Quick and Easy Recipes {The Frenzied SLPs}

slp recipe

Mornings can be pretty hectic in my household!  I am a school-based SLP, mom of a middle schooler and wife of a school principal.  We are all trying to get ready for our school day at around the same time so mornings can be a little frenzied!   Several years ago I discovered a morning game changer—slow-cooker steel cut oatmeal!  It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s delicious!!! It only takes me a few minutes to prepare this glorious breakfast just before going to bed. I plug in my slow-cooker, aka “crock pot,” and let it do its magic!   When you wake in the morning,  your home will smell  heavenly and a hot breakfast will be ready and waiting. One less thing to stress about when you are preparing for your busy day ahead. Most importantly, you will be starting off the day with nutritious brain food that is sure to give you energy and sustenance.   Winter mornings will never be the same again!  Want the recipe?  I’m delighted to share it with you.   Let me know if you try it out.  I hope it helps you start your day off with ease and success!

 

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1 cup steel cut oats

3 cups water  ( I like to use part milk/ part water)

1 cup peeled and chopped apple (optional)

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

 4 tablespoons brown sugar (you can play with the amount to suite your sweetness)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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www.speechsnacks.com

Directions:

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Cook’s Note: Important—> Use steel cut oats only or this will be a mushy mess.  

Take notice of the difference between rolled oats (left) and steel cut oats (right).

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www.speechsnacks.com

 

oats 4

Place the steel cut oats, water/milk, apple, raisins, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract into a slow cooker.

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Stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.

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Cover the cooker, set to LOW, and allow to cook 6 hours.  (If you cook it too long, it can get mushy). ENJOY!!

oats 1
Looking for more quick and easy recipes?  Check out the Frenzied SLPs for some tasty ideas!  


 

 

 

 

Favorite Organizational Tips {Frenzied SLP Linky}

org linky

Good organizational skills are a necessity if you work in our field.  We are always collecting new activities, games and  programs, not to mention being bombarded with paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork!  Without good organization skills our jobs can become even more overwhelming and challenging to manage.    Good organizational habits are also a good way to demonstrate, first hand to our students, those all important executive functioning skills that we teach.   After all, we should try our best to practice what we preach!

I work primarily with middle and high school students.  I have been an SLP for many years.  I have collected many materials over those years and continue to find new, fresh, motivating materials.  I try to “clean house” every so often and get rid of outdated, ineffective materials in order to make room for new finds.  I have also accumulated  materials that are my tried and true stand-by’s that I use over and over again.

So here is how I keep some of the materials for older students organized and easy to access:

#1: Organizing my graphic organizers.  I have quite the collection of graphic organizers and have them all separated out with color-coded tabs.  I used these daily with my older students to address a variety of goals. I find that while one organizer works well for one student, a different format may be more effective for another so I have several versions that may address one area (i.e. vocabulary development).    You name the area of language, I probably have an organizer for it!  Vocabulary development (I have at least 20 different graphic organizers for this area), comparing/contrasting, cause/effect, multiple meanings, inferencing, two-column notes, before/after, and the list goes on.    I also keep a separate binder for my writing organizers.  Top-down, sequencing, authors purpose, character traits, story maps, etc, etc, etc.   I have a few copies of each printed and ready to go in my binders so I am prepared for any spur of the moment need for an organizer.

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#2: Organizing my programs and daily “go-to’s”:  Can you tell I like to use binders?!  Yes I have lots of them!   I order most of my materials from various vendors on CD.  When new ones arrive at the start of the school year, I download it , print it out, three hole punch it and add my shiny new binder to my bookshelf.   By the way, Word Feast Adolescent and Tasks of Problem Solving Adolescent are two of my favorites!  I use these frequently.  I use all of the the binders pictured below throughout the year. It’s so much easier for me to remember what great materials I have when I have them labeled and organized in clear view for easy reference.   My “go-to’s” are on a separate shelf located on my desk.  These binders contain my graphic organizers, joke of the week, quote of the week, idiom of the week and picture of the week binders.   I display these in clear plastic 8X10 picture holders (the kind you can buy in the dollar store.)  I can quickly switch out a new page to my plastic holder by keeping these references in clear sight on my desk.   My students love when I display these and look forward to finding out what my new “….Of the Week” display will be each time they visit my room.  

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photo holder

photo holder for use with “….of the Week” display

 

 

#3:  Organizing my seasonal and themed activities. I create TpT products (mainly for older kids and often with a seasonal theme), I purchase TpT products too.  I have sooooo many TpT products!!  What to do with all those TpT products??!!  I store mine in clear plastic containers and house each activity in its own large business envelope.  Luckily I found containers that are the perfect size for the envelopes. I have containers labeled General Themes,  Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.  I also have an overflow container with miscellaneous language worksheets and activities.  I think I may need to invest in a few more containers or start weeding out the activities that I am not using or finding effective.  My space is limited so I will need to do a little house keeping very soon!!

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These are a few organizational tips I use to keep me sane and my therapy room orderly!   I hope you have found them helpful!   The Frenzied SLPs have many other great ideas for you, so don’t forget to check them all out!  Here’s to a well organized 2016!!!


Celebrating Small Accomplishments, Making Every Day Count! {The Frenzied SLPs Linky}

2016 frenzied slps

Happy 2015 2016!  It’s going to take me a while to get used to writing the number 6!   I’ve already mistakenly written 2015 on two bank checks and a form at the dentist’s office.  The good news is, it’s easy to turn a five into a six without it looking too obvious!!   I’m sure I’ll get it right by the time the summer rolls around.   This month The Frenzied SLPs linky party theme focuses on things we are going to try….. to improve, …. to change, ….to continue, etc. in our work life and/or personal life.

New Year’s Resolution are not my cup of tea!  I find them overwhelming and too long-term.  Making resolutions is easy, but keeping them is extremely  difficult.  I prefer to keep track of small accomplishments.  I love checking items off of a long list and feeling productive.  And yes, I hand write my “to-do” lists with a paper/post-it and pen!    Call me old-fashioned but there something rewarding about writing down my thoughts, crossing them off as I complete each one, and crumbling up that piece of paper when I finish everything that I set out to do!

I think even more rewarding than that  however, is to write down and keep a record of  accomplishments (no matter how small or simple!)

This year I’m going to keep track of some of my accomplishments in a calendar.   It will serve as a simple and effective way of noting daily successes and  help me focus on what I DID accomplish, not on what I DIDN’T/COULDN’T  finish at the end of the day.   By the end of the week/ month/year, I will have many reminders of all the positive, productive, meaningful tasks that I completed!

Would you like to join me and document your own daily accomplishments?  You can grab your  FREE copy of  “Make Every Day Count” calendar HERE.

cover pages calendar

I hope to reflect on my day (at work and at home) and jot down one small accomplishment every day.   The important message is that I will be collecting many thoughts that remind me that I am moving forward and always trying to “make every day count.”

frenzy pic 2016

 Check out what my fellow SLP bloggers are focusing on as they start out their new year at the links below!  Feel free to link up and share your thoughts too!  Wishing you peace, health and happiness as we move through the next 365 days!!


Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Linky!

 

Annie Doyle (Doyle’s Speech Works) is having a virtual cookie exchange!  I was so excited when Annie brought up the idea and knew I would be linking up!  This fantastic SLP and I also happen to share some things in common.  She used to live in my home state of New Jersey, she is of Italian heritage and she loves to cook and bake!   I love how blogging has allowed so many of us get to know each other!  Hopefully I will get to meet Annie in person someday soon!

I was brought up with the influences of two cultures, Italian and Polish.  My very Polish mother cooked great Polish as well as Italian meals.  And when the holidays approach, cookie baking was always a main event in our home!  Me and my three sisters helped my mother make eight to ten different types of cookies for the holidays.   Today, the tradition has been past down to me!  I make many of the same cookies that my mom did and have added a few new additions of my own.  I bring them to our La Vigilia (Feast of the Seven Fishes) every Christmas Eve.

xmas cookies(A sampling of some of the cookies made by me during the holidays!)

One of the cookies that has always been the first to disappear from the cookie tray is the Polish lekvar cookie.  It just isn’t  Christmas at our table without the lekvar cookie present!  It is one of the most labor-intensive of the cookies I bake and I have learned to gain great appreciation for all that  hard work my mom put into these wonderful creations. We savor these cookies since Christmas is the only time of year that they are  made.  Not only are they time consuming to prepare, but it just seems out of place to enjoy them at any other time of year!   (NOTE: This cookie is also known as  Hungarian Kiffles or Hungarian Lekvar and as Hamantaschen by the Jewish).

