Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lesson Plan Prezi

Hi all,

The new school year is in full swing, and this year I have developed a new method to allow my students to stay constantly informed of their daily lessons, objectives, and expectations.  Check out my Lesson Plan Prezi.  Each sticky note will be filled in with specific information that is pertinent for the group.

How do you keep your students informed of their target objectives?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School

It's a race to the finish... I will officially be BACK TO SCHOOL in a week and a half... whoa!  I have created a few basic back to school themed activities especially designed for my "pint size" students.  These activities are designed to help improve knowledge of basic concepts, verbal expression, following directions, and receptive/expressive vocabulary.  Check them out!

To provide a multisensory experience, I used this tutorial to sew felt apples in red, yellow, and green and allowed my students to manipulate their positions as we read through the adapted books.

What activities do you like to use at the beginning of the school year?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting Organized

The recipe to success in the SLP-World is ORGANIZATION.  In preparation to begin my new position in a brand new school, I have been working hard to sort and develop materials to help keep everything nice and neat.

Here are a few documents that I have created.  Hope they help you in your organization ventures as well.

I hope these are helpful as you begin your school year!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Parent Communication

This month's ASHA Leader has a nice article about trying new things and making your New (School) Year's Resolutions.

This school year, I plan to improve my methods of parent communication.  It is essential to my students' progress to have parents who are invested in encouraging their communication growth.  Development occurs much more slowly when parents are not involved in activities that promote improved speech and language skills.

One method I plan to implement this school year is to provide weekly progress notes to my students' parents.  With a large caseload, this task seems a bit daunting.  However, I have created a few forms to help make this project much less time consuming.  These forms contain text fields and drop-down boxes to help you complete your parent letters in an efficient manner.

The four forms may be downloaded here.  Be sure to open the forms in Word in order to fill in the blank fields.  Once completed, your form will look something like this:

The wonderful thing about this method is that you can email the completed forms to your students' parents if they have access (just another way to save a few trees)!

How do you maintain communication with parents?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fun With Grammar

Many of my students struggle with the very basic elements of syntax and sentence structure.  To help aid their understanding and use of grammatical forms, I have created several books saturated with visuals targeting discrete areas of grammar development.  Click here to view my adapted book addressing use of pronouns (this, that, these, those).


1 Printer
1 Hole Punch
2 Binder Rings (1")
Velcro (Optional)
1 Envelope


2. Use hole punch to create two holes along the left side of each page
3. Using binder rings, attach all pages together (except for the last page)
4. Laminate and cut the last page
5. (optional) attach Velcro to the back of each pronoun visual (this, that, these, those) and in the box of each page
6. Attach (tape) the envelope to the back of your book for pronoun visual storage
7.  Read through the book with your student, using pronoun visuals to aid in understanding and use of the targeted grammatical forms
8. Once your student is successful in formulating sentences using visuals, remove visual support to encourage independent use of targeted grammatical forms

Be on the lookout for additional pronoun and possessive books coming soon.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dialogic Reading

As a speech-language pathologist, I frequently encourage my students' parents to read with their child often.  I provide specific tips for how to get the most out of their reading experience and often encourage the use of Dialogic Reading techniques to help enhance language development during story time.  Dialogic reading is an evidence-based method used to improve language expression, vocabulary, print awareness, sentence structure, and narrative abilities.

Below is a link to a brochure that I have created outlining the steps of Dialogic reading for parents.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Peer to Peer

Last school year, I teamed up with our school social worker to begin a brand new peer to peer program to help our students with ASD improve their social communication skills.  It was a very powerful and rewarding experience.  We trained ten typically developing 4th and 5th grade students to help enhance their understanding of the challenges faced by students with ASD and provide them with tools to encourage prompting and modeling of appropriate social behaviors.

These student's developed social scripts and created video models to target specific pragmatic skills.  They were incredibly creative and motivated to help enhance the new friendships that they had developed within the group.

Click the link below to view my Prezi describing the research supporting utilization of peer support groups and examples from our group (permission was obtained to include students in this presentation).

This coming school year, I plan to implement an additional peer group to target improvement of cooperative and symbolic play among our preschool and kindergarten students with ASD.  Have any of you developed a similar program in your school?  What has been your experience?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Recipe for Paperless Data Collection

So... I'm fashionably late to the data linky party, but since my methods seem quite different than others', I thought, "What the heck?  Let's contribute!"

I have adapted Ruth's Google Form method from Chapel Hill Snippets (check out her great tutorial) just a bit to make my forms a little more universal.  This works great for me since I use my Google Drive for EVERYTHING.  It's so useful for managing my documents and data from any location or device.

Prep Time: 2-3 hours (once you get the hang of it)
Yield: 60+ individual student forms and spreadsheets full of DATA!


