Thursday, October 24, 2013

Updated Classroom Pics

My kidney table finally came in!!!!!  Yes, I am actually THAT excited :)  This table makes it so much easier to work with my students as opposed to the long, rectangular table.

My updated SGM Station:

Curtains hung on cafe rods with command hooks!  I still want to add some ties to the curtains where they are pulled back and I also need to cut some length off the bottom.  It's coming along though :)

The symbols are colored coded by Beginning, Middle, and End of a story.

Close up.

The kids have been loving my SGM Station this year :)  I would love to hear about/see some other speech classrooms that utilize the Story Grammar Marker program!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Goal Wall

I have a nice big wall across from my speech room that really needed some decorating!  I thought it would be the perfect place to display my students' speech and language goals.  Last year I had them write their goals on stars then hung some gold ribbon from each of the stars and had the caption "Shooting for Great Speech and Language." I wanted to do something similar this year but with a different caption.  Here's what I did:

The kids traced their hands/arms and wrote their IEP goals somewhere on them.  I think it turned out pretty great :)

Do you display your students' goals in your classroom?  I would love to hear some more ideas!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Google Forms for Data Collection <---- Greatest. Idea. Ever.

I wish I could say that I thought of doing my data collection this way myself, but I actually got it from Heather Marchuck over at Quart Size Communicators!  You MUST check out her post on paperless data collection; it is fantastic!  Her tutorial is super thorough which makes it a breeze to set up!  

I have always thought about doing my therapy notes online so I didn't have to lug around a giant binder full of papers, but just didn't know how to go about doing it in the most efficient way.  Heather takes you through the process of creating a Google Form for each student so you are able to quickly and easily record attendance, data, and any other notes you want from the session. 

To make it even more convenient, I downloaded the Google Drive app on my iPad so I always have easy access to my therapy notes.  If you don't have an iPad, not a problem.  You can access your Google Forms via email.  Heather's tutorial shows how to send a copy of the form to your email.

The biggest perk of doing my notes online?  COPY AND PASTE FOR MEDICAID BILLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously my billing goes a million times faster now that I just copy and paste from the spreadsheet Google creates for me after I record each session.  

Here is what my Google Form looks like:

It looks overwhelming at first, but seriously it's super easy!  After you create one then all you have to do is Make a Copy of it and change the kids name, IEP info, and IEP goals.  Everything else stays the same.  

I basically did the same thing as Heather with only a few minor changes.  I added the Intensity and Frequency of Prompting/Cuing....

I think I also did check boxes for a few things that she didn't.  The check boxes are nice because sometimes you work on more than one goal per session or do multiple activities per session.  I like that flexibility.  

Does anyone else use Google Forms for their therapy data?!?!? How do you like it?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Big News!!............


We had been dating for almost FIVE years so I am beyond excited to be taking the next step with my best friend :).  Wedding planning is already in full swing!  Within the first week of being engaged I already had the ceremony site, reception venue, rehearsal dinner venue, DJ, and photographer all booked.  I'd say I'm pretty on top of things ;)

Needless to say, I have had wedding on my brain since the engagement 2 weeks ago so that is why I haven't posted on here lately.  I will get back to it soon, I promise!

Happy Friday everyone :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sneak Peek Into My Classroom!

Well I usually don't like to officially reveal my classroom until it is COMPLETELY finished but I realized that may be awhile thanks to my friends at Hobby Lobby...  

I found the perfect chevron fabric there about 3 weeks ago that I wanted to make some tie-back curtains for my SGM wall, however they only had 3 yards left and I needed 6.  They ordered some more for me but since chevron is just so popular, the fabric is on back order so I am STILL waiting!!! Drives me nuts that is isn't finished yet.  I am SO not a patient person :).

So anyways, that is why my room isn't completely finished yet but here are some pictures of the rest of the room in the meantime.

My desk (still needs to be decorated on the front) with my big Six Strands of Language bulletin board behind it.

SLP Subway Art that I got on TPT for free!  Frames are from Dollar Tree.  White lantern from Pier One (they actually light up!).

Work table that will soon be a kidney shaped table! Should be arriving soon.  Dry erase word wall on the right.  Another paper lantern above the table.  Cabinets covered in black foam board from Dollar Tree.  I used black butcher paper last year but it faded and just didn't hold up very well.  I love the foam board!  Crate with student files on the counter.  Kids keep their current work in there.

Another view

Computer station where I keep my netbooks.  I put a black shelf I wasn't using on the top and now it's a little table too!  Welcome table on the right.

Mirror from Wal-Mart.  Hall pass hanging next to light switch.

School rules/expectations above my door

Clock numbers and Insta-bulbs above my word wall hahaha

Dry erase word wall again

Pretend grocery store for my CD kids.  Working on functional language relating to jobs duties like stocking, cleaning (broom and dustpan in box), etc.  I also bought a pack of McDonald's food so we can work on language related to ordering food, taking orders, cleaning up, etc.

Tall bookshelf with grade level baskets and files containing portfolios and notebooks.  Data door for SGM back there. 

Articulation Caddy and Oral Motor Caddy on top shelf

Smartboard and Student Work Wall on left.  Clipboard bucket on the floor on the right which houses, well, our clipboards.

Current books we are reading by grade (3rd, 4th, 5th) on the furnace. SGM Complete Episode magnets on the black file cabinet.

