Cluster Reduction Rodeo!

Friday, June 28, 2013
During Better Hearing and Speech Month, I dedicated an entire week to phonological processes. On one of my posts, I asked the question, "Which phonological process do you encounter the most?" I had an overwhelming response from fellow readers stating that cluster reduction is by far the most popular process among their students and clients. With that information in mind, I created Cluster Reduction Rodeo!
This activity is designed to be used with students that demonstrate the phonological process of cluster reduction. Cluster reduction is defined as the simplification of a cluster by deleting one of it’s sounds.

For example, the word school may be produced, “kool”

This is a 20 page activity that includes:
A game board. Use this game board with the cluster cards. Have students practice a target(s) from the cards then move across the board.
106 cluster target cards for the S, R, L sounds. 
Bonus game cards!
There is also a page of blank cards that you can use however necessary for your students' individual needs. 
Here is what some fellow SLPs that have downloaded this activity have said about it:
Quick and easy activity with cute Rodeo graphics. I like that she included some activities with medial /s/ blends!- Speech2u

This will be great to work on clusters! Thanks!
-Speech Universe

Simple and easy to use activity with adorable visuals that targets S, R, L clusters at word level.
-Tatyana Elleseff

Super cute graphics and theme! Definitely will get a lot of use out of this packet!
-Home Sweet Speech Room

Always need more s blend work! Thanks!
-Speech Room News

Great word choice and theme!
-Ms Jocelyn Speech

CCSS Planner! Product Review & Giveaway!

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Those of you that have followed my blog long enough, know one thing about me... I am obsessed with organizational materials. Planners have to be close to at the top of my list. One day I left my planner at home and almost had a nervous breakdown. I was super excited when I came across a printable planner on Pinterest by April from A Modern Teacher. Let me tell you, she has gone above and beyond what any planner from Office Depot can provide (they really should get teachers' input as a buyer in those stores!) April was kind enough to share one of her planners with me and I am very excited to share it with you. Make sure you enter the giveaway at the end of the blog!

I chose to use a 3 ring binder with this planner. This planner is jam packed with organizational goodies. What I love about this planner is that since it is printable, you can choose what you want to print and what you do not. Since I am a speech therapist, certain pages, such as "Specials Schedule" and "Guided Reading" did not apply to me so I did not print those out. 
Below are screen shots of some pages I printed out and put in my binder. 

I use the Daily Plans sheet to create my lesson plans for groups/individual students. I love, love, love that there is a column to list the common core standards that you will be addressing with your lesson. 

This weekly planning sheet would be ideal to list IEP meetings, conferences, staff meetings, evaluations to be completed, happy hour :) etc. etc.

These pages would be ideal for writing out your schedule. You could use the left column to block out time slots for therapy sessions and write the days of the week across the top!

Monthly calendars are also included (what's a planner without a month at a glance?)

The one thing that makes this planner stand out from any other planner I have ever seen (and believe me I have seen a lot of planners!) is that the common core standards are also included. What could be better than having all the standards at your fingertips as you plan our your therapy sessions? This would definitely get you some brownie point with your principal!

Below are some other amazing pages that April included in her planner:
- Important Information page
-Home and School Year Plans
-Birthdays and Anniversaries to Remember
-Ideas for the Classroom (you can list ideas and websites you found them here)
-To-Do Checklist
-Week at a Glance (with before and after school sections)
-Daily planning by subject and CCSS
-A To-Do list for the next school year (that's my kind of to-do list!!)
-Monthly Peeks (here you list meetings, CCSS to be addressed, assessments, goals, etc)
-Note pages
-Meal Planning (!)
Like I said, this planner is amazing. Yes, it is geared towards teachers but therapists (especially school based therapists) could also find this very handy... I definitely did!
You can find out more information on April's planners (she has more designs) at her TpT store here!
Try to win a copy below!

Star Spangled Speech... With A Giveaway!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
We are just about a week out from one of my favorite holidays.... The 4th of July! Do you have your patriotic therapy materials ready? I created two festive articulation activities to use with my speech students this year. 
I separated them into two packets for conveince. Each packet includes speech targets in the initial, medial, and final position of the words. The early sounds includes 126 flashcards and the later sounds packet includes 132 flashcards. I underlined the target sound to help keep the cards organized as well as show the student where the sound is in the word. 
In addition to the flashcards, I included an open ended game (because who doesn't like games?!)
You can use this separately or with the articulation cards. Print as many copies of these pages as you need for the game. 

You can download these activities in my TpT store. Click on the links below:
In the spirit of the holiday, how about a giveaway?

The Verdict Is In....

Monday, June 24, 2013
The polls are closed and the verdict is in. July's SLP Book Club book will be....
Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter 
by Robert Rummel-Hudson
I am very excited about this book. To be honest, I voted for House Rules. But I am actually glad that this book won because I think this will be a great book to read after Carly's Voice and learn another father's story. 
Get your books ready for July!

Crowd Pleasing Apps {PreK Edition}

Friday, June 21, 2013
Happy Friday! We made it through another week :) 
This summer I have been working primarily with PreK age kiddos. Before the summer session started, I went on an app hunt for (what I thought would be) fun and engaging educational apps. Some we hits and some we not... 
I wanted to share with you my top 4 kid approved apps! 
Before we get started with the list, I want to say that the app companies did not contact me about these apps. These were purchased by me and the opinions are mine. 
OK here we go...!

