Thursday, May 31, 2012

Would This Type of Word List Resource Be Useful?

I've done lots of picture therapy cards, but not all words are easily pictured. Sometimes you just want a long list of words that suits your needs. I was playing around with making a single page word list resource that sorts one-syllable words by syllable shape. This is what I was thinking of:


Would something like this be useful? Should I make more? Any feedback or ideas? This is just a work in progress, but I wanted to get some feedback before spending more time on the project.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Holiday Water Play

Well, the extended weekend over the Memorial Day holiday was wonderful. We enjoyed our visit with our son's godmother more than I can say. Often, on her visits, we go to many of the wonderful attractions here around St. Louis. This time the dual contributions of 95 degree weather combined with our new outdoor sprinkler park caused us to decide to just hang around the house enjoying the deck and spending quality time together.

We spent hours each day on the deck playing with the children in the water. Here are some additional ideas for fun with a water sprinkler system used as a homemade sprinkler park for kids.

A while back we noticed that the children loved playing with all the various PVC pipe connectors at home improvement stores. That gave me an idea for a simple cheap building toy for the kids. We bought some connectors and some pipe. My husband cut the pipe to several different lengths and the children have a blast building shapes, cubes, flags, and all sorts of free form creations with the pvc materials. I brought the bin out on the deck and encouraged the children to run the sprinkler hoses into the pipes to build fountains and sprinklers.


I also persuaded my husband to run an extra length of the sprinkler tubing down from the deck over to the children's playset to mount some sprinklers over the slide. He put in a joint so we can disconnect it and pull it back up onto the deck when he needs to mow the lawn. There's also a valve so the children can turn the water on and off at will to switch the slide from regular mode to water slide mode. I taught them how to pull a small kiddie pool over to the bottom of the slide and they went to it.


As it turns out, the smaller diameter sprinkler hosing works beautifully for filling up water balloons. We filled up a ton of water balloons and let the kids pop them by throwing them down onto the surface of the deck. It didn't occur to them to throw them at each other and I didn't feel the need to point that out as an option. They had a blast. We also turned several of them into baby water "piggies" and put them in the water table with soapy blue water (I called it their pigpen). The soap made for a nice sensory experience as well as making the baby piggies difficult to catch. Then we had to make mama and daddy piggies. Eventually the children convinced me to move the piggy families into the big pool. I colored the water with some washable tempera paint and the children had a blast taking care of the piggies. Some of the balloons were filled with water. Some were filled with air. Some were filled halfway with water so they could be shaken. Some we filled with water and a little soap so that bubbles were formed when the kids would shake the balloon. My husband even managed to get a small water balloon filled up inside a larger balloon so the kids could watch one bounce around inside another. Michael decided that one was a pregnant mama piggy with a baby insider her and Ava instantly demanded another for her piggy family. All in all, the water balloon piggies were a surprising success.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Holiday Weekend Hiatus

I've been doing daily posts for well over a year now. I enjoy the regular posting, however it is time for a brief hiatus. My cousin, who happens to be Michael's godmother, is in town for the extended holiday weekend. She comes every year to visit for the Memorial Day weekend and we all have a wonderful time. The children love her company and the extra attention. We usually go to the zoo, but the 100 degree temperatures predicted for the weekend may steer us towards indoor pursuits. Whatever we decide to do, it will be fun and relaxing. In the spirit of the holiday and visiting, I am going to skip writing posts until after the visit. I'll be back Wednesday.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 62

SLP Resource of the Week

Adventures in Speech Pathology has great speech picture cards. She has a card set for every sound including s, r, and l blends. Her card sets are more phonemically advanced than mine. Each sound's card set appears to be a one page .pdf with 12 color picture cards. The picture cards are 1-2 syllable words featuring the target sounds in initial, medial, or final position and the words include vocalic /r/ and blends. These cards are free and are great sets to move to when my phonemically simpler sets have been mastered or if you have a child who starts out ready to work at a level above the CV, VC, CVC level. These sets are great and are definitely worth adding to your collection. (And this blog has so many other wonderful materials for both speech and language activities. It would be well worth your time to check out the depth of material she provides.)

Ava, Michael, and the Weekly Project

Ever since my husband finished installing our very own deck level sprinkler park we've spent every evening on the deck. Once the kids have settled in and Ava's stopped insisting that Michael -not- get her wet, they've had a wonderful time. My husband and I sit way on the other side of the deck on the porch swing and just enjoy watching them play. It's been a perfect series of summer evenings.

Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy Notes

Ava's been working her way through all of her /s/-blends mixed together rather than sorted out. We're also working on /k/ in initial, medial, and final position and /sk/ blends (not mixed in with the rest). She's doing so well. When I think back to all of the variety of cues and scaffolding I needed to do to get a successful blend at the beginning and how exhausted she was after trying just 5-10 words I am amazed that she can zip through 75 in a session with very little cueing now.

Michael is working on /s/ and /f/ in all positions mixed together at the sentence level. He does best with picture cues and I've been trying to figure out a way to give him a wide variety of sentences with picture prompts. I think the flipbook format is going to be the way to go. I made up a test version with initial /s/, but next I'm going to just mix together all of my initial and final /f/ and /s/ cards into one big flipbook.

