Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Race to the Top Speech Game - Mixed /d/ Version

I was playing around with the Race to the Top game concept for the new /k/ therapy kit and came up with a picture version of the game. The /k/ therapy kit contains a version of this game that incorporates initial, medial, and final /k/ words.

Here is a free downloadable version of the Race to the Top game that incorporates both initial and final /d/ words. (Click to open image to full-size then right-click to save to your computer. Then print using a program of your choice.)

If you're playing with one child, use tokens or chips to cover words from the bottom up on the towers (as that tower's number is rolled on the die) until one tower reaches the top. Then the child can color that flag. Play again to see if they can color a different flag. When you run out of time, send it home so they can play at home until all the flags have been colored.

If you're playing with a group, give each child a small game piece to put at the bottom of the tower of their choice. They take turns rolling the die, moving their pieces, and practicing the words until one player reaches the top. Then you can clear the game board and play again. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Simple Communication With Teachers and Parents

Rebecca at Adventures in Speech Pathology designed simple reminder strips to communicate with classroom teachers and parents. Simply download the free template and print the strips in advance. Then, at the end of each session fill out the strips with the students and send them back to the classroom. Tell the child to either give the strip to their teacher or to put it in their cubby/school bag. Or, give the child two strips and have them do both. It is a great way to communicate what you're working on to other adults in the child's life and perhaps recruit some helpers for additional speech practice.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Speech Therapy Kit: K Card Sets and Resources

Add to Cart
/k/ $15.95
  • Check out additional kits in the store!
  • Automatic discounts of 20-30% apply when buying 2 or more kits.
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Need to teach a child to make a K?

  • Tired of buying card sets and resource books that don't work for your students?
  • Need the convenience of printing resources from your own computer?
  • Want to find a wide variety of therapy resources in a single, instantly downloadable, source?

Motor-Speech Articulation Method:
/k/ Card Sets and Resources

This comprehensive eResource has been designed from the ground up to take a motor-speech approach to speech therapy. Target words are simple in syllable shape and avoid consonant blends and vocalic /r/ sounds. They are sortable by increasing difficulty of phonemic complexity. Begin with the easiest cards and work your way up to harder ones. Every set includes phonemic variety in order to practice with different coarticulation effects and maximize carryover and generalization.

All therapy cards are illustrated in color. The resource is written to be accessible to both speech therapists and parents working with children at home. This eResource is ideal for targeting /k/ production when working with children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Phonological Disorders, Simple Articulation Disorders, Hearing-Impairment, and any other population that needs work to remediate speech.

Printable Resources Included:

Initial /k/ Resources
Final /k/ Resources
  • Vowel CV syllable practice sheet
  • 44 one-syllable picture cards sortable by vowel, difficulty, position, and phonological process
  • 17 sets of minimal pairs
  • 3 pivot phrase worksheets
  • 3 homework sheets
  • 2 story booklets
  • 72-card Speech Switcheroo Card Deck (An Uno-like Game)
  • Vowel VC syllable practice sheet
  • 59 one-syllable picture cards sortable by vowel, difficulty, position, and phonological process
  • 17 sets of minimal pairs
  • 3 pivot phrase worksheets
  • 3 homework sheets
  • 2 story booklets
  • Speech Caterpillar Activity

Medial /k/ Resources
Mixed /k/ Resources
  • 44 two-syllable picture cards sortable by difficulty, position, and phonological process
  • 8 sets of minimal pairs
  • 3 pivot phrase worksheets
  • 3 homework sheets
  • 2 story booklets
  • Speech Match Worksheet
  • 14 picture cards with multiple /k/ words per scene
  • 2 pivot phrase worksheets
  • 3 homework sheets
  • 2 story booklets
  • Race to the Top Speech Game

NEW!   Ever wondered what a full kit looks like when printed out? Click here!

