A New Look For Behavior Management!

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Last school year I did a post on my behavior management system. If you missed it and would like to check it out, you can go here. So after a summer of perusing Pinterest, I decided I would give my behavior management system a face lift!
I started using a clip chart this year. I have clothespins with Velcro that I attach the students' names to. I wrote the names on labels, stuck the labels to construction paper, then cut and  laminated. When the students come into speech, they find their name and put it on the green "ready to learn!" section of the chart. If they make good choices, they move up to "good job" or "awesome." If they make bad choices, their name moves down to "slow down" or "stop." If their name is in green, blue, or purple by the end of the session, they get to put their name in the "Spotted Using Good Speech" fishbowl! 
To download the clip chart check out Mrs. Rica's Kindergarten Blog!

I'm sure many of you have seen the "caught being good" fishbowl on Pinterest. I adapted the idea and created a "Spotted Using Good Speech" fishbowl (I really liked the fishbowl!) I added polka dots for my spots. At the end of the session, the students have the chance to put their names into the bowl 1-3 times depending on where their name ends up on the clip chart (green=1, blue=2, purple=3). Click here to download my spotted paper! Once the fishbowl fills up, I will pick 5 names out and those students get to go to the treasure box. I use this for all my groups and I explained to them that many names will be in the bowl, so it is important to get your name in the bowl as many times as you can. So far it is working great... I'll keep you posted! :)

Guest Post from Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology!

Monday, August 27, 2012
Good morning! Today I have a guest post from Brea at Let's Talk Speech Language Pathology! Over the summer, I created a getting ready for kindergarten checklist. These activities listed below would be perfect to help you tackle some items on the list! I can't wait to download these activities and use them with my students.Take it away Brea!

Alphabet and Color Match-Up

Many preschoolers work on learning the alphabet and colors before reaching kindergarten. It’s important to make sure that these students have these concepts mastered by the end of preschool. I created an alphabet and color match-up game that you could use to discuss consonant and vowel sounds, colors, or even use as a reinforcement activity. I found a similar idea on Pinterest, but I cannot seem to locate the original pin. Therefore, if this is your idea, please let me know so that I can give you credit!
I created both a lowercase and an uppercase match-up activity because some students struggle with lowercase letters while other students struggle with uppercase letters.

The directions are simple.
-First, get some clothespins and create 1 set that has the uppercase letters on the end and 1 set that has the lowercase letters on the end.
-Make sure you laminate these materials so that you can use them over and over again.
-Then, give the student clothespins one by one, have the student earn a clothespin, or have him or her select a clothespin out of a cup.
-Finally, the student would match the correct clothespin with the box on the paper. Clip the clothespin on the edge of the paper to match them.
 It’s as easy as that!

I also created a version that has pictures on it. The student would select a clothespin and match the clothespin with the picture that begins with that letter.

For example: if the student selects the clothespin with a B on it, the student should find the picture of a Bear and place the clothespin over that box. Bear begins with a /b/.

Finally, I created a color version. Instead of putting letters on clothespins, put a colored dot on the end. Have the student select a clothespin and match it up to the correct box on the paper.

Download the free download here: Alphabet and Color Match Up!


Let’s Talk Speech-Language Pathology is a blog written by a school-based CF-SLP who works primarily with preschoolers. The purpose of the blog is to provide free speech and language resources for SLPs, educators, and caregivers. Written topics include Materials Monday where you can download free materials, specific speech and language disorders, tips on interviewing for jobs, and thematic unit ideas. You can connect with Let’s Talk SLP via the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Speech Journal App Review & Giveaway!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Appy Saturday!! How about an app review and a giveaway to kick the weekend off? 
Kyle over at The Mobile Education Store provided me with a code to check out his Speech Journal app. I have always been impressed with the apps from The Mobile Education Store, and this one was no exception. Speech Journal is an app that lets you customize voice recordings and pair them with your own imported images and image sequences. I use the video recorder on my iPad frequently in therapy for speech samples, story retellings, sequencing events, etc. This app was made for completing activities like that.
 Here is how it works...
When you open the Speech Journal app, it prompts you to choose a user. The app allows you to save multiple users which is ideal for working with multiple students. You can organize and save their work into their own files (instead of the video library where I have all of mine!) After you choose a user, you select an image. This can be an image you have saved in your library or you can take a photo with the iPad at that time. 
 I chose a picture of me and my 3 year old dance class from my photo library. (How cute are they?) After you select an image, you touch the green RECORD button to record a message about the photo. Note: if you do not make a recording, the photo will not save to the student's file. 
"Mrs. Kristin is teaching the girls how to stretch before they start dancing."
After you complete your recording, you are brought to a page that looks like this. You are given the option to erase and re-record, listen to your recording, continue recording (and add to what you already have), save, or choose a new image for your next slide. 

