Monday, April 21, 2014

Speachy feedback

Today I'm linking up with Nicole Allison for Speachy Feedback!  Today's winner of a product from my store is Shannon from Speechy Musings for leaving feedback that really made my day!  

Shannon, please contact me with your choice of another product from my store (!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Product review: Speech Language Assessment Checklist for Adolescents 12-18 Years of Age

Do you work with adolescents?  If so, you definitely need to check out this wonderful product from the brilliant Tatyana Elleseff of Smart Speech Therapy!  I am so excited to review this product with you, as Tatyana continually provides terrific information regarding the assessment and treatment of a huge variety of speech and language disorders.  This product is no exception, and well, checklists just make me happy (yes, I am such a geek, lol!).

This 6 page checklist (overall product is 10 pages) is chock full of the information you need to make an informed decision regarding assessment.  Here is a sample of what you will find in this product:

This comprehensive checklist is well organized.  Here is a list of many of the areas included:
  • Receptive, Expressive, and Pragmatic language
  • Executive functioning
  • Memory, Attention, and Cognition
  • Vocabulary
  • Discourse
  • Speech
  • Voice
  • Prosody
  • Resonance
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Problem solving

Each area contains a well thought out list of characteristics and difficulties associated to assist in the determination of a need for evaluation.  The checklist also includes an area to describe the student's most significant areas of difficulty, as well as any additional information necessary when making a decision on assessment.  Tatyana suggests giving this checklist out to several individuals to assist in the decision-making process.

This product will be very useful for me in the Middle and High Schools in my disrict, as I am constantly being asked to screen students.  This checklist will allow the teachers and parents to express their concerns, and give me the valuable, timesaving information I need to make an informed decision about wat areas of speech and language I need to assess.

So, where can you pick up this awesome product?  Well, you can head on over to her online store to purchase it now HERE for $10.99.  Tatyana has also generously allowed me to provide one of my readers with a copy of it.  Enter via the rafflecopter below!

Other helpful resources from Tatyana include:

Bio: Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP is a bilingual SLP with a full time hospital affiliation as well as private practice in Central, NJ. She specializes in working with multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted as well as at-risk children with complex communication disorders. For more information visit her BLOG, STORE, or follow her Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 3, 2014

Figuratively Speeching SLP is turning ONE!

With a new year comes a new blog design!  I love it, and hope you do too! Stay tuned, later in the week I will be kicking off my one year celebration with some giveaways and freebies!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Product review: Speech Language Pirates Superhero Syntax

When I saw Denise post about her latest product, Superhero Syntax, I knew my preschoolers would love this!  This product is not only for preschoolers though; those of you with elementary students will be able to use this, as there are higher level complex sentences included.  Take a look at the contents:

Pronouns: Subjective– Slides 1-8 
Pronouns: Objective/possessive – Slides 9-16 
Nouns: Slides 17-24 Verbs: tenses – Slides 25-32 
Basic Concepts: Location – Slides 33- 40 
Basic Concepts: Size (comparatives/superlatives) - Slides 41-48 
Compound/Complex Sentences: Slides 49-56 
Passive Voice: Slides 57-64 
Negation: slides 65-72 
Data Collection Sheet: page 75 
Prompts for use as a reading comprehension task: pages 76-84 
Flip Book Covers: page 85 

This is how I assembled it:
After printing, I folded, rather than cut, each page, so the pictures and writing faced each other. I punched holes along the folded part, and then put all of the pages into a binder. I actually had to buy one larger than the one I had at home, because of the amount of pages included. A 1 and 1/2 inch binder works well for this. Once the pages were in the binder, I was ready to go! Please note, the directions say to cut the pages in half, but due to laziness my eagerness to use this, I kept the pages folded. It works for me for now, and when I have more time, I will be cutting the pages then gluing the backs of them together, to make it easier to turn to the next set of pictures and prompts.

This can also be used as flashcards, and Denise includes the prompts for each picture separately, just for this purpose.

This product is very comprehensive. It includes three pictures per student side, with prompts on the opposite side for therapists to use.  I love the data sheet as well, it makes it so simple to track progress!

My students loved this.  I was able to include receptive and expressive tasks, by having students first point to the pictures representing the sentence prompt.  After this task, we flipped back, and I had them formulate their own sentences.  My only (minor) issue with this was that I did not know every superhero included (shame on me!) and one of my students with apraxia had a meltdown when I could not understand the name he was telling me.  Oops! A quick text to my husband, and the problem was solved!

This is definitely a product worth investing in.  It can be used in multiple ways, with a varied age group and incorporates many goals.  And superheroes, really, what's not to love?  This binder will be traveling with me on a daily basis!  

To purchase Superhero Syntax, visit Speech Language Pirates at Teachers Pay Teachers.
You can follow her facebook page and blog as well!

And, to kick off my one year blog birthday celebration, Denise has kindly offered to give a copy to one of you fabulous readers!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SLP Frenzy

So excited to be part of the SLP Frenzy!  Click on the map above to get started!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

TPT sale and what's in my cart

I am so excited about this sale!  This sale last year was the first time I made a purchase on TPT and it started me thinking that I could make some products of my own!  

