February 18, 2017

Celebrating 2,000 with Brinca into Bilingual (Mrs. Nicolau)




Today I am helping a blog buddy celebrate something exciting!!! Mrs. Nicolau has reached 2,000 followers. She has some fun giveaways for you to celebrate! 


GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
ALL GIVEAWAYS WILL RUN FROM SATURDAY 18TH (6AM CT) UNTIL TUESDAY 21ST (12AM CT)


Mrs. Nicolau is giving away TWO RAE DUNN MUGS!
These cute mugs are very hard to find (depending where you live) and everyone is going CRAZY for these!









Let's giveaway a gift card!! Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 TPT Giftcard! Remember the more entries you have, the more changes you have to win!!!








Who does not LOVE TARGET?! We ALL do!!  So let's do a giveaway for a $25 Target giftcard!






Since we are going crazy with prices, why don't we get even crazier?!... Let's also celebrate with a $21.00 gift card from the AMAZING Melonheadz!




Last, but definitely not least! I have many blog friends that have joined me to celebrate this amazing event! They have all joined me to giveaway bundles by grades!!!

The first bundle is for our Bilingual K-1 teachers!


Next is the 2-3 Bilingual Bundle!

Last is our K-2 Grades Bundle in English!



Are you excited enough?! We sure hope so! Stop by Mrs. Nicolau's blog to enter on all these great prizes!!!
While you are there, drop a note to her. She LOVES hearing from her readers! :)





February 5, 2017

SLPs Sharing Kindness (with a Freebie)

Do you love freebies? The Frenzied SLPs sure do, and we have a special treat for you! In the spirit of spreading love and kindness throughout our lives, we have linked up to share a variety of kindness themed resources for you to use with your students. To gather all of your goodies, just use the link below to hop to the next blog. Each blog has a kindness themed resource for you to download for FREE. You could have the next few weeks of therapy covered with all of the fabulous materials you gather!  How amazing is that?!

One of the ways I think people can demonstrate kindness is by helping in their communities. No matter where you live...big city or small town...there is always work to be done. Our communities thrive when we take care of each other and our towns. From helping neighbors with yard work to picking up trash, there is something for everyone to do to pitch in.

My free resource focuses on this idea of being a community helper. Your students will love reading about how Martha spent a day showering her community with extra kindness. Your download will include a short narrative with sequencing, context clues, and comprehension activities. This 2-page no prep product is great for older students to work on reading for details, sequencing, vocabulary and more. 

You can download this special freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE.

For your next freebie, click on the image below to hop to the next blog, All Y'all Need.
http://www.allyallneed.com/.../sharing-kindness-slp-way.html

November 20, 2016

My SLP Story {A Frenzied SLPs Linky}

Do you ever wonder what led your SLP friends to become SLPs? We all have our own story, but often do not know each other’s. This week, the Frenzied SLPs are hosting a linky to share our SLP stories. Sharing your story can be a great way to remind yourself why you chose this field, and relive some of the passion and excitement that can often fade over the years. I encourage you to read our SLP stories and reflect back on your personal story. Feel free to link up with your own blog post, or share in the comments.


My personal SLP story begins around 2009. I was a 4th grade classroom teacher who knew very little about what went on in the speech therapy room. I had very few students who received speech therapy services and really never knew what they did while they were out of my room. I didn’t think much about it…until my own daughter began stuttering. Taiylor was 2 and struggled a lot as she began learning to speak. Our family doctor wasn’t concerned about it, but I was. I finally pushed for a speech evaluation after her third birthday. She began attending private speech therapy in 2010. I was able to watch every speech session via video in a parent viewing room. I was so impressed with her SLP, and my curiosity about the field began to grow.

This was also around the time that I was beginning to think about leaving the classroom. I had taught for several years and just knew I didn’t want to be a classroom teacher for 20 more years. I knew I wanted to stay involved in education, but just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I changed schools hoping new scenery might change my opinion of teaching, but it did not. Every day I prayed and researched about what other careers might be a good fit for me…and everything kept pointing back to speech-language pathology.


