Tuesday: Talk Data To Me!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Happy Tuesday! I hope you all found yesterday's post about organization helpful. Today is the day I know most of you have been waiting for... Data Day! I have posted a few different data sheets because there really isn't one sheet that will work for everyone. I have found that with my very young students, anecdotal data is sometimes the best! Because you can't always measure communication with pluses and minuses.
If you remember from my How Do You Keep Student Data post, I use binders to keep my student information and data organized. Inside the binder, I have dividers separating each student. I also have a student information chart (download below), data sheets, and some work samples to show progress. If the student really wants to keep their work, make a photo copy and keep it in the binder. I like keeping random work samples in the binders for a few reasons. It is great to have to show the teachers and parents at meetings. It is also great to have to remind ourselves (and the student) how much progress they really have made when you feel like they aren't reaching their goals. 

Student Information Sheet: This is like a snap shot of your student. It includes their information, IEP date, re-evaluation date, recent evaluation information, services they receive, etc. 

Student Data Sheet: students can keep track of their own goals. I have found this to be very motivating for my students. They are very aware of their goals and they are able to track their own progress.  **Bonus: Principals LOVE to see this!

Anecdotal Data Notes: I like using this when pluses and minuses just wont cut it! For example, this has really come in handy for me with preschoolers that have very limited vocabulary. I have noted words he/she uses during structured play. 

Data Sheet #1: This sheet is helpful for showing progress and growth with one specific goal.

Data Sheet #2: This is my go-to data sheet! This is the one most of you have emailed me for!

How do you find keeping data is best for you?

Blog Award Nominations!

Monday, July 30, 2012
I interrupt Back-2-School Week for this very special announcement: Carrie over at Carrie's Speech Corner has nominated me for two blog awards!

Now that I have been nominated for One Lovely Blog Award, here is what I have to do:
1. Follow the person who gave me the award
2. Link back to the blog that nominated me: Carrie's Speech Corner
3. Pass the award to 15 bloggers and let them know that they have received the award!

For receiving the Versatile Blogger nomination, I have to:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated me 
2. Include a link to their blog - Carrie's Speech Corner (3rd time's a charm, right? :)
3. Include the award image in my post 
4. Give 7 random facts about myself 
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
6. When nominating, include a link to the blog
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated

Seven random facts.
1) I am a clogger (not toilet,a dancer!) and have been dancing since I was 8 years old. I still dance today and teach 2 and 3 year olds at Dancestarz Performance Company in Pinellas Park, FL.
2) I love penguins!
3) I have never broken a bone (I hope this doesn't jinx me!)
4) When my husband proposed to me, we were at Discovery Cove and a dolphin swam a buoy to me that said, "Will You Marry Me?"
5) I have a 3 month old daughter named Kenzie Lee.
6) I am an SLP today because of a friend of the family who had Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher until I was introduced to the world of speech therapy. 
7) I am a little bit OCD and cannot live without my color coded planner!  

Here are the 15 blogs I'm nominating for these awards:

Monday: Let's Get Organized!

Welcome to Back-2-School Week! This week is geared towards getting you ready for school this year. We all know that if we feel organized (and prepared with our ammo of creative therapy activities!) we will have a great start to the year, right? Well, we will at least feel ready for what this year has in store. Today is all about classroom organization. I have ideas and downloads that I have used and feel worth sharing.

First up...Binders!  I am a huge fan of binders and (after a few years of trial and error) keep myself organized by using binders. If you remember from my How Do You Keep Student Data post a few months ago (we will revisit data tomorrow) I keep all my data in binders organized  by grade. I also keep  binders for meetings, screenings, parent contact, etc. Here are a few downloads for you to get your binders in order! (To download, click on the link, not the picture)
IEP Student List: I actually keep this list on my bulletin board. At the beginning of each year, I organize this list so I do not miss an IEP due date. In the notes section, you may want to note if a re-evaluation is coming up for the student.
Parent Phone List: I like to make two copies of this list. One to keep by the classroom phone, and one to keep in a communication log binder. Hopefully you won't have to do this with your little angels, but I have also used it to keep handy when students start acting up. They love to use the "You don't have my momma's phone number!" and then quickly straighten up when I can read the number to them :) 
Parent Communication Log: I keep a binder of all parent communication. This includes phone calls, emails, notes home, even note worthy conversations in the car circle. This is good to have for record keeping of communicating student progress, behavior (good or bad!), notices of IEP's... anything. **Bonus: Principals LOVE to see this!
Speech/ Language Screening Log: I also keep a binder of speech and language screenings done. This is will come in handy when Johnny's new teacher writes a speech referral for him. You can look back to see if he was already screened or show the teacher that he was already evaluated and did not qualify.