1 gmail account
1 oz. of patience
a dash of creativity


1. Login to your gmail account and press "Drive" at the top of the page
2. Once you enter your Drive select "Create" and then press "Form" in the top left corner of the page

3. You will then be taken to a window prompting you to choose a title and theme.  I like to use my student's name as the form title and something cute for the theme:)

4. Now time to create your form.  This part is completely customizable (is that a word?), so I will simply show you how I have found that it works best for me.  At the top of my form I include information such as: 

Special Education Eligibility:
Related Services:
Current IEP Date:
Current MET Date:

5. For my first entry I want to record student attendance  I find that this works best in the down menu (Question Type: Choose from a list).

Fill in required fields:

Question Title: Attendance
Help Text: Record Attendance
Question Type: Choose from a list

1. Present
2. Unable to Participate in Lesson
3. Student Absent
4. Clinician Absent

6. Once fields are complete press "Done" and your drop down will be created.
7. To continue, press "Add Item" near the bottom of the page

8. Repeat steps 5-7 to add additional information

Enter Target Objecitves:

Enter commonly used Activities and Interventions:

Enter Activity Comments (I like to use "Paragraph Text" so that I can enter specific information such as: iPad app used, title of story presented, target vocabulary...)

Enter Levels of Prompting or Cuing:

Enter Accuracy (I like to use "Text" so that I can enter an exact percentage):

Finally, I like to add a Paragraph Text to allow me to record any additional comments:

9. Time to send your form.

* I select all of the optional check boxes in order to give myself many options when submitting my forms

10.  You will then be prompted to choose your recipients.  I usually email the form for myself (and maybe the classroom teacher).  This allows me to open the form on my PC to save the form to my desktop and on my iPad to save to my homescreen.  I can collect data ANYWHERE!

11.  Once to select "Done" you will be prompted to "Choose Response Destination."  This is where your data will be collected nice and neatly once you press "Submit" on the bottom of your form.  You can decide whether you would like to create a new spreadsheet or add a new sheet to an existing spreadsheet.  Give your new spreadsheet a name (again, I use my student's name), click create, and Google will generate your sheet which will be saved on your Google Drive.

My final form looked like this:

After 2 submissions, this is what my spreadsheet looked like:

As you can see, Google created a timestamp when i pressed "Submit" on my form and organized all my data into a wonderful little spreadsheet.  This really comes in handy when I'm ready to bill Medicaid (copy/paste).

12. One student down, 59 (give or take) left:)  This is where a "universal" form comes in handy.  It gives you a template that just needs to be slightly modified for each student.  To do this, return to the student's form and click "File>Make a Copy"

13. You will then be prompted to name your new form (I usually use the student's name)

14. Select "OK"
15. Make any modifications to personalize the form for you new student (i.e. target objectives, specific activities, specific prompts...).
16. Repeat steps 9-14 for all additional students on your caseload

Phew!  I know that it may seem like A LOT of work up front, but once you get the hang of it, it goes quite smoothly.  And trust me, it will save you lots of time (and trees) down the road!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Play Dough Fun

I've been cooking up a lot of fun this summer in preparation for the coming school year.  Yesterday I borrowed a fabulous recipe from the Domestic Superhero to cook up some truly superb play dough!  It was simple and very successful.

I am a strong believer in the power of play to stimulate speech and language development.  FUN is a facilitator for growth.  In his book, Engaging Autism, Stanley Greenspan states that emotion and affect are essential for language acquisition and use.  So let's create fun and functional experiences for our little ones.

For my play dough activities, I created the following communication boards using the Custom Boards app to encourage receptive and expressive language growth.

These boards can be used when teaching vocabulary (understanding and use of common verbs and adjectives), practicing following verbal commands, and improving expressive sentence structure.  I also plan to use this for my upcoming Dinosaur Unit (stay tuned).

Thanks for stopping by:)

Monday, July 29, 2013


Hi there,

Thank you for stopping by my brand new blog.  After a year of avid SLP blog reading, I have finally decided to share my thoughts and ideas with all of you.  I have just completed my third year as a speech language pathologist in the public school and private practice setting.  It has been an exciting and challenging journey.  During the past few years I have enjoyed exploring my passion for creating and implementing fun and interactive speech and language activities with preschool and school aged children.

My intention in creating this blog is to help bridge the gap between the SLP and the parent.  It is my belief that a child's parent is his or her #1 and most influential communication partner.  This means that we must all work together to help promote growth within our children and students who are struggling to develop speech and/or language appropriately.

In this blog, I will share my ideas along with research that supports practical and evidence-based interventions.  I will also provide any materials or specific activities that I am currently using and have found to be motivating, successful, and FUN for my students.

Given my love for cooking, canning, and EATING, I will try to provide a "recipe card" for each activity, listing the essential ingredients (or materials) and step-by-step directions.  These activities will be found throughout the blog as well as in the specific pages above.  Feel free to peruse these posts and share any questions or comments.

Thanks again for visiting,