Summer Rhyming Fun- 3- A Freebie

A free rhyming game from Looks Like Language!
Playing rhyming and word games is so important for little ones to be able to develop the skills they need for reading. This is why I am so happy to be able to help out a little, for free!

If you have a little one in your life, be sure to click here and get your free download! Come back every week to get the whole set.

If you missed some of the downloads, start here.

Parent Tip:
When you have played the game for a while, turn it into a 'play anywhere' game. Find something you can easily see where you are and give a clue. "I see something that rhymes with ___." Can your little one find it? 

Happy rhyming!

Change is in the Air!

Change is in the Air at Looks Like Language!
Are you finished the school year yet? This week is my last week in the public school system after 38 years, so you know that change is in the air for me!

Don't you love this quote? While this destination looks lovely, happiness is the true plan.

If you are like me, you take some time off in the summer to relax, recharge and do what makes you happy.  Doing a bit more relaxing is in my plans, too!

So, this summer I will be updating my helpful links posts for when you are ready to start thinking about work again, but I will be posting every other week. My freebies for a fun Friday will post on Thursdays, as usual.

I'd like to use the extra time to make my posts even better for you. Some work on photography skills this summer will help to get better photos of tips in action. Wish me luck- it is not my forte!

Another plan is to develop some new helpful materials to get you off to a great start in the fall! I'd love some input to be able to develop a freebie that is very useful to you. To help out, please leave a comment about the biggest problem you have getting started again in therapy in the fall. However.....

Remember, there are no magic wands here!

I'd love to be able to
* raise your salary
* reduce your paperwork
* get you that perfect office space
* make all of your coworkers realize how hard you work
* get you a smaller caseload size
* (fill in the blank!)

Unfortunately, I just haven't figured out how to do that magic yet! But if you have something I could help you with, be sure to leave a comment!

Summer Rhyming Fun- 2- A Freebie

Have fun rhyming with this FREE game from Looks Like Language!
Welcome back! I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

This week you get to download the second part of my rhyming game freebie! 

Parents, I know that you have heard that you need to make sure that your children know their colors, numbers, shapes and alphabet to be ready for school. That is helpful, but you will be doing them an even better turn if you read to them and play word and sound games with them!

When children get exposed to rhymes and word games, they start learning about sounds and how they go together into words. This is such an important skill for reading!

So, download this free game now and have fun!

Trash to Treasure- Junk to Save Your Session

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language
Turning work into play is a great way to get through the end of the year, sometimes even for older students! It works, especially well when you combine elements of all of the goals from the year to see how well they can use the skills.

What is needed? Junk!  In the photo, you can see some of my life saving junk from this year. The empty egg cartons and ravioli trays are from my house. The foam cubes, colored dice, pompoms, mini erasers and plastic colored discs are from varied dollar place outings. 

Spinners are very easy to make and can be personalized or changed out easily by taping something new on top of the laminated clear spinner. Tape on some words or pictures and get out the organizers your students have used during the year to play a wide variety of language games. Then, just mix and match!

Here's how to create your own.

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language

THINK
1.  Determine which skills the majority of your students have worked on this year.
2. Think about what vocabulary or skills for using new words that your students have learned this year.
3. What skills can tie this all together?  Ideas include questions, grammatical forms, sentence structures, and articulation targets or carrier phrases.

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language

CREATE 
1.  How long are each of these lists? Place the information that your students have in common on the container or spinner that will fit it best.
2. Get some type of easy to toss item, like mini erasers, pompoms, plastic chips, or packing peanuts, if you have a container.
3. Make a spinner, adapt a cube, or use dice. Dice are fun and easy to use by making a grid with different skills for each number, or by numbering 6 pictures to talk about.
4. Personalize the activities by using an organizer, vocabulary list, or some specific skill for each student.
5. The more of these items you combine in an activity, the longer or more complicated the responses will be. The benefit is that it will require your students to combine multiple skills, demonstrating mastery and making them think. The drawback can be the time required, so I have my students spin, roll, toss, etc. while the other students are responding. An additional benefit for my ADHD kids is that this helps them wait for their turn without getting in trouble!

PLAY
Try all different kinds of combinations! You will find out which activities your students love and how your goals fit best with your junk! On days when I know that I'm not going to get any 'work' responses from my upset students, I pull out one of these activities to save the day.

How do you save the day?

Summer Rhyming Fun- 1- A Freebie

Have some free rhyming fun this summer! Looks Like Language
Rhymes are a great way to get started with pre-reading skills for little ones!

Curl up together with great book- Dr. Seuss is the gold standard for fun rhyming! After the book becomes familiar, try pausing before reading the rhyme and see if your child fills it in!

