Sweet Summer Speech

Working ESY? Seeing private clients this summer? Extra hours in the clinic? Make your sessions a little sweeter…with a lemonade stand!
My 7 year old daughter just finished first grade and was so excited to set up her own lemonade stand in our neighborhood. She was planning out all the details, creating signs, and making lists of all the items she needed.

Then we took a trip to Target  just in case the Dollar Spot had any cute additions. Which of course they did! And she isn’t even the one who pointed them all out to me, begging me to buy them. I saw them and excitedly showed them to her (picture)…

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and once again I spent way more than I planned to when I walked into Target that day.

I convinced myself it would be worth it…I mean I’m an SLP. We can make a therapy activity out of pretty much any supply, right?! Then my creative juices were flowing and I thought, “What a great spring or summer therapy activity!”
So, I sat down at my computer and got to work on this new TpT product

lemonade stand preview
The product includes activities to work on various speech and language skills including:
*articulation (initial /l/ pictures and sight words included plus editable ‘lemons’ to add your own images/target sounds)
*story comprehension (download the preview here for a free sample)
*problem solving
*conversational skills
*vocabulary skills of describing and same/different
**plus a list of books to help you expand the theme
But I think the part that will be the most fun is setting up a lemonade stand with the students – let them help you plan it all out, decorate signs, make the lemonade, decide the best day/time/location to have the stand…

the kids won’t even know how much they are learning!

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Have you seen her highlights?

hair

Not those highlights!!

I’m talking about those magazines!

 

In a previous post, we talked about using Highlights® Magazine in speech therapy. That post focused more on the use of Highlights® High Five™ for ages 2-6. Now that we have aged up in our house, we are accumulating copies of the next level for ages 6-12. So additional discussion seemed in order as summer passes quickly and we are all thinking up creative ideas for the upcoming school year.

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The fun starts right inside the front cover with “Fun This Month”…

A “Mystery Photo” lends itself to descriptive terms and distinctive features of common objects (e.g., baseball, banana)

Use the “Tongue Twister” for articulation practice, or extra fun!

Follow some instructions and complete a craft

Work on paying attention to detail, identifying pictures or describing as you “Find the Pictures” within the magazine.

Target additional skills such as matching or finding hidden objects

Discuss “ways to” do various things such as “4 ways to celebrate trees” (April, 2017) or “5 ways to cheer up a friend” (August, 2017). Students can even work on additional skills while writing a poem about their favorite tree or writing a letter about why a friend is special.

Whew! That page may last half the month!

Maybe we should dive into the rest of the magazine…

Each issue has a short poem (sometimes rhyming, sometimes not) which includes great descriptive language and pictures to match. Address vocabulary skills and comprehension with these little gems!

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Need conversation starters for those social skill groups? “Brain Play” has some great ones.

Working on listening and reading comprehension skills? Every issue has both fiction short stories and informational text to get the job done!

“My Sci” shows up each month with a scientific topic sure to intrigue a student or two…

“Goofus and Gallant” allows for great discussion of the Social Thinking ® concepts of Expected and Unexpected Behaviors.

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Each issue contains new scenarios, including pictures. Maybe you can have a Goofus and Gallant poster in your speech room and add to it each month.

The Timbertoes are back with a comic strip for the older age group too. Sequence, retell, ask and answer questions…

What crafts or games can you make with groups this month? Maybe a “Binder Clip Butterfly” (April, 2017) or “Into the Hive” game (August, 2017).

“Paws and Think” allows for extra reasoning/critical thinking practice with higher level questions and picture clues.

“What’s Different”, using clues to solve puzzles, “Hidden Pictures”, jokes and riddles…

Have we reached the end yet?

Almost there…

Don’t overlook the inside of the back cover…for “Picture Puzzler”…find missing items or matching pairs.

And on the very back? “What’s wrong?” pictures are always amazing. Get those kids expressing themselves as they talk about the silly things; even reinforce the Social Thinking ® concepts of Expected and Unexpected Behaviors.

And that’s the end! I can’t wait to create month-long lessons for my new students this school year. I’m all about using one resource to target multiple goals and these magazines will certainly do the trick!

What one-resource activities do you like to use in therapy?

Make sure you follow our TpT store as we continue adding plans and resources to target multiple goals at one time!

 

Questions, vocabulary and /r/, oh my!

one-book-mixed-groups2Ok, picture it…it won’t be that hard because we ALL have them…student A is working on /r/ and /l/, student B stutters, student C has trouble with comprehension and vocabulary, and student D, well, student D has trouble with all of it. Why, oh why, would an SLP ever put these kids together in one group? Why, I’ll tell you why…because there are no other options, that’s why!

