Friday, May 30, 2014

International Children's Day

June 1st is International Children's Day and what better way to end the year than by having a day to celebrate children!  The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, announced June 1 as International Children's Day in 1925. There are usually speeches on children's rights and wellbeing, and other events involving or dedicated to children on this day.  So celebrate your children this Sunday in some special way. They truly deserve it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer Programs

If any of you were here last year, you know that I offered speech and language packets to work on throughout the summer.  This year, I am going to do things a little different.  I will provide wordlists of your child's sounds for the articulation calendars (if you request these lists), but the calendars for articulation and language activities will all be listed below.  No paper copies will be sent home this year.  I have included a PDF version, so it should be very easy to print one off each month.  This way I am able to offer a variety of packets, and you as parents can chose the packet that best fits your child's developmental level or interests.  I have also included some general ideas/activities you can just quickly look over and choose from.  
  • June Summer Language Calendars:

  • July Summer Language Calendars:

  • August Summer Language Calendar:
Note: First Day of School for Elementary is actually August 20th!

  • June Summer Articulation Calendar (be sure to keep the sound collage mentioned on the 10th for practice all throughout the summer). 
  • July Summer Articulation Calendar 
  • August Summer Articulation Calendar:

Enjoy your summer break! 

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Thursday, May 22, 2014


With end of year madness, we will be doing our Songtree for Large Group next week.  This includes singing lots of fun songs,  specifically including one of our latest favorites, "London Bridge Is Falling Down," nursery rhymes, and chants.  We will focus on pronouns, keeping a beat, doing the actions, and phonemic awareness.  There will be no learning card or weekly handout for this week. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Next Year Changes

Some of you may have already heard, but if not I wanted to let you all know that next year I will not be coming back to Willow Springs.  :(  My husband has accepted a position in Seattle, so we will be moving up there this summer.  It has been fun these last 2 years, and I am so sad to leave all the students who will be returning next year.  I plan to keep this blog though, so feel free to check back often for handouts and information related to speech and language development.  I wish you all the best, and hope that you keep in touch. I love hearing from past students about their wonderful progress!  :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mr. Potato Re-visited

Next week for Large Group we will be doing Mr. Potato Head again.  The students LOVED this one and got a kick out of putting his body parts on.  If you would like to read more about it, check out this post.  There will not be a learning card for this Large Group sent out this time.  Just refer to the one listed in the original post, or if you happen to still have the paper copy.  

National Stuttering Awareness Week

This is a busy month for speech and language awareness!  It is also one of the busiest months for school SLPs, so I'm sorry this is so late in the week.  Anyway, May 12-18th is National Stuttering Awareness Week (NSAW)!  This week is all about reaching the thousands of people who stutter who still feel alone and isolated.  It is an annual event that I hold dear to my heart, because I have several family members and friends who stutter.  The National Stuttering Association has some wonderful information about NSAW and how to get involved.  If you would like to learn more about stuttering, The Stuttering Foundation has wonderful resources as well.  It is my favorite go-to site for stuttering information.  So get out there and spread awareness about National Stuttering Awareness Week! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

National Apraxia Awareness Day

Today is National Apraxia Awareness Day.  Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder where children struggle with production of sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness, rather the brain has difficulties planning movements of body parts such as the lips, jaw, or tongue, used for speech. With CAS, children know what exactly what they want to say, but their brain has trouble planning and coordinating the muscle movements needed to say the sounds and words.  Apraxia -KIDS has a wonderful list of ways you can get involved and spread awareness.  
If you would like to read more about CAS, these are some great websites to check out:

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Yes you read that right, we are doing Minecraft…again.  It was such a hit, and I have had several requests from the students to do it again, so it will happen one last time before the end of the school year.  If you would like to read more about our last Minecraft Large Group, including learning card and weekly handout, check out this post.  Also, to give you an idea of how much fun we had, here are a few pictures from the last time:

Ms. Ange's Class

Miss Happy Steve

Ms. Jeana's Class

Scared and Happy Steves

Since our Minecraft Day, many of the kids have been building Minecraft structures with the legos, including Steves and Creepers.  Can you spot the Steve on top of the Lego house?!

There were a few classes that had little to no interest in the Steve Heads, so for those classes we will do some scarf dancing to make it more fun! ;)  Happy Minecraft Madness! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

BHSM: Identify the Signs of Communication Disorders

A new, nationwide effort to educate the public about communication disorders was recently launched by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)—a professional association of which I am a member. Called Identify the Signsthis campaign specifically aims to help people recognize the early warning signs of communication disorders. 

An estimated 40 million Americans have trouble speaking or hearing due to a communication disorder. Millions more family members and friends are also impacted. Here in Utah, there are parents reading this whose children are struggling to speak or understand language; spouses living with partners whose hearing is deteriorating; and co-workers, neighbors and others who see someone who needs help but don’t know what to do. Identify the Signs offers tools to change that.  

