Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fantastic AAC Presentation and Handouts

Ashley in action during her CFY
I am a proud mentor!  A few years ago, a young graduate clinician was with me for a semester.  She was an awesome student, so awesome that our school system hired her to be on our AT team.  So then I became her CFY supervisor (and learned quite a bit from her).  She has always been creative, hard-working, and passionate about the students she works with.  She amazed me then, and continues to inspire me!

Now Ashley has progressed in her career, has fine-tuned her already superior clinical skills, and is a mentor herself.  She recently presented at the North Carolina Augmentative Communication Association Conference on "Building Classroom Communities to Support AAC Users".

 She wrote in her blog: "I had the distinct pleasure of presenting at the 2015 NCACA Conference in Winston-Salem NC (my first time ever!). It was an honor to be a part of a conference with people that I truly look up to and see the great work they are doing all over the state.
During my presentation, I outlined the training process I have been using in my district this year. Basically, I am working to help classroom teachers build a foundation to support AAC users in the classroom. This is not where I’m going to end up, but it’s a start."

Here are a couple of screenshots of her handout.  If you would like to see the entire presentation handout with links, pictures, and commentary, go to Everyday AAC.
  She also includes some nice forms to use when developing training plans, and detailed explanations on how to fill them out.  If you have any questions, I'm sure she would be happy to answer them.  She is such an asset to our school system and to the students, and I'm so excited that she is reaching beyond the school here to help even more people develop clinical skills in working with students who use AAC. 

Head on over to Everyday AAC and check it out! 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Kites Activity Pack; Big TPT sale

Last week, I posted a free printable book on kites.  This week, there's even more. This is a Kites Activity pack on Teachers Pay Teachers and the good news is that the modest price is even lower on February 25th thanks to my store wide sale of 20% off and a TPT wide sale (type HEROES as the promo code). All of my items are on sale that day, so check them out!

My new unit is a 44 page activity pack centered around the theme of ‘Kites’.
 This pack meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect
for Speech/EC /OT collaboration.   I do also use these materials with younger regular education children.
This is nice for integrating literacy and hand-on activities.
Enclosed is:
10 page interactive book entitled ‘What Can Fly?’  with simple text (page 3-12)
Icons for matching the pictures in ‘What Can Fly?’ along with simple sentence strip (page 13)
Sorting worksheet activity (things that fly/things that go in water) (page 14)
3 pages of questions with visual multiple choice questions to go along with ‘What Can Fly?’ (15-17)
12 page interactive book “Where is the kite flying?” (pages 18-29)
Page of icons and a sentence strip for “Where is the kite flying?” (page 30)
K is for Kite—craft with step by step directions.  No need for fancy materials. (31-39)
K is for Kite sequencing worksheet and simple comprehension questions for the craft activity (40-41)
5 pages of Springtime Prepositions Bingo---3 game boards, 1 board to cut into calling cards, and directions (42-46)
 If you want other ideas of what you can get from a group of talented speech pathologists, check out Speech Room News where she is throwing a linky party!
 As usual, if you are a starving CF, email me at if you feel this is a must have, but you can't afford it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dress your Pets! Do Dogs Like Scarves? Free printable book and icons

When my girls were little, they loved to dress up the cat and Beanie Babies. (We never had a dog.)
I've discovered that lots of people like to do the same thing!   I'm not sure how the animals feel about it though--a quick check on Flickr showed a mixture of puppy enthusiasm, annoyance, anger, and controlled tolerance.  Here's a free book with icons to use with your kids.

Originally, since we are still in the throes of winter, I was just going to do a book on scarves.  I've added dogs to the mix with all of their feelings.  Here's an amusing, free printable.  A page of icons and sentence strips is at the end.  You can print all of this out, and have the kids match, answer questions, laugh, and predict how each dog is feeling about their scarf.  Bring in some scarves and have your students request, try them on, and describe themselves!  Scroll down here to get the download link.  

   The original book I created is on Tarheel Reader.  



The picture on the right is my personal favorite.