At this point, my daughter was no longer in speech. After a few months of therapy without a lot of progress, she woke up from a long nap one day with no more stutter. She actually walked up to me after her nap and said, “Mommy. I don’t have to think when I talk anymore.” We went back for a few more speech sessions, just to be sure she really no longer needed it and it never started again. Some say this was purely developmental stuttering and she outgrew it. I say it was God’s way of leading me to what would become my new career.

After many prayers and discussions with my husband about speech-language pathology and needing to go back to grad school (I already had a master’s degree in teaching), I took the leap and enrolled in a leveling program.

I completed my leveling courses while I finished my 7th year of teaching. After being accepted into my graduate program, I found a job as an SLP assistant and the intense journey to becoming an SLP began.

Grad school was amazingly difficult. Working as a full-time SLP Assistant, being a mom, and pulling off projects and late night study sessions was a challenge. However, my husband instantly saw a difference in my happiness level and passion for my new field. I knew in my heart I had made the right choice.

Graduation 2015

I graduated from grad school in August 2015. I knew I wanted to work in the schools, and that is where I am today, but I also discovered I love working with adults. My clinicals in the SNF and hospital settings were life changing experiences. One of the things I love about this career are all the different options. Every setting is different. Every patient is different. Every school is different. Every SLP is different.

I love helping others improve their lives. I love being able to help a child learn their first words, produce that tricky /r/ sound for the first time, and experience success in the classroom or in a group setting. I love helping my stroke patients improve their communication skills or improve their swallowing so they can eat the food they want to eat. Being an SLP has changed my life in more ways than just where I go for work. I am inspired and passionate and thankful for this field every day.

I am still a new SLP. I actually just got my CCC in July 2016. The passion and excitement that led me to becoming an SLP is fresh in my mind and heart. By writing down my story, I know I will be able to read it on those difficult days in the future when I need encouragement. I hope sharing my story helps inspire others who may not be feeling the passion anymore. I encourage each and every one of you to think about what led you to this field. Think about the new graduate excitement you had and dreams of improving the world and the lives of your clients. Write your story down and share it with others. You never know who you may inspire…including yourself.

To read more SLP stories, click through The Frenzied SLPs linky below.

October 23, 2016

Tips for Effective and Efficient Teamwork

Teamwork - the combined actions of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient (Google definition)



This week, The Frenzied SLPs are all about teamwork. Working as part of a team can be tricky, and may not always be easy. Sometimes it takes great effort to make the team work.  Many SLPs (like myself) travel between schools, which can make the "team" concept even more challenging.  I would like to share some tips with you that I have found to be helpful in making it all work.

I shared the google definition of teamwork above because it paints a great picture of what working together as a team really is.  It's more than just "working together."  It's working together AND being effective and efficient.  That's what makes a great team. The following tips are my suggestions to help build effective and efficient teams. 

1. Remember whose team we're all on in the first place.  Teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, SLPs, counselors, custodians, office staff...everyone is on the same team.  We are here for our students.  It can be easy to get lost in the "us vs. them" rut, especially in times of disagreement.  If we can remember that we are all here for the good of the students, it will help us get through those difficult times.

2. Be willing to learn from others. Experienced SLP or newbie does not matter.  We can all learn from each other.  I have learned a TON from my supervising SLPs and more experienced colleagues, but I think they have also learned from me.  We each have our own unique experiences and knowledge we can share with our colleagues. SLPs can learn from teachers, and teachers can learn from SLPs. Be open and accepting of what your teammates have to share.  You never when you'll learn something new!

3. Make an effort to mingle. A lot of days I am behind on paperwork or stressed out about deadlines and difficult sessions, and I just want to sit in my room and eat lunch with my door closed.  However, I try to eat with the teachers at my schools as often as I am able to. It's not every day, but I am for at least once a week at each of my three schools. This is so important because it allows you to get to know each other better, outside of IEP meetings and conferences where it's all student talk. I enjoy these times and it helps me to feel more like we are a team when we can relax a little together. 

