How To Play With Dinosaurs In Your Speech Therapy Session

My kiddos and I had a TON of fun today playing with these extinct toys:
Besides the amazing "roars" that my kids were making, I (sneakily) was also working on: 1) Location Concepts: Using the tree and various dinosaurs, I talked about where each one was. We targeted: in front of, behind, beside, next to, over, under, and on.
2) Comparatives/ Superlatives: We arranged the dinosaurs into groups of three. We targeted: small/ smaller/ smallest, big/ bigger/ biggest, and tall/ taller/ tallest.
3) Basic Opposites: My kids loved comparing the "big" dinosaur" to the "small/ tiny" dinosaur. We also talked about which ones were fast and which ones were slow, which ones had "short" tails and which ones had "long" tails, and which dinosaurs were "mean" versus the ones who were "nice".
4) Describing: We talked about the size of the dinosaurs (small, medium, large) and the colors of the dinosaurs. 5) Verbs: Of course, we were able to target TONS of verbs during play. Here are a few examples: eat,drink, run, walk, and sleep. How else do you use dinosaurs during your speech therapy session? I'd love to hear in the comments below!
P.S. Are you looking for more dinosaur-themed speech therapy fun? Please don't miss my new packet, Following Directions with Embedded Concepts: Worksheets. This packet is sure to please all of your little paleontologists!

Minimal Pairs & More: Gliding FREEBIE Featured In SLPs on TPT Newsletter!!

It's been a great weekend. In my last post, I let you know how PUMPED I am that my TPT Store has over 100 followers. I also am now the proud owner of my own laminator after a visit to Sam's Club on Saturday. I checked my email and was so excited to see that my "Minimal Pairs & More: Gliding Freebie" is listed as one of the 10 free downloads in the SLPs on TPT Newsletter!!! Have you signed up to receive the newsletter? If not, you can do so here. You'll want to make sure you sign up, so that you know about all of the wonderful products SLP sellers on TPT are offering!
You can download this product here. Thanks for stopping by!

My TPT Store Has Over 100 Followers! THANK YOU! That means a SALE!!!!

EEK!!! What a perfect end to the weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the wonderful SLPs, teachers, and educators who are following my TPT store. I now have over 100 followers, and THAT MEANS A SALE!!! EVERYTHING in my store is 20% off. The sale is going on now (September 28, 2014) through October 1st, 2014. You can purchase my TPT products here. Also, don't forget to "like" my Facebook page!

Therapy Quick Snap: "Making Good Choices" Social Story

I am working with one child on understanding why it isn't nice to hit, push, kick, or tease others. I made this social story today using Boardmaker. We read the story during our session. I explained some things that are not okay to do, and then we discussed why these things were not okay.
It was helpful then to complete my worksheet that I created to go along with the story ("Making Good Choices"):
We went through each question. When the answer was "bad choice", we referred back to the story to discuss all of the reasons why this was a bad choice. We also talked about how we feel when others are not nice to us. We both agreed that we don't like to feel sad, so it's important not to be mean to others and make them feel sad. Next, I will be working on a short social story for not interrupting grown-ups when they are talking. Keep on speechin'! Leave any of your favorite social story/ social skills therapy ideas in the comments below!

SLP Blogs & Websites

It's always great to collaborate with other SLPs! I'm so excited to share the following two links that I learned about: 1) Jenna over at created a list of 150 SLP blogs/ websites! Just click: 2) Jessica over at created a list of 1,280 SLP sites and SLP Social Media Links! Visit by clicking: Both of these ladies have fabulous websites with wonderful therapy ideas! If you're an SLP, don't forget to check them out. Thanks for sharing ladies! SLPs, make SURE to check out those lists! (It doesn't hurt to pin, either ;-) ! )

How To Use Spot It! In Your Speech Therapy Session

I learned about this game from my mom. She was babysitting my nieces and said they absolutely loved playing this. She knows I'm always looking for fun therapy ideas! It turns out that mothers do know best. I brought this game to the elementary school I cover at, and it was a HIT. It's a fairly simple game (how I play it, at least. I will admit that I didn't exactly read all of the instructions). All you have to do is flip over two cards from the top of the card pile. The first person to discover which two pictures are the same is the winner of that round. You can simply use this for a motivating reward (it was great to use Spot It! between taking turns at practicing minimal pairs), but there are a lot more ways you could use this game. Here's just a few of the ideas I came up with: 1) Describe the matching pictures (talk about the color, shape, size, what it does, where you might see it- in order words, this could be a great companion to the Expanding Expression Tool) 2) Define what the picture is. 3) Figure out what the matching picture is, and then use that word in a sentence. 4) Name a synonym or antonym for that word. 5) Find 2 pictures on either card that "go together", and explain how the words are related. 6) Find a picture on either card that has the articulation sound being targeted, and use it in a phrase, sentence, etc. 7) Clap out the syllables in the word, or think of a word that rhymes. What other ways can you think of to use Spot It! ?

