Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Day the Crayons Came Home

Wild About Books Wednesday is the new hump day! haha! Let's wind down the week with a good book! This week's selection is The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt.
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

The Day the Crayons Came Home is the hilarious and charming sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit! Both of these books are just so creative and sweet! If you haven't read the original, it's comprised of a series of letters written to Duncan from his crayons. The crayons are all unhappy for a variety of reasons. For instance, the Red Crayon is overworked. Gray Crayon is tired of coloring huge animals like elephants and hippos (it's strenuous activity) and would much prefer coloring pebbles and baby penguins. haha 

In the sequel, Duncan receives a bunch of postcards from his downtrodden and lost crayons. The Maroon Crayon is stuck in his couch (his valediction states "sincerely your marooned crayon" haha), Neon Red Crayon was left behind on a vacation and is now at the Ritz Pool, and Glow in the Dark crayon was left in the basement and wants to be rescued! 

I love that there are finger puppet companions for this story! I love book buddies, because they help you bring a book to life! Students can also use them to practice retelling the story and act out parts of the story!
You can even bring the book to life using real crayons too! 
There are so many ways that you can use this book to target speech-language skills!

1) Multiple Meaning Words: For instance, maroon can be a color (brown-red) or it can be a verb meaning you're abandoned or stuck! Also, the yellow and orange crayon use the word "sunny" as a feeling and you can discuss how it can also be used to describe weather. 

2) Where Questions: This book is perfect for teaching and practicing where questions! Every crayon has been left behind somewhere and just wants to come home. For instance, red and yellow were left outside (to melt in the sun!) and turquoise is in the laundry room (with a sock stuck to his head haha!). 

One of my favorite things about this book is Neon Red Crayon! He is hilarious and spatially challenged (kind of like me haha). After 8 months stuck at the Ritz, he decides to walk home. He sends postcards from a variety of places throughout the story and it's so funny! He sends a picture of himself in front of the Great Pyramids and he thinks he's in New Jersey! In another postcard, he sends greetings from the Amazon Rainforest (but he's skiing in the picture!). You can talk about where Neon Red Crayon thinks he is versus where he actually is! Incorporate a little geography! 

3) Inferencing: Brown Crayon says "They don't know what ELSE you use me to color, do they?" haha! What on Earth could he be talking about! There are many other things you can infer, for instance... we can infer that Neon Red Crayon is not good with directions. We can also infer a few things about Duncan, like he must be very messy because he leaves his crayons everywhere! 
It would be exhausting to be Duncan's crayons! 

4) Emotions: There are quite a few emotions in this book! For instance, Yellow & Red are feeling not-so-sunny and Big Chunky Toddler Crayon is feeling desperate. You can discuss these emotions and the things that have caused the crayons to feel the way that they do. You can also make some text-to-self connections here and students can talk about when they've felt those emotions. Glow in the Dark is afraid (of the dark haha) and Brown is embarrassed. These are all very relatable emotions! 

5) Problem/Solution: One thing about Duncan, he can solve some problems! At the end, he builds a magnificent Crayon Fort/Mansion thingy and it's fabulous! His crayons were feeling unloved and he created a place where they can always feel at home. :) 

Also, can we talk about my favorite crayon? Esteban the Magnificent (the crayon formerly known as pea green). His storyline is hilarious! He tells Duncan that he's off to see the world.. then sends another postcard asking him if he would open the front door. haha! Finally, he sends a postcard that reads "I've seen the word. It's rainy. I'm coming back." hahaha! Drew Daywalt is just an incredible author! He's so fun and creative. 
Have you used these books in speech therapy? They're great! What goals did you target?

I also have a flip book companion for the first book! It can be found in August's Flipping For Literature packet or the bundle

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't let you know that there is a TPT sale going on today and tomorrow (2/14 and 2/15)! Everything in my store is 20% off plus an additional 5% off when you use the code XOXO! I'll also extend my sale through Friday, but the additional 5% code ends on Thursday! 

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! 

Let's connect beyond the blog!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Introducing... Phonology on the Fly!

Hello, speechie friends! I cannot even contain my excitement right now! After four years of blogging and creating speech therapy materials, I finally made a series just for phonology!

Meet my new bestie - Phonology on the Fly!
This bundle will be LOADED with NO PREP materials - hence "on the fly." No time to prep? No problem! Just print these activities out and go!

