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Making Digital Speech Therapy Games

Making Digital Speech Therapy Games

I'M BACKKKKKK! Well, that was a long break (cough, 3 years, cough) since I've written on the blog! Just so you don't think I am a slacker, I have been busy with my two little girls which I'll refer to as M & M for now. I am super lucky to have time off with them and miss this whole, teaching during a pandemic, thing. But, if you're still here, I wanted to share a wonderful resrouce that has made creating digital speech therapy materials fun and easy. Behold....Tabitha's ALL Access Bundle! This resource is simply AMAZING. I cannot say enough great things about it. I can literally make a digital game in minutes! Check out all the digital speech therapy activites I have been able to make in the past few months HERE. If you are at all wondering if you can do it, YOU CAN. She has everything made as a template and you just have edit the slides. Use my code SMM20 to recieve $20 OFF the bundle price!!! Check it out HERE!! It is worth every single penny. Can't wait to write more soon and connect with you as I return to work and get back into the swing of things. Thanks for sticking around! -Lacee
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Speech Me Maybe
Top 3 Hacks for School-Based SLPs

Top 3 Hacks for School-Based SLPs

School based SLPs have unique challenges that set our jobs apart from working in other settings. The majority of us have high caseloads, demanding workloads, and not to mention we have to keep up with our continuing education credits, licenses, certifications, new research, and evidence-based practices. It can be overwhelming and exhausting to try to keep everything straight. Luckily, there are some amazing people out there who have focused on making our lives easier and let me tell you, I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

#1 – The first must have for school-based SLPs is called SLP Toolkit. This is a web-based service that I gladly pay a monthly membership of $19. It has SO many features but I mainly use it for their progress monitoring assessments, present level assessments, developing goals, and make awesome recommendations for accommodations. This program helps me feel more confident when I write present levels of performance, goals, and accommodations on annual IEPs. It also makes progress reports a BREEZE. It takes no time to administer a progress monitoring assessment and compare it to last quarter. I love printing out the graph to send home to parents. It provides a great visual for them to see how their student is making progress. I love, love, LOVE, this program.

You can try it free for up to 5 students to see if you like it! Check it out HERE.

#2 – My next therapy love is called SLP Now. Holy moly. It’s hard to put into words what Marisha has created with this program. This has truly been my lifeline this school year. I spend about 10-15 minutes (no joke!) every Friday afternoon prepping for the entire next week of therapy. SLP Now provides evidence-based materials for every. single. student. on my caseload. There are literacy packs, skills packs, assessments, and crafts, just to name a few. Most of the time, I just print and use immediately. Lately, I have been trying to save paper so I just pull up the lessons on my iPad…super easy and quick!

Check it out HERE.

#3 – Last but not least…Teachers Pay Teachers is my third school-based SLP hack. It is not only for teachers. I absolutely love logging on, searching for a keyword, and finding quality materials that are exactly what I need. SLPs on this site have similar caseloads as you, therefore, their materials are relevant, appropriate, and beautifully designed. Did I mention they are also a bargain? Prices don’t even compare to bigger companies that sell speech and language resources. There are also a TON of free resources on this site that are amazing and fun for all students.

TpT is free to sign up. Check it out HERE.

These three hacks alone have saved my sanity as a school-based SLP. I honestly do not know how I would feel about my workload if I didn’t have these resources at my fingertips. What are some things you use in your day-to-day therapy that make your life easier? I would love to hear in the comments below!
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Speech Me Maybe
The 3:1 Model

The 3:1 Model

By now, you’ve probably heard of the 3:1 service delivery model or you may know someone who currently implements it. The 3:1 model for school SLPs calls for three weeks of direct services followed by one week of indirect services.  I’ve always wanted to try this model but had a hard time believing I could “sell it” to administrators even though I feel that my therapy and caseload management would be so much better! ASHA has a lot of great information on this model and the efficacy of it, of which I completely agree with! It’s hard to argue with evidence-based research. At my current placement, I am implementing a modified 3:1 model and it is working fabulously.  If you’re interested in trying it out, let me tell you how I do it!

