Not So Spooky Spider Craft

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

 I just love this time of year. The weather cools down and the holidays are right around the corner. Since I work at a private school, we don't go all out for Halloween. However, this is the time of year that I love teaching about creepy crawly critters....especially spiders! 

This was a really fun project to make with the class. It was fairly simple to make and used supplies that I already had in my classroom. To get started, I took a piece of card stock paper and a bottle of glue (don't use a glue stick) I drew out a spiderweb with the glue on the paper. A white crayon works too, but the glue method  turns out so much better. It also gives the web a 3-d texture! I did this during the kids rest time and let it dry overnight to avoid little fingers touching the wet glue!

The next day, I had the kids paint their spiderwebs with watercolors! The glue will resist the watercolor so it creates a very cool design and leaves you with a beautiful spiderweb!
Next, I cut out black circles and 8 spider legs for each student. I used a 2 inch circle hole punch to make the spider body. Before the kids added their spider to the web, we watched a fun video on spiders by SciShow Kids. If you haven't checked this YouTube channel out yet, I recommend it! During the video we learned that spiders have 8 legs but can have lots of eyes! This way they knew how many legs to give their spiders, but I let them decide how many eyes to give their own spider. Googly eyes would work great, but I used sticker eyes I bought on Amazon. 
These spiders turned out so cute and are perfect hallway art. 

Teaching Life Skills

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day and we got on the subject of life skills. I absolutely love working on life skills in therapy. Don't get me wrong, playing games and and reading stories are my jam, but there's just something about life skills that brings me joy. 

 When I was working at the therapy clinic, we started a cart service. We stocked the cart full of snacks and let the kids go around and take orders and deliver treats to the other therapists. They got such a kick out of it but little did they know they were working on so many important skills!

Social skills. 
Topic maintence.
Asking questions. 
... just to name a few. 
And all of these things while using their good speech sounds!

I created a cart inventory chart by just snagging images off google that matched what we had in stock. This allowed the kids to take multiple orders and learn how to do inventory. Taking orders and recording inventory was a great skill to teach the kids that were getting closer to the age of applying for a job! Most of my students were younger, but you could also have students apply for this position and get practice making a resumé and interviewing for a job. 

I'm Teaching PreK!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

 I cannot believe it's been over a year since I have been able to sit down and write a blog post. Although, I shouldn't be surprised, it's been a whirlwind! This past year has been full of many new adventures, but the biggest one is that I joined a local private school and started teaching PreK. I have learned so much over the past year and I am excited to share our preschool adventures here with you here. 

After I announced on social media that I was going into the classroom full time, I had lots of people reach out asking why I decided to leave the SLP field. It was no surprise to many since lots of the forums and articles are full of therapists expressing their burnout, stress levels, and car crying sessions. But I didn't completely leave the field. I still see a few clients privately and the principal at school asked me to evaluate potential new students when they come to apply to our school.

But the main reason I made the change to teaching full time was for my kids. My daughter is about to enter middle school... which scares the daylights out of me. I personally did not enjoy the majority of my middle school experience and if I had a car at that time, would have cried in it almost every day. The school I am teaching at was Kenzie's preschool. I have kept in touch with a lot of the staff and parents and felt that it was a great, small, loving school for her to return to. When I had Kenzie there shadowing and applying, the school offered me a job. Turning down an offer to work with my favorite age group, have health benefits for my family, and tuition benefits would be crazy. As hard as it was to walk away from some students I had been working with for over 10 years, I couldn't say no. 

So here we are. About to start my second year teaching with both of my kids at school with me. I am currently seeing a few kids for speech this summer which I am really enjoying. I still get my summers off, but get back to my first love a few hours a week!

