Friday, April 27, 2018

Cinco De Mayo Read Alouds

Cinco de Mayo is next week! It's a fabulous opportunity to teach students about holidays around the world and to celebrate Mexican culture.

Picture books are my favorite therapy tools. Today, I'm discussing some great books that you can use next week and how you can use them to target a variety of language skills. Many of these books are not specific to Cinco de Mayo, so you can also use them year round too!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

Fiesta Time! Celebrating Cinco De Mayo by Sandi Hill
This is a fun and simple informational book! It describes the sights and sounds of Cinco de Mayo - from mariachi bands to the piñata! There are a variety of skills you can tackle with this book:
Categories: Foods of Cinco de Mayo, Things to do on Cinco de Mayo, etc
- Five Senses: This book discusses things you'll taste, see, hear, etc! The five senses are so important, because they're truly the foundation for describing!
- Verbs: smell, taste, dance, etc

Cinco de Mouse-O! by Judy Cox
If you've visited my blog before, you might know I'm just a tad bit obsessed with mouse books! I was so excited when I found this gem! A little mouse wakes up and smells something spicy - he ventures down to the park and discovers the Cinco de Mayo celebration! There's also a pesky cat that stalks him throughout the night and he narrowly escapes! Use this book to target:
- Vocabulary: This book introduces lots of Cinco de Mayo themed vocabulary words!
- Problem/Solution: Mouse desperately wants the treats inside the piñata!
- Adjectives: There are so many great describing words in this book!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
This book is always a major hit! I've used it year after year and it never gets old! A taco party goes awry when the mild salsa actually contains jalapeños! See, dragons love tacos... but they don't like spice! You can work on:
- Executive Functioning: Have students plan their own taco party!
- Cause/Effect
- Describing

Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds
This book is so much fun! The chickens are fed up with chicken feed and desire a more tasty cuisine! Luckily, Rooster has been watching cooking shows in the afternoon with the Farmer's wife! Unbeknownst to her, he perches outside the window and watches! haha! He takes the chickens to the garden and they gather the ingredients for salsa! This inspires the ducks, who then make guacamole... and then that inspires the pigs to make nachos! There are so many goals you can address with this book:
- Problem/Solution: The chickens are tired of chicken feed, so they make salsa. The pigs are tired of slop, so they make nachos! This book is perfect for talking about problem solving!
- Inferencing: On each page, there is always a major ingredient that nobody knows who gathered. For instance, the chickens ate chips and salsa, but nobody knew where they got the chips! The ducks made guacamole, but nobody knew where they got the avocados! This is so much fun, because if you look closely at the pictures, there's always a sneaky mouse providing the ingredient!
- Sequencing: Describe the steps for making salsa! The back cover also has a fun recipe!

Mañana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
Iguana wants to throw a fiesta on Saturday and tries to recruit help from her friends. She asks Conejo (rabbit), Tortuga (turtle), and Culebra (rattlesnake) to help her write the invitations, but they each come up with an excuse. Each day, she asks for help with a new task and they always decline. Sound familiar? Yep! It's a twist on The Little Red Hen - which happens to be one of my favorite folktales! So, I love this little story!
- Compare/Contrast: Students can compare this story to The Little Red Hen!
- Inferencing: Have students infer what the animals say each day, they can infer that the animals said no on Monday, so they'll probably say no on Tuesday too!
- Context Clues: This book goes through each day of the week. On the first page it says Monday (lunes) and then it drops the English word for the rest of the book. Have students figure out what day of the week is martes, miercoles, etc. Also, they can use clues to figure out what fiesta means and mañana.
- Vocabulary: The book also features a glossary of all of the Spanish words used!

Dragons Love Tacos 2 by Adam Rubin
The Dragons are back and they still love tacos! But one problem.. The world's supply of tacos has been depleted and the Dragons are super sad! How do you solve this problem?! Well, there is only one solution. You hop into a time machine and go back to your taco party (before they ate the spicy tacos) and grab a few tacos to bring back to the future to plant some taco trees! hahahaha!
- Problem/Solution
- Describing
- Time Concepts: Time travel is a tad bit complicated, but it's fun way to talk about the past, present, future and before/after!

I hope you found some ideas on how you can integrate Mexican culture into your therapy! Do you have any must-have books that you use for Cinco de Mayo? Leave a comment and let me know! I love adding to my book collection!

Have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Popsicle Crafts for Speech Therapy!

Ice balls are back at my favorite ice cream parlor... so it's officially time to bust out the frozen treats! Popsicles, sno-cones, and ice cream cones are just a few of my favorite things!

