Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mardi Gras Freebie!!

Well, Happy Wednesday Everyone!! 

Today I got to play Santa at my school! 
We received a big box full of iPads to be dispersed amongst our special ed. staff, 
and I had the fun job of delivering them!! 

The three of us SLPs at my school were the first to receive iPads last school year.  
Look how happy we were......
Since then we've be in speech therapy heaven putting all kinds of apps to use with our kiddos! 

Besides playing Santa, 
I'm desperately trying to cram in all the Groundhog Day stuff I can manage this week so I can move on to some REALLLL fun....Mardi Gras!!

If you downloaded my Winter Stamp-a-Story and liked it, 
You may also want to grab my Mardi Gras version of Stamp-a-Story...
Whatcha waitin' for?  It's free!! 

I use my stash of rubber stamps to have my students fill out a one-of-a-kind story....

Some of them take it SO SERIOUSLY while other kids make the most outrageous story they can!!

This is a great activity for articulation or fluency carryover.  
After their story is created, they must highlight their target sounds and read it aloud to the group 
(or anyone else I can wrangle to come listen!) 

THEN they have to take it home for "speech homework" and read it for momma, daddy, maw maw, granny, brother, sister, grandpa, etc...  
They get rewarded for being responsible and bringing it back signed.  

And here's a Mardi Gras DOT ART just for fun....(even the little bitties can do dot art)
I love including a little bit 'o art in my lessons because the kids get so chatty while they paint and I can observe how they truly communicate
- not to mention they say the most entertaining things!! 
(dang, I wish I would've started writing down their funnies long ago!!) 

Whether or not you live in Louisiana like I do, Mardi Gras is a fun tradition to teach about. 
I have a couple of Mardi Gras activities in my TPT store if you need one -
You can check out my whole store HERE
or just download the stamp-a-story and dot art FREEBIE!

Normally in my household we are headed to the heart of Cajun country for Mardi Gras - 
it's my husband's FAVORITE holiday.....I mean when else can he dress like THIS??! 

but this year we are headed to the Big Apple....New York City! 

woohoooo!! I'm my mind, my bags are already packed!! 

So what are you doing this Mardi Gras?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

I LOVE laminating day! {and some shout outs}

Yep, it's laminating day at my school, and I can't wait to share with you what I sent to be laminated, BUT FIRST....

a big shout out and thank you to my awesome friend and school librarian who has not yet cut me off from the laminating machine! 
Thank You Jody Delatte!
(and it makes me so happy that you follow my blog)

Also a big thank you to our library para, Marie Kleinpeter, who even CUTS my laminating when she gets a chance. 
(fresh, cut laminated goods make me as giddy as a school girl with a crush) 

So this is what I sent to the laminating machine today -
to be sealed with love (and thin durable plastic stuff) forever....

AND YOU KNOW, President's Day is coming up, too!!  

This one kinda makes me chuckle.....I'm such a dog person: I couldn't resist! 

And we all need a little Valentine's Day fun 
(or as my students call it, ValenTIME's day) 
(oh and the all popular, BALENTIME's Day) 
The joys of being a speech pathologist

And I had to throw in some owls to match my classroom.....

I have all the open ended game boards that I can use in a pinch to get me through the spring 

To play, I use some generic gamepieces I already have - plus dice or a spinner. 

OR since I'm so lucky to have an iPad at school (and my personal iphone) we sometimes use an app to roll dice. 
My students are just desperate to touch my iPad, and when they're happy, I'm happy. 

Here is one I love called Dice Roller - It's free and the you can customize your dice. 

If you need some quick & easy games to incorporate into your speech therapy sessions or centers, 
(or just to have a little family fun)
you can grab the 9 seasonal game boards above HERE

NOW LAST BUT NOT LEAST ----  a big shout out to my fellow SLP & friend 
Stacey Clouatre Keller

She made my blog site  a little "appy" looking button on her iphone home screen!!!  
I mean, what!?  How cool is that?!  Thanks, Stacey!  xoxox

Tomorrow's Friday, y'all!!  TGIF! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where I come from....

I spent some time during my long weekend to take the 100 mile ride to my parents house in the heart of Cajun country.  
The center of Louisiana was hit hard by flooding during this recent rash of storms, so I headed home to hug on my mom and dad who are knee deep in repairs. 

The ride made me nostalgic.
Even though I LOVE living in the city and I spent my childhood wanting to break out of this place, 
I'm so glad I grew up in a small town. 

And not just any old small town.  I'm blessed to have grown up in a little town rich in culture and tradition and with parents who showed me that preserving and celebrating my culture is important. 

