The setting: your speech room.
The characters: you and the articulation student/client you've been working with for a few months now.
The scene: Aforementioned student/client walks into the room, takes one look at the activity you have set out for them, and groans, "Not this again!"
If you've been an SLP for any amount of time, or if you have a child in speech therapy, chances are that you've heard about minimal pairs. You might think, "What makes them minimal?" or "How could something called 'minimal' help with speech?" I happen to love using minimal pairs in therapy, and I'll show you why.
The basics: minimal pairs are words that differ in only one phonological element (sound). Some examples are seat/sheet (initial sound) or back/bat (final sound). Now, on to some reasons that I love them.
Do you love file folder activities? I do- I love their portability, effectiveness, and re-useability! However, I made the mistake of buying a 9-inch laminator instead of a 13-inch laminator, so until this one breaks, I can't laminate my file folder activities. And an un-laminated file-folder activity is basically just some disorganized worksheets.
But wait! I recently discovered a hack to get use out of my file folder activities without having to laminate the folders themselves!
(This post contains affiliate links. I earn from sales made via those links. More info here.)
I love Christmas and Hanukkah- themed activities, but in many settings, they are not appropriate or allowed. So how to continue using relevant themes? Enter the Winter theme! Up here in PA, I can use winter activities from December through February, or March on a bad year. I've made a list of my favorite go-to activities to help you get through the post-break slump!
Are you an SLP or special educator who works with kindergarten through middle school-aged students? Are you looking for evidence-based activities that will work for language, articulation, fluency, and social skills goals? What if I told you that such activities exist, and better yet, that they are FREE? The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) has developed activities geared for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, although I have successfully modified them to work with preschoolers through 8th graders.
I can't believe it's almost time for Back to School again! Many of your favorite teacher- and SLP-authors have been working hard to get you some wonderful BTS2016 materials, and I've compiled a list of some of them here.
If you're like me, you might love the *idea* of continuing education, but finding the time and money for it is the hard part! In my state (PA), SLP's have historically been required to have a Teaching Certificate, which mandates 180 hours of continuing education every 5 years (that's 36 hours per year), along with the hours we need for ASHA and our state licenses. It can be a headache trying to figure out what counts for which license! Thankfully, I have found some great sites that offer online webinars and courses for free.
It's almost that wonderful time of year again- Back to School time, when the new school supplies are wafting their irresistible scent from the Target aisles and school employees everywhere are doing our best to enjoy these last few days of summer. It's also almost time to start seeing Speech Room Style pics all over social media, with amazing rooms/closets/offices decorated by creative SLP's from around the world. I love to see their creativity in action, but as an itinerant SLP, I can never really join in. For most of my career, my car trunk has been my office, and I didn't even have a permanent desk spot until last year. I know I'm not the only one, so I wanted to give some tips that have helped me stay organized on the road. Amazon and TPT links included for your convenience.
It's only July, but many parents are already thinking (dreaming? ) about their children going back to school. The districts near me start back the last week of August, which is only 8 weeks away! As a speech therapist, parents often ask me if their preschooler is ready for kindergarten. In my district, children must be 5 years old by September 30th in order to enter Kindergarten each fall. When I was growing up, the cut-off date was in October, but there was more leeway and I was able to start as a 4 year old with a November birthday. My mom said that I nagged her to go to kindergarten, so off I went! Back then, I remember learning some letters, doing a lot of crafts, and finally mastering how to tie my shoes that year, but the expectations for current kindergarten students are much higher.
So school has been in session for a little while. Things are going well- your child is having a good time, you haven't forgotten anyone's lunch, and you've gotten them to school (mostly) on time every day! Then one day your child comes home with a form that says they failed their speech and language screening. It hits you out of the blue- your child isn't doing as well in school as you'd hoped. You have so many questions- Does this mean they are dumb? Did I do something wrong in raising them? Where do I go from here?
Don't worry, I am here to explain the process of speech and language screening in schools. I have worked in schools for many years, and the screening process is similar across most districts.
I'm Jill! I love to create and blog about fun, evidence-based resources that make the lives of parents and busy SLPs easier.