It's no secret, I'm not very artistic or crafty! I even made some NO PREP craft bundles - articulation and speech therapy crafts (covers articulation, language, and fluency) to make up for it! Crafts are fun, engaging, and are wonderful activities to keep students engaged between turns. The NO PREP crafts are game-changers, but occasionally I won't to throw in some traditional crafts too!

Today, I want to share a low prep craft that you may want to try out this summer or during the last few weeks of school!

These popsicles are so cute and fun to make!

Materials Needed:
- Popsicle Sticks (giant or regular sized)
- Construction Paper
- Scissors
- Glue
- Word Pieces
- Washi Tape (optional)
Directions:
1) Cut out a popsicle shape using construction paper (I didn't use a template. It's a little lopsided, but that's okay)
 -Note: I used the entire size of the construction paper, because I had giant-sized popsicle sticks. You can definitely make smaller popsicles!
2) Create stripes using word pieces. You can find horizontal strips in my Summer: Snip and Stick Apraxia packet (shown) or Summer Articulation Bundle (you can also grab early sounds, later sounds, /s/ blends, /r/ blends, and /l/ blends individually).
-Note: I didn't even cut individual word pieces. I just left the rows intact for easy glueing!
3) Between each word stripe, put a washi tape stripe for extra color!
4) Place glue on half of the popsicle stick and then glue the popsicle on top!

Super easy! These will certainly keep students focused between turns!
Also, you don't have to have horizontal word strips! If you own my NO PREP craft bundles mentioned above, you already have circle-shaped word pieces! Students can glue polka dots onto their popsicles instead!

If you don't have word pieces at all, no problem! Just have students decorate their popsicles with stickers!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

If you're interested in more frozen fun, check out my blog post about an ice cream theme!

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Watermelon Fun in Speech!

Let's have some watermelon fun in speech! The end of the school year is quickly approaching and a little watermelon theme is a great way to lead into summer break! When I think of summer, watermelon is the first thing that comes to my mind!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

Let's talk about some fun and practical crafts! Crafts are great reinforcers and keep students focused between turns! 
Students will love making these watermelons! There are two options - use word pieces or bingo daubers!

Materials Needed:
- Paper plates (choose the kind that are flat-ish)
- Word Pieces (you can find them in my articulation crafts or speech therapy crafts bundles)
- Scissors
- Glue 

Steps: 
1. Cut the paper plate in half
2. Students color, cut, and glue their word pieces around the paper plate in a semi-circle. The pieces in the outer semi-circle should be green and the rest of the pieces should be pink or red! 
3. OR Students can use green and red/pink bingo daubers 
Easy peasy! The watermelon with the word pieces features categories sheets! These crafts can be used for all sorts of goals - not just for articulation! For instance, after a student names items in a category they can glue the category onto their watermelon! 

You can also have students create a color base with the bingo daubers and then they can glue on just a few word pieces (they can glue them maybe every 3 or 4 inches apart). 

My July Articulation Game Boards features four fun themes - including watermelon! 
My Articulation Game Board Bundle is one of my favorite creations! Students LOVE collecting them throughout the year and they make great homework activities. Games don't feel like homework! :) 

Another fun craft you can create are watermelon pacing sticks! 
I used Darice's Colorful Foam popsicle sticks and watermelon stickers I found in the Target Dollar Spot! You could also have students just glue on little black dots to represent watermelon seeds! 

If you have a student that benefits from pacing sticks, you can truly find a way to incorporate them into any theme! You just need some popsicle sticks and themed stickers! 

Pacing sticks are great for students who stutter. They can touch each sticker on the pacing stick to create a flexible pace. They can also use them to aid in pausing and phrasing! I also love using pacing sticks with students who exhibit final consonant deletion. This helps them gain awareness that words consist of a variety of sounds. Just put three stickers on the pacing stick to represent the CVC word! 

You can also use these sticks for articulation drills! Challenge students to squeeze in as many stickers as possible (they can use front and back) and then they can touch a sticker each time they practice a word! Pacing sticks can truly be used with mixed groups! 

Lastly, let's talk about a fun book! 
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli is fantastic! The illustrations are just wonderful and it's funny! It's about a crocodile that loves watermelon, but one day he accidentally swallows a seed! He begins to worry (maybe a watermelon will grow inside him and vines will come out of his ears?! haha) and he eventually burps it up and swears to never eat watermelon again...... well, maybe a little piece here and there won't hurt him. haha

Students will truly get a kick out of this book! Here are five ways to use it in speech-language therapy:

1) Cause and Effect 
2) Describing - Maybe even bring in watermelon pieces for a taste test! Describing watermelons is so much fun! 
3) Sequencing 
4) Inferencing - The last page shows the crocodile with a worried face! We can infer that he swallowed another seed! haha 
5) Articulation /ch/ - There's lots of chomping going on! 

