Friday, August 31, 2012

Pass From Class

As I’m getting myself prepared for work (I return next week), I developed editable hall passes that I would like to share with you. In my building, students are given an “agenda” at the beginning of the year. It is supposed to serve as an organizer to write down their schedule, homework etc. It is also supposed to serve as a hallway pass. I make copies of these passes (seen below) and use them whenever one of my students forgets their own agendas. Many schools have their own template, mine does not and I found that these work well.

Hope this assists with helping things to run smoothly this year! Please leave a comment if you decide to use them.

Also, please head on over to Future to view my guest post on how a FREE origami app can be utilized to target important language skills. While you're there, take a look at Suggestions for Future SLP's, Steps to Becoming an SLP, their Resource List and much more! Thanks again Jourdan for the guest posting opportunity!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Finding the Humor in Therapy: The Importance of Figurative Language - Guest Post

Check out my guest post over at Playing With Words 365.  Find out more about figurative language, why it's such an important concept for students to understand, as well as an activity that encourages and promotes its use.

While at Playing With Words 365 take a look at Katie's other great posts that include freebies and guest posts from other professionals. 

Don't forget to join Let's Talk Speech and Language's Facebook page!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

100 Best Websites for Speech-Language Pathologists

This week just keeps getting better! Not only was my first guest post published (with another one on the way tomorrow) but I just had the pleasure of being informed about LTSL's inclusion onto the list of the Best 100 Sites for Speech Pathologists being published at .

Aside from this being great news, this list is also meant to be a resource for those interested in the profession. Their collection of websites and blogs about speech therapy, speech pathology, and general linguistics are a useful resource for anyone looking for information about the subject, or even considering a career in speech-language pathology. I encourage you all to visit!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My First Guest Blog Post!

When I first started LTSL two months ago I never expected to be approached by other bloggers and websites to do guest posts. After getting more involved in the blog community, I realized that guest posts are a regular occurrence and looked forward to my first opportunity.  I can now happily say that my first guest post has now arrived!

It's a great feeling knowing that others are interested in the experiences that I share with you all. Please checkout my guest post over at PediaStaff's SLP Corner, while you're there please feel free to leave a comment, "like" it, or share it on Pinterest.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post this Thursday about utilizing comics to target comprehension of figurative language over at Playing With Words 365.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Targeting Vocabulary with Bluster! {Review}

I think you all know by now that I love free anything, especially free apps! Bluster! is a fun way to target vocabulary in the form of prefixes, suffixes, adjectives, rhyming words, and more. Students can choose to play as a single player, against an opponent, or as a team. Users can also select level of difficulty, ranging in grades 2, 3, and 4. Yes, I know these are not middle school grades, but unfortunately my students do not possess many of the skills that their younger counterparts have. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat.

Users can select player type and level of difficulty.  
A brief description on how to play.
When in single player mode, users are timed as they sort words into three boxes based on the selected mode (prefixes, adjectives, etc). Words disappear from the wordlist as the correct answers are selected. To keep track of time the sun moves from the left hand of the screen to the right. The player is alerted at the halfway mark when the sun reaches midpoint.
Students have roughly 2 minutes to sort words when in single player mode.
The sun moves across the screen to keep time. 
In the versus mode, two students can play against each other. Each player is required to find the appropriate words from a word-list provided. They are required to drag the words into one of three boxes. Students can only move onto sorting the next set of words if they are correct in their response. Players are able to slow down their opponent in the form of a disruptor (i.e. tornado, blizzard, etc). For a few seconds the player who falls victim to the disruptor is unable to move forward in the game.
Versus mode allows two players to play against each other.
When playing in team mode, students can collaborate to sort the vocabulary without competition or the threat of being hit with a natural disaster.
Players are untimed when playing in team mode.
Bluster! offers positive reinforcement for correct answers in the form of a phrase that is presented onto the screen.
Players are provided with praise for correct responses.
As with most apps (if not all), I would use Bluster! as a review for my students. I’m sure they would find the sound effects and animation engaging. Bluster! is pretty straightforward and simple to get the hang of. Skills related to morphology (roots, prefixes, etc.), phonological awareness (rhyming), semantic skills (synonyms, antonyms, etc.) and pragmatics (i.e. collaboration) are all able to be targeted with this application that contains over 800 vocabulary words. This will definitely be a frequently used reinforcement tool in my arsenal of apps!

App Compatibility
This app appears to only be available on the iPad.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Find Me On Facebook!

I'm soo grateful for all the attention "Let's Talk Speech and Language" has been getting these past two months. It's great to know that my ideas and experiences are of use to others.  I'm also flattered that readers want to add me to their Facebook, as a result I've created a page for LTSL. Please head on over and "like" my page.  This page will keep you up to date on all blog posts and related info. Thanks again for all the love you've been showing :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Discipline Is Love

First off, my apologies for not posting last week!  Life has been crazy busy, and I promise to be more consistent and not neglect you all :) Now onto the good stuff...

This post will be deviating from my usual talk of middle schoolers, as I spent six weeks working with preschoolers and wanted to share my experience.  Although it was a part-time position, my summer job really kept me busy and I’m excited to relax and enjoy the few weeks of summer left before I return my middle schoolers.

Working with the 5 and under population was definitely a nice change of pace from the adolescents that I typically deal with. However, working with the little ones was not without its challenges. There were moments where I felt like a human punching bag, as I was kicked, slapped, and swatted at!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to my students exhibiting aggressive behavior, but it’s normally verbal instead of physical. After speaking to co-workers, it became apparent that there were a few “repeat offenders.” Children who were known to be physical with adults as well as their peers. As many of you know, the less expressive language a child possess, the more their frustrations build up.  This consequently leads to “inappropriate” behaviors like hitting. As it turned out, many of the children who were demonstrating the hitting, screaming, etc. were also the ones with limited expressive language abilities. Apologies if I made it seem like all non-communicative students were physically aggressive, as that is not the case and I had my share of quiet angels as well.

Show love by disciplining with love.
We are creatures of habit, if I cry until I get my building blocks then I will cry the next time. Many of the children I treated this summer appeared to lack discipline and structure in their home life and were thus behaving the way there were accustomed to in preschool. Structure and discipline are very important foundations for all children, especially those with special needs as there will be implications later down the road (e.g. school, work, etc.).
How can discipline begin at home?
1. Provide positive reinforcement for good behaviors (e.g. tangible rewardsmile, praise etc.)
2. Provide negative reinforcement for bad behaviors (e.g. time-out, indicate to child your displeasure: “no” or “stop”).
3. Be consistent.

I am not a parent, but I understand the frustrations associated with special needs children. They require more patience and tolerance than most but they also require the same discipline and structure that are provided to their typically developing counterparts. Not providing them with rules promotes a more chaotic and difficult life. You are loving your child by disciplining them, as you are preparing them for the world.

What forms of discipline have you found to work with your little ones?

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