Of course, I plan on making a packet for every month of the year so I created a growing bundle! If you're new to growing bundles, they're like Christmas every month! It means that the bundle is not yet complete, but new packets will be added in monthly. It works kind of like a magazine subscription... think of it as a phonology materials subscription!
To celebrate this series, I'm offering a special "buy-in" price of nearly 70% off (you'll save $66) until March 5th! This steep discount reflects its growing bundle status, as it only contains the March edition right now. The price of this bundle will steadily increase as I add in new packets. You can find it in my TPT shop by clicking HERE.

Let's talk about all the goodies in the March edition!
First up, it contains an interactive notebook activity! You don't need a notebook for this though. You can simply use loose leaf or construction paper instead. Personally, I LOVE notebooks. :)
Students sort minimal pairs! For instance, if you have a student that is fronting or backing, then they can sort /k/ and /t/ words like "key" and "tee."

Each month will have a different notebook activity. There will be tons of variety over the course of the next year!

There will also be tons of fun puzzles! In March, there is a leprechaun pouch with shamrock puzzles!
Another option is placing the puzzle pieces in a baggie for students to take home for additional practice! 

There is one more St. Patrick's Day themed activity and the rest are year round! It's a game called "Spinning for Minimal Pairs" and it features a leprechaun spinner and gold coins! Students will love spinning the spinner with paperclips and pencils! 
Spinner games have always been a huge hit in my speech room! Simply place the paperclip in the middle of the spinner and hold a pencil on the inside edge of the paperclip. Then flick the paperclip to make it spin! 

Next up: Dice, Dice, Baby! haha 
A similar game is found in my January Apraxia on the Go packet! Students roll a die to determine what word to practice. Also, inside each box is a minimal pair! 

This next activity is my favorite! I thought of it extremely late one night.... my brain never turns off! Do speech therapy ideas pop into anyone else's head at midnight? #slpbrain
Trace and Match! This activity will keep little hands BUSY! haha... First, they trace their word. Then along the side of the page, they have to find the match. They color the match and cut it out! Then they glue it on top of the picture that they traced! Between turns, students will be so focused and engaged! 

This is what the finished product will look like! 
I love this activity so much, that I decided to create a gigantic version for articulation! Stay tuned, I hope to have it finished near the beginning of March! 

I also have another fun tracing game - Roll and Trace Articulation

Over the course of this next year, you'll receive puzzles, dice games, spinner games, interactive notebook activities, and more unique activities too! 

Every month will address the following phonological processes: final consonant deletion, initial consonant deletion, velar fronting, palatal fronting, backing, stopping, cluster reduction, gliding, deaffrication, and pre-vocalic voicing/de-voicing. 

One last exciting announcement! This Wednesday and Thursday is the TPT site-wide sale! That means that you can get an extra 5% off of this growing bundle when you put in the coupon code: XOXO. 
Everything else in my store will be 20% off and you can get an extra 5% when you enter the code: XOXO! This is a great time to stock up on everything you'll need to finish off your school year! 

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

P.S. I'll also be hosting some giveaways to celebrate the sale! 

Stop by my Facebook page at 12pm and 6pm (EST) on Wednesday (2/14) and Thursday (2/15) to enter! They'll be fun and quick giveaways and you might win tons of new resources! 

I'll also be giving away at TPT gift card on Instagram on Wednesday (2/14) at 11am (EST). 

I hope to see you on social media tomorrow! 


Sunday, February 11, 2018

February Literature Lap Books

Lately, I've beens sharing peeks inside my Flipping for Literature packets and I thought I should show you some Literature Lap Books too! I love literacy-based therapy and hands-on materials!

Let's check out the book selection for February!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.*

These are three of my absolute favorite biographies! They're perfect for year round or Black History Month. Truly, you must read these aloud to your students. Invite Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Abraham Lincoln into your classroom (or speech room)!

If A Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold
One morning, Marcie gets on a peculiar looking bus. She doesn't want to be late for school so she hops on anyways! Suddenly, the bus starts to talk and tells her the story of Rosa Parks. Your students will love how Rosa Parks' story is told. It's imaginative and truly unique! Later, the bus reveals that it's Rosa Parks' birthday (February 4th) and then Rosa Parks walks onto the bus. They eat cake and celebrate before the bus drops Marcie off at school.

This is a wonderful book to read on Rosa Parks' birthday or any time! I made a lap book companion to go along with this wonderful story!
This lap book addresses many common language goals such as describing, sequencing, and vocabulary! It also has a response booklet for the Civil Rights movement and there is also a flip book (pictured above). If you're a classroom teacher this would be a great project to place in a literacy center after a whole group read aloud or a fun project for anytime! This lap book enables students to really dig deep into the story!

