Monday, December 28, 2015

Three Wintry Products

I hope everyone had a nice holiday!  Here in North Carolina, we celebrated with record warmth. People had their air conditioners running, restaurants used their outdoor patios, and confused flowers blossomed. 

I'm hoping the weather will normalize by January, so I wanted to advertise here that I do have three winter products in my small TPT store listed at modest prices.  All of these are great for SLP/EC collaboration and perfect for your more language-challenged children.  Check them out!  I reduced the price of the Snowman Packet from last year.

The first is a Snowman Packet---which has "Snowman, Snowman, What do you See?"
     "Snowman Colors Bingo" and "5 Little Snowmen" interactive poem.  Price on this is reduced.

The second product is perfect for winter, and kids love the book that goes along with this!
"Bear Snores On" is a companion packet and activity packet which is loads of fun.

This last product is a companion/activity packet to go with "There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed some Snow"Again, perfect for our more linguistically challenged children, and lots of fun.

Have a fun week off if you have it.  Vacations can be rejuvenating, and I'm feeling ready to tackle the second half of the school year with enthusiasm.  I hope you are too!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

What do You Think of the Unexpected! Using Improv Everywhere Videos in Social Thinking Groups

A very popular website is Improv Everywhere.  I've been following them for years, and essentially, in NYC, people gang up and doing very unexpected things, garnering attention and laughter from those who are not part of the prank. 

Some of these are great for illustrating what 'unexpected' means, and then using screen shots of videos to capture people's reactions.   It's awesome for having kids try to determine both how the unsuspecting people are feeling, and then determining what they might be thinking.

Here are a couple of examples:


Year after year, the gang from Improv Everywhere invades a beach wearing formal clothing.

Ask your students what the man in the yellow trunks is thinking.  I'm sure there will be other discussion points made her, such as what were the unexpected behaviors on the beach.  Why do people react to these behaviors?


We use expected behaviors everywhere.  What happens when you see something wild at the usually boring crosswalk? 

 Take a look at the above screenshot.  Have your students determine how the ladies on the right are feeling.  What are they thinking when they see unexpected behavior? 
What are expected behaviors at a busy crosswalk? 
When people do expected behaviors there, how do others feel?

Of course, Improv Everywhere is all in fun.  Using expected behaviors in school, though, is serious. You will need to bring the discussion back to where you all are at the moment.
The next step is to apply this vocabulary (expected and unexpected) to different places in your school.  It's easy to make your own videos, and then talk about expected and unexpected behaviors.  Using the Social Thinking curriculum is awesome because you go a few steps further, mapping out social behaviors, determining how others feel when they see both positive and negative behaviors, and then bringing it back to the individual (consequences and how it affects his or her own feelings about himself). 

I'm sure I'll be posting more on this subject.  That's all for now, though. I hope everyone is having a nice December!  I love my job, but winter break is always a welcome perk.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Literacy/Activity Pack

I got creative, and decided that Rudolph's nose can change colors just like a chameleon!
"Reindeer, Reindeer, What do you See?" is a perfect interactive book for working on colors, and working on word combinations. Included in this packet is another interactive book entitled "Verbs of Christmas".
There's also a step by step simple craft.  I provide visual supports for all books and the craft. 

You should check out This newest product on Teachers Pay Teachers!  In addition to the already bargain price, all of my products are on sale for 20% off on November 30th and December 1st.  Then by entering the TpT code: SMILE at checkout, you save another 10% off of all the resources in your cart! 

See product description below, and go to the TPT store to see previews and purchase for a bargain price.

This is an literacy/activity pack for Christmas. This pack meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for speech/OT or speech/special ed collaboration. This is nice for integrating literacy and hand-on activities. You are purchasing two interactive books and a craftivity with an assortment of visual supports for all. Most clipart is by Smarty Symbols copyright 2015.

Reindeer, Reindeer, What do you see?” clever interactive book with manipulative icons and sentence frame (3-15)
Verbs of Christmas  interactive book with simple text and icons and sentence frames for matching and building simple sentences.  (page 16-27)
9 page step by step booklet for making a Pom Pom Christmas Tree(28-35)
Communication board for the craft  (Page 36)
Yes/No and Wh-questions to go with the Pom Pom Tree craft  (page 37)
Sequence worksheet for Pom Pom Tree craft (page 38) 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Turkey, Turkey, What Do you See?---a colorful food book

Just a few more days until I leave for Denver to visit my daughter, and then a few days after that for the ASHA convention!
So exciting!

Here's a very cute item for your Thanksgiving adventures in your speech rooms or classrooms---it follows the same pattern as Brown Bear, but this is a color and food themed piece.

My daughter, Vicki, did the awesome turkey art.
Photos are public domain from Pixabay, and clip art is Smarty Symbols (copyrighted--I have a commercial license).

It's modestly priced here at TPT.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Literacy/Activity Pack

November is always such a busy month---progress reports, conferences, ASHA, Thanksgiving!
They all happen quickly, and so here is a pack to alleviate some of your planning woes.