Minimal Pairs & More: Bundle!

I have a really high percentage of kids on my caseload with phonological disorders, and have made countless minimal pair cards for them. I've tried organizing those cards many times, but as my caseload grew, it was getting harder and harder. It finally dawned on me that what I really needed was a "phonology toolkit".

Minimal Pairs for speech therapy

I have created the following Minimal Pairs & More Packets (all included in Minimal Pairs & More: Bundle):
  • Cluster Reduction
  • This kit includes the following minimal pairs: /st/ vs /s/, /st/ vs /t/, /sp/ vs /s/, /sp/ vs /p/, /sm/ vs /s/, /sm/ vs /m/, /sn/ vs /s/, /sn/ vs /n/, /sl/ vs /s/, /sl/ vs /l/, /sk/ vs /s/, /sk/ vs /k/, /sw/ vs /s/, /sw/ vs /w/, /fl/ vs /f/, /fl/ vs /l/, /fr/ vs /f/, /fr/ vs /r/, /br/ vs /b/, /br/ vs /r/, /pr/ vs /p/, /pr/ vs /r/, /pl/ vs /p/, /pl/ vs /l/, /dr/ vs /d/, /dr/ vs /r/, /tr/ vs /t/, /tr/ vs /r/, /gr/ vs /g/, /gr/ vs /r/, /kr/ vs /k/ & /kr/ vs /r/
  • Initial & Final Consonant Deletion
  • This kit includes the following minimal pairs: Initial Consonant Deletion of /p/, /b/, /m/ & /w/ Final Consonant Deletion of /p/, /t/, /k/, /n/ & /m/
  • Fronting
  • This kit includes the following minimal pairs: /k/ vs /t/ initial, /k/ vs /t/ final; /g/ vs /d/ initial, /g/ vs /d/ final; /sh/ vs /s/ initial, /sh/ vs /s/ final
  • Stopping
  • This kit includes the following minimal pairs: /f/ vs /p/ initial, /f/ vs /p/ final, /s/ vs /t/ initial, /s/ vs /t/ final, /sh/ vs /t/ initial, /sh/ vs /t/ final, /ch/ vs /t/ initial, /ch/ vs /t/ final, voiceless /th/ vs /t/ initial, voiceless /th/ vs /t/ final, voiceless /th/ vs /p/ final
  • Gliding
  • This kit includes the following minimal pairs: /l/ vs /w/ initial, /r/ vs /w/ initial
FYI, this kit is great because 1) it's easy to print out multiple sets if you need the toolkit in different work locations and 2) it makes sending home speech therapy home practice a breeze. Try a Minimal Pairs & More product- my Gliding packet is a freebie! You can download it here. Please be sure to leave some love if you download! I appreciate feedback.
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Thinking Outside the Box (...and into the ball pit)

I've mentioned it before, but I'm extremely lucky that I get to work with both Physical and Occupational Therapists at my job. We all collaborate and it helps us better consider the child as a whole. I'm sitting in an early morning session this week, with a little kiddo who, quite frankly, just didn't want to be in speech. We'd been through this before. This kiddo did not like the sounds we were targeting, and sat there, arms crossed, eyes downcast. Well, this is NO fun for anyone! I had to think of something. I'd been through all of the usuals. I'd tried the visual timer, and had attempted to entice this kiddo with every toy or board game in my room. Luckily, I remembered reading this article that one of our OTs had posted online. Written by a pediatric Occupational Therapist, it explains that some kids just NEED TO MOVE. They need to move to learn. I decided to give it a try, and think outside the box. Sitting at a table wasn't getting the job done. We left my therapy room. For the rest of the session, my kiddo turned into Tarzan. After jumping into the ball pit, my kiddo happily said the target words- MULTIPLE times. My kiddo watched my models, listened to my prompts, and started saying the sounds correctly. Most likely, you don't have a ball pit in your workplace. But I'll bet you could maybe borrow a jump rope, bouncy ball, hula hoop, or bike from the school gym teacher. Maybe you could even set up a little "Articulation Hopscotch" in your room? Who knows! The possibilities are endless, but don't forget... THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX ;-)

