My Therapy Room

Despite my best efforts to stall it, summer is ending.

When I walked into my room last Thursday, this is what I found:

Everything was pushed toward the center, so I had some furniture rearranging to do.  Once I got everything where it needed to be I found the custodian and asked if he had any tall bookshelves I could have.  He said, “Only that metal one.  It’s old and a mess!”  No problem!  I have plenty of plastic “fabric” to cover it!  He hauled it upstairs for me and I got to work!
 
Here are some before pictures.  What was the obsession with this hideous “mauve” color that every filing cabinet and shelf in my school is?!  YUCK!
It was filthy!

Tons of old masking tape on the top of it.



The theme of my room is definitely “Pirates” but the secondary theme is “black and white patterns” with hot pink accents. So, if I can’t work pirates into the decorating, it’s a black and white pattern!

A couple years ago, I found huge packages of plastic fabric at Wal-Mart.  It was in the fabric section; it’s actually “Con-Tact” brand.  Although, it’s not shelf liner.  It was a HUGE piece of continuous fabric – if I had to guess, I’d say it was about 10’x10′.  It was folded in a small square and wrapped in clear plastic. The picture on the back of the package showed it could be used as a cover for a BBQ grill. (Err, huh?  Who covers their grill in this gorgeous stuff?!)  I bought two packs of them – one black and white damask print and one black and white polka dots.  (**I tried to find the product online but couldn’t.  Sorry!) 

I started by measuring the piece for the top.  I used a spray adhesive to get it to stick on.  I used the end of a binder to smooth everything out.

To do the side, gravity was sort of working against me.  So, I starting by taping the piece I had cut at the top.  Then I sprayed the adhesive on a small area and smoothed it out.

 
I just kept spraying small areas as I went down.
 


When I was done with the fabric, I added ribbon to the outside edge of the inside shelves.  I used hot glue to put that on.

I also have a huge filing cabinet behind me when I’m at my desk. I also covered it with the Con-Tact paper and some ribbon. Here’s it is!

 

Here are all the “go-together” cutouts I got last year and over the summer! I got them all laminated and then had some students who were visiting help me cut the out.  I can’t wait to use them!

I’m lucky enough to have a SMART Board.  Last year I used a flimsy plastic table cloth on the board around it.  I didn’t love how it looked, because I had to piece it together so it looked very “band-aid”.  this year I used a full piece of the Con-Tact paper I had – this time polka-dot!  Then, I used black and white polka dot border around it.  Much better!  I wish I had a before picture to show you.  It’s a huge improvement!

 
I had seen on Pinterest that a classroom teacher made buttons for her students to wear when they got 100 on a test.  They got to wear them all day and as they passed other teachers in the hallway, they were congratulated on their accomplishment.  I think this is the cutest idea so I adapted it for Speech!  I bought these buttons at Michael’s.  I think they were like $2.

Then, I printed the words “I got 100% in Speech today” & “Ask me how I did in Speech today” on bright, fun backgrounds.  Six of each saying because there were 12 buttons in the package.  They are polka dot and diagonal stripes: yellow, orange, purple, green, blue, and pink.

I cut them out with my new circle cutter! (I bought this one and LOVE it!You can choose whatever size you want.)  The buttons required a 2.25″ circle, so that’s what these are.  If you’d like to print them for yourself, here they are!

I’ve decided to use some of my empty wall space to make a Word Wall.  Again – it’s black, white, and hot pink.  Here’s the stuff all cut out:

 
 
 
Grab a copy for yourself here.  It’s an editable ppt file so you can change it how you want!  I haven’t put it on my wall yet, because I’m waiting for my banner to arrive (under which I’ll hang my students’ accuracy charts).

Over the summer, I found two great posters at the Dollar Tree: synonyms and antonyms.  I hung them on the chalk board which is behind me as I’m sitting at the table doing therapy.  On the chalk board is also: a poster I made with a treasure map, my behavior clip chart, some describing and pronoun anchor charts, my rating scale for /r/ students (on a scale of 1-5), and a funny /r/ poster I made using various things I found online.  Here’s how I set it up!

