Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Carryover SOS: Strategies for Speech Therapy! {Linky Party} Using Technology for Effective Carryover with the Big Kids!


Carryover Linky Image 2












It’s time for another great linky party and  Crazy Speech World is talking all about carryover strategies!   Generalization of speech sounds is such a challenge for so many students.    Sure, our students can model and monitor when they are with us in the confines of the speech room, but using speech skills appropriately and consistently in the real world is  a whole different ball game!   Although many children have mastered their speech sounds before reaching middle school or high school age, others continue to  require guidance in achieving complete success.  By this age, motivation and interest to improve often decline.  In some of those cases, their articulation is as good as it’s going to get, in other cases, a little extra push in the right direction will help them reach that finish line so that they can be released from services.  So here’s my take on ways to improve generalization of speech/carryover with older students……

Fact #1: I work with the “big kids”

Fact #2:  Kids LOVE technology!

Fact #3: Many of the kids I work with have their own cell phones, iPods, tablets and other such devices.

Fact #4: Many of the kids I work with have technology devices that are wayyyy better than mine!

Fact #5: I need to join the party and make a visit to my nearest cell phone store!

Like so many adults, so many kids are attached to their technology.  While I’m not advocating that you encourage your students to text obsessively and spend hours on their portable devices, I do believe that it can be an effective way of getting them  to make a conscious effort to monitor their speech in situations OUTSIDE the therapy setting.  You would be amazed at the level of interest students take in getting a school-based assignment completed when it involves using their own personal devices!!

cell phone



This activity should be done OUTSIDE of the therapy setting.  Have your students use the “notes” section of their device (phone, tablet, iPod), to enter their thoughts about how they sounded at a specific time, place and situation outside of school.   They should make note of their thoughts 3-4 times per week.  They can even schedule an alert/reminder onto their calendar as a way to remember that they need to complete this task.

When they come to their therapy session, use this FREE rating scale to discuss or write about what they recorded on their device.  If you work in a school (such as mine) that gives students permission to openly use their devices as a homework planner/organizer, then you can have them share the actual notes with you.  With older kiddos, it’s very effective to communicate with them on this level.  It allows them to connect their articulation with the real world.





Using the camera feature of their device, students can take pictures of people, places, things, events that they find interesting and worth chatting about.   Have them keep a “picture-a-day”  album on their phone, ipod or tablet.  They need to find someone to share their pictures with for one minute as they monitor their speech sound for consistency and accuracy. They can ask a parent, sibling, friend to listen to them as they talk about the pictures they have taken.  When they come in to their next speech session, have them use this FREEBIE to sketch out one of the pictures and tell you all about it.  (Again, if electronic devices are permitted in the school setting, ask them to show you the actual pictures.)


cphone 2


Kids love to record themselves saying and doing silly things.  Channel some of that energy and humor by having them use the video feature on their device to record themselves.  The video should last no longer than one minute.   They can talk on any topic that they wish.  Afterward they can review it and rate it.  Have them give it a number from 1-5, depending on the clarity and number of errors they observed.  They should share their short video with a parent , sibling or friend and ask them to honestly and constructively rate their observations as well.  You can give them this FREEBIE rubric to use at home.   Keep copies available in your therapy session and ask them to explain the short video they recorded and rate what they thought of their speech.  Once again, if permitted to use their phones in school, ask them to share their video so you can rate it together.

cell phone1


So there you have it, ways to incorporate personal technology into carryover.   Remember to tell your students that they need to be mature and appropriate when carrying out this assignment.  It will hopefully teach responsibility as well as help them realize that their device can be used as an important learning tool!

What are your carryover strategies with older students?  Check out Crazy Speech World’s linky party for tons of great ideas from SLP bloggers!


A Cornucopia of New Vocabulary {A Tier-2 Word Activity and Treat for Thanksgiving}

This neat holiday idea has been floating around on many websites and pinterest boards for the past Thanksgiving season or two, so I couldn’t resist giving it a try and “making it my own.”  And this simple “food craft” (like so many of the treats I make) is the inspiration behind the new Thanksgiving product I created in my TpT store—A Cornucopia of Tier Two Vocabulary.   I created it 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.    If you’d like, you could even substitute the Cornucopia Sugar Cone (see below) to make your activity an edible learning experience!

Let’s take a look at the activity first, but read on for a sweet Thanksgiving treat.  Your students will be thankful when they see how much fun learning new vocabulary can be!!


tg preview


This packet is designed to help teach students  to look beyond the memorization of dictionary definitions and further develop a deeper understanding of tier-2 vocabulary words . In addition, it addresses comprehension skills through “WH” questions related to the content of the passages that require thoughtful, inferential responses.

Object of the game:  Read the passages aloud to/with your students.   Roll the dice and pick the numbered tier -2 word in one of the passages that corresponds.  Be the first player to fill their cornucopia cup with all six playing pieces by providing good responses to vocabulary and/or comprehension questions.

