of practice you feel unsure about? 

Maybe Fluency? Apraxia? Adapting activities for early communicators or even those that are non-verbal? I would love to hear what is on your mind. Lets tackle some of those areas together.

 I'll be showing you what we have been up to in my therapy room, and I hope to hear about yours too.


In the meantime, Head over and check out the 100 SLP Blogs Best list at Kidmunicate.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Frozen Toes, Ice Skates and a Giveaway!

The year is winding down, and I have been blessed in so many ways this year!  

December is time for giving, and I am joining the Frenzied SLPS in giving back to you! We will each be posting on Facebook about our holiday traditions and giving away one copy of a favorite product from our store as a little way to say thanks for a wonderful year. There will be one post with a giveaway each day, so be sure to follow and enter each one! Here is mine, and I would like to tell you a bit about it.

Winter Pronouns, I Like Skating!
I Like Skating: Interactive Reader Focusing on Pronouns

I live in Texas now, but as a child my winter memories were filled with frosty winter activities in upstate New York. 

My mom was raising three of us on a very limited income, so we didn’t count on store-bought fun. We went outside and enjoyed the snow with building igloos, making snowmen and snow angels. Catching snowflakes on my tongue and watching the bright red cardinals and chickadees hunt for berries on top of the crusty snow. There was a nearby pond which froze quite solid, and the neighborhood children would ice skate there. I yearned to go too, but I didn’t have a pair of skates.

Then one year, when I was about 12, there they were! Under the Christmas tree there was a brand new pair of silver and white ice skates. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. My brother got a pair too, in black. I couldn’t wait to go try them out, and as soon as I could, got dressed in layers and layers of clothes, grabbed my shovel (when there had been a snowfall, you had to shovel the ice first), my brother, and headed out the door.

We trudged about an eighth of a mile through the snow to get to that pond. I can remember how exciting it was to lace up those skates and glide (although very wobbly at first) along that frozen surface. Cold nose, frozen toes where ignored. I was in heaven.



Those winter memories are near and dear to my heart, and I would love to give away a copy of my I Like Skating: A Reader Focusing On Pronouns. The repetitive storybook has skaters to attach to the pond on each page- perfect for practicing pronouns as you answer “Who will skate with me?” Then each child can make a cut and paste mini-book to take home for more practice. In my therapy room, when we are finished, we do a little “skating” by putting pieces of leftover laminate under our feet and gliding around the room!

Winter Pronouns, I Like Skating!
I Like Skating

Would you like to win a free copy? Head over to Facebook HERE, on December 11th, 2015 and leave a comment about a favorite winter memory of yours. I will randomly choose one winner from the comments. . Be sure to leave your e-mail too, so I can send a copy if you win.

May snowflakes melt on your tongue!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

SLPs Love Cookies! A Virtual Christmas Exchange

My friend Annie over at Doyle Speechworks came up with the fantastic idea of a virtual cookie exchange. Who doesn't love getting together with your girlfriends and  swapping cookies, stories and a lot of laughs?

It just so happens that yesterday I did just that - in person. Hosted by my friend (and her Mom) who teaches an integrated preschool class, she had tons of great ideas. Charlie Brown's Christmas theme:  how cute!

 Twenty-two women brought 6 dozen cookies to share and taste-test. 

Sugar overload! Everyone made six dozen cookies, all the same recipe. We chopped up one dozen to taste and judge. Best-tasting, Best Christmas theme, Best overall. There was candy too.

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap- maple bacon shortbread and a delicious linky too!

Delicious fun. I was definitely sensing a theme as they announced the winners: Chocolate, chocolate! (Note for next year)

 Here's what I brought to the party:

These little guys have big maple and bacon flavor- yum! They didn't really need dressing up,  but you could add a little "snow" and give them a thin coating of icing to make them white if you like.

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap- maple bacon shortbread and a delicious linky too!

Want the recipe? 

Just save the recipe image to your computer and print.

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap- maple bacon shortbread and a delicious linky too!

