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Looks Like Language is on Speech Spotlight!
Hi friends! Does this time of year get busy for you? I have tons of paperwork due, so I thought this was a good time to remind you that I am part of a collaborative blog! Have you ever visited Speech Spotlight?

I just wrote a post that published yesterday! It is on my theme of managing mixed groups in therapy, but with a twist on taking data. If you'd like a few more ideas on this topic, you can read about it here.

I've been sitting at my computer so long this week, I am starting to get a back ache! So, pop on over to Speech Spotlight for this week's post! I definitely have to start using one of the apps that will remind me to get up and move every so often! Do you have one that you have tried? Of course, an app that would do my paperwork for me instead would be sooooo wonderful!

Till next week- stay warm!

We Can Match A Snowman Freebie 2

FREE open ended snowman matching game from Looks-Like-Language
I hope you are staying warm inside and having fun with my free snowman matching game! This week, I'm giving you more cards for the open ended game. Newsletter members, be sure to check your email for the link to the complete set and extra pages!

You can get the second set of game cards here. I hope you'll stop by next week for matching worksheets!

Books Make Mixed Group Therapy Easy! Tips and a Freebie!

One of the common problems that SLPs have is in figuring out how to best manage the needs of mixed groups in therapy. If you are just joining me in this series, you will want to check out this post about using games as the cohesive element for mixed groups since it has a freebie download for taking group data. The second post in this series gives tips for figuring out ways to pair up goals in activities for a smoother flow.

My favorite way to make mixed groups work is by centering therapy around a great book! When I worked in preschool, it was easy to find a book that coordinated with the theme (usually seasonal) that the teacher was using in the classroom.

Books for Mixed Group Therapy- Looks-Like-Language
Now that I am in middle school, with lower functioning kids, it is not quite as easy. I’ve tried using classroom books, but there’s too much my students don’t understand and the pace is too fast for therapy twice a week to keep up.  

This year, I’ve been using books by Chris Van Allsburg and my students have loved them! The plot is in depth enough to address multiple goals, the books are short enough to do in a few sessions, and the pictures are fantastic! They are beautifully drawn and not babyish, so the books work great for older kids.

To get started with a new book, this is how I organize myself.
  • Read through the book and figure out where I can take breaks. With simple sequential narratives and younger attention spans, that is the beginning, middle and end of the story plot.
  • With longer books, like the ones I am using this year, I divide them up into complete episodes, if it is possible.  
  • Starting with my most mixed group, or my most behaviorally difficult group, I fill in my organizer with the group goals and think about how I can elicit the speech/language targets from each student.
  • I write a set of questions I can ask at various points in the story section to get each student participating at short intervals of the story. This is a helpful strategy to keep students with short attention spans, poor working memory, or processing problems engaged. It is also helpful for tired SLP overload!

Story Planning for Mixed Groups- with a freebie! Looks-Like-Language
Articulation goals are the easiest: Just identify the words, phrases or sentences in the section that you want your student to read. If there aren’t enough, make a question list that will elicit those words again.

Question goals: I have had great success with pairing questions with story grammar element symbols. The visual cue really helps my students spend less time processing the question, so they have a chance to look back in the text to find the answer. 

Grammar goals: Figure out sentences that these students can retell with their target structures, pictures that they can describe in a sentence with their targets, or questions they can ask/answer to work on their goal.

Sequence/story retell goals: Pause at sections for students to recap the story.

When there are goals that I can’t fit into the actual story telling, I save some time to have an activity related to the book and that goal at the end of the session.

To make it even easier, fill out this information on sticky notes! You can pull them off the  FREE organizer and stick them right in the book on the page they match!  Click here to download the freebie and get your mixed group book themes started now.

I promise, if you can figure out your most difficult group and your most common goals, the whole process will get so much easier as you continue to use the book throughout your week!

We Can Match A Snowman Freebie 1

Free Snowman Matching Game from Looks-Like-Language
In the winter, we can have fun inside talking about the outside! Be sure to come back every week this month to catch the whole set! If you need even more freebies, be sure to check out ClassroomFreebiesToo.

I hope your new year is off to a good start! I'm doing my part to make it a good one with my free downloads. Remember, my newsletter members get additional pages all in one download! Get this week's game here.

A Quick Little Contest to Spark Up the New Year!

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy New Year full of wonderful times with your loved ones!

To get the new year started with a spark of fun, I decided to run a little contest here on my blog. Comment below with the answer to one of my questions to help me get my posts off to a great start in 2017. 

Up to five lucky readers will win a product of their choice ($5 or under) from my store if their comment is chosen!

So, here are my questions:
1- What is it about the blogs that you really like that keeps you reading?

2- What areas of working as an SLP or special educator would you love to see more blog posts about?

3-What is the biggest problem you face regularly as an SLP or special educator?

Comment below with an answer to one of these questions! Then check back in on Monday evening, January 2, 2017 to see if you are one of the lucky ones! If you want to be sure to be a lucky one, search #spednewyear today to get some great dollar deals on TpT!  Good luck and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Celebrations at this time of year warm our souls and help us get through the darkness and the cold weather. Just think about what the holidays at this time of year have in common- candles, lights, love and family.

In a world that is sadly becoming more divisive, it is more important than ever that we, as educators, emphasize the commonalities that all people share, and the goodness that we are capable of displaying. 

Wishing you peace, happiness and the love of near and dear ones at this holiday season, whatever you celebrate!

A Little FREE Christmas Help!

A little FREE homework help from Looks-Like-Language!
Want a little help with homework at this busy time of year?  Then be sure to catch this little freebie for comparing and contrasting over at my store!

A free, fun game to practice saying "Thank you!" from Looks-Like-Language
Or maybe you are looking for a free, fun way to work on social skills? Then try this one!

Hope your holiday preparations are going well!

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