What’s included:

  •  5 different November-themed reading passages. Each passage has SIX tier-2 words in bold lettering.  These words should be used in conjunction with the accompanying dice on pages 11,12 and 13.
  • Cornucopia template for use with game. Copy one cornucopia for EACH player.  Cut out image and laminate for durability.  Cut along dotted lines after laminated.  Fold down each triangular section and secure flaps with tape or a glue stick to the inside of a large paper cup.   Your cornucopia is now ready to get filled with a harvest of fruits and vegetables.  Plastic playing chips or real food treats such as cereal, raisins, gummy candies or candy corn can be substituted for items on pages 9-10.
  • Two duplicate pages of items to be used to play the cornucopia game.
  • Cubes for use with passages.  Use cubes #1 and #2 only or all three together. Cube #1  is the vocabulary-building strategies cube.  Cube #2 contains a number and symbol.  Pick the word in the passage that corresponds with the number on the cube.  Put the item into  your cornucopia cup after responding to the question.  Cube #3 contains lose/gain an extra item remarks—use of this cube is optional. Cube #4 is used with the passages to focus on comprehension/inferential thinking questions related to the stories.
  • Graphic Organizer for tier-2 vocabulary
  •  “Let’s Talk Turkey” organizational diagram to be used for writing the main idea and supporting details regarding each of the reading passages.
  •  Sugar Cone Cornucopia recipe—One “speechsnacks” recipe card is included to accompany this Thanksgiving-themed product (see complete recipe post and full-color, step-by-step pictures at

And here’s a preview of the Cornucopia Cup you will be making to go along with this activity:

cornucopia preview
















Use this edible activity in your therapy sessions to building speech and language skills. (for practicality purposes, make cone shapes ahead of time)

please note:  in the image below, I left out the following information:  be sure to place a lid on over the colander while steaming the sugar/waffle cones!

cornucopia cone


Before filling cones, 1-discuss the concepts: empty/full, hollow/solid, 2-practice the multisyllabic word “corn-u-cop-i-a” and count the syllables, 3-have students generate a list of things they are grateful for as they add items to their cone.   4- Name other objects that are shaped like a cone. 5–Use this food craft to target any language or articulation skill and fill with “tokens” (either edible or non-edible) for rewards points.

Hoping you and your students enjoy this activity and find your cornucopia’s and conversations overflowing with new vocabulary!!!


Weaving a Web of Words {A Halloween Activity for Larger Group Instruction}

Do you partake in a push-in therapy model in your school?   In addition to pull-out therapy, I provide this service on a weekly  basis as part of  my student’s IEP’s.   Several of my speech/language students are in each of the three classes that I spend time in.   I love the functionality of the push-in model.  Seeing students in the classroom setting and observing how they respond and interact in a class full of peers provides one more opportunity to address their IEP goals in a meaningful and practical way.

spider web activity


I was looking through some old pictures from my time in an elementary school setting and found this fun activity I used on Halloween.   If you work in a classroom with a teacher who is open to suggestions and  likes when you share creative ideas, then I have an activity for you!  You will be addressing language goals for categorizing and naming tasks with your language kiddos while engaging the entire class in a fun and functional activity.  The only thing they will be focusing on is all the fun they are having weaving their spider web, while you get to observe and make note of their language skills.

To weave your web of words, you will need a group of students sitting in a circle and one ball of white yarn.   If you have more than 15-20  students in the class, divide them into two equal groups and each group can create their own web.

The first student loosely wraps the yarn once around their waist so that the yarn stays in place.

Pick a category or topic that you would like students to generate answers for.  The student with the ball of yarn must give a response to the category.  Then they need to call out another student’s name and toss the ball of yarn to them.  That student wraps the yarn once around their back, gives an answer and then tosses it to someone else.  Continue until you wish to change topics/categories.  Your yarn should start to take on the resemblance of a ”spider web.”

You can also play this activity as a memory game.  For example, play “I went trick or treating…..  and I got—-name a candy   The next player must remember all the previous responses and then add one of their own before tossing the yarn ball to the next person.

Need some Halloween themed ideas for playing this game as a categorization task?  Here are just a few.  Name…..

  • things that are orange
  • things that are black
  • synonyms for “scary”
  • Halloween costumes
  • things you do at a Halloween party
  • fall activities
  • things you eat made from apples

Wondering how to get your kiddos out of the tangled web after they have had fun creating it?  They can lift the section of web that formed around them over their head or an adult can cut them free by snipping their section with a pair of scissors. (Please use caution.  It would be a good idea for them remain seated while doing this part!)

Do you use a push-in model in your speech/language therapy program?    This might be a fun way to work on some language skills while equally including everyone!


Language Apps for Middle/High School Students {Love It and List It Linky Party}

It’s time for another Linky Party!  Jenna at Speech Room News chose the theme “Language Apps” for this month’s link up.   I have three of my favorite language apps to share with you and they are all geared toward your big kids since that’s the primary population that I work with.   We all know how much kids love technology and interactive learning–educational apps bring the best of both worlds together.  When using apps in therapy, I stand by my mottos—”All things in moderation.” and “The app is only as good as the therapist using it.”  I utilize them as a supplement to a skill I am teaching, as a reward to fill the last few minutes of a session and for my kiddos who need a hands-on interactive activity to get them motivated and focused.  So here are three language apps that I enjoy using with my big kiddos!


Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 9_26_24 PM



1–Language Adventures Quiz Game Show By Lakeshore Learning Materials

I LOVE this app!  And at $1.99 in the iTunes store, you can’t beat it!    This app targets the 4-6 grade population, however, depending on the skill/ability level of your students, it could definitely be used with 7th,8th and 9th grade students as well!

app post 7


Choose four categories from the following areas: punctuation, story elements, vocabulary, sentence structure, word analysis, study and research, parts of speech, grammar and usage, reading comprehension, spelling, forms of writing.  There are so many great language goals that can be addressed–I love the variety!   Additionally, you can play with a 1,2,3,or 4 teams—definitely a lot of flexibility depending on your group size.   But what makes this interactive learning tool really exciting is the fun game show host and catchy background music.  Reminds me of the game shows I use to watch as a kid in the 70′s and 80′s.    Teams must respond before the timer runs out and will get points for correct responses.  For incorrect responses, the next team gets an opportunity to respond.   Hope you enjoy this motivating language app as much as my students do!


app post 11


app post 8


2–Vocab Rootology By PrepInteractive

If you are teaching prefixes, suffixes and root words related to Greek and Latin origin to your older kiddos, this is the app for you–especially with a price tag of $0.99 in the iTunes store—this is yet another app worth it’s weight in gold.  No bells and whistles here, but a great way to drill  some important vocabulary-building  concepts.   The interactive features of this app will keep your older students interested and engaged–a nice substitute or supplement to flashcards or worksheets that you may be using to teach the same skill.

app pix 1









Choose the category you would like to target and let the drilling begin!

app pic 4









Tap on the index card and it will reveal the meaning of the prefix, suffix or root.

app pic 5


Then choose a quiz tab to take the timed test and see how much you have retained.  A progress report will keep track of your progress throughout the game.

app pic 3


This app is great for use with middle and high school students.  Teaching prefixes, suffices and root words is a great strategy for helping students find clues that will help determine word meanings.  Hope you find it  useful in your therapy sessions!


3–Word Wit By Ballpoint Inc.

I like this app for upper middle and high school students (grades 7-12) needing to strengthen tier 2 vocabulary.    It’s not cartoonish or juvenile so the older kids will be receptive to using it without feeling like you’re playing a ”babyish”  game.    Word Wit targets commonly confused word pairs–ones that sound the same (sight/cite) or are closely related (adopt/adapt)—by providing an explanation for each word in the pair, using the words in a quote or sentence example and then providing a quiz to reinforce the newly learned vocabulary.   Word Wit is $0.99 in the iTunes store.


app post 2



The player spins the wheel on the ipad (by making a circular motion on the pad with their finger).  Several words pairs will appear as you continue to “spin the wheel.”  Tap on one of the pairs to learn more about the words.

app post 12


I love how the app calls the other word pair word it’s “evil twin.”    It explains the meaning of both words and then presents the word in a sentence or situation example.


app pic 1


So that’s my list of language apps.  I have a bunch more stored on my ipad that I use (from some of the big name companies) but I thought it would be a nice change of pace to mention some of the lesser known apps that are fun, helpful and reasonably priced.   What are your favorites?  I’d love to know if you have any of the ones I listed.  Check out the linky party for more app favorites from other SLP’s. 


SpeechSnacks Halloween Round Up!


halloween round up3
















If you are in the mood for some sweet treats to liven up your autumn and Halloween menus as well as some speech treats to add to your therapy “menus”, then you’re in luck!   I’m sharing a few speechsnacks from “Halloween Past.”   I’ve done a little tweaking to the materials that accompany each post and everything is FREE. (although I’d love to hear back from you with a comment on two .  Let me know how you liked these goodies!) 

Click on the links to go to each of the posts:


First up, a recipe for Witches Brew!  One that you can actually stir up in the classroom…..

0031-300x225 brew









……and one you can download and play!   “I Have, Who Has”  (a listening skills activity!)

brew 3











Enjoy this spooky snack at your own risk!  Witches brew is known to turn kids into creepy creatures, parents into paranormal spirits and teachers into Transylvanian blood suckers!  Find this post and FREEBIE HERE!!


Next in the line up,  a delicious Pumpkin Parfait.


0461-300x225 1










….and Pick A Pumpkin Word Game created with my amazing Custom Boards app by Smarty Ears!  Get your treat and FREEBIE here!!

pumpkin-2-300x241 1



Finally, for the sweet tooth…Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Bark!  A dark chocolate treat that is packed full of antioxidants and other good stuff!


0252-300x225 1









And /ch / game cards to  address the /ch/sound for articulation OR language goals–also created with my Custom Boards App.

1–/ch/ cholcolate-themed cards

ch pictures










2–/ch/ food-themed cards…view this post and the FREE game cards HERE!!

ch-food-words-300x243 1



Designed by Free Wordpress Themes and Sponsored by Curry and Spice

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: