Thursday, February 19, 2015

Frenzied SLP February Edition: Love

As an SLP, I love many things- color coded planners, smooth ballpoint pens, when my student finally says the dreaded /r/ correctly.

As a frenzied SLP, I love things that are quick, easy, and effortless. That's why I love SpeechPathology.com. For only $99, you get access to as many different CEUs as you want for a year! It doesn't get much easier than that. 




SpeechPathology.com isn't just for the school SLP either. They have CEUs on early intervention, swallowing, aphasia, stuttering, ethics, autism, cochlear implants, and multicultural issues, to name just a few. 

The site also offers the courses in many different contexts, including live webinars, video courses, text courses, and audio courses. 

And if you plan it right, you can use the one year membership to count towards two CEU cycles for ASHA. How? Just register for the site during June or July of the last year of your three year cycle with ASHA. That way, you can use the CEUs for the last five or six months of your current cycle, as well as the first five or six months during your next cycle. 

Now you know why I love SpeechPathology.com. So, all you frenzied SLPs, what do you love?

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with SpeechPathology.com and earn no benefits from directing you to their site. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Moments of Clarity

We've all had those days. You know, the ones where we wonder why we ever thought it was a good idea to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. You are overwhelmed with paperwork while still trying to find time to perform effective therapy. Your private-practice client just cancelled his session. Again. A teacher/principal/parent questions your therapy approach. You find out about an IEP meeting for one of your students the day it is due, 5 minutes before the meeting starts. 

It's no secret our job is stressful. (Well maybe it is to our administrators or insurance companies- who seem to think we can handle adding bus duty and lunch supervision into our schedule or who deny every claim we submit and force us to somehow think of a clever way to get our claims accepted, all in our spare time.) Burn-out rate in our profession is high, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to be scouring the internet for "jobs for any other profession but speech pathology". 

So how do I stay motivated to keep doing what I do every day? Focusing on moments of clarity. Moments where I am reminded why I wanted to become an SLP in college. Moments where I realize that I am making a difference. 

I was having a rough day in therapy this week. Two clients cancelled on me the day of their session. One session was spent more on managing behavior than performing therapy. I didn't have time to eat lunch that day. My last therapy session of the day, however, was awesome! My client was requesting to play with many different activities, maintaining eye contact during communication,  and was making contextually correct comments (a big one for this little guy with Autism). 

When I got home from work that night, I found a Facebook status from my client's mother. Her words reminded me why I love being an SLP and reassured me that I made the correct career path. 

My boss loved the comment as well, she even posted it to the business Facebook page! 


So when you are feeling down and wondering why you ever wanted to be an SLP, find that moment of clarity. Once you find it-whether it is a card from a client, a few nice words said at a meeting, or even a client's mom's Facebook status- write it down, take a picture, hang it up. Do something with it. Display it where you can constantly be reminded of why you rock at your job.

Because you do rock. You are an SLP after all. :) 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Frenzied SLPs!

I am so excited to be a member of the Frenzied SLPs



First, a little more about myself:

  • I'm a born and raised Southern Illinois girl. I love wide-open spaces, hometown pride, and having everyone know my name.
  • My husband and I love wine. We have an annual wine trail weekend with our friends where we like to stock up on some favorites to bring home with us. Unfortunately, they don't last long in our house! Good thing the wineries aren't that far away ;)
  • On December 16, I became the mom to my perfect little boy, Ian. While 16 weeks pregnant with him, his heart stopped beating. I was able to give birth to him and hold him in my arms-memories I will cherish forever.
  • While I do love wearing dresses and getting dolled up, I am a true tomboy at heart. I own my own shotgun and bow, and shoot them often in the field by our house. One of my favorite things to do in the spring is search the woods for mushrooms. On a summer night, you can find my husband and I fishing in our pond. Don't worry, I still make my husband take the fish off the hook, that's gross after all!

Now on to the reason you're here, you're a frenzied SLP! Each month we will bring you a little something to help make your frenzied life as an SLP a little easier. This month, I've got a little cleaning tip for you!