This is an literacy/activity pack for Thanksgiving. This pack meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for speech/OT or speech/special ed collaboration. This is nice for integrating literacy and hand-on activities. You are purchasing two interactive books and a craftivity with an assortment of visual supports for all. Most clipart by Smarty Symbols copyright 2015 with the exception of the Turkey Tale turkeys.
A Turkey Feather Tale” interactive book with manipulative icons and sentence frame (3-17)
9 page step by step booklet for making a Thankful Turkey craft including word bank and sentence frame for choices of what the kids can be thankful for (18-29)
Communication board for the craft  (Page 30)
Yes/No and Wh-questions to go with the Turkey craft  (page 31)
Sequence worksheet for Turkey craft (page 32)
Verbs of Thanksgiving  interactive book with simple text and icons for matching.   (page 33-44)

Screenshot of one page. Cute story, lots of visuals, nice predictable sentences.

 The book in this pack ("A Turkey Feather Tale") contains original turkey art by my daughter, Vicki.  She's home in between bird-banding jobs, so I feel fortunate that she has time to combine her love of birds with her love of drawing.

It's all here on TPT--44 pages of language learning fun


Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie---Free Printables to go with this book

I hope everyone has had a great October so far!   We are just finishing our first quarter of school, leaves are changing, and there is a chill in the air at night. 

I'm thinking ahead now to my favorite holiday---Thanksgiving.  A fun book to read with the kids is "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie".  If you don't have it, you can purchase it here on Amazon.

I've made a few visuals and questions to go with this book. They aren't fancy---they consist of icons to match the items that the old lady swallows, comprehension questions, and a sequencing activity.  Clip art is copyrighted by Smarty Symbols, and is not to be used for other materials.  I have a commercial license.

Enjoy the book!  You can find this free little companion pack HERE on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

From Seed to Jack O'Lantern--printable interactive book free

Halloween is just around the corner!  Right now, I'm visiting Erie, Pennsylvania to be with family for the weekend.  Up here, fall is in the air--leaves are turning, the air feels chillier, and pumpkin stands are full!

Here is a book I published here last year.  I took it down, though, to change out some of the images for copyright purposes, so this is all legal now.  Here it is again!  You can use it in a science lesson, a lesson about sequencing, or just to show that jack o'lanterns came from seeds.  If you don't want to print it, you can show it on a laptop or smartboard.  Link is below.

This book is nice because I've also included icons to make the whole thing more interactive.
These are on the last page.  I usually print the book, and have kids match the icons to the picture after reading a page. This reinforces comprehension.

Click here to download book and interactive icons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Halloween Prepositions Bingo

Here's an easy activity for your speech room---Halloween Prepositions Bingo.  Work on common prepositions such as 'over', 'between', 'next to', and 'under' using common Halloween vocabulary.  (Nothing scary though.)

This game includes three Bingo cards, one set of calling cards, matching sentences, and directions.

In my room, we haven't quite launched into Halloween just yet---that's coming though!  The kids are ready!

Go here to TPT to view this Bingo game.  
It's very modestly priced. (I do pay for the copyrighted Smarty Symbols clip art, so this item is not free.)  If you are a starving CF, email me at for a copy of the game.

Enjoy your week!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Small Collection of Halloween Materials (lots of printables)

 Here are some favorites from years past....reposted for people new to my blog.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------    (from last year)

For all of my friends out there, here is a collection that I've accumulated over the past three years.  Most have free printables or downloads.  I'm sure I'll add to this as the month of October progresses, so check back occasionally!



Halloween fun! Make a lollipop ghost! Printable directions

Orange Pumpkin Book--get ready for Halloween! 





Big Pumpkin----Great book, printable icons 






Counting Pumpkins--printable book! Match the number to the pictures 






Pumpkin Carving, the iPad, and Communication 






Pumpkin Feelings book--Printable with icons 


The Little Old Lady who was not Afraid of Anything

Pumpkins Everywhere

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything---Companion/Activity Pack

September has zoomed by!  Here in North Carolina, leaves are still green with a hint of color here and there.  I love it when full color finally arrives, along with cool temperatures!

Kids love fall too, especially since Halloween is near.  A favorite book for the season is "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything", and I use it every year.  Now I've created a companion pack to go with it complete with a craft, an interactive book, visual, a game, and comprehension activities. Most clip art is from Smarty Symbols, which has an awesome assortment.  It is copyrighted clipart, however, so not for reuse.

Go HERE to see this modestly priced pack on TPT.

As usual, if you are a starving CF, contact me at for your own personal copy.



Monday, September 14, 2015

New Shoes, Old Shoes, Red shoes, Blue shoes--Free Comparing/Contrasting Printable Activity

I hope everyone's school year is off to a great start!  Here is a freebie for you to help ease in to all of the joy.

There is a website I love---Film English.  The author teaches English to older students, and uses short films as a springboard.  His blog features one film at a time, and he writes lesson plans to go with each.
Since my students are young and language impaired (rather than ESL), I don't use the plans, and most of the time, I watch the short film just for my own entertainment; however,  his latest feature, "Her Shoes" by the Mercadantes, easily could be a springboard into a nice compare and contrast activity centered around shoes.   Go HERE to watch the film.