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
The story of Ruby Bridges is one that every child should hear. This book will really help young children understand how evil segregation was. Ruby was just a first grader. She was so kind and brave. She's the perfect role model for children and students can learn that even they have the ability to change the world.
You can find this lap book in my TPT store by clicking HERE. Each of my lap books contains activities that target common goals so that these books can be used in speech-language therapy! This book also features a booklet about Ruby Bridges (then and now) that demonstrates Ruby's lifelong commitment for equal rights. There is also a little booklet called "Actions Speak Louder than Words." It's critical to teach students that nothing will change unless actions are taken!

Also, if you don't want to have students construct these lap book projects, then simply have them add the activities into their interactive notebooks! Every activity is designed to be placed into an interactive reading or language notebook too!

Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
This book is so beautiful. There are no words that I can use to give justice to the illustrations! This is another wonderfully unique biography. A little girl is walking and sees a man that reminds her of someone.. later she sees a five dollar bill and makes the connection! He looked like Abraham Lincoln. She scurries to the library to find out everything she can about Lincoln and then shares what she learns with the reader. Lincoln's story is told through the voice of a child and it's such an amazing read! This is a wonderful book to use for President's Day and beyond!
Of course, I had to make some hands-on activities! Find this lap book by clicking HERE. Students will learn so many things about Lincoln with this project!
Students can also complete literature flip books. These can also be included inside the lap book or stand alone. Simply have students glue the flip book in the middle part of the lap book first then staple a clean white sheet or piece of construction paper over it to create a flap. Then glue the remaining activities onto the flap! There is an example of this in my blog post about The Art Lesson.

If you're interested in implementing literature lap books with your students, I also have a growing bundle! It's super discounted for a little while longer while it continues to grow! It's currently 70% until April 1st! Each lap book is also sold separately!
Interactive activities are so much fun and students love doing them! They have been a game changer for my therapy!

If you want to add these books to your personal library here are some Amazon Affiliate links:
If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

January Literature Flip Books!

The other day, I began a series on my blog where I share the book selections for each month's Flipping For Literature packet! All of the books from January can be used in February too (and all winter long)... so I thought I would go ahead and talk about the books found in last month's packet!

Check out the books for January's Flipping For Literature!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

While these books are found in the January packet they can truly be used from November-February... and perhaps even in early March! Of course, the Martin Luther King, Jr. book can be used year round!

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
This book is a true work of art! It's won a variety of awards and it's simply stunning. It's a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and on each page there is a featured quote by him. It's a wonderful way to teach children about peaceful protests, the importance of civil rights, and that big words live on forever.

The Mitten by Jan Brett
This is a classic winter book! It's a folktale about a little boy who loses his mitten. A mole decides to burrow in and lots of other forest animals begin to follow suit! If you are working on sequencing skills, then this book is perfect! I also love the illustrations! Each page features a little peek for what's to come, which is great for making predictions.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
This is another one of my favorite winter reads! A father takes his daughter "owling" for the very first time. It's such a sweet story. I adore Yolen's writing style, it's so poetic and descriptive. This is the perfect text to demonstrate descriptive writing to your students and would also be a great mentor text if you're teaching personal narratives.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Well, if you've been following along with me over the years then you know how much I love the Snowman Series by the Buehners. This is such a magical book. A little boy ponders what his snowman does at night. The rest is magic! This book is great for rhyming, sequencing, describing, and action words!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I love getting sucked into Peter's snowy world! This book is just precious. This book is great for teaching inferencing, cause/effect, sequencing, and so much more! Truly, is there anything better than a snowy day?

These interactive flip books and booklets help bring each story to life! They're a hands-on way for students to work on a variety of language skills such as comprehension, sequencing, vocabulary, writing, story elements, and more! If you're a speech-language pathologist, literacy-based therapy is wonderful! Books are truly my favorite therapy tools. They're a springboard for language and are a magical way to support language skills!

If you're a classroom teacher, there are so many ways you can use these flip books! You can use them in a literacy center (work on writing, etc). You can read the story aloud and then place the flip books in a center to be completed or they can act as morning work! They can also be used a whole group lesson, small group lesson, or a little partner project. Students can team up with a partner to read the book and complete the flip book activities! One teacher shared with me that she loves to use these as a Friday treat! So fun!
These flip book companions can also be found in a year long bundle! There is a book for each week of the year. This bundle is 50% off if you want to stock up!
You can also find more flip books (and lap books!) in my new growing bundle - Literature Lap Books for the Year! This bundle will feature 36 more books! Seriously, I can't even get enough so I just keep making them! haha

Thank you for swinging by my blog! Have a wonderful day!