When you are done with your recordings and photos, you have a slide show! To get a better idea about this app and see a real life example, check out the video tutorial here!

Possible Uses For This App:
  • Sequencing activities
  • Visual Schedules
  • Social Stories
  • Speech/ Language Samples
  • Articulation data
  • Journal for non-verbal students (share what the student did that day, what happened on a field trip, etc.)
  • Show and Tell activity
  • Family/ class photo album or slide show
  • Story retelling activities (this would go GREAT with Story Grammar Marker!!)
  • Many, many more!!
Speech Journal sells for only $1.99 in the iTunes store!

Kyle was generous enough to give me 2 more codes to share with you! Enter to win a copy of Speech Journal below... Good Luck!!

Scheduling... Oh My!

Friday, August 24, 2012
Probably one of the most stressful parts of the beginning of the school year is creating a schedule. It gives me a headache trying to schedule my students in between core curriculum, occupational therapy, physical therapy, VE resource support.... ahhh!! Well, for those of you that follow me on Facebook you saw that I tried using the white board to create my schedule this year (Thank you Crazy Speech World!) That actually worked out very well for me and I think (dare I say it...) I have completed my schedule. What's your next step after you finish your schedule? I complete a form that I give to the teachers of my students and pray that they have not scheduled library time during my therapy time :) Below is a picture of the form that I use to get the necessary information to the teachers. I also attach a copy of the student's goals and accommodations with the schedule sheet.

Embedded Goals Chart

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Over the summer I went to a training where I was introduced to a fabulous thing called an "Embedded Goals Chart." Have any of you used this before? It is a chart/spreadsheet made for each student where his/her goals in all service areas are listed along with every subject the student has (including lunch). Each goal is then cross referenced and determined where it can be worked on whether it be formally or informally. For example, if your student has a communication goal of "requesting objects from peers or adults with no more than one verbal prompt" he/she can work on that goal in the classroom, in lunch, in art, PE, music, etc. This would be a fantastic tool to give to every teacher that will come in contact with the student. Most time specialists have no idea what the student is working on. If the art teacher knows that Jenny is working on requesting objects, he will know to not just give her a paintbrush with out her asking first or can mention to you while passing in the hallway that Jenny asked Michael for a jar of paint today! With more people aware of the student's goals, goals will be reached faster! Below is an example of an embedded goals chart I made.
To get a better look at this chart you can download it here

What are your thoughts on this? I am trying to get my ESE team to adopt this with me!

Meet Mrs. Cummings!

Monday, August 20, 2012
Hello! I hope you all had a fabulous day! For those of you back to work for the first day with the kids at school.. how did it go? It's so important for our students to feel comfortable with their peers and with their teachers so they can be successful in therapy. I like to spend the first few weeks getting to know my students and letting them get to know me. This year I created a power point presentation so my students can get to know me a little better. I have noticed over the past few years that I have much less behavior problems with the kids that I have closer relationships with. Hopefully this little presentation will help them (and now you!) get to know me better. Enjoy!


Where Is The SLP?

Sunday, August 19, 2012
If you are a school based SLP, then you know how hard it is for teachers, students, and administration to find us on a daily basis. We are either in a classroom doing inclusion, doing a hearing screening, in an IEP meeting, completing a speech screening, at the copier... always on the move! One of my readers, Lauren Wills, had a brilliant idea and created  "Where is the SLP?" signs to hang on your door! Print out the signs, laminate, and hang with some cute ribbon outside your door when you are away from your room. When she sent it to me, I thought, why haven't I thought of this? Thank you Lauren and thank you for letting me share your idea!
To download Lauren's Where Is The SLP door signs, click here!

Guest Post by Leslie Lindsay!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Good morning! Yesterday I posted a book review on Speaking of Apraxia by Leslie Lindsay. (If you missed it, make sure you check it out) I am so excited to have a guest post written by her today! Without any further delay, take it away Leslie....