Using Bite-R in Speech Therapy

Friday, October 1, 2021


Happy Friday! I am really excited share a therapy tool that I have been using with my students (and my own son!) called Bite-R with you all. Before I start telling you all about my Bite-R experience, I want to introduce you to Susan Haseley. She is a speech-language pathologist and the creator of Bite-R. Susan had two students that were unable to achieve the R sound and ended up being her inspiration to invent this device in 2013. I met Susan at ASHA a few years ago. I was intrigued by her demonstration and the research she presented on her invention. At the time, I didn't have many articulation students on my caseload so I did not end up purchasing a kit. But fast forward to this year where I have a ton of kids with only R on my caseload... I reached back out to Susan about giving Bite-R a try, and here we are today!

What is Bite-R?

The Bite-R is a tactile therapy device that helps bring awareness to the movement, tension, and stability needed to produce the /r/ sound correctly. The device is made with an elastic tension band that helps create sensory motor memory. /R/ has always been one of the hardest sounds to teach because it is produced in the back of the mouth making it more difficult to show our students correct placement. The Bite-R gives the student the tactile cues of correct placement along with our verbal cues for correct production. I am definitely more of a visual learner, so if you are like me and want to see how this works, you can check out  Susan's video demonstrations, here. 

What's Included?

I personally own the Start Up Kit. The Kit includes 2 Bite-Rs with Cases, 1 Practice Deck, 1 Manual, 1 Instruction Booklet, Charting Form and Sentence Analysis forms. The Practice Deck provides a list of 30 functional words that contain R in a variety of positions and contexts (vowels, blends, consonantal) and the common misarticulations for each word with instructions for remediation. The Manual includes a chapter specifically on vowels and a chapter that goes in depth with those children who don't make successful productions right away. All kits come with a certificate for free live online training with Susan, which I highly recommend. 

So, how did it work?
I really was pleased with Bite-R and how well the tactile cues from this device works. It's important to make sure the client is comfortable with the device being placed in their mouth. Letting him/her hold Bite-R and really check it out to learn how it works first was helpful. Students don't practice their words with the device in. They use it for a way to feel correct placement for a few seconds, then take it out to practice target words now that they knowl how /r/ should feel. Since this is something I am placing in a child's mouth, I made sure to share this program and the evidence based research with my students' parents before we started.  

My personal opinion is that this product would be ideal for private practice therapists working with students one on one. Not that school based therapists wouldn't benefit from this, but you really want to give the student maximum attention for placement using the device. I love the practice deck with cards showing mouth placement for students to imitate. The words are very functional and ideal for making a copy of to send home for practice. I would highly recommend this product to other therapists working with children with speech sound disorders, especially those that only have R left to correct and are really struggling for correct placement. 

This post was sponsored by Bite-R. I was given the start up kit in exchange for a blog review. All opinions expressed in this blog post are mine. 

My Favorite Fall Jokes!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Happy first day of fall, y'all!! Are you ready to be the most fun SLP ever? Here are some kid-friendly (and super corny!) fall themed jokes that your students will love.  Jokes are a great way to get your kids laughing while also getting their brains working. 

Q: How do you fix a broken pumpkin?

A: With a pumpkin patch!

Q: How do trees get on the internet?

A: They log in!

Q: What is a scarecrow's favorite fruit?

A: STRAW-berries!

Q: Why do trees hate tests so much?

A: Because they always get 'stumped!'

Q: Which season is the cutest?

A: Awwwwwtumn!

Q: What do you get if you drop a pumpkin?

A: Squash!

Q: Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel Prize?

A: Because he was out-standing in his field!

Q: What has ears but doesn't listen?

A: A cornfield!

Q: What do you get when you cross a turtle and a giraffe?

A: A turtle-neck!

Q: How do leaves get from place to place?

A; In autumn-mobiles!

Q: What happen when winter arrives?

A: Autumn leaves!

Keeping my Student Information Organized

Friday, September 17, 2021

Hey there, friends! I hope the start of the school year has been smooth and productive. Even though I am not school based, the school year always brings me schedule changes and motivation for some organizing.  I recently received a message from a reader asking for information on how I store my student information. It had been a few years since my last post on this topic, so I thought I would do a little update. (To see the original post, click here: A Peek Inside my Therapy Binder)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. This means if you purchase something using my link, I may make a small commission (which is always incredibly appreciated!)