First up, Oscar Pizza Chef by Timbuktu
The "pizza app" gets requested by name frequently. I love this app because you can target following directions and sequencing goals... and the kids have no idea! To play, first the student chooses the type of pizza he/she wants to create. The names are really in Italian... I had to have a client's dad help me with some of the pronunciations! Then, the student has to create the pizza only using the ingredients on the list. There are pictures of the ingredients next to the name to help the little guys out.
After the pizza us baked, the pizza is served to Eegor. If you used the right ingredients, Eegor will love your pizza and eat it up. If it is not made correctly, he gets angry and throws the pizza. The best part... you get to take your picture with Eegor at the end :)

Second, Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Day & Night Studios, Inc.
This is a fabulous companion to go with the book. 
This is a great app for little ones to target counting, numbers, vocabulary, and following directions. 
There are 5 different levels to choose from based on the kiddo's ability level. 

Third, Magic Sorter- Sea Tales by Igromatic
This is a super fun, under the sea themed app. It is full of games that target size, colors, patterns, vocabulary, sorting, counting, etc., etc. 
After a child completes an activity, Caribbean music plays and the sea creatures dance. 
The music is pretty catchy... one of my kids told me to "stop dancing!" the other day :)

Last, but certainly not least, Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker by Nymbly
This app is based on the children's books by actress Julianne Moore. It starts out with a little story when she introduces her monster to you. Then the fun part, you (or the student :) get to create your own monster! 
I like using this app as both a reward at the end of speech and an expressive language tool. As your student is creating his/her monster, have them use sentences such as, "My monster is blue," or "My monster has 4 eyes and a tail." This app has the photo option too. Here is Kenzie with our monster :)

I hope you can find these apps helpful for you in therapy. These would be great apps to recommend to parents because they are all engaging, educational, and fun (and all under $3.00!)

Time To Vote For July's Book!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are enjoying Carly's Voice. I am finally getting to Carly's part of the book and cannot put it down. Please feel free to add your thoughts and questions for discussion on the #SLPBookClub Message Board. The time has come to vote for July's book. I have complied a list of books that were recommended over the month that we can all vote on. Below is a list of the names and descriptions (from of July's book options:

1. House Rules 
by Jodi Picoult
"Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?"

2. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend 
by Matthew Dicks
"Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear. Max is different from other children. Some people say he has Asperger’s, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max unconditionally and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, a teacher in the Learning Center who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save Max—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or his own existence. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a triumph of courage and imagination that touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming . . . and heartbreaking conclusion."

3. Still Alice 
by Lisa Genova
"Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind..."

4. Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter 
by Robert Rummel-Hudson
"When Schuyler Rummel-Hudson was eighteen months old, a question about her lack of speech by her pediatrician set in motion a journey that continues today. When she was diagnosed with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (an extremely rare neurological disorder), her parents were given a name for the monster that had been stalking them from doctor to doctor, and from despair to hope, and back again. Once they knew why Schuyler couldn’t speak, they needed to determine how to help her learn. They took on educators and society to give their beautiful daughter a voice, and in the process learned a thing or two about fearlessness, tenacity, and joy.More than a memoir of a parent dealing with his child’s disability, Schuyler’s Monster is a tale of a little girl who silently teaches a man filled with self-doubt how to be the father she needs."

To Vote, please click on the link below. Voting will close on Monday, June 24!

SLP Book Club Discussion Board!

Monday, June 17, 2013
Happy Monday! I hope you all are enjoying June's SLP Book Club choice, Carly's Voice. I am loving this book so far. My heart is completely going out to Carly and her family. I cannot wait to get to the Carly's part of the book and get her perspective on everything. 
When I first started this book club, I was unsure how to run it so everyone could have their opinions, questions, and discussion topics heard. I decided a message board would be perfect! To visit the message board, click on the image above. Feel free to leave any thoughts you have about the book. The message board is also where we will be voting on our book for July. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them here or on the discussion board.

Happy reading!

In My APPinion: Prepositions Journey

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Appy Wednesday! I wanted to share with you one of the newest apps by Virtual Speech Center, Prepositions Journey! I was pretty excited when I was contacted about reviewing this app because I had recently taken on a new student with preposition goals! 
Prepositions Journey was created by a speech language pathologist to target early prepositions. 
The 18 common prepositions included in this app are:
in, on, under, next to, in front of, in the back, between, above, below, inside, in the middle, outside, out, over, near, far, on the side, on the left, on the right. 
To get started, first select or add a student. 
Once you have added a student, you can choose which prepositions you would like to target during the session, and if you want to have the prepositions presented receptively or expressively. 
An example of a receptive prompt wold be: "Show me the squirrel above the lamp."
An example of an expressive prompt would be: "Where is the rabbit?"
Another fun feature this app includes is that the student can choose where they want their preposition journey to occur: the city, island, or lake camping.
Below are a few screen shots from the different scenes included in the app.
Lake Camping
This app was very easy to use and set up. What I loved most about this app is that  Prepositions Journey is a great app for data tracking and progress monitoring. Since it is more of a drill style app, the student that I used this app with did get a little bored with it after a while, but it gave me some really great data points. I would use this app as a pre/post test before and after a preposition lesson.

A Final Post on Speech Centers!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Ahhh one more day of school left!! This year is bittersweet for me because I will not be returning to my school next year. Instead, I will be diving more into the worlds of private therapy and stay at home mommy life. I am pretty excited about the change!

Over the year, many of you have expressed interest in the speech centers I have implemented into my therapy sessions, so I thought I would share my Inquiry presentation on the blog. Each year, I participate in Inquiry. An Inquiry project is like a classroom experiment. You choose something about your classroom that you want to learn more about or try something new. Then, you get to share all about it at an end of the year showcase with other teachers all over the county. 

Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

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