Reading Green Eggs and Ham with Apraxia
By Leslie Lindsay
        I don’t know about you, but I love books.  I love kids.  And when one combines the love for children and literature, what often results is the abundance of words. And perhaps the proud moment of announcing, “Hey—she can read!” a year of two ahead of schedule. 
        But not if you have a child with apraxia.* 
       At two years old, our daughter Kate was a beautiful, energetic, and happy toddler. With the exception of one word—hi—Kate was as quiet as a mouse. We wondered if something was wrong. Even as a baby, Kate rarely babbled and cried; she was beautiful and unique with red hair and bright blue eyes.  She was, in a word, “perfect.” So why were we worried? After all, she could understand everything we said, even the big words.  And what was so wrong with having a quiet, happy toddler? 
        And so we read.  As parents we read parenting books about late-talking children.  We read about speech development and ways to stimulate our child.  We read books to Kate.  Simple board books by Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton that had the happy cadence of alliteration and rhyme.  We pointed out illustrations in the book, “Oh, look-y here…can you see the birdie?  Can you say bird?”  We engaged in dialogic reading with our daughter, “What do think will happen next?”  And nothing. 
         Sure, she understood everything we said, even the hard words.  We could tell because she would be able to perform simple directions like, “go get your shoes, we’re going for a walk.”  But still, nothing.  At least not any expressive language.  
          Kate was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), a neurologically- based motor speech disorder in which kids know what they want to say, yet they can’t coordinate the complex movements required to speak intelligibly. She was 2 ½ years old.  What resulted instead was a lot of pointing and gibberish. 
        Fast-forward five years, and you will see that Kate has overcome a considerable challenge.  She is now a normally-speaking soon-to-be 2nd grader.  Sure, there were struggles and years of speech therapy. 
        Our speech-language pathologist (SLP), mentioned that children with CAS have a particularly difficult time with identifying and composing rhymes.  Why exactly this is, is speculative.  Some say it has to do with the overall motor circulatory of the brain, the “wiring,” if you will; or the abstract arrangement of sounds and letters, perhaps it’s the mind-body connection, or simply being a visual versus auditory learner…in any case, it’s a challenge. 
         But just this past week, we pulled out Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.  My husband handed the shiny orange book to Kate at bedtime,** “Here, you read this one.”  She looked at her daddy with wide eyes, “You can do it,” he coaxed. 
         She sucked in a deep breath and rolled her lips into a tight line, “I am Sam,” she began. 
         My eyes welled with tears.  Her voice a little choppy (prosody is something she will likely always struggle with), a few stumbles here and there, and a long pause about half-way through, I cheered her on in my mind.  Finally, she sighed, “I can’t do it anymore.”  We egged her on (sorry, couldn’t resist), “Yes.  You can do this.”  (We ended up alternating pages.  Reading aloud can be very taxing for children with apraxia). 
          And you know what?  She read that whole book. Say, I do like reading and rhyming, Kate-I-am.  (*Commonly known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), or “dyspraxia of speech” in the U.K. and elsewhere.  **In retrospect, it would have been best to have Kate attempt a challenging rhyming book at a time of day when she is likely to be more alert).  
          Try it at home:
·         Remember, you are your child’s cheerleader.  Let them know you care and support them, but don’t make it too easy.  Challenging your children to the point of feeling slightly uncomfortable is okay.  It means they are growing (and you are, too)
·         Get yourself to the library.  Ask a children’s librarian for some simple rhyming books.  Even if they seem a little “baby-ish,” read them to and with your child with apraxia.  Practice, practice, practice!  (Some titles to look for, There’s a Closet in My Woset by Dr. Seuss, ‘Twas the Night Before Kindergarten (1st grade edition also available) by Natasha Wing, BOB books).
·         Remember, there is a difference between rhyming books (cat and mat) and  predictable/repetitive books (it’s pretty clear that you know what will happen next; the same phrase pops up every few lines (Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown) and wordless books (there is no text; you and your child create your own story as you study the illustrations; Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day) and cause and effect books (If You Give a…. series by Laura Numeroff) All types of books are important to a child with CAS. 
·         Extend your reading activity to make it whole-body experience.  Act it out (as in charades), whip up a batch of green eggs and ham or some chocolate chip cookies.  Have your child draw a picture or make her own “book” related to what you just read. 
Bio: Leslie Lindsay is former child/adolescent psych R.N. at the Mayo Clinic-Rochester. She is the mother of two school-aged daughters and a basset hound, named Sally. Lindsay and her family reside in the Chicago suburbs where she writes full-time. She is the author of “Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech” (Woodbine House, March 2012). Read more on her blog, “Practical Parenting…with a Twist” where she writes about apraxia, parenting, education, and more 5 days a week, www.leslie4kids.wordpress.com

