Friday, September 21, 2018

"I See Trains" --free printable interactive book

Who doesn't like trains?  I've ridden them in the US, in Indonesia, in Italy, in Spain, and in Norway.  I'd love to go to Japan and ride the Bullet Train.  Kids often are facinated by trains too and several I worked with were familiar (obsessed) with Thomas.  Some owned myriad Thomas toys, and even when they didn't really have functional communication skills, could name all the characters instantly, putting my limited Thomas vocabulary skills to shame. 

In honor of train travel, I've adapted a Tarheel Reader book I found. I changed out some of the pictures due to copyright issues, and added icons, and a sentence frame at the end. The original book is here.      The link to my interactive rendition is below.  I liked this book with its repetitive language, use of modifiers, and vivid pictures.  If you are working on core AAC vocabulary, there are several words here along with a variety of fringe vocabulary.  If you are working on kindergarten reading level, this book works for that too!   The symbols are from Smarty Symbols and  I pay a subscription fee which allows me to create and share materials

All pages follow the 'I see a _____ train' pattern.

Icons are provided for matching, and a sentence frame is on the last page. 

You can download the free printable book from this link.

Long ago, my husband and I along with our two boys took a trip across the country on Amtrak. 
It took a long time with many stops along the way to explore  Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Glacier National Park, and Seattle.  Needless to say, we had loads of fun and an experience my boys will never forget!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Gluten-Free Vegan recipe--Butternut Squash Coconut Chili

I'm not a vegan.

That being said, I occasionally have to cook vegan, and found a perfect recipe which accomodated vegan and gluten-free diets.  When there are multiple food restrictions occuring in the same meal with different people, cooking sometimes gets a little complicated!  I do want to prepare a meal for a friend at times, and accomodating another's special diet is the first step to having a good time.

The recipe is for Butternut Squash Coconut Chili.  I found this on a beautiful blog that looks as though it's been abandoned.   I'm working on making sure my own, Chapel Hill Snippets, continues to be up and running.

I made this today, and it was delicious.  Please go to the Fig Tree for the recipe.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention our state's weather disaster.  Hurricane Florence devastated the eastern part of North Carolina.  My community, Chapel Hill, was relatively unscathed, but I worry about all the people down east, many with flooded homes and little relief in sight as the flood waters continue to rise.  The news is terrible and sad.

We did have a bit of a downpour yesterday which gave us a taste of the power of water.  Our little babbling brook down in the ravine turned into a major torrent in the matter of a few hours.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Deal of the Century

Hi readers and friends,

It's been a while---I'm retired.  My hubby and I took a trip to Madrid and Barcelona in April. Then in June, we visited Norway, Estonia, and Finland.  We've also spent quite a bit of time taking care of our two sweet grandchildren.  That all was delightful.

Sadly, my wonderful mother-in-law passed away in June.  She was my role model in life.

Suffice it to say, not a lot of time in there for creating materials and blogging, but I'm back.  Keep reading,


I have a fantastic deal for all of you-- especially those of you who work with the more linguistically challenged children.  I am on the board of New Voices Foundation.  Click on the link to find out more--but basically we support classrooms and teachers of students who have severe communication and physical challenges in central North Carolina. 

Teachers in this area are in dire need of training, specifically in the use of PODD systems.  New Voices provides funding to the teachers to attend trainings (so they don't pay out of pocket) but demand has outpaced the New Voices budget.  A month ago, I created a Go Fund Me page for teacher training.  Response to this has been a bit slow, so HERE'S THE DEAL!

Donate to this project---ten dollars or more.  I will gladly send you two products from my TPT store free.  If you don't want or need my products, consider donating a modest amount anyway.  It's for the benefit of children with severe communication needs.

If you donate and want products, let me know at

Check out my TPT store and let me know what you would like (two products including any bundles).
I have some great items for back-to-school and fall.