There was some space above my SMART Board so I wanted to add something.  I chose to make a banner illustrating the steps of articulation therapy.  It has a treasure map, “X marks the spot” theme.  Get the elements of it here to make your own!

 Some close-ups:

 

We are only allowed to cover our door with a certain amount (small amount!) or paper due to fire codes.  I saw this idea from “The Buckeye Speech Path” and decided to make my own version.

You can grab the letters for yourself in this download!  The bottom part of the poster with the SLPs’ names on it says, “Arrrrgh happy to have you on board.”

Here is a bulletin board of some personal pictures.  I found some cute pirate fabric, that also happened to be pink and black, at Wal-Mart.  I used that as the background on a cork board that I had and used pink & black argyle duct tape as the border.  Above it, I printed out my chalkboard style poster with a quote from Oscar Wilde that I really like.  I put my polka dot border around it and it’s done!  You can grab that poster here!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my therapy room!  Please share any pictures of how you use any of the freebies in this post.  You can use the hashtag #SLPirates on instagram, too!  Or tag me; my Instagram used name is @speechlanguagepirates

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March Madness Freebie & Grammar Golf

I am ECSTATIC to see that my Facebook page has reached 800 likes.  Last night, when we hit that mark, I was watching the NCAA tournament, where my grad school alma mater (La Salle – a 13 seed) beat Kansas State (a 4 seed)!   Clearly, I have far less school spirit for my graduate school than I do for my undergraduate (hence the SpeechLanguagePirates name!) school.  But, it was fun nonetheless, so I decided to make a March Madness themed freebie.

It’s a barrier game with a basketball theme.  It includes a full page court (for use a the background), a ball, some hoops, 2 different girls teams, and 2 different boys teams. 

We all know the great flexbility of barrier games, but I made sure this version worked on LOTS of concepts and descriptive vocabulary: pronouns, adjectives, nominal phrases, plurals, negatives and more!  For example, “the girl in the blue uniform who is spinning the ball on her finger”; “the girls who are wearing purple uniforms”; “the basketball hoop that does not have a ball in it”; “the hoop that is full”. 

I also made a simple, 2 page board game that can be used with any activity you have.

I hope you enjoy it!  Find it here.

I’ve also just completed a new grammar download; it’s golf themed.  I know how much sports activities are appreciated by so many students.  When I saw this clipart, I HAD to buy it!  Isn’t it adorable?!

I’ve targeted a variety of grammar goals in this 45 page download.  Take a look:

There is a game board and special cards.

part of the board game

I also included title cards, so you can organize each deck easily.  The pictures on these correspond to the pictures in each set.
 
title cards for easy organization!

Irregular verbs: present & past pairs

some irregular verb cards

Irregular plurals: pg. 15-19 singular & plural pairs

some irregular plural cards

Do vs. Does, Have vs. Has, Is vs. Are: Fill-in the blank cards, each with a sorting mat

one of the sorting mats
some “have” cards
the is/are sorting mat
some of the “is” cards

Third Person Singular: Fill-in the blank

some third person singular -s sards

Subject-Verb Agreement: Fix the sentence to make sense

some subject-verb agreement

Pronouns, including subject, possessive, object, and reflexive.  Includes a visual/anchor chart and multiple choice cards.

some of the “he” cards

Check out this activity here!

Now here’s your chance to win this download!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading everyone!  I hope you find these new downloads useful!
~Denise

Data Collection

It’s sad to say, but one of my favorite parts of my jobs is organizing.  Folders, printed materials, labels, dividers, hole punches, highlighters… It all makes me giddy.  There was an empty filing cabinet in the conference room; It was the HUGE kind where the drawers go lengthwise.  I asked if I could have it and my wish was granted – it was like Christmas!  I covered it in damask print contact paper and couldn’t have been more excited.  Seriously.

Anyway, I will tell you how I utilize these 4 huge drawers.  The bottom 2 are filled with books/resources that I don’t need often.  They’re mostly workbooks whose pages I would photocopy for students, but rarely do so.  The top one is filled with my personal poly-files organized by area of speech/language (red=aRtic, blue=Basic concepts, green=GRammar, yellow=Language (misc), white=pragmatics).  See what I did there?  I did those from memory and chose that arrangement because it makes sense to me.  Dork, I know.

The second drawer is filled with my students’ folders.  It’s the drawer that is closest to eye/hand level and makes reading the names on the folders easy.  Each student has a folder.  It is a beautiful, sturdy folder with a divider in it, and a clasp at the top of each.  This is a very expensive version (my school was kind enough to buy me 75 of them!) but there are similar, cheaper options out there.

When you open the folder, the left side has the data collection sheet.  Each data sheet has a chart that I made in Word.  The top row has each of the student’s goals (in my own, shortened words).  The first column on the left has pre-filled spaces for date, minutes, group size, and group type (all mandated requirements for Medicaid purposes).  Then there is also a “comments” column on the far right.  Each day takes up one row.  I can usually get about 4 sessions worth of data on one sheet, more for some kids.  Download an editable version of the data sheet here.

I personally need all of a student’s goals written out so I can see them while I’m working.  Yes, I tend to know their goals, but this type of chart makes it easy to see what you’ve done recently and what you may have been neglecting.  Also, let’s say you are working on artic, but the student uses a pronoun correctly (also one of his/her goals).  You can easily put a “+” in that column.  That way, it doesn’t go unnoticed and you don’t waste time writing what it was that the student did.  If the student is absent that day, or I’m in a meeting, I just write a zero on the minutes line and write the “excuse” in the first box.  It takes 2 seconds and there’s no question of why therapy wasn’t held.

Data sheet with some percentages & attendance calendar

With the folder open like this, the page on the right is my attendance calendar.  Each day, Monday through Friday, has a space for a code.  The codes are listed at the top of the page, for easy reference for yourself or anyone else who may need it.  They include: “W” for weather closure, “G” for group, “SA” for student absent, “TU” for therapist unavailable, and more.  It consists of 3 pages: Oct-Dec, Jan-Mar, Apr-June.  (I didn’t start using that type of attendance until October, that’s why there is no September.)  Here is a copy for you to try.

When the middle page/divider is turned, you’ll find the student’s IEP on the left side.  I only print the pages that are relevant to me – usually the goals and the service hours.  I print them double sided; open to the top (as opposed to the side) so that when you lift it and it is in the clasp, you can still read it without turning the whole folder.  Or, you could do one sided printing if your printer doesn’t allow for this.

The last side is the right side, where I keep extra data sheets.  That way, when one fills up, I have plenty right there.  At the beginning of the year or an IEP period, I usually print about 20 sheets and use my handy two hole punch.  I put the new one right on top of the previous one and they all end up in chronological order.  When a calendar page fills up, I also put that on top of the used data sheets.  At the end of the year, I use one of those big paper clips to keep it all together and put it all in the student’s working file.  (Those are held in another drawer that is opened far less often.)

Student’s IEP, extra data sheets, and accuracy chart (loose)

Some of you may remember my post about students graphing their own accuracy.  I just keep this piece of paper loose between the IEP and the extra data sheets tabs.  That area isn’t opened all that often and it’s easy to pull out the accuracy chart so the student can color it.  I also stick worksheets in there too, if applicable.

During the therapy session, I take out each student’s folder.  I write the applicable code in the attendance calendar, then fold the whole folder over so that only the data sheet is visible.  I then stack them on top of each other in the order the students are sitting.

For about a year, I’ve used Super Duper’s Data Tracker app.  In the app, I do my + and – tracking.  Then, at the end of the session, I transfer the percentage to the data sheets.  However, before I used the app, I did my + and – writing right in the folders.  The app definitely makes it easier, but it’s not essential to this system.

A variation of this system is the one I used in my first clinical placement in grad school.  I have been using it from my first day as a CF and I truly love it.  It’s easy to refer to and very visual.  You know at a glance what you’ve targeted recently and what you haven’t. If you, or your district, can’t afford the folders I use, I know there are similar, cheaper, manila versions of them.

