Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A springtime favorite of mine

Hey y’all!! 
It’s springtime at last!!  We've been getting ready for Earth Day tomorrow...

but today we are started bugging out in my speech room!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we had some creepy crawly fun...all while addressing artic and language goals of course!  The You’re Bugging Me game was slightly disgusting but also FUN today during artic therapy, and it sure elicited lots of language for my language students!! 

Check it out HERE! Each child gets a Velcro armband which is loaded up with bugs.  They roll a die to see how many bugs they get to take OFF, and whoever gets all of their bugs off first, wins the game!! Besides that, I just used the Velcro bugs for reinforcing language and correct articulation during drill. 
No one could resist the bugs! 

Check out my little guy all covered in them!  
Lots of squeals and tons of requests for "more,"  "on," "off," "green one," "bugs please,"  "my turn," etc.!  We also looked at them through a tiny magnifying glass. 
Ooohs and ahhhs followed :)



This little girl below wanted all the bugs to be twins (since she is one and thinks they all need a sister).  She earned the twin insects with lots of articulation drill! 


The last 2 days have been TOO beautiful here in the deep south to NOT do some fun spring activities!! I'm so excited for the fun Spring and Summer activities I've got lined up in these last few weeks of school! 


Of course, if you're an SLP, you know allllllll about that "go-to" springtime book....you know.... the one about the caterpillar and his binge eating....but I wanted to share with you one of my very favorite storybooks for spring that I suspect you've never heard of...

Ladybug on the Move
 by Richard Fowler


By the way, I should clarify that I am not associated with the author or any affiliates in any way. 
I just happen to love this book! 


This is NOT your ordinary storybook.  It’s hands-on!! I LOVE that it’s interactive, and it’s a clever way to introduce print awareness and tracking to our young students! 

As soon as I take the ladybug out of the little clear pocket on the front cover and show how she can glide along the print as I read the first page, my students are just itching for their turn to move the ladybug, too. 

It’s the perfect opportunity to explain that the ladybug moves along the words because the words that are the best part of the book;  they tell the story! If my kiddos want to be "in charge" of the ladybug, they must move her along the words while I read.  It’s a sneaky way to get my preschoolers and kindergartners to attend to print.  For my higher kindergartners, first graders, and so on, it’s a cool way to get them pumped about tracking print. 

You can see that my ladybug has been beat up and repaired many times over the years. I think my book is almost 20 years old, but it’s still in bookstores. 
You can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but it goes for a pretty penny these days!  Oh, by the way, don't worry about losing the ladybug; the book includes a pattern for making another one should that happen! 

Richard Fowler has similar interactive books with the same concept that are a little easier on the pocketbook.  In fact, today I ordered Honeybee’s Busy Day  and There's a Mouse about the House for a steal.  (Same concept!)
So as I read, or as the students read (if they are readers), the children get to push the ladybug over the print. It’s not rocket science, but it’s hugely motivating to them!  It also keeps their eyes glued to the page. I don’t know about you, but with my kids that’s a major accomplishment!

We keep reading, and the ladybug keeps moving. She slips under objects (with slits) on each page. That part is a little tricky. I always tell my kids to only slip her halfway through so that we can turn the page and she doesn’t fall down.   


It really is a beautiful book with a fun storyline.  Ladybug is looking for a home, but none of the other critters want her invading their space (except these oogey slugs above and she wants no part of that).

My little ones need a little help opening the slit to move the ladybug through, but I tell you, they’re giddy with excitement and would read this book again and again. 
Check out one my favorite little people moving that ladybug like a boss!! 

video

What's YOUR favorite spring themed book for therapy? 
I would really love to know! 

Hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods! 

-Mia 



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My fib REVEALED...{and a couple of truths}

I hope you had fun playing along with our 2 truths and a Lie Blog Hop.  
Big thanks to my friend, Kelly, at Speech2U for making it happen and for inviting me!  

Did you spot my fib?  

A. While filming the movie Breaking Dawn here in the Baton Rouge area, I hit the jackpot and got to meet the crew of Cullen vampires including Robert Pattinson!!

LIE!!

