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! 


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget