Monday, August 17, 2015

Stretching Your Therapy Materials Budget-TpT Shining Stars Linky

Do you need to make the most of your budget for therapy materials? Yep, we all do. You are lucky if you have a few dollars allotted to you by your employer. Many of us buy materials out of pocket, or make our own. I do both, but there is just not enough time to make it all!

Fortunately, your budget can get a boost on August 19th- because Teachers pay Teachers has announced a back to school boost sale: More Love for Back to School. Most sellers join in, that means you will find most of  your favorite items at 28% off! Be sure you use the special code for your full discount; MORE15

I am linking up with Jen over at SLP Runner for her TpT Shining Stars Linky Party. 

How to choose? Read about my favorites, then hop over and find more great recommendations from many  more of your favorite SLP's!

Here are some of top picks from  Speech Sprouts:

Associations in the Doghouse

When I create a packet, I think about versatility. Will I be able to use it with most of my students and a variety of targets? When I grab Associations in the Doghouse, I am good to go for the majority of my day!

Learning associations and describing in speech therapy

 Little ones find the "go-togethers" and match the cards. My older students describe how the two cards are associated. There is a puzzle card (you can see it in the photo) to help students explain how the two cards "fit" together. This really helps my visual learners. Many of my students have a hard time including the many elements of a description, so I included a cue card to help them with category, function and attributes. An open-ended board game featuring a naughty little dog is fun for all my kiddos!

Giraffes Can't Dance Speech Therapy Book Companion 

I love activities to go with wonderful children's literature, so I created Giraffes Can't Dance Speech Therapy Book Companion. The adorable book Giraffes Can't Dance  is by Andreae Giles (Not included).

 In the story, a giraffe feels lonely and left out because he is different and can't dance well like the other jungle animals. Then he learns that he really can do a great job, he just had to do things his own way.  This packet includes activities for a range of ages: from Pre- to 3rd grade.

Giraffes Can't Dance Speech Therapy Book Companion-Shiny Star Linky- www.speechsproutstherapy.comGiraffes Can't Dance Speech Therapy Book Companion-Shiny Star Linky-

 Some of my favorites are "Whose Feet?" My littles match the animal feet to the bodies and answer "Who?" questions. I have also included plenty of activities for other targets: Rhyming, articulation, wh? and yes/no questions, comprehension and sequencing.

Monsters Munch Speech Therapy Bundle

My kids love monsters. This monstrous bundle focuses on Pre-K to 2nd grade. It includes a prepositions game, interactive story, and plenty of articulation and language activities.

Monsters Speech Therapy Bundle-Shining Stars Linky Party www.speechsproutstherapy.comMonsters Speech Therapy Bundle-Shining Stars Linky Party

We love  reading The Big Green Monster and follow up with these fun monster activities. 
We  roll play dough bugs, practice prepositions and repeat plenty of "munch, munch, munch!

I also want to share with you some more great choices from some of my favorite speech peeps!

Book Companion for There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Jessica at Figuratively Speeching. What can be more fun than an old lady swallowing bats?

I confess I love Monkeys, so I need this from Pam at Small Talk SLP

Finally, we love Mexican food here in Texas, so this really speaks to me... how cute! It's by Anne of Beautiful Speech Life.

Inspired yet? You can find Speech Sprouts's store HERE :

One Day Only at Speech Sprouts!

Be sure to head over to the linky party at SLP Runner, and don't forget to thank Jen for organizing! 

You can head over to the Shining Stars Linky Party HERE.

Happy Boost Day!

Friday, August 14, 2015

5 Great Posts That Will Help You Improve Your Blog

Did you start a spanking new speech therapy or education blog this summer? 

Read These 5 posts with great tips for improving your blog

If so, congrats!  Maybe you are still considering diving in. Like any new venture, you have lots of questions, and plenty to learn. Or perhaps you've been blogging a while, and want to up your game.

 My summer vacation is ending in the next few days, and I have been trying to put some "polish" on my blog before I get back to school to be ready for lots of great content from my therapy room! I have been looking for some smart tips to make Speech Sprouts blog a great place to visit. I want to find ways to reach more speech-language pathologists, special educators, and teachers. Why? 'Cause I have a lot to say!

 Here a few really helpful posts I would like to share.

 Here are five great posts to help you improve your blog:

1. How to Write a Killer About Me Page for Your Blog (Free Worksheets!) by Melyssa Griffin at the Nectar Collective

Melyssa makes the point that writing this page is kind of like an interview. What's special about you, and why should the reader invest their time in you? She offers a freebie worksheet to help you get started.