On a rainy day, when you are stuck inside, you can also play a game! Download this freebie and have fun!


Endings and Beginnings- Time for a Change!

Exciting news at Looks Like Language!
Exciting news, my friends! After 38 years in public schools, I'll be retiring this month. Change is bittersweet! 

After a summer off to relax and rejuvenate, I plan to spend more time on my store and work privately part time.  While I am busy packing up and preparing to move on, I thought I'd share a few random thoughts and tips with you today.









On Students:
The student who, 5 minutes before had been shouting, "NO! NO! I won't come!" found out I was retiring. Now his tune has changed. "You won't be my speech teacher next year? I'm going to miss you." He can't wait to come.

Take away:
Sometimes you are having more of an impact than you realize. Try not to take students' attitudes personally (especially if they are middle schoolers!) They may be struggling with an internal problem, having difficulty transitioning, or may have problems with affect and nonverbal communication skills. Keep reassuring yourself!

Organizing makes packing up easier- Looks Like Language

Organizing:
I have found out that my organization strategy really works for making packing easier! I keep multiple originals in a page protector and store them in a binder, organized by skill or theme. (Read more about it here.)

So to pack up, I've just been recycling any extra copies I made this year and putting the binders in a carry bag. Every day I carry a few out to my car. I have to say, I've had to move a lot in my career and this has been the easiest one by far! Try it out for yourself!


Games and organizers make FUNctional bulletin boards! Looks Like Language

Bulletin Boards:
Since I've never taken pictures of my room before, I thought I'd share this tip with you.

Placing the strategy pages and organizers in page protectors and hanging them on the board made a functional bulletin board. It is easy to grab the one I need for each group. Since my students face that board, an added bonus is that partway through the year, I can leave them up and watch to see who can do the work independently and who is still looking up at the strategy as needed for help.

I also have a some games up there, too. This helps me find out more about what my students are interested in at the beginning of the year. It provides natural opportunities for students to comment, ask questions and request. Plus, some of the TpT materials are so pretty, it makes a functional way to decorate for the holidays and seasons!

I'm counting down to summer!


FREE Social Skills Problem Solving Unit!

Hi interest, low language problem solving and social language skills FREEBIE from Looks Like Language!
Do you have problems finding appropriate materials for solving problems with your older special needs students? If the level is right, the problems may be too young. If the problem is is right, there isn't enough support for the language skills. 

The story in this freebie is about a girl whose 'friend' picks a fight in the middle of the cafeteria one day. It is short and sweet, but allows you to address a lot of problem solving and social language skills. Try it out! 

If you download it and love it, please consider kind feedback as a thank you!

End of the Year Games

Need some help for the end of the school year? Some years, your usual therapy routines just don't cut it at the end of the year. This is one of those years for me! What to do? How about changing it up a little?

In my speech room this year, we are playing lots of online games to review skills after some 'work' is done. I have a complete post on this topic at Speech Spotlight- catch it here!

But, for my loyal readers, here's a few more ideas:




Questions

Decide which question word fits the answer.





Read a short passage and roll the cube to answer varied WH questions about it.



Sequence the words to ask a question.






Sentences

Sequence the words to form a sentence.




Add more words to make sentences more interesting.






Do you like these? Then be sure to see my other post at Speech Spotlight!

A Letter to Me- As a New SLP!

What would you say to yourself as a new SLP? Join The Frenzied SLPs!
I hope you are getting close to summer vacation! 

I've joined up with The Frenzied SLPs this week for an exciting linky- what would you write to yourself as a new SLP? This group has so many great ideas! 

My days of being new are long gone, so my letter is... Well, go read it and find out!




Looks-Like-Language- A letter to myself!
Dear (just starting out) Linda@Looks-Like-Language,

Don’t be so scared! Take the plunge! You will learn so much from every student you work with and do some good besides (for almost every one of them. Some people just don’t want to get help or to change, and that is okay since you tried.)

You will have more changes in your career than you are comfortable with, but it will keep you flexible and learning! You will never be bored.

You will gain so many skills and be happy that you made the choice to stay in this field instead of your other major- psychology. But that was a great choice for a double major since so there is so much counseling in speech/language therapy, believe it or not!

There are so many wonderful people in this career and so many choices of how to practice! It is a fulfilling career that can change as you change to meet your needs. You go for it, girl!

Best wishes,

The (ready to retire) Linda@Looks-Like-Language

What advice would you give to yourself as a new SLP?


Problem Solving Freebie- Turning Homework In

Working on social skills? Get this great freebie from Looks Like Language!
Do your students have get into situations that they can't handle? Are their responses limited to "It's NOT fair!" or explaining why they were right over and over again? 

