Monday, August 15, 2016

The BEST Gifts for New SLP Grads!

It's that time of year. Graduation is upon us. New SLP's are trying on their caps and gowns, completing resumes, and practicing their new name with 'CF-SLP' behind it! It's such an exciting time. But what do you get this new grad that will help them on their new and exciting journey they are about to endure? Here are some ideas!
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience. 
Personalized Gifts! Nothing is better than showing of your new letters on all of your stuff. Bags, cups, notebooks... anything you can slap an 'SLP' logo on. I recently came across The Crafty SLP on Instagram. She makes some great stuff including tumblers with your name written in phonetics! No doubt an SLP would swoon over one of these! You can check out her Etsy shop, here! She also has tote bags and other fun goodies that would make great gifts!
A Good Planner! My planner is like my bible. I keep it with me all the time. It's color coded and is what keeps me sane and organized. But make sure it's a pretty planner because this new SLP will be using it a lot! One of my favorites is the Erin Condren Life Planner. The planner can be customized and personalized, too! Use this link and get $10 off your order! 
A Laminator. This is mostly the case for an SLP going into the school setting or that will be working with children. I use my laminator daily for therapy games and activities that I make or download. On second thought, you might want to add in some printer ink with this gift, too. You can find laminators for a very reasonable price on Amazon. Check out a bunch of them, here!
A Large Tote Bag. SLPs carry around a ton of stuff. A large, durable bag is super important. Sometimes I even carry around two! My favorite bags are the organizing totes by Thirty One Gifts. I have been using my bag for over 3 years and it's still in great condition! 

A Membership to ClinicalFellowship.org As a new grad, you are now left to complete all kids of paperwork, get your provisional license, create a resume, find a supervisor, and land your first job on your own. I was lucky enough to be a part of a new website called ClinicalFellowship.org that is an online class with so much information about surviving your 9 months after grad school as you complete your CF! I wish this was around when I graduated. This class is normally $49 but is offering FREE membership to the next 300 students to register. So go now! 
Peachie Speechie T-Shirts!
The Peachie Speechie is a fellow SLP blogger  that designs the cutest t-shirts. Any new SLP would love to have one (or 4) of these shirts to wear to their new job. They are perfect for casual Friday. Check out all of her designs, here.  The Peachie Speechie is offering free shipping August 15-19 with the code: SHIPLESS 

Gift Cards. You really can't go wrong with a gift card whether it be to Starbucks, Target, Amazon, iTunes (for all those fun, new speech apps) or to Teachers Pay Teachers (for a TON of great therapy materials made by fellow SLPs!) 
An iPad. Yes an iPad is expensive but it will possibly be the most used gift your new SLP will use (well, maybe a close second to their planner!) I use my iPad for emails, to keep data, to communicate with parents, and for a TON of speech and language interactive apps. An iPad mini may be even better for those traveling SLPs that will be toting their iPad around a lot. You can check some out on Amazon, here. 
Cute Notebooks! We SLPs write a lot! May it be therapy notes or to-do lists, we fill notebooks up quickly. One of my favorite ideas for a new notebook is to write down memorable moments or funny things that kids say. Erin Condren has some super cute notebooks that you can personalize. If you can't tell, I am a big fan of her stuff! Again, you can use this link for $10 off your order!

This is such a fun and exciting time in a new grads life. Let's all celebrate together the people who will be making a huge impact on other's lives. Happy graduation class of 2016!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

FREE First Day Posters!

Today was the first day of school. My baby is in pre-k and will be on to kindergarten next year. I am not one of those moms that cries when they drop their child off at school. Instead I am just as excited, almost like it's my first day at school! Today was no different. I love how much she loves school!
Before we hit the road and headed off to school I took a traditional "first day of school" photo out in front of the house. I absolutely love all of the first day signs that have taken over Pinterest the last few years. So of course I made some of my own. 

I even made one for the first day of speech. It's so much fun to see how much a child grows from the first day of school to the last. What's a better way to document it than with a fun photo?
I added these signs to my store for all grades preschool-5th. A speech one is in there too :)
You can download them for free in my store by clicking on the image below. 
Have a happy first day of school!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2017 Hanen Calendar Giveaway!

Can you believe it's already August? This year is flying by. I rely on my planners and calendars to keep my life in order so I am super excited about this giveaway from The Hanen Center. The Hanen center is a non-profit organization who's mission is to provide parents, caregivers, and educators the training and knowledge to help children with language, social, and literacy skills. Trying to keep school, dance practices, soccer games, and speech sessions on a schedule is hard enough. Throw in some one on one time with your child to enrich their language skills and you have a full day. The Hanen Center created a wonderful calendar with language tips and ideas that can easily be tied into your busy day! Let me show you more...

Each month has a theme that focuses on a specific skill that children need. A few examples are: following the child's lead in conversation, expanding he child's message, and building their everyday vocabulary. There is also a research based description explaining why that skill is important. 

Within each calendar month you will see tips and activity ideas that can be applied at home or in the classroom to enrich the child's language. 
As speech therapists we know the importance of taking advantage of every teachable moment. Good language skills need to be carried into the home and not just practiced during therapy sessions. Often parents think they need fancy articulation cards and expensive toys to help their child. I love how this calendar makes it so easy to tie these skills into daily life.
The Hanen Center has so kindly offered to send a calendar to two of you! This is the perfect calendar for back to school!! 
Enter below, I will announce a winner Friday! Good luck!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Get Organized in Style This Year!

