5 Reasons to Assess Narrative Skills- Back to School

Are books a vital part of your planning? I can't imagine doing without them, personally, but teaching your students internet literacy is just as important. If you teach students from disadvantaged homes, they may not have the same level of access to computers, so they especially need it included in every aspect of school life to gain digital skills.

The other bonus for us is that we can try out books online to see if our students engage with them, purchasing the book only if we decide it is one of our favorites to use over and over again!

One of my students introduced me to this YouTube video last year, and it has become one of my new favorites! Although I love the paperback version of Don't Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin, the song version is a great way to introduce it.  At back to school time, as students are getting to know each other, it is a natural time to find out about their likes, dislikes, and characteristics and incorporate a theme of acceptance of our differences. Give this one a try!

5 reasons to assess literacy skills plus links to free online resources! Looks Like Language
Checking students' narrative skills is on the top of my list for back to school assessments. Whether you do this orally or in a written format, there is so much information you can gain to help your students make progress over the year!

Beside the fact that this is an essential basic skill for conversations, discussion and writing, you can see how well they
* retrieve and organize information while staying on topic
* if there are word finding issues
* the level of sentence complexity
* grammatical errors
* how well they carried over skills from the previous year, including articulation skills.

There are so many fun, free websites at all levels of skill that can help you do this with little planning! Check out this post to get a comprehensive list! I double checked- all of the links still work.

What is your favorite book or website for literacy?


Getting Organized for Back to School Freebie

Do you feel better starting the school year with some organization in place? I know I always did. The beginning of the school year hits with a bang, and being able to find your materials quickly can save so much time!


Get organized for back to school with a freebie from Looks Like Language!
I had you in mind when I made this freebie for labeling your binders. A little bit of pretty along with organization makes getting back to school even nicer! You can get it at my store!

Don't worry if you aren't an SLP and the pre-made labels won't work for you. The PowerPoint is completely editable, so all you have to do is highlight the existing text and replace it with your own.

Want more organization tips? Read this post to see how I do it!

Enjoy!

Back to School with Teachers Pay Teachers

Are you ready for Back to School? Here in the northeast, there’s still another month of summer vacation, but many school systems across the country are gearing up to go back soon.

The Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School sale is here!
Of course, that means it is time for the TpT Back to School sale! It’s your chance to get 25% off everything in my store if you use the code BTS2017!
Don't be like me and forget to put the code in!

Now, you know that I am delighted to be working on products for you full time now, but I thought I’d take a peek at some new products you might be interested in.

Bilingual Speech Therapy Explanation Handouts for Parents in Spanish and English
Do you have students who come from a bilingual home? This new packet by Sarah Wu- Speech is Beautiful looks amazing if you do.  It can save you so much time, compared to writing you own and then finding someone to translate for you. And since Sarah is both bilingual and an SLP, you can be sure that the information is just right! Check it out here.


Social Skills: Comic books, girls, friendship
If I was going back to my caseload this year, this new social skills comic book by Smartmouth SLP would definitely be in my cart! Middle school girls can show a lot of drama, and the cartoon set up provides a great way to open up those discussions! You can find it here.



One of my newest products can also save you a lot of time! 
Save time with R sound homework and activities- Fall! Looks Like Language

Although my passions are autism, social skills and mixed groups, I’ve also done a fair amount of articulation therapy in the (40 years time  SHH!) since I started treating! I know how time consuming it can be to not only plan for therapy, but come up with homework as well.

This NO PREP set can be used for therapy activities and then sent home for homework! Parent instructions are included, too!

The set is very adaptable, working on the R sound from listening skills through words and sentences, and includes picture level worksheets as well as pages with words for readers. Check to see how much time this will save you here.

Have fun filling up your cart!

Getting Started with Autism Guide- FREE!

Woo Hoo! Looks Like Language has been a blog for 2 years now!

To celebrate, I've gathered up the freebies for autism that I've made over the past 2 years and bundled them up into 1 easy download!


