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!