My modified version of the 3:1 model consist of direct therapy Monday-Thursday and indirect services on Fridays. I cannot express how big of a blessing it is to have an entire day of the week to complete paperwork, conduct comprehensive evaluations, have make-up sessions (yes, make-up sessions), write reports, provide consultative services to general education students, meet with my special education team, schedule IEP meetings, and so much more. In fact, Friday’s are probably my busiest day. I do not stop working for a moment because I know I only have one day to complete my to-do list or else it has to wait until next week. This model also allows me to focus on therapy Monday-Thursday. I am not trying to test kids in between groups or completing classroom evaluations at a moments notice because I know I have FRIDAY. 

There are a few exceptions for this modified 3:1 model. I continue to see students with severe apraxia or phonological disorders that require a more consistent treatment. I also continue to see my RTI kiddos because of the consistency factor as well.

Have you tried a version of the 3:1 model that ASHA recommends for school-based SLPs? Let me know what you loved or didn’t love! If you're interested in reading more about this model, check out this link.
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Speech Me Maybe
Articulation Centers

Articulation Centers

I have to share with you something that I have found to be amazing this year. It is called Articulation Centers. I was hesitant at first to implement this new idea, as all new things are scary. But, if you’re anything like me, traditional articulation therapy can be a little monotonous for myself AND even the students at times. You know, the type where 3-4 students come in, we pick a game, each person says their sound at the word/phrase/sentence level then they take a turn at a game, THEN they have to wait for three other people to say their sound and take a turn. I was over it and it was the second week of school. :)

At my new placement, 70% of my caseload is working on articulation. That is A LOT. I needed a creative way to spice up articulation sessions and this is just the ticket. My gal pal, Shannon from Speechy Musings, is full of great ideas and I just happen to come across her Articulation Centers resource on Teachers Pay Teachers. I modified it a bit to fit my style and what works in my speech room but here is the gist...

Set Up:
Get a visual timer. Set it for 5-7 minutes at the beginning of each rotation.
Set clear expectations.
Explain each session in detail the first session.

Center 1 - Race to 100
This center is where the student will work with the SLP one-on-one and try to say their sound 100 times. My students LOVE getting to 100 and surprisingly, within 5 minutes, most of them do!

Center 2 - iPad
Articulation Station- This app is AMAZING and the kids really enjoy getting some iPad time in! I like this app because the students can grade themselves and it saves all the data from each session. It is really cool to see how they think they sound vs. how I think they sound. Don’t forget to set clear iPad expectations at this center.

Center 3- Sort the Cards
Students are responsible for knowing what sounds their working on in speech. This increases independence and self-monitoring outside the speech room. Students choose which seat to sit in and sort the articulation pictures.

Center 4- Exit Cards
I use tongue twisters or Nicole Allison’s Tier 2 Vocabulary cards at this station. The students read the sentence and that is their exit ticket out the door.

-I have all decks of all the phonemes at my desk and at center 3 so that I can quickly grab and go.
-My sessions are 20 minutes long. I set a timer for 5 minutes for centers 1,2, and 3 and Center 4 takes about 2-3 minutes before they’re out the door.
-If I have a group of 4, I group two students together that are working on the same sounds. That way, they can use the iPad together.

I totally can't take credit for articulation centers. I originally got the idea from Speech Musings on Teachers Pay Teachers. She has written a post on how she sets up her sessions, too. Check it out here!
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Speech Me Maybe
The First Week in Speech

The First Week in Speech

You’ve completed your schedule. You’ve met all the teachers. You’ve reviewed all the goals. You are ready to start seeing your students for the first week of speech. But, what do you do?? Do you play a game? Do you take baseline data? There are no right answers, but maybe a couple rapport-building activities will set you up for a successful year.

If your students are meeting you for the first time, this is a vital point in your relationship. They have memories of the previous SLP and the routines they had last year. So, you don’t want to make it seem like you won’t be working hard in speech, but you also want to establish yourself as a safe, fun, engaging teacher, too. These are a couple of strategies I use when I begin speech sessions for the year.