But first, here are some products from my store that are new:

This series by Lucille Colandro is one of my favorites.  I love the repetitive format, and the kids love the old lady swallowing everything in sight!  You can find this companion at my store here:
Book Companion for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

Build A Snowman Open-Ended Games: Who doesn't like building snowmen?  There is an included game board, as well as an activity that can be used with or without the game. You can find it here:
Build A Snowman Open-Ended Games

I also have a homework packet for articulation.  This bundle is loaded with printable worksheets to send home for homework, or they can be used in therapy, for fast drill activities.  I am currently working on more sounds as well.  There are several different activities on one page which I love, as well as a parent letter.  Here's the link:
Articulation Placemats: Homework Sheets and Drill Activities

What's in my shopping cart?

Lots of clip art. Can't wait to share some new things with you!

Here are from other SLPs, some I already have but wanted to highlight here.

From Lynda SLP 123:


From straight up speech

From Queen's speech

From Rae's Speech Spot

I have not decided about what to choose from Mia McDaniel and from Speech2U.  I have a lot of their things already, but they are definitely on my list.  Here are the links to their stores:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaching Conversational Skills

So many of my students have difficulties with conversational skills. Speaking with them one to one, it may not always be clear, but observing them in different settings (the cafeteria, by their lockers, in the halls between bells) allows you to get an earful….

After speaking with a behaviorist in my school, I thought about how to address conversational skills. One way I have been teaching these skills is with the acronym TOAST.

T= choose a topic
O= offer opinion
A= ask questions
S= share similar experiences and feelings
T= talk about what you know

When teaching about topics, I first try to teach about the audience. Students need to understand that the topics they introduce will be different, depending on if they are speaking with a familiar or unfamiliar adult, peer, or family member. One of my students rushes to greet me daily, saying, “’Sup dude? How’s it goin? I’ma ask out one a these fine ladies, which one you like?” While this might be appropriate with friends, it is certainly not appropriate to speak this way to an adult.

The behaviorist who cotaught with me began a lesson with this power point slide to introduce differentiating between peers and adults: 

It was pretty generic, and my students needed further breakdown to understand what topics were appropriate to discuss with different people.  This is what I used for my next lesson:

Second, I teach students to discuss a variety of age-appropriate universal topics. We discuss weather, pets, sports teams, current events, movies and television shows. 

Third, it is also important to teach students how to find the main idea of a conversation so they can jump in with relevant comments and questions.  Most of my students enter into a conversation between others by introducing a new topic of their own, rather than trying to follow the conversation already taking place.  Students also need to learn how to interrupt conversations politely, when to step into a conversation, and when it may not be appropriate.

Finally, it is important to help a student determine when to introduce a new topic, and how to make the transition smoothly.  Some lead-ins for topic initiation include the following questions: 
"Hey, did anyone hear about....?"
"What do you think about...?"
"Did you see...?"


If your students don't know the difference between facts and opinions, this needs to be taught.  Once students know the difference, they need to understand how to give an opinion politely.  Most of my students don't fully comprehend others perspectives, so I teach them how other people might react to their opinions.  We act out conversations and 
switching roles has really helped my students.  The students also learn to identify when other people are offering an opinion by identifying phrases such as:

"I really like...."
"I don't like/dislike/hate...."
I agree/don't agree with...."
"I think...."
"I believe...."

Ask questions:

Children need to learn that there is give and take in conversation.  I have many students who only speak about themselves and what they like, but never ask me or their friends any questions.  This makes for a very one-sided conversation, with the conversation partner feeling very left out.  Again, I teach perspective-taking in this situation, typically after a weekend or a vacation, when I speak about everything I did, but don't leave students the opportunity to tell about their vacation or weekend. The students catch on quickly, and then we learn about reciprocity.  I teach them to ask questions like: 

"How do you feel about...?"
"Why did you...?"
"What happened when...?"
"What did you like/not like about...?"
Share similar experiences and feelings

Peers may or may not have the same experiences and feelings about those experiences.  For instance, one child may enjoy roller coasters, while another one has a fear of them.  A third may not ever have been on a roller coaster.  We need to teach them to not only respect another's opinion, but that they do not have to have the same feeling or experience to converse.  In the example above, we can teach a child to think of a time s/he was scared by something.  Phrases we can teach students to say when sharing similar experiences include:

"I remember when I felt...."
"I had something like that happen to me once."
"I know what that's like because...."
"I saw/did the same thing once."

Talk about what you know

As we know, many children with ASD do this in excess.  In this situation, we need to teach that it is appropriate to state what you know, but we also need to teach those nonverbal signals that reveal interest and boredom from a listener.  

Some phrases we can teach our students are: 
"I know a little bit about...."
"I learned about that when...."
"I saw something on tv/read something about...."

Once these skills are learned, I start combining them.  If I have a group of five students, I assign one component of the TOAST acronym to each student.  When the students are called on (or pointed to), they need to use their role in the conversation to respond.    Here is an example of a conversation that uses these skills:

Child 1: (pick a topic): Have you read the book Divergent? 
Child 2: (offer an opinion): I really liked that book!
Child 3: (ask a question): Which faction would you be part of if you had to choose?
Child 2 (offer an opinion): I would be Amity, because I want everyone to get along and have peace.
Child 4: (Share a similar experience): I read the book too, and I remember I wanted to be in Amity as well!
Child 5: (Talk about what you know): I learned all about the factions at the book club in the library after school.

This is just one example of how I teach conversational skills.  

Here are some posts by other bloggers about conversational skills: 
Miss Thrifty SLP blogs about conversational breakdowns here.
Speech Universe discusses having conversations in this post.
SLPRunner discusses thought boxes here.