Weekly Homeschooling

Very little homeschooling went on this week. My husband had the week off in between his old job and the new one he'll start after the holiday and every day has been full to bursting with special projects. We've enjoyed our week together and we'll pick up the homeschooling next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Initial S: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Flipbook


Make Your Own Initial /s/ Flipbook From Free Printable

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.






Description

This is a modification of my free one-syllable initial /s/ card set. The first 5 cards are designed to be subjects placed into the initial position of the flipbook. The next 6 cards are verbs meant to be placed into the second position of the flipbook. The final 19 cards are objects to be placed into the third position in the flipbook. There are a total of 570 different silly sentences containing 2-3 initial /s/ words that can be made using this DIY flipbook.

Directions for Making the Flipbook

  • Print cards on cardstock and cut apart.
  • Punch holes in the center top of each card.
  • Make a cover and back for your flip book using cardboard or two pieces of cardstock glued together. Punch three holes in the top of your cover and back. (Alternately, just put cards into a 3-ring binder.)
  • Put the subject cards in the first hole and tie in place with string, yarn, dental floss, or anything else you have around that will work. Put the action cards in the center spot and the object cards in the final spot.
  • Write in some sort of title on the cover and use with students.

You could do this with any of my cardsets. When I had the idea to try to make a flipbook I noticed that most of my cardsets have a few action words and plenty of object words. The sets tend to be light on words that make sense as subjects though. So supplement the subject words you find in any set with the "I, We, You, and They" cards above in first position. Then just sort through the other cards in the set to find additional subject, action, and object words and make as many flipbooks as you'd like.

Permissions

I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set flipbook provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set flipbook. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page. Other card sets include /p, b, t, d, m, n, h, f, v, k, g, s, l, ch, sh, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.


Card Set Activity and Game Suggestions

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!
  11. Speech Card Set Activity: What's Hiding Behind Door Number...?
  12. Speech Card Set Activity: Customizing a Homework Sheet

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SLPs and Isolation - A Thing of the Past

It took me three years to complete my masters program in speech language pathology because my bachelor's degree and first masters were in different areas. It took three very full years to absorb the vast amount of information necessary to become certified as an SLP. The program must cover the basics to prepare you to work in a wide variety of settings. One SLP might work in a nursing home helping patients with swallowing problems, dementia, and aphasia among other things. Another SLP might work in a hospital settings with trachs and vents, premature babies, or stroke victims (among other things). SLPs are found in the schools and in private clinics working with children who have a wide variety of speech and language needs. The scope of material that must be covered in an SLP program is huge. They also must train you in basic clinical competence in a variety of settings with a variety of client disorders. It is an intense program.

Then, when you get your first job, you are assigned a mentor and you must complete a clinical fellowship year with that mentor before you get your clinical certificate of competence. And then you are on your own. When I graduated in 1999 I worked in the schools. In that setting, you are often the only SLP in your school. Often, you are the only SLP in 2-3 schools. At that time, there weren't really any SLP blogs or websites. ASHA didn't have a huge online presence. There was no Facebook or Pinterest. I remember feeling so isolated.

There were inservice days that brought all the SLPs in the district together, however those days were tightly scheduled according to an agenda that involved continuing education or procedural updates and didn't allow for much unstructured discussion. I remember desperately wanting time to simply talk with other professionals about my students. I had my first student with childhood apraxia of speech and I didn't feel I was doing enough to help her. I had a little girl with a severe fluency problem that I wasn't making much progress on. Did anyone have any really good strategies for sharpening up a lateral lisp? I wanted to trade creative ideas on how to make articulation therapy interesting. Or I would make some materials and not have anyone to share them with.

Today it is such a different world. I no longer feel isolated. If I want to see amazing things other SLPs are doing I can find them on Pinterest or by reading any number of SLP blogs. If I make my own materials I can share them myself on my own blog and know that I'm helping other professionals and parents. It is easy to keep up with ASHA's professional journals in the member section of their website. I can keep up with other sources of research in my areas of interest easily online. It helps me to be so much more creative and better at my profession. It would be pretty amazing to be starting out in this profession today with so many resources available at any computer with an internet connection and I highly recommend these types of resources to any practicing SLP today.


For example, start here:
  1. Go to the Pediastaff Pinterest Board on Articulation and click on any picture/idea that looks interesting to you. That should take you to the original blog where Pediastaff found the idea. Then explore that person's blog for other ideas you like.
  2. Check out other Pediastaff pinterest boards on other topics (language and grammar, early intervention, apraxia, and many more).
  3. Alternately, begin again with any pinterest board that interests you and choose a pin you like. Look at the list of people that have repinned that pin to their own board. Many of those people are SLPs and have boards of all the SLP ideas they like. You can browse those boards and see collections of ideas that appeal to other SLPs. It's a rabbit hole. If you get started, you'll find hours slipping away from you, but I guarantee you'll come out of it inspired.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY: Use Home Improvement Sprinkler System to Make Kids Water Playground

Home improvement stores sell component based sprinkler systems. You buy some hose, connectors and valves. Choose some cool sprinkler heads. Then hook the whole thing up to your hose.