Additional Resources Included:

  • Games and Activity Suggestions
  • Sample Therapy Sequence from Isolation to Generalization
  • Overview of Speech Disorders
  • Word Lists and Gestural Prompt
  • Consonant and Vowel Charts
  • Modifiable Therapy Variables Chart
  • Multisensory Cues Chart
  • Glossary of Terms

Sample Pages

Add to Cart
/k/ $15.95
  • Check out additional kits in the store!
  • Automatic discounts of 20-30% apply when buying 2 or more kits.
View Cart

Sunday, October 28, 2012

K Therapy Kit Available Monday and a Giveaway

I've finished the /k/ Card Sets and Resources therapy kit and it will go up for sale in the Testy Shop tomorrow. I am particularly pleased with how this set turned out and I got a chance to see it all printed out as you saw in yesterday's post. I am now in possession of a box of high-quality, pre-printed /k/ therapy materials.

/k/ Card Sets and Resources Printed Therapy Kit Giveaway

I want to do a giveaway. At the end of the day on Friday I'll randomly choose someone who made a purchase of the /k/ Kit in the store between Monday, October 29 and Friday, November 2 to receive the printed version of the kit. Everything has been printed in full color and all of the card decks have been cut out and are ready to be used. I'll contact the winner via email to ask for their mailing address and get it in the mail right away.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

See the Printed Materials Contained in a Speech Therapy Kit

As a last step in preparing to put the /k/ speech therapy kit up for sale in the Testy Shop (coming Monday), I printed the kit for editing and review. I took some pictures of the 161 illustrated therapy cards, 42 sets of minimal pairs, 12 homework sheets, 8 story booklets, and 17 other games, activities, and worksheets contained in the kit. Take a look the kinds of resources you get when you purchase one of the kits. The best part is that as you use these with students you can simply print more whenever you need them.

All Materials:

Detailed view of Initial /k/ Materials:

Detailed view of Medial /k/ Materials:

Detailed view of Final /k/ Materials:

Detailed view of Mixed /k/ Materials:

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 83

SLP Resource of the Week

Mel at Classroom Freebies made a free downloadable Snail or Slug game that would be perfect for working on production of /sl/ and /sn/ blends, auditory discrimination, and simple sorting skills.

Ava/Michael Weekly Contrast

Potential spoilers ahead - do not read if you want to watch the new Tinkerbell movie without any hints of what the movie contains.

We watched the new Tinkerbell movie last night. It was a great movie. We all enjoyed it and the children are itching to watch it again today. I enjoyed watching the wonder, joy, and laughter on their faces as much as I enjoyed watching the movie. There were some sections of the movie that were emotionally intense though. I found it interesting that the children responded entirely differently to them.

Michael was in tears when Tinkerbell and Periwinkle were forced to separate against their will and the audience was led to believe they would never see each other again. Ava was relatively calm during that section of the movie. Closer to the end when the fairy dust tree was in danger of being killed by a freeze Ava was sobbing and needed to be held and comforted. That part of the movie had Michael excited and engaged, but certainly not breaking down.

It was fascinating that the children reacted so differently at different parts in the movie. I'm not reading too much into the specifics. I was grateful there was only one child to comfort and reassure at a time.

Weekly Weight Loss

Let's just agree to not discuss the slight backslide caused by our first (delightful) cheat night and monthly hormones, shall we?

Weekly Speech Resource Kit Update

So close. I'm probably working on writing the new table of contents, final editing, and conversion to PDF as you read this. I need to tackle the mechanics of getting it added to the store and writing the details page. But it is close. I should be on schedule for getting the /k/ set available to you all by the beginning of November. I'm particularly pleased with this set. There are a ton of cards, a full printable Speech Switcheroo set for initial /k/, and a new Race to the Top Game I made for the Mixed /k/ section just to name a few highlights.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Another Simple DIY Speech Warm-up Teachers Will Thank You For

Here's another perfect blend of phonics and speech that is a great activity for working on final consonants and word families at the same time. (See the last one here.) This will only take you 5-10 minutes to make from materials you'll already have around.