While watching this, you can hit the pause button and talk about the different shoe features. 

Then, to practice comparing, I've created a short packet with shoe pictures, a Venn diagram, and a word bank. 

Cut out the pictures (three pages of them).
Have students pick two each from a box, bag, or some other fun hiding place.  Using the word bank and the Venn diagram, help them find ways the shoes are the same and different.  Some of the shoes look difficult to wear!  

Have them compare each others shoes!  I didn't put the word "stinky" in the word bank, but I bet a few kids come up with it on their own! 

Grab this free activity HERE.  Have fun!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Fall Leaves Activity/Literacy Packet--Great for EC/SLP Collaboration

Fall is officially twelve days away.  It lasts for quite a while down south, so to help everyone plan, I've created a Fall Leaves packet which includes two interactive books, a simple craftivity, nature scavenger hunt directions, and a variety of visuals to go with everything.  See for yourself!

It's 41 pages of learning and fun.  Goals for the students include functional communication, using sentences to describe pictures (with or without cues), sequencing, matching, counting, and using simple preposition and verbs.  

 This pack meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for speech/special ed/OT collaboration. This is nice for integrating literacy and language activities.  Clip art is from Smarty Symbols, and is copyrighted.  Fall Leaf graphics are from Math In The Middle.

Check out this modestly priced product HERE on Teachers Pay Teachers
The packet includes:
“Leaves Everywhere” Interactive Book--pages 3-15
Icons for the “Leaves Everywhere” book– page 16
Sentence Frame for “Leaves Everywhere” -page 17
“Verbs of Autumn” interactive book–pages 18-27
Icons for “Verbs of Autumn” –page 28
Nature Scavenger Hunt directions and checklist—pages 29-30
“Little Leaf Guys” craft directions book –pages 31- 36
Communication Board for craft—page 37
Sequencing Worksheet for craft—page 38
Two simple leaf worksheets (matching, counting)—pages 39-40

How is everyone's year going?  Mine is great--I love my job!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

You’re Only as Good as Your Checklist--Determining Adverse Effect

      Often school-based speech-language pathologists are swamped.  Therapy sessions, IEPs, meetings, progress reports, evaluations---the list is endless.  It’s tempting to cut corners with paperwork and tasks but one of the corners that can’t be cut is conducting thorough speech/language evaluations.

Best practice dictates that school-based SLPs include the following components in language evaluations:
  • one or more standardized measures
  • a language sample
  • a classroom observation
  • a hearing screening
  • a file review or case history
  • evidence of adverse classroom impact

Federal law states that in order to be eligible for speech/language services, there needs to be documentation of adverse effects in the classroom. “Adverse effect” means that the progress of the child is impeded by the disability to the extent that the educational performance is significantly and consistently below the level of similar aged peers.  Part of a speech-language evaluation is to determine the impact of a disorder on the child in the classroom which includes obtaining teacher input.  Several states have developed forms and checklists to gather teacher input. Teacher rating scales require a classroom teacher to rank a child’s skills based on what a typical child does in the same environment.  The scales should reflect the communication demands of the curriculum, and now several systems have developed rating scales based on the Common Core standards.

There are several teacher rating scales or survey questions available free to download.  Some are linked to Common Core standards, while others are not because some schools use other curricula.  This list is a short sampling of the many states that have their own checklists and guidelines.
  • This first set of checklists is in the Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association Guidelines.  These were published in 2011, and are not tied into the Common Core.  (Texas did not adopt Common Core).  These teacher impact rating forms cover a comprehensive range of communication skills.  Go here to access the guidelines and then find the teacher survey questions, and item analysis on pages 29-35.
  • The second link for teacher checklists take us to the Georgia Organization of School-Based Speech Language Pathologists.  They have a wonderful website of helpful information, forms, and teacher checklists which are based upon the Common Core and on language development research. The checklists are targeted for teachers, therapists, and other school staff to help in gathering information on classroom functioning related to language skills and meeting the Common Core standards.
  • There is also a set of teacher checklists available from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) in North Carolina.  These checklists are based on the Common Core standards, and were developed over a year’s time by the CHCCS team of speech-language pathologists. In addition to checklists for semantic, syntactic and morphological language skills, there are also separate checklists for a teacher to report on pragmatic language skills. These checklists are available here as one collated document.

As we SLPs know, standardized assessments tell you only so much about a child’s true struggles in the classroom.  Teacher input is critical to a thorough evaluation and also for therapy planning.  Once you know that the child has a disorder and there is a significant negative impact in the classroom, you as the SLP are set to begin the rewarding and challenging task of therapy.  A teacher checklist, as simple as it seems, is an invaluable tool for you in your assessment and therapy planning!  Your assessment, no matter how thorough, is incomplete without teacher input.  Grab one of the above checklists and add it to your assessment protocol today!  You’re only as good as your checklist.

I am grateful to the help of my Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools colleagues who assisted with editing, and especially grateful to my co-author, Wendy Lybrand, M.S., CCC-SLP