Saturday, August 30

Spuds & Communities

Saturday football is back!  This means I get to spend all day sitting on the couch working on TPT things, listening to football and cuddling a sweet baby in between!  I just wanted to pop in real quick to share my newest packets with you that I had a chance to upload today!  First up is Spuds, it has games and activities for speech and language using a Mr. Potato Head!  I'm super excited to use this with my 4-5 year olds!

And for my teacher friends, I have Communities!  I have a good friend who is starting her student teaching this fall in 1st grade and she was on the lookout for Community resources so I put this together for her!  Better yet, I'm giving away a free copy if you comment on my Facebook page.  You can click HERE to comment!
Happy Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 22

Speech Materials Round Up {Part One}

I have been in super planning mode this summer to try and be prepared to start working this fall.  I had so many things from my classroom that I'll be able to use in my speech room but trying to decide what I needed/wanted has been challenging.  I don't really have an allotment to buy materials so pretty much anything I need or want I have had to gather myself.  This has sent me to a lot of thrift stores this summer.  I have visited many Goodwill stores and consignment shops!  Here are my current top 5 resources I am most excited to get started with!  (If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of these!)

#1: Mr. Potato Head
I found all three of these at a consignment shop nearby (Once Upon a Child) for $20 and they are housing a ton of parts too!  Mr. Potato Head will be great for sequencing, following directions, naming, categorizing and more!  I also have a Mr. Potato Head activity pack in the works if I ever get around to finishing it!

 #2: Board Games
These board games have been collected over the course of 7 years in the classroom and 4 years of graduate school.  Even though I'm not working yet I have been buying and gathering materials while completing my graduate school practicums too.  Some of these were found at garage sales or given to my by friends and previous parents of my students. Some I bought during sales (Black Friday is always a good time to catch them for cheap!).

#3: Articulation Cards
I knew pretty early on I was going to need articulation cards.  If you look below you'll see I use my iPad for digital cards too but sometimes you just can't beat good ol' fashion paper cards!  I also plan on using them for vocabulary too and will definitely incorporate them into playing any type of board game.  I made these and they are available on TPT.  They take a little (or a lot) of assembly cutting and laminating but if you don't want to spend big bucks on pre-made cards these are the way to go! I copied, cut and laminated two sets per envelope so I have two of each word/picture when I want to play Go Fish or Memory.

#4 Cranium Cariboo
Speaking of board games, I have read a TON of speech blogs this summer and Cranium Cariboo always came up as THE best game for speech and language therapy. So, I searched and searched and had no luck finding it this summer.  Then, I found it on Ebay.  It wasn't exactly a steal at $20 (but was better than some of the $100+ listings, wow!) and it is gently loved but it has all the pieces and there are a ton of skill specific cards on TPT that I can add to the game during speech! If anyone has this game sitting around their house, send me an e-mail!  Hubby needs one too and I will gladly buy it from you!

#5: iPad and Otterbox
I have used my iPad in the classroom for several years and knew it would be an asset in speech as well.   My favorite app by far is Articulation Station by Little Bee Speech but I also have slowly gathered a collection of Super Duper Fun Decks and some great ones from Smarty Ears as well. My first session with a toddler taught me that an Otterbox was necessary if I was planning on using the iPad with younger kiddos.  I found this one on amazon for $35 and it has been well worth it!  Although it does make it a little heavy.
Well, that's a few of the things I have rounded up so far.  This is just a small collection (although I do remember being told in grad school that a great SLP could do therapy with whatever she has in her purse!) and I plan to add to it with many things from TPT, and others such as bubbles, a farm, toy cars, blocks, pretend food and dolls. You can count on a part 2 as I keep on collecting and thrifting!

On an unrelated teachery note, I uploaded a Fiction Text Feature Poster Pack a few days ago to accompany the Non-Fiction posters!  Best part is that it is FREE!

Tuesday, August 19

Boost Sale!