 Next up, how to organize student information. Tomorrow I will show you how I do this (I combine it with data). But I wanted to share with you an idea that I used my first year. I got a recipe box from the dollar store and a bunch of index cards. I had an index card for each student. On the index card I included:

  • student name
  • student birthdate
  • IEP date
  • re-evaluation date
  • student's goals
  • service minutes
This was a very organized method that made it very east to reference information on a student. If Lizzy's teacher came in asking about her services, I could quickly pull her card instead of looking up her IEP. A recipe box doesn't take up a lot of room either, so it is easy to store on your desk or therapy table.

Last but not least.... lesson plans! A few days ago, I posted a question on Facebook for school based SLP's: Do you have to write up or submit lesson plans to your principal? Most of you that replied said no, however, there were a few of you that said you do have to. At my school, we submit plans via email to our principal on a weekly basis. I have come up with a "principal approved" template. I update the plans weekly and type onto them. I do not have a printable version for you to download because it is much easier to type into in rather than hand write on the plans. I created this on Word and created a 3 column table: Day/Time/Students, Lesson Plan, IEP Goals. My principal loved that the goals were right next to my plan making sure they were addressed. I also added a notes and meetings section at the top of the plan. This is a screen shot of the first page of my plans...check it out:
I hope you all have found this helpful!! If you have any other requests for helping you get organized, please let me know. Check back in tomorrow for Data Day!

It's Baaaaaack!

Thursday, July 26, 2012
It's so close I can feel it! Back to school commercials are in heavy rotation and the school dreams have returned. I have to admit, I am kind of looking forward to going back to school this year. I have been out on maternity leave since April 16, so I kinda miss it. (I know, this feeling will be over by October!) So to get you (and me) ready for the start of a new school year, I am hosting Back-2-School Week here on [simply speech.]
Here is the layout of the week:
Monday: Classroom Organization
Templates and ideas to keep you organized!
Tuesday: Data Day
Ideas for keeping student data and printables
Wednesday: Behavior Management and Reward Systems
Ideas to keep you little ones motivated
Thursday: Get To Know You!
Ideas for the first week of speech to help you get to know your students and so they can get to know their new friends!
Friday: Materials and Activities
Some fresh new ideas to get you moving and motivated  for the year!

I am more than willing to make this last 2 weeks if there are any other requests... just let me know!

Let's Talk Baby Talk!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The other day I was chatting with one of my best friends about my little one (who I can't believe she will be 3 months old tomorrow!) She was asking me developmental questions, such as "When will she say her first word?" or "When will she start laughing?" I was a little embarrassed because I honestly couldn't remember the answers to some of her questions. These milestones were drilled into our heads in school, but for the last 3 years, the youngest child I had worked with was 3 years old. I guess if you don't use it, you really do lose it! A lot of my friends are having babies these days as well, so I figured I would make a speech and language cheat sheet for developmental milestones the first 2 years. Enjoy!

Word Balloons [App Review & Giveaway!]

Monday, July 23, 2012
Happy Monday! The fantastic people at ARTEL Larsen have provided me with 3 more app codes to giveaway to you! This time it is for the Word Balloons app. This is a great app for improving your students' word recognition, reading speed, and writing skills. Check it out then make sure you enter to win one of three copies of the app below!
Word Balloons allows your students to practice word recognition and reading skills while having fun. The 500 words used in this app make up 80% of spoken and written everyday English. This means lots of great exposure!
 This app allows you to set the size of the word list (from 100-500). They are arranged in a list by frequency. You can also customize the app to each student by choosing how many balloons you want on the screen at a time. The more balloons on the screen means more points!
To use this app, students read the word at the bottom of the screen. He or she then has to find the balloon that has the same word on it. Once you touch the correct balloon, it disappears and a new word appears at the bottom of the screen. This app really is a lot of fun. My husband was watching me play over my shoulder and couldn't resist playing along. We ended up having a friendly competition!