In our case, my husband installed a splitter down on the hose faucet so he'll still be able to hook up a regular garden hose and then ran the sprinkler system hose up to the deck level. He attached the hose under the deck rail. I just made that sound simple, but it did take him several hours. Then he pierced holes (with a special tool) in the hose and installed a smaller hose with a valve and sprinkler head every few feet along the deck. With the valves, the children can turn each sprinkler head on and off individually. We also left two of the smaller hoses free flowing and called them kid faucets. They can open the valves and use them to fill cups, make "water snakes", spray each other (neck down), or anything else that suits their imagination. There is also a master valve they can use to turn the entire thing on and off at will.



Hopefully the pictures will give you an idea. We got it up and running today. The children had so much fun. I intend to send the children out to play every day this summer in the morning when the deck is in the shade. I'll simply send them out in clothes that I don't mind getting wet. They will be able to play in the sprinklers whenever they like, and use the "kid faucets" whenever they like as well.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Speech Steps from Isolation to Spontaneous Sentences

This is a description of the variety of ways you can use the exact same set of stimuli to work with children who are at vastly different levels of proficiency with a target sound. Or, alternately, a description of the set of incremental steps you can go through using the same set of stimuli to take a child from producing a sound in isolation to using that same sound in spontaneous sentences. For the purposes of this discussion, I am using the /s/ phoneme as an example, but the same process can be used with any phoneme.

At the beginning of the spectrum, you have a child who is stimulable for the target sound, but is having difficulty at the CV, VC, or CVC single-syllable word level. At the end of the spectrum, you have a child who is ready to work on carryover to conversational speech with the sound. Let's look at the steps you can take with the same set of stimuli to vary difficulty to meet the child's needs.

I attempted to get this information down in paragraph form, but it was too wordy. An illustrated flowchart seemed to work better, so here it is. You might consider printing this and attaching it to a copy of one or two of my free articulation card sets and sending it home as homework for the summer with students.

Speech Steps from Isolation to Spontaneous Sentences


Sunday, May 20, 2012

A New Succulent Garden

Around the time I started my first "real" job (self-contained speech and language classroom in a middle school) I discovered succulent plants. Traditionally, I cannot keep houseplants alive, but these adorable tiny plants were supposed to be so easy to take care of I couldn't resist picking one out. It lived on a windowsill in my classroom. I got addicted to them. I wanted one of every kind I could find. They would grow, I'd split them up and transplant them to bigger pots. I got a shelf. The kids enjoyed helping me watering them. I'd cart them home every summer and bring them back the next fall.

Then, one summer I got married, quit my job, decided to return to graduate school to pursue a doctorate, and bought my first house. Umm. Let's just say things were crazy and I was looking to simply in every way possible. I put the entire garden of plants on the curb with a "Free to a Good Home sign". They all disappeared overnight.

Honestly, I didn't miss them. First there was the new house, new marriage, and graduate school. Then Michael and Ava arrived in quick succession. There was a time when the children were both tiny, that I couldn't hardly muster the energy to pet my cats much less miss my succulent garden.

Now that the children are older and life is beginning to find some balance again I have been looking longingly at the tiny baby succulents in the garden section of whichever store I happen to be in at the moment. This weekend I decided to treat myself to a late mother's day gift. I picked out some pretty succulents, some cactus potting soil, and a pretty neat pot that will securely straddle my deck rail and built myself a brand new succulent garden. It's beautiful. I couldn't be more delighted. And this sounds a bit dorky, but my spirits lift and I feel a little joy every time my eye wanders in that direction.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin: A Series Review

The children and I have just finished an enchanting series of chapter books. The books are lovely and I will not be able to do them justice but I had to try.


Books written for children are a mixed bag. Some of them aren't very good, to be honest. Others are entertaining, beautifully illustrated, sweet, fun, or all of those. Almost all of them are written for children though. What I mean by that, is that in addition to the content of the book being directed at children, the prose is modified for children as well. Vocabulary is simplified, sentences are shorter and less complex. Effort is made to make the prose engaging for children. Often the modifications are necessary, appropriate, and well done. Some of my absolute favorite children books use rhythm and rhyme to make the text fun to read and listen to.

These books are different. The prose is exquisite. I feel like I'm reading a classic - or poetry and yet, somehow, the stories are still accessible to even very young children. Here is a short excerpt from the first book to illustrate: "So the children's wings were the least of Mrs. Tabby's worries. She washed those silky wings every day, along with chins and paws and tails, and wondered about them now and then, but she worked too hard finding food and bringing up the family to think much about things she didn't understand. But when the huge dog chased little Harriet and cornered her behind the garbage can, lunging at her with open, white-toothed jaws, and Harriet with one desperate mew flew straight up into the air and over the dog's staring head and lighted on a rooftop - then Mrs. Tabby understood."

