Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Speech-Language Success Stories # 6

I am currently in the last 9 weeks of the school year in my district and spring break is 3 days away!! Speech-language therapy progress notes and report cards went home with kids last Friday. Naturally, SLPs review our students' data and document speech-language objectives that they have mastered, made progress,  and areas that they may be struggling with learning a skill. 

My success story today is about having students celebrate their victories in the speech language therapy room. I have a poster that says "Super Speech Students- We Are Meeting Goals!!!" Students put a star sticker on the chart for each objective that they meet based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) mastery criteria. They really seem to enjoy looking at the incentive poster and counting their stars. 

I also have many of them graph their progress and take home their graph when they meet a goal! I can not count the times that I hear "What's my score?"  or "Did I do good today?" They know that I take data regularly and that I desire for them to LEARN and improve their scores or percentages of accuracy. Many of them can't wait to get their hands on my handy Super Duper clipboard that has a calculator at the top. Occasionally, I let a few of them enter the fraction to figure out their percentage of accuracy. I teach them how to convert the decimal to a percentage too! Math in the speech-language room! Say What?!

At the end of the 9 weeks, which usually coincides with a holiday too, I bring edible treats to reward their hard work towards meeting goals. Here are some goodies that I handed out today. 

I also gave out new stickers! Remember to celebrate students' successes in your speech-language therapy sessions or classroom too!

Tamara Anderson
SLP on Spring Break Soon

Guess What? SLP Lingo & Test Prep Vocabulary

My speech-language therapy students are quite accustomed to me pulling out all sorts of vocabulary activities during their weekly sessions. I wanted a new way to help them practice saying the meanings of their key speech-language therapy and English/Language Arts words. So many of my students with language based learning disabilities struggle with verbally defining their curriculum vocabulary and many of them have memory deficits as well. After all, true mastery of a concept is when they can understand and explain the concept. 

This was my motivation behind creating my Guess What? Frequently Used SLP Lingo & Test Prep Vocabulary Game. This is the 4th in this series. I wanted a fun way for my speech language kiddos to practice their curriculum vocabulary skills. This was an instant hit in my sessions!!!

To play this curriculum game, I select one semantic map from the set to focus on during a 30 minute session. 

Research shows that the use of semantic or vocabulary maps is an excellent memory and learning strategy because it helps children successfully organize and retrieve information from their brains. Score! You can read more about that here as I did research on that as well when I completed my Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. http://bslspeechlanguage.blogspot.com/search/label/Brain%20Based%20Learning

Then I have each student in a group choose a mystery word and tell them to make sure they don't let the others see it! 

Then I put the question prompts page on the table and a word bank. 

I love the variety of visuals available in this game because it allows you to differentiate instruction without your kids even knowing it. 
For example, some kids may just need the semantic map when it's their turn to ask a question while others will read directly from the question prompts page or another student will just need the word bank page to formulate his/her question. 

Students will take turns asking their opponents a question to try to guess or figure out their mystery word. If someone guesses their word, they pick another word from the deck. The game continues until all the vocabulary from the selected semantic map are guessed. 

My speech-language 4th and 5th graders absolutely LOVE this game and they get SUPER competitive too which I don't mind because they're practicing their learning objectives. This game will work well for middle school students too! There are 5 semantic maps with 40 Frequently Used SLP Lingo and 5 semantic maps with 40 Test Prep Vocabulary. Your students will have several weeks of language intervention to practice 80 words with this curriculum game! 

You may purchase this product in my online TPT store here:

I have three other Guess What? Curriculum Games in this series that are also favorites with my speech kiddos. They are available in my TPS store as well. 

1) Guess What? Types of Literature, Story Elements, & Text Features

2) Guess What? Types of Sentences, Parts of Sentences, & Parts of 

3) Guess What? Figurative Language, Prefixes, & Suffixes


Thanks for reading the blog today! :)

Tamara Anderson

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Into Literacy {Teaching Compare & Contrast}

I absolutely LOVE integrating literacy activities in my speech-language therapy sessions! There are so many skills that you can target while using fiction and non-fiction text. 

Recently, I decided to use the 2 books pictured above, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!  and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog!  to target teaching my lower grade elementary students the concept of compare & contrast. For them, I introduced the skill as explaining similarities and differences. During one session, I read aloud one of the stories and we talked about the sequence of events. Then we briefly talked about how that book was similar to others we read earlier in the year. For an extension activity, my students completed this book with assistance. 

Then another session, I read aloud the book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog! Then we talked about how that book was similar and different to the one that I read last session. Then they made their book. 

I used non-fiction text to teach my 4th and 5th grade language therapy students the skill of compare and contrast. Over several sessions, I read aloud passages from my Historical Irish American unit. Then my students selected 2 people to write down on their Venn Diagram such as Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy and Henry Ford. I modeled for them how to find similarities and differences from the text and then write them down in the correct part of the diagram. Lastly, they took turns verbally comparing and contrasting what they learned. This is a great activity for students to practice synthesizing what they have learned. 

Here is a picture of 2 completed Venn Diagram for this unit.

You can purchase your copy of the Historical Irish Americans unit in my TPT store so you can teach this skill to your speech-language therapy or language arts students. Click here for direct access to the digital download of this product! 

Thanks for reading the blog today!

Tamara Anderson

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Time Speech-Language Activities

Spring is finally here and I am thrilled because it is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Although today is a rainy day in Atlanta, I actually don't mind it because that means my garden will look beautiful very soon! Plus, aside from going to church this morning, I had a nice day at home.  

Guess What? There are only 38 school days left for the year in my district! It is definitely full speed ahead with therapy sessions, eligibility meetings, IEP meetings, and a few re-evaluation meetings remaining. I want to share with you my therapy intervention recommendations that will carry you through the spring! Click on the pictures to go directly to the product links in my TPT store.

First, I have a freebie that I created back in 2013 to address word associations. This is an essential part of language processing. The photos are from my own flower garden. I got my green thumb from my grandmother and mom! :)

Next, I have my best selling 2nd-5th grade English/Language Arts Common Core Standards vocabulary task cards. These include a variety of skills that SLPs address in language therapy that directly relate to the standards. This is a great way to review a variety of E/LA skills with your students.  I have a bundle that is ideal for use during basketball season this spring because it has a bonus basketball game included! 

My Historical Irish Americans unit is perfect to use with 4th-8th grade students receiving speech-language therapy services or special education services for reading. This packet addresses comprehension, identifying the meanings of Tier 2 vocabulary from sentence contexts, compare/contrast, and word associations. This is the 2nd in my series of Historical American Figures. 

My newest series of Guess What? Curriculum Vocabulary Products are great for language intervention sessions with children in 3rd-6th grade. It is important that SLPs provide educationally relevant therapy and these resources do that because they are interactive games for kids to practice Tier III English/Language Arts terms. 

The SLP Lingo & Test Prep Vocabulary is my 4th in the series that will be available this week! I'll keep you posted. 

These are my recommendations to equip you with successfully leading therapy sessions and instruction with children. I wish your students and clients continued speech, language, and academic success!!

Tamara Anderson