This app is ideal for students working on reading and writing skills. This will really help students with sight words and spelling as well. Students can easily play independently or compete with his or her peers. I can see this being a hit in my therapy room! Have your students read the words they find out loud and make it an articulation therapy tool, too!

"WH" Questions At Home Fun Deck [app review.]

Sunday, July 22, 2012
Appy Sunday everyone! I recently received a code for the "WH" Questions At Home Fun Deck app by Super Duper Publications. As I have stated before, I am a huge fan of Super Duper. All of their products are fun and easy to use. My students love Super Duper products, too. Super Duper was kind enough to provide me with a code in order to complete the review, but the opinions below are mine.
This app was user friendly and easy to figure out without having to watch a tutorial, although they do provide one under the 'More...' option on the main page. To use this app, you first have to create a player list. This is where you enter the names of students you will use this app with. This app keeps record of students' correct or incorrect responses. I love when apps allows you to go paperless with your data collection! After you create a player list, you can select 'Start New Game' or 'Continue Game.' If you select a new game, you are brought to this screen:

Here you select from a list of 56 "WH" questions to use with your students. Some examples are: Who are your neighbors?, Why is it important to recycle?, Where do you put your coat when you get home? All of these questions are real life questions your student may encounter in their home lives. After you have chosen the questions you would like to use, simply hit 'Play' at the top of the screen. From there, you are brought to colorful pictures that are presented one at a time. The questions are not timed so you can use these questions as teachable moments and have discussions with your students. Below are some examples:

 (This one is very important living in Florida!)

If  you tap the picture, the app will read the question to the student. This allows the student to practice using this app independently!
Pros for this app:
  • student friendly and easy to use
  • colorful pictures grab the student's attention
  • built in data collection with option to email (great for teachers and parents!)
  • app reads questions out loud for students (allows them to be independent!)
Cons for this app: 
  • I don't have any!
Overall, this was a great app and I would recommend it to anyone working on making predictions with their students. "WH" Questions at Home Fun Deck sells for $1.99 at the iTunes store!

Kristin's Deal of the Day!

Friday, July 20, 2012
I am so excited about my latest purchase, that I had to share it with you all! I was never too pleased with the case I had been using for my iPad and have been on a search for a new one. I really didn't want to spend too much money on one either (good luck, right?) Well good news... I have found an awesome case for only $4.99! It is a leather 360 case (you can spin the iPad depending on what view you want!) Check it out:

Here is the link to Amazon.com where I bought mine: Snag this case!

Speech-A-Gories! [freebie!]

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Good morning! I am always looking for new games and activities to practice speech sounds. "Go Fish again?" is commonly heard in my speech room. So, one night while playing Scategories with some friends, I came up with the idea for Speech-A-Gories! To play this game, print out a copy of the worksheet. You can laminate them or put in a page protector so the kids can write on them with a dry erase marker and reuse. Or, print a copy for each student and let them take the page home for practice. At the top of the page, write in the target sound and check off if you want the sound in the beginning, middle, or end of the word. Then have your students race against the clock to complete the page! When time runs out, have each student read their answers (data time!) I created the game and the boarders are from The 3AM Teacher, make sure you check her blog out!

If you download a copy, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

$-fun [App Review & Giveaway!]

Monday, July 16, 2012
Happy Monday! The fantastic people at ARTEL Larsen have provided me with 3 more app codes to giveaway to you! This time it is for the $-fun app. This is a great app for students learning counting and money sense. Check it out then make sure you enter to win one of three copies of the app below!
$-fun offers 3 different activities where students can practice saving, counting, and using money. The first activity pictured below is called Count. With this activity, the student is given a sum of money and has to count how much money is presented to them. The student then enters the amount of money onto the keypad and checks their answer by pressing the green check mark. 
 The second activity pictured is called Save. This activity has the student race against the clock by dragging as much money into the piggy bank as possible! I can see this one being a favorite with my students. 
 The third game pictured below is called Pay. With this activity, the student buys an item at a given price. Match the price by placing the money from the wallet onto the table. The student can check his/her answer by pressing the green check mark. 
Depending on the level of the student, you can decide to have these activities timed or not by choosing an option on the main screen. This is a great option if you are using this app as a teaching tool. Teachers can use this as a whole group activity with their class. Another option with this app is that you can decide to only work with the coins, not dollar bills, if that is what you are working on with your student. This app also keeps track of your score. Keep your kiddos motivated by having them try to beat their score! This app is ideal for anyone... therapists, teachers, kids, and parents. You can purchase $-fun in the iTunes store for $1.99!