My job has changed quite a bit over the years. When I first left the schools and started private practice, I was constantly driving around to see my students. I kept a binder with each student's class schedule, a copy of their plan of care/goals, data sheets, and a therapy lesson plan form. These items are all separated by pocket dividers for each student. 
At the front of the binder I keep a copy of my schedule and the school(s) schedule so I am aware of days off and special school events. 
In my old post I shared that I also kept I large envelope in the binder to stash my expense receipts since I am an independent contractor. I personally don't use that method anymore, but it was a great organization tool at the time. 

After COVID hit, I was not driving around as much anymore. The schools and daycares weren't letting outside therapists in so all my students were either over teletherapy or they came to see me in the clinic. Since I was stationary, I decided my student information method could also be stationary. I invested in a pretty rose gold hanging file system with folders. In these folders I also keep a copy of the student's plan of care/goals, testing protocols, data sheets, and lesson plan template. When the student comes to speech, I pull their folder out so I am reminded of their goals and what we did in speech last time. 

I use a therapy lesson plan template that I created to remind myself of what we worked on during the last session. Don't you hate when the child comes in and you can't remember what you worked on last? "Did we practice CH words? No, SH.... what book did we read? I think I sent homework last week...." I very well may be getting old and my memory after kids definitely has never been the same because I have a hard time remembering these things. This simple template has proved to be a lifesaver. 
Simple. Easy. Just the way I like it!

You can download a copy of this Therapy Lesson Plan form in my VIP Library. Click on the link in the purple menu bar at the top of this page. If you're an email subscriber you know the password! If you're not, sign up to get it. 

My Latest Amazon Haul!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Last week I did some shopping! Not necessarily back to school shopping, but I will use that excuse with my husband to justify deliveries. I just happened to be browsing Amazon (shocker, right?) and noticed that Learning Resources had a lot of their products on sale. I am a huge fan of Learning Resources educational toys. I have found so many fun ways to use these items in speech so I thought I'd share what I got! 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience. This means that if you purchase something using my link, I may make a small commission (which is always extremely appreciated!)

First up, 
Rainbow Ice Cream Cones! My students love all things food related, so I knew this ice cream set would be a hit. It's designed to teach colors and work on fine motor skills. But there are so many things you can do with this set. Pretend/dramatic play, following directions (taking ice cream shop orders), requesting, counting, using "more," spatial concepts (on top!)

The next item is a Math Cube set. No, I don't teach math and you wouldn't want me tutoring you child in math, but these cubes can be used so many different ways. Imagination/creative play elicits so much expressive language. Let your students play and stack and see what they come up with. I have also had a to of luck using these with smash mats. We stack the cubes on top of the pictures for each production and get a ton of articulation practice that way (tallest tower wins!) These are very easy to wipe down and keep clean as well. 

How adorable are these Shape Sorting Cupcakes?! I do have a lot of little ones on my caseload so working on colors and shapes is a bonus with their language skills. This past week we pretended we worked at a bakery and took cupcake orders. We also had to make sure we put the cupcakes in the oven to bake (be careful, it's hot!) and delivered the cupcakes to the customers (boy and girl Little People figures). I also plan on pairing these with the story, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

I have had my eye on the Farmer's Market Color Sorting set for a long time now.  This set is very engaging for teaching colors and sorting. But the pieces that come with the set are great for creative play. Combine with a cash register (I personally own this one) and you are all set to play supermarket with your students. 

Last, but not least! This one is not from Learning Resources, but I just had to have it. The Big Pop Game Board has been so much fun. It was hard to bring it to work because Kameron was loved using it at home. For him, I was able to sneak in some addition practice with it by him adding up the dice to see how many bubbles he got to pop on his turn. In speech, this has been a hit with my articulation students. They practice a target before the roll the dice and take a turn. The game didn't come with instructions and is incredibly open ended. You and your students can make up your own rules on how to play the game! 


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