So, there you are, with this mixed group of 4 for a whopping 30 minutes – give or take.

Student A: “Can we pway a game?”

Student C: “No let’s play a game!”

Student B: “I don’t feel like talking today”

Student D: walking in circles, holding 3 of your dry erase markers and a few books from your shelves

ugh

 

How can you keep them all engaged, work on each of their varied skills, take data and make it all meaningful without breaking the bank or taking up more planning time than you have to begin with.

 

 

 

Books, books, books! Read a book and cover it all. Expand your lessons and use the same book for various groups and multiple sessions.

We know what you’re thinking…hey, how can I just pick up a book and be sure that I’m covering all of the skills I need to cover? How does that lessen my planning time?

We’ve got you covered with our new Literacy-based Lesson Planning Assistants for Speech and Language!

Our first one is available in our TPT store and focuses on the book Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. This adorable book is told from the point of view of a rooster whose great-grandmother happens to be the Little Red Hen. He decides to bake one of her recipes and actually finds some other animals to help him. It is a great story of teamwork which also incorporates following a recipe, measuring ingredients and some confusion with homonyms and homophones. And of course it serves as a great compare/contrast lesson when paired with the classic story The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone. Don’t worry, the Lesson Planning Assistant for that book will be coming soon to our TPT store.

So are you envisioning all the amazing skills you can target with this one book? Still worried about how you’ll find the time to delve into it and pick out all these targets?

Once again, that’s where we come in. The document provides you with target words for common sound errors and processes. It outlines carrier phrases and repetitive phrases to address fluency. Factual questions? Sure. Predictions? Yep. Social language targets like flexible thinking and perspective taking? You bet!

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We hope you’ll check out this this new product. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

Want us to create a Lesson Planning Assistant for some of your favorite books? Comment below and/or on TPT and we’ll get to work on it.

Texts for middle and high school are welcome and will be added as well!

Quick tip: If your media center or local library does not have a copy of this book and you have limited funds (being that we SLPs already spend so much of our own money!), you can always search YouTube and you may just find SOMEONE reading the book, maybe even showing and highlighting the text as it is read aloud! Follow our Pinterest page where we will be pinning these as we find them!

Layers of vocabulary

As an SLP, we live and breathe vocabulary! It is the basis of it all, right? Without words, communication would have little meaning – it doesn’t matter if the words are spoken, pictured, signed, gestured, or produced through a voice output device. They are foundational to acquiring language – both written and oral.

Increasing vocabulary is a HUGE part of the daily life of school-based SLPs. It can be overwhelming at times, especially when we think about the sheer number of words students are exposed to and expected to learn in a school year. Or the amount of repetitions needed to learn them all.

So many words, so little time

The words we choose to focus on are as important as the therapeutic methods and strategies we use. There should definitely be nothing random about it. Relying only on spelling lists or vocabulary lists from the teachers’ lesson plans just won’t cut it. But where should we begin?

Starting at the core

Core vocabulary is a small set of words (250-350) that are simple, and are common in any context. These words are familiar and frequent including all parts of speech and most have six or fewer letters. In any age group, core vocabulary makes up 80% or more of the words we use in daily conversation. WOW!

These make up the first words and phrases of toddlers and continue through adult conversations.

Working with students using AAC? What about students who are minimally verbal or have low cognitive ability? Teaching high frequency core vocabulary is the way to go!

This article at Minspeak has various word lists

Praactical AAC has monthly lists and tips for instruction including suggested books to increase practice! Just type ‘core vocabulary’ in the search box and away you go!

Beyond the core

When choosing words to teach beyond the core, it is helpful to consider the three tiers of vocabulary as discussed in the second edition of Bringing Words to Life by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan. Their article on Reading Rockets summarizes it nicely.

Tier One is made up of basic words that typically are learned without instruction. These words include sight words and basic nouns and verbs – and core vocabulary too. We definitely work with individuals who need to build their Tier One vocabulary, don’t we?!?

Tier Three words are low frequency and usually learned specific to content or context. If these are the words we focus on, will our students be able to converse with anyone about anything? Probably not where we should focus our energy and all-too-valuable time!

Tier Two words, however, are the words to know! These are highly frequent in literature and conversations among adults. They are invaluable for reading comprehension and generalize across environments. These words have multiple meanings and can help increase descriptive language.

Cha-ching!!

Comment below and tell us how you choose which words to teach.

Follow us as we continue the vocabulary conversation. Future posts will further discuss teaching vocabulary concepts and strategies, tools for identifying Tier 2 words, breaking down prerequisite skills and writing measurable vocabulary goals.