Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Birthday to me and What's in my cart

I had a pretty good birthday over the weekend. I'm getting to be the age where I need to use the Super Duper Age calculator to figure out how old I am. I actually did use it awhile ago to figure out how long I've been practicing. My husband did not get me a dehumidifier and a car vacuum from Walgreens like he did a few years ago. I'm going to be honest here-I may not have used Michelle Garcia Winner's social fake that year. I may have been a little more up front with my feelings.

Just for fun, I'm going to tell you about the Target cheesecake.  About 5 years ago, my husband bought some cheesecake from Target-I think it was the Market pantry kind.  It was pretty bad.  But I used my good social skills and just pretended like it was fine.  Then he got it the next year.  I ate a little bit and then said, "You know, I really don't like this cheesecake.  It tastes kind of funny."  He got it the following year again.  Having told him the year before, I felt like I had the right to have a big reaction to a small problem.  So I didn't eat a bite of it, told him I didn't like it and threw it in the garbage.  On my 40th birthday, he got it again!!!  What?  I was so upset.  He said he didn't remember that I didn't like it and that he was really busy and didn't have time to go anywhere else.  I asked him why he didn't get a cheesecake factory one and he said, "Well that one cost a lot more."  We had a lot of discussions about cheesecake and big birthdays and expectations.  I'm pretty sure I was at a 5 for part of that discussion.  The reason I bring it up is that this year, my husband went to a local bakery to pick up a cake.  They were out, so he picked up cupcakes.  These cupcakes are delicious.  But he woke up on my birthday morning and was so concerned that cupcakes wasn't going to be right that he went to another bakery and still couldn't get a cake.  So that's how I ended up with 6 cupcakes, a chocolate raspberry tart, and 6 pieces of chocolate for my birthday.

This post isn't about birthdays but it is about a big milestone.  Teacher's Pay Teachers is having a 3 million teacher sale 2/27 to 2/28.  These sales are great because not only are the individual stores on sale, but they also offer an extra 10% off your purchase.  It's a great time to stock up on products to get you through the rest of the year.

Jenna from Speech Room News is hosting another "What's in Your Cart" link party.  This is a chance for us to share some items we are thinking of purchasing.

First off, here are a few new products that I have that you may want to check out:

Minimal Pairs: /S/ blends and Final Consonant Deletion are my two newest products.
Each one contains more than 50 sets of minimal pairs as well as rebus stories, minimal pair memory homework, 15 activities for each targeted sound, and minimal pairs sentences.  I'm really excited to have something so comprehensive to work with some of my clients!

St. Patrick's Day Conversation Starters and WH Questions is my newest addition to my progressive wh question/conversation starter packet.  These are really fun to use for articulation carryover or as a quick language activity.

You can also save money by purchasing the bundle.  This bundle is progressive which means the price increases as I add more products.  But if you buy now you will get any future additions for free PLUS you save 20% off purchasing each one individually.

Finally, this is still one of my favorites from last year:  It's the SPEECHIE awards.  This is great product to use during awards shows or at the end of the year as a wrap up activity.

This activity focuses on categorization, comparing and contrasting, multiple meanings and synonyms.   One of my favorite activities is the Synonym Movies.  Can the student figure out the movie.  Here's an example.  What movie is Frozen Water Era?  Comment below and I will pick a winner when I get back from vacation. (leaving on Wednesday-I can't wait!!!)

You can also save money by purchasing the bundle.  This bundle is progressive which means the price increases as I add more products.  But if you buy now you will get any future additions for free PLUS you save 20% off purchasing each one individually.

I've been adding products to my cart since the last sale.  Here is what I've been looking at purchasing during the next sale:

Tackling Apraxia by Mia McDaniel:  These look great for motivating a particularly tricky client of mine.

Zap!  Irregular Verbs by The Speech Bubble looks like a great way to drill some of my students who are tired of the same old syntax cards.

Inferencing Detectives by Miss Speechie  I'm always looking for new products targeting inferencing.

I've picked quite a few little ones, so I thought I would check out this double bundle from Super Power Speech:

Another one that looked great for the younger set is Snappy Snapshots by Carrie Manchester. 

Finally I am really interested in this Youtube companion packet from Jenna Rayburn.  I love that it uses QR codes to link to the videos-that makes it so easy:

I'd love to hear what's in you cart.  Head on over to the new Speech Room New's site to link up or find out what everyone else is purchasing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What's in a bag: 31 Tote Bag party

One of my best friends from college had to go back to school after a medical condition forced her to resign her job as a high school English teacher.  While she's pursuing her new career, she started selling 31 bags on the side.  I was happy to have an opportunity to help her out as she starts on a new journey.

Today I'm guest posting over at Kathryn's Speech Room Style on how much stuff I can fit into the 31 bags that I own.  I also have a giveaway for a straight iron holder from 31 bags!  

Best Friend Selfie:  

I hope you get a chance to check it out.  I'd love for some more people to book some online parties with her as well as get some new cool bags for carrying around their SLP goodies!  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Soapbox Saturday: If They Could Then They Would

I don't know that I've ever mentioned that my 9 year old nephew has significant language and cognitive delays and is primarily nonverbal.  It's difficulty position to be in as a speech language pathologist-when you notice that a relative or a friend's child is not meeting the developmental milestones.  Do you say something or do you keep quiet?  At what point are you hurting the child when you say nothing.  For me, I suspected something was wrong when he was about 10 months old.  His movements were more jerky and not as fluid as you would expect.  I didn't say anything until he was about 2 1/2.  

I watched my father become frustrated with my brother-as if this could be fixed with better "parenting."  I watched my brother as he talked about how the delay could be related to the fact that his son wasn't in Daycare or hadn't been exposed to other children.  I watched as they insisted they didn't want their son to be "labeled."  