If you've ever had crawfish, it very well may have come from my hometown of Mamou.  Here is a rice field flooded for crawfish season- that trap and its bait are what lure the scrumptious crustaceans in! 

I can even say I've had the pleasure of "crawfishing," shaking the soon-to-be-dinner crawfish from their traps and rebaiting. 

Where I come from, we eat boudin for breakfast and everybody learns to cook real cajun food.   And we eat a lot of it.  If you come to my momma's house, she WILL feed you. 

This is where we buy that boudin- at the slaughterhouse- along with stuffed roasts and chops, marinated meats, rabbits, and hot cracklins.

There's nothing like hot cracklins.

You can even grab a Coca-Cola in a glass bottle. 

There's no Walmart.  No McDonald's.  You buy your groceries in places like this.  In fact, this tiny store has the best smoked sausage you've ever eaten- a necessity for a good gumbo.  

But what we're most known for is our Mardi Gras custom,  
Le Courir de Mardi Gras 
or what most people call "chasing chickens"  

....a tradition that started with rural Catholics who wanted to indulge before the start of Lent but couldn't afford the extravagant feasting found in New Orleans.  The goal was to gather enough ingredients to make a community meal; 
the costumes and dancing meant to show thanks. 
The tradition lives on.  

My parents work to preserve the little town of Mamou (ironically nicknamed Big Mamou)
and it's unique culture.  

My husband and I work to preserve our culture at home.   
When he's not in his labcoat you will probably find him in his LSU cap...playing one of his prized, handmade accordions, 
and even though I complain about the constant stream of Cajun music coming from our home....
I'm secretly proud. 

At work, I go around to the third grade classes each year to teach about the Cajun Mardi Gras traditions {because they are learning Louisiana history}  
No matter what your culture may be,  it's important to pass it along.  

This year all of my own students will get a healthy helping of Mardi Gras traditions 101- 
the New Orleans AND Cajun versions of Mardi Gras.  

All the facts {with some fun rolled in} are all part of my upcoming Mardi Gras lesson.    
Have you heard that our new statewide curriculum has a focus on NON-fiction text?  
I'm not too thrilled about that, but activities like this are all part of me getting on board. 


22 non-fiction passsages (and questions) about our unique Mardi Gras celebrations!

I even learned something doing the research for this activity....
The FIRST Mardi Gras took place in Mobile, Alabama!!  (gasp!)

Mardi Gras is all about the fun, and so am I!  
When learning is fun, kids wanna do MORE OF IT! 
 That's where the board game comes in.....
And here's some lagniappe 
(that means a little extra, y'all)

Who doesn't love a little dot art?  
And a good VENN diagram always comes in handy. 

If you want to add a little culture in your classroom, your language lessons, your social studies lessons, I'd love if you would share our Mardi Gras traditions. 
And if you get the chance, come on down to the Mardi Gras, cher. 

All you need for your Mardi Gras lesson can be found HERE, y'all. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Planning ahead- I love a good theme!!

February 2nd is Groundhog Day, ya'll! 
I love using a holiday theme in my therapy sessions.  Kids just don't know the facts behind the traditions we celebrate and I think it's fun to teach them those little things. 

This time I did the learning!!  
I learned so much when I did the research to make this activity.  
For instance, I  learned that Groundhog day is way cool and Punxsutawney Phil is livin' the good life!

So when Groundhog day comes, I WILL BE READY! 
Well,  actually I'll be doing this the week before Groundhog Day since it falls on a Saturday.(bummer)
I made this cute reading and responding activity with lots of non-fiction text allllll about Groundhog Day.  

I would guess that the text varies between 3rd and 5th grade reading level. For my little ones who can't read these, I plan to read them aloud and turn this into a 
listening and responding activity. 

Here's the synopsis.....

Some of my students act like I'm absolutely TORTURING them when I make them read 
(uh excuse me, we are at school; reading is kind of a given)
so I turned the reading passages into a game to give a little incentive.  

I made sure my 22 passages covered allllll the skills we've been learning: 
inferencing, comparing, giving opinions, making personal connections,
making predictions, describing, defining vocabulary in context. 
Oh you know, all the usuals that our kiddos struggle with so very much. 

I threw in a writing prompt for a little writing practice.  
My kids need so much help to get their little words on paper. 
When they can do it, it makes me so happy!!

And if the card game isn't enough, I threw it a good ole board game to rev up the motivation. 
Who can resist these little guys? 
Groundhogs might be my new favorite animal
(don't tell my pup, Lola) 

If you feel like joining me on the Groundhog Day bandwagon, I've already done your lesson planning for ya.  You can grab it RIGHT HERE
Just print it out and do your thing! 

