Say More With Core – Natsumi!

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Here is the latest book companion in the Say More With Core series! My purpose in creating these was to have some visual and supporting materials to make some of my favorite stories more accessible for students with communication challenges. My students have responded well to the consistent formatting across the different Say More With Core story companions.

They are structured to incorporate core vocabulary into the communication-based lessons. Also, the core vocab images are editable so if your student uses a specific image that is different from mine, you just swap it out on the intro page and it automatically updates throughout the document.

I am really excited to add some pages with movable pieces to this activity. Traditionally, these would be the pages that were cut/paste or had velcro to make them interactive. (If you have other Say More With Core units, hang tight because I’m going back and adding this feature to all of them).

For the Say More With Core units, the activities that now have movable pieces are the story-based questions and the category sort. You just click on the green button on page two and they will open up in google slides. You can find “Say More With Core: Natsumi! -editable” at my TpT store.

New school year, New expectations

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Well, here we go. The 2020 school year.


This was me trying to process virtually every school board meeting and district e-mail. Change after change. Form after form to align this year’s instruction with IEPs that were made for a simpler time.

I needed to feel some sense of calm, so I made some visuals to help students adjust to new expectations. The content is in various forms so that you can use it the way that works best for you:

a) google slides to teach the expectations to students – This is also something to share with parents so they can read through it with their children at home. Any additional repetition and conversation around these new expectations will be helpful.

b) posters to display- You can hang them up in your therapy room or even use them as cue cards.

c) written response sheets- You can make an interactive activity with students writing and/or drawing responses.

Check out this FREEBIE at my TpT store.

I wish you and your students a safe and successful school year!

Bitmoji Speech/Language Therapy Room

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When I feel overwhelmed I make pretty things. Or organize. Or organize my pretty things. While I was first resistant to making a bitmoji classroom, I actually found it quite therapeutic! As I saw these cute classrooms come across my feed I had to intentionally give myself permission to NOT make one. I knew it would take effort on my part to learn a new tech skill and there is so much of that these days for me! And I didn’t really have a purpose for it.

But then our district rolled out a universal learning management system for all K-12 teachers (CANVAS). Every student will have their personal CANVAS page and every teacher they have will have their course posted. SLPs are not required to have a CANVAS course and I find the platform frustrating. But as a parent, I can appreciate the one-stop-shop for finding assignments, zoom room numbers, etc. So I decided that I would make a CANVAS page to have a landing spot for my communication info.

Enter my bitmoji classroom! It has familiar components that students will recognize, like the EET and Zones of Regulation posters, games and books they love, and my bulletin board fabric, and my rug! (If only my therapy room had painted white brick, wood floors, and lounging sloths!) This will allow me to have a customized CANVAS page with links to my zoom room and therapy platform (we will be using presence learning). Students will load that course and will have access to everything in one spot. Maybe later I’ll get fancy and link other things to it, but for now it is serving as an accessible homepage for my families to know where to go to find me ūüôā

Here are the tutorials and sites I used:

Simple Science Flip Books: Experiments for Speech Therapy (and other labs too!)

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OOOOHHH, I am so excited about this new set of experiments!  I absolutely love it when I know I can utilize the same format for a lesson while rotating the content all year long.  My kids love to watch the animal and science shows on Saturday mornings, and DIY SCI with Steve Spangler catches the attention  of us all!  That interest was the springboard for this packet.  I chose these 8 particular experiments with this in mind: simple steps, everyday materials, multiple repetitions throughout the day, and engaging science.

There are 8 different experiments that you can space throughout the year.¬† We all have our academic interests and strengths…science is not on the top of my list (I’m much more a social studies/travel girl!).¬† So these picture vocabulary cards are as much of a refresher for me as they are a teaching tool for students!

The flip books cover language content of procedures, predicting, describing, comprehending (the science behind it), and explaining. Formats include drawing, highlighting, and writing.  Science concepts include: vortex, refraction, capillary action, static electricity, electrical charges, chemical reactions, carbon dioxide, density, and friction.

Each flip book also has a related science fun fact and joke bookmark (to eliminate wasted space from the formatting of a flip book).

Everything I do needs to be accessible by a wide range of learners. So I added a few visuals to help every learner with comprehension and expression during the experiments. You will find all materials on one page (I put in a sheet protector and students can circle the materials we used for that experiment) as well as a one page sheet specific to each experiment. Some of my groups will do the experiment using the visual cards for materials and sequence and we will just have a group version of the flip book (instead of making individual ones). The half card with the sequence can be used in many ways, including cutting apart and re-ordering to retell the experiment.