1 piece of cardstock or construction paper
1 piece of regular copy/printer paper
marker or sharpie
craft tape (optional)


Quarter-fold the cardstock and paper and cut into fourths. Decide if you want your mini flipbook to have six or eight pages. If you want six pages, put three pieces of paper on top of one piece of cardstock. If you want eight pages, put four pieces of paper on top of one piece of cardstock. Then fold that pile in half and put three staples in the fold line to hold it together. If you like, put a piece of craft tape over the outer fold to cover the staples and make your mini flipbook look "bound". Next, cut the inner pages once so that the right half is 2/3 of the book's length and the left half is 1/3 of the book's length.

Now you have a blank flipbook to fill out. Choose 6-8 word families that have your target sound as their final sound. For final /k/ I used: -ack, -ake, -ick, -ock, -oke, and -uck. Write these on the right-hand pages of your flipbook. Then write 6-8 beginning consonant sounds on the left-hand pages of your flipbook. I chose six early emerging sounds to keep the focus on the more difficult, targeted, final sound. My six initial consonants were: /p, b, t, d, m, n/. As you use the flipbook, some combinations will make real words and others will make nonsense words. That is fine. Now write your target sound on the cover and you're ready to go.

Inspiration found here. Follow the link for 10 different games to play with phonics flipbooks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Speech Card Set Activity: Initial F - I Have Who Has

I Have, Who Has? is a great game for speech practice. It is a quick-paced, cooperative game that keeps all students engaged, paying attention, and producing target words in a carrier phrase all at the same time.


Print this I Have, Who Has? card deck.
If you need another target sound, make one of your own using one of my card sets (free, premium) printed two sheets to a page (to make them smaller). Then cut out the pictures of your choice and glue them onto handwritten I have, who has cards made from construction paper or cardstock.

How to play.

Distribute the cards as evenly as possible to the students. If you're doing individual therapy, divide them between yourself and the student and your productions will serve as models. The person who has the start card begins and asks, "Who has fan?" The person with the other fan card will say, "I have fan, who has phone?" Play continues in this manner until the group reaches the end. To make things easier, have the children turn over each card as it is "played". This will reduce the number of cards left that they have to keep track of.


  • It is a fun, engaging cooperative game.
  • Each child practices saying two target words per turn in a carrier phrase.
  • It is a good game for practicing attention skills.
  • It has great re-play value.

Word List

  • fan
  • phone
  • fun
  • food
  • foot
  • foam
  • fight
  • feed
  • fin
  • five
  • feet
  • fetch
  • fuss
  • full

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Concrete Demonstration of "Self Control" for Kids

This activity comes from Dustin Smith - the Teacher Tipster. All you need is a bottle of bubbles. If you want to get fancy, download the free "Self-Control Bubbles" label one teacher made and paste it onto the bottle.

Self-control is a really abstract concept for young children. Research shows that self-control isn't something you're just born with. It is a skill that needs to be practiced and can be improved. Start the activity by filling your room with bubbles and encouraging your children to pop them. Let them get a little out of control. Once all the bubbles have been popped and the excitement calms down, issue a challenge. Tell them you're going to fill the room with bubbles again. This time, their job is to NOT pop the bubbles. Don't pop them if they land on your desk. Don't pop them if they land in your hair. Don't even pop them if they land on your nose. Once all the bubbles have popped, talk about how hard it was to leave those bubbles alone. Tell them it takes self-control to not do something you really want to do. Discuss other times in a classroom that it is important to exercise self-control.

The best thing about this activity is that it should be memorable. The concept of self-control will come up again and again and you can refer back to the self-control bubbles to help them remember one very concrete example of when they succeeded. You might even repeat the experiment regularly to give extra practice and help keep the idea fresh in their mind.

If you're creative, you can think of other exercises in self-control and do one a month. You might put a pretzel on everyone's desk. Anyone who hasn't touched the pretzel by the end of the lesson gets two more. Simon Says, The Freeze Dance, and Red Light, Green Light are games that exercise self-control.

If you have any great activities for working on self-control, please share them in the comments!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Final J: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards

If you like this free card set, you might want to check out the premium speech therapy kits now available in the Testy Shop. Kits include expanded card sets, illustrated minimal pairs, homework sheets and more in a single download.

Final /ʤ/ Card Set

(/ʤ/ is the phonetic symbol for the sound typically spelled with the letter "J".)

