Monday, November 11, 2013

Conference Week!

Parent-Teacher conferences are upon us and I thought I would write a short post about how I prepare for conference week.  I know every school and district handles conferences a little differently but I hope that you will find some of my tips to be helpful.
In my district, related services don’t have separate conferences so most times we (speech, PT, OT, etc.)  have to piggy back off of the teacher’s time.  At times this can be a little difficult because teachers are only allotted about 30 minutes per conference.  So we have to share a lot of information in a short amount of time. 
 I work in 4 self-contained classes and I also have a caseload of resource students.  So I have tried to a develop a system to successfully tackle conference week.  Here is what I’ve done the past few years.
Before conference week:
·         I consult with all of the teachers I work with and determine what conferences they would like me to attend.
·         I make a conference schedule.
·         I review student work files.
During conference week:
·         I meet with parents during the classroom teacher’s conference time.
·         I bring a short outline with me to the conference.
·         I go over the student’s speech and language objectives with the parents.
·         I address any concerns I may have with the parent.
·         I give the parents suggestions for communication building at home and in the community.
Due to scheduling difficulty there are a few parents who I may not get to meet with face to face.  I make contact with these parents through the notes I send home and encourage them to contact me by phone if they have any questions or concerns about their child. 
I hope these tips will help your parent-teacher conferences run smoothly.  Please share with me any tips you may have. Thanks for reading!




Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to Business... Back to School Activities

Happy Labor Day Weekend Everyone!
I just finished my first full week of school and let me tell you those kids almost took me out!!!
I always underestimate how physically draining the first week of school can be.  I was in bed (or wanted to be) by 9 every night.  I am so happy we have a long weekend so that I will be able to re-energize.
Since I was able to schedule most of students over summer break I jumped right in to therapy this week. 
I purchased this amazing September Vocabulary Unit from TPT seller Melissa Toth and I am using it in addition to some of my Back to School Activities this month. 
We have been very busy...

We started off reviewing our monthly words using my "Back To School-I See" book.

I like using this book format because not only does it target vocabulary it allows my students to work on expressing 3 word phrases.

We also worked on sorting and vocabulary ID.

We ended our week with a great set of "Fun Friday" Activities. 

I read "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books" by Lucille Colandro.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books!

We made our school supply list using this worksheet.

We played Old Lady Jeopardy... This was a BIG hit!!!

We also used my There Was A First Grader Who Swallowed worksheet to identify our vocabulary words by feature. 

Off to enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books... JEOPARDY GAME!

Think back..
11th grade..
American History..
It's Wednesday..
There's a midterm on Friday..
Your American History teacher has come up with a "fun" way to review some of the material that will be on Friday's test..
Cue PowerPoint Jeopardy..

Am I the only one who remembers playing these review games?? I actually COMPLETELY forgot about them until a professional development day this past May on the new teacher evaluation (yikity yikes).  One of the presenters used PowerPoint Jeopardy to review some key facts from the presentation.  It actually brought back some fond and not so fond memories of my all girls Catholic High School days (le sigh)... 


I started thinking, "I could totally make a speech-friendly version of that and use it with my kiddos".. So I did!

One of the books I plan on using during my Back-to-School theme is There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by: Lucille Colandro. So I made a PowerPoint Jeopardy game to review vocabulary and details from the story. 

The idea is of this game is pretty similar to the TV show.  You can find templates of PPT Jeopardy all over the net.  I downloaded my template of the Microsoft Office website. 

This is the main board.  I used 3 categories instead of 5 or 7.  Once the point value is clicked the game goes directly to the question in that category. 

Once the student answers the question the answer will be revealed.  I will then decide if the student has earned the point for that question.  The home button returns the game back to the main page.

Once all of the questions are answered then the game goes into Final Jeopardy. 
My students usually get excited any time we use the computer in Speech so I am hoping they will love this game. 
Do you use PowerPoint games in your therapy sessions?
Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Instagram instants!!

There are a few things I've grown to love a little more this summer break..
  • Junior's Strawberry Cheesepie
  • Running
  • Curly Hair
  • Statement Necklaces
And last but not least Instagram..
Are you on Instagram?? You should be...
I've had a personal Instagram for quite a while now and it wasn't until this summer that I discovered the vast amount of SLP/Teachers through this social network.  I love how easy it is to share pictures and ideas within the teaching community. 
Here are a few of my recent Instagram posts.

One of my yummy green smoothies

 OOTD selfie at a family BBQ
 New schedules for next year
 Binder deal from Target
 One of my many laminating trips to Lakeshore


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books Jeopardy Game
(blog on this project coming this week)

You can see all of my posts on Instagram @bespeechchic
If you don't want to join ANOTHER social network (trust me, I know the feeling) but you still want to keep up with you favorite SLPs and Teachers you can use a Instragram webviewer (I like webstagram). You don't have to sign up or join just search your favorite teachers or hashtags i.e. #slpeeps you will still be able to see some great pictures.  

Thanks for reading!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August SLP Link-Up!

