Dear Priorities,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear Priorities,

When did you get so out of whack? When did screenings, assessments, IEPs, therapy sessions, lesson planning and consulting become my everyday life?  When did you invade my brain to the point that I find it almost impossible to think about anything else but Speech-Language Pathology?  When did you start making me feel so burned out?  SLP is a job that can completely overtake you.  Why?

Because our priorities not in order and we have to do something about it.   Sorry's time to get a re-do.

Do we have to take work home? No. Can we? Yes! Should we? No!! (honestly).
  • In the last few months being an SLP has been utterly exhausting.  I work all day at work and then come home and work some more. I have no separation of work life/home life.  Even if there were not reports to write, I would be finding some cute lesson to plan or looking at pinterest to find the next great thing in the world of SLP.  It just takes over....and you don't even notice.
  • That nagging thing the back of your head "I should get a head start on ____'s IEP". Ignore that thought.
  • That thought of, "oh I will just bring this one report home.." later turns into "I just can't do it!" You then have to sit on your couch "enjoying your tv" while the speech file stares back at you. Guilt sets in.
  • Why do we work like this?  Because the work continues to get piled on.   There is no caseload limit, there is no screening limit, there is no assessment limit.  We are expected to take on whatever is given to us, even if it's not plausible that we get it done during our work hours.  If we don't take it on and explain our overwhelming workload to higher ups, it seems like we are "complaining" or "not doing our job".   All this leaves me feeling frazzled.  
  • So our options are to keep our heads down, work until you can't see straight and have a mental breakdown? OR sound like we are complaining about a legitimate concern and then nothing happens....we have got to change this.  More of us need to speak up!
  • We are also perfectionists (at least a few of us are) and feel like we have to take this all on, after all this is our profession that we chose and love.  It's hard to admit that, "Hey...wait a minute....when did I become this way?  When did it become normal to complete an insane amount of work in an unreasonable amount of time?"
  • What part of our brains are just letting this happen?
I know there have been SLPs who have taken measures to write to their state boards!  You go!! But honestly how many of us actually sat for a minute and thought about HOW MUCH WE DO!? If we did, I bet a lot more of us would be writing....people speak up! We have to get better about voicing our struggles with this profession or nothing will change. Come on!! We are communication specialists after all.

Today I felt blindsided by how "work focused" I had become, carting 10 files home with me over MY vacation...and for what? To get a little bit ahead?  I haven't been the happiest SLP because of this either. A constantly working person, is not a happy person. No wonder I am stressed and no wonder SLPs feel burned out.

I am not sure what the answer is, but I am going to try my very best to leave my work, at work (unless totally necessary). I need my home to be a place of relaxation and solitude. I even took my work e-mail off my phone! (one small step...)
It is okay to tell your body this at the end of the day.  Allow your body and your mind to rest and recharge with no criticism, no looking back, no judgement. Today is done.
I still want to be the best SLP there is (as we all do). I think we are a compassionate group of people who GIVE GIVE GIVE, but sometimes we have to remember to take time to take care of ourselves. At least I do. And remember we can say "enough is enough"...until tomorrow!

I hereby pledge to have a Spring Break free of any working from home. 
Do you? Comment below with why you pledge to be WORK FREE for Spring Break.

Happy Spring.
I wish! hahaha

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Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh goodness my life has been busy. Blogging was put on the back burner. Yikes! I have two weeks off soon and plan on writing a little bit more often....

 We got a puppy in December, I have a student teacher this semester and I just got back from the California Speech & Hearing Association Conference in San Fransisco. Woo, busy busy! Let's not forget IEP madness is coming in May with all my preschoolers. I think I can, I think I can!

Back on topic!!!! I have some new products to tell you about, and a giveaway!
Structured Sentence Building (available here)is my new favorite product of mine! I use this with preschoolers, students with apraxia, semantic deficits, and low MLU.
The first scene is a farm and the students practice building the sentences using the included vocabulary cards! When they say the sentence they get to glue the cards onto the scene and then color.

Another simple but fun product is my Slap Happy Animal Game!

Have students seated around a table or in a circle on the floor (preferred).
Spread out all cards, face down (animal not showing) on the table or floor.
Explain to the students that at your cue (e.g. GO!) they are to “slap” a card and hold onto it.
Tell them not to show anyone their card! They are to look at their hand card and think. When they are ready they need to act, sing, make noises, and give descriptive words to get peers to guess their animal.

If the student is successful they keep their card! If not, they put their card in the middle and try again with a different animal. The person with the most hands at the end wins!
**Many other ways to play too! 

Isn't it adorable!? My students are LOVING this! I already printed, laminated and used this today!
Targets: syntax and morphology. Specifically targeting pronouns (he,she, they, his, her, and theirs), some plurals (chicks, lambs, flowers, seeds etc.), some verbs (watching, feeding, painting etc.) and using all in complete sentences.

All graphics property of Winchester Lambourne, Graphics Factory and My Cute Graphics
Ages: 3+

Includes: 35 pages (not all pages shown on the thumbnail it wouldn't fit!)= title page, directions, 12 pronoun "poster" pages, 4 object/animal card pages (24 cards), 2 sorting mats, 11 sentence completion pages (42 sentences), 1 game board page, 1 die, 1 terms of use, 1 credits page.
Game play: Use pronoun pages as a guide. Cut out cards (put face down, in a bag/envelope) have students take turns pulling out an animal or object. They complete the sentence possessive sentence (The carrot is hers). Use sentence cards to practice (he, she, they, his, her, their). After some practice have the students play the board game or use the die to formulate their own spring sentences!
For more information, see directions page for more ideas!

Win ALL THREE new products by entering below. Be on the lookout, it's my birthday next week. Maybe I will have a surprise in store! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What Am I? Spring Edition

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Spring Edition of What Am I? is here!
Targets: A fun guessing game targeting receptive language, expressive language, and semantics!

All graphics property of

Ages: 3+

--Page 1 title, Page 2 Information
Receptive Language skills (pages 3-6)= 20 Spring vocabulary cards. SLP or students may lead (you decide). Use the light green vocabulary cards to target receptive language! Read each clue to students and wait. See how many clues it takes for them to guess the object. If this is difficult for the students, place all the big picture cards (teal) on the table, so the students can guess based on the pictures available.

Expressive Language and Semantics (pages7-14): use the light blue cards to have students come up with descriptions and lead the game themselves. Have students think of a word for each category and let the group guess. This will expand students descriptive vocabulary skills.

Bingo Cards (pages 15-19): use the receptive/expressive/semantics cards to play bingo!
Descriptive Mat (page 20): To practice how to describe the object as a group, place a teal picture card in the middle, as a group talk about the attributes of that object!
Other fun uses: Place the big picture cards face up on the table. Have students pick one or more cards and create sentences or stories! Print two copies of big picture cards and play memory.
Page 21-TOU
Page 22- Credits a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Winter Olympic Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I am an Olympic junky! If I could I would have them on TV 24/7! It doesn't even matter the sport! I talked with my students about the Olympics and found out that many of them did not know what they were! So we did some trivia games and learned about the Olympics.

I did a search for some Olympic TpT Activities and found some great ones!
Language Winter Sports by Speech Room News 
This is a great product! Only 4.50 and includes WH questions (great to start with if they don't know much about the Olympics), Multiple Meaning words, vocabulary, and verb tenses! 

 Sochi Winter Olympics Games by 3rd Grade Life
This is targeted for older students. Includes make your own flag, where are the Olympics? Motto of the Olympics, word search, cross word, and list of sports and writing task for each one! 

A little book that is perfect for introducing the Olympics to younger students! Talks about the sports and has students color and talk about them all!

I found a freebie for medals! We played a game and at the end everyone took home a medal. For the medals visit  It's free!!! 
I made Olympic rings out of paper plates and the kids LOVED this! We hadn't played something where they got to get up a MOVE!
  • Quickly water colored the plates, I am talking 2 mins and done!! Really water down the paint, just takes a splash!
  •  I stapled the rings together and then held them up with strong magnets. 
  • Bean bags could be used if you have small ones, I used regular crayola markers! The students had 3 turns to throw the markers after answering a question. I later used ribbon and moved the rings to an easier place that was higher up. 
  • I keep track of score with an app called Score Keeper XL. It's free and the students enjoy the noise and how their name moves up if they are in first place
Hope this inspires you to get up move and learn about the Olympics! 

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The Day It Rained Hearts Part 2! Book Companion!

Thursday, February 6, 2014
 Finally finished my first book companion available here for 2.00! 
Thanks to Olivia Joiner who gave me permission to use her adorable graphics!!
Targets: sequencing (3 part and 6 part), story re-tell (can also target syntax this way), WH questions, semantics.

All graphics property of Olivia Joiner
Ages: 3+
Includes: 14 pages

1-Title Page
2- Info
3- WH question match up (Who? When? Where? (with pictures) and Why for higher level thinking.
4- 3 part sequencing for younger students
5- First Next Last match up for another way to sequence the story
6- 6 part sequencing (glue the two strips together)

7- Pictures to go with the 6 part sequencing
8- Match the animal to the valentine card!
9- WH questions related to the story
10- WH questions related to the story
11- Vocabulary words-ask older students to define them or define together as a group
12- Umbrella Worksheet
13- Open ended game board!
14- TOU

NOTE: Book NOT included. Must purchase the book to use this companion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Day It Rained Hearts!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's February! Which means HEARTS! I have a student teacher this Spring and we are planning great things together! Here is a look at what we did today!
She read the book "The Day It Rained Hearts" by, Felicia Bond. I bought it on Amazon for $5.11 with free 2 day shipping through Amazon Prime! 

Then I found a great freebie from the ever amazing ThePeachieSpeechie. Let me tell you guys, she has amazing FREE resources! Love her 100 challenges too.  
Grab the freebies for "The Day It Rained Hearts" HERE
The older students really enjoyed drawing pictures of what it would "rain" and then writing about it! 

For the younger crowd, I found some FREE graphics on TpT from Olivia Joiner.
Update: I WILL be posting this in my store tonight! Will post a link later! Olivia Joiner gave me permission!!  
Here is a 3 part sequencing. I cut out the pictures, shuffle and have them sequence 1, 2, 3. 
I am trying to use "First, Next, Last," more often in conjunction with the Story Grammar Marker (see below for the Who, What, When, questions, use those first then use "First, Next, Last"). 
6 step sequencing for higher level students
Then...I decided I wanted to see if the students could match the animal to the correct Valentine card.

Last are the WH questions that go along with the First, Next, Last sequencing. Ask WH questions first to get the Character and Setting!
Note: I always like to throw a Why question in there. Why did she send Valentine cards? Why did she think it was raining hearts? Why do we give cards on Valentine's day? and so on! 

Go buy the book and make an easy sequencing task! I had fun and so did the kids!

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Valentines, Syllables, and a SALE! oh my!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Haven't posted info about my new products in a while! So here are a few, plus a giveaway!

 The 7th in my series of What Am I? games! Great for receptive/expressive language development and semantics! Purchase the bundle and get the new editions for free as I make them!

I needed this in my therapy for so many students! Happy I made these!

4 syllable Word Pack with 64 words! 
I can never seem to have enough 4 syllable words, I use this one often as well!

Giveaway time! 
Win all three of these products:
What am I?  February Edition, 3 syllable pack and 4 syllable pack
Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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