Book of the Week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Happy Tuesday everyone!  I wanted to feature a different kind of book this week. Usually I feature a story book that you can use in therapy to help your students reach their goals. The book I am featuring today is not one that you would use in a therapy session, but has everything to do with speech therapy! 
Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent's Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech  by Leslie Lindsay is the first book about Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) that is written for the parent audience. When Leslie contacted me about reviewing her book, I was very excited. I am a speech-language pathologist today because of CAS. A close family friend has a son that was diagnosed with CAS at a very young age. Watching his therapy sessions is what changed my path from classroom teacher to SLP!

Leslie is the mother of an adorable daughter (pictured on the cover) with CAS and has a background in nursing. However, based on the information in this book, you would think Leslie was also a practicing speech language pathologist! This book was written for parents in parent friendly language, but students and practicing SLPs would greatly benefit from this book as well. I truly felt like I learned so much about apraxia while reading this book. Speaking of Apraxia is not a "text" book simply spitting out facts at you (although I did learn that speech language pathology was not a recognized college major until 1955!) Instead, it is written from the perspective of a parent, a teacher, and a friend. Leslie takes you through the steps of helping your child from getting your pediatrician to agree to refer your little one to an SLP all the way to what to do if you disagree with your child's IEP... and everything in between!  

Each chapter consists of a chapter break down, a chapter summary, and recommended resources. Leslie also starts each chapter with a personal experience a parent of a child with CAS could relate to. She doesn't give the impression that getting your child the necessary help he/she needs is going to be a piece of cake. Leslie is very honest and speaks openly about dealing with denial and sometimes being depressed after learning about your child's diagnosis. My favorite part of the book is Chapter 9- What You Can Do At Home: Tapping Into Your Inner Speech-Language Pathologist. In this chapter,  Leslie lists pages of activities that parents can do with their children at home. She reinforces multiple times how important it is to work with your child at home, and not just during therapy sessions. 

As a speech language pathologist, this book would be ideal to purchase a few copies of and loan them out to the parents of children with CAS. You can purchase Speaking of Apraxia on Amazon.com 

To contact Leslie Lindsay:
Email: leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com 
Blog: Practical Parenting.. With a Twist

Make sure you come back tomorrow! Leslie will be doing a guest post here on [simply speech.]!

More Organizational Freebies!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012
I can't believe there are only 2 days left of summer break! I hope you all enjoy your last few days and don't think about work too much. But if you are like me and are already planning how you are going to plan... here are some freebies for you!

First up... some organizational labels for your room!

Next... a template for a letter to send home the first week. I like to send home a letter each year to introduce myself and let parents know when their child will be receiving speech. Since speech is only a few times a week, parents can plan doctor and dentist appointments around the speech schedule.

Finally... a new behavior chart. I have seen on Pinterest the charts that you use with clothespins and wanted to created my own. Put each child's name on a clothespin. They can come in and put their name up on the "Read to Work" section. Move their name up and down the chart depending on their behavior that day... the goal is to be a "Super Speechie!" I used "Teacher's Choice" as the final result for bad behavior because I know we all use different methods for discipline (parent contact, teacher note, etc)

I hope you find these helpful! Have a relaxing weekend!

60 Beat Per Minute Calming Music Videos

Friday, August 10, 2012
Last week while at the Autism Summer Institute, Dr. Laura Riffel was one of our guest speakers. Dr. Riffel is a behaviorist who specializes in assisting adults to make proactive changes so that targeted behaviors of children disappear like magic.  She has trained thousands of teachers, parents, counselors, psychologists, administrators, and bus drivers how to make data based decisions as a way to change behavior. If you ever get a chance to see her speak, make sure you go! Dr. Riffel gave a wonderful presentation on Autism behaviors and interventions. I could probably write posts all week giving you all the great information she talked about, but one topic especially stood out. 

