I'm excited to be linking up to Teach Speech 365's "Finding your TPT niche" linky party. I am a big fan of the origin movies for comic books (sorry-I'm a nerd who married a nerd) and this linky party is an opportunity for us to share our "origin" stories.
I was a TPT and Teacher's Notebook shopper for about 6 months before I opened my own store. Jenna from Speech Room News had a blog posting about how she made her own therapy materials. I'm not sure if this is the exact entry I read-but it gives some great information regardless. Speech Room News custom therapy materials. Can I just take a minute to talk about how awesome she was to post this tutorial? First she started by providing awesome free resources for year and then starting selling some of her products. She didn't have to share how she created them but she did-and I think a lot of the SLP's on TPT saw the same post. Here's what I thought when I read first her post-"Wow. That seems pretty cool but I'm not creative enough to come up with my own materials. But I sure appreciate people who can create their own products."
A lot of my life has been a series of "surprise accidents." For instance, I only became a Speech Language Pathologist when I misread the code during our aptitude testing. I HAD wanted to go into speech communications and work in marketing. But when the college brochures started coming describing Speech Language Pathology programs, I thought that it would be worth checking out. My brother qualified for speech and language services for most of his schooling and I'd always loved children. It must have been fate. Some of the "surprise accidents" I encouraged. I spent a whole year making dating decisions based on a Magic 8 ball. (Should I go out on another date? Signs point to no.)
Joining TPT was another "surprise accident"-although not really a happy one. I worked on my first product: Alien's Multiple Meanings when I was in Arizona for my dad's second funeral.
I think it took a little longer to find my niche. One of the things that I love about TPT is that it has made me more creative-and it's opened up doors for me to be a more inventive therapist. If a client or student isn't making progress, I can come up with a new product to motivate or help teach them in a different way. Here are a few of my "niche" products.
Interactive Flashcards are products that I made to try to teach skills to children on the Autism Spectrum or other students with developmental disabilities. I wanted to make things more visual-while giving them an opportunity to physically manipulate the pictures.
WH Question and conversation starters are a fun way to address articulation carryover or to check on generalization of wh-questions using holidays and seasons.
Flip Flap books are a fun way to create a project within a therapy session or to add a little bit of movement to activities.
Finally, I'm really excited about my newest set of products: Nothing Minimal about These Pairs. I'd been trying to find some good resources for minimal pairs for about a year when I finally realized that I could just try to make something. I really like the included activities as well as all of the visuals that are included.
I'd love to hear your story too! You can click on the image below to link up with Teach Speech 365.