June 20, 2016

Summer Speech & Language Products You Can't Live Without

With just days away from summer, I wanted to let you guys know that our latest eBook is up and running!  If you're not familiar, Jennifer Bradley and I are doing monthly eBooks this year where we compile a user-friendly list of awesome speech therapy materials created by speech therapists.  This is a great way to save valuable time since we've done all of the hard work for you.  Head on over to Jen's store to check it out!

June 5, 2016

Five Fab Freebies: Summer Part 2

With our minds drifting into summer, here are 5 MORE freebies to share with you!

1) First up is {FREE} Summer Speech Homework Calendars for Language by Schoolhouse Talk. Don't let your students' communication skills slip over the summer break!
2) Next, we have, Summer Fun With Language Sampler by The Speech Space. This is just a small taste of what the 50+ page Summer Fun with Language packet has to offer.

3) Another great freebie that you'll find useful is Sport Sort Summer v. Winter Categorization Activity by Alberta Speechie. This activity works great as a one on one activity.

4) Next up is Shovel and Pail Go Togethers by Speech Time Fun. Practice matching and expressing associations with this summer themed activity!!

5) And last up is FREEBIE! No Print Pass the Prize: Summer Edition by Jessica Finch. This is perfect for following directions as well as targeting basic concepts.

I hope you enjoy using these freebies in your speech room!  If you can, please take a second to leave feedback for the creators of the freebies and let them know how you've used their items in your therapy sessions!

May 22, 2016

Five Fab Freebies: Summer, Part 1

Summer is coming up and I've got 5 awesome freebies for you to use for your speech therapy sessions!

1) First up is Beach Ball Challenge by Peachie Speechie. Bring some summery fun into the speech room with another one of her awesome challenges!

2) Next, we have,Summer Pronouns by Speech Is Sweet. This pronoun card game is great for speech therapy summer fun!

3) Another great freebie that you'll find useful is S'more- themed word to sentence reading and writing FREEBIE! by Twin Speech Language and Literacy LLC. Your students will love this camping-themed freebie!

4) Next up is Buzzin' True or False {FREEBIE} by Kristine Lamb. This fun freebie will challenge your students to decide whether they think statements are true or false. 

5) And last up is Baseball No-Prep Open Ended FREEBIE by Panda Speech.  Your students will be sure to have a blast using this baseball-themed freebie, which is also no prep!

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out these freebies, I hope you enjoy them.  Please try to remember to take a moment to leave feedback for the SLPs that have so generously put these items out there for us to download!

May 15, 2016

Fun Reinforcers for Speech Therapy: Spring

Why do I use different reinforcers in my speech room each season? Because it keeps things interesting and helps to facilitate more language!!!  Handing out a sticker or piece of candy isn't a bad thing, but that's where the conversation ends.  By using creative reinforcers, you can even continue to sneak in treatment goals!

1) Arrange artificial flowers in a colander.  After each trial, let your student place a flower in the hole of the colander to make a nice looking arrangement.

2) "Plant" some flowers.  Fill a big bowl or rubbermaid container with soil and bring in some flowers (or better yet, go gather some flowers with your student and hold the session outdoors if time allows).  Have them "plant" a flower in the soil after each attempt a target or correct response.

3) Create a flower with pom poms and a cupcake liner.  Put a cupcake liner upside down and provide a bowl full of pom poms.  Students will love using the pom poms to create the "petals" of their flower.

4) Go on a nature scavenger hunt.  Bring in a bag full of nature items from the outdoors.  Some suggestions that work well are a: rock, flower, blade of grass, twig, pinecone, leaf, etc.  Hide the items around your room and watch your students light up as they get to search for a hidden item after each trial or task.

What outside of the box reinforcers are you using this spring?  I'd love to hear about what you're doing or if any of these ideas worked for you in your speech room.  If you'd like a handout with a list of these ideas so you don't forget, just click here to have one sent directly to your inbox!  Happy spring!

May 1, 2016

Five Fab Freebies for Better Hearing & Speech Month

I am so exited to share some great freebies with you in celebration of Better Hearing & Speech Month!

1) First up is SLP Graphics for Better Hearing & Speech Month by The Speech Space. Since May is Better Hearing & Speech month, why not spread the SLP love?  These images are great for sharing on social media, using in handouts, or on blog posts.

2) Next, we have, Better Speech and Hearing Month Awareness Packet - Freebie by Natalie Snyders. This excellent 10 page free packet is a great way to promote awareness of our profession during Better Speech and Hearing Month.

3) Another great freebie that you'll find useful is What every teacher must know about the voice & voice disorders! by Speech is Beautiful. Check out this FREE PowerPoint presentation: "Use Your Voice, Don't Abuse your Voice!

4) Next up is BHSM or BTS Water Bottle Wrapper by Activity Tailor. Looking for a quick, inexpensive way to promote Better Hearing and Speech Month this May? Try these super cute water bottle wrappers!!!

5) And last (but not least!) Tid-Bits and Tips for Better Hearing and Speech Month by Speech to the Core. This awesome freebie can be used to share tips with teachers and staff during BH&SM.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out these freebies.  Please try to remember to take a moment to leave feedback for the SLPs that have so generously put these items out there for us to download!

April 30, 2016

Fluency eBook

Finding good therapy materials for treating fluency disorders can be a challenge!  This free eBook features 10 great products that you can use in your speech room to make treating stuttering easier and fun!  You can grab the free download here.

April 20, 2016

Using Mindfulness in Speech Therapy

Mindfulness is something that fascinates me on a personal level, but I recently started thinking about ways to incorporate it into speech therapy sessions.  There aren't many articles out there about using mindfulness in speech therapy, however, this article from The Journal of Fluency Disorders is an interesting read.  It describes applications of mindfulness to stuttering treatment.  It indicates suspected mechanisms of change brought on by mindfulness to be: weakening the fear response, improved emotional regulation, changes in perceptions of thought and increased sensory-perceptual processing, attentional control, and acceptance.  After reading this article, I started thinking about other ways mindfulness could be used in my speech room.

If you're unfamiliar with mindfulness, it's often defined as "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally" (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, p.4).  When we are in the present moment, we are in touch with our senses.  By connecting to what we hear, see, feel, and smell, we are confronted with an abundance of descriptive vocabulary words.  Therefore, using mindfulness in this way can be really great for building vocabulary.  To put this idea to use in my speech therapy sessions, I created a mindfulness basket (pictured below).  In the basket, I added some items that would require the use of a variety of descriptive words.  Then, I worked with my clients to describe the items.  For example, if my client chose a quarter from the basket, we would talk about how it looked (round), how it felt (bumpy), its temperature (cold), etc.

I also think this could be a great way to work with young stutterers on concepts used for creating "easier and smoother" speech.  For example, you could include items that are hard and soft to increase awareness of those concepts in relation to using the articulators in a tense and lax manner.  You could also use items that are smooth and bumpy to help increase understanding of what many of us refer to as smooth and bumpy speech.  If you like this idea, I've created a free file with ideas and visuals (one of the pages is pictured below) that you can easily use in your speech therapy sessions.  If you'd like a copy of the handout, just sign up for email updates to get the pdf file delivered straight to your inbox.

Do you incorporate mindfulness into your speech therapy sessions?  I'd love to hear about your experiences!