Many of you may have heard about the calming effects  music with a tempo of 60 beats per minute has on people. Brain research has shown that music has the power to reduce stress, enhance cognitive functioning, and improve productivity and creativity. Who wouldn't want that? And who wouldn't want their for their children or students? Gary Lamb who created Music for the Mind, has created CD's with music with a tempo of approximately 60 beats per minute. The logic behind music with 60bpm is that it is the same tempo as a resting heart rate. This tempo centers and calms us, promoting focused thinking, relaxed alertness, the flow state, and learning. Gary sells his CD's for $15 dollars each.... but here comes the best part! Dr. Riffel contacted Gary Lamb and bought the rights to his music. She created nature videos to go along with the music and posted them on her website to download for FREE. Dr. Riffel told us that these videos have worked to calm the most hyperactive kids she has worked with. Check out her videos and download them on her website: BehaviorDoctor.org

There are also apps that will tell you what the tempo is for songs. You may already have 60bpm music in your library. I found a free app called Cadence BPM Tapper and is free in iTunes!

Binder Cover Sheet Freebies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Last week I told you how I keep organized with binders... screening binder, parent communication binder, data binder, etc., etc., etc. I know I am not alone in this crazy organizational world, so I figured I would make a little back to school treat for you all. Click on the link below to snag my binder cover sheets. Most of the backgrounds and clip art are from The 3am Teacher. If you haven't already checked out her blog, check it out for freebies!
I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think. Any suggestions or requests for more covers?

Phrase Stress [App Review & Giveaway!]

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I hope you all are having a great weekend and I hope I can make it even better with a new giveaway! The fantastic people at ARTEL Larsen have provided me with 3 more app codes to giveaway to you! This time it is for the Phrase Stress app. This is a great app for learning and practicing idioms. Check it out then make sure you enter to win one of three copies of the app below! 

The Phrase Stress app targets idioms because they can be confusing to new of young English language learners. This app can help students understand and practice idioms while having fun. This app contains a list of 500 idioms. Using this app will help with understanding the concept of idioms as well as improve students' writing skills. You can customize the app to the student by choosing time stress level, the type of problems to solve (3 options), and the size of the list of idioms presented.
If you touch the book icon at the top of the main screen, you are brought to a page that lists idioms one by one along with the meaning and an example of how to use the idiom. This is a great teaching tool! This might be fun to do with a whole group of students- each day learn 5 new idioms, then at the end of the week let the students play the game. See how they improve each week! They are listed alphabetically which is helpful if you are looking for a specific idiom to target. 
On the main screen you can choose from 3 playing options: 
  1. See an Idiom: pick the right explanation
  2. See Idiom Explained: you pick the right idiom
  3. Idiom Missing Word: You pick the right word.
Below are screen shots from each game:

This app would be great for classroom teachers, speech/ language pathologists, tutors, and parents looking for educational apps for their kids. We all know that learning idioms can be a real tough cookie to learn- sorry, I had to throw that in there! With this app, the students can have fun while learning all about idioms. Phrase Stress sells for only $.99 in the iTunes store!

And now for the giveaway! 3 lucky [simply speech.] followers will win a copy of the Phrase Stress App. I will announce the winners on Wednesday. Good luck!!

Friday: Setting Up Your Speech Room

Friday, August 3, 2012
Happy Friday! I was originally going to post some therapy games today, but I changed my mind. (I promise to post some games next week!) I figured that since it is Back 2 School Week here, ways to organize and set up your speech room may be more helpful for you. If you haven't already, check out an old post of mine Welcome To Mrs. Kristin's Speech Room. In that post, I took pictures of how I set up my room.

I also wanted to share with you some ideas I have found (mainly on Pinterest) on how to use your space.
If your school/county is like mine, the principal wants the learning objectives posted so the students know what they are learning that day. For us, it is more about the goals we are working on. This is a much cuter way to post your goals and objectives then writing them on the white board or printing them out on plain white paper. Frame scrapbook paper and write on the glass with dry erase markers!

This is one of my favorite finds!! What a great use of space. Turn two filing cabinets back to back. Use the sides as a magnetic bulletin board. This would be ideal for a speech room that doesn't have a white board. Loving this idea!

Add scrapbook paper to your organizational boxes. This will add color to your room as well as keep nosey little ones out of your stuff! :)

On Monday I posted how I keep organized by binders. If you are not a binder person, this may be a great idea for you. Keep a clipboard for each grade, team meetings, parent information, etc. on your bulletin board. Grab and go as needed!

I use this in my room and love it. Turn a dish drying rack into a filing system, who knew?! Student files for any IEP meeting I have coming up or any open evaluation I have in progress goes in here. This way, I don't forget anyone and I see how much work I have ahead of me and can plan accordingly. I started using this last year and I will continue to this year. 

I have many, many more ideas on my Speech Room Organization Pinterest page! Please check it out and pretty please leave me your ideas! Have a great weekend!

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