Every two or three pages, there are beautiful, delicate, detailed illustrations that bring the story to life and help keep little ones engaged in the story. These books entranced my 3 and 4 year old children - a boy and a girl. They entranced my husband and I. I imagine that a young independent reader (1st-3rd grade) would enjoy them as well. Even a middle or high school reader could become addicted to this series.

The books are fantasies in the sense that they are about four kittens who were born with wings. Other than that fact, though, the books take place in the perfectly ordinary settings of a city and the countryside. While appropriate in content for even very young children, they are not all sweetness and light. The kittens encounter hunger, fatigue, injury, and the danger of discovery by humans. These topics are integrated seamlessly into the stories and are part of what make the stories so engaging for the children.

The first book in the series is Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin and illustrated by S. D. Schindler. Four winged kittens are born to a perfectly ordinary alley cat under a dumpster in the city. When the kittens are old enough to fly the mother sends them away to find a better place to live in the country. Eventually the kittens find a better home.

The second book in the series is Catwings Return. Two of the catwings decide to return to the city to visit their mother only to find her missing and the old alley being demolished by the humans. They discover a lost black, winged kitten who needs to be rescued.

The third book in the series is Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings. The youngest catwing makes a new friend and although she helps him in the beginning, he is able to help her in the end.

The final book in the series is Jane on Her Own. The youngest kitten goes off on her own in search of adventure. She learns some lessons before finding just the right place to settle.

I cannot recommend this series of books enough. They are a perfect read-aloud introduction to early chapter books for young children. The books are five short chapters each with enough illustrations to keep children used to picture books interested. These books could even be read over the course of a few weeks in 5-10 minutes per therapy session. Use them as a "reward" for good therapy behavior and know that they are perfect for increasing listening comprehension, expanding vocabulary, and exposure to advanced syntax at the same time.

Bottom line: Highly recommended.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 61

SLP Resource of the Week

SLPlessonplans.com has a great page of articulation lists. Each list includes 1, 2, and 3 syllable words in initial, medial, and final position on a single page. So far, lists for /d, t, s, f, p, v, and g/ have been posted.

Excellent Blog Post of the Week

Swistle explains the components of the ideal birthday invitation. Bookmark it. Use it the next time you're sending invitations.

Ava this Week

Ava is very independent lately. "I do it myself Mommy!" She wants to climb out of the minivan by herself. I let her even as I cringe every time she slides the entire back of her body from ankle to neck along the "step" into the van. She always ends the procedure sitting on her bottom in whatever parking lot we happen to be in. Fun stuff. She is also very much enjoying choosing her own clothing and has definite ideas about what she will and won't wear. Once she has decided she doesn't like a particular bit of clothing there's no changing her mind. On the occasions when I insist, she can hold a grudge against me (and the clothing) for an extraordinary length of time.

Since all of this is relatively new, I still think it is kind of adorable. I'm pretty sure the shine will wear off soon though.

Weekly Michael

Next week is the last week of preschool for Michael. The year flew by. He's just getting into socializing and the year is done. I've set him up at the summer program at his old daycare (along with his sister) two mornings a week during the summer though, so hopefully he'll make some new friends. He claims he is excited about going to his "old school". Their summer program is really nice with splash days, field trips, and guests invited to the school, so there should be plenty of excitement.

Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy Notes

Ava's working on all of her s-blends mixed together randomly in pairs. We've also added /sk/. Michael is working on /f, v, s, and z/ all randomly mixed together and put into silly sentences for carryover practice. I've spent lots of time this week making new card sets to fill in some holes in my arsenal. Practice has been pretty basic and drill oriented, but very productive. The children are making wonderful progress.

Weekly Homeschooling

RightStart Math continues to be an absolute delight. The children and I thoroughly enjoy the couple of math lessons we fit in each week. We spend 45 minutes at a time reading our library books and Friday mornings are library day. The children and I are having a wonderful time establishing a regular library day and always having new books around to read. I pulled out paint for the first time in a few months and the children had a great time painting. They've come a long way since the last time I let them just paint (self-directed). They're using smaller brushes and actually trying to use the paint to create rather than just exploring the medium. I'd say I achieved my goal of backing off formal lessons (handwriting and reading) and reintroducing more play-based activities. As always, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Final V: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards


Final /v/ Card Set

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.




Description

This articulation picture card set is designed to be more comprehensive than the typical sets you might find elsewhere. The target audience for this set is young children or children with more severe speech delays that need intensive practice with sounds at a one-syllable level. No blends or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set.

Key Features

  • This set includes 15 therapy cards with the target word and picture on the front, and the difficulty level and a carrier phrase on the back.
  • The words are all VC or CVC in syllable shape.
  • The words are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.
  • Combines the target sound with all possible vowel sounds at least once.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from easy to hard.

Permissions

I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page. Other card sets include /p, b, t, d, m, n, h, f, v, k, g, s, l, ch, sh, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.


Card Set Activity and Game Suggestions

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!
  11. Speech Card Set Activity: What's Hiding Behind Door Number...?
  12. Speech Card Set Activity: Customizing a Homework Sheet

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

S-Blends (/sk/, /sw/): Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards


Initial SK and SW Card Set

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.