I don't know about you, but my house always seems to be a M.E.S.S. My husband and I just moved in last month, and I never knew how quickly a perfectly put together house could turn into a mess. Dishes are stacked up in the sink. Laundry is overflowing from the basket. Blankets and pillows are all over the living room floor. Mail is stacked up on the one empty corner of my desk.  

And I know I'm not alone here when I say I don't like spending an entire Saturday cleaning my house. There's got to be an easier way, right? Right!

I've got a weekly cleaning schedule that will keep your house clean in less than 30 minutes a day. The trick? Pick a room to tackle each day. Breaking up the cleaning into small, manageable tasks will help you get things accomplished without feeling overwhelmed. And that's the goal after all, right?



Want a copy for yourself? Get the printable version here and enjoy a cleaner, happier house! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Speech Therapy Gems

It's back to school season and if you are like me when I worked in the schools, you're stressing getting that schedule finalized and thinking about starting therapy soon. I've joined up with 9 other SLPs to help make your life a little easier!

We've joined forces to make it easy to get 10 FREEBIES for back to school, as well as some favorite items to get you started on the right foot.


To get started, head over to my Teachers pay Teachers store to download this product. Inside, you'll find all ten freebies, as well as our ten favorite products.

Once there, you can find all of the products by clicking on the pictures on each individual page. Here's my page!


In addition, my all time best seller is included at the end. If you haven't downloaded my "Idiom of the Week", be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Articulation Test Center {App Review}

Articulation Test Center is an app developed by Little Bee Speech.
Here's a little snip-it on the app straight from Little Bee Speech's website:
Articulation Test Center was created by certified speech-language pathologists as both an informal assessment and a measure to monitor progress in speech development. It was created to be used as a supplemental assessment in conjunction with standardized tests.
When you open the app, you come to this screen. There is an option for an age-based screener or a customizable full test. You can also view student scores from this main page by clicking the "Scores" button in the lower left hand corner.


I'll start with the full test. You can pick to test all options, which include initial, medial, and final sounds, initial blends, vowels, r sounds, and a speech sample. Or, you can pick and choose what you would like to test. After you hit the "Next" button, you will be asked to add in the name and birthday of the student you are testing. 


If you do the complete full test, you get 59 real-life picture cards. What makes this app so unique (and totally awesome!) are the interactive sound tiles. You can see below that the "a" and "pp" are green. That means that those are the sounds being tested on that card. The actual sound that corresponds to the spelling of the word is printed below the green tile. 


If you have your speech room set up like mine, you are often sitting across from the student you are testing. A fabulous feature of this app is the ability to flip the picture upside down so that it is facing a student sitting across from you. How cool is that!? I also like that you are able to record the student's production of the word and play it back.


Now, lets look at the awesome scoring capabilities. Let's say that the student says "abble" instead of "apple". If you click on the "pp" once, it turns red, indicating that the sound was incorrect. If you tap the sound tile again, it becomes yellow, indicating that the sound was an approximation of the target sound. If you mess up, just tap the tile again and it turns back to green. If the sound was deleted, just slide the tile towards the top of the screen and the tile disappears, indicating a deletion. 

Back to my example: After you click that the sound was wrong, click on the arrow to the right of the word and a drop down menu like the one below appears. For my example, the student substituted a /b/ for the /p/ sound. Click and drag the "b" tile up to the "pp" tile and the tile will change to a red "b". 


What makes this feature even better is that you can add phonological processes to the tile as well. You have three choices of pages: 
  • Substitution: backing, fronting, stopping, gliding, deaffrication, affrication, labialization, vowelization, alveolarization, depalatalization 
  • Assimilation: assimilation, denasalization, coalescence, voicing, devoicing, reduplication
  • Syllable Structure: initial consonant deletion, final consonant deletion, weak syllable deletion, cluster reduction, epenthesis
If you aren't sure what a process means, simply click on the process and a definition and example are given. To choose the process, drag and place the process on the corresponding tile. 