If you don’t shift to the whole system. I hope you can at least use one element of it to make your life a little easier!
~Denise

Cyber Monday (& Tuesday)

As most of you have probably heard, TPT is doing a huge Cyber Monday sale.  So huge, they are including Tuesday in the deal!  TPT is giving an extra 10% off all products (use the promo code CMT12), on top of what individual sellers are giving.  I am giving 15% off all of the products in my store.

During the busy holiday weekend, I tried to get as many downloads done as I could.  I tried to target the areas you request most!  I was able to complete 2 products: Snowy Social Scenarios & Hot Cocoa Questions.

Hot Cocoa Questions is a 14 page download targeting all types of Wh- questions plus “How?”!  There are 66 total cards: 12 who, 12 what, 12 where, 12 when, 12 why, 6 how, and 6 special cards.  All of the questions are winter-themed and appropriate for lower to middle elementary students.

Snowy Social Scenarios is a follow-up to my Fall Pragmatics Pack.  It, like many of my most popular products, is leveled.  There are a variety of Pragmatic Language targets in the pack:
Problem Solving (elementary): multiple choice & open-ended
Problem Solving (middle school): multiple choice & open-ended
Perspective Taking: multiple choice & open-ended
Social Rules (rude vs. polite): sorting & open-ended
It is 27 total pages in length and easy to organize according to the graphic/topic.

To make things a little more interesting, I’d like to add another spin to the Cyber Monday/Tuesday deal!  If you spend $10 or more in my TPT store, I will send you a FREE product!  I have had an idea about a topic maintenance activity for some time now.  I finally decided how I’d like to do it, I just haven’t had a chance to finish (start, for that matter) it in time for the sale.  Those of you who take advantage of this sale will be able to ALL have a free copy of this soon-to-come download!  In order to qualify for the freebie, the $10 minimum must be made on Monday 11/26 and/or Tuesday 11/27.  So that I can verify your participation, please email me your TPT username.

Thank you in advance for your support and participation.  I hope you find my additional giveaway helpful!

Happy shopping!
~Denise

Grateful Grammar – Pronouns

How is everyone doing in the storm?  Knock on wood – it is fine here in Northern Virginia.  It’s windy and rainy, but tolerable.

I’ve used this time to finish up one of the grammar packs that I’ve been working on for about a week!  I’ve had a ton of writer’s block lately so it’s taken a while!  This is the first edition of Grateful Grammar: Pronouns – Leveled.

The pack targets third person singular and plural subjective, objective, and possessive pronouns (he,she,they/him,her,them/his/her/their).  It’s great for preschoolers and other language delayed kiddos!

It has 4 levels and also includes a variety of sorting mats, visuals, and a data collection tool.




The data collection tool.  Circle the level you’re working at and add + or – in the columns. 
Print for as many students as you need.

 

The first level is sorting.  I’ve provided many different types of sorting mats, because some students confused gender or number, while some students confuse the category of pronouns required.  These can also be used as visuals while working at other levels.
For those who confuse subjective vs. objective pronouns.

 

For those who confused number and gender.



For those who no longer require visual prompts.



Level 2 is a bunch of receptive tasks involving following directions.  I provide a list of prompts for each type of pronoun, but the number of ways to use these activities is by no means limited to the prompts I provided!  You can come up with your own prompts depending on your specific goals!  For instance, “Show me her left shoe.” or, “Show me what is on top of his head.”  The possibilities are endless! 

Use the mat below with these cards and have students
follow directions like, “Give a pumpkin to him.”



For use with receptive tasks
targeting objective pronouns.



Here are the teacher prompts for subjective pronouns receptively. 





Level 3 is a collection of multiple choice worksheets.  Again, subjective, objective and possessive pronouns are targeted.




The subjective multiple choice worksheet.
Level 4 includes task cards, question cards, and visuals that target open ended responses.




Teacher reads these prompts/asks these questions.
See student mat below.







Students use this mat to answer the questions for subjective pronouns.




