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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Desperate Times Call for "Post-it Notes"

The other day, I ran into a bit of a problem. I had forgotten my very crummy, pathetic dry erase board/visual schedule in the car and my 3-year-old busy body little student needed a visual schedule pretty bad. I looked around, saw these magical things:
Tiny Yellow Blessings
I grabbed three, wrote an activity on each one, and slapped them on the wall. My little guy was pleasantly surprised, pointed to each and said, "Yellow!" Once we finished each activity, I instructed the little guy to grab the note, crumple it up and toss it in the "finished pile" on the table. Have any of you ever resorted to something this simple?

It kind of looked something like this:
Except it said, "K-cards" (Kaufman), "Buddy Bear," (best book series in the world for pre-k age), and "iPad" (My Play Home is my favorite go-to app)

Gotta go with whatever works, right?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We Love Language...

…but we HATE grammar, right? Well maybe some do. I have a love/hate relationship with grammar. I enjoy using correct grammar, correcting other’s grammar, and hearing grammar used correctly. However, I am not good at identifying correct terms for our elementary (and up through high school) students that struggle with English. So I some research a while back and found this awesome website:

These are the categories that each contains a plethora of worksheets, tips, activities, and visual aids for our struggling students (and adults!). Today I printed about a dozen worksheets from the “PRONOUN” section. I have one preschool student in particular who gets stuck on “her said” and “his said” frequently. I used these worksheets with her (used sheet protectors in a nice tidy workbook I made) and had her use a dry erase marker to circle the correct answers.
She loved it!

They also have a whole page dedicated to “MINIMAL PAIRS LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES”. The page includes contrast cards (great colorful pictures) as a PDF or a word document (so you can edit it as needed) which address everything from antonyms to pronouns to multiple meaning words.

Go and see for yourself!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You Learn Something New Every Day!

I enjoy having my young preschool students exposed to as many different books and literary adventures as possible. However, sometimes I wish I could send a library home with those that I know have hardly any literature at home much less children's books. In light of that struggle, it's been brought to my attention that there is a well established company, created by Dolly Parton, called Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which, in fact, does send home a library to those in need!
This fantastic program is available to any family or community in need.  Parents are able to request a book be sent monthly to their home absolutely free. You can also replicate a program in your community and have the book(s) sent to multiple children. This is a fantastic program that helps to support our struggling families and communities with the basic children right of having books in the home. 
Check it out in your spare time and register your child, a student of yours, or create your own program for your community!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to School!

Welcome Back! I say that to you and to me as well since it's been a few months since our last post. We've all been super busy, as I'm sure you have as well. However, a new school year brings a new attitude and sense of commitment and loyalty; therefore, I promise to update and post as often as possible!! (Fingers may or may not be crossed...) 

I've changed locations this school year and am now with a very different school-age than I'm used to. However, all that means is I'll be doing a lot more research and activating that tiny part of my brain that stores random SLP-related knowledge!

In our graduate studies, we do not receive a lot of detailed information on intervention with junior high or high school age populations. This is a problem for those of us in junior highs and high school settings. Therefore, my goal this year is to post any therapy activities, articles, data-driven interventions, and anything relevant that I find on this blog. 

Another thing that is new this year to me is SALSA (Speech and Language Support for All). My parish has been implementing SALSA for years and they seem to have it down pretty sufficiently and it is quite effective thus far. For those of you who are unfamiliar with SALSA, I encourage you to do your homework on it. I'll be posting more about it in the following months once I have more hands-on experience with it. 

Since I'll be learning the new parish's policies, procedures, etc., on top of SALSA, you can imagine I need a lot of help! So, I'd like YOUR advice about implementing SALSA into a jr high setting. What do you do? And HOW do you do it? What're your "lesson plans" like? Are you "co-teaching?" If so, how often and do you feel it's effective? 

 Comment below or on our Facebook page !!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

APP REVIEW: Conversation Builder for Teens!

Conversation Builder for Teens
Only $29.99 in the App Store

Today we are reviewing the very interesting and exciting app from the Mobile Education Store called "Conversation Builder: Teen."
This app opens up with the expected registering page but is easy to navigate and does not require much information. 

You are then navigated to edit the settings within the app. You can change the conversation type to 2 or 3 players, or group for more. You can turn on and off audio, reset the played conversations in order for you to work with a clean slate, and then you can choose the categories that will be used once you begin the activity. You can also manage your user(s) here, turn on parental controls, or watch a video tutorial.

Settings/Opening page

Once your settings are completed to your satisfaction, you then select play at the bottom of the screen and are immediately directed to the first task/question. I selected "randomize all available modules" so the first question for mine was "Hey Dude" and three responses popped up with audio buttons next to them. It then directed me to choose what I would say next. For the first incorrect answer, the audio feedback stated, "That is an unusual response to the question, try again." For the second incorrect answer, the audio feedback supplied a helpful hint, such as, "try asking a question." 

You are then able to record your response and listen to it as many times as you need to. You have the option of re recording your response for your student and then letting them record their voice.  This is a fantastic feature of this app since so many of our students on the spectrum have such a difficult time with prosody.