Breaking Dawn did film here in Baton Rouge, and the Cullen vampires were seen gallivanting all over the city.  Although a few of my friends did actually score some vampire sightings (and hugs!)from Renesmee, Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle, Alice, etc.,  I was not one of the lucky ones. :(  No one I knew hit the jackpot with any Edward, Jacob or Bella sightings. What a bummer.  Still, while they were in town, it was thrilling to think I could... perhaps...just maybe...randomly run into them at the local Starbucks or Whole Foods.

B. For as long as I can remember, I have had a life altering phobia of frogs. Just typing the word gives me the heebie-jeebies!

TRUTH!  

I don’t know how or when it started, but I really do have a serious phobia of frogs ~ little green ones, squishy toads, and of course the grotesque monster bullfrogs!  I know, I know....they can’t hurt me. Some lunatics even tell me they’re cute. (GAH!)  It doesn’t matter how harmless they are. To me, they are pure horror.  Even worse, living in south Louisiana, they’re pretty hard to escape. I swear, they’re everywhere!!! Not to mention, they haunt me in my dreams, too! For a while as a teenager, I quit going out after dark (the froggie hours)due to pure fear.  When my Honors Biology teacher whipped out the jars of formaldehyde with frogs floating in them, I went into complete hysteria, fetal position and all.  Needless to say, I was excused. As the phobia persisted in interfering with my life, my mom sent me to a therapist. In fact, on my second date - with my now husband - I had to leave early, “Uhhh, sorry I have to go. I have an appointment with my shrink so he can fix my fear of frogs.”  Lucky for me that didn’t scare him away.  Even now, my sons and husband are forever on the look out for the green nasties.  Frogs may have even prevented me from becoming an SLP.  Knowing I wanted to be a speech therapist (and also knowing that I couldn’t be if I had to take Biology and dissect a frog) I requested a catalog from the Louisiana universities to see if Biology was required for my major.  Fortunately, at a few universities, it was not! Whew.  The fear lives on... ie. the therapy was a massive failure. I can’t even look at picture of the little devils.  My speech room is a no frog zone- that includes storybooks.

C. Country star Hunter Hayes is a family friend, and we even received an invitation to his high school graduation! 

TRUTH!!

Being from a small town hailed as the Cajun Music Capital of the World, just a hop, skip and jump from Hunter Hayes’ hometown of Breaux Bridge, Hunter was a regular in our town. Did you know he started out playing the Cajun accordion and only later learned to play guitar?  In fact, he was a bit of a child prodigy in our neck of the woods.  Since my dad coordinated our town’s parades, he would often call Hunter’s Dad to have him come to town to be the Grand Marshall of our little parades.  A relationship was born. Back then, Hunter was just a cute kid to me, albeit full of talent. WOW! He really hit the big time now, but his family is so gown to Earth.  We even received graduation announcement from him when he got his high school diploma in Nashville. My dad is still convinced he can pick up the phone and ask Hunter to come play in my small hometown of 3,000.  Check out this old signed autograph that still hangs in my Dad’s store. 




Did you guess it?? 
Sorry about the whole lying to you thing :)  
Hope you had as much fun reading the truths (and lies) as I did! 
-Mia 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2 Facts and a Fib Blog Hop


Whew! This is your 9th stop on our blog hop! We’re all a bunch of sneaky fibbers. 
How are you doing figuring out my friends’ lies? 
Well, you know the drill....check out my 3 statements and find the fib. 
Then keep hopping until you’ve sniffed them all out.  
Persevere!  
The person with the most correct wins .....


  I’m serious!! 
Would I lie?  

Amazon = the best stuff!  

You can see the complete rules at www.speech2u.com


Here are three cool/weird/fascinating things about me: 

A.    While filming the movie Breaking Dawn here in the Baton Rouge area, I hit the jackpot and 
        got to meet the crew of Cullen vampires including Robert Pattinson!! 

B.    For as long as I can remember, I have had a life altering phobia of frogs. Just typing the 
       word gives me the heebie-jeebies! 

C.   Country star Hunter Hayes is a family friend, and we even received an invitation to his high  
       school graduation! 