Are you noticing a trend here?!?!?!
I love these SLP linkys!  This week I am linking up again with Laura from All Y'all Need for her monthly SLP Link-Up.  Ready???? Here we go!

Buying: New Shoes
The school year is fast approaching and I desperately need  want need want some comfy, cute new shoes.  Ok, I love shoes! Stilletoes, Platforms, Peeptoes, the higher the better but we all know being a school SLP and running from class to class in 5 inch heels is IMPOSSIBLE.  So I have to settle for ultra cute flats between the hours of 7:30 - 3:30.  I am currently doing a little online shopping (hated it...) and I am down to a few choices. 

I'm leaning towards the striped d'orsay and the grey puppy flats.  Decisions Decisions.
Trying: Consistent workouts
So I have roughly 21 days before I have to go back to work and I am challenging myself to workout everyday from now until then.  #21daysoffitness We shall see how this goes! :-)
Speeching: Finishing Projects
As I said in my last post I have about 1,000,000 projects to finish before school starts again.  I am slowly but surely trying to complete all of them.  As soon as I finish this post I am going to work on new schedule boards.  I've had the same schedule boards for about 2 years now and they are pretty beat up.  I am excited to get this project started!
Thanks again to Laura for hosting this fun linky! Visit her blog to join link up and see what other SLP bloggers are doing in August. 

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Back to School Activity: All About Me

So if you're anything like me you have just about 100,000,000 projects to do before school starts again in late August or September.  I am constantly thinking of new things I want to try or create or do next year.  I'm convinced Pinterest and Instagram are the devil (just kidding).   I swear my apartment looks like a broke down office/school/craft supply store. 
Today I want to share with you guys one of the projects I have actually completed.
My "All About Me" Poster Board

*The decals on the board are from Lakeshore and the blue presentation board came from Jo-Ann's Fabrics.
I plan to use this board with most of my students during the first week of school.  During small group time each student will get the opportunity to come up to the board and share important information about themselves.  I am hoping this will be a fun activity. 
I also made a quick sentence completion companion to use with this board.

What fun activities are you planning for Back to School?
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Linky: Show Me The Data!!!

Hi Loves!
So I'm here with another "link-up" post.  Jenn from Crazy Speech World started a linky that is all about DATA.  This topic comes at just the right time because for the past few nights I've started to put together my data binder for next year.  So how do *I* do data?!?!


  • Start with a binder and divider tabs.
  • Each student has their own section with their individual data sheets.
  • Fill in data sheets with student goals and objectives.
This data sheet is based on a similar form that I used during my student teaching.  Over the years I have tweaked it to best meet my needs.  This form includes a section for name, annual review date, annual goal, short term objectives, notes, and percentage summary. Once I have added all necessary information to the form I print off a few copies and add it to my binder.  I only add percentages to this form so I can easily average progress towards goal.  I see most of my students 3-4x per week so I take ALOT of data so just having the percentages on this form makes my life so much easier. 

I use this form to take *raw* data. This is the BEST data sheet I have ever used!!! I found this form in some of my files.  I'm guessing it was given to me by a colleague or one of my professors.  I keep copies of this form in a file box on my desk. When I get to school in the morning I add these forms to my clipboard and fill in the objective(s) based on my lesson plans for the day.  At the end of the day I calculate the percentages and then add them to individual student forms in my binder.  Once I am finished I send these sheets to our school shredder. 
I also have a few students who I take unofficial data on.
I use this form from Therasimplicity to take data on my students who have a communication device. I also keep this form in my data binder.   In my district, we don't typically write AAC goals but I like to take data on device usage because it is good information to share with parents during annual review/conference time. 
So there is my slightly crazy data collection system. What's yours?


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Love it List It: My go to games!!!

Hey Lovelies!!

Jenna Rayburn over at Speech Room News has started a new link-up for SLPs and when I saw the topic I just had to join in!

The topic for this month is FAVORITE GAMES. I have to admit I am probably the one Speech Pathologist in all of the world that doesn't use games consistently in therapy.  My caseload is mainly non-verbal, low functioning students with Autism and we spend a lot of our time working on functional communication skills.  I do however have a few go-to games that I use with my non self-contained kiddos.

  • Block Head - This is a pretty opened ended game that can be used to target any speech or language objective.  I usually let the kids add a block to the tower after they've answered a question or said their sound. 

  • Thin Ice - My kiddos LOVEEEE this game.  I use this pretty much in the same way I use Block Head. It's so funny because my students will get so nervous about "breaking the ice" and they love taking turns spraying the "ice" (tissue).  Sadly, some of the pieces turned up missing from this game so I had to throw it away.  I'm currently on the hunt for another one.

  • Cat In The Hat: I Can Do That - I love using this game during Dr. Seuss Week at our school.  You can target many skills with this game: turn-taking, following directions, sequencing, and vocabulary building.  This is one of the more expensive games that I own but it was definitely worth it.

  Honorable Mentions:
Angry Birds Toss Game
Apples to Apples
Be Rhymed!
What are some of your favorites?!?