Using A Visual Timer & Reward In Your Therapy Session

My therapy sessions dramatically started improving once I started using visuals and a fun reward to maintain focus. My kiddos actually LOVE this timer, which I purchased here at Amazon. It comes in various sizes, but I own the 8" timer. There are lots of different types of visual timers out there- just do a quick search on google to find that one that would best meet your needs. Use it alone or in conjunction with a visual schedule to provide lots of structure! In my session, we will often work for 5 minutes. When the timer beeps, the child is able to pick a fun activity of choice (such as the car set). I'll then set the timer for 2 minutes for the "reward" activity. Of course, I'm being super tricky, and still targeting those language/ speech goals depending on the activity chosen. For example, if you're working on describing skills, you can talk about the color of the car or the size of the car. If you're working on answering Wh-questions, you might ask, "What do we put in a car to make it go?". You can discuss some basic antonyms such as top/bottom or fast/ slow("I'm putting my car at the top of the track", "This car is moving really fast. This car is moving really slow").If you have three cars (and I do, even though they aren't all pictured), you can even throw in some comparatives/ superlatives. "This car is fast, but this car is even faster, and this car is the... fastest!" Naturally, the car activity is perfect for targeting velar sounds ("Go, car!") or bilabials ("beep! beep! woah!") I highly recommend using some sort of visual timer or schedule to keep your therapy sessions running smoothly! How else do you use your timer?

Ready, Set, Grammar! Noun-verb Agreement + Verb Tense

I'm just ecstatic about this one!!! Seriously, you need to check it out. I made this product because I have SO. MANY. KIDS. who are working on these goals. I bet you do, too! It's colorful and fun, and includes not one, but TWO board games! This material works on: Noun- verb agreement fill in cards :“is/are”, “was/ were”, “has/ have” Example: “She ______ (is/ are) dancing.” “She ____ (was/ were) drawing a picture.” Includes 44 total cards Present Tense, Past Tense, and Future Tense Verb Fill-in-the Sentence (i.e. “Yesterday, she _____. Today, she ______. Tomorrow, she ______ _______.” VERB: DANCE). Includes 19 total cards, using both regular and irregular verbs. Interested? You can purchase it here at my TPT Store (The-Pedi-Speechie). Be sure to take a look at the previews below.
Thanks/ Shout outs/ Copyrights Info: Clip art provided by by Rebekah A. Brock Fonts: Border/ Frame: A Sketchy Guy http://www/

Make a Sentence About The Picture! (with super cute, cuddly animals)

Alright, so I'm a little attached to my dog. I'm about to dedicate an entire blog post to him. Well, ALMOST all to him. It's just... when I look at that picture, I can almost forget about the time he dug up the carpet...or when he dug through dry wall... or the the fact that the night we got him he destroyed his crate and tore up the bathroom rug. Luckily, he gives LOTS of kisses and enjoys cuddling almost as much as he enjoys treats. Sometimes I will have kiddos in therapy who don't want to be there or cooperate for different reasons. Maybe they're shy, maybe they didn't want to exit their classroom at that moment, maybe their sibling is playing with the IPAD in the waiting room... well, you get it. The list goes on and on. I've found that talking about my dog can immediately change the whole tune of the session. All of the sudden, my kiddos will become engaged and want to learn more about my dog. They all ask in general confusion/ interest: "You named him Moo? But isn't that what a cow says?" Yes, and yes. It gets even better when I show off pictures of my dog. Now, you can do the same thing, AND work on forming grammatically correct sentences at the same time. Yes, it is possible. All you need to do is click here to purchase this product at my TPT Store (The Pedi Speechie). Make sure to check out the preview below, and ENJOY!
COPYRIGHTS: Fonts: Maple Fonts, Created by Robyn Hyndman Border: Mrs. Orman’s Classroom, The animal photographs used in this document are my own. And yes, I named my dog Moo.

"Would You Rather?" Worksheets

These "Would You Rather?" worksheets are a great activity for beginning of the year, but can really be used anytime throughout the year.. There are 15 "Would You Rather...?" questions, followed by a "why?" prompt. This product can be used a worksheet or as a game. My kids found the questions really fun! If you're looking for a way to engage your students, look no further :) Plus, it's a great price! Check it out at my TPT store!

Would You Rather? Worksheets


Idiom Worksheets

Here is a secret. As an SLP, you can NEVER have too many many materials for idioms. Although I primarily work with elementary aged students (or a lot younger in the outpatient setting), I used to work in the middle school setting. I was in desperate need for materials then, and created these fun worksheets to help my students meet their figurative language goals. It's most appropriate for late elementary- middle school aged students. My middle school students really have always thought these were fun! I think the fact that a definition and scenario are provided for each idiom is "the icing on the cake". I put a lot of "blood, sweat, and tears" into this one, so enjoy! (Okay, sorry, I'll stop now). Anyways, you can purchase Idiom Match worksheets at my TPT store by clicking here.
As always, I need to give some Copyright Shout Outs! :) Fonts copyright: Teaches Third In Georgia Clipart copyright: Teachers Resource Force Border/ frame copyright: Tracee Orman

FREEBIE! Auditory Bombardment Homework

Phonology therapy is absolutely one of my favorites. I usually start the year off by being known as "Miss Tawen, the Peech Teacher", and by the END of year, it's Miss Karen, and yes, you're in SPeech therapy. One of my other favorite quotes? "Miss Tawen, why do I doe to peech?" I see SO much progress with my kids using a cycles approach (check out Barbara Hodson's books if you want to learn more!) I usually use minimal pairs, and sending home practice words along with auditory bombardment lists has been huge. I've seen a lot of growth in so many kiddos. I made this product to target cluster reduction of /s/ blends (intial /sn/, /sm/, /sk/, /sp/, /st/, /sw/) . Each page contains parent instructions. Oh, and by the way, there really isn't a reason NOT to download it. It's a FREEBIE, so please snag it! I'd just really appreciate it if you stopped by my store and followed me! More products (including phonology materials) are in the works! :)
To Make this product, I used the following copyright material: Fonts: Teaches Third In Georgia Border/ Frame: Mrs. Orman’s Classroom

Halloween is almost here!!! (Kind of)

Sooo I decided I needed to create a halloween- themed product. I always create my products based on what I need to use in therapy. I cover at a charter school one time a week. I currently have a grad student with me. She is pretty awesome and it's so much fun watching her develop her skills as a clinician! Anyways, we were working with a group of students and because we are a wee bit low on materials over there, I pulled out this vocabulary game which may or may not have been produced in the 70s. A few of the kiddos had idioms goals. As my grad student clinician worked with the group, she said aloud, "Wow. Yeah, I don't even know what some of these mean." Well, yikes. I took a look at the cards, and she wasn't lying. Some of those idiom cards were no longer relevant. Thank you, figurative language. Idioms cards needed. Check. So I created some. Oh, and you know, Halloween is only like, 6 weeks away. It's my favorite holiday, so I gave my product a halloween theme. Trick Or Treat Idioms, at your service. You can purchase this product at my TPT store (the Pedi Speechie). (This isn't speech therapy related but yes, I already have a costume. I'm going to be Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park, my husband will be Alan Grant, and our beagle-mix will be a raptor. Duh. Pictures coming.)

AHOY! Following Directions with Embedded Concepts!

Many of my kiddos NEED to work on following directions with concepts such as:
  • inclusion (all, and, all but one)
  • sequence (first, second, middle, last)
  • location (top, bottom, between, next to)
  • temporal (before, after, than, at the same time)

I'm sure you have children on your caseload that struggle with these concepts as well.
Make "following directions" fun with my pirate-themed product! It's one of my best-sellers on TPT, and one of the products that I personally use the most!
Check this one out. I KNOW you won't be disappointed.
You just might have to endure an entire session where your student talks in "Pirate Voice".

This packet includes 60 total cards and 1 game board.

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Head to my TPT Store if you're interested in purchasing Ahoy! Following Directions with Embedded Concepts!
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Following Directions Packet for Speech Therapy

If you're like me, you've got some kiddos on your caseload that NEED to target following directions.
As a matter of fact, I have so many kids that need to target these skills, that I've got quite a collection of following directions packets available at my TPT store.
I love this Following Directions Frog packet for a few reasons, but mainly because my younger kiddos don't realize we're doing "therapy"- to them, this is just a fun flip card game!

This packet includes (6) lily pads with prompts: _____before I ______/ After you ____, ____/ “first-next-last”/ Don’t_______unless I_____/Either_____OR____/ If I _____, ________/, and also some open-ended lily pads so that you can customize things a bit!

Also included are (54) “frog” cards with 1 step directions. These directions vary from simple (i.e. "close your eyes") to more complex- i.e. allowing you to target category skills as way (i.e. "Name 2 types of furniture").

You can just use the frog cards if you're looking to stick with one-step directions, or add in those lily pad prompts to target a variety of multi-step directions. I know your kids will love this following directions packet as much as mine do!
Thanks for stopping by!