Can't wait for you to see what else I've been working on

 Looking forward to a great Friday!! 
I'll be spending it getting "professionally developed" 
Hope you have a great one, too! 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We've been stamping stories and hoping for snow!

It actually feels like winter here in Louisiana!! 
We even have little SNOW in the forecast! 

I think everyone is praying for a snow day.  We may only have flurries but even that is so rare here in south Louisiana that we don't know how to function in the snow! 

So this we week we have been using my winter stamp-a-story.  
These are my favorite stamps that we put to use-
a great purchase from Lakeshore about 10 years ago. 

As you can see, they are well loved.

As promised, here we are in action in my classroom.....

Normally I 
DO NOT carefully line up all the stamps,  

(normally I chunk them in a big pile in the middle of the table!)

but one of my sweet, helpful students insisted on lining them up nicely for us. 

Once they were done, they read them aloud.  They had a few articulation errors while reading so I had them highlight all the words that had their target sounds. 
(to give them a visual cue) 

This precious 5th grade girl has been in therapy with me for NINE years.  When she started at age 3, she had such a severe articulation disorder that I couldn't even imagine a day that she wouldn't need therapy.  After 9 years, I'm in the process of dismissing her.  She's turned into an articulate young lady and I'll never ever forgot her.

A one of a kind winter story - and the kids took it home for "speech homework."  
If they bring it back to me signed they get a "COLT CASH" for being responsible. 
(the popular currency at my school:)

Don't forget you can get this for FREE at my TPT STORE.  
If you do download it, I would sooooo love your feedback :)

Until next time, I'll be wishing for snow!  


Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome to my HP obsession, and that does not stand for Hewlett-Packard

Yeah, I'm a fan of All things HP.  
Or more accurately, I'm OBSESSED with Harry Potter.  

I've read the books multiple times and I even made my own cliff notes (summarized each chapter by hand in a notebook) of the last few books (to avoid having to read them AGAIN).

I even have a board on Pinterest in his honor if you'd like to follow my obsessed with HP board

I'm a big reader and this series just happened to blow my mind after my oldest son insisted I read them years ago. Since then I've been on a quest to make other people read them.  I got a fellow SLP, Kylie, to read them when she wasn't even a reader.  Now she's obsessed, toooooo.  (you'll meet her shortly). 

Now let me just say that the school where I work is alot of fun!! 
For Halloween we dressed as our favorite storybook characters.  
There are 3 of us SLPs at my school and we like to dress up "together" with a theme on days like that. Kylie (mentioned above) suggested we dress up like the 3 little pigs.  
I think not.  

I already had my little heart set on being Hermione (the smartest girl that ever stepped foot in Hogwarts).  I mean, there are 3 of us so it was a NO BRAINER.  
We were Hermione, Harry and Ron.  
In my mind, the greatest trio ever!
Need proof ?

And I don't know what went berserk with the flash in this next photo, but I like to say we were conjuring our patronuses in this one..... (is patronuses a word?)

The kids loved it!! 
Of course, I talked in a British accent all day until I couldn't keep it up anymore.  Now they alllllll know about my HP obsession (and no one will forget the costumes because these pictures of us are hanging up on a bulletin board in the main hallway)

And yes, my wand in the photo is a GENUINE wand direct from Ollivander's shop in Universal Studios Orlando.  (Am I a nerd or what?)

So in honor of Harry, Hermione and Ron, I whipped up a little game to use in speech therapy featuring the famous trio, and it makes me so happy I can hardly contain myself.  

There are FOURTEEN game boards but here are just few.....

This one is open ended game board to use however you like . 

This one (and several others) has target WORDS on them.  This is the /r/ blends board. 
This one (and more) features picture targets.  (Say the word you land on 5 times, etc)
OHHHH AND I LOVE A GOOD CARD GAME- That's part of the fun, too!!

DOESN't HARRY LOOK CUTE in digital form? 
The card game addresses those dreaded /r/. vocalic r, /r/ blends, /s/, /z/ and /s/ blends. 
There are 3 different decks- depending if your students are working at the 2-3 syllable level, 
4-5 syllable level, or longer sentences.
 (oh and check out the wild cards!) 

There are 40 pages total in this download- 14 game boards and a card game with 3 decks.
If you love Harry as much as I do (or have a little student who does), 
you can get it HERE
I hope you bloody love it!

Now if only I had a wand of my own to go do my housework.
Oh and by the way, it is STILL RAINING!!! Someone make it stop.


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget