Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do you do QUICK ARTIC?


Now before I start, maybe I should shed some light on our secret speech-pathologist language for all of my "non-speechie" readers. 
 (If you ARE a non-speechie reader, OMGoodness, thanks for stopping by and taking the slightest interest in my speech  ramblings)

ARTIC is just short for ARTICULATION which is just a fancy speech pathology word for PRONUNCIATION.  Articulation is what people think of when they think about what we "DO." We correct speech "impediments." 

I love ARTIC.  
I love getting a little person who has articulation errors- whether they have 1 or 50. 

I love that we get to TRANSFORM that little person into an articulate, perfectly well- spoken child who may not even ever remember a time when no one could understand 
what the heck he was saying. 

A few years ago, I delved into what I call QUICK ARTIC.  I went to a conference that referenced www.5minutekids.com.  Susan Sexton's research was uber impressive and showed that kids getting articulation therapy through a 5 minute service delivery (individual sessions multiple times per week based on severity) were "graduating" from speech therapy 8.4 months earlier than kids getting traditional articulation therapy (a small group setting 40-60 minutes a week).  PLUS- kids miss less classtime! 
You can read more about it HERE if you'd like.  Very cool.

So I started QUICK ARTIC with some RTI students and handful of my "IEP kids."
{By the way, typically my version or quick artic is actually 10-15 minutes.)   

Some students need the social aspect of being in a group and seeing other kids with problems like theirs (and learning from each other).  Some students have too much trouble maintaining attention or getting along with others to thrive in a group therapy setting.  
You just have to use some judgement and make good decisions about which kids this is right for. 

Wanna see what QUICK ARTIC looks like in my speech room? 
(or sometimes I sit in the hallway so I can grab-the kiddos-n-go!)
It looks like some hardcore drill. 
Too bad kids hate hardcore drill. 
So I add a little fun. 

We do drill, drill, drill along with a quick card flip game.  
I've made LOTS of those to keep them motivated.  
Say your speech targets correctly= get a turn to pick a card
{whoever gets the most cards wins!! It's not that easy- there are pesky wild cards!)
  
Pick cards from the table ~  From a stack  ~  From my mystery box
Or even from Ned's Head!  
Everything is more motivating when it comes from Ned's Head! 

These are my latest.  I have to hurry and cut  FIESTA TIME QUICK DRILL this week so we can use it for some Cinco De Mayo fun! 
STAR WARS QUICK DRILL was made especially for a little boy with a "good guy/bad guy" obsession

I even use these for groups to make it more competitive.
It's amazing how many sound productions I can get with these fast paced games! 

The ROBOT QUICK ARTIC GAME is FREE at my TpT store :))  It's great for "5 minute kids" and RTI kids!! 
The PRINCESS QUICK ARTIC GAME was made especially for my little princesses.  They cannot get enough of it, which makes them happy (and me happy!)  It's funny to see which princesses they prefer to choose and how they GASP when they pick the evil queen card!






And it's NOT just for articulation.  These work great for boring fluency drill.  Don't deny it- practicing fluency strategies can be painfully boring! I don't want my therapy to be painful - no way!
I swear, it never gets old for some reason!






And since I see a group of students everyday for school wide reading interventions, I decided to use it for sight word drill, too!!                                                  

(I mean... how boring is plain ole sight word drill?!)                        

Read 3 sight words correctly, PICK A CARD!  
















(This inevitably turns into all the kids saying, "Pick a card, any card!" in various foreign accents but I'm okay with that :)

One thing I didn't anticipate was all the students wanting to "trade cards."  My little CHIRP CHIRP QUICK DRILL cards turned into trading cards because the BOYS didn't want pink birds and the GIRLS didn't want brown or black birds and suddenly they were negotiating trades! 

I'm okay with that, too. :)

  It's amazing how kids become awesome communicators when they're negotiating for something they want


How can you not smile when you see these little birdies? This one comes with words, phrases and sentences with tons of sounds embedded in spring and bird themed targets :) 


We have a WHOLE school in our parish (the french version of county) that is doing almost entirely quick drill  {shout out to the amazing Oak Grove Primary SLPs!}

So if you want to try Quick Artic/5 minute drill (or even 10 or 15 minutes), give it a try :)

I have seen great progress with my RTI students using it-
 Most of them never even need long-term therapy! 

If you need a little help getting your students on board, try my quick drill games
They're inexplicably addictive, and I have many versions in my TpT Store

If you need help getting your students' parents, school adminstrators, etc. on board, just present the research- it speaks for itself! 