Those are my teamwork tips.  What great teamwork tips do you have to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

For more teamwork talk, click through the rest of The Frenzied SLPs linky below. 

September 6, 2016

Progress Monitoring...Baselines and Beyond {Linky}

Whew!  The past few weeks have been hectic!  We are in our third week of school and it has been a whirlwind.  The start of the year is always pretty busy, but I feel like this year it is even more crazy than usual.  Maybe because I have three schools this year, two of which are new to me.  That means I have two entirely new caseloads to get to know and collect data on.  My days have been filled with progress monitoring, which makes it perfect timing for this Frenzied SLPs linky.  We are sharing all about...progress monitoring!

https://www.facebook.com/thefrenziedSLPs

This topic is one of those areas that can vary widely from person to person.  Every SLP has their own way of collecting data.  I have been trying out new ways to collect and store my data this year, but I always seem to go back to being a paper and pencil kind of gal.  Most recently, I have been experimenting with using SLP Toolkit and some Smarty Ears apps for progress monitoring (more info to come in a future post), but I just really like good old fashioned paper data sheets.

I usually start my year getting to know my students and assessing progress on their current goals.  I like to do this right of the bat because it allows me to see if they have retained their skills over the summer break, and lets me know how much ground we have to cover before their next IEP meeting. 

I also tend to have quite a few new transfer students each year.  That means I have 30 days to assess, plan and revise goals as needed. 

Needless to say, my first few weeks of school include data, data, and more data! 

For articulation, I like to use simple data sheets where I have the list of target words down one side and dates across the top.  Then I can use a quick +/- or write in a sound substitution as we go through the word list. 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Cards-Data-Collection-Bundle-1433355
I have several ready to go data sheets with word cards in my Teachers Pay Store.  All can be purchased separately or in the bundle.  I keep these cards laminated in a 3 ring binder with extra copies of the data sheets in sheet protectors.  This allows me to grab them quickly when I need them.  You can also cut the word cards and store them on a binder ring or in bags, or even just display them on an iPad. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Cards-Data-Collection-Bundle-1433355

My bundle includes several different target sounds, with more to be added in the future (all can also be purchased separately).   Each set comes with a ready to use data sheet, saving you time! 

When collecting baseline data, I always use as many words as I can for each target sound and assess the sound in all positions.  My baselines include anywhere from 20-40 words, depending on the phoneme.  I run through all words on the list because it may be that the student has the sound in one single word.  That would be a great place to start when teaching! 

After I have my initial overall percentage, I then select 5 words that the child missed and use those words to teach and practice the sound.  We will practice for 3-4 sessions (depending on the child), informally assessing the target words at the beginning of each session.  Once the child is able to produce the 4/5 target words correctly, I will then run through the entire baseline again to see if they are able to carryover the phoneme into other words.  Then, if needed, we will select a different 5 words to teach and practice and repeat the process. 

Collecting baseline data can be time consuming, which is why I like to keep it as simple as possible.  Having prepared data sheets and word lists allows me to grab and go with little prep time.  I then have records of student progress that I can add to their file for documentation. 

For more info and tips on progress monitoring, be sure to check out the other bloggers in the Frenzied SLPs linkup.  And feel free to share your tips for progress monitoring in the comments below.  :-)

August 21, 2016

Best Year Ever Bonus Sale & Tips from the Frenzied SLPs {Linky}

http://www.oldschoolspeech.com/2016/08/the-frenzied-slps-best-year-ever-bonus.html

Ahhhh!!!  I'm not ready!  I've been back at work since August 1, students start this week and I'm still not ready.  How can that be?  Too many meetings, training sessions, and staff development to attend.  In reality, I am more prepared than I feel.  I have a ton of great resources and lessons planned, my data binders are organized and ready to go, and I've read up on all of my new students.   It's going to be a great week.