I have gotten a lot of requests for pronoun activities.  I hope these are what you needed!  Here is the link to it in my TPT store.  It’s on sale until 10/30, in “honor” of Hurricane Sandy and all of us being cooped up inside.
I am giving away a copy of it via Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now for a freebie!  Here is a copy of a pronoun poster that I created in Boardmaker. 
Mine is printed on legal size paper and I mounted it on a piece of large construction paper.  Find it on my BoardmakerShare account here.
Enjoy!  Leave a comment and let me know how you would use this pack or if you grabbed the freebie!
~Denise

Welcome to the Blogosphere

Hey there, blogosphere!  Since I read so many Speech/Language blogs, I decided to jump on the bandwagon!  It seems so fun to share ideas like this that I just had to get into the mix.

I guess I should start by telling you why I chose the blog name that I did.  I am a proud East Carolina University alumnus and have adopted “pirates” as my unofficial mascot because of it.  Pirates line the walls and bulletin boards in my speech room, my car’s license plate, and even some decor in my house.  I’m a fan of anything purple and gold, especially if it comes with an eye patch!  It’s a huge, happy coincidence that my favorite mascot utters the phrase that the majority of my students cannot. 
I am currently working in the public school system as an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist.  My favorite area to target is language!  I’ve always loved grammar and now I’m finally “allowed” to correct people publicly!  You will find many of my activities have to do with all areas of language.  I find those are the materials that are most lacking and the ones that students get bored of most easily.

Another topic or picture that will litter my blog is my puppy!  On Super Bowl Sunday 2012, my boyfriend and I adopted an 8 week old lab mix puppy named Porter.  Since then, he has made me more “outdoorsy” and active than I would have ever dreamed.  We love taking him hiking and enjoy watching him traverse the terrain better than anyone.  After all, he has 4 wheel drive!  He has an adorable personality and I plan to use the plethora of pictures that I’ve taken to develop some adapted books or other types of materials!  My facebook friends are probably sick of the exorbitant number of pictures that I take, but I can’t get enough of his sweet, “innocent” face and his beautiful, shiny, black fur!

Porter then:


Porter now:




And now for the Speech/Language aspect!  At the end of every artic session, I have students chart their accuracy.  I had seen this idea on a blog some time ago and decided to make my own chart.  I made a Word document with a simple bar graph and included a key for context and word position.  At the end of each session, I draw a line at the percentage and have the students color (with a highlighter) below that line.  I can easily access the percentages because I take data with the Super Duper Data Tracker app.  The app makes this process go a lot quicker because I don’t have to count tons of “+” & “-” signs!  I date the bar and circle whether it was in words, phrases, sentences, etc.  The students can choose what color highlighter to use for which word position.  (I’ve run out of purple VERY quickly!) I have been very pleasantly surprised at how into this activity my students get!  Many students ask, “Can I do my chart now?” or say, “I’ll get the highlighters!”  I always stress that they are competing against themselves, not against each other.  It’s funny sometimes to see my students working at the word level comment on the sentence level students’ charts and say, “I did better than you.”  I redirect them with the “compete only vs. yourself” mantra. But, little do they know that the sentence student is far beyond the word level!

Just today, I made a version for my language students.  I have one student who works on both artic and irregular plurals and irregular verbs.  On days that we work on grammar, he always seems disappointed that he doesn’t get to chart his progress that day.  So I gave him a chart and let him chart how he did today on his irregular plurals.  He noticed, “Aww man, I got a low score.”  He progressed very quickly with /th/, but is having much more difficulty moving through his grammar goals. 

This year, I had this banner made.  In my district, we have a center where we can make beautiful posters, signs, banners, materials, etc.  I contacted one of the artists there and (for a fee) he made me this GORGEOUS banner (*notice the pirate theme).  When students fill up their charts, I will hang them below this banner for others to see.  I wish I could hang it in the hall, but that seems like a confidentiality battle I don’t want to fight.  Charts have just begun to fill up, but I haven’t had a chance to hang them.  I will post a picture of that when it’s ready!

FREEBIE TIME!  Here is a link to the Word document of the chart.  Both the artic and language ones are included in the document.

Here is a pic of how some of my charts look:

And finally, here is a pic of some students playing my Monster Irregular Plurals game – the game that prompted me to make a language version of my charts!  Find this game, and many others, in my TeachersPayTeachers store here!



Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you like what you see or have tried the accuracy charts!  I’d love to hear from you!

~Denise