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.


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 initial /ʤ/ at a one-syllable level. No blends or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set. The set pairs the final /ʤ/ with as many different vowel sounds as possible to maximize co-articulation variety.

Key Features

  • This set includes 10 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 a variety of vowel sounds.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from easy to hard.


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, w, j, s, z, l, th, ch, sh, ʤ, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.

What kinds of activities can I do with this cardset?

  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
  13. Speech Card Set Activity: Making a Simple Sentence Flipbook
  14. Speech Game: Find-It
  15. Speech Card Set Activity: Speech Art Collage
  16. Speech Card Set Activity: Speech Crowns
  17. Speech Card Set Activity: Simple Treasure Hunt
  18. Speech Card Set Activity: Speech for Beads
  19. Speech Card Set Activity: Easy Speech Sort

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Homeschooling with the Usborne Very First Reading Set

I can't believe it has been six months since I first bought the Usborne Very First Reading Boxed Set. We bought our set used on eBay because the new price of $70 seemed a little steep for a product I was buying sight unseen. To be honest, now that we've had the set for six months, I can honestly say the price is fair. The books are well conceived, designed, and made. They are a lot of fun to read with your child. There are three built in activities at the end of each book. There are also useful supplementary materials available to download for free online. These books make teaching my child to read fun for both of us. That is a lot of value in one boxed set.

We had gone through 10 of the 15 books. At book 8, the format changes from the adult and child taking turns reading pages to the child reading the entire text. Also, the books build in difficulty as you progress through the series. Michael was beginning to struggle and was having less fun. Here are some sample pages showing the difference in difficulty between the Level 1 book and the Level 10 book:

Then one day when I went to download some supplementary materials for the next book I saw that there were some new titles available in the series. They had released a second book for levels 1-7. Perfect! That was just what I needed to work with Michael. We could start over again at level 1 and work our way back up to level 7 with new books. I was very excited.

Then I realized that the new titles were only available in the UK. I searched and searched and finally found a way to order them ( I was willing to pay new prices and shipping for these. That is how much I like them. The new books are just as nice as the original ones and they include little built-in ribbon bookmarks. Here is a picture of the inside of the back binding from one of the originals and one of the new books so you can see the change in selection.

We read both books at a level at the same time. So when I got the new books we started with Level 1 again and read Pirate Pat and Double Trouble in the same lesson. On the first lesson we read the books and do the first activity at the end of the book. Then Michael gets to put a sticker in the Activity 1 box on his progress chart. We also go through the sight word flashcards (download for free from usborne site) sorting them into the pile he knows and the pile he needs to work on. The second lesson consists of re-reading the books, doing activity #2, and working on the sight words again. The third lesson we read the books a third time, complete activity number 3 in the backs of the books and re-do the sight word cards. The fourth lesson is re-reading the books a final time, completing the downloadable worksheets and doing the sight word cards for the last time. Re-reading books is important for gaining confidence, intonation, speed, fluency, and comprehension. After the fourth lesson, we are ready to move on to the next level.

We are having the best time with this reading program and I'm looking forward to using it a second time with Ava when she's ready.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Winter is Kicking our A-- and It's Not Even Here

Spring and Summer are wonderful seasons during which our household is healthy the vast majority of the time. It is long enough that I actually somehow manage to forget the series of unending illnesses we fight during the fall and winter. I was taken by surprise last month when first Michael, and then Ava came down with walking pneumonia. It was September and still warm.

I ended up sick enough that I required antibiotics and a heart echo to make sure the cardiac symptoms I was experiencing were related to the cold/virus/sinus infection I was having trouble fighting off and not something more serious. (Heart echo was fine.) I was hoping all of that was a fluke. We had paid our early fall dues and were going to be fine at least until winter actually hits.

Then, in the middle of the week Ava woke up at 4:30 in the morning with clear symptoms of a stomach bug. She had to pick Wednesday. It's my favorite day of the week because my mom picks up the children from school and spends a few hours with them giving me an extraordinary uninterrupted 5 hours of time that I usually use to work on the next speech kit (/k/ is currently about 75% done and on target for a November 1st release date - possibly a smidge sooner.) Given that last winter my mom ended up hospitalized for several days after catching a stomach bug from the children I could hardly blame her for opting out of all contact with the children for a few days.

