Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Products--Affordable Timesavers for your more Language-Challenged Kids

Our temperature here is dipping to the mid 80s---seems very cold compared to the mid to high 90s we've had for a long time!

I thought I was list here the fall goodies I have on Teachers Pay Teachers.  These units are affordable and comprehensive and real timesavers!  All of these are for our more language-challenged children.



Fall Leaves Activity and Literacy Packet
--This has interactive books, a craftivity, visuals for a scavenger hunt, and more!












Apple Literacy Packet
  Interactive books, Pom Pom apple tree craft with visuals, a worksheet, and visuals for all












Back to School Packet--for some of you school has just started.  Check this out!











I also have some mainly free items on my blog which center around fall and apples.
You can check those out here.

If you happen to be a poor CF and need a lift, email me and I can send you units free of charge.

Happy Fall!



Monday, September 5, 2016

Blaine Blows His Top--Book review and Free Printable

School has started down here in NC, along with the passage of tropical storm remnants.  Life goes on as usual!    

A speech-language pathologist, Bethany Vigilante, asked me to take a look at her book, Blaine Blows His Top, and review it.  This seemed like a great book to use with a social skills group (4/5th grade and middle school) so I did!

The character in this book is a young adult who works at a fitness center.  He and the other characters are realistically drawn, bordering on anime, and would be appealing to the pre-teen and teenage sect. He obviously has many frustrating events that happen during the day until it all reaches a climax where he lets his temper out.  The book is written in a catchy rhyme, and is sure to both entertain the students and act as a springboard in a discussion about identifying zones of regulation.  (The character, Blaine, moves through the zones.)

The whole book is great, but I like the ending where Blaine reflects about ways to avoid a blow up in the future.
 "I think it's important to say what I feel
 and not let it build up into an ordeal." 

Maria, Blaine's friend, also reflected on the impact of her own behavior (which ties into Social Thinking where students are taught about the impact of their behaviors on others):
 "My complaining had finally caused you to crack,
 I pushed you too far and you flew off the track."

I love using books such as this with social thinking groups, or with any student who has self-regulation difficulties, and it fits perfectly with a self regulation scale that I had published some time back.  

I have since revised this scale with the help of a fabulous occupational therapist, Tamika Harris, and we have added teacher strategies for helping students get to the 'green' zone.



I highly recommend that you purchase this book, "Blaine Blows His Top", and use it with this scale to teach and reinforce the concepts in self-regulation.  



If you are thinking of purchasing this book, it's available on Amazon. 




disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this book to review but otherwise, gain nothing financially.  This blog contains a link to Amazon.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Plan Ahead for Thanksgiving---Review of an Awesome Children's Book, and Free Companion Activities

I love children's books, and especially love those with beautiful illustrations, clear language, and simple messages.  Today I was given a new book entitled Thanksgiving Weekend, and fell in love. The author and illustrator, Shannon Moore Fitzgerald, is local to our area, and you can check out her art, musings, and books at www.boldmovesstudio.com. She is a former elementary school teacher, author, artist, quilter, and lifelong lover of learning.

In this delightful book about Thanksgiving, the concepts including gratitude, fun, family, sharing, and love are each given their own page, with gorgeous illustrations, and lovely prose.  Each page is a work of art-- a combination of cloth applique and other media, simple enough to convey the main idea but offering enough visual support to provide a springboard for reinforcing vocabulary.

Whenever I find a new book, I always think of our children with language difficulties who need more visual supports, so I developed a set of visuals as an interactive aid for comprehension.  The visuals include icons to match with each page's concept, and a step-by-step set of instructions to make a 'Thankful Turkey' project.  You can download this for free at the end of this post.  The author has also provided nice suggestions at the end of the book for enrichment activities including suggestions for developing a 'gratitude graph', 'gratitude letters', and an Acrostic poem.  Although these didn't come with visual aids, it wouldn't be too difficult to scaffold some of these ideas visually for our EC population.
icons to add an interactive component
Thankful Turkey activity
















An Amazon reader wrote about this book: As a special educator and a parent of young children, I am always searching for great holiday and thematic books to read with my kids. I have found Thanksgiving books on turkeys and the history of Thanksgiving, but could never find a book that focuses on GRATITUDE and GIVING THANKS that was also appropriate for young children -- until now!!! I especially love how Fitzgerald's poetic words and beautiful illustrations highlight Thanksgiving vocabulary on each page, like GRATEFUL, SHARING, and BLESSINGS. This book will make you smile and warm your heart, no matter your age. I can't wait to read this at home and in my classroom!