Now for the moment you have been waiting for... the GIVEAWAY! Enter below to win, I will choose 3 winners on Friday July 20! Good Luck!

Book Of The Week!

Friday, July 13, 2012
Happy Friday! This week's featured book is one that I use in therapy quite frequently. Big Al by Andrew Clements is a story of a not-so-attractive but very friendly fish that desperately wants friends. Big Al tries all sorts of ways to make friends, but nothing works. Then one day a fisherman captures the smaller fish and leaving Big Al to save them.
Title: Big Al
Author: Andrew Clements
Goals/ Targets: This is a perfect book to use with story grammar elements. It contains: characters, setting, feelings, an initiating event/ problem, attempts to solve the problem, and a conclusion. In addition, there are opportunities to teach vocabulary words such as captured, rescued, disguised, fierce, etc. and work on story prediction.

Back 2 School 'I Have, Who Has?' [freebie!]

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
With the start of the school year creeping up on us, I got motivated to start working on Back-2-School activities! This activity is a school/art supply version of the I Have, Who Has game. This game will help your little ones learn the names of some school supplies, colors, as well as work on asking and answering questions! Enjoy!
If you snag a copy, please leave a comment. What other back to school activities are you looking for?

DIY Jeopardy... Speech & Language Edition!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I love creating Jeopardy games for my speech students. The best part is you can use this game format for just about anything you are working on. The most popular game I make is for story units. For story games, I will use categories such as WH Questions, Vocabulary, True or False, etc. Below is an example of my Verb Jeopardy game...

To create this, I used Power Point (Microsoft Word works, too) and simply created 2 tables. One table has the categories with points, and the second has the categories with questions. You keep the question page and have the points page out in front of your students. Laminate the points page (or put it in a page protector) and use dry erase markers to mark off the point value for questions that have already been asked. I have also created a giant Jeopardy game on my white board in my room, but that is not always an option for everyone. 

This game can be played with with an individual student or a group (split them up and make 2 teams... great opportunity for turn taking and team work!) I have also found that doing a Jeopardy game during an observation from the principal is awesome. They see how much the students are learning and they are so engaged!!

ARK's Grabber [product review]

Monday, July 9, 2012
Good morning! If you have not yet seen, I have announced the 3 winners of the Word Stress app giveaway! Congratulations to Laura, Stephanie, and Melissa! There will be another giveaway posted this week, so stay tuned.

Last week, I received a package in the mail from ARK Therapeutic. The package contained oral motor tools  to use with students/ patients that are working on chewing and swallowing. I was thrilled to learn about these products and have just began to use them. I have an 8 year old private patient I work on feeding skills with. Currently, she is on a mostly pureed diet. Her mother and I wanted to introduce more foods to her diet and work on chewing skills. Last week I began using the Grabber with her. The Grabber is a mouthing tool that provides the opportunity for her to work on jaw movements, tongue movements, and oral exploration. It is a chewy tool that helps desensitize the mouth and allow her to practice chewing. This product also helps reduce teeth grinding and chewing on non-food items (which can result in choking). I introduced the Grabber to her by dipping in into yogurt (her favorite treat!) That way she was receptive to the tool and willing to put something unfamiliar into her in her mouth. So far, she has been willing to use the Grabber. She has not yet chewed on it, but she is willing to put the Grabber in her mouth. Her mother keeps it on hand to use when she begins grinding her teeth during the week when I am not working with her.
There are also textured and scented Grabbers to use in the future with her when introducing new foods and textures. Another bonus for this tool is that it is made from medical grade solid materials with no holes or crevices where bacteria or saliva can hide. You can put the Grabber in the dishwasher, too! I will continue to keep you all updated on her progress with this tool and other products from ARK. Have you used any oral motor tools like these with your students?
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