When TPT had their sale at the beginning of the month I had TONS of stuff in my cart and on my wish list but I couldn't buy it all at once and now that school is just around the corner I see what kinds of things I'm still going to need. So, thankfully TPT is throwing a BOOST sale!  For ONE DAY only you can get everything in my TPT for 20% off plus another 8% using the code BOOST at checkout! 
Thank you to For His Glory for this super cute sale button,  be sure to check them out during the sale!

The BOOST sale starts tomorrow (or tonight at midnight)!!  Hopefully you can grab that last minute packet of fun for Back to School!  Need some ideas?  Here are my favorite Back to School things to get the year started! Each one is sold separately in my store and will be on sale!

Monday, August 18

Quick & Easy DIY Bulletin Board

I will be moving into a brand new speech room in September and was able to get an idea of what I'll need this past week.  Since I was feeling particularly crafty this weekend I decided to put together a quick & easy bulletin board for my desk.  I am going to be purchasing quite a bit for my new job so my goal for this project was quick, easy and CHEAP.  : )  It wasn't as cheap as I would have liked but the whole project cost $20 and I bought everything from Hobby Lobby.  To complete this project all you need is a fancy 11x14 picture frame, one piece of unframed 11x17 corkboard and an exacto knife.  I saw tons of tutorials on Pinterest and here is what I did (with the help of my husband for cutting). So, I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made it!
Here are the materials I snagged from Hobby Lobby (and used the 40% off online coupon!). I already had an exacto knife at home.

I took the glass out of the frame and used the paper insert to very mathematically measure the cork board. 

 I drew a black line using a Vis-a-Vis marker since you wouldn't see it anyway.

Next, my husband stepped in and cut the line using an exacto knife.  I am terrible at cutting straight lines so whenever I need to cut straight he usually helps out! After he cut it, I put it into the frame and bent the small metal clasps around it.  I didn't put the back of the frame back on.

And here is my finished product!  All my cute push pins and bulletin board things are packed away in the garage so right now it's just a blank board but it will soon hang over my desk and hold important notes and thing! The whole project took about 15 minutes to put together.

Check out some of the other DIY projects happening this week over at 4th Grade Frolics!

Monday, August 11

Shark Week!

All teachers know that kids learn more when they’re excited and engaged. Today a team of bloggers come together to help your students take a BITE out of learning with a theme your students are sure to love! 
Blog Hop hosted by Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

One way I help my students get excited about learning is to turn as many things as I can into a game!  I love playing and moving around the room while also learning.  This is why so many things in my store include games. But sadly not everything can be a move around the room game so I try to make seat work as fun and engaging as possible too. 

That brings me to my new and FREE for the week Shark Attack pack!  This pack is full of 11 black/white printable pages for 2nd graders that cover ELA and Math.  It also includes a fun crown to document and illustrate the life cycle of a sea turtle!  


You'll see in this pack that I included printable games, flip books and even a page with QR codes.  My kiddos LOVED QR codes, they immediately go into detective mode whenever working with QR codes! I also have to say that the Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle crown is sure to get your kiddos excited, I know mine always loved to wear a hat or crown!


The best part about this pack is that it is FREE this week only in honor of Shark Week! (Cue the music and Rob Lowe riding two sharks!) Click HERE to try it out. 

Be sure to go for a swim in the linky party below. Every blog in the Shark Week Blog Hop features a fishy freebie for you and your students- but hurry! Shark Week only lasts until Sunday, August 17th  : )

Note: I was having issues with the link for the blog hop but will correct it this evening when I get home from work.  Check out Luckeyfrog's Lilypad for a correct assortment of the blogs participating in the blog hop!