Get this amazing FREE Getting Started with Autism Guide from Looks Like Language!
Getting Started with Autism is a sweet little packet that includes things I wish someone had explained to me when I first started in a low functioning, behavioral autism program. So, of course I want to share it with you!

Even if you have already joined me, it is okay to click here and sign up again to get this amaaaazing download for FREE! Plus, you get an awesome BONUS!

In case you missed it, click here to get my incredible Getting Started with Conversation Guide!

I'm so thankful that you have joined me on this journey I never expected to take in life. Sometimes you just have to take what comes your way and go for it!

So, be sure to download these helpful freebies to get your school year off to a great start!

I'm grateful for your support! Enjoy!

Getting to Know You!

This is an unusual month for educators! In some parts of our country, summer school has just started. In other parts, they are gearing up for back to school.
Get this fun, FREE ice breaker game from Looks Like Language!

Wherever you live, you might find that this quick and easy printable game makes your planning easier! Whether you use it for asking and answering questions, getting new classmates to interact with each other, graphing answers afterwards, or for conversation skills, have fun with it!

You can download this freebie at my store. Make your life easier!

Spend your extra time enjoying a beautiful summer day!

Helping Our Students Transition to Independence

Transitioning? What?

You might be wondering if these links have nothing useful for you, but if you are working with a moderately to severely impaired population, then it is my opinion that you can never get started thinking about this too early!

Building functional independence skills can never start too early! Check out these free resource links at Looks Like Language!
Our students who have moderate to severe deficits need us to be the ones who are thinking ahead and planning how to build their skills to their greatest potential! Since they need so much practice with work presented at tiny little steps, it will only help if we all have in mind the eventual desired outcomes as we plan each year's therapy.

With this in mind, maybe you want to take a look at these links even if your students are still younger!

The complete list of links can be found in this post.

If you don't have time to check out the complete list, I recommend that you at least go to my most favorite download, Moving Toward Functional Social Competence.

The Minnesota Region 10 Low Incidence Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) project compiled this thorough checklists at three levels for joint attention, greetings, self regulation, conversations, perspective taking, social problem solving/critical thinking skills, friendship and life skills. They also included a recommended resource list for further reading. 

Be sure to download this helpful free resource!

I hope you are enjoying your summer! 

Let's Get Started with Conversation! FREE Guide


FREE Getting Started with Conversation Guide- Looks Like Language

Would you like a life without conversations? No way! We probably can't even count how many we have during a day. So, try to imagine how the life of a child on the autism spectrum is like without this skill.

No matter what we do to improve vocabulary, concepts, sentence structure, you name it, daily life functioning will be affected if we don't manage to get our students conversing socially. And it isn't always easy!

The traps I fell into when starting to work on this skill included:

* getting rote I like/What do you like interchanges only!
While this is a beginning, it is definitely not an end goal.

* prompting with 'say' and 'ask' with students getting confused about what I was expecting of them.

* prompting responses verbally, ending up with my students talking to me and not with each other!

* getting students to converse, but only on limited range of topics or when prompted.

I decided that there must be a way to build conversation skills visually and offset these issues. (You know that I am passionate about visuals and strategies!)

It took me lots of years of trial and error before I came up with the methods that worked for my students on the autism spectrum. I know that I've had the actual materials available in my TpT store for a while now, and I'm thrilled beyond measure that there are students out there making progress in conversation skills that I had a part in helping!

However, I realized this summer that I didn't really have anything in place to help you see my overall structure/model. So, I decided to make this brand new free guide call Getting Started with Conversation! 

Getting Started with Conversation will help you with assessing current status, planning therapy,  and measuring progress. More success with less stress!

To get this amazing 8 page FREE Getting Started with Conversation Guide, all you have to do is click here.


FREE Getting Started with Conversation Guide- Looks Like Language
For my followers, I will also be sending out the link for this helpful guide in my next newsletter, but you can get it NOW by clicking here!

I hope this gets you and your students started on the path to building real conversations! Enjoy!
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