Today I am sharing this wonderful cookie tradition with all of you.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

So here is the secret ingredient—prune butter.  Prune butter? Yup!  It really is wonderful.  Believe me, even the little kids love this!!  It’s made from sweet, dried plums and really is a fantastic filling for these cookies.  I also made these cookies with apricot filling although the lekvar filling seems to be the more popular of the two.

prune butter

Check out the recipe card below.  There are only a few simple ingredients that go into this recipe so it doesn’t appear very complicated, however the tedious part lies in the rolling, cutting, filling and folding.   But don’t let that intimidate you! Once you have made a few batches, you will be an old pro, and the finished product will be well worth it!   Enjoy the process.  If you have kids at home, get them involved and make it a teachable moment in measuring, sequencing and direction following. Most importantly, make some memories as you spend time together during this holiday season!

lekvar recipe

 

lekvar 1

 

Looking for more cookie recipes to add your to holiday collection?  Don’t forget to check out Doyle’s Speech Works to find more sweet creations!  Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

 

 

The Frenzied SLPs—Gobble Up the Holiday Goodies {Linky Party}


Frenzied SLPs Gobble Up Holiday Goodies Square (1)

The Frenzied SLPs have a Thanksgiving themed linky with some holiday goodies for you. Thanksgiving is only a few days away, which means a short school week for many of us!   I’m sharing some holiday-relevant ways to fill your instructional time while  keeping your students excited about learning.  And keep reading to the end of the post for a creative way to use up all that delicious left over turkey!

 

#1:   A Cornucopia of Tier Two Vocabulary— from my TpT store.   I created this with the middle to high school set in mind. It includes some key Tier-2 vocabulary, strategy and game dice and a 3-D “Cornucopia Cup,” (as I call it), for collecting all the game pieces earned in this activity.  Themes include Black Friday, The First Thanksgiving, The Mayflower….and more!  It’s ON SALE this week only so hurry and gobble up the savings!!!!

tg preview

 

cornucopia preview

 

#2   Use this food-tivity  in place of the paper cornucopia (above) . Your students will LOVE getting edible reinforcer to incorporate into my  Thanksgiving vocabulary game —or use this creation as a positive reinforcer with any activity of your choosing for a fun and festive diversion from the usual game tokens!!  (Make the cornucopias in advance at home. Use candy corn, candy pumpkins, marshmallows, gum drops or healthy fruit snacks, yogurt drops, etc as reinforcement tokens to fill the cone.)

cornucopia cone

 

#3.  I’m paying homage to  Tom Turkey with  a food-tivity  that is fun to make, healthy to eat, will teach sequencing and direction following and is sure to be the juiciest turkey you have ever eaten!!   NOTE:  NO TURKEYS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FOOD-TIVITY!!

I like to accompany this activity with the story “Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving”  by Dav Pilkey.  It’s an adorable story with a humorous twist and it ties in perfectly with the fowl-free sequencing food-tivity .  The story is filled with many great tier-2 vocabulary words to address with your younger students.

 You can download your copy of my SEQUENCING TURKEY FREEBIE here!!!

Each step contains ways to build language through DESCRIBING, COMPARING, CATEGORIZING, SEQUENCING, DEFINING, and DIRECTION FOLLOWING.  Incorporate the pictures into your language lesson.  If permitted, make this task truly MULTI SENSORY by using the actual ingredients in the classroom.  If this is not possible, send home the printouts so parent can create the project at home with their child.turkey pict 1
turkey pict 2

 

#4 .   Looking for a way to use those leftovers?  Having company after the big turkey day?  Check this out!  Turn your turkey leftovers into a cornucopia wrap.  Plus, your picky eaters at home will love filling their own healthy snack tortilla!  (Yup, I will take full credit for this brilliant creation!)

  • Combine left over turkey with shredded carrots, chopped celery, red onion, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds.
  • Add a tablespoon of mayo, a squeeze of fresh lemon and salt/ pepper.
  • Roll a medium sized tortilla into a cone shape and insert (weave ) a toothpick into the pointed end of the tortilla.
  • Spoon ingredients into cone as you hold it upright., then lay it down and finish spooning in the rest of the filling.

cornucopia leftovers photo

 

#5.  I love posting a Picture of the Week/Joke of the Week in my therapy room.  This is what my students will get to laugh about/think about this week. Perfect for addressing inferencing and critical thinking.   I  hope the vegetarians among us aren’t too offended!

turkey pict

 

Are you already thinking ahead about the next BIG HOLIDAY???     You can find lots of activities for your older students all in one place—my store!!  Click HERE and HERE for my FREE Holiday activities and HERE  and HERE for MORE Products that target language goals with your older students.

christmas free

traditions freebie

 

night b4 xmas

You can link up or check out more speech goodies from some tremendously talented SLPs below!  Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with the comforts of family, friends, good food and plenty to be thankful for!


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