While this is a normal stage of development for young children, at some point between 8 to 12 years, according to Robert Selman's work on the ability to take another's perspective, this skill should develop when students are exposed to it culturally, socially or educationally. There's an interesting, easy to read article about this here.

Just like every other language skills, our language impaired students are likely to need more direct teaching and more practice to be able to attain this skill. If your students need some work in this area, you might be interested in trying out one of my newest freebies! 

The Getting Work Done unit from the Perspective Taking and Problem Solving series can get your students thinking about and discussing the common problem of being organized. What happens when you don't get your homework turned in? Talk about it, and complete the problem solving worksheets, from different perspectives. Try it out! It is FREE! Just click here.

Getting Through the End of the Year

Introducing the weird and unusual in photos is a method that grabs kids’ attention and makes it easier to get through to the end of the school year.
Getting through to the end of the school year using odd photos! Looks Like Language

Want to prove it? Try leaving some of these photos on your desk, or leave them up on your computer (if you can access them at school) when you go to get your next group. Watch how quickly one of your students will notice them and start commenting!


Check out some of these links to see if you have the right students/age groups to make use of this idea. I love finding these sites!  One word of warning, though- some of these sites have a mix of both school appropriate and inappropriate images! Check all images out ahead of time to see if they are good for your caseload. You can also take screenshots of the ones you like to avoid the pictures you don’t want your students to see. 

Animals
Of all the types of weird photos that I’ve tried, my students seem drawn to animal photos the most. With all of the photoshopped animals out there, it is easy to find weird mixes. Questions to answer include:
What kind of animals made up this weird one?
What can this animal do? Why would it be good to combine these skills?
How is it the same/different from each original animal?

A duck bunny from




Houses
There are some very unusual houses in this world and lots of photos on the internet. They easily prompt a discussion with questions including:
Would you like to live here? Why or why not?
What would be a good thing about living in this house? A problem?
How is this the same as where you live? Different?




Go random!
Try one of these.






Or how about this one from http://europeanchicdesign.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html? (Scroll down a ways to get to it.)






After your students have the language skills to discuss the photos, you can follow up with another activity- describing! Lay your chosen pictures on your table and let your students take turns describing a picture without labeling anything! If they are able to get you or another student to guess the correct picture, they get to keep that picture. If they goof and label something in the picture, their turn ends. This can be harder than it seems for language impaired students to do! See who has the most pictures when time is up. 

Do you have artic kids? They have to follow the same language goals, but also produce their sound correctly while playing.  Fluency? Have them practice the strategies used this year while describing!


I hope your students have a blast with this activity! Be sure to share the links if you have a favorite interesting, weird, bizarre photo site or another fun way to use the pictures!

A FREE and Easy Printable Game Board!

Download this FREE printable game board that lets you review any skills! Looks Like Language
Hello! I'm glad you stopped by to download this free printable game board! You can use it with any of my free card sets or use it to review your own work!

As the school year progresses, it can be harder to keep your students' attention when they want to be outside in the nicer weather. Try a game!

You can download it here. Enjoy! Linda

Autism: Teaching Play Skills with a Shoebox

Autism: Using shoeboxes to teach play skills by Looks Like Language
What about play skills for your kids with ASD who don’t even know how to play? You know what I mean if you’ve seen your students do these:
•      * Look at a toy and touch it, then walk away
•      * Use a toy inappropriately
•      * Play only with the same toy over and over
•       * Instead of playing, line up the cars/figures/blocks

To begin building their play skills, they need 3D play items all the way! So you have an excuse to go buy a new pair of shoes! Just joking, but be sure to save some shoeboxes.

Autism: Using shoeboxes to teach play skills by Looks Like Language
Placing toys on a shoebox  to demonstrate play has a few benefits:
*It stabilizes the pieces  for kids with fine motor issues.
*The velcro helps the kids see where they need to move the figures.
*The hole at the end makes the pieces disappear to show that the task is finished.

The box stores all of the pieces nicely. Just take out two figures to start: one to model with and one for the child to move.

Increase the number of figures as the student learns the task. Then work on fading the box out of the play routine if the child’s ability to manipulate has improved with practice.


Playground Shoebox Play

Scrounge around for playground toys and figures that go with them if you don’t already have them. This time of year, you may find some inexpensive pieces at flea markets and yard sales!

Autism: Using shoeboxes to teach play skills by Looks Like Language
Your main playground piece goes in the middle. Leave room for 3-5 figures to fit on the box as if they were waiting in line to play.  After you have them placed, draw a box at the other end for the figures to exit into. Having a visually clear ‘all done’  is so important for working with ASD students, as it makes new tasks so much less overwhelming for them.