Which one is the fib?  Follow me on social media for some possible hints! 

Happy April Fools’Day, y’all,
and good luck! 
-Mia 



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

#lucky2BEanSLP and a techy tip!

March is upon us!!! 

My students and I have been reading about lucky charms from all around the world in preparation for the fun (and weird) holiday of St. Patrick’s day, and it’s really got me thinking about how lucky I am to be an SLP.  
I’m so proud to say I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist.  

Not anyone can achieve such a hard-earned title.  You have to work harder and be smarter than the average bear.... and be a jack of many, many trades!!  Once you reach the work place, you have to constantly be on your toes and on top of trends and changes in our field.  Heck, almost every new child that I see leads me to do google google google and learn more, more more!  
No speech or language disorder or delay is exactly alike.  
We aren’t your average professional, y’all! 

There’s so many reasons I’m #lucky2BEanSLP!
It’s such a kick butt profession!! We literally change the course of people’s lives.  Communication is power, and we have the power to give that to others. 
I mean, COME ON!! THAT’s COOL!!    
That's why I am #lucky2BEanSLP: 


I’ve always worked in pedatrics, and I think all the time....at what other job would I ever score so many genuine little hugs on a daily basis?? 

In what other job would I be surrounded by giggles and milestone moments? 

Sure, there’s a little spit and snot involved (LOL) Sometimes there’s biting and chasing events, but hey, every job has its hazards :) 

Mostly, we make communicators. 
We give others a voice. 
We build crucial skills that last a lifetime.  
Pretty.      darn.     awesome.  

Did I mention there’s never a dull moment?  
Never.  Not one day.  

SLPs are the ultimate problem solving, disorder diagnosing, toddler wrangling, sentence scaffolding, fluency facilitating, speech shaping, technology toting, language building, report typing, esteem building, data taking, bubble blowing, skill drilling, storybook reading, prop playing, multi-tasking professional!  

      Join me and my fellow frenzied SLPs to proclaim why YOU are #lucky2BEanSLP

Post WHY YOU feel #lucky2BEanSLPfor the world to see-  
 on facebook, twitter or instagram!

How?  

 Here is the graphic:  



Now here is my favorite way to add text to any graphic: 
{*believe me once you learn this quick techy skill you’ll be stoked!}

1) Right Click on the Image and to download it or save it to your computer! 

2) Get a FREE ACCOUNT on PICMONKEY! It's my favorite image editing website!!     
    Seriously, it's amazing and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! By the way,  
    I'm in no way affiliated with that website nor do I get anything for saying how fab   
    it is.  I'm just a shameless fan. 

3) Once you have an account, click on EDIT on the picmonkey website! 


4) When you click edit, it will prompt you to choose the image on your computer that you want to edit, and it will plop that image right on the screen like this: 


See? There it is!!  TADA!!

6) Click the "Tt" to add text. 


7) Pick your font!!   There are so many to choose from! 
   (Later you'll definitely want to play around with the other fun features!) The ones    
   with the crown next to them cost $$.  I happily pay $4.99 monthly for the extras. 


 8) After you pick your font, click on ADD TEXT.  A text box will appear on your image.    
     You can move it wherever you would like and it will adjust automatically to '
     accommodate your text.  I chose the Chelsea Market text. 


9) Use the text options to customize your text however you like.  You can change the  
    color, size, justification, and more!  Then just click SAVE and save it to your   
    computer!! 

 VOILA!! 

You just learned a new skill that will help you customize any image for personal use! 

I hope you will "hastag up" with me and my Frenzied SLP friends to share why YOU are #lucky2BEanSLP
Tag me or another SLP to spread the luck!

Wanna know another reason I'm lucky? 
I'm lucky I've gotten to know so many fellow SLPs like you...
even if it is just through this little blog, my TpT store, or social media! 
Since you're here, I'd love nothing more than to read your comments! 
xo

-Mia 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Groundhogs and Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras, OH MY!!

It’s an exciting time of year here in Louisiana!! 
We have Valentine’s Day and Louisiana’s biggest holiday, Mardi Gras, coming up in the next 8 days!! 
It's hard to squeeze it all in!