For a fun time with your students, go here
to print out this free book.
Smarty Symbols


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day materials---adapted books, bingo, great for SLP/EC collaboration

Happy Snow Day North Carolina style (we have an inch--school is cancelled)!  I debated all morning as I sat around in my pajamas---should I post about Kites---or St. Patrick's Day?

Given that the entire Northeast and now South is encased in ice and snow, I just couldn't see a kite festival in the near future. 

St. Patrick's Day is a lot of fun and lends itself nicely to adapted books, games, and crafts.
I do have one free item on the blog----an interactive book "Clovers for me and you". 

I also have St. Patrick's Day bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers.  This is most likely for the more linguistically challenged children, although I've used it with the younger set in regular education to work on reading, following directions, and prepositions. The price is modest.

Enclosed is:
-13 page interactive book entitled ‘Shamrocks Everywhere’ with simple text and icons for matching. A sentence strip is also included.
-Printable shamrocks for a hiding/following direction activity.
-11 page book with icons and sentence strip entitled “What is Green?”
-A red/green sorting worksheet
-St. Patrick’s Day Preposition Bingo (5 pages)

Images are from (public domain) and from Smarty Symbols (commercial license).

Go here to view St Patrick's Day Bundle in my store.  Preview is available there.

If you are a starving CF, or otherwise financially strapped, email me ( , and I'll send this to you no charge.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Go Fish! Card decks for articulation therapy

In my room, I have a commercial set of articulation cards that are perfect for playing Go Fish. My kids love the game, but this set doesn't have the sound targeted the way I want.

So I made my own.

I made them so that they are the size of regular playing cards.  I don't know about you, but in my house, I have sets of cards, often missing a card or two.  I made my Go Fish cards the same size as regular playing cards and simply glued mine onto the regular cards and laminated. It didn't take long, and they are super durable. 

Now my kids can play 'Go Fish', and I didn't have to pay a fortune for more Articulation Cards.  Although my school system is wealthy by North Carolina standards, we don't have an instructional budget.  They let us use a nice color printer, though, so here I go!

If you don't know the rules for Go Fish, here they are.  It's easy for the kids.

 Standard Go Fish game--- The dealer deals 5 cards to each player. The remaining cards are placed face down in a pile in the middle of the table.
One player starts. A turn consists of asking another player for a specific card to match one in his hand. For example, if it is my turn I might say: 'Mary, Do you have ‘car'? The player who asks must already hold the matching card. If the player who was asked (Mary) has ‘car’, then she must give it to the person who asked. That player then gets another turn and may again ask any player for any card already held by the asker.

If the person asked does not have the card asked for, she says 'Go fish!'. The asker must then draw the top card of the pile.
As soon as a player collects a match, this can be discarded face up. I often have the kids then use the word on the matched card in a sentence.

The game continues until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the pile runs out. The winner is the player who then has the most matches. (I don’t stress the winning or losing part.)

 I like this game for my kids because they automatically have to put the word into a question, and then once the cards are played, we can go back and review, or I can have them use the words in a sentence they make up.  They are motivated to play, and it's great for all ages.  I'm sure there are other uses for the cards.  I just like this game.

I have these made now for Initial R, Vocalic R, and the two sets bundled together.
I also have a K set, a G set, and a bundle of K and G.

If you are a starving CF and want these donated to you, let me know.  Otherwise, the price is modest.

I'm doing a snow dance for Tuesday.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Get Ready for March-- with this free kites book

There is a lot of sadness in Chapel Hill right now. 

The part of my day which is still happy though is when I work with the kids, who are blissfully unaware of thoughtless, maniacal violence.  So, in honor of the kids, I'm posting a free book of kite flying.   I used to have a similar kites book up on the blog, but took it down to change out the images.  You may notice with this book that the photographer is credited on every picture.  This is because I downloaded these from a wonderful website---Photos for Class.  For me it's a dream come true---I want to use images legally and I want to give credit where credit is due.  This site takes care of that for those materials I give away free for students and teachers to use in a school.

Here's the book.  Icons for making it interactive are on the last page.  A sentence strip is also there, for kids who need that structure when reading each page.

I used SmartySymbols for this book since I have a commercial license.  It's a nice alternative to what I was using before.  