        If you do QUICK ARTIC, I'd love to hear about what it looks like for you and your kids! 


-Mia

Friday, April 26, 2013

A hungry little caterpillar to soothe the soul

TGIF, y'all! 
It's getting harder and harder to keep the kiddos focused! 
As of today, we only have 19 school days left!  {that calls for a woohooooo!}

 ---State testing is over---we were under a tornado warning on Wednesday--- 
---had a Code Blue drill this week---Hippie themed dress down day today---
and it's a full moon!

 Enough said!  Crazy week!!

It was oh-so-clear that my students weren't "into" school this week... 
so I attempted to reel them back in with a slew of activities centered around a 
classic go-to favorite ...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


Who doesn't love this book?  Even my older kids asked to read it when they walked into my room and saw hungry caterpillar stuff scattered everywhere!  They didn't even think it was too "babyish"- they reminisced about kindergarten and they begged me to read it with them. 

Maybe that's why I love it, too.  
Makes me reminisce about years gone by
 {reading it to my two boys} 

I had a bunch of activities READY TO GO from my Very Hungry Caterpillar Speech & Language Companion Pack but we couldn't even get through them all!

For my kids whose language goals involve answering wh- questions, we read the book and pulled wh- questions out of my "secret box" to answer. 

Why the box?  
Well, it's just fun. 

Picking a card or a question is always more fun when you pull it out the secret box!!    

                                        
Just ask my students!         

{sometimes I like to fill it with spiky stress balls or other odd things just to amp up the interest!} 

If they could answer the question correctly, they got to keep it.  
Everyone wants to be the one who answered the most correctly! 



See those CARDS on top of the "Secret box?" 
Those are my cheater cards  for answering wh- questions.  

They're actually part of my Cupcake Questions & Games but I find I use them almost everyday to remind students how to answer each kind of wh- question.  
They're a great reference and now the kids are starting to say things like, 
"That's a where question so the answer will be a place." 
"That's a who question so that will be a person or animal." 

For my articulation kids, we read the book and found words with "their sound" in it.  Then we drilled those words, and after they said a few good productions, they got a turn at the game board. 


For my younger language kids, we read the book and practiced retelling 
{in sequential order, that is! AND using transition words!} 


Then we used the "caterpillar concepts" cards to identify basic concepts.  The ones they got correct, they got to "feed" to the caterpillar! 


I provided the munching noises but then they quickly decided they could do it themselves (and much better than me)  
By the way the caterpillar bag is super easy to make- use any old bag or box and just glue the head on and cut the mouth area open. 

We didn't even get to the barrier game, phonemic awareness practice sheets, or color sheet-
maybe next week!!  
I even had a couple of special education teachers steal my materials and do the activities with their kids.
(that makes me happppyyy:)

Long live the very hungry caterpillar! 



If you need a little hungry caterpillar in your life {or just in your speech room} 
you can grab it HERE
21 pages of speech, language and phonemic awareness fun! 

Hope you enjoyed peeking into my speech room. 
So what did you do in your speech room this week?

-Mia



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Angry birds helping me do a little speech therapy today

A while back I promised a post about Angry Birds.... so here it goes.  
I know, I know some of you are sick of those angry birds.
Like lima beans, you either love 'em or hate 'em,  
but my kids LOVE them! 

Today I NEEDED those angry birds.  Man-oh-man do my kids have spring fever BAD! 

Today it seemed like all my students wanted to talk about was Swamp People and Duck Dynasty (hmmm, maybe I need to create an activity for those!) 
or in the case of my favorite chatty 5 year old girl, getting her ears pierced at Tanger Outlet Mall this weekend. 

 One guy said he was tired and asked me if we really had to talk today.  
Uhhh, yes, it's speech.  You can't have speech therapy without talking. 

Whipping out the old Angry Birds game made them refocus!! 
I had them practice saying phrases with their sounds and then let them press the handy dandy spinner from Super Duper so see how many spaces they could move along the game board.  


They wanted to land on the spaces with the messages so bad that they resorted to trying to cheat.  

(counting 1 space twice/ skipping spaces, etc. etc.) 


I had to give them a quick disappointed face and cheating lecture- 
 similiar to Tom Hanks' "There's no crying in baseball!" lecture in A League of Their Own
 except mine includes
"There's no cheating in speech!" 


If you need some angry birds to help you get through the rest of the school year,  I have 
17 gameboards in a set to make your little guys happy and motivated to practice their speech sounds. 