If the set up is clear visually, your students should be able to either imitate your model or move the figures with hand over hand physical prompting. This is not a following directions task! 

Once your students show that they have the idea, fade out whatever prompts you were using and the shoebox, as well! The photo shows two different playground play sequences for teaching lower functioning kids who have ASD. Use what you have available and be creative.

Autism: Using shoeboxes to teach play skills by Looks Like Language
The sliding board photos show what the sequence of play should look like when your student is ready to have the shoebox removed. Notice how all of the figures disappear after the play sequence?

Once the physical movements of the play sequence are easy, it is time to add the language! The first step is to use photos of your play sequence to make an adapted book and add the language there. Then move on to different play sequences. Adapted books and file folder sentence activities are my preferred way to go!

Don’t worry about adapting the toys. Your higher level students can still use them to play with a playground theme. Just take them out of the box! They may ask you at first why there is velcro on the toys, but then they ignore it. 

Just don’t store the pieces with velcro in a hot attic, garage or shed!

Spring Phonological Awareness Freebie 3

I'm so glad you are back for the last set of free phonological awareness cards! Even though these are quicker to make than my usual materials that are packed with strategies and visuals, these freebies still take a few hours to make. So, I am happy when they are being downloaded and used!

Get this week's cards here.  You can put them to use getting your students to listen for sounds in words. You can play memory and go fish, or just have the students match the cards independently.

If you missed some, click here to go to the first set!

Be sure to come back next week for the free, printable open ended board game!

Enjoy! Linda

Are You Dragging? Time for Some Appreciation!


$10 TpT gift card contest at Look-Like-Language!
We have our winners! Congratulations! Andre Guzman, please contact me at lookslikelanguage@gmail.com to claim your prize!
A. Glenn, head on over to Susan's blog! Woohoo!

At this time of year there's so much to do, but time seems to drag! I do, too! After all of the effort we've put in the whole year through, it can be difficult to stay motivated when the end of the year is in sight! Time to change it up!

To help you stay motivated, Susan Berkowitz and I are pairing up to offer two lucky winners a $10 TpT gift card each. Buy something new and see if it helps you liven up your therapy for the end of the year!

Entry is easy!

Go to Susan's store and find something that you would appreciate being able to use in your therapy room or classroom. Then visit Susan's blog here and comment with what you like!

Visit my store here and find something that you would appreciate to liven up your therapy or classroom for the end of the year. Come back and comment here!

Two winners will be chosen who have commented on both blogs. We will announce the winners on Tuesday night at 9:00 EST on both blogs, so you will have plenty of time to shop during the sale if you are one of the lucky ones!

Now, for some appreciation of you!
After working with many SLPs over the years, I appreciate:
* The drive we have to help students improve their communication skills even when the process of getting there is tough.
* The skill level and effort it takes on our parts to figure out what each child is trying to actually communicate so that we can get them there!
* The willingness we have to learn from and reach out to each other so our students' skills can grow.
* That by visiting my blog and my store, you are letting me reach out to help more children than I ever dreamed was possible. Thank you!

Good luck in the contest! What item did I make that you are appreciative of?

Announcing the TpT Sale!

Don't you just love a good sale? It only comes 4 times a year! The spring TpT sale starts tomorrow, running on May 9 and 10. My whole store will be on sale! Use the code "THANKYOU17" to get an additional 10% off your purchase!

Be sure to give feedback on all of your purchases to get TpT credits so you can get even more savings! If you aren't sure how to do this, click here.

My regular blog post will resume next week, but if you need some ideas to help you get through the end of the school year, did you read this post?

Happy shopping!

SLP Must Have & an IG Hop!

Don't miss out on these opportunities to win today!

I don't generally advertise much on my blog, but I wanted to be sure you knew that the SLPs on TpT have a monthly sale on the 7th- TODAY!

It is your opportunity each month to get one product at 50% off- a great deal! Just search #May17SLPMustHaveSale to get great savings.

My offering this month will help your students communicate during outside activities this spring and summer! That is right, my File Folder Sentence Building Activities Bundle is on sale for half price today only! You won't get a better deal than this!

Also, be sure to join the hop on Instagram tonight for a chance to win a $50 gift card for TpT or a T-Shirt from Peachie Speechie!

Have fun today!

Spring Phonological Awareness Freebie 2

Get the FREE phonological awareness printable game from Looks Like Language now!
Welcome back for the second part of the Spring Phonological Awareness freebie! I know many of you are starting to countdown the days left in school. Games are always a fun way to keep kids working!

There are 24 cards in the set with pictured, familiar words for your students to listen for matching beginning and ending sounds. The cards can be used in simple games, like matching and go fish, or as an activity in learning centers.

Download it here
If you missed the first part, just click here. Have fun!

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