Mary Poppins scene "Let's Go Fly a Kite".  Do you ever fly kites with your students?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whole Body Listening---Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies

Today was the last lesson/discussion on whole body listening, and we ended with a video to illustrate the importance of listening to directions, without relying so much on routine and past activities.  My group of third, fourth, and fifth graders totally loved this.  I guess Sesame Street appeals to kids of all ages.

To illustrate the importance of listening to exact directions, the students then took part in a barrier game.
One student stood at the board with markers, while the other students described a simple picture of geometric shapes he had to draw. (An example would be "Draw two green circles. Draw a 2 in the second circle.") This was nice for both the expressive piece, and for the students to all see how the student at the board really had to listen and ask clarification questions if needed.

I love my group, and we have all made great connections over the year.  We share our news at the end of every session, and they enjoy asking me questions about what's happening with me, and they ask questions to each other about their life events.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Very Busy Spider Companion Pack

    I felt very honored to be named as a top blog by someone I deeply respect.  Heidi Kay at PediaStaff has done so much for all of us who write and showcase our profession. Her blog is amazing, and one of my top resources.   So, Thank you, Heidi! 

I have made a deal with myself that I would alternate free items with items for a modest price.  Items for sale are generally packets which are a fair amount of work (like hours of thought and preparation). The newest item is perfect for spring or anytime actually, and is centered around The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle.  You will need to look around your school or library for a copy of the book, but the packet is 31 pages of fun.  This is designed for our more challenged students, and is perfect for SLP/EC collaboration.

Included in this is an interactive book I created based on the animals and the actions they want the spider to do. For example, the sheep in the Very Busy Spider book asked the spider if he wanted to "run in the meadow'.   My companion book has this page below which clearly illustrates "running in the meadow".

In case you are wondering where I got the images, has a wide selection of reportedly public domain clip art and images.
I study the images to make sure that there is no watermark or signature, and then use them if I'm 99% sure it's legit.  There's always a chance that the photographer could take down the image, but I do plan on checking from time to time.  The same thing happens on Tarheel Reader, so I've changed out some images from there lately.

Symbols in the pack are SmartySymbols (I bought a commercial license and it is worth every cent. They are great.)

Get the packet at the Teacher Pay Teacher link here. 

It's a modest price, and as always, if you are a starving CF, email me at, and I'll send it to you for no charge.

Here is a description of the contents:

12 page interactive book entitled ‘The Very Busy Animals’ with simple text and icons for matching. Animals and verbs match The Very Busy Spider book.

8 page step by step booklet for making a paper spider

Yes/No and Wh-questions (to go with spider making project)

Sequence worksheet for spider making project

“The Very Busy Spider” character manipulatives (You need your own copy of The Very Busy Spider)

What, and Where question comprehension worksheets (3 pages)

S is for Spider handwriting worksheet
Have a great Valentine's week!  I'm looking forward to the fun.  

P.S. At the end of the spider craft in the book, you can have the kids put down some yarn to make a web, and put the spiders in it.  The ones pictures here are different from the ones in the packet, but it's the same idea.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thinking with your eyes---Social Skills Lesson

I have the most adorable social skills group ever!  The group consists of five students ranging from third to fifth grade with various needs, but all of the kids are capable of accessing the regular curriculum.   This group's social skills curriculum is totally centered around Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking materialsWhole body listening is an integral component.  Today we focused on 'Thinking with your eyes'.

First, the kids looked at photos of kids who either were or were not thinking with their eyes.  These are easily found on Google.  (Do a search on 'kids not paying attention'.)

Second, the kids watched a video of adults walking around in a city.  (ALL adults need to watch this!) Grownups walking by a gorilla totally missed it due to hyperfocus on their phones.
My students grasped how not 'thinking with their eyes' caused them to miss major events.

If the link above doesn't work, try this:

We as a group also played catch with a ball afterwards, but only using eye contact to determine who to throw the ball to.  After watching this video, the students understood how important 'thinking with their eyes' is, and only allowed eye contact to determine who was to get the ball.  I love them!

The video is worth 1000 words.  If you have higher level children in your groups, show this National Geographic video, and then ask them what happens if you don't look at the teacher during instruction.  What do they miss?