Here's what the page will look like with an errored sound and corresponding phonological process. 


What I love most about this app is the ability to record a speech sample after you have completed the test. There are three interactive scenes to choose from: a mountain scene, beach scene, or park scene. 


Once you choose a scene picture, the full scene will appear. Be sure to hit the "Record" button so that your student's speech sample is recorded for future analysis! You have the ability to swipe left and right to view more of the scene. Pictures in the scene contain key sounds that are present in the test. 


If you are having trouble eliciting a sample from your student, just click on any item in the scene and a close-up picture will appear with a prompt. 


When you are done with the speech sample, hit "Done". A screen will ask you to rate the speech sample as "Poor", "Fair", or "Good". You will then be brought to a screen that looks like this. Another informative feature of the app is accessible once you click on the bar indicated by the arrow in the picture below. 



From there, you can view the words tested, errors marked, the speech sample, a sample report, and recommendations.

In the words tested, you will see the target word, what you indicated the student said, what processes you marked while scoring, a recording of the student's production (if you hit the record button) and any additional notes you took about the student's production. 



The "Errors Marked" screen shows the sound errors the student produced and when those sounds should be in that student's repertoire. 


You can view substitutions of errors for sounds in all positions of words.


And, you can view the phonological processes present in the student's speech and what percent of errors involved a certain process. 



If you click on the "Speech Sample" button, you have the ability to listen to the student's speech sample. From here, you can transcribe the speech sample and update the intelligibility rating of the speech sample. 



The app also provides a written report. The report includes the sounds marked in error in each position that the student should have by his/her age, as well as ones that are considered developmentally appropriate based on age. Phonological processes are also reported in this manner. Recommendations are included for target sounds in therapy, as well as sounds that should be monitored as the student ages. You can also type in your own conclusions and recommendations. If you want, you have the option to print the report or email the report to yourself or a parent. 


If you don't need to administer a full test or just want to see how the student produces sounds based on their age, you can choose to administer the screener. Pick the age range of the student. A blurb with the sounds included in that age range appears. Once ready, hit the "Next" button. From here, the screener progresses just like the full test with all the same wonderful features. The only thing you cannot do from the screener is collect a speech sample. 

 

After you complete the screener, the results will appear like they did after completing the full test. From this screen, you are able to monitor a student's progress over time. 


So, after showing you how the app works, I should probably tell you what I think about it!

What I like:
  • I love, love, love the interactive sound tiles and how easy it is to indicate an incorrect sound, replace it with the sound the student used, and indicate the phonological process used. 
  • Now I know what you're all thinking, I barely have time to give a test, let alone score it while I'm giving it or The two-year-old I'm testing won't sit still while I mark all of his errors and determine what processes he is using. Guess what- you're in luck! The developers of this app have allowed you to go back at a later time and edit the results. This means that you can record the student saying each word on the slide without doing anything with the tiles. Once the test is completed, click the "Edit Results" button in the top right and go back through the test and mark the student's errors at another time. Easy peasy and oh so handy!
  • The pictures are pictures of REAL items that are relevant and up-to-date. And since this is an app, if a picture ever becomes outdated or needs changed for any other reason, the developers can change the picture and with a simple app update, you now have the most up-to-date pictures again. A hard copy assessment can't do that. 
  • If a student can't read or doesn't know what a picture is, simply clicking on the picture will give a verbal prompt. This feature can be turned on and off through the settings menu.
  • The report function of the app is very convenient. I like how it scores the test for you and gives you the results in table and report form. 
  • Like I said above, I think my favorite part of the app (followed closely by the interactive sound tiles) is the speech sample. I used to have to bring in separate pictures to try to elicit a speech sample, and then my students would just name the things or actions in the picture. The interactive picture scenes not only grab my students' attention, but allow for a deeper evaluation of their language skills with the included prompts. I am able to use this speech sample to not only give an intelligibility rating, but analyze a student's MLU, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and articulation skills in conversation. 
What features I would like to see:
  • While I love the speech sample capabilities, I would love to see the ability to give the speech sample in the Screener mode. 
  • As great as this app is, it is not standardized, so a standardized assessment is still needed to determine eligibility. However, this app would be a perfect way to monitor and track progress! In the future, I would love to see this become a standardized assessment. 
Overall, this is an innovative, invaluable app that every SLP should have in their toolbox. It provides an in-depth look at a student's articulation and phonological skills in a format that is easy to use and understand for both professionals and parents. The ability to edit or score the test at a later time fits perfectly into a busy SLP's lifestyle, and the ease at which one can monitor student progress with a look at the screen allows for quick and painless IEP progress monitoring. This is the perfect informal assessment for articulation skills!