I have 17 game boards in all- the open ended one shown above and one for each of these: 

-Initial and medial /r/ 
-vocalic r and variations of vocalic r 
-/r/ blends
-initial, medial and final /s/
-/s/ blends
-initial, medial and final /z/
-combo "sh," "ch," "j"
-initial and medial /l/
-/l/ blends
-initial, medial and final /t/ 
-initial, medial and final /d/
-initial, medial and final /g/
-initial, medial and final /k/
-initial, medial and final /f/
-initial, medial and final /v/
-initial, media and final "th"


8 of them with older developing sounds have WORD targets on the board while 8 with younger developing sounds have PICTURE targets for non-readers. 

Here is the one for /g/ with picture targets.  Your student should say the word he/she lands on X number of times - either alone or in a phrases, sentence, etc. then get a turn at the game.  
There's a make-your-own spinner and dice included in the download if you need it.  Here is the board for /r/ which has word targets instead: 
{oh and I've already been informed by the children that there isn't really a purple bird.  They are quite the little critics}
Just print the 2 pages that make the boards, overlap the pages slightly and tape together on the back, or adhere each page to the inside of a manilla folder for a quick, foldable game. 


It also includes a bonus matching game which can be used as a reinforcer activity to address any old skill. 
Either way, I hope your kiddos love them as much as mine do! 
Just in case they get too competitive you may want to have your 
"there's no cheating in speech" lecture ready ;)

-Mia 




Sunday, April 7, 2013

APP review- Do YOU feel electric?

Today I wanna share with you an awesome app that I discovered this last week.  
It's called FEEL ELECTRIC! and it's put out by the Electric Company. 
 {Whoaa, hold up..blast from the past..The Electric Company still exists? I use to to watch that when I was a kid! } 
Glad to know the Electric Company is still kicking and putting out cool apps like this one- 
and to top it off,  it's FREE! 



You see, I went on a quest last weekend to find an app to help kids talk about their emotions & feelings and hopefully improve their social language skills (pragmatics) -maybe even prevent some behavior problems that we are struggling with right now. 
 {fingers crossed}

 I did that for  a few reasons: 

1) a bunch of my kiddos are super stressed about our state standardized testing (which is starting tomorrow!)  Two of my students have even asked me to pray for them and I've wiped several in tears over it.  Please send well wishes our way as we get through this. 

2) I have a student who CANNOT read facial expressions- he SWEARS that everyone is looking at him and being mean to him even when they're being helpful or friendly.

3) I have a student with Asperger's Syndrome who needs interventions in the area of pragmatics. 

3) In addition to being an SLP at my school, I also have the role of "lead teacher" which means I help all special ed. personnel school wide with a whole slew of things- including intervening with students' behavior issues and creating behavior plans.  
We have some little bitty kids with some BIG, BIG emotional/behavioral challenges. 

I'm hoping this guy can help me....


When you open FEEL ELECTRIC! you're greeted with this guy.
He's very animated and it's hard not to be drawn in by him!  

You can enter the names of 4 students and their data will be kept in the app.  The history of the emotions they discuss each day is also kept in memory which I really like so we can refer back to how they felt yesterday, last week, etc.   
Oh, and it also keeps their points! (more on that later)



The first thing you have to do is choose the emotions that describe how you are feeling that day. 
I did it first and showed my student that I was feeling calm, mopey and hopeful that day.  
There are SO many to choose from and if you touch one- it tells you all about that emotion and shows the facial expression that goes with it. 
See?  
I love that this is teaching vocabulary - it made me realize that all of my students usually just say they're "sad" or "happy" or "mad."  
This app takes sad, happy and mad to a whole new level! 
After you choose your emotions, the kids on the screen tell about a time that they felt like that, too.  

Next, you move on to the various activities that you or your student can choose to do! I needed to address something specific with my student so, in my case, I chose the activity. 
You can see the various activites offered under the 3 different sections: 
MY LIFE, MY STUFF, & MY GAMES

Under MY LIFE, students can create a Mood Dude (that matches how they're feeling or other various emotions), listen to Moody Tales (that they can customize to be wacky and silly!) or look at the Moodosphere- which is a history of their moods. 


Under MY STUFF,  students can view
       videos, photos  ^^^^ (shown above) and listen to music ---then drag STICKERS onto the photos or videos that describe how those make them feel.  They can also upload their OWN pictures, videos and music and use the stickers to talk about them. 

Under MY GAMES, students can play 3 different games (described below)


The app keeps their scores and encourages them to beat their high score.  The games REALLY are fun and slightly addictive.  They require kids to associate the names of emotions to facial expressions.

