ASHA Convention Tips

So many of you will be coming to the windy city for the ASHA convention this Thursday.  I know I'm so excited to sit, listen, learn, meet and greet and relish in being apart of this amazing community. While I've only lived in Chicago for a year and a half I wanted to give you all some ideas on things you can do while you're here. 
1. First off it's sort of cold. I lived in Texas so I get the shock of this cold wind, however don't let people scare you.  It's not that bad.  Layer...and bring warm gloves and you'll be good to go!

2. Eat. Definitely a favorite topic of mine.  I have so many favorite places. Here is a list of some of my favorites.  Most are not near McCormick Place, but it's always fun to get into the neighborhoods of Chicago!
Arami -I have definitely made reservations here already for the weekend! I dream daily about several dishes.
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba-Favorite tapas place!
Pasta Pallazzo -Get the jalapeno gnocchi or don't go at all....seriously
Big Star-Great tacos and even better margaritas
Quartinos-Italian tapas-loud, but fun and good for a group
RPM Italian-If you can get a reservation it is sooooo worth it.  Say hi to Giuliana Rancic for me ;)
The Purple Pig-Right off Michigan Ave. and oh so good.
Carnivale-Just a fun place
Bongo Room-Really good brunch
Mindy's Hot Chocolate- So good!
Southport Grocer-Expect to wait, but the bread pudding pancakes are unreal.
Edzo's-Burger city
Green Zebra or Chicago Diner-If you're vegetarian
Trencherman-Pickle tots...sounds weird, but do it!
Caro Mio-Off the beaten path, but best homemade BYOB Italian EVER!

3. Activities:
-Obviously Michigan Ave.
-State Street shopping
-Oak Street shopping (do you see a trend here)
-Millennium Park
-Signature Room at the Hancock Building (grab a drink and see the best view from the ladies bathroom)
-Willis Tower (Just going to say I would rather get a cocktail and see the view from the Hancock Building and not be charged for the view).  Everyone will tell you to go to the Willis Tower though.
-Field Museum
-Shedd Aquarium (I personally love the Shedd)

Alright, I could literally go on for days, but if you have any specific questions or need affirmations about already made plans just comment below and I will do my absolute best to answer!

Most importantly if you see me please say hi! I can't wait to mingle and talk with you all and I'm so excited I stayed up waaaay past my sad 9:30pm bedtime to make this for you all.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and see where I'm at during the convention!

Holy Hiatus

I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Wait, who is Speech Lady Liz?”  Yes, I sincerely apologize for my leave of absence the past several months/year.  It’s been quite a trying time.  Some great things and some not so great things have happened and I found it very important to limit my obligations and just live my life more.  Also, my personal computer is dying each second I type this so that hasn't helped either.  That being said, I feel as if I've sort of got my "you know what" together and I'm ready to attempt this blog world again.  My hesitation is that this speechie blog world has changed completely since I started Speech Lady Liz.  TPT stores out the wazoo and so many wonderful products that I can't even imagine having the energy to make.  Seriously, how do you people do it????   So while I attempt to regain my readership and post on a consistent basis I am going to need your help.  I'm not going to be able to put together packets of 26 pages worth of materials.  I have some ideas on how I can do this site, but I need you to make sure to let me know when something is awesome and you want more of it and when you're less than thrilled about a post.  I promise I won't be offended (In fact comment on this post with any ideas as I'm afraid you've all left me)!  So I'm going to attempt to navigate this new blog world in a different light.  I'm just not sure I've figured out that exact light yet.  Nothing like flying by the seat of your pants.  That is a requirement in this job though, right?

"Moore" Ways to Support SLPs

I just bought and downloaded bundle #1 and #2 of tons of therapy activities donated to help benefit the SLPs effected by the tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma.


This SLP blogging community is pretty sensational.  While I've been rather absent I continue to be amazed at what so many SLPs are creating with their limited time.  Now they've put together amazing bundles of downloadables for the benefit of colleagues effected by such a tragic loss. 

Make sure to click the link below to grab your bundles and help support these SLPs who have lost everything.  All the proceeds go directly to the Moore SLPs.  


On the twelfth day of posting this Speech Lady gave to me, a reminder to download homework!

Don't forget to download homework for the month of January!

End of the Week SLP Blues-Winter Edition

On the eleventh day of posting this Speech Lady gave to me, some ideas for the last week of therapy. 

Back in the day when this Speech Lady had time to make all kinds of therapy activities I had not one, not two, but three winter posts here , here and here.  Don't worry I'm laughing at myself thinking about a.) how busy I was at work and b.) my days in Austin and the snow.  Chicago has no pity on me now. 

Appy Holidays!

On the tenth day of posting this Speech Lady gave to me, the apps that make her (h)appy!


3. My Life Skills Box-Free however you buy additional sequences/stories for $0.99 each

Check them out!

These app recommendations are purely my opinion and I have not been provided with codes to review these nor have I received any other kind of compensation to review these apps. 

Language and Conversation Builder Review

On the 9th day of posting this Speech Lady gave to me, two apps that she uses all the time!!

The wonderful people over at Mobile Education have patiently waited as I've taken forever to put up this review.  Trust me, it's not because I haven't been using it.  These are some of my most frequented apps currently!

Language Builder has some pretty exciting awards such as:
Winner – 3rd best educational app of 2011 by
Winner – 9th best educational app of 2011 by

This app is a wonderful addition to your arsenol as you increase MLU (mean length of utterance), increase your student's lexicon and work on syntax. 

Below is the home screen.
It allows you to track by each child's name, choose hint level (see below) and pick the picture theme most appropriate for your students.  Depending on the level of your child you can turn off the audio and you can also choose what hint level your student is at. 

Level 1 Hint: A sentence is given with two blanks.  The student can then fill in the blanks with appropriate words.

Level 2 Hint: Level 2 gives the student a carrier type phrase to help them start the sentence related to the picture. 

Level 3 Hint: Gives the student an auditory clue.  It gives them key words to use as they build the sentence. 

Within each of these levels you can record the sentence your student produces.  This recording can then be archived to send yourself or playback to your student as reinforcement or another teaching method. 
I've used this a lot with my older kids that I want to increase the amount and complexity of their utterances.  I would definitely recommend this one and you can get it here for $9.99

They were also generous enough to provide me with the code for Conversation Builder

Conversation Builder has also won an award.
Winner – 2nd best Educational App of 2011 by Smart Apps For Kids

Below is the homepage
Just like Language Builder it allows you to track progress by student's names.  You can also decide what type of conversational exchange your are targeting, 1:1-4 exchange, 1:1-8 exchange and group conversation.  You can also choose who the initiator of the conversation will be-student or peer.  Then below that you have the option of a number of different picture modules.  The pictures are clear and super engaging. 

Below are some examples:

Student initiated conversation

Peer initiated conversation

Group conversation

This app is great for your social skills group as well as your older students working on expanding MLU, syntax, lexicon etc.  I used this app with my Social Language class and while the conversations turned into 4 year old conversations, it definitely started conversations that were then easy to target initiating, conversational turns, on-topic comments etc. 
You can buy this app here for $19.99

*Disclaimer: Mobile Education provided me with a code to review these products.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed are that of Speech Lady Liz.