You can find Articulation Test Center on iTunes for $49.99 (at the time of review).  But, it gets better! August 12-14, you can get Articulation Test Center and Articulation Station Pro for 30% off during Little Bee Speech's Back to School Sale. You won't want to miss this, it's their biggest sale of the year!


Disclaimer: A code for this app was provided for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

What's in My Cart Linky {Back to School Sale}

It's officially August, and for many that means that the school year will be starting soon! Like it or not, we all need to start getting our next year of therapy ready. So to help you prepare, Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting a HUGE sale!!

Jenna over at Speech Room News has made it easy for you guys to figure out what to buy. I'm linking up with her and a whole bunch of other SLP bloggers to show you what's in our carts!


First, let me show you a few things from my store that I'm excited about this year.


My Articulation Binder: Baseline and Therapy Tool is perfect for collecting some baseline data at the beginning of the school year. The best part, you can also use it for therapy!



My newest product is Bubblegum SPLAT! Phonological Awareness: Rhyming. It's Common Core Aligned and contains a wide variety of activities, such as task cards, DIY rhyming book, homework worksheets, and a game board!

Now for what I'm purchasing during the big sale...

I've recently moved to an Early Intervention position that I am oh so excited about! After working with mostly middle schoolers for the past year, I am in need of some new things for my younger clients. 


This Verbal Apraxia Packet for Early Developing Speech Sounds from Speech All the Time will be perfect to help my littles with apraxia!


I'm also loving this Early Intervention Vocabulary Cookies activity, also from Kathy over at Speech All the Time. 


My last find for my new job is this Early Language File Folder Bundle from Miss Speechie. I love how many different themes are included in this!


And finally, a product for those of you with a little older clients, Design a Town from Teach Speech 365. You can target expressive and receptive language across a wide variety of ages with this activity! 

I hope you find something you want during the sale! My store will be 20% off, and with the additional 10% off using code BTS14 during checkout, you'll save a total of 28% on my store!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bubblegum Phonological Awareness: Rhyming

I'm back! The creative bug (along with some much needed down time this summer) has hit me and I'm back to making products! I can't promise how often I'll be posting them for the rest of the summer due to limited internet access and moving craziness, but I promise there will be new things coming soon. 


My first product since my long hiatus targets phonological awareness with a cute bubblegum theme. In particular, it focuses on rhyming words, both identifying if two words rhyme and producing a rhyming word given a word. I plan on creating a whole series of phonological awareness products around this bubblegum theme, so stay tuned for more!

This product aligns with CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A: Recognize and produce rhyming words.

There are 72 total cards in this product. 36 each for Identifying Rhyming Words and Producing Rhyming Words. 



There is an 8 page mini book with included pictures that can be used as a therapy activity or sent home as homework. I have also included a black and white version to save on ink!


A cute Bubblegum SPLAT! board game with optional game pieces can be used with the target cards or by itself. 


And finally, there are 3 homework worksheets. Two target identifying two words that rhyme and one targets producing a rhyming word. Activities include matching rhyming words, cut and paste rhyming words, and find/draw rhyming words. 


You can find my Bubblegum Phonological Awareness: Rhyming activity here. Be sure to leave some feedback if you download!