SGM Activities basket and a basket for random supplies

Therapy mirror, lime green laptop desks, table for SGM Station.  Above/behind this table is the wall that isn't finished yet! Still needs the chevron curtains.

I will post some updated pictures once I get my curtains done and my kidney table in!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Story Grammar Marker Instruction: Element ID & Oral Retelling

When choosing stories to use with my students, I make sure they are at least at the level of the Complete Episode since that is where the majority of my upper elementary kids are working towards.  A Complete Episode includes the following elements:

  • Characters:  Who or What is the story about?
  • Setting:  Where and When does the story take place?
  • Initiating Event (Kick Off):  What happened to the character to cause him/her/it to do something? (It was a ho-hum day until...)
  • Internal Response (Feeling):  How did the character feel about what happened?
  • Plan:  What does the character want to do?  Why will he/she/it choose this plan?
  • Attempts:  What actions do the character take to achieve the plan?
  • Direct Consequence (Tie Up):  What happened as a result of the attempts/actions?
  • Resolution:  How does the character feel about the direct consequence?  Is there a lesson learned or moral to the story?
After establishing that those elements are present, I fill out an organizer for myself.  This organizer template is provided with the program.  It looks like this:

It is definitely helpful to have this organizer filled out prior to the lesson otherwise it just never goes as smoothly as you planned!  


After I read the story to the group (I plan a whole 30-minute session for this), we move right into filling out this graphic organizer.  The picture above shows the Teacher Analysis Form which I use for myself to follow but when we fill it out as a group we use the student form.  The CD included in the SGM program has a couple different forms you can choose from.

My older students who can type at a decent speed usually fill the forms out themselves on their netbooks.  I put the form up on the SmartBoard and after we discuss an element, I have them put the sentence in their own words and I type it up.  That way they can easily just copy the sentence off the board and into their own document.  **As you can see in my form above I usually just write up quick notes, but when working with the kids I always have them use complete sentences.  

For my younger students, we fill out the form on the SmartBoard together.  To get them involved, I have them come up and write in their responses.  I have yet to meet a student who doesn't like writing on the SmartBoard :)

After we fill out the organizer, we go deeper into Character and Setting descriptions.  There are also forms for this type of activity on the SGM CD.  During these activities, I encourage the kids to use all their senses when describing so the reader/listener feels like they are there!  This in-depth description practice really helps set them up for a good oral retelling as they now have the tools to create a vivid image of the ho-hum day.

Once all of that is done, I have each of the kids orally retell the story using their organizer for support.  I usually record their retelling on my iPad using the QuickVoice app.  I make sure to tell them I do not want to hear "The Characters are _____.  The Setting is ___________." etc.  I want them to tell it as a story.  I usually have to help them out with this.  I tell them to set the scene (the ho-hum day) with the Characters and Setting.  For example, "One beautiful summer day, John and his little sister Karen were walking through the busy park across the street from their house in Speech Town.  The kids enjoyed the hot sun beating down on them and the wonderful smell of freshly cut grass."  I want them to paint that picture just like we practiced with the Character and Setting descriptions.  Some times all I need to do is give that cue of "One day..." and they are able to turn it into a story instead of a list.

Now from here you can do more activities such as character compare/contrast, setting compare/contrast, or you can move onto vocabulary instruction!  Lots of options.  Somewhere along the line (usually after vocab, syntax, morphology, etc. activities) we go back and do deep episodic analysis of the story.  This allows the students to delve deeper into the text and really analyze the structure.  The element identification and oral retelling just scratches the surface whereas a deep episodic analysis pulls out more complex skills.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Love for Clickers...

During grad school, I worked as a line therapist for the cutest little blonde haired, blue-eyed boy with Autism.  This experience taught me so many things all of which have helped me become the therapist I am today.  Through this job I learned how to manage student behaviors, new ways to model and teach concepts effectively, organizational techniques, data collection methods, and PATIENCE!  :)

The way we kept track of responses during certain tasks was via hand tally counters or what I like to call 'clickers.'  These clickers made is SUPER easy and fast to keep track of right vs. wrong responses.  I loved them so much that I bought some for my classroom!  

I use these clickers for all of my articulation/phonology sessions and they have been a huge help as I never even have to look down while I'm working with a student like I would with a pen and paper to keep tallies.  Makes things go much quicker.  When I work with a student, I bring my set of 2 clickers (attached to a keychain hook/clip- see image below).  The colored clicker always represents CORRECT responses and the chrome clicker always represents INCORRECT responses.  Stays consistent that way.  I also always hold them in the same hands so I don't have to look down.  So I always hold the colored clicker (correct responses) in my right hand and the chrome one (incorrect responses) in my left hand.

I have 3 sets of clickers (red/chrome, yellow/chrome, and green/chrome) in my room so I can work with multiple kids at once if needed, but usually I'm with my artic kids one-on-one because I use the 10 Minute Kids approach.  I try to schedule in a block of time where I can just go from classroom to classroom and pull the student for a quick 10 minute articulation drill in the hallway.  I use this approach for the kids who only have a few errors- nothing severe.

I refer to the numbers on my clickers as 'points' with my students and they get really excited to try and beat their previous number!  It's a great motivator.  After the session, I just write down their numbers on my sticky label and if I'm feeling really ambitious I calculate the percentage right away too!

So there it is.... I heart my clickers :)