Each participant brought baggies filled with three cookies each and popped them in these cute take-home goodie bags that were ready for us. We even got pages for our cumulative recipe books. This is the third year I have attended, and we get the recipe pack each year, so it's growing!

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap- maple bacon shortbread and a delicious linky too!

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap- maple bacon shortbread and a delicious linky too!

Love Cookies? Be sure to  hop over to Doyle Speech Works and read more great posts with recipes in a delicious virtual cookie swap.

Here's hoping your Christmas will be sweet and merry!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Best-Ever Books for Speech Therapy- Press Here

I love using children's books in speech therapy.

Do you know that euphoric feeling when you finish a session and say, "Wow! That was terrific!"  You feel that you thoroughly addressed your student's goals and everyone was truly engaged.  I often get that warm fuzzy when I use storybooks in our session. Whether used as the focal point, or jumping-off point, children's literature is perfect for speech therapy.

Best-Ever Books for Speech Therapy- Press Here

Maybe you are just getting started incorporating literature into your sessions, or maybe you are already a fan, and would like to discover more great stories to use. Either way, I would love to share with you some of my very favorite storybooks and how I use them in speech therapy.

You can find storybooks for nearly any speech and language target, 

but it can be a challenge searching and reading through them at the library, to find books for specific targets. I plan to make it easy for you, by regularly featuring storybooks that are terrific finds for therapy (And classroom too!).

My caseload consists of age 3 through fourth graders, so you can expect I will cover books for that age group. I will be covering lots of language ideas, and some articulation too!

Why use storybooks in speech therapy?

1. BUDGET-FRIENDLY- Storybooks are the perfect therapy tools, and so many are available for free in your school or local library. FREE. Yep, I like that. Especially since my speech therapy budget is "Ahem!" Well.... let's just say non-existent!

2. SUPPORTS LITERACY- Books make including literacy in your therapy a breeze. Point out titles, text, story elements:characters, settings, problem, solution.

3. HIGH INTEREST- Great books captivate children's interest, allow you to incorporate themes, favorite topics, and seasonal topics too.

 4. REPEATED PRACTICE -Great for repetitive practice. My young kiddos especially LOVE to read and re-read their favorites, which is excellent for comprehension. Story re-tell, wh questions..... tons of therapy gold there.

5. EASY TO MODIFY - Modify your leterature -based therapy up or down for mixed groups and special needs. Pre-teach vocabulary, modify your reading rate, add pauses for processing, simplify wording as you read, ready-made visual supports in illustrations.

4. HOME PRACTICE - Storybooks are perfect for parents too.

Now on to our book review:

Today's find is Press Here by Herve' Tullet.

Best-Ever Books for Speech Therapy- Press Here

Do you have kids working on verbs?

This imaginative story is jam-packed with verbs and your kids can join in the action using the book itself. Press here. More dots appear!

Best-Ever Books for Language Learning with Littles- Press Here www.speechsproutstherapy.comBest-Ever Books for Language learning with Littles- Press Here www

 Tap this, rub there,shake it!

Best-Ever Books for Language Learning with Littles- Press Here

Now blow..... each time I turn the page to see what "happened" my preschoolers squeal with delight. What a perfect way to talk about past tense too!  "Press here. What did you do?" Work on pronouns: " Kyle tapped the yellow dot. What did he do?" We also love to predict what will happen before we turn the page.

The primary-colored dots totally captivate my kids. Ok, me too! I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what happened next.

Best-Ever Books for Language Learning with Littles- Press Here

There are lots of ways to extend the book. 

You can shake the book. What else can you shake? Tap? Blow on? What happened when you tilted the page?

Bring in different things to shake: a maraca, a tambourine, rainstick,  baggies or plastic jars (large medicine bottles work well) with beans or marbles, another filled with water and colored oil, another with flour or sand. Shake them, guess what's inside if you can't see it. Are they the same? How are they different?

Goals You Can Target with Press Here.