Oh, and Punxsutawney Phil says there’s 6 more weeks of winter.  I’m fine with that because while most of the U.S. has been pounded with snow, I’m still waiting for winter.  It’s a nice 73 degrees here which is lovely.  The bad part is that I have lots of cozy winter wear waiting to be worn! (#southerngirlproblems). 

In any case, I LOVE teaching and talking about LOVE! Love is definitely in the air in my speech room :) 

Come on in and see what's going on! 

With these two fun holidays coming up, we've been having lots of fun in therapy.  Here’s a peek of what we have been doing and what’s going down this week....




We’ve been rocking the EET to describe Valentine’s day and now Mardi Gras





There will be many-a-bead thrown in the speech room this week anytime my students gimme some good communication.  






















On the Valentine’s Day front, you know, we’ve been doing some quick drill!! 
(continuing my life long quest to rid the world of the word "Valentime.")

The kids all get grossed out when they pick the card that says “You got kissed” or “You’re in love!” LOL 

I’ve used and abused my Love Letters for articulation and this week we will be mailing love letters again- this time the EET activity for describing that goes along with this one. 

It’s amazing how tickled kids can get just by slipping a card into a make-believe mailbox.  I hope they never lose that - that thing that lets them get so much happiness from something so simple. 

The book, The Valentine Grump, went so well with these activities. It's about how getting a valentine in the mail even makes the grumpiest of grumps happy. 


















Today I laminated my newest Valentine's Day product, Valentine Basic Concepts Fun! I made this especially for a preschooler and kindergartener that’s struggling with basic concepts . 
It’s hot off the press in my TPT store :) 

This is prepped and ready to go for tomorrow.







We’ve been doing lots of articulation homework from my Valentine’s Day Fun Pack... 


...AND some listening/following directions practice from the same packet.  

Oh my, this was so hard for them :( 






I’ve been using a Valentine Sticker scene for artic and language with my little ones. If you haven’t discovered the sticker scenes from Oriental Trading, you must check them out. My artic kids earn stickers to put on their scene with correct productions and my language kids earn stickers by labeling or describing them  (they aren’t allowed to point) and by telling me where in the picture they plan to put them. Them we use the scene to make up a story, answer questions and so on. I have them for every holiday and they keep little hands and brains busy.  








We started making foldable Valentine cards today for the peeps we love, and we will be doing that all week!  These are also from the Valentine Fun Pack. There's plenty of space inside to write sweet messages or draw a picture for mom. 











In honor of all the love going on, I made the trek to Target yesterday to gather up some Valentine treats for one and all! 












Last week. Mardi Gras king and queen crowns were made my one and all!! 


I love the peel-and-stick gems from Lake Shore and the Foam beads from Oriental Trading.  They make craft projects easy and mess-free.

I knew my girls would be ecstatic about making these. A couple of crowns ended up being Valentine crowns....













....but I had no idea how much the BOYS would love it, too. 



It just goes to show you everyone loves a good crown! {hahaha}

We’ve played some Mardi Gras Old Maid and some “Who’s got the baby.” 
We have also been learning from Mardi Gras vocabulary from that same packet.






















                                         We’ll be doing some dot art, as usual,

and some art with some of my favorite big foam stamps


During the last 2 weeks of therapy with my older kids (both in the classroom and my room) we have been reading about the history of Mardi Gras and discussing Mardi Gras traditions throughout our state (as well as some fun facts and interesting tidbits). 

We are continuing it this week. So many kids celebrate Mardi Gras but don’t know the reasons for the Mardi Gras traditions we practice (the parades, the beads, the feasting, etc)... even though they live here!  It's an absolute MUST that they learn about it- it’s their culture! 


On Friday- just before we leave for our 4 day Mardi Gras break- I will be sharing  my personal photos from Mardi Gras, playing some traditional Mardi Gras music, sharing videos of my family's traditions, and showing them my husband's traditional Cajun Mardi Gras costume, mask and capichon (hat).