It's almost that time of year.... back to school time! I don't work in the schools anymore but I cannot help but get giddy when I see school supplies. This time of year always motivates me to reorganize and put myself back in order. You should see my desk right now. Chaos!
A few weeks ago I found these insanely adorable clipart pages from Tracey Gurley Designs and could not resist snagging some pages up. I am a huge Lilly Pulitzer fan so of course I instantly fell in love and created binder covers. 
Binders are my saving grace for staying organized. Give me a cute cover, some dividers, and page protectors and I am a happy girl. I have binders for my student data, a binder for my students' goals (that's also where I keep notes and go-to activities/worksheets for them). I keep a binder for all the hiring information I use for the company I work for. I even have a binder just for my smash mats :)
I added these to my store and made them editable so you can customize them to your needs! 
You can download your own copy, here!
If you download them and use them to organize your binders, please tag me in a photo! I'd L-O-V-E to see what you do with them :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Articulation MOVE!

Not a day goes by that I don't hear something on the news or from a student about the Pokemon Go app! I have not personally played it, but I can feel the excitement about the game so I decided to make a speech version! I thought this would be the perfect back to school game to get your students excited about speech... I would like to introduce you to Articulation MOVE!
This activity includes a cell phone for each child and adorable little articulation monsters. Before you play, print, cut, and laminate the phones and monsters. I cut out the middle section of the phones so can see through them. 
Before the students come into your room, hide the monsters around the room. Then, give each child a phone and let them go hunting for target speech words! This activity includes sounds for /p, b, d, t, m, n, w, s, z, sh, ch, th, and r/ so you can use this with large groups or even for center work!
I also included some accountability worksheets so the kids can record the words they found. I included a worksheet for listing the words, recognizing their target sound in the words, and making a sentence for the words they find. 

I plan on making versions of this game for letters, sight words, basic concepts, and other common goals. Please comment below and let me know what goal you could use this with!
You can download your own copy of Articulation Move in my TpT store here! 
It's 50% off for the next 24 hours!




Monday, July 18, 2016

TpT Conference Orlando 2016... The Best Lesson I Learned

Last year when I found out that the Teachers Pay Teachers conference was going to be in Orlando this year, I was beyond excited. TpT has been a huge part of my life the last 3 years. There was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to learn from some of TpT's greatest teacher authors when they were practically in my own backyard.
I would have to say my favorite part of the conference was getting to be with some of my most favorite people in the world, my SLP blogging tribe. I love these girls more than I can express. We are spread out all over the country but these ladies have helped motivate me and have molded me into the therapist I am today.
 If I were to write a blog post about all the amazing things I learned at the conference, this post would be 500 pages long. But there was one thing that a certain speaker said that really spoke to me. I was sitting in Shelly Rees presentation about product planning. She shared a personal story about her TpT journey and her success. But then she added... "This was my season. Today isn't everybody's season." Amen. Isn't that the truth? I am constantly trying to keep up with crazy successful sellers. I feel guilty when I only blog once a month (If I am lucky!) But I have two small children at home. I work. I mentor. I am a soccer mom. A dance mom. A baseball mom. I have a full plate. I absolutely love every part of my life, but maybe this time isn't my season on TpT. So I decided to stop pressuring myself to be one of the best (I think perfectionism comes with an SLPs personality type!) My time will come. I think this is something we can all carry into our lives. Don't compare yourself to your coworkers, other moms, etc. We all have our own story and our own busy lives. Embrace what's going on in your life right now and be the best at that. The rest will come later.

...and on the note, the baby is up from his nap. I'm coming Kameron! :)
Psst... one more thing. I am still on a conference high and want to share the love. I am giving away $10 TpT gift cards on my Instagram (@simply_speech) right now. Go enter, winners will be announced Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Making Therapy Meaningful to the Child

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about communicating with parents and how important it is. In that post I mainly focused on communication about therapy times, dates, progress, and behavior. But there is something even more important that we need to discuss with our students' caregivers. Their interests. Their family members' names. Their best friends. Their pets. Favorite TV shows. Find out everything you can about that child and what he/she sees and talks about on a daily basis. All too often I find myself grabbing the iPad to work on target articulation words and thinking to myself, how many times will this child use the word "canary" outside of this room? Not to knock the iPad apps, I love them as practice tools, but probably half of the words provided, your student won't use outside of the speech room. It's time to roll up your sleeves and do a little interviewing!
This takes me back to a situation that happened to me a few years ago.  I was talking with a parent about her child and her child's progress in speech over the year. Let's call her, "Miranda." Miranda had been in speech for about a year. We were working on the same sounds for the entire year and she had made very little progress during this time. I knew she had made little progress, but when you hear those words come out of a parent's mouth, it stings a little. Miranda had goals for the "sh" "ch" and "dz" sounds. In all honesty, I had given up on the "dz" sound for the time being because I could barely get Miranda to even imitate the sound. That was until speaking with Miranda's mother! When speaking with the parent, I learned that Miranda's family included: Jay, Javarian, Janiya, RJ, and Jackie. Oh boy! I had no idea how important working on those "dz" sounds were. No wonder her mother saw no progress when she is hearing these names produced wrong all day, everyday!
Now I frequently ask parents for an updated list of words the child says at home but has a had time pronouncing. If you can't get in touch with the parent, that's ok! Talk to the child. Working on the names of PJ Masks characters is so much more meaningful in therapy when your student pretends to be Owlette at home with her brothers! Progress will seem to happen quicker because this kids are working on words they use frequently. Not to mention, therapy will be much more fun when we are working on the names of classmates and favorite restaurants! So take the time and dig a little deeper. I promise it will be worth it!