Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015! Thanks For Your Support!

Another year is quickly coming to a close! I truly appreciate the support of my fellow speech-language pathologists, educators, and parents who have read my blog this year. I share my ideas so that others will have strategies and activities to use in speech-language therapy, in the classroom, and at home to improve communication skills of children with special needs. 

It has been almost three years since I started this Building Successful Lives blog! I can't wait for all the things that are in store in 2016! I would love for those who purchased curriculum material to leave feedback in my TPT store. I am going to give away some complimentary resources to a few lucky winners! The amount of prizes are TBD! :) I am committed to making quality informal assessments, speech-language therapy activities, and E/LA common core aligned instructional materials. 

Enjoy the rest of 2015 and I wish you all the best in 2016! 

Tamara Anderson

Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Ways to Practice Speech-Language Skills Over Winter Break

Hey there everyone! Today is the last day of school for 2015 in my district and I am beyond excited about being on winter break for 2 weeks! I am sure that all the students are as well. Although the students will be on break from school, there are so many ways that they can practice their communication skills in their daily routines. I know that some of you will have private practice clients or a few days of work next week as school-based speech language pathologists. Make sure that you share these tips with parents.

5 Ways to Practice Speech-Language Skills Over Winter Break: 

1) Retell events and experiences
*Children should practice describing specific family outings, activities, and experiences with as much detail as possible. They should try their best to recall and retell information in the correct sequence of events whether it is going to the ice skating rink or to grandma's house. 

2) Answer questions after listening to fiction or non-fiction story read by parents
*Children and families can visit the public library and check out books appropriate for their age. Parents should read aloud to their kids and ask them who, what, where, when, and why questions about the text. 

3) Play speech-language games on interactive websites
*There are many websites that children can enjoy practicing their speech-language skills. Some of my top recommendations are,,,, and

You can access a more comprehensive list in Parent Handouts for Communication Disorders in my TPT store.

4) Play speech-language games on iPad
*Many children have either an iPad or android tablet. They can practice a variety of skills such as speech articulation, following directions, vocabulary, grammar, sequencing, and overall comprehension on apps. Parents can search for related apps in the app store by companies such as Speech with Milo, Super Duper, PocketSLP, Hamaguchi, I Can Do Apps, Smarty Ears and so many more! Many companies have free trial versions that enable kids to practice many skills while others will need to be purchased. 

5) Use speech articulation and fluency strategies 
*At home and in the community, children should practice using their best pronunciation of the sounds they are working on in speech-language therapy. Parents can remind their children to use the correct placement of speech muscles when asking questions, answering questions, and speaking to family and friends.

Overall, children can practice their speech-language skills in everyday routines! I hope you found these 5 tips beneficial. Have a great rest of 2015!

Tamara Anderson

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pete the Cat Holiday Freebie

My speech language students LOVE when I read Pete the Cat stories to them. The holiday themed book, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas is no exception! This book is great to read aloud with preschool and elementary school aged kids on your speech language caseload. I created a quick "wh" questions comprehension check that has a field of 4 choices.  You can access it in my TPT curriculum store.

Many of my students have IEP objectives that require them to answer literal questions from fiction text so this FREEBIE will be a great practice and work sample for that! I know many SLPs like having fun book companions with numerous activities, but I have found that sometimes it's best to KISS.  With this complimentary worksheet, you can keep it simple by having a quick and functional activity after your read aloud in a 30 minute session.  I even used it with success in my moderate intellectual disability speech-language therapy groups! 

I appreciate you reading my blog today. When you download this resource, kindly leave feedback in my TPT curriculum store. Thanks in advance! 

Tamara Anderson