Do you have any ideas for a watermelon theme? Please comment and share! 

Have a wonderful day! 

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Free Camping Themed Dot Pages!

Hey Friends! I'm swinging by the blog today to share another goodie that can be found in my free resource library! My newsletter subscribers have exclusive access to this library. If you're interested in receiving weekly emails from me about blog updates, sales, new resources, ideas, and more then you can sign up by clicking HERE!
It's no secret - I'm obsessed with using bingo daubers in speech therapy! They're definitely my favorite school supplies! They're novel, fun, and they're super motivating.

Camping is one of my favorite themes so I had to whip up some fun reinforcement pages! There are so many ways you can use dot pages in your speech room or classroom! Since they are open-ended they can be used for any skill!

Here are some skills you can target:
1. Articulation students can write their target words inside the circles OR they can even draw pictures of their target words!
2. Language students can write vocabulary words (synonyms, antonyms, etc) and grammar targets like plurals or pronouns inside the circles!
3. Fluency students can write target words for easy onsets/light contacts inside their circles.
4. Fluency students can use the pages as pacing boards. They can touch each dot as they are practicing a flexible rate.
5. You can write minimal pairs inside the circles for phonology students.
There are also a ton of different ways you can utilize these sheets.

-Slip them into dry erase sleeves to make play dough smash mats. After a student practices, then they can smash some dough on the circles!
-Re-use the same pages throughout the day by placing them in dry erase sleeves. Students can write on them with dry erase markers.
You can even play roll and cover games! Just add some tiny erasers and a coin. Student flips the coin and if they get tails they can cover one circle and if they get heads they can cover two circles!
You can also combine all of these ideas into a single session. This ensures lots of variety for the kids that need it!

First, have students color their page and write in their target words and then they can play a roll and cover game. Then they can dab all of their words with the bingo dauber... after it dries, make it into a smash mat! These sheets are super versatile!

If you would like these free open-ended sheets then subscribe to my newsletter! After you subscribe, you'll receive a confirmation email that contains a link and password to all of the goodies! I also add new freebies into the library on a regular basis.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bug Theme in Speech Therapy

Happy Theme Thursday! Spring is finally here (even if Mother Nature didn't get the memo) and I'm so excited to talk about one of my favorite themes - bugs! Bugs is such a fun theme for spring and summer speech therapy!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

First up, let's talk about some fun and easy bug crafts! Crafts are great for keeping students focused and engaged between turns. If you have large articulation groups, it really is important to keep everyone actively involved while they wait for one-on-one time with you. I love using activities that require cutting, coloring, and glueing!
If you've been visiting my blog lately, then you know I'm currently obsessed with paper plate crafts! I love them, because they're sturdy and they're ready-made circles!

Materials Needed:
- Paper Plates (I like the cheap kind that are flat-ish)
- Word Pieces (you can find them in my articulation crafts or speech therapy crafts bundles)
- Bingo Daubers
- Glue
- Scissors
- Black Construction Paper
- Wiggle Eye Stickers

There are two options. 1) Students can cover the entire paper plate with word pieces. This would take the average student multiple sessions. If you don't have a place to store unfinished crafts in your speech room, then this option may not be realistic for you. If you do have space, then you plan once and you're covered for 2-3 sessions. 2) Students can cover the paper plate with a bingo dauber! Then they can glue 10 word pieces onto their plate. This option takes WAY less time!
This ladybug is so precious! Notice there are no wings, legs, or antenna - ain't nobody got time for that! haha. To create the faces of the bug, I just cut a black semi-circle out of construction paper and glued it near the top of the paper plate. Then I placed two wiggle eye stickers on it! Also, remember you can use a red bingo dauber to get the entire plate covered instead of all the word pieces! Lastly, you glue black circles on top - I used a 1 inch circle punch to make the circles.
This bee is very similar to the ladybug, but instead of dots it has black stripes and a black triangle is glued on the bottom!

There are also four no prep bug crafts in the March Speech Therapy Crafts packet (or bundle). I'll try to add in pictures of those in the next week or so!