I also have a speech articulation card set featuring /sl/, /sm/, /sn/, /sp/, and /st/.

Description

This articulation picture card set is designed to be more comprehensive than the typical sets you might find elsewhere. The target audience for this set is young children or children with more severe speech delays that need intensive practice with sounds at a one-syllable level. No blends (other than the targeted initial blend) or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set. All syllable shapes are kept as simple as possible to allow the child to focus as much as possible on producing the initial blend. Syllable shapes are CCV or CCVC only.

Key Features

  • This set includes 15 therapy cards with the target word and picture on the front, and the difficulty level and a carrier phrase on the back.
  • The words are all CCV or CCVC in syllable shape.
  • The words are simple and are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.
  • Combines the target sound with a wide variety of vowel sounds for variation in coarticulation practice.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from simpler to harder.

Permissions

I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page. Other card sets include /p, b, t, d, m, n, h, f, v, k, g, s, l, ch, sh, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.


Card Set Activity and Game Suggestions

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!
  11. Speech Card Set Activity: What's Hiding Behind Door Number...?
  12. Speech Card Set Activity: Customizing a Homework Sheet

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Initial G: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards


Initial /g/ Card Set

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.






Description

This articulation picture card set is designed to be more comprehensive than the typical sets you might find elsewhere. The target audience for this set is young children or children with more severe speech delays that need intensive practice with sounds at a one-syllable level. No blends or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set. (Scroll down to preview set.)

Key Features

  • This set includes 22 therapy cards with the target word and picture on the front, and the difficulty level and a carrier phrase on the back.
  • The words are all CV or CVC in syllable shape.
  • The words are simple and are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.
  • Combines the target sound with all possible vowel sounds at least once.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from easy to hard.

Permissions

I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page. Other card sets include /p, b, t, d, m, n, h, f, v, k, g, s, l, ch, sh, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.


Card Set Activity and Game Suggestions

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!
  11. Speech Card Set Activity: What's Hiding Behind Door Number...?
  12. Speech Card Set Activity: Customizing a Homework Sheet

Monday, May 14, 2012

Easy Customized Speech Homework Practice Sheet


One of Ava's therapists sent home a homework sheet that showed pictures of some words she was working on. She let Ava color all over it during the therapy session and then she wrote in some sentences because Ava was ready to practice at the sentence level. The idea is quick, easy, and efficient. You teach the activity during the session and then simply send the page home as homework.

I instantly realized that if you leave my articulation cards in whole sheet format without cutting them out (and print in low quality black and white to save ink) you can do the same thing. Work with the sheet during the session letting the children color the pictures as they say each word. Write x3, a carrier phrase, or a sentence on each card and then send it home to be practiced.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maintaining Home Therapy Momentum

Ava's speech has improved so much in the past 15 months. A little over a year ago my 24 month old daughter had only a couple of "words", a handful of phonemes in her repertoire, and was beginning to give up trying - turning instead to gesture. I spent a huge amount of time worrying about her speech, scheduling evaluations, setting up private therapy and early intervention, and working with her at home. I designed my own therapy materials. I worked with her daily. I monitored every tiny bit of measurable progress. Not an hour went by without me being engaged with her speech delay on some level.

Almost 15 months later, Ava's made so much progress. She's gone from a place with no words to a place with sentences and conversation. She's moved from a speech sound inventory where it was easier to list the few sounds she did have to a place where it is now easier to list the ones she's missing. She moved from early intervention and IFSPs to school age services and IEPs. I no longer worry about her speech on an hourly basis. It no longer is the major focus of my life.

All of that is wonderful and it is difficult to express the profound sense of relief that comes from letting go of the level of worry I had at the beginning. The progress has, however, had a direct impact on my sense of urgency and our home therapy momentum. When I was profoundly concerned, it was easy to remember to sneak in speech practice daily - sometimes multiple times daily. Now I'll find that a few days have slipped by without a structured therapy session.

Spring has contributed to the problem. Our habitual therapy session was after dinner and before the play, bath, and bedtime stories that make up our bedtime routine. The beautiful weather and late sunlight have drawn our family outdoors for evening picnics and play in local parks and I won't realize until after I've put them to bed that speech got lost in all the business and enjoyment of the season.

I need to refocus a little and find a new routine that works. I have been trying to shift our therapy sessions to the mornings when I know we'll be out in the evening. I make an effort each night to plan the activity, time, and therapy focus for the next day. Time slips away so easily and her speech will not continue to improve without intervention. And so I need to find a new sense of momentum even though the urgency isn't as intense and the weather is beautiful.


________________________


Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Beginning

Imagine a beautiful sunny evening in a crowded park. My husband and I are pushing the children on side by side swings surrounded by other small children and their parents. Michael calls back to me but I can't quite hear him and I ask him to speak up. And this is what he asked.

"Mama, how were the first people borned when there weren't any other people yet to born babies?"

Umm. Well, that question was a bit deeper than I had anticipated. And it didn't really seem like the best place to be discussing it. And, to be honest, I hadn't quite thought through how to answer that question with my preschooler.

After fumbling around a bit and not managing to answer the question at all I simply explained that it was a very smart question to ask and the answer was complicated and that we'd discuss it at home. He hasn't brought it up again yet, but I really do need to figure out what I'm going to say.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 60

SLP Idea of the Week

Danielle at Sublime Speech did a post about using craft sticks to facilitate articulation games. She used 60 regular sized craft sticks and separated them into groups of ten. Then she colored the tips of each set of ten a different color with markers (for six colors total) and used a fine-tip Sharpie to write the numbers on each set of 10. Each color was given a different number. For example, all 10 pinks were numbered "1". All 10 blues were numbered "2" and so on. Then she links to a .pdf of three different articulation games she plays with her artic sticks. The idea is simple, uses materials you probably already have around, and gives you a brand new way to practice artic with your kids. Highly recommended.

Excellent Blog Posts I Read This Week

I read several rather serious in nature, but excellent blog posts this week.

And then to counter all that weightiness, look at the amazing greenhouse Jessica and her family built and the incredible life experience her children had participating.

Ava this Week

Ava has so much to say lately. She's really having a language explosion. She wants to discuss everything that enters her mind in long complicated sentences and in conversations that go on turn after turn. Her speech isn't quite keeping up though and as a family (and extended family) we're having trouble understanding her a little more often lately. Fortunately, we can almost always work around it. When the direct approach of shushing everyone around and having her repeat it five times in a row doesn't work, I start questioning her. Can you tell me something about it? What color is it? Where did you see it? Can you show it to me? Etc... So far, she isn't getting too frustrated. I am thankful for that small favor.

Weekly Michael

I gave Michael free access to my tape dispenser. Wow! There's tape everywhere. I have to peel bits off the carpet before I vacuum. I've found tape designs (squares, lines, crosses, etc.) on walls. He's using tape liberally in art projects. He also tapes up imaginary boo boos. Once I had to keep him calm when he had wrapped tape around one of his own fingers so many times that he could neither bend the finger nor get the tape finger cast back off. I keep reminding myself that tape is inexpensive and relatively easy to clean up. In exchange he gets some great fine motor practice and a huge boost to his creativity. And we've only been through 2 1/2 rolls and counting...

Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy Notes

Michael is working on initial, medial, and final /f/ and /v/. We've put /s/ on the back burner temporarily because he was doing well with it and we felt our time would be better spent making more progress on the /f/ and /v/ for now. He's doing well. The sound production is more and more accurate with less effort. There's no generalization yet, but that's ok.

Ava is finally, finally, finally making some solid progress on /k/. We're working on it in all three positions and she can do it. Her production is still exaggerated and an approximation and she still requires significant effort to make the back sound, but she can do it!!! Interestingly enough, she's also started to play around with clicks that use the back of the tongue. It's like she's finally discovering how to use the back of her mouth. We're working mostly with the /k/ sound for now and putting other sounds on hold for now.

Weekly Homeschooling

It occurred to me that since we started slightly more formal homeschooling, I've stopped doing other types of projects with the children. We haven't done an art or science project in weeks. We haven't been playing games or doing puzzles. We've only been reading books at naptime and bedtime. The children enjoy the lessons we've been doing, but I don't want to completely drop everything else and hadn't realized how many of those other things dropped out.

This week I made an effort to find a little more balance. One day we simply sat down and read library books instead of doing a formal reading lesson. Another day we played with pattern blocks instead of doing a math lesson. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. I have so many things I want to do with the children. I want to continue our lessons and find more time for reading, art, and science. Let's not forget speech too. I also want the children to get outside every day and to engage in an extended period of independent play. And then I have some minimal household things that need to be done as well or we'll be hungry and buried in laundry, dishes and clutter.

And those are my thoughts for the week on homeschooling.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Speech Card Set Activity: What's hiding behind door number...?

I wanted to do an activity that was a little different with the card sets. This time I printed a sheet and left it whole just sliding it into a sheet protector. Then I cut out colorful pieces of cardstock and taped them over each card.



I chose to write numbers on the "doors", but you could also write upper or lowercase letters or draw shapes. The children get to choose a door and lift the flap to see the picture hiding underneath. Then they say the word (or put it in a phrase or sentence). You can either have the child take the door off and keep it or they can just leave the door open. If you leave all the doors on then you can just slide out one card set and replace it with another for the next student or group. All the doors should line up with another sheet.

Alternately, you could leave all of the doors blank. Then, each time the child opens the door and says the word correctly, they can put a sticker on the door. This rewards them, lets them keep track of which doors they've already done, and gives a sense of pride as they fill up all the doors. You could continue to play until all doors have three stickers (or 4, or 5...).

This activity was inspired by a recent post by Elena in which she described using post-its to cover picture stimuli to build anticipation during therapy.

__________________________


If you liked this activity you might also like:

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Final G: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards


Final /g/ Card Set

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.






Description

This articulation picture card set is designed to be more comprehensive than the typical sets you might find elsewhere. The target audience for this set is young children or children with more severe speech delays that need intensive practice with sounds at a one-syllable level. No blends or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set. (Scroll down to preview set.)