I personally LOVE this app and it's got my wheels are turning about alll the ways we can use this at school.  I think the possibilities are wide open!

I've already shared this with one of our counselors- I think this is a great app to use with a child who comes to the counselor's office or detention

  I also think this will hold the interest of my high functioning autistic students who need to develop social language.  

Even my kids who just have plain ole test anxiety could benefit from it.  Talking about how they feel before the test {along with the distraction and fun of getting to use the iPad} might turn into a great coping strategy for them.  That's what I'm banking on.  

If you're as excited about it as I am, go grab it at the App Store 
If you use it, I'd love to hear how you feel about it. 

How am I feeling today?  
Grateful you stopped by my little blog
:)
-Mia


If you need activities for pragmatics, I have one for your boys and one for your girls in my TpT store-


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Magic Slide- my solution for lateral /s/ and /z/

Give me an /r/ any day.  Gimme me any old artic error.

 It's only the lateral productions that make me shake in my boots! 
I'll admit it, I'm a big ole chicken when it comes to lateral distortions.  They're tough!

I've seen my share of laterals; I can't seem to escape them! 
  About 12 years ago, I had a little girl named Shelby who was one of the sweetest and smartest students I'd ever had. 
She'd been in therapy for 4 years for just about every sound error you can imagine and all that was left to polish was her /s/ and /z/.  

You guessed it- lateral distortions.  
We tried placement tricks.  
We tried blowing through straws.  
All massive fails.

It wasn't until I tried the prolonged /t/ technique that we hit the jackpot.  
(I've since learned that Carolyn Bowen calls it the Butterfly Procedure and Jane Folk talked about it in her book, Straight Speech: a lisp treatment program.)

I needed a visual to help Shelby see that she could make a /t/ sound and if she held it....
it would turn it into the perfect /s/ sound!  

I quickly sketched a playground slide on a scrap piece of paper and we started using it.  We called it "Shelby's Ladder." I called it that for years! 

Finally! The sweet sound of success!

It was like magic!  


The perfect /s/! 

The /t/ facilitated the correct placement and prolonging it created the stridency needed to turn it into an /s/.  

Since then I've used it with countless kids.  It doesn't work every time but I'd say it does the trick for every 9 out of 10 kids.  

Shelby is long gone- she's in college now.  After she mastered the art of the /s/ she was dismissed but I'll never forget her.  



Now my kids and I call it THE MAGIC SLIDE.  It magically turns your /t/ into an /s/!    
{DITTO for /d/ and /z/}


To use it, tell your students that you NO longer want them to say "s" sounds -instead,  you want them to say "t" and "long t" sounds because those will sound like /s/.   

{The minute you ask them just to say /s/ they will revert back to their sloppy lateral habits! Don't do it!}

You should explain to your students that they will say /t/ each time you point to a "t" and then the "t" at the top of the slide will SSSSSlllliiiiiidddddde down and magically turn into an /s/ sound.  
They should NOT try to say /s/ - only "t" and a "long t" when it slides down the slide. 

Got it?  


Have the student say /t/ each time you point to a letter "t"- making your finger "climb" the rungs of the ladder.  

Once you get to the top, your finger will "slide" down the slide and the /t/ will magically turn into an /s/.  

"t"    "t"    "t"   "t"   "t"  "tssssssssss"

Voila!! 

The same will work for /d/ and /z/ although the voicing 
makes it harder to prolong the /d/.  

You will have to slowly FADE the /t/ to master /s/ in isolation.  
Anytime they revert back to a lateral /s/ remind them to say a "long t" instead of an /s/
{it's the same sound but they seem to associate the 2 terms with 2 different placements.  Make sense?}

As you practice, encourage the prolongation of /t/ to get shorter and shorter until it no longer exists. 
Your student will have to "memorize" the placement for a proper /s/ and forget about the old lateral placement (easier said than done I know!)
Just keep using The Magic Slide for practice.  

Once you move to words, you will probably have to bring back the handy dandy /t/ and then fade it again.  It's a tedious process but it works.  Keep the faith!  

If you want to try to bring a little magic to your speech room,  you can download THE MAGIC SLIDE at my TPT store.  It's a FREEBIE from me to you!  While you're there, please follow me on TPT so you can be alerted when I post new products.

If you try it and it works for you (or even if if bombs), 
I'd really love to hear what happened!
Please leave me a comment either way :) 

Good luck and happy therapizing! 
-Mia










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