You can see my hubby decked out in his costume HERE


In case you're interested in our old Cajun Mardi Gras traditions, here is the short version:

The week AFTER Mardi Gras we will be doing some silly Mardi Gras Stamp-A-Stories while the kids tell all about their fun Mardi Gras adventures! You can read about those stamp stories HERE, and download that freebie HERE

Whew, I need to rest up for another jampacked day of therapy tomorrow.  

I hope your speech room is filled with LOVE, too! 

Happy Valentine's Day 

and 

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! 

-Mia 







Saturday, February 7, 2015

How I store my speechie stuff!

I’m linking up with my friend, Jen, from SLP runner to show you some storage solutions that I use in my speech room. 


 After about 15 years in an 8 X 8 hole of a therapy room, and sharing a room for 18 years, I finally have my very own real-people-sized classroom!  I fully realize this puts me in the minority and among the blessed. Please don't hate me :)  I have plenty of room to spread my wings now but after so many years of being squished and having to be creative with space saving, I’ve learned some tricks. 

First off, if you're like me you have a ton of TpT products.  For those, I always use good ole manila clasp envelopes. They're cheap and handy and keep everything held together nicely. I tape the cover pages to the front of the envelope and put the pieces and parts inside. I use binder clips, rubber bands or plastic bags to organize the separate the decks of cards (if there are any). 


Big products (with full pages or game boards) get large envelopes and smaller products get small envelopes. 
See? 













<<< I bought cute, green plastic bins at the Dollar Tree for 1 buck each, and I stack my packets there for see, grab, and go readiness. 

I love having my favorite go-to items close at hand!









I store away "off season" items in bins with my various seasonal items.
I have a storage bin for each season and I pile everything {else} in there.  


If my craft items for that season get out of control (on the verge of ridiculousness),
 I make a separate bin for just THAT season’s crafts. 


Of course, I have fabric bins (with labels I made) for everything under the sun.


  I lucked out that the bookshelves I’ve had a dozen years (provided by the school board) were a perfect fit for Target’s fabric bins.  My bins hold paint, preschool toys, social skills programs,  timers, prizes, Super Duper books, Phonics Faces materials, cleaning supplies, tissues, office supplies, artic cards, language workbooks.... you name it. 


I keep worksheets or other papers that I can quickly copy and use in hanging file folders in a crate- arranged by season and holiday on this super cute metal rolling shelf/cart that I bought from One King’s Lane 
(I’ve also seen this cute cart at Target and Ikea) 



I could not live without my rolling bin from Ikea.  It’s a hot mess but it’s got everything in one square foot of floor space 
(glue, crayons, stickers, scissors, chipper chat tokens and wands, pens, tongue depressors, ipad, paintbrushes, sticky notes, artic word lists, paper clips, my stapler, tape, dice, spinners), and that polka dotted 31 bag hold all of my quick drills!

Not only does it hold a LOT OF STUFF....

I can roll it over to my table or roll it to the carpet when we are having therapy on the floor. 








My last storage solution is something I just tried this school year.  I bought some fabric and cut it to fit around my large work table.  I hemmed the bottom, top and sides of the rectangles but that probably wasn't even necessary. I could have just as well used double sided taped or that handy hemming tape.   >>>>>


I starched and ironed it really well and attached it to my table using just thumb tacks {which you can see below if you look really hard.}  I overlapped the fabric to create a pleat and pressed in each thumb tack. It wasn't nearly as hard as you might think. 

I did it in panels so I can raise 1/3 of the skirt to reach certain things hidden underneath in different areas. 







Let me tell you, THERE’s A TON OF STUFF stuffed under that skirt!!  
<<<<<<<<<<<



There are stacked storage bins of all sizes,  a printer, a microwave and a refrigerator!! All of my surge protectors and wires are also hidden under there.  

It’s a hot mess under there but no one knows! Shhhhh 

Mhuahahahahahaha





Well, that's it- my solutions for storing (hoarding) all of my stuff.  If you want to read about how other SLPs stash their stuff, head over to Jen's linky party.  Don't miss Jen's post because she has some super creative storage secrets!
I'd love to hear how you manage your goodies and clutter!

-Mia 

Oh, by the way, follow me on instagram for lots of storage solutions!! 
That's where I post photos everyday!