Key Features

  • This set includes 30 therapy cards with the target word and picture on the front, and the difficulty level and a carrier phrase on the back.
  • The words are all VC or CVC in syllable shape.
  • The words are simple and are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.
  • Combines the target sound with all possible vowel sounds at least once.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from easy to hard.

Permissions

I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page.


Card Set Activity and Game Suggestions

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Printable Pattern Block Activity Sheets

I wanted to do some structured activities with the pattern blocks other than simply having them build a picture with them so I made a few activity sheets. Here they are if anyone else can use them.

1. Size it up. Fill in the larger version of the shape using only the smaller ones. Once they finish the sheet, have them count. Help them observe that all of the larger shapes were built from nine of the smaller ones. Optional extension activity: leaving the first sheet intact, place a second sheet of blank paper and ask them to make medium sized shapes using only four of the individual pieces this time.


2. Colored Hexagons. Create hexagons with pieces of these colors. Once they finish have them count the pieces. Talk about 1/2, 1/3, and 1/6. Take away a piece from each hexagon. Have the child ask for the pieces back by requesting a whole, half, third, or sixth in order to rebuild their hexagons.


3. Hexagon Variations. This is mostly free play/fine motor practice. Once the child is done, ask point to two hexagons at a time and ask what is the same and what is different about the pair. Point out that one blue is the same as 2/6.


4. Pattern Path. Set this activity out along with a small toy (squinkie, lego minifigure, etc.) Tell the child the toy wants to get to the end of the path, but it is filled with water. They need stepping stones. Have them cover the pattern, and then continue it until the end. When they are finished they can help the toy hop along the path from the beginning to the end. (I haven't made a blank path yet, but doing the activity a second time with a blank path and encouraging them to create their own pattern would be a nice follow up to this one. You could make one by just tracing over this printable and leaving out the pattern I put in.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Keeping Up with ASHA Publications

I was quite excited when skimming an email I received recently about the new issue of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. There were two new research articles on Apraxia. Upon closer examination I realized they were both about Acquired Apraxia of Speech (in adults who had normal speech before a precipitating event like a stroke) rather than about Developmental Apraxia of Speech and I was less excited.

I was reflecting on how nice it was to automatically receive the Table of Contents of each new issue along with links to each article. Anyone can go to the ASHA Journals email alerts page and sign up with their email address to automatically receive the new Table of Contents for each new issue of the four journals published by ASHA. When you click on the link for an interesting article, you will be taken to a page with a description of the article. ASHA members can sign in and read the full text of any of the articles.

Signing up for the email alerts is a great way to keep up with the ASHA journal publications.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Do you censor when you read to your children?

Censoring seemed to be an unintentional theme of our evening last night. I found myself revisiting the issue more than once over the course of the evening. In general, I'm not a big fan of censoring. However, with my children, I feel they need to be exposed to content when they're developmentally ready to understand and discuss it and not before.

We wanted to have a movie night. First we tried Madagascar 2. I felt a large part of the humor was inappropriate for a 3 and 4 year old and stopped the movie about 20 minutes in. I just explained to them that mommy and daddy didn't know it, but this movie is actually for big kids - not little kids and so we were going to stop it and watch a different movie. We then watched Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure which was quite sweet. We all enjoyed it and stayed up a bit past their usual bedtime to finish it.

Then, as part of bedtime we began reading the second Moongobble and Me book: The Weeping Werewolf. The children thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and so I requested the second from the library. Unfortunately, the very first chapter was called "Bullies" and involved a rather nasty bullying episode. In my opinion, my children are a little young for that content. They were unfamiliar with the term, and so I defined it before beginning the chapter by simply explaining that "bully" is a word for people who are being mean to others. I tried to read the first chapter to them and found myself modifying the language of the bullies to make it a little less intense. As the episode increased in intensity, I couldn't really even modify it and I ended up skipping the chapter altogether.

The second chapter picked up with the actual story where the first left off and we found ourselves back with the familiar characters and the plot line that we were all enjoying. I would still recommend the series to others, I'd just warn them about this first chapter and tell them to use their own judgement when reading the series to younger listeners. I was disappointed to have to skip the first chapter entirely, but I didn't feel the content was appropriate for my preschoolers. I do not at all regret skipping it, and yet I feel vaguely guilty about the censoring.

Have you ever had to censor parts of a book you were reading to your child?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Library Loot


We tried taking the children to the library when Ava was 1 and Michael was 2. That didn't work out so well. I would go on my own occasionally, but the trip as a family didn't seem productive. We tried again when Ava was 2 and Michael was 3. That was a little better, but still not great. Instead of trying to let the children choose their own books, I would reserve them online and just run in and check out the reserved books.

Recently I decided to try again. It's amazing. I remind the children of the library rules (quiet voices, slow feet, books treated gently and respectfully, etc.) as we walk from the parking lot to the entrance. The children independently head to the children's section and begin to choose books for their piles while I head over to pick up any books I've reserved. Then I join the children and try to cut them off when their piles start to approach a foot high.