  1. Verbs- present and past-tense
  2. Wh question- What happened?"
  3. Prediction
  4. Quantity vocabulary: more
  5. Size vocabulary: small, medium, large

Looking for books that repetitively feature articulation targets?

I have a list of my favorites for articulation targets that you can download for free... Read about it in my post here: Sound-Loaded Books for Articulation.

FREE Download: Sound-Loaded Storybooks for Articulation
Click Here

If you love storybooks, be sure to follow me and stop back often. 

I will reviewing more of my favorites, and you are sure to find some therapy gold for your speech room!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

3 Reasons to Smile- What's in Your Cart Linky

Time to get my shopping shoes on!

Did you do any Black Friday shopping? I did, but one of my most-anticipated sales is just around the corner... Teachers Pay Teachers sitewide Cyber Smiles Sale!  Speech therapy materials and new clipart, here I come! I'm making my list and checking it twice, and I'll be sharing it with you.

Jenna Rayburn over at The Speech Room News is hosting her What's in Your Cart linky party. It's an awesome way to find new ideas and sellers before the big sale. After you read this post, be sure to stop by. Just click this graphic:

 What's in Your Cart? Linky Party
What's in Your Cart? Linky Party

So What's the Deal?

 What's in Your Cart? Linky Party
On November 30th and December 1st, most sellers will be  discounting  their entire stores, and TPT gives you an extra 10% discount too.  So that's up to 28% off (woohoo!)  when you use their special sale code: SMILE.  Just be sure you don't forget to put the code in at checkout for the full discount. I... have...yep,  I have forgotten it during previous sales. Sigh. But I won't do it again!

I definitely have my eye on some shiny new resources, and my cart is filling up fast. Before I reveal them to you, I would like to share some favorites from Speech Sprouts.

Here are three activities from Speech Sprouts to make you smile!

Winter Pronouns: I Like Skating
Practice pronouns with this interactive reader and take-home cut-and-paste student copy.

Cyber Smile Sale Suggestions: What's in Your Cart?

Cowboy Concepts: Quantity Position and Sequence. Rootin Tootin fun with concepts and my Cowpatty Toss Game!

Cyber Smile Sale Suggestions: What's in Your Cart?

Snowmen at Night Book Companion has lots of snowy language activities to go with my favorite winter book Snowmen at Night.

Cyber Smile Sale Suggestions: What's in Your Cart?

Here are some fun finds I'm piling into in my cart:

I always love to pick up new clip-art. This set from KPM Doodles will be perfect for a Book Companion for The Mitten.

I am ready for some fresh activities for therapy too. Here are my picks:

Cyber Smile Sale Suggestions: What's in Your Cart?

Piles of Pancakes for Articulation of Early Sounds by Small Talk SLP. Play dough pancakes and early sounds? This will be a hit with my preschoolers.

Inference Skills: Please and Thank You Santa by Activity Tailor. Read the "Dear Santa" wishlists, then decide whose photo matches the request. I love the possibilities with this one!

Receptive and Expressive Language Pack by Speech is Beautiful
Print and go will definitely be helpful when we get back from our holiday break, and it hits all the goals I need!

So What's in Your Cart?

Find more great suggestions to fill your cart at Speech Room News. Happy Shopping!

Speech and Language Activities Cyber Sale Nov 30th -Dec 1st
Speech Sprouts

Sunday, November 15, 2015

4 Great Thanksgiving Speech Therapy Activities You Won't Want to Miss!

This week's themes are Thanksgiving and Turkeys of course!

Gobble, Gobble! I have are some fun Thanksgiving activities for your therapy room this week at Speech Sprouts.

1. Five Little Turkeys

First up for the Pre-k to first-grade crowd are Five Little Turkeys
This resource has lots of hands-on activities for language and an interactive no-print story too, great to share in teletherapy or with a tablet.

We read the flipbook, and the turkeys disappear one by one... there is something very satisfying about pulling off velcroed pieces. I haven't met a kid who doesn't love it.

Five Little Turkeys Flipbook and Language Activities
One flew away, then there were four!

Preposition Practice

My kids loved finding the 10 turkeys on the page. You can use bingo chips (or dot markers for the BW version) but we had fun with these glass "stones." I really liked how the kids could see the turkeys through them, and it magnified them a bit. My little guys were impressed that the turkeys "grew" when they put a stone on them.

Bet you can grab some from the dollar store. These are about 1". The smaller ones are terrific for Bingo games too. (Kim from Activity Tailor gave me that inspired idea!) Three different pages target behind/in front, in/out and between/beside.

Five Little Turkeys Flipbook and Language Activities
Where is Mr Turkey?

Interactive Worksheets

Cut and paste the pictures for learning syntax, vocabulary and matching. There are articulation cards, a mini-book, dough mats and dot marker pages too.

Five Little Turkeys Flipbook and Language Activities www.speechsptoutstherapy.comFive Little Turkeys Flipbook and Language Activities

My kids like using the dot pages as a "smash mat". 

Give them a small ball of playdough for each correct answer. They love to "smash" them on each circle!

 Five Little Turkeys Flipbook and Language Activities
Use Bingo chips or with playdough for a "Smash Mat!

2. Thanksgiving Pronouns, Plurals, and Verbs

Use these activities as a craftivity or game.  Here's how I use the game with PK-first grade: I tape Mr. Turkey to a cup, and the kids take turns picking a feather. 

There are feathers for irregular plurals, irregular verbs, and pronouns too. See who can collect the most feathers by the end of the game! Click here to see more of Thanksgiving Pronouns Plurals and Verbs.

Thanksgiving Pronouns, Plurals and Verbs: Game and Craftivity www.speechsproutstherapy.comThanksgiving Pronouns, Plurals and Verbs: Game and Craftivity

I like to make this as a craftivity with first and second graders. It's great for a sequencing and following directions activity as well...ind the wattle, color it red. find the beak, color it orange.

Thanksgiving Pronouns, Plurals and Verbs: Game and Craftivity
Mr. Turkey craftivity is great for your older elementary kids.

3. Winner, Winner Turkey Dinner

Need something fun and effective for your older students? Try Winner, Winner Turkey Dinner. Collect all the dinner food on your dinner table card to win. You'll target antonyms, synonyms, analogies, and categories with this dinner-themed game.

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner speech therapy game has cards for analogies, synonyms, antonyms and categories. Great for language practice in elementary, kids collect the dinner plate cards to win this fun game. #speechsprouts

4. Thanksgiving Bingo Riddles for the win! 

Need something for a large group (or a small one)? Thanksgiving Bingo Riddles has a super fun twist and it's fantastic for in-class therapy and getting make-up therapy done. Kids really love solving the rhyming riddles to play, I get tons of comments on what a hit this game was for multiple ages and grades. You'll target vocabulary, listening, naming to a description and inference as well as rhyme with this fun holiday-themed game.

A Thanksgiving bingo game with riddles is a speech therapy game that teaches rhyme, listening and inference too! Play with candy corn or bingo chips in speech therapy or for your classroom party. 30 different boards and a low-color version is also included. #speechsprouts #speechtherapy #Thanksgivinggame
Thanksgiving Bingo Riddles

My Pre-K kids love Bingo Riddles just as much as my fourth graders, making it great in mixed groups. With little ones, I pre-teach the vocabulary or I use the pictures on the cue cards to show and help the little ones find the picture on their board. Have your older kiddos identify the rhyming words and then try their hand at creating their own riddles after the game.

Hope you have a terrific turkey week! 

For more Thanksgiving ideas, stop by my Thanksgiving Pinterest board.  If you use any of these activities in your therapy room or classroom, I would love to hear about it.

I will be hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for my family next week. How about you? Throwing the party is a great incentive to get my house in order, Got to say... that's kinda been on the back burner lately if you know what I mean!  So time to get busy. Hubby does the turkey every year, that helps.

Have a fantastic holiday with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!