With 4 years of experience working in the field of communication disorders, I have seen the debilitating effects that these issues can have when left unaddressed. Too often, people wrestle with these challenges for years because they fail to receive proper, timely treatment. Early detection of speech, language, and hearing issues is absolutely critical to improving academic, social, and career outcomes—and improving one’s quality of life at any age.  

For people with communication disorders, those closest to them are often their biggest asset. Unfortunately, some parents and caregivers are unable to identify the warning signs or dismiss them too readily. A recent poll of speech-language pathologists and audiologists by ASHA reported significant parental delays in getting help for children with communication difficulties. This is just one example of the missed opportunities that commonly occur with communication disorders.  

Through a series of TV, radio, print, digital public service announcements, and the campaign website, the public can learn about the warning signs and be connected to professional help. I encourage you to visit the website, and share the information and resources you find there. Above all, though, I hope you will seek help if you suspect that you or a loved one shows signs of having a disorder.  

Every day, I see in my work that untreated communication disorders often lead to larger academic, social, and developmental issues. Early diagnosis is the most powerful way to reduce or even reverse their impact and can give your loved ones the opportunity to lead the fullest lives possible.

Be sure to check back often this month because I will be posting several flyers/informational brochures from Identify the Signs.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Goose Sound

In the month of May we will be working on our final sound of the month, the 'Goose' sound, /g/!

Use the following ideas/worksheets to target our "g" sound this month:
  • in isolation practice in front of the mirror, open your mouth wide to say it in the "back!"  You can even trying lying on the floor, or on the grass outside and practice saying our "g" sound.
  • CV combinations (go, ge, gi, gu, etc.) while playing with toys or games
  • these sheets for initial /g/ and final /g/ at the word level
  • then use the above sheets along with these initial /g/ and final /g/ to practice at the phrase level
All of our sheets for our goose sound are from Mommy Speech Therapy . During drill work you can cue your child to remember and "do it in the back" for correct placement, as this is what we will be talking about during group.  But keep this minimal during daily routines.  /g/ can be a tricky one for some kids, especially because you can't see it produced as easily as other sounds (/f/, /m/, etc.).  If your little one starts getting frustrated, just back off and do some auditory bombardment during play.  This is when you say as many words with our sound in it as you can think of, in a short amount of time… for example, " comes the green goose, he's going to get some gum for the game."  Even though your child won't be producing the sound, they will be hearing it over and over, which is helping to train their ear, and in turn help with production of the sound later on.  Have fun with our "g" sound!!

What Will Fat Cat Sit On?

Next week for Large Group we will be reading "What Will Fat Cat Sit On?" by Jan Thomas. It is hilarious, and wonderful for working on negation!

Here is our learning card:
We will focus on the negation term "not" throughout the entire book, "Fat Cat did NOT sit on the pig."  In addition, we will work on labeling the animals.  Once we finish the book, we will play a game of musical chairs.  Each chair will have a picture of an animal from the book taped to it.  
No, he will not sit on the cow!

Will he sit on the mouse?

He did not sit on the chicken.

He will not sit on the dog!

Sit on the pig!!!
Before each round, one child will be chosen to be Fat Cat.  They will get to wear our Fat Cat headband. 
What will Fat Cat sit on?!?
After the music stops, Fat Cat will have to tell us what he sat on, "I sat on the pig!"  Then we will figure out what he did not sit on, "He did not sit on a mouse, dog, chicken, or cow."  You can get these fun visuals right from Jan Thomas' website.  It's what I used for our chair visuals and headband.  If you would like to review our other handouts on negation, check out these posts.  For next week, try to focus on "not" throughout your daily routine.  While getting dressed, offer your child 2 options for a shirt.  If they chose the blue shirt, say, "You did NOT chose the purple shirt."  Or while eating snack explain, "You did NOT drink all of your milk."  You can also work on receptive language as well.  While reading a book ask your child to point to someone that is not a girl.  Or while walking through the park, say, "Show me something that is not in the sky,"  Have fun with negation!!!

Better Hearing and Speech Month

This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM)!  I am so excited to share information about this annual event, because it is all about raising awareness for my profession as an SLP and the disorders I treat.  Recently, ASHA has started a wonderful campaign called Identify the Signs.  I will be posting a lot about how to identify the signs, so be sure to check back all throughout the month of May! 

For information about children's language, has wonderful information about early childhood development.  Check out this page and click on your child's age range.  Not only do they give some great guidelines of what your child should be doing, but also some ideas on how to further your child's language development.  Overall, you can view this page to learn more about other communication disorders.  

If you would like to spread awareness, go to this wonderful list that ASHA put together on ways to get involved.  There are also some fun perks this month, including discounted or free apps at SuperDuper Inc., Smarty Ears, PocketSLPHamaguchiSounding Board, Smart Apps For Kids, and Smart Apps For Special Needs.  This handout from Super Duper includes some information about BHSM as well as a coloring page to get your little one involved as well.  Be sure to check back often this month because I will be posting a lot more about BHSM, Identify the Signs, and other fun freebies or information.