Sunday, August 10

App Review {Little Bee Speech Articulation Test Center}

As a new SLP I have been planning and thinking abut what tools I have to use during therapy when I end maternity leave and start my new job this fall.  I have made several must haves but I'm still going to need to accumulate materials over the next year and beyond. So, when I was on instagram and saw that Little Bee Speech had a new app that they wanted SLPs to review I jumped on it!  I am already very familiar with their app Articulation Station since it was my go-to articulation app during my graduate school clinical.  I love how I could slowly buy the phonemes I needed (as a poor graduate student this was great) and eventually worked my way up to owning most of them.  It also helped that I didn't have to remember to bring my articulation cards when I traveled since they were all stored in my iPad and my kiddos also thoroughly enjoyed using the iPad as well.  I think you get the point that I love Articulation Station and after trying Articulation Test Center I have to say that Little Bee Speech knows what SLPs need!
As a teacher I have had to assess kiddos using iPad apps (mClass Reading 3D anyone??) many times and they always fall short somehow.  They are either too confusing to figure out, they don't run smoothly, they lose data or I wish they gave me more data in the end.  I have to say that even though this app was created for SLPs it could easily be used by teachers without all the headache of the assessments I have used on the iPad in the past. It is also a great tool for parents who are concerned for their kiddos intelligibility. I have spoken to many teachers and parents about their own kiddos or kiddos in their classrooms and often get asked "Do you think they have an articulation problem"?  While a consultation and a possible full evaluation by a speech-language pathologist is definitely recommended if a parent or teacher has a concern, this app could easily give a great an idea of what the child is having difficulty with so that the parent/teacher could seek out an SLP evaluation fully informed. Often parents  and teachers know the child isn't speaking correctly but they have a hard time pin pointing the exact phonemes, this app clearly defines errors. 

 In short, this app is AH-MAZING!  I already had high hopes because of my love for Articulation Station but it surpassed all my expectations.  

After giving the screener and full test to my husband (who is also now an SLP, check out the All About Me section for an update!) I made a list of what I loved and because they wanted me to really give input on what could improve an already awesome app I added what I thought they could maybe add in the future.  Here's a breakdown of what I believe are the strengths.
And in a perfect world here are my wishes for what I would like to see added to the app. (I am by no means an app designer so I'm not even sure the first one is possible outside of my imagination)
I mentioned that a parent/teacher printout would be helpful.  To be fair a review of the results is generated which makes writing up the eval. report very easy and could be given to parents.  But from my teacher/parent stand point I can see how parents like a quick review of the results using parent friendly language and ready-to-use activities they can do with their students at home.  Also, there is a link to Articulation Station in that the app will give you the recommended phonemes to work on using Articulation Station but I was thinking maybe the student data could just be imported automatically into Articulation Station?  I know nothing about app design so I'm not even sure this is possible but it was just a thought. Anyway, that's what I had in mind when I added those as a "wish" : )

If I hadn't stumbled upon their instagram post I would have bought this app in a heartbeat.  It is so much cheaper than many other articulations screeners/assessments and it's all packed into my iPad.  No lugging around materials!  Check out their video tutorials and a run down of all the cool features by clicking HERE!

After all is said and done I would highly recommend the Articulation Test Center to fellow SLPs, teachers and parents. What's even better is that Little Bee Speech is putting ALL their apps on sale for 30% off for Back to School from August 12th-August 14th! You can check out their website or from the App store on any iDevice.  I am still a few phonemes short on Articulation Station so I'm planning on snapping up the last few during this sale since it only happens once a year!

{Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review but I was given the app for free to try out.}

Stay tuned tomorrow for something fishy swimming onto the blog for shark week!

Saturday, August 9

Updates!

Do you have a unit that has recently been updated??  I have been working hard to update some of my older units. It's funny how quickly my style tastes have changed.  Some of them simply received a facelift while others had a complete overhaul!  If you own one of these units be sure to go to "My Purchases" on TPT to download the most up to date version at no additional cost! Or you could also click on the picture below to download it as well! You'll notice some similarities in the updated covers, I was going for a more unified, cohesive look.  : )










If you don't own one of the updated units, I still have several more on my list to update and there are others that simply received corrections or additions from buyers Q&A or feedback this summer.  Be sure to check out your purchases on TPT for any files that have been updated (there will be a red notification that says "Newly Revised").