Let's check out some bug themed resources! First, I found this adorable wooden bug box in the Target Dollar Spot! This would make such a fun reinforcer! After a student practices a word or skill, they can "feed" the bug box! I found a very similar one by Melissa and Doug on Amazon. I also found my wooden bugs at Target around Valentine's Day. Melissa and Doug make some super cute plastic ones that you can find HERE.
May: A Dab of Speech and Language features a bug themed! This can also be found in the bundle.
This packet addresses articulation, language, and stuttering/fluency! It's perfect for mixed groups. You can use it with bingo daubers! These sheets are also a fun companion for a toy bug box!
I also have a Bee Articulation packet (also found in Articulation Bundle #2)!
You can also slip these pages in a dry erase sleeve and add yellow play dough and tell your students that it's a Honey Smash game! They'll love it! Also.... you can use these sheets for word pieces if you make the bee craft! Students just cut out the honeycombs!

This year I've been hard at work on my Thematic Interactive Articulation Notebooks Growing Bundle! My latest packet is a bug theme! It's my favorite so far! Let's peek inside!
There's a bug box pocket! There are butterfly shaped puzzle pieces and then students store them inside their bug box! You can revisit this page over and over again. Students can just take out their puzzles and practice their words.
This buggy sort is my favorite! Students sort their words into initial and final positions! They lift the wing flaps and glue their words under them!
Bug Jar flap-ups! Students glue their words around the bug jar and then they lift up the bug jar and write sentences underneath it! If your students are not writing, they can also glue their bugs under the jar flap.
Buggy Phrases Flaps! Students lift up the bug bodies and write a phrase/sentence underneath!

Lastly, let's talk about some great books!

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
This book follows a grouchy little ladybug through its day. The ladybug tries to pick fights with a variety of animals and by the end of the day it's exhausted! Ultimately, the ladybug ends up happy and content. There are so many uses for this book:

1) Time Concepts
2) Social Skills
3) Compare/Contrast - The ladybug encounters lots of different animals throughout the day. Compare the ladybug to each animal or compare the animals to each other.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Eric Carle has tons of lovely books about bugs! This one is my favorite! This book shows the lifecycle of a butterfly. The little caterpillar hatches and eats his way through the week! Use this book to target:

1) Quantitative Concepts - He eats one apple, two pears, etc
2) Sequencing - Talk about the lifecycle of a butterfly!
3) Describing

A Pet for Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
I LOVE the Fly Guy series! He's always been a hit in my speech room over the years! In this book, Fly Guy wants a pet of his own. They go to the pet shop and check out a puppy, frog, and cat. Then they go to the park and check out worms, spiders, and crickets. Of course, none of them work out! Ultimately, Fly Guy decides he wants Buzz (his owner) to be his pet. It's so sweet! You can work on:

1) Adjectives - Each pet doesn't work out because it's too *something.* It's either too jumpy, too slimy, too tangly, etc.
2) Why Questions - Ask students why various animals didn't work out.
3) Animal Vocabulary

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner
I love this book! It's colorful and so much fun! At the end there's a page that shows the actual sizes of bugs and there's also a colorful chart (Bug-O-Meter) at the end that breaks down where bugs live, how many legs, can it fly, etc. You can work on:

1) Rhyming - The story portion is written in rhyme!
2) Compare/Contrast - Use the bug-o-meter in the back of the book to compare/contrast different bugs!
3) Where Questions - Talk about where each type of bug lives.

Bugs A to Zzzzzz by Caroline Lawton
This is a wonderful non-fiction book to add to your bug collection. It features real pictures and shares two different bugs for each letter of the alphabet. For instance, the "B" page has a bee and a butterfly and the "Z" page has a zebra spider and a zebra swallowtail butterfly!

1) Compare/Contrast - This book is set up perfect for comparing and contrasting! Each page features two different bugs!
2) WH Questions - Each bug has a little blurb that provides information. Read the blurb aloud and then ask questions about it!
3) Describing

The Magic School Bus: Inside a Bee Hive by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen
I love Mrs. Frizzle! This book series combines non-fiction and fiction in such a fun way! The end breaks down all of the things that can't happen in real life! The pages are full of diagrams and tons of different text features! Generally, these books are very text-heavy though. Use this book to address:

1) Text Features - Non-fiction books require a different set of skills. Teach students who to recognize a variety of text features such as headings, diagrams, charts, labels, etc.
2) Dialogue
3) Compare/Contrast - drones vs. worker bees, queen bee vs. worker bee, etc

Do you ever do a bug theme in your speech room? What materials and books do you use?

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

If You Give a Moose a Muffin (Ideas for Speech Therapy!)

I'm head over heels for the If You Give A.... Series! Laura Numeroff is one of my absolute favorite authors. I blog about Mouse all the time, but today is all about Moose!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

It's Wild About Books Wednesday, so let's talk about If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff! 