The first time we went I forgot to bring a bag. Helping a 3 year old and a 4 year old get a pile of books each out to the car carried in their arms was interesting. This time they each brought their backpack. They brought books to return in their backpack and thoroughly enjoyed pushing them through the return slot. After checking out, they filled their backpacks to overflowing with new books to come home. They begged to choose books to look through on the drive home. All in all, the trip was a complete success.

Such literary riches.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 59

Weekly Theme:

Overwhelming Fatigue - I think the past few weeks caught up with me this week. A huge work project has had my husband working about double his usual full time schedule for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Consequently, I've been doing many, many consecutive hours of solo parenting. I'm exhausted in a way I can't seem to shake. I've been making a concerted effort to get a minimum of 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep for 4-5 nights in a row and I still can't seem to shake the fatigue. I need to catch up because it's starting to effect my mood, parenting, and productivity.

Weekly Highlights:

  • Ava is humming and making up songs in all our quiet moments. I'll hear her singing from the back seat of the car on the way to school or singing to herself through the monitor I still keep in her room. It's adorable.
  • Pattern blocks have taken over our kitchen table for half the week and we're all having so much fun with them. Michael's experimenting with all the different ways he can make hexagons.
  • I was informed that Ava only has two more regular speech sessions and one assessment session left in the school year. How did that sneak up on me? I'm grateful that we'll be continuing her private therapy through the summer.
  • Michael had a stomach bug. I'm crossing my fingers and sincerely hoping that he'll remain the only one.
  • Ava's preschool teacher was fired. They won't tell me why. I adored her. Ava adored her. She was Michael's first preschool teacher when he started preschool and he adored her. All said and done, I've known this woman for 2 1/2 years and I was always happy with how she cared for my children and how she ran her classroom. I am finding this situation really unsettling.

And now, the fatigue dictates that this is the end of the cliff notes version of the weekly review. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fun With Pattern Blocks

After watching the children have so much fun with the colored tiles that came as part of our RightStart Math kit, I decided that they needed more shapes to play with. I found this set of pattern blocks on Amazon for about $5-10 less than all the other sets. It shipped quickly and the quality is great. I don't know why it costs so much less, but I'll take it.

Then I found an amazing set of printable patterns at Prekinders. She has the patterns in color version and in black in white. I printed them in black in white. It is a bit more challenging for the children and saves color ink.

When we first started the children were really frustrated because their pattern blocks kept sliding around. I cut some large pieces of contact paper from a roll I got a while back and taped them sticky side up in front of each child. This allowed me to slide the patterns under the contact paper. They could build their designs and then slide the pattern out from underneath to see the pattern. You can also just slide blank paper under the contact paper and let them make up designs of their own. I played too. We all had great fun and our kitchen table has been taken over for two days now.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Craft Stick Catapult

Michael's eyes light up every time I pull out the tally sticks (craft sticks) as part of our math program. He'll play with them for 15 minutes after the end of a lesson and wanted to use them for art projects.

So when I saw a box of 1000 at the store I got it so I wouldn't need to ration the craft sticks any more.


As the amazingly creative person that I am, all I could think of to make with the craft sticks was this:


Let's just say the children were underwhelmed and leave it at that.

So I went searching the internet for something to wow the children with and I found directions for building a catapult out of craft sticks. Perfect! We spent a very happy two hours building and playing with the catapult. Since then, Michael has slept with it - twice.


After the initial fascination wears thin I think we'll do a few experiments with it. I'll gather a variety of items and we'll guess which will fly the farthest. We'll change out the rubber band for longer and shorter versions and see how that changes the performance of the catapult. We'll take measurements of our farthest shots. So many learning possibilities.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mini-Bingo Strips - Phonics or Speech Game

The reading program we're using (which I will review soon - promise) wants us to practice reading words that begin with the letters d, h, p, b, r, and s followed by i or a and ending with t, p, n, m, g and d. They provided a flip book format for that practice, but I wanted to do something a bit more creative.

First I made the word wheel which is fun, but only gets you so far. I wanted to make a game. I decided to make a kind of mini-bingo game.

I made strips with five of the six beginning letters on them. Then I made several sets of all twelve possible word endings. Finally I took colored dots to match the six colors of the beginning letters and stuck them on a die.


I roll the die and call the color. Anyone who has that color on their strip gets to pull word endings out of the cup (and practice reading the word that is made when the beginning letter is combined with the word ending) until they find one that makes a real word. We repeat the process until someone has made words for all of their letters and calls "Bingo". They win the game and then we get to start over. The game is simple and the strips are colorful. The game goes quickly enough so you can play several times and everyone gets a chance to win.

It seems like you could use this same game for speech practice by putting initial or final consonants you want to target on the strips and making your word endings (or beginnings) simple sounds that the child can produce easily. You'd just need to be working with children who are at least early readers. I'm sure their teachers would love the bonus phonics practice. If I wanted to use this game with Michael for speech, I'd make the beginning sounds /f/ and /s/ on different colored rectangles. I could use the same word endings I've already printed. Even if the words turned out to be mostly nonsense words it would still be great speech (and phonics) practice.
Web Analytics