My Favorite SLP Happenings of 2015

Was 2015 an eventful year for you? It certainly was for Miss Speechie at Speech Time Fun, who revealed her true identity this year! While my year may not have been quite as eventful, I’m linking up to share my events this year. Thank you, Hallie!
After 18 months on TpT, I had a blast at the conference in Las Vegas. I loved meeting up with all of the SLPs on TpT who were there. I learned a lot and loved the feeling of connection that came from meeting in person.
I had been resisting starting a blog, wondering what I would write about and who would want to read what I had to say, but decided it was the way to go while I was in Las Vegas. I came home, started this blog, and less than 6 months later I am blogging on three blogs! That is a lot of writing for someone who was worried about one blog!

In addition to my personal blog, I joined with a talented group of women I met in Vegas to form the Speech Spotlight blog. It is certainly worth checking out for all of the experience and viewpoints you will find there!
Later, I was invited to join the bloggers at Classroom Freebies, Too!  I realized that, despite its name, this blog for freebies actually includes materials for all aspects of education. What could be better than free?

I can never predict where this adventure at TpT will take me!
My favorite blog posts this year have been some terrific linkies with wonderful ideas. I love seeing all the different points of view, experiences and tips offered when you hop from one blog to the next. If you like that, too, then check these out:

Thanks again to Speech Time Fun for hosting this blog link! So, now we are moving on to 2016. I wonder what happenings the New Year will bring?

Happy Holidays!

The freebie has been updated! Click here to find the new Holiday Match Game!

No freebie next week- school is out and I think we all deserve some family time! Wishing you happy holidays and a relaxing vacation!! 

Keeping It All Together

You are so busy right now, you might not feel like reading this. What a shame, because you’d miss my freebie! How many roles are you juggling right now? SLP, teacher, wife/husband, mother/father, cook, chauffeur, party planner….. The list goes on. Take just a minute for yourself and sign up on my email list to get my newest freebie! You deserve it!  

When you feel like you are dividing yourself into little pieces to take care of all of the demands placed upon you by others, it is time to step back and take a little care of yourself. What do like to do, as yourself, instead of as yourself playing all of the roles in your life that others need you to fulfill?

For me, that outlet is creativity. When I was too tired to do anything at all, a few minutes reading each day was the best that I could manage. When times were a little less hectic, fabric would come into play. Having an idea in my head and seeing it come to life makes me happy, and I find that having my hands busy calms my thoughts.
Maybe you prefer to catch up with friends, play games, go out in the evening, or be active (lucky you! I have to make myself exercise!)  What is important is that you take some time for yourself so you don’t go to pieces!

My freebie this month is for putting the pieces together. Open ended activities are so useful for groups! Everyone can work on their individual targets, but it feels like a group since the activity brings everyone together. Here’s a peek at what you will get! I provided different choices since school systems vary in what they allow for holidays.
Just have your students respond to any work that targets their goals, and then they can cut and glue the pieces like a puzzle, or color a section on the line drawing while they are waiting for their next turn. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

Here's to keeping your pieces together so you can enjoy the holidays!

Happy Holidays Freebie

Freebie time! I sure hope you have been finding the freebies helpful!

The December freebie has been updated! Click here to find it.

Hope your holiday preparations are going well!

A Little Kindness

Carla at Comprehension Connection is hosting a linky on such an important topic! Thematic Thursday is all about the true gifts we give each other! Thank you, Carla, for the chance to join you!

Kindness (and the other positive qualities we try to instill in children) are such a necessary part of getting along with others. As educators, we can teach no matter how quickly or slowly our students learn, but we feel blessed in the years when most of our students are kind.

I think we all realize how important it is to have good qualities, but did you know that children as young as 2 1/2 may act mean and threaten to withdraw friendship? (Wall Street JournalThe good news is that we can teach children to be kind. A study done at the University of British Columbia and at University of California, Riverside showed that students who were asked by their teachers to perform acts of kindness not only felt more connected to their classmates, but reported being happier!

So, keep on asking your students to be kind and perform kind acts! But, what about the kids who need a little more help? Some students seem to be very self focused and others may not even realize the impact that their words have on others. Other students just need more practice in thinking of others’ points of view. They may not even know that there are multiple ways to verbally offer kindness.

Conversational Follow-Ups gives students practice in thinking about what was said and then responding to others using these skills:
* ask for clarification
* share a similar feeling or event
* empathize and show the other person you understand how they feel
* find out more information
* offer help, support or a suggestion
* make a positive, enthusiastic or complimentary comment

The game includes a card template for you to personalize so that students can get practice with the problems your students are having!  

Bring a little kindness to your room for the New Year!

Simple Therapy Ideas for Last Minute Planning!

As much as we love the holidays, this can be a stressful time of year, especially for overworked moms and dads. Don’t you agree? It’s not like we already didn’t have too much to do. Enjoying the holidays can be easier if we try not to overdo in the name of the holiday spirit. A few family traditions and a happy family are all we really need to make the season bright!

Quick, free and easy holiday ideas from Looks Like Language!

Sometimes simple is better in therapy, too! Young children really like playing easy games, without winners. Variations on a theme, or the exact same thing, suit them just fine. Do you have a book that you’ve read so many bedtimes that you feel you could do it in your sleep?

Simplicity is why I loved being in a school with Ellison cutters and have saved the shapes for years, even though I am not currently working with preschoolers.  If your school doesn’t have an Ellison cutter, don’t worry. You can use this idea by finding simple shapes online and cutting them out with scissors and construction paper. 

Quick, free and easy holiday ideas from Looks Like Language!

Once you have your shapes cut out, laminate them and then you can attach any pictures to them using tape or fun tac. (Make sure your students don’t mouth items if using fun-tac, and don’t let them think that it is gum, either!)
For the pictured activity, your students need a blank tree to decorate. After saying their target sound or language goal, they pick a tree shape, turn it over, take off the decoration that is on the back of the small tree and put it on their larger tree to decorate it. 

Need a little movement?  Place the large tree on your wall or cabinet. After saying the work and picking a shape, the students get to stand up and take the decoration to put on the shared tree. Kids love this activity!

When it is time to clean up, students can follow directions to find the decoration you labeled or described and go get it off the tree!

Quick, fun and easy ideas for last minute therapy!
If you’d like a game for decorating the tree that has most of the work already done for you, check out my Christmas Category Activities.

Now that we have solved your therapy problems this week, you’ll have more time for all of your holiday preparations!

Whatever holiday you celebrate,  I hope it will be a happy one this year! 
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