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Kitchen Center in Speech Therapy!

I'm back with another edition of Toys as Tools! At least once a month, I'm going to stop in and share one of my favorite toys to use for speech-language therapy! Today, I'm going to share the biggest toy of all - a play kitchen! I've been wanting to blog about this for over a year and a half now! I'm so excited to finally share it with you!
*This blog post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

Okay, so I know what you're thinking... "that thing is bigger than my entire speech room." hahaha! I totally understand. I feel your pain, because my first year as a school SLP was spent in a glorified closet without air conditioning or heating! As soon as I landed a full size classroom though? It was game-on! I had to splurge on a kitchen center. I found mine on Amazon, you can find it HERE. I paid around $125 for mine! It looks like it's $121.99 now. It is a splurge, no doubt about it! Let me be real though, I've spent way more on picture books over the years! haha!

The therapy opportunities are endless with a toy kitchen! There are so many things you can work on!

1) Play Skills: Play is a struggle for many of our students. For people outside of our field, play skills appear to be innate in all children, but we know that is not true. Playing with peers requires receptive language, expressive language, problem solving skills, and more! When children have difficulty with language, they almost always have difficulty with playing. Symbolic/dramatic play requires a high level of thinking, it's truly fascinating! I found that a kitchen center really motivated my students to play alongside and with each other! 

2) Directions: This is a wonderful toy for working on following directions! You can say "put the pan in the oven" or "put the ice cream in the freezer and then wash the dishes." There's truly an endless combination of directions! 

3) Vocabulary: Even if you don't have a kitchen center, using toy food and toy pots n' pans are wonderful for building vocabulary (I linked to the ones that I use)! You can categorize and sort! You can ask for a plate of vegetables and a plate of junk food! You can talk about all the different types of food groups, which will provide students with functional vocabulary! I mean, we all love to eat! haha

4) Verbs: This one is an offshoot of #3. Cook, bake, fry, boil, stir, mix, microwave (you can even talk about how it's a noun and a verb), wash, dry, etc. There are so many actions that we perform in the kitchen! Verbs are vital. You can model tons of verbs using a stovetop! Then when you're done.. you can "clean" the kitchen! 

5) Sequencing: Have students explain the steps for making a hamburger (or sandwich, ice cream cone, hot dog, etc). I love using toy food for this, because making food is part of our daily lives..... well, unless you're like me and you hate cooking. haha! This is how I sequence making a hamburger: I find my car keys, I get in my car, and I drive to McDonald's. lol

6) Asking & Answering Questions: Students can practice asking each other questions. What are we making for dinner? Where are the cookies? Who is going to make dessert? 
By the way, I use a real cookie jar for my Melissa and Doug cookies! I found these on clearance at Walmart for only $5! I should have bought like 3-4 packs. haha! One day, I hope to have it filled to the top! #slpgoals 

7) Object Functions: Describe the functions of spoons, knives, forks, pots, the freezer, oven, microwave, etc! 

8) Describing: Building upon object functions, students can work on describing different foods and kitchen objects! You can even play a game similar to HeadBandz... instead it can be what's in my pot. Students can put food in a pot and then they have to describe it to a classmate! If the classmate guesses correctly then they can "eat" it! 

9) Executive Functioning: Students can work together to plan a birthday party for a friend! I've done this activity multiple times and students have a blast without realizing they're working on crucial skills such as initiating, planning, organizing, etc. 

10) Articulation: I can't forget my students with speech goals! Give each child a plate that features food that contains their sounds. For instance, a /k/ kid could have a carrot, a cupcake, milk, bacon, and a cookie! They can say their word 10 times, create a sentence ("I bake cookies), and then they can act out their sentence in the kitchen center. Artic kids LOVE the kitchen center. 
A few things about my kitchen... it matched my speech room colors, so I had to get it. haha! I love bold and bright decor! It came from Amazon in a long package and I had to assemble it myself. It definitely is a two person job! My step-dad and I struggled over two or three afternoons trying to get it together. haha. I choose to assemble it at school, because I thought it would be easier. 

I know that unicorns are more common than full-sized speech rooms. haha! This isn't really a realistic option for most school SLPs. There are a variety of alternatives though! 