Year Round Language Calendar

How often do you say to yourself, "I wish I'd had time to copy homework?" Between the endless IEP meetings, testing, paperwork, copying materials, oh, and actually providing therapy- maybe you don't always have time to get homework folders together. I promised myself I would be more organized this school year. I cover one day per week at an elementary school. My other days are spent working in an outpatient setting. It's my goal to provide carry over ideas for every child I see. It's easier in an outpatient setting where I can discuss the session with the parent and explain what we're working on, and how to work on this at home. A lot of times, the parent is able to observe or participate in the session, especially with the younger kiddos. In the school setting, this may not be so easy. In my attempt to get together "Speech Folders", I decided a calendar would be a GREAT starting point for all of my language kids. I took a look at their IEP goals, and decided on the best areas to target. I decided to include: Idioms Synonyms Antonyms Plurals Pronouns Answering basic Wh-questions Following 2-3 step verbal directions If you're interested in purchasing this product, just click here.

Vocabulary Folder Games

I picked up this great product at Lakeshore Learning. It's called Vocabulary Folder Games. Here is a link to the product: I love using this game when I have a kiddo working on labeling nouns and then sorting the pictures into the appropriate pile. There is also a "Community Vocabulary" label and sort file folder game, which is really great for talking about what different places are (such as the hospital or gas station) and why/ when people go there. I've also found this to be a great way to target some basic wh- questions, as well as explaining the function/ use of the object. For example, you can ask what an item is, where does it go, where might you see it, or who might use it. Looking for some more ideas on ways to target category skills? Head on over to Speaking of Speech!

Following Directions with Potato Head

Mrs. Potato Head was one of the very first treatment materials I bought as a brand new clinician. I haven't regretted my purchase! I use Mrs. Potato Head to target many goals. Here are just a few ideas for using a potato head toy in your therapy room: 1) Following directions. I used Boardmaker to create visuals for following multi-step directions. 2) Requesting. I usually offer a field of 2 possible choices (eyes or mouth?). You can work on pointing to a desired item, or requesting using sign, vocalization, a communication board, or a combination of methods. I also love using sentence strip visuals, which I create on Boardmaker. 3) Labeling. Mrs. Potato Head is a great way to work on labeling body parts- and she also comes with some accessories that are pretty awesome! 4) Early Language Modeling. Talk about what you are doing- or what the child is doing. I use this technique all the time! "Hat. I want the hat. I'm putting the hat on. The hat is on! I put the hat on!" 5) Describing. You can talk about the colors and sizes of potato head parts. You can also throw in some comparatives/ superlatives (the shoes are small, but the hands are smaller, and the earrings are the... smallest). 6) Answering basic Wh- questions. "What do we see with?" Again, you can offer a field of 2 choices depending on the assist level needed. 7) Basic analogies. Eyes are to see as nose is to _________. How else do you use your potato head in therapy sessions?

Using A Slide In Speech Therapy

I'm so lucky to be able to work at a clinic that has speech, PT, and OT. I really learn a lot from my colleagues! When I can, I like to include a fun "movement" activity into my session. This slide is perfect for that. Here are just a few ways I might use the slide in my speech therapy session: Language Ideas: I love to use the slide for requesting. My patients are allowed to request using whatever mode of communication works for best them. Some of my kiddos will sign "slide", "more slide", "want slide", etc. Others can use vocalization, or point to a picture visual on a communication board. I've also used low- mid tech AAC (our clinic has a tech talk). Check out if you need to learn a few of the most common signs. You can introduce basic prepositions using a slide (up, down, on, off) and even more advanced prepositions by hiding pictures or toys beneath or under the slide. Speech Ideas: For a few of my kiddos with apraxia of speech or highly unintelligible speech, the slide is a great way to work on some basic vowel- consonant or consonant- vowel combinations (i.e."up", "weee", "mo"- more approximation). I also place articulation word cards at the bottom the slide. The child can use the word in a phrase, sentence, etc. after going down the slide.

Toaster Fun

If you're reading this blog and looking at this picture and you aren't an SLP, you're thinking- "...It's a toaster." If you're a pediatric SLP and looking at this picture, your mind is swimming with the possibilities! I picked up this amazing toy from Wal-Mart for around $5. It's been very motivating for a lot of my kids. I use this toaster to work on sequencing skills (First... put the bread in. Next, push down the lever. Last... turn the dial. Wait... POP!"), requesting skills (I model the signs as I say the words- "more bread", "want bread", "I want bread"), following basic directions, building mean length of utterance from "bread" to "more bread",etc. It's also a toy to utilize some of those early language modeling strategies- talking about what you or the child is doing. "Mmm! We're making toast! We need some bread. Let's put the bread IN the toaster. We're putting the bread IN the toaster." You can also work on labeling verb tenses (We WILL MAKE toast. We're MAKING toast. Look! We MADE toast!"). Play is SO important when developing language skills. Remember, have fun, and model, model, model!
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