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