When I finally started talking, I talked about birth to three programs and then 3-5 programs.  I talked about outpatient therapy and the importance of early intervention.  I talked about AAC.  I talked about how it wasn't anyone's fault.  I talked about how this beautiful boy could remember fine motor activities once he was shown one time.  I talked about how engaged he was in people games like "tickle" and "chase."  I talked about Apraxia and Autism, Cerebral palsy and genetic testing.  

They finally got him into school and therapy when he was 7.  

Now that he is in school, he is making some good but slow progress.  He is saying a few words, and is making progress in his learning.  My soapbox post isn't about parent denial or not getting your child into services.  It's this statement his probably well meaning teacher said last year.  "He is so smart.  He could talk if he wants too but he is just stubborn."

I hear variations of this all the time:
  • He could do the work if he wants to
  • He can talk in sentences if he is motivated to do it but he chooses not to. 
  • Her language is fine she just chooses not to use it.  She could talk if she wants to.
  • He understands everything that I say.  But He only follows directions if he wants to. 
  • She can pay attention in class when she decides too. 
I'm not sure why-but I think that the idea of a willful, disobedient stubborn child is less intimidating than a child with potentially life long learning challenges. 

Just because we saw a student complete an activity one time, doesn't mean that this logic holds up.  In fact, I bet you would be challenged to find a time when this logic holds true ever.

For example:  You've seen me run a 5K.  I've run several at a pace slightly faster than a leisurely jog.

You could make the argument that I can run-therefore I could run a marathon but I'm just too lazy.  Why am I not motivated? Because running is HARD for me.  I have a hard time breathing, my face gets bright red and my feet start to ache because I have plantar facitis.  Technically I could run a marathon-but I don't because it is very difficult for me.

I think the same holds true for our students.  If they could do it easily, they would.

Here's the problem I see with making these statements to parents.   First, it may provide false hope.  I've had parents cling to this idea that their child could talk if they would just make an effort.  This makes it really difficult to move forward with things such as augmentative communication which could really prevent the child from falling further behind.

Second, since it puts the blame on the child, it makes it easier for US not to do our best job.  It's not an issue of trying a new technique or seeing what will work for this individual child.  It's their problem.  They just choose not too learn.

Finally, it may prevent the parents from seeking additional services which could benefit their child.  I'm a big believer that most-if not all-children benefit from both outpatient AND school services.  We may not be able to recommend it, but we can avoid saying things that would discourage parents from seeking out these services.  Again, I'm speaking more from experience here-my nephew could benefit from additional services.  But they have now decided that he will just talk when he is ready.  After all, he is just stubborn.  

Is this a pet peeve of yours?  What do you say when you hear colleagues or other professionals say things like this?  I'm always looking for some good replies!  If you found this post interesting-please consider sharing it by pressing on the Pinterest or Facebook buttons below.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Emergency Mustache Maneuvers

Hi, My name is Kelly and I have a fear of growing a mustache.  Sometimes in that bathroom light, I'm not sure if there is a shadow on my top lip or if I'm starting to grow some coarse mustache hairs.  On occasion, when I go into get my eyebrows done, the technician will ask if I'm doing my lip too.  I always say (probably in a panicked way), "No!  Do you think I need to?"  They always kind of look at me and then shake their head and say "Probably not" in a half hearted manner.  I can't decide if they don't want to tell me that I'm starting to sport a stache or if that's just the sneaky way to get people to do more waxing.    

This week was spirit week and one of the days was "mustache" day.  Of course I forgot until the night before when I had to figure out what to do for my kids.  First the good news: NO ONE made any comments about me having a mustache when I wasn't wearing a fake mustache (Phew!)  I feel like many of you may end up with Mustache emergencies so here are some pretty lazy mustache activities to do with your students.

No time to stop and pick up fake mustaches?  Just draw one on the side of your finger.  Take a mustache selfie and post it on your blog.  Done.  

I had purchased these mustache stickers at Oriental Traders last year.  I tried putting some on my lip but they didn't stick.  Instead I added them to my name badge.  Yup, I got my CCC-s and my lip toupee all together.  

My last stop was to Teacher's Pay Teachers to pick up some Mustache related curriculum materials.  Here's what I found:  

Mustache Freebies:  

I LOVE to work on absurdities with my students.  It's a great activity for early comprehension.

I mustache you a Question: Silly Conversations by Peachie Speechie.  

I LOVED these questions plus my students were really motivated by them.  My favorite was the who is the best speech therapist question because I totally got dissed for some guy named Jason.  Who is apparently the most awesome and fun SLP of all time.  Which was more awesome because the student was very concerned about my feelings and kept saying, "no offense but..."  Way to go Jason!  I'd love to sit it on some of your sessions!  

Since I procrastinated and didn't start looking until 10 pm the night before MUSTACHE day, I didn't make anything with them.  But I can see lots of fun ways to use them in therapy.  

Paid TPT products:  

This is a great product that focuses on choosing the most specific vocabulary word to complete the sentence.  I loved that the multiple choice answers were fairly similar which allowed you to talk about the different shades of meaning.  

I Mustache You a Question-No print activity for formulating and answering questions from Sublime Speech.  

This was a great product that I was able to quickly download to my iPad and use in therapy.  

I also grabbed this book from my son's room to work on comprehension:  

For some more mustache related materials and ideas, please check out these great products and posts:   

How about you?  Have you had a mustache themed day?  I'd love to hear about it below.  If you like mustaches, please consider sharing this page on Pinterest or Facebook by clicking on the buttons below!   Also, if you notice that I have a mustache in any pictures I post, please take time to private message me about this.  
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