The app has a variety of audio feedback responses that are socially appropriate responses that we as speech therapists and educators would most likely say to our students if they were to respond with a negative, literal, or off-topic response. The pictures within the app are extremely appealing and relevant to today's society and what our students see often.  At the top of each question, an icon that states "info" describes the scenario. The "history" icon changes the page and shows in text what the question stated and is in the format of an iPhone text message conversation. Many of our students have iPhones or have played on them and this a definite bonus. 

The last icon at the bottom of the app is "progress." This is where your conversations are stored. I'm unaware of how many conversations you have to have in order to save them or master them. That is the only downfall so far. This app has fantastic modules that relate to a range of ages and topics.  I see myself using this app with my high school students and them thoroughly enjoying it! 

Hope you enjoy as well!

Enter for a chance to win a FREE app code for Conversation Builder Teen!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Earlier this school year I attended a conference in Baton Rouge for our state school-based speech/language pathologists. At this conference I had the priviledge of listening to Sara Smith present on her product, The Expanding Expression Tool (EET). I was impressed with what she had to say that I decided to write a grant to purchase the kit along with other accessory items. I have been using the EET for the past few weeks and I have to say, I am blown away! Since the conference, I have been in contact with Sara and asked if she would guest post on our blog so that we could assist in spreading the word about this awesome tool - and of course, she agreed!! :)

Looking for a way to help your students achieve improved oral language and writing? The Expanding Expression Tool™ (EET) can help. The EET is a hands on approach that is being used in both general and special education classrooms (preschool through college) to build both oral and written language.
What makes Expanding Expression unique is that we use a simple multisensory approach that guarantees quick results!! This tool can be used for general DESCRIPTIONS AND VOCABULARY, INFORMATIONAL WRITING, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES/BIOGRAPHIES, SUMMARIZING and more.
The EET Kit helps to build the following language skills:
·         Oral expression
·         Written expression
·         Vocabulary comprehension
·         Defining and describing
·         Making associations
·         Stating functions of objects
·         Categorization
·         Similarities and differences

*Students quickly learn each symbol and consistently describe and define objects and items providing 6-7 details in an organized manner.
Expanding Expression Tool Kit
is designed to be used by teachers, literacy coaches, reading specialists, parents, speech-language pathologists and other specialists to support academics. Language arts is essential for academic success. It is at the heart of each curriculum area. Without oral language, students may have difficulty organizing information while speaking, writing, or pulling valuable information from their reading material.

They may have trouble defining or describing vocabulary or objects. The Expanding Expression Tool was designed to make things easier for all students. It provides structure for the struggling student and
enhances the skills of those students already strong in the language arts area. The Expanding Expression Tool provides students with a hands-on approach to describing and defining. As a mnemonic device, it provides visual and tactile information which facilitates improved language organization. The kit itself is designed to allow you to follow a hierarchical approach taking student's expression from words to paragraphs to reports. Therefore, it can be used by a variety of ages.

The kit consists of the Expanding Expression Tool, a manual, stickers for written expression, object cards for describing activities and a poster. The Expanding Expression Tool is color symbol coded. Students learn the code and from this code are able to provide detailed descriptions including the following elements: the category the item belongs to, the function of the object, the appearance, what the item is made of, the parts of the item, and its location.

* Entire schools have adopted the program to facilitate improved expression and comprehension.
*It allows students to quickly progress from word to phrase to paragraph to multi-paragraph levels.
THE LATEST NEWS: White pine academy in Leslie, MI reported that their 4th grade writing scores went up 32% from using the EET (press release), Sheryl Stone (educator in Rockford Public Schools) introduced the EET to teachers in orphan schools in Zambia Africa, The EET is being used in over 10,000 classrooms across the United States, Canada, and Australia.

For more information and to order visit us at

For elementary school
and cognitively impaired students, a new learning tool is taking the intimidation out of the blank page when it comes time to write. The Expanding Expression Tool™, or EET . . . helps students describe objects and organize their writing say local teachers.

“This is the best writing
I’ve ever gotten out of any group,” said a teacher who has taught second grade for seven years. After comparing pre-EET and post-EET writing samples, she credited the tool for pushing her students from one-word answers and drawings to seven sentence descriptive paragraphs.

“What I love,
because of the way it’s going around, are teachers running into other teachers and nding out they’re using it,” said speech pathologist Gail Morris, from Jackson County ISD. “It’s a gold mine for provoking writing and self-questioning.” Morris said some of
her students have improved dramatically and returned to regular classrooms.
(Above excerpts from: Jackson County Citizen Patriot, by Tony Gonzalez)

If you have not tried the EET yet, I highly encourage you to do so; you won't be disappointed!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Our Prayers

The three of us at Public School SLPs would like to take a moment of silence for those who lost their lives so tragically last Friday.

We can not begin to tell you how sorry we are for your loss. We pray that God's tender care and comfort come to you who have lost and to those of you that must to continue on having lost a sense of security and hope. May the Lord's love shine down upon all that work with precious children. May the Lord restore hope and vanquish fear. May the Lord show His grace and mercy to Newtown.

May God bless you.


Public School SLPs