1) Meet them with a smile. It’s amazing how far a smile and good attitude can take you.
2) Give them a tour of your room. Where they will put their folders, the materials you will use, and the seats they will be at. I always like to make them feel as comfortable in my room as I do.
3) Use this FREE RESOURCE to play break the ice games and get to know your students.
4) Complete a speech book so that your students will know their goals and understand why and when they will be coming to speech.
5) Set expectations. You’ll want to let them know the expected behavior in speech and reward that behavior when you see it.

I hope this gives you a good amount of material to complete for the first week in speech. Let me know your ideas for the first week in the comments!
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Speech Me Maybe
10 Tips For Surviving Your First Year At A New School

10 Tips For Surviving Your First Year At A New School

How to survive your first year at a NEW school

1. Schedule a tour at the school prior to your start date to meet the administrative staff, secretaries, maintenance staff, and teachers if available. This is a great time to pick up your keys and introduce yourself to some important people. In my experience, the school secretaries and maintenance staff are some of the most helpful people on campus, especially when you’re the newbie!
2. Get a map of the school and learn the layout. You’ll want to know where the gymnasium, lunchroom, ELL class, computer lab, and library all are. Most likely, your kids will be in these places when you go to pick them up for speech.
3. If you are at multiple schools, get to know the procedures for signing in and signing out of your school. The principal is a great resource when it comes to questions like this. Some schools have a strict policy in case of fire alarms or emergencies, they will need to know to account for you or not.
4. Check out your therapy room and determine what furniture you need or don’t need. Do you have enough tables and chairs? Do you have a locked filed cabinet for your speech files?
5. Go through the speech materials left over (if any) and determine what you don’t need AND what you may want to order. Think about your caseload and find out if you have any sort of budget to spend on new materials. (Fingers crossed!)
6. Review your caseload and IEP system. Meet with the school psychologist to find out if you had any new transfers over the summer or any new students that need attention. The school psychologist can be a wonderful resource when it comes to the special education system. Usually, they are super helpful when it comes to paperwork and IEP meetings.
7. Set up email, phone, and voicemail with the IT department. Keep their number handy in case you have any technical issues. Find out which printer your computer prints to and test it out to make sure it works. You will be printing A LOT of paperwork!
8. Attend any back to school breakfasts, staff meetings, or school events and make yourself available to teachers and parents.
9. Bring coffee or treats at some point and invite everyone to come introduce themselves if they haven’t already. I keep a Kuerig in my room all year and it is the best relationship builder. I mean, what teacher doesn’t love coffee?
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! Find a staff member that you click with and lean on them for advice and knowledge during this first year!

Good Luck!
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Speech Me Maybe
It's the SEVENTH of May!

It's the SEVENTH of May!

Do you know what that means?? On the 7th of every month during the school year, hundreds of SLPs on TpT select one item and discount it 50% off for the day! All you have to do is log on to teacherspayteachers.com and search #may17slpmusthave in the search box. Then, shop until you drop! I wanted to share with you what I have selected this month. It is perfect for summer practice and a great way to impress the families you work with.

This product is a resource that I give to parents, teachers, and other professionals right before school gets out for the summer. Included are ten, free – low cost activities that parents can do to elicit speech and language skills over the summer. Specific examples along with activities are provided to bring awareness and knowledge to parents that have kiddos with language disorders. Target audiences for this product would from PreK-5th grade.

Activities are all in black and white and there is no prepping needed except for stapling and handing them out!

Page 3- Zoo Activity
Page 4- Camping Trip
Page 5- Lemonade Stand
Page 6- Ice Cream in a Bag Activity
Page 7- Picnic
Page 8- Beach/Pool Day
Page 9- Take a Drive
Page 10- Gardening
Page 11- Sports
Page 12- Read

You can find this resource HERE!

Happy shopping!!
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Speech Me Maybe
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