2. 10 Content Creation Tools for Bloggers by PINKPOT. 
Text editors, where to find fonts, tools to help make awesome graphics, this is a great list.

3. 5 Backdrop Ideas for Blog Photograpy by PINKPOT 
If you want to get your posts pinned and shared, you need at least one beautiful image. We all respond to great visuals! Here are some inexpensive ideas.

4. How to Enable Rich Pins for your Website by Allyssa Barnes Web design. 
Have you enabled rich pins? What is that? read this post for an explanation and how-to. Suffice it to say you definitely want to do this. 

5.Five Things That Pro Bloggers Do After They Hit Publish by Kyla Roma
What's an "Alt" tag, and what do you do with it? Have you started an e-mail list? Kyla talks about ways to get your posts noticed. 

If you know of any other awesome posts to improve your blog, I would love for you to share them in the comments. And if you make any changes based on these tips, please share them with a link to your blog! We would love to take a peek.

Until next time.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Taking On New SLP Challenges? Watch out for Cows!

SLPs often are asked to take on new challenges and directions. Did you ever wonder if you were up for something new?

Each student and patient is different, and our scope of practice is quite broad. We treat from birth throughout the lifespan, from articulation to AAC, from swallowing to reading and writing, from autism to hearing to apraxia.

Have you had those butterflies in your stomach, not sure how you will do?

 I want to encourage you to tackle something new this year, whether it's a large or small- you will grow your clinical skills and self-confidence, and be glad you did. So get started and ...

Get some inspiration! Natalie Snyders has a wonderful series of guest posts on her blog, called "Stepping Outside Your SLP Comfort Zone. I am honored to be invited to contribute, and I hope you will stop by to see why I had to "Watch out for cows" as I stepped WAY out side my comfort zone!

You can see my post here at Natalie's blog: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I would love to hear what you've done outside YOUR comfort zone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Got Art? Try Apple Stamping for Fall Language Development

Back to school art activities are great tools for teaching language skills.

Think about it, children learn best when actively participating in hands-on activities. Here's a perfect speech and language opportunity for fall.

Apple Stamping Art for Fall Language Development by Speech Sprouts

But how do you elicit language with art?

Start by laying the materials. You can get them out one by one to help  keep the kid's attention. You will discuss the supplies, and what you can do with them.(Oh, this is a good time to put a smock on the little guys. I use my husband's old shirts.) 

For this project, they discussion looks like this: 

I have an apple. It's a fruit. (category). What do you do with an apple?(object function)  I wonder how they taste? (sweet, crunchy, juicy) Let the children try a piece.

I like red apples, do you? What other colors can they be? (describing). Can you think of other things that are red? (category)  Hmmm, where do you think apples come from? Do they grow on the ground? (in/ on-prepositions)

I have some paint too. What else do I need to go with paint? A brush? Why do I need a brush? (Wh? question, object function). Continue discussing the glue. scissors, paper. Vocabulary may include sticky, wet, sharp, cut... you'll think of these as you go. 

Cut an apple in half. Ask, "What do you think we are going to do with the apples?" (prediction). 

Bring out a sample, and show the kids how to do the project.

Include words like first, next, last. (sequence) Use verbs like dip, push, stamp. Quantity words could be few, many. Then ask, "Okay, what do you need first?" 

You keep all the supplies under your control, out of the kid's reach if possible. Have the children ask for the supplies, and tell you what they are going to do with them. (requesting, re-telling, function). If they ask for an apple, give them just the apple, not the paint to go with it. Say, "ok,, go ahead and stamp your apple." If they don't initiate a request, prompt with, "do you need something else? Ask me for it.


Want to give it a try? Here's what you need.

  1. Apples and a knife to cut them in half
  2. Large paper
  3. Red and brown tempera paint
  4. A smock!
  5. Paintbrush to paint branches
  6. Scissors and green construction paper to cut out leaves and caterpillars
  7. Black marker to make a caterpillar face. 
  8. Glue

For this project, I painted the branches ahead of time for my littles. I also pre-cut some leaves and caterpillars, but older children can do that themselves. 

After the apples are stamped, add the leaves and caterpillars. Are the catepillars eating the apples? Oh no!

Art isn't just for fun- it's seriously awesome for providing language expression and vocabulary learning opportunities

More Apple Activities and a Freebie.

Stop by my store to grab this Freebie. It comes in 10 and 20 apples so you can use it for data-taking as well as a motivational activity. Just give one color marker when the answer is correct, a second color when it needs fixing. 

Apple Freebie for Fall- comes in 10 & 20 apples for data-taking help. Color version too. Great for dot marker, bingo
Dot Marker  Apple Freebie- Click HERE.

Want even More Apples? 

You can also read more about it HERE.

Apple Apple Where Can You Be? Reader and language activities by Speech Sprouts

I would love to hear about your favorite fall language activities, just leave a comment. Have fun!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back To School? 6 Great SLP Activities for Your Cart.

Yikes!  I got my "Welcome Back SLP, staff starts on August 17th" letter in the mail today! 

Can it really be almost time to go back to school? Nope, I am really not ready. Soooo much I wanted to do that is still on the list.

No, my closet is not cleaned, the bushes are not trimmed, but I'll be ready with some shiny new speech therapy activities because it's time for the TPT Back to School Sale! It's coming August 3rd and 4th, with most stores having a whopping 28% off their materials. Shopping therapy, check!

Back to School! 6 Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts

I am linking up with the awesome Jenna Rayburn from Speech Room News for her What's in Your Cart Linky Party. Check it out for a peek at tons of great resources... Click Here.

So much to choose from, it's fantastic!

What's in Your Cart Back to School Linky Party

Here are Some Fall Favorites from Speech Sprouts

I love nursery rhymes, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider Speech Therapy Unit has such kid appeal! This packet is huge, filled with an interactive book and plenty of activities to cover many sessions. Sweet comments from buyers: 

***Oh, this product is just wonderful, Thank you! Such great quality for the price - you really thought of it all! I can't wait to get this prepped to use with my little ones

***My students LOVE this! The interactive book was easy to assemble and I love all of the activities that go along with the story/song. I also love how you provided the 3-4 pages of information on how to target other goals/objectives. Minimal prep work for an activity that can be used many times! Thank you!

Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts-Itsy Bitsy Spider

 See how much fun we had with spiders in therapy HERE

Apple Apple, Where Can You Be? was a huge hit last year with my littles. This packet has a printable student mini-book, a no-print PowerPoint story and lots of fun apple language activities. Comments from Buyers:

***I can't say enough great things about this packet! My preschool students always need more practice with basic concepts, and I love that this packet has a variety of activities to target concepts both expressively with the Reader, and receptively with the dough mat and half/whole sorting. 

***Perfect for my Pre-k students! Well-thought-out. Everything I would want to address in a unit but was unable to produce myself. I could use it for a few weeks!

Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts-Apple, Apple Where Can You Be

For older students, needing work on semantics, here is a great packet: Hoot Owl Homonyms & Homophones. Students collect multiple meaning cards and try to make the most owls by making matches. If you need antonyms and synonyms too, check out this bundle HERE.

Another lovely comment:
***My students love playing with these cards! It is so helpful to have a visual of each meaning! Thanks!

Back to School! Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts

Now, Let me show you the goodies I am filling my cart with... 

First up is Weekly Bilingual Photo Prompts  from Sarah of Speech is Beautiful. We have many Spanish-speaking students in Texas. This packet has beautiful photos and targets "What doing?" questions with both English and Spanish Versions of the answers. Perfect for documenting their progress and it will work for my writers as well as those who need cut and paste.

Next, I chose this Daily Social Skills Journal from Speech Therapy Fun. A whopping 200 pages, it covers so many different social skills in a familiar journal format, ready to print and go.  Oh, yeah,  my life just got easier!

Back to School! Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts

I also love this one from Ashley Rossi, Category Asking & Answering WH Questions.  I can always count on students needing work on 'wh' questions, and this product has cards for answering questions and asking them too! This will be great with any game or just a few cards as a quick warm-up in the beginning of each session.

Back to School! Great Activities to Fill Your Cart by Speech Sprouts

Be sure you use the Promo code BTS15 when checking out

With the code, everything in my store is 28% off. I have even decided to include my bundles, which are already discounted, giving you really awesome savings...about 38% off full-price I believe. WOW.

Hint: If you have made previous purchases, but didn't get to leaving feedback, head over and do that before you check out. Go to My TPT- My Purchases. 

Sellers always really appreciate hearing from you, and you will get credits you can use when checking out! They really add up, but for some reason, most buyers skip leaving feedback. Not me, I love cashing in my credits.

Have a great beginning of the school year and happy shopping!