Plan ahead for Thanksgiving!  It'll be here before you know it and this book will work great with your younger learners.


Click here to download the supplementary materials.



disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this book to review but otherwise, gain nothing financially.  This blog contains a link to Amazon.  


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Back to School---Awesome SLP materials! TPT storewide sale!



It's back to school time (almost) and so TPT is throwing a sale!  All of my items are 20% off and then TPT is adding an extra amount off if you use the promotion code BestYear !  You can't go wrong.

I have several awesome items perfect for the more language-challenged children on your caseload. These also work if you are a special education teacher and want to emphasize language/literacy in your classroom centered around themes.

Check out my Apple Literacy Packet with interactive books, a craft, visuals, and nature scavenger hunt.  Kids love it!



A new item is a Friendship Packet.  Kids learn places in the school, learn verbs of friendship, and make a customized friendship booklet.


Finally there's a cute Back to School packet.  This also has interactive booklets, a craft with communication board and sequencing activities and vocabulary bingo.
















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In addition to selling items on TPT, I also purchase my teaching supplies from some very gifted SLPs.  I have a couple of recommendations for materials that I use all the time.








Super Power Speech has developed an awesome social skills packet with games, posters, and social stories centered around a super hero theme.  Check out Super Social Skills!









Nicole Allison has developed a large pack of articulation carryover materials.  Once I bought this, it was in constant use for those kids who have mastered specific sounds at a word level but need help with self monitoring and carryover.
Check out Articulation for Reading and Conversation!










I hope everyone has a great start to the new school year!  I know I will!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pokémon is Everywhere---Free printable interactive book

I hope everyone is having a good summer!   I am!   After a trip to Yellowstone, I'm a lady of leisure--no summer school work for me this year!

The past two weeks, I've suddenly become aware of Pokemon Go.  I downloaded the app into my phone and stumbled around a park a bit, finding three of them, before deleting the whole thing.  It made me look more like a zombie than I wanted, ha ha.  However, I do recognize that lots of people are really enjoying this, so I perused some public domain photos and created an interactive book for the kids.  Go play Pokemon Go outside with your students, then come back and read a book together! This is a free download.  Picture symbols are from Smarty Symbols---I do have a professional license for using these.  Please don't reuse them on another product. Photo credits are provided in the pdf document where needed.



 Click here to download this free book.  Have fun!
Smarty Symbols



Yellowstone was great, by the way.  We put over 5000 miles on the car and visited or drove through 18 states.  Have to go again.



Monday, July 4, 2016

AAC Device Implementation Form---Free Download

By Ruth Morgan, M.S. CCC-SLP and Ashley Robinson, M.S. CCC-SLP

About a month ago, an esteemed colleague of mine, Ashley Robinson, and I published a model for AAC device implementation.  We stated that the high tech device often recommended for a student was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of developing successful communication in a natural environment. Many factors need to be in place.

Since that time, many of you have viewed this post.  As with many blogs, ideas are presented but here there needed to be a more tangible document to accompany these stellar thoughts, so Ashley and I have developed a handy form to go with this iceberg model.  It is basically a set of yes/no questions, with space for a short action plan to go with each 'no' answer.  Helpful links are embedded in the form itself.  Questions follow the same categories as those presented in the iceberg model.  We have envisioned that the child's IEP team (with an AT professional) would meet and discuss these points, one by one, and problem-solve, assigning team members for different actions.  The actual form is three pages. You can download it free at the link below.

screenshot--one of three pages

The key is teamwork.  No one person can successfully implement AAC whether that person is a parent, an SLP, or teacher.  This form will help to guide a team to think about different parameters in AAC implementation and use.  Please let us know if we need to add or edit questions.  I'm sure we will be revising as time goes on with your help.





Author Bios:

Ruth Morgan is a full-time speech language pathologist at Ephesus Elementary school and author of Chapel Hill Snippets. You can find her materials on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Ashley Robinson splits her time between providing speech language pathology services at the secondary level and working as part of the district Assistive Technology team. She is the author of everydayaac.com.

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Back!

Hi Friends,

I've been traveling on a long road trip to Yellowstone and back, seeing lots in between.
(I never knew that Kansas had so much wheat, or that the Badlands originated from volcanic ash)
Now, no ESY this year, just a much needed summer off!  I'll be posting new materials and speech thoughts soon.

18 states
22 days
5500 miles

Awesome!