SLP Idea of the WeekChristie at My Ocean of Notions did a post on making alphabet picture sticks using pictures she cut out of old workbooks and popsicle sticks (one for each letter of the alphabet). Hers are adorable and definitely worth checking out.
You could easily use my articulation picture cards and do the same thing as an alternative to just using the cards flashcard style. With the popsicle sticks attached they could be used as puppets to tell stories. They could be distributed among the children in a group and they could take turns holding up one stick at a time for the others to say (at the single word, phrase, or sentence level).
Ava this WeekAva's preschool has been incubating a dozen chicken eggs for a couple of weeks now. On Tuesday when I picked her up she talked her teacher into bringing me into the room where they've been keeping the incubator. Most of the eggs had little volcano shaped protrusions in the shells where the chicks were beginning to peck their way out. One chick had actually pecked a hole and you could see the beak through the hole. We were all quite excited. Two days later, when I went to get Ava from school, we checked on them again. Now there were 11 fluffy yellow baby chick. Michael had the opportunity to see too because he is on spring break this week. The children were captivated. I had them keep their voices low and their movements slow. I told them they could touch, just once, gently with one finger. They both reached into the box and followed my instructions perfectly. I was so proud of them for treating the chicks with respect even though they were quivering with excitement. They talked about how soft and cute the chicks were all the way home. I'm so grateful to her preschool for going through all the trouble to give their students such a wonderful experience.
Weekly MichaelMichael is maturing before my eyes. He's calling me "mom" more often than "mama" or "mommy". He's more confident and independent. He's had a busy week this week even though his school is out for spring break. He spent one morning with his grandmother and they had a wonderful time together. He adores her (rightfully so). We had a friend over another morning. The three children played hard all morning. Michael raced his older friend on his big boy bike (with training wheels) and won several times. He climbed his first tree. I must say that I wish that his first tree climbing experience could have been with a tree that had branches lower than five feet up (pretty much my head height). However, he was excited and proud and had to be peeled out of that tree. He went on his first unsupervised playdate. It was so strange to just drop him off. He had a great time for two hours and can't wait to go back. He and I went to lunch - just the two of us. I didn't realize until halfway through the meal that it was the first time we'd done that. It was nice to have that one-on-one time together. As much as I love/enjoy/need those mornings when the children are both at preschool, this week has actually been a lot of fun.
Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy NotesAll the sounds are the same (/f/ and /s/ for Michael and /s/-blends for Ava) so I won't go into that again. I've been doing a lot of experimenting. I tried moving all the cards to a binder system. I thought it was brilliant, but when actually using it during a session it was awkward and slow. The children were more focused on choosing their next marker than actually making their speech sounds well. I was focused more on helping them with the mechanics of the binders than on the speech. I know all of that would get better as we all became used to the new system, but I certainly didn't love it out of the gate.
On the other hand, I love the homework practice books (/l/, and /sh/). They integrate seamlessly into our evening book reading routine. She reads one or two of her articulation books to me, and then I read 2-3 storybooks to her. She loves reading her speech books and getting to put a sticker on the front of the book. She gets better and more fluent at the story with each repeated reading and that's useful too. I'm going to make several more when I get some time.
I also love the articulation rubric for working with /s/ with Michael. It's such a quick, efficient method of feedback and works so well for those sounds that have to be shaped.
Favorite New (to me) TV ShowI don't have the time to watch a lot of television. When I do have the time and desire to watch some I use Hulu on the computer (or my iPhone) to watch. I discovered a show that's showing exclusively on Hulu right now called Endgame. I am really, really enjoying it. It's a procedural in the sense that there is a mystery of some kind solved in each episode. The twist is that it isn't being solved by the police or a medical examiner. The characters are engaging and the interplay between them is fun. The main character, and mystery solver, is a chess grandmaster who is agoraphobic and stuck in a hotel due to a trauma in his past.
Just thought I'd mention it since I've been enjoying it so much. 12 episodes are currently available and the 13th and final episode will be available on Monday. The show was cancelled after those first 13 episodes, but rumor has it that the show has done so well on Hulu that there are talks of bringing it back.