3 Easy End of the School Year Tips- Plus a FREE Summer Homework Calendar for Autism!


The end of the school year is upon us! 
Great tips and freebies for the end of the year and summer carryover!


Whether you are finishing up next week or in June, you are probably noticing that your students are getting a bit antsy with the change in weather. Nice weather makes us all want to be outside!

Recently I read somewhere that nowadays, with teachers getting antsy themselves and starting end of the year countdowns, we are just magnifying the problem. Could that be the case in your school? I’ve been part of the education system for a very long time, and I must say that countdowns didn’t use to happen at one time.

Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover!
Tip 1: Minimize showing your own desire for summer to your students.

We all look forward to the summer! But instead of counting down, when testing is over, try to consider this an opportunity! (I know, it is hard!)

Tip 2: Use this time of year to do all of the functional, fun application activities that you used to have more time to do!
Pick a theme and brainstorm how many different skills you can work into activities related to that theme. These are great for summer homework, too!

Literacy activities are basics! Have your students retell the story to check for comprehension  or see how well they are independently using the  sentence structures and speech sounds you have worked on. Have them ask each other questions for a change of pace with WH questions.

Cooking activities are great for following directions, eliciting verbs and spatial concepts, turn taking skills and just plain fun!

Play activities with toys related to the theme are a great way to get language samples and articulation use to check for generalization of skills learned this year.

Word games can be incorporated to elicit category, vocabulary, describing and phonemic or articulation skills. Play I Spy with My Little Eye using a busy picture related to your theme, or play I’m going to __ and I need something that starts with (sound).

Movie or song based activities are great for older students, especially if you let them choose their favorites! Just about any skill you can elicit with literacy activities will also work when using movie clips or song lyrics.

Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover!
Tip 3: Change it up!

Whatever your usual working style, step out of your comfort zone and try a change of pace! The end of the school year is a great time for you to explore new ways of working with your students. Not only will it add to your skill base, but your students may like doing something different, especially if you are including activities that require computer technology skills. 

Did you see this post which has links to great websites to explore?

If you are concerned about how to take data with less structured activities think about these ideas:

• The real world is not as structured as a therapy session, so you need to find out if your students can use any of the skills independently. Compare how many times the student used the skill independently during the session now versus what they were able to do at the beginning of the year. Use a rubric to let you ball park the data.
• Many students with a limited skill base are able to produce the desired response largely because of the environmental cues you have unknowingly structured for them. Try going to a different location or even just change how you are sitting in your room. Are they still able to use the skills?
• Think about using the overall information you’ve gained about each each student as baseline data for decision making about next year’s IEP goals.

Whatever you try, have some fun with it! Your students will thank you!

SUMMER TIME HELP!
Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover from The Frenzied SLPs!
We don't want our kids to backslide over the summer, and neither do parents. 
Thanks to The Frenzied SLPS for organizing this Summer Speech Carryover to give a variety of great tips to help us all out!

I know that while I was working, I could find plenty of help for my students working closer to grade level, but 
what about our students who are on the autism spectrum and communicating minimally

We certainly don't want them to backslide! The added difficulty for coming up with a summer plan for these students is the uniqueness of their skills and needs.

My free download for maintaining communication and keeping routines at home over the summer can be downloaded here. I hope it is a helpful guideline for parents this summer. It certainly is something I wanted to have but never had the time to create!

Be sure to click here to get more useful tips to help you out this summer from The Frenzied SLPS!

An Almost Magical Week for SLPs!


Get some great deals at TpT!
Not only is the end of the school year in sight, but this week there are 3 sales to help you change up your regular repertoire of activities! (More ideas on that are coming later this week in my regular post.)

Today, May 7th, is the next to last #SLPMustHave sale for this year.

I've been busy updating my Autism File Folder Picture Sentence Building sets and am halfway done. The newest version has modified FitzGerald Key color coding to coordinate with Proloquo and other AAC devices.

While I am working on the sets, I'm also adding some adapted books to reinforce the vocabulary and concepts. You know I adore adapted books!

Check out the #May2018SLPMustHave sale at TpT!
What this means for you is that, today only, you can get the entire Outside Bundle at 50% off and the price will still be going up as the other 3 sets are updated. This is sooo worth your money!

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8th and 9th, are the dates of the last TpT Site Wide sale for this year. My entire store will be 20% off and you can use the code #THANKYOU2018 for an additional 5% off!

Everyone needs something to help them through the end of the school year! Good luck finding just the thing you need at a bargain price!

Beginning or Ending Sounds? A Free Activity- Week 1

I walked out my door today and it truly felt like spring for the first time this season! A perfect day to give you the first part of this free activity set.

Have fun with beginning and ending sounds with this free phonology download from Looks like Language!
You can have fun practicing the phonological processes of initial or final sound omissions, work on phonological skills, or just have fun being creative and letting your students find ways that the pictures are the same or different!

Come back every week for a month and you will have a complete, free packet! Or if you prefer, join my newsletter to get the entire, complete set in one download (along with some extras!) This month, my newsletter followers are getting a bonus open ended game board. 

Open ended activities are so useful when you have make up sessions to do and have to group kids with a hodgepodge of goals!

Download the first week's set here.