I love using series in speech therapy. Background knowledge is a huge piece of comprehension. It's so helpful when students with language disorders are already familiar with characters and plots! This book follows the same cause/effect pattern as all of the other books in this series! 

In this story, a boy gives a moose a muffin and then he wants some jam to go with it. This starts an entire series of events in which the moose makes sock puppets and paints a mural. At the end, Moose spies a blackberry bush that reminds him of jam.... and ultimately of muffins! 

There are so many goals you can target with this story! 

1. Adjectives - Moose is artistic, friendly, creative, and spontaneous! You'll definitely want to spend some time on Moose's character traits. 
2. Sequencing - This is such a fun story to sequence! There are so many silly events that build upon one another. 
3. Cause/Effect - I love using this entire series for cause/effect. Everything that happens in this story causes something else to happen! 
4. Compare/Contrast - compare this story to other books in the series (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Dog a Donut, etc). 
5. Articulation Targets: initial and final /m/ - moose,  muffin, mix, jam, make, more, some, mother, him, much, etc. If you have a student that is working on /m/ then this book is perfect. They can work at the word, sentence, or reading level! You can also target initial and final /s/ (ex. moose, some, sew, sock, loose, sewing, so, scenery, see, etc). 
6. Object Functions - The boy and Moose use lots of different objects throughout the story (ex. needle and thread, paintbrush, sock puppets, sheet, soap, etc). 

Activity ideas:
- Bust out the watercolors and students can paint their own sceneries and then describe their scenes (just like Moose). 
- Cooking activity in the speech room or classroom! Make muffins!
- Bring in sock puppets. Moose creates some sock puppets in the story. Students can act out the story with the puppets.
- Sort buttons - A button is loose and Moose tries to fix it! Get different sizes, shapes, and colors and students can sort them by various attributes (big vs. small buttons, sort by colors, sort by shapes, etc).

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

April Literature Flip Books

Each month, I've been rounding up all the books found in my Flipping for Literature series. Books are truly my favorite therapy tools and over the last couple of years I've been developing flip book companions for some of my favorite reads!

Let's check out the books highlighted in April's Flipping for Literature!
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

One of my favorite themes for April is weather! I'm a gardener, so I love spring rain showers!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
This is one of my favorite weather themed books! If you're not familiar with it, a grandfather tells a story of a faraway place called Chewandswallow. There's no grocery stores there, because the weather brings in all of their food! It rains pancakes and syrup for breakfast and snows mashed potatoes! Seriously, I want to go to there (any 30 Rock fans)? haha... But one day, the weather gets out of control! There are so many ways you can use this book in therapy: compare/contrast weather in Chewandswallow vs. your hometown's weather, figurative language, problem solving, describing, and more!

Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
This is truly my favorite Polacco book! A young girl recounts the summe's at her grandmother's house in Michigan. One summer, her grandmother helps her overcome her fear of storms! As a storm approaches, they make something called Thunder Cake. It's such a wonderful story! It's perfect for sequencing! The steps for making a Thunder Cake are outlined in detail. You can also use this book to address: adjectives, story retelling, time concepts, and more!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
I've never met a student that didn't love this book! This is a great year round read or bust it out around Cinco De Mayo! A taco party goes awry when jalapeños make their way into "mild salsa." It's absolutely hilarious! See, dragons LOVE tacos, but they hate spicy salsa! It kinda makes them breathe fire. haha! This is a great book to target sequencing (planning a taco party), problem solving, describing, and more! 

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Stillwater is truly one of my favorite characters in children's literature. He's a generous, kind, and thoughtful Panda. He's moves into a neighborhood and then gifts three children with stories. There's a moral to each story and each child learns a valuable lesson. The pictures are gorgeous and the book is beautifully written. This book definitely requires higher-level thinking. It's great for inferencing. 

If you're a speech-language pathologist, you can work on each flip book companion over the course of multiple sessions. Students love these keepsakes and are always so excited to show them to teachers and parents! If you do push-in therapy, these are wonderful!
If you're a classroom teacher, there are so many ways that you can implement these into your classroom. They can be used for Friday afternoon "treats." You can read the story aloud on Monday and then students can complete the flip book throughout the week in a literacy center or as morning work. They can even be used in listening centers, whole group lessons, or as partner activities!

These books can also be found in a year long bundle in my TPT store! If you collect all 52 books in this bundle, you'll save 50%!
Thank you for stopping by! I hope your April is wonderful!

P.S. In case you stop in next month to read about May's books, I wrote about them in 2016! You can find that blog post HERE. I'll be skipping to June. :)

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