To help kickoff the BEST YEAR EVER, Teachers Pay Teachers has announced a BONUS one day sale for Monday, August 22.  The Frenzied SLPs have linked up to share some great resources you will want to check out during the sale.  We're also sharing some back to school tips of the trade to help make your life a little less frenzied.

My best tip for busy SLPs is to establish procedures for screenings and referrals early on.  If you have clearly explained the protocol for speech referrals, it will save you so much time down the road.  Things to consider: Who will handle initial screening of students?  Will the SLP conduct a whole class screening?  What if teachers have speech or language concerns as the year progresses?  How will RTI work? These are all things your district has most likely established guidelines for.  Make sure you understand the process and clearly communicate it with your teachers.

To help with speech sound screenings, I use this articulation screener.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Friendly-Easy-Articulation-Screener-1942959

 This screener is quick and easy to use.  I use it if I need to screen individual students, or entire classes.  I also pass a copy to my teachers if they ever have an articulation concern with one of their students.  Since I'm legally not allowed to screen a student without parental consent, loaning this screener to their teacher helps them to be able to know what is or is not developmentally appropriate.  My teachers find it very easy to use, too!  It also comes with this speech sound development chart, which is a great resource for teachers!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Friendly-Easy-Articulation-Screener-1942959

You can find this easy articulation screener in my store on Teachers Pay Teachers. Don't forget to use the code ONEDAY on Monday, August 22 to save 28% off everything in my store!

How do you handle speech referrals and screenings in your district?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

And be sure to head back to the linky and check out all the other great Frenzied SLP resources!  There are some great ones!



August 13, 2016

Back to School Freebie!

This time last year I was preparing for back to school, going through a blog overhaul and prepping for my first ever Disney cruise.  It was a crazy August for sure.  This year, I'm less overwhelmed as I prepare for back to school, but I still find that last year's post applies to me now.  I don't think the first day jitters will ever go away, and I'm not sure I want them to.  I love the excitement of back to school.  That's why I'm sharing this post again.  I hope you find it helpful!


From Aug. 2015:
As the school year quickly approaches, I find myself growing a little more nervous each day.  I have to admit, I have some first day jitters!  This year, I will be starting at a new campus, and I will be on my own (mostly).  For the past two school years, I have been an SLP assistant and graduate student with quite a bit of supervision.  Even when I wasn't being directly supervised, my SLP mentors were always nearby.  Things are changing this year.  I will be working as a CF, which requires much less supervision.  I am so excited, and I feel very prepared, but those jitters are still there. {Update: I now have my CCC!!!}

Even as a teacher I experienced first day jitters each year.  It's really a combination of excitement and the unknown mixed together.  Starting at a new campus is a  little scary.  Will they welcome me?  What will my caseload be like?  All the unknowns make me a little nervous.  So I try to channel my nervousness into productivity.  :-)

I've been thinking a lot about this school year and what I can do to be the best SLP this campus has ever had (it's good to have aspirations, right?)  Thinking back to my years as a teacher, and conversations I have had with my SLP supervisors over the past 2 years, I know that communication with the teachers is a key part to having a successful year.  To help with this, I have created a FREE teacher communication packet which will hopefully make the communication a bit easier.

SLP-Teacher Communication Forms

My packet includes the following:
*A blank "Notes From the Speech Room" page
*A "Today in Speech" page for sharing what students are currently working on in speech
*A blank "Important" page
*A blank "Reminder" page
* 1/2 sheet "Speech Meeting Reminder" pages (for IEP meetings, conferences with teachers, etc.)
*A speech schedule page to help teachers keep track of when their students will be going to speech




All of the pages are in black and white for quick printing.  There is an editable file to use when you would like to type directly on the pages.  There is also a pdf file if you prefer to hand write on the forms.

This product is a freebie that I hope will be useful to other SLPs, assistants, and graduate students as they start the new school year.

You can download the file in my TPT store by clicking HERE.  Please leave feedback and let me know if this product helps you as you get ready for the new school year.

:-)
Kristin