Santa please bring me...

If I was Santa I would send all my fellow speech therapists a few of my must-haves.  Since there are 10 days until Christmas (I'm reminded every 10 minutes by my students) I thought a top ten list was necessary.  Here are some items this speech lady could not live without (lucky you, some are free (or cheap)!)
1.     Boardmaker
I seriously do not know what I would do without it.  It makes my life so much easier and helps me create all kinds of fun activities.
2.    Pinterest
I use Pinterest for inspiration and to find other speech therapy blogs.  I often ask myself what I did before Pinterest was created. Pediastaff has some amazing boards check them out here. Feel free to follow my speech therapy board as well.
3.    Blue Pens
Anything official in the schools has to be signed with a blue pen.  I buy blue pens in bulk, yet I can never find one when I need it.
4.    Starbucks
No explanation necessary.
5.    Ikea Magazine holders
These cardboard magazine holders are $.99 for a pack of them.  I use them to organize my books and anything else I can organize.
6.    Laminator
I would laminate this computer if I thought it would work.  I love laminating!
To support my OCD, this lovely website has given me the cutest labels ever so that I don’t feel bad about labeling anything and everything.
8.    Mirror
I have some kids that all it takes is a look in the mirror when they’re making their sounds and BAM! they graduate from speech therapy.  I take all the credit though :)
Check out my classroom post and see how I've made the mirror an integral (and fun) part of the speech room. 
Along with being OCD, I am also a germaphobe.  My manicures last 5 minutes because I’m constantly washing my hands and using hand sanitizer.
10.  Velcro
Velcro is one of those supplies that I am forced to use sparingly because it’s so expensive, but if I could I would Velcro everything!
What are some things that you couldn't live without? Write a comment and let me know.

Come back after the holidays for my go-to speech therapy games (super easy to make and/or cheap to buy).

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Jolly Kwanza too,,,

I was hoping to get this winter themed post up weeks ago.  Alas, this speech lady has been bogged down with evaluations, progress reports, IEP paperwork, Medicaid and all that “fun” stuff that we get paid overtime for (cough, cough not).  Sorry to be a Scrooge, but had to get my “Ba Humbugs” out before I was able to talk about the festive activities that have been going on in speech therapy. 


"Oh Christmas Tree"
We made Christmas trees out of articulation words that are winter themed.  Colored the pictures green, added a star on top and these labels so parents knew what this activity was all about. 


This activity may look familiar.  I did something similiar in my Halloween post. I used a circle template and then had the kids fold the circles in half. Then, they glued one half of the circle and connected all of them except the last two.  I use four circles for each ornament.  Before you glue the last circles together use string and white glue to create something for the ornament to hang.  Add articulation words to each side of the circle and you've got yourself a speech therapy ornament. 

Hot Chocolate

This was a great activity for beginning sequencers.  They had to sequence how to make hot chocolate. First, I did a demonstration. Then, they completed their sequencing.  After that, they had to follow their own directions to make their hot chocolate.  Thank goodness it got cold in Texas or the hot chocolate wouldn't have been so warm and cozy!

Snowman Activity

This was also an activity from my Halloween post that worked out so well I decided to make it for the next season.  Have the students follow or give the directions to another to make a snowman. Great for working on those quantity, quality and spatial concepts.  Here is the template I used.   

Social Story
Christmas time can be stressful, but it's also a great opportunity to work on those social skills that our kids with Autism need to work on.  I have made a social story about receiving gifts.  There is nothing I dislike more than when a child receives a gift and huffs and puffs because "That's not what I wanted!".  So, to prevent this from happening here are two pages of a social story to read to your kids and send home with parents. 

The Grinch
The Grinch is a great character to talk about expected and unexpected behaviors as well as describing words, antonyms, synonyms etc.  Videos are a great interactive way to work on inferencing as well.  I work closely with a teacher who uses it all the time and it inspired me to do a holiday version. Here and here are two links to Grinch videos. 

Here is a great post by Jenna Rayburn that has activities for Chanukah.
She also has some great Christmas activities too!

Heidi Kay over at Pediastaff challenged some bloggers to create therapy activies related to Chanukah and Kwanza.  While the activity I came up with is pretty simple in nature, it was a really great motivator.  These chain links can be used in a couple different ways.   
I introduced Kwanza to the kids first.  I explained what the colors mean and the basic traditions of the holiday. Then, depending on what level they are at, they get to add a link for every sound or sound in a sentence that they produced correctly.  I tried to keep the conversation centered around the holiday.  Whoever has the longest chain at the end of the session gets an extra sticker.
Because many children at my school do not celebrate Kwanza or Chanukah, they don't know much about the holidays.  I wrote on the white board "Holidays" and the kids had to either tell a personal story (they get a red link), ask a question (they get a green link) or comment on someone else's response (they get a black link).  They want their links to be a mix of colors and not all one color.  Whoever has the longest chain at the end of the session gets an extra sticker.  It was a good way to work on pragmatics and other expressive language goals and get kids to talk about their holiday traditions and ask questions about others.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and enjoys spending quality time with family.  I'm seriously looking forward to it and my goal is to be paperwork free by December 22nd! Happy Holidays!