Hello 2020-2021!

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Today I begin my 21st year of my career yet it is a year of many firsts. It also comes with a serious technology learning curve. But you know what isn’t new? The back-to-school jitters and excitement that keeps me up ALL NIGHT on the eve of the first day. The passion that I have for empowering children to find and use their voice. The new school supplies that make my heart happy (hello flair pens, colorful planner, and bright printer paper!). The personal connections.

We may be accessing this school year differently, but at the core of it all not much has changed. I’m still me, here to encourage, listen, love, cultivate, communicate, learn, and teach. Everyday.

I wish for you a successful new school year, whatever that picture might look like for you. Give yourself grace. Find your marigold. Look for the fun.  Be present for this journey.

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 🙂

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’t 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’s 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!