1) I just searched Amazon and they have lots of different toy tabletop kitchens! This one is so cute and so is this one! These look small enough to store easily! 

2) Check out Speech Gems' blog post! She made her own tabletop kitchen using a shoebox! So cute! 

3) Truly you can get away with just toy food and kitchen utensils. You can even check your cabinets for old pots, pans, and dishes that you don't use anymore. Take them to school! How cool would having the real objects be? I know that I have about 20 plates that I've never used. haha #whytho 

3) If you do have the room, but not the budget.. Check out your local thrift shops and yard sales. I bet you'll eventually find a toy kitchen! A couple years ago, one of my co-workers had the most adorable kitchen that she found in a yard sale. 

4) If you're crafty, search "diy toy kitchen" on Pinterest. Your heart will absolutely melt. People make them out of nightstands and old TV stands. I just found this blog post that has a round-up of 20 diy play kitchens! They're adorable! Also, I remember the School SLP made a precious kitchen for her daughter a couple years ago. You can see it at the end of her blog post. 

5) If you have a preschool program, maybe you can stop into their classroom from time to time to use their kitchen! I know there are quite a few programs that don't have school on Friday. If your school is set up like that, maybe you can schedule in some "kitchen time" on their off days! 

Do you ever use toy food or a toy kitchen in therapy? What skills do you work on? Leave a comment and share your ideas! 

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! 

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

February Literature Flip Books!

My Flipping For Literature Bundle is one of my favorite resources. Books are some of my most prized possessions and I love using them during speech-language therapy. I decided that I wanted to make a visual library of all the flip book companions from this bundle! I'll be breaking down each month's book selection right here on the blog!

Check out the books for February's Flipping For Literature!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

For the February packet, I selected two Valentine's Day themed books and two year round books! 

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
Seriously, this is one of my all-time favorite stories! I've blogged about it numerous times and I even have a traditional book companion for it too! One day, it starts to mysteriously rain hearts and Cornelia Augusta decides to make some valentines for her friends! It's just precious. This is also one of my favorite books for tackling inferencing! As she makes each valentine, you can teach students how to use clues to figure out who will receive the valentine! Example: One heart has holes in it like swiss cheese..... who or what kind of animal likes swiss cheese? 

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli 
Oh my... if you haven't read this book, you have to find it immediately! It actually made me cry the first time I read it, but I'm super sensitive! haha.. Mr. Hatch is a very quiet man that keeps to himself... until one day he receives a box of chocolates from a secret admirer. That adds a little pep to his step and he starts talking to his co-workers and neighbors. This book truly can show children the power of kindness. 

Frederick by Leo Lionni
Sweet little Frederick. He's different from the other mice in his family. While they're all working very hard gathering supplies for the winter, he's daydreaming in the sun. The other mice get frustrated, but he tells them that he IS working. That he is gathering up colors, sun rays, and words... for the winter is cold and gray. Sure enough, when supplies run low and the winter days become rough, Frederick saves them with thoughts of sunshine and poetic words. Seriously, this is why I became an elementary teacher and speech-language pathologist, I wanted to read books like this for a living! It's such a beautiful story! 

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold 
Faith Ringgold's illustrations are always so beautiful! I've loved Tar Beach for so long. It's a timeless book. It's about a young girl named Cassie who lives in 1930's New York City. Her family endures racism every day, as her father can't join the union because he's an African American. Cassie finds an escape though. She flies all around the city and above her beloved George Washington Bridge. She daydreams of better times. Tar Beach refers to their rooftop, where her family and neighbors often gather. My favorite part is when she teaches her little brother how to fly... She tells him, "all you need is somewhere to go that you can't get to any other way." An imagination is so powerful! 

I have to say that flip books have become very powerful tools in my practice. Students love them! They're highly engaging and will keep little hands busy and minds thinking! Children truly love to leave speech therapy with something tangible to show their teachers and parents. I had a student last year that loved showing these to his teacher. It melted my heart! 

These also make cute bulletin board and door decorations! 

These can be used in the regular education classroom as well! One teacher told me that she uses these every Friday for a special treat! I absolutely adore that idea!
If you're interested in collecting all 52 of these flip book companions, check out the bundle! When you buy the entire year's worth you can save 50%! 
If you and your students love these, I also created a new growing bundle called Literature Lap Books. It features flip books and other activities that can be used to create a lap books (or they can be placed in an interactive notebook). 

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading about February's book selection! 

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