Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Wrap-Up

Happy belated Halloween!

We have been busy in Mrs. Ludwig's Speech & Language Room with some seasonal activities, so I'm wrapping up October with one last post! Here's the rundown of our last few weeks:

1) We learned about bats by reading a few books from Reading A to Z, a resource I love!! I also pulled a passage from No Glamour Reading Comprehension book, which has a nice passage about "Batty Facts" for some of my lower level readers.

And we tied in various goals into our origami bat craft. Here's the finished product:

One goal targeted temporal concepts before/after using the origami bat. The kids had to label which part of the direction came first and second. I also stuck on a "Glossary" with some Tier 2 academic vocabulary for some vocab.

2) We read Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. It's a fun book with friendly Halloween monsters that is great for retelling!

I put together this little retelling book:

We read the text and also glued retelling picture cues in the blank spaces above the text.

They took home their books and had to retell 
the story at home.

3) In our extra time, we did some fun rhyming riddles. The kids like guessing and I like building phonological awareness skills. :)

4) We decorated some little mini pumpkins as reinforcers for various activities.

5) And last but not least, we dressed up in costumes this past Friday at school. I always rack my brain every year trying to come up with a good costume. Two years ago I was Waldo and last year I went with a pumpkin.

This year I finally made the decision Thursday evening to be the Hungry Caterpillar, so I made a last minute stop at Michaels and Target to gather a few supplies.

Thankfully, I had Mr. Ludwig to help me quickly sew a few t-shirts together….and add a few strips of yellow Duck Tape to help the finished project come together. 

What a guy! :)

I dug up some of my retelling cards from my therapy stockpile, laminated them, and punched a few holes:

And voila! The Hungry Caterpillar went to school.

Phew, it's been a busy last couple weeks. Hope you all had nice Halloweens with you kiddos! And now on to November and the holiday season….here we go!

Thanks for checking in! :)

Mrs. Ludwig

Monday, October 14, 2013

Speech-Language Room Makeover

Phew, we are already one quarter down this school that is hard to believe! The last quarter the kids and I have been enjoying our new working space, so I thought it was finally time to post up some details about Operation: Room Makeover!

The project started on a weekend before the kids came back to school in August. Mr. Ludwig and I brought in the paint, paintbrushes, water buckets, and few hanging lanterns, and we spent our Saturday sprucing up Mrs. Ludwig's Speech & Language Room.

A look at before:
the lovely yellow tint of the cinder block walls gave it a nice jail cell feel ;)


There's Mr. Ludwig! Couldn't have done this project without him. 
See that window? Mr. Ludwig is allergic to bees
We had a few visitors fly on in, and I mustered up the courage:
Smack, smack (smack, smack, smack....bug killing is not my forte)
Yep, saved his life!

If you compare the above and below photos, you'll notice I got rid of my milk crate bookshelves and upgraded to two 9-cubby bookshelves from Target. One of my kids noticed and told me, "Oh, you got rid of your junky bookshelf!" Ha, aannnnnnd we might be working on social skills...but hey, you know what....I think she's right. :)

And the after:

It was a weekend paint project and then the additional accessories took a few extra evenings to finish (e.g. the corkboard squares covered in fabric above my desk and the curtain in the window).

Also a quick tip: I did some research on the 'net to figure out the best way to hang things up on cinderblock glue! I tried it and it worked great!

Was it worth it? Yes, definitely! I figure that I spend over half of my waking hours in this room. It's good for all of us and we are loving our new home away from home.

Happy space. Happy place. Happy SLP. :)

Mrs. Ludwig

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spooky Speech & Language Spiders

Happy October!

Things are getting creepy in Mrs. Ludwig's Speech & Language Room with spooky spiders! 
Our door is covered!

I do admit, I HATE spiders (just ask my husband), but these little guys turned out pretty cute. The legs, bodies, and heads were all cut out and ready to glue together...and ready to target lots of different goals!

For the Sound Spiders, the kids said their sounds to earn a leg, and then they used my metallic markers to write words on the legs.

A quick definition lesson identifying the spider's category and attributes was drawn on the board. When I initially asked for the definition of a spider, one of my kiddos said ..."a spider is something that eats you"
And then we learned...
that by animal we meant insect (or the synonym, bug)
that by eats you, we meant bites you and makes webs

Here we have Synonym Spider. The younger kids had to find pre-printed synonym matches, use markers to color matching words the same color, & then paste the pairs on different legs. 

This little guy has describing words on his 8 legs.
Spiders can be....small, big, brown, black, creepy, hairy 
I pulled these pictures from a TpT product I found here!

Here we have Initial /R/ Spider:

And last but not least Synonyms Spider v2.0 (for the older kids). The kids picked a word (e.g. funny, spooky, scary) and looked up synonyms in the thesaurus. I spy lots of base words and suffixes, too!

We also read a few books about spiders from ReadingAtoZ (a resource I LOVE!) The Spider's Web and Tarantulas. And worked on various language goals with those!

Eek...spider webs everywhere!

That wraps it up for the Spooky Spiders! Thanks for checking in, and hope you're having a wonderful fall!

Mrs. Ludwig

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fluency Toolbox for Stuttering

Hi all!

I'm excited to write about a resource I started using/making graphics for last school year, but finally felt it was ready to share on the blog:

The Fluency Toolbox for Stuttering

You can find it in my TpT store here
and here's how I use it:

I use the toolbox as a visual when I teach fluency strategies to my students. We aren't curing stuttering, but we are giving them a toolbox full of strategies that they can learn to use and apply to improve their fluency.