This is a worthwhile cause which will impact the lives of many of our children in a positive way.
Please consider donating.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

"My Beak, Your Beak"-- Free Companion Materials for Comparing/Contrasting

Now that my little granddaughter is four, she totally loves books.  I found one at our awesome library that would be great for teaching comparing/contrasting in a speech/language therapy session. It's "My Beak, Your Beak" by Melanie Walsh.

From Amazon: "Melanie Walsh, creator of Do Pigs Have Stripes? and Do Monkeys Tweet? shows her skill in reaching the youngest readers. Walsh shows differences between pairs of animals and then shows how they are similar.
Lions are big and have hairy manes. Kittens are small and fluffy. But . . . they both have scratchy claws!
There are birds and bats, sharks and goldfish, penguins and birds—who at first may seem very different, but share similarities, too. Children will love guessing on their own."  

The author compares 5 pairs of animals, with clear illustrations, and simple language--perfect for our kids.  I've created a set of visuals to go with this book, all free, just for you.  You will have to find the book--it's for sale online, or you can check out your local library, which is what I did.

The visuals have clipart from Smarty Symbols for each animal, along with a sample Venn diagram and a blank Venn diagram.

The book is loads of fun, and the kids will all love this.

For the free set of visuals to go with this book, click here.

A while back, I made a comprehensive set of visuals to go with 'Nothing Like a Puffin' along with some supplemental teaching materials, and a compare/contrast game.  You can view 'Nothing Like a Puffin' companion pack here on TPT.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Open the Door! Make a Simple House Craft--printable directions, sequencing, communication board

Last week, I posted a free simple book to elicit the word 'Open'.  This week, I'm sharing a craft also designed ultimately to elicit the same word.  Links to download are at the bottom of this post.

This craft comes with free downloadable step by step directions, a sequencing activity, a simple communication board, and some sample yes/no and wh-questions.

Sample instruction page

Simple core/fringe communication board.
Use the child's own core board and system if you want.

                                Sequencing page activity
This activity was originally meant for a Teachers Pay Teachers product.  When I looked at how many 'core vocabulary' products were for sale on TPT, I felt the market was a bit glutted there (as in 1,470 products listed when I typed in 'core vocabulary' under speech therapy) so I switched this to free on this blog.  Core vocabulary words are beautiful because children can use them in any school or daily living activity all day long.  This is a simple craft to elicit a few, including the target word 'open'.  

Have fun!  This can go with my previous blog post where I listed a free book "What Can Open?"

Click here to download this craft booklet.
Click here to also download a free book, "What Can Open?"

This picture was too good not to share--my granddaughters.  As an SLP, I can't help but marvel at the eye contact and happy smile on the 6 week old baby's part, and the ablility of the fun-loving 4 year old to elicit a response.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"What Can Open?"--Free Printable Book with Icons

A very functional word to teach your students is 'Open'.  Everything seems to open, so here's a free book to let the children practice using this word with a variety of nouns. (13 pages including icons)

The symbols are Smarty Symbols---Please do not use these in another product as they are copyrighted. I have a commercial license.

The images are from Pixabay---public domain.

The last two pages are icons (Smarty Symbols) for matching, and a small sentence frame.

Here is the download link:

Click here to download "What Can Open" 

For an extension craft, go here. The kids will be provided step-by-step directions for making an 'open the door' house craft.
Icons for the "What Can Open" book

If you are interested in another Core Vocabulary Product, go here for a packet highlighting
"Look and Go".

In the ongoing saga of my life, I have retired again, however, with our new little addition to our family, I have important grandmother responsibilities.  The picture below illustrates a typical morning.

Monday, February 12, 2018

TPT Sale and Gift Card Giveaway

Teachers Pay Teachers is a bargain at all times, and it's even more so on February 14 and 15 where there is a sitewide sale---Everything in my store will be 20% off and TPT will throw in an additional 5% when you type in the promo code  XOXO.  

I have been given a 10 dollar gift card by TPT to promote the sale!  If you would like to be considered for the gift card, you can enter in the running by sending your email to me at  We will randomly draw a name 9:00 a.m on February 14, and email the lucky winner the gift card code. Ten dollars will go far with this awesome sale!