You’ll also find a list of related vocabulary/speech sounds for each experiment.¬† (I print this double sided to the last page of the flip book or you could make it a separate sheet).¬†¬†Maybe you have a mixed group, or just want to include an experiment in your articulation lesson, these sheets give an added way to concentrate on speech sound practice. It wasn‚Äôt reasonable to isolate and sort vocabulary by all sounds because they just aren’t always naturally there. Instead I included 45 words with a higher frequency of r, s, l, th (sh, ch, j when I could). It‚Äôs a mixed bag.

Each experiment has a page of ideas for background knowledge or extended learning. There are ideas for News ELA articles, TedEd videos, and picture books. Some of the books are inspired by the materials, others by the science. Don’t forget, you can sign up for free on NewsELA and each article has 5 different reading levels…perfectly customizable for mixed groups! The ideas on this page are to give you some resources that you might find useful for some students wither in class or to share with parents for home learning opportunities.

Enjoy bringing a little science into your speech therapy!


FREEBIE Book Companion for “The Dunderheads”

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One of my favorite things about going to the public library is stumbling across surprise books.¬† I go armed with a list from Instagram or Pinterest and usually I’m lucky to find one or two titles in stock.¬† So I just start browsing…I pick up books next to where my hopeful book should have been, look at the ones that are displayed on the counters, and just grab randomly.

I ran across this book while exploring at the library and instantly knew I had found treasure! It is written and illustrated by two very familiar names: Paul Fleischman and David Roberts. Due to my limited group times with students, I love when I can find books shorter in length that pack a punch with content. As my language students grow into 2nd-5th grade, I try to parallel their curriculum content with skill-based therapy using chapter books. (If you are also on the hunt for manageable chapter books in speech/language therapy or small group sessions check out my novel study units for Freckle Juice and The one In The Middle Is The Green Kangaroo).

As you know, it could take an entire school year of therapy sessions to make it through one grade level chapter book.¬† So I am always on the look-out for short but rich chapter books.¬† While¬†The Dunderheads¬†isn’t a chapter book, it is a picture book with a longer yet manageable length.¬† This is a cute story about some underdog kids with a plan to outsmart their teacher who is just plain mean. At first glance all I could think about what what a fun lesson in prediction this would be with each character’s nicknames correlating to their hidden talent (Junkyard, Clips, Wheels). Students can engage with the reading of¬†The Dunderheads¬†while practicing skills of prediction, summarizing, sequencing, and describing (just to name a few!).

This FREEBIE book companion includes:

Before reading, students will make a prediction about each of the 10 character’s nicknames. This is a great opportunity to discuss predictions and inferences and how sometimes your guess could make complete sense but isn’t the right answer (compared to guesses that don’t use our best reasoning skills).¬† You could even extend the idea of “What’s in a name” by researching¬†the origin and meaning of our own names.¬† Do those characteristics match how we see ourselves?¬†¬†

Following the familiar script Somebody/wanted/but/so/then students will summarize the story through words and pictures. If you aren’t printing this as a double sided packet, you could have students cut this out to make a sequencing board or story booklet. You could also assign student different characters to summarize the story through their eyes. That makes for a good conversation on perspective taking.

In The Dunderheads, each character has a nickname that describes them well. (The narrator is Einstein because he solves problems well, Pencil draws from memory, Hollywood has seen every movie ever made, etc) After reading the story, students can use this 2 page (I copy mine double sided) template to read a description for each character and label with their (nick)name. There is also space for students to draw a picture of the character. (For kids who struggle with this task, I show them my simple stick drawings and they usually outdraw me! I do love providing an outlet in drawing for kids who are comfortable in that form of expression)

Students get to play with creativity here! Using the framework that the author has set out, students get to create 3 new characters with a name, short description, and picture. If support is needed, you could start out creating as a group to provide a model.

Now students can do a little self-reflection a create a nickname for themselves. The framework is provided for students to write something they do well or often, label that action with a person place or thing, and then draw/label their picture using their self-created nickname. If you are feeling brave, you could always have students use this process to create a nickname for you!

Cut out the 10 character cards. After reading the story, a few ideas to use the cards include:

A)explain how each character helped in the plan.
B)describe the character to a partner to play ‚Äėguess who‚Äô
C)sequence the story characters
D)state a character trait for each one
E)think of where you might find him/her
F)share what you think are each character’s favorites (food, toy, activity, place)