When we learn a strategy, we add the tool to the box. At the beginning of each session, we choose a tool (or a combination of tools) that we are going to focus on for the day. The tool sits in front of them and serves as a nice visual reminder of what we're working on during activities.

To give the kids ownership of their toolbox and express their fluency style, they can choose a toolbox in red, green, purple, pink, blue, or yellow!

There are several strategies out there to target fluency. The strategies I included in the packet are some of the most commonly used across many different intervention programs (Healey & Scott, 1995).The strategies included and described in this toolbox are:
  • cancellations
  • pull-outs
  • full breath
  • stretchy beginning
  • natural pauses
  • rate control
  • slow smooth & easy speech
  • breath and speech together
  • language planning
  • talk in short sentences
  • easy onsets & easy beginnings (same strategy just different lingo)
  • light contacts
  • continuous voicing
  • preparatory sets &
  • fake stuttering

A printer-friendly black and white version is also included. The kids can easily color their own tools!

Toolbox Assembly:
  • Cut out the toolboxes
  • Cut an opening on the solid black line to create the opening:

  • Staple the toolbox onto an 8.5x11 sheet of paper

  • Trim around the toolbox, removing the extra white paper
  • Cut out the tools & add them to the toolbox as they are taught

And that's it!  Also included is an entire set of blank tools in my TpT product so clinicians can add any other additional strategies!

And there you have it! What tools have you found helpful with your students? I would love to hear!

Thanks for checking in!
Mrs. Ludwig

Healey, C. & Scott, L. (1995). Strategies for Treating Elementary School-Age Children Who Stutter: And Integrative Approach. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 26, 151-161.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy New Year: 2013-2014: Calendar & Speech-Language Forms

Happy New Year, Part 2:

I just wrote about my new discbound notebook system, which you can read about hereAnd here is the follow up post with the sheets I created to put in my new book: 

#1) Parent Contact Log: each kid on my caseload gets a sheet for communication records.

#2) Activity Plan: the key to my sanity as I plan for 70+ kids. I write down each group of kids and the planned activity for the day. If I think of an activity, material, or skill for next time, I jot it down on the note sidebar:

#3) My Evaluation Schedule: I have a sheet for both of my schools to keep a track of requested evals:

  • Tracker notes
    • student name
    • referral source
    • eval type (artic, lang)
    • date permission sent
    • date permission received
    • date eval is due
    • check for testing completed
    • check for report is written
    • date of case conference

#4) My Calendar: monthly calendar printed double-sided on 8 1/2 x 11 in. sheets of paper:

August all the way through...

 ...the month of July!

#5) IEP at a Glance Sheets: these don't actually go in my binder, but I'm including them here anyway! They were passed out to teachers at the beginning of the year as overviews of IEPs. It was described as being "not as scary" as the ones that we usually print out that our IEP system generates. I'll count that as a compliment. Ha.

You can download my IEP at a glance sheet for FREE here.

You can purchase and download ALL of the forms & calendar pages in my TpT store here!
Or if you just like the forms and don't need a new calendar you can buy the forms here!

Hope your school year is still off to a great start!

Mrs. Ludwig

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy New Year! 2013-2014: Discbound Notebooks

Happy New Year, friends!

It's 2013-2014 and I'm refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle another year. I've worked on several organizational materials to set myself up for a successful year....but FIRST...

I'm using a new organizational system this year! I discovered Martha Stewart's discbound notebooks this summer and bought in big time. 

**A quick disclaimer: I'm writing about these just because I like them! Plain and simple. No financial interests or gained benefits here. :)

Okay, here's a top view:

The best way to describe them is as a "notebook/binder hybrid". Flat like a notebook and built like a binder.  It's a totally customizable system. You can buy different parts and create your own binder to fit your own needs.

On the inside front cover is a big pocket & a few smaller pockets (mine has an article to read from our principal & some sticky notes):

A row of discs holds everything together. The binder comes with small discs, which can hold ~60 sheets, so I bought the expansion discs, which will hold up to 150 sheets:

Martha's line also includes pre-punched accessory pages (e.g. calendars, taskpads) that fit in as needed. I went ahead and bought the special hole-puncher so I could make my own pages.
Punch, punch

The pages are punched like this:

And then you just push the pages right into place! 
 That's it, easy:

You can buy dividers and place them to make sections as needed. I labeled mine with my label maker. 
Another nice feature is the pen holder (look below the tabs):

I made my own calendar & inserted a small sheet between the current month as a task pad. For now, it's just a yellow, 1/2 sheet of paper. Eventually, my plan is to design something a little nicer. But, hey it works just fine for now!

I've included my caseload spreadsheets,
parent contact forms, activity idea section, my calendar.

I will admit, the startup was a little pricey. The hole punch was the biggest investment ($40), but I'm convinced it will be a long-term solution to my organizational needs. It's the system you can just keep using over and over!

You can find the Martha Stewart discbound notebooks exclusively at Staples:

Here's the link to the notebooks: Book.
And the tabs: Divide.
And some other accessories: Accessorize.
And the hole punch: Punch.

So there you have it! My organizational solution for the 2013-2014 school year and beyond.

Hope you're off to a good start at school! 

Happy New Year,
Mrs. Ludwig