Enough! I officially declare that this is the last illness that will walk through our door prematurely. (For all the good that official declaration will do me - it just makes me feel slightly better to bluster.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 82

SLP Resource of the Week

I saw another activity that would be great for working on sounds in isolation and as a bonus, practices letter recognition as well at the Tons of Fun blog. On her printables page you can download letter paths which are simply a grid of letters where the target letter works its way from a starting point to an ending point like a maze. You give the child a bingo marker, stamp, or stickers and they practice the target sound each time they take a step along the "path".

Ava this Week

Ava knows things I don't even know that she knows. She and her brother like to play together and so if he is playing a game she wants to play too. I have educational games installed on our phones and computers and Michael is playing them regularly. Ava is jumping right in and doing a pretty great job of keeping up. She's doing basic addition problems and learning her letter-sound correspondences. If she's not quite ready to go to bed at night I'll find her in the morning surrounded by books in her bed. There's nothing quite like the sight of your child sleeping in bed surrounded by books. It melts a mama/slp/educator's heart.

Weekly Michael

I grabbed a little map skills workbook from Scholastic when it was on sale for $4.99 to add a little variety to our homeschooling. Michael's eyes lit up when he saw it. It was a bright colorful book of his own that he was going to get to write in! The very first activity was looking at a map of Buddy Bear's bedroom and answering some questions about it and then drawing a map of his own bedroom. He did a great job and even wanted me to label all the things he drew just like the items on the other map were labeled. I was pleased with our first activity in map skills and he was excited and I thought that was the end of it.

Later that day, after I finished putting Ava down for nap, I went in to check on Michael in his room. He explained, "I just moved you from Ava's room to my room." I brilliantly responded, "Huh?" Then he showed me the "map" he had made of our house with various small toys representing people and pets in various rooms. When he heard me opening his door, he took the small toy representing me and moved it from the space on his map that was Ava's room to the space on his map that was his room. That boy never fails to amaze me.

Weekly Weight Loss

And one week later I'm down another 2.8 pounds. That's much better than the two-week stall that preceded this week. At this point I'm down 20-25 in the four months or so we've been dieting. I'm hoping to go another 10 before switching from weight-loss mode to figuring out a reasonable maintenance plan.

Weekly Speech Resource Kit Update

The /k/ kit is well under way. The initial section is complete and has a vowel worksheet, 44 illustrated one-syllable therapy cards, 18 sets of minimal pairs, three pivot phrase worksheets, 3 homework sheets, two story booklets, and a speech-switcheroo game to print out and use.

The final section is complete and has a vowel worksheet, 59 illustrated one-syllable therapy cards, 18 sets of minimal pairs, 3 pivot phrase worksheets, 3 homework sheets, 2 story booklets, and a speech caterpillar printable activity.

The medial /k/ section is also finished and has 44 illustrated two-syllable therapy cards, 9 minimal pairs, 3 pivot phrase worksheets, 3 homework sheets, 2 story booklets, and a Speech Match printable activity.

The mixed section, introduction, and appendix are still in progress.

Weekly Communication Fail

I had a customer contact me for help downloading the speech kits she had purchased. (Thank you again, to everyone who is buying the speech kits.) One thing I did to assist her is resend the email with the download link. When I emailed her to let her know she should look for it I said, "I resent that email..."

Somehow, not once in my life, did it occur to me that resent (I sent that again) and resent (take offense) are spelled in exactly the same way. She thought that I was telling her I was offended that she had emailed me with a question. I felt terrible! Nothing could be further from the truth. I immediately sent her a very apologetic email trying to clear up the completely unintended confusion. I hope she received my apology. I was actually quite happy to help. And so, from now on I will always hyphenate. "I re-sent that email." Hmm. Perhaps I'll just rephrase that entirely so there is no chance of ambiguity at all.
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