Monday, December 29, 2014

End of Year SALE-bration!

The end of 2014 is rapidly coming to a close. There are just 3 days left including today! I encourage you to make the most of this remaining time by spending it with those you love most dearly. Here's a picture collage of some of my recent family moments.

I am having a 20 % sale on all products in my TPT store 
until December 31st! You definitely need my various progress monitoring, English/Language Arts common core standards, and language intervention resources to make your SLP and educator life much easier in 2015! So head on over to and access the digital downloads for complimentary products and on sale time-saving resources. 

Tamara Anderson

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Holidays - Thanks for Your Support!

Hey everyone. Thanks so much for reading my blog this year. I have enjoyed writing the articles, creating new speech/language products, and getting to know many new SLP bloggers this year. One of my highlights was definitely meeting several bloggers at the ASHA conference in Orlando, FL back in November. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. Happy Hannukah if you are in midst of celebrating this special season of remembrance! Merry Christmas to those who will celebrate this time! I am especially glad that I am able to spend time with family as we reflect on our true reason for celebrating the season, the birth of Jesus Christ! 

I am so grateful for so many things and would like to give you all a little gift. My winter word associations will be available at no cost to you until Friday, December 19th. My entire store will also remain on sale 20 % off. You do not want to miss out! Stock up now on assessment and intervention materials so you'll be all set to go in 2015! Make your life a breeze in 2015!

Happy Holidays! 


Tamara Anderson

Happy Holidays and Summarization {Evidence Based Strategy}

Happy Holidays from Building Successful Lives (BSL) Speech & Language! I am writing from the comforts of home today as I am now on day 3 of recovering from the flu. As the year is quickly coming to an end, this is a great time to naturally reflect on skills that you have taught your students and the progress that they have made.  However, it is equally important that you teach students, especially students with language disorders the evidence based strategy of summarization. 

Summarization is a skill that requires an individual to synthesize or bring together information that they have heard, read, and learned in a simplified and organized manner. It may involve a verbal summary, written summary, or both. This strategy can be applied in all the content areas of language arts, math, science, social studies, and various specials or electives classes. Once students learn how to use this skill and practice it effectively, it will have positive implications in their ability to master academic standards as well as become more effective communicators.

Now educators and speech-language pathologists may think, "oh, I have my students do this all the time." But do you really do this on a consistent basis? This is an excellent strategy that allows the teacher or SLP to check for a student's understanding of curriculum relevant standards as well as their oral/written language skills. It is ideal that this strategy is paired with an age appropriate graphic organizer to aid a child's recall and organization of content related to a particular topic. As children develop it is important to increase the expectations for them to have increasing depth of knowledge on a topic. A teacher or SLP may even use a rubric to progress monitor growth of summarization skills such as:

Teachers and SLPs of children in grades K-3 can have students summarize fiction text both verbally and in writing. Here are some suggestions for great holiday and winter themed books:
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro
Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman

Teachers and SLPs of children in grades 4-8 can have students summarize non-fiction information both verbally and in writing. They can summarize main ideas and related details learned in social studies and science content. I love having my students make metacognitive maps which are a visual representation of main ideas, vocabulary, and details on a selected topic. You can read more about that here:

Here are some examples of graphic organizers that require increasing linguistic or language complexity:

K-W-L Chart
Beginning-Middle-End/Story Train Chart: 

Venn Diagram:
*interactive computer made & printable visual:

Make sure to integrate summarization, an evidence-based strategy into your speech-language therapy sessions and classrooms on a regular basis! You will see positive gains in your students over time!

Better: Evidence-based Education Magazine
Published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Research and Reform in Education, Better magazine takes an evidence-based approach to figuring out what works in teaching.

  • Summarizing text: "Explicitly teach students procedures for summarizing what they read. Summarization allows students to practice concise, clear writing to convey an accurate message of the main ideas in a text. Teaching summary writing can involve explicit strategies for producing effective summaries or gradual fading of models of a good summary as students become more proficient with the skill."

Tamara Anderson, Ed.S.. CCC-SLP
Speech-language pathlogist
Education Specialist

Friday, December 12, 2014

7 Days Until Vacation! Say What? Celebrate with a Sale!

I am thrilled that I will soon be on winter break until 2015! I can not wait. Now is a great time to add new resources to your speech/language therapy materials to make your sessions a breeze for the rest of the year and beginning in January. My TPT store is on sale  20 % off starting today-Thursday December 18th. I definitely recommend my progress monitoring tools and winter themed activities. You can find these easily in my store at the top of the page at:

I have been doing lots of winter themed activities to keep my students' interest and of course to provide their necessary speech/language interventions. This week, I read aloud, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, Snow Dog Go Dog, and Matt & Molly snowman story with various groups. 

My students also practiced oral language skills with correct subject/verb agreement. I also used lots of activities to build their receptive grammar knowledge such as is/are sorting with fill-in-the blank sentences. 

My 5th grade students practiced Tier II vocabulary by using context clues to figure out the meanings of words in written sentences and paragraphs. Some groups made semantic maps to review Tier III or English/Language Arts vocabulary by making semantic maps. For example, a few of them were struggling with remembering the differences between the types of writing so I modeled how to make a semantic map for these key words. Making and using semantic maps to recall content is an evidence based strategy to improve comprehension of vocabulary and key ideas. 

Always remember that as SLPs, we frequently make adjustments in our intervention approaches and activities based on the responses of our students. So its always great to have a few resources available each session that you can use to instruct students and to switch it up as needed. 

Get your time-saving resources:


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TPT Cyber Sale!!!

Hey everyone. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. The past 2 days have been super busy at work. I feel like it should be Friday already! Yikes!

I bought some great speech-language therapy products during the TPT Cyber Sale today such as:

Nicole Allison's Leveled Vocabulary Intervention

 Jenn Alcorn's Book Companions

Lauren LaCour's Fluency Treatment Packet

Maureen's (The Speech Bubble's) Can You See It My Way activity to address pragmatic language/perspective taking. 

I have several products that you definitely need in your speech-language sessions as well to make your life much easier. I highly recommend my Vocabulary Progress Monitoring Tool. This assesses 300 vocabulary terms according to a semantic processing hierarchy. 

My Speech Progress Monitoring will help you quickly and easily take data on speech fluency and speech intelligibility. 

You definitely need to purchase my English/Language Arts Comprehensive Categorization Bundle. This is a perfect intervention packet for students in grades 1-5 and even middle school to work on classifying Tier III English/Language Arts vocabulary. There are 5 activities included in this great resource! Each item is available separately in my store if you prefer just 1 or 2 items. 

My winter word associations activity is a great way to introduce the season while working on students' expressive vocabulary and word retrieval skills. 

Here is the direct link to my store: Remember to use the code: TPTCYBER to receive the full discount of 28 % off! 

Happy Shopping! Check out the links on Jenna's blog at Speech Room News for other great products.

Tamara Anderson