Thursday, April 16, 2015

Try This Word-Finding Demonstration

Need a great in-service activity to get teachers or parents talking about speech and language disorders? 

Have you wished you could help teachers and parents understand what it might be like to have word-finding difficulty or to struggle to formulate thoughts and sentences? Why some children need more time to respond, and need extra support?
Slide 2

Recently, I read a query on Facebook from an SLP who was planning to provide an inservice to her school's staff. She wanted to help them better understand the struggles that students with speech and language disorders experience. I remembered this exercise:

Disclaimer:  Most people experience slow and less accurate retrieval with the demonstration, which is really interesting and a great discussion-starter. However, I am not claiming that this exercise will truly simulate an expressive language disorder. To find specific, researched-based information on language and other communication disorders, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at

Try this demonstration 

Try it with parents or at a staff meeting to help adults think about how it might feel to struggle with word-retrieval. 


1. Name the colors in each word on slide 1 (below) as quickly as you can. Don’t read the words, just name colors.
Slide 1

2. Now name the colors in each word on slide 2 (above) as quickly as you can. Don’t read the words, just name colors. 

How it made you feel? 

Did you struggle? Did you make mistakes? Was it frustrating? Would it be helpful if you could go more slowly and be given extra time to complete the task? 

If you would like to share this exercise. you may print these images by right clicking and saving as a picture before printing. Please give credit to Speech Sprouts. 

 The slide below contains the instructions.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are. Do you know of other good demonstrations or exercises to share? 

Free for you from Speech Sprouts. Click the Picture!

Head over and download this freebie from my store. It includes a teacher handout with
ten tips. Please leave sweet feedback if you do!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Speech Therapy Ideas That Are Just Ducky!

Need some fresh springtime speech therapy ideas for articulation and language? 

Try some nursery rhymes with your littles! Last week, we were feeling just ducky in speech therapy, groovin' along with The Five Little Ducks.

We had lots of fun with activities from my Five Little Ducks Speech Language and Literacy Unit

 I love using nursery rhymes and fingerplays in therapy. LOVE them! Little ones truly benefit from repetitive text and songs. You get built-in practice with repetitive lines in a perfect child-friendly, familiar format. You get rhyme, which is so important for developing early literacy skills.  Sing along and children are engaging additional areas of the brain to help them learn. (We do a lot of singing in therapy.) Add the fingerplays movements and you have kinesthetic and visual cues to accompany the language learning. It's a natural.

Five Little Ducks is one of my springtime nursery rhyme favorites. We get practice with final /k/ (duck, quack), final s-blend /ks/ (ducks), and initial /f/ (five,  far). We get spatial concepts near/far and over.

We sang the song, read the story, and acted out the re-telling!

There are several versions of the song on youtube you can listen to if you need to learn the melody, such as this one by the Learning Station: Five Little Ducks.

I use these actions to go along with it: Hold up your hand and show your fingers for the number of ducks as you sing the number words five, four ect. I shade my eyes and look around as I sing "far away". When mother duck says "quack, quack, quack" I put my hands in front of me, palms facing each other and move them up and down like her beak quacking. When it's father duck's turn to quack, I say it in a deep, loud, slow voice and move my hand way up and down for a BIG beak quacking!

After we learned the song, we read the story. Remember... repetition is your friend!  The kids loved the interactive flipbook pictured above from my Five Little Ducks Unit. They approve any time we get to pull velcroed story pieces off a book. We got in even more articulation practice for final /k/.

After the story, we wore these visors and acted it out as we re-told the nursery rhyme.

Then it was time to head to the table for more activities.

This game is a freebie at Speech Sprouts and comes with 20 Final /k/ articulation cards. 

The kids had fun helping the duck get to the pond with this game. We used bingo chips to cover the spots as we said our words. Everyone helped for some non-competive fun. Older kids enjoy having game tokens and rolling dice to advance. You can download this free game here: Quack! Go Back! Game.

We worked on naming those final /k/ words to a description. I read the clues to my little ones, and they did great picking out the pictures to answer!

We sorted the animals into categories.  Do they live in the pond or on the farm?

We followed directions with a barrier game. This is a great cookie sheet activity too.

We practiced regular past-tense verb -ed endings. Turn the cards face down. Little ones love flipping them over to see what's next.

We topped it off with a fun art project. 

We used these large stamp pads to make handprints. (I often borrow from our Pre-K teacher.)  Fit in s-cluster practice by saying "stamp" for each one or practice /k/ with "duck" each time. You can use paint as well, but this is less messy. Stamp a little hand, making sure the thumb is pointed toward the center of the page. Then, glue on a construction paper beak, or draw a beak and the legs with an orange marker. Add eyes with a black marker. This is mama duck.

Have the kids add thumbprints for the little ducks. They did great adding beaks and legs to the babies. Talk about large and small. So cute!

So much fun!

The Five Little Ducks Unit shown above has 15 activities which also includes wh? and yes/no question cards, a take-home mini-book, a sequence vocabulary sheet, dot marker page and more. My little ones see me for two-hour sessions, but the unit can easily be broken up for multiple shorter sessions or pick and choose activities to fit your student's needs.

If you missed my posts about the Itsy Bitsy Spider, you may want to check it our HERE and Day 2: More Spider fun HERE. It's another great nursery rhyme for spring bug themes.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Fibs Revealed: How Did You Do?

Two Facts and a Fib Blog Hop

I hope you have had fun with the hop- I know I have! Here's my fib, did you guess?


A. One day when I was in kindergarten, I forgot to put on my underwear in the morning, and I was wearing a cute little dress. Guess what we did for gym that day? Somersaults! They sent me to the nurse.

This one's the fib. It really did happen to someone I know, but it wasn't me.Whew!  Don't you love kinders? They can be so funny. 


B. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a forest ranger when I grew up. TRUE.

 Growing up in the Catskill mountains, I loved exploring the woods. I am an SLP now (and love my profession), but I am still a tree-hugger. :)
Beautiful Catskills View. Standing allowed here!

C. At 18, I drove to NYC to attend a concert with 3 girlfriends. 

We were super cautious about finding a place to park on the street, even stepping out to see how far from the curb we were. The “No Standing” sign? Well that meant people weren’t supposed to loiter, right? Car. Towed. TRUE

Getting my car out of "jail" took all the combined cash we had in our pockets. Lesson learned the hard way for this country girl!

I hope you had fun, I know I did. What was your favorite truth or fib from the hop? Were you surprised?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends, and thanks for stopping by!