Rhyming and Articulation skills in one fun bundle packed full of picture cards!
Do you need some more fun sound practice for articulation and phonology skills? Check out Speech Therapy Games and Activities for Final Consonants & Rhymes

There are many pictures, sorting mats, worksheets and a fun game to keep your students practicing over and over again! 

One buyer said, "What a brilliant idea! The kids enjoy it!" And I'm sure yours will, too!
 

Spring Fun Freebie 4

Get the last part of the packet now! Spring Color Match Fun by Looks Like Language
I'm excited to tell you that the last section of my updated Spring Color Match Freebie has a new worksheet for sorting what belongs in spring time. You can download it here.


Learn playground labels, actions and rules with the activity packed At the Playground! set.
Going to the playground definitely belongs in spring! This activity packed literacy set build vocabulary for playground equipment and actions, spatial concepts to answer Where questions, and a variety of worksheets to make your mixed groups easier! Check out At the Playground at my store.

5 Important Reasons to Combine Books & Play in Therapy


Books and play are my two favorite therapy methods, so what could be better than combining the two? Sometimes people think that all SLPs do is play, so how hard could that be? They’d be surprised if they tried to accomplish specific goals in maybe an hour or so a week!

5 benefits to combining books and play in therapy:

Kids who are engaged are more willing to learn
Using play and the language for play also helps improve their symbolic thinking skills.
Using adapted books helps them understand and engage with books, improving their literacy skills.
Using therapy methods and materials that are part of their environment helps to promote generalization, or carry-over.
They are both so much fun!

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
Spring is a fun time for incorporating a cloud/rain theme to go along with the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” My favorite book to use for that theme?  It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.

Adapting the book
Did you know that there is a great website from the Baltimore City School system that has Boardmaker symbols for books all ready to download? For FREE! What a huge timesaver if you have Boardmaker already installed!

Get the list of all of the adapted books here
Or you can start with the downloadable zip files, starting with the letter A here.

Unfortunately, It looked like Spilt Milk used to be available, but no longer is. Maybe I should make that freebie for my newsletter members- what do you think?

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
Games & Skills


Since VISUAL DISCRIMINATION SKILLS are a must for any students using a symbol system to communicate, the shape matching nature of this book makes it a great choice to use with students who are developing literacy skills. Additional shape matching activities can be found in the book companion at my store.

You know that I loved using Ellison cutters when I was in the schools (free), and now many people are buying home versions like Sizzix or Cricut machines. (expensive)
No worries, though, as you can just download the cloud shapes here and do some old fashioned tracing and cutting on construction paper instead.

Cloud faces with the basic EMOTIONS are always cute to use!
Make a pile face down, elicit a target from your student and then let them choose from the pile. If you have 4 emotions, you can have 4 winners!
Instead of picking randomly from a pile, stack each emotion in a deck and students can take turns requesting the emotion card they want.

Clouds with different colors, sizes and shapes add DESCRIPTIVE WORDS to their language!

Mixed groups?
Try using tape or fun-tak to attach other pictures to the back of the cloud shapes. In the picture, I have pieces to a Sesame Street puzzle attached to use as a puzzle token board. The student knew that when the puzzle was completed, the task was done.
Give each student a set of their own clouds with their specific targets. Place the free cloud page that you downloaded in a page protector so students have to cover all of the shapes.

SPEECH SKILLS- Tape pictures with the target sounds on the back or write the word using a dry erase marker on the clouds if they are laminated. Easy!

LANGUAGE SKILLS- It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just cut out the pictures from a worksheet that you can give for homework and tape them on the back to practice first!

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
There are so many more fun activities in my book companion. Besides giving little ones an easy way to start using the strategy of looking back in the text to recall story details, there’s a cute open ended game board, and rhyming and phonology activities, too. 

But I think my favorite is the cloud shape matching boards! Check it out here!

Enjoy!

Spring Fun Freebie 3

Quick, easy, colorful and fun! This describes the freebies that are offered on Looks Like Language all year long to make your life easier.

Free printable spring fun from Looks Like Language!
Get the third part of the packet in this week's download here and use it to practice any work your students need to review.


Make sentence building easier with pictured activities! Looks Like Language
For learning new skills, packets that are more specific are helpful for teaching. If your students need some work on forming sentences, check out Sentence Building Activities with Pictures: Spring!  Picture supports are so helpful for all students, especially those with language and auditory processing difficulties. 

Enjoy!

Spring Fun Freebie 2

Spring is a time of change. When the weather gets nicer and everything starts to grow, it is a welcome change for most of us.


Have some free, printable spring fun from Looks Like Language!
You can have fun with these free printable activities as a part of your spring theme! The game with chicks, bunnies and eggs is open ended. Get it here. Did you miss the first part? That's okay. You can download it here.

Children with autism or anxiety issues may have come to perceive change as something scary, however, especially when they aren't really sure what a change will bring and can't communicate their fears. 

Spring is a great time to incorporate the word 'change' into your activities, so that your students can associate the word with some positive things, too.

If you'd like some more tips for this idea, try reading these blog posts:

Transition Problems: & Questions SLPs Need to Ask

Change Can Be Hard: 7 Tips for Students

Enjoy!
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