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Have You Ever Thrown a Surprise Test in Speech Therapy? [Free Download]

Have You Ever Thrown a Surprise Test in Speech Therapy? [Free Download]

Sometimes, I hear my older students talking in the hallways between classes. They often speak about how an upcoming test is making them feel nervous, anxious, or just plain scared. Tests and quizzes are necessary evils, but I try to do my part to show my students that tests are not as bad as they think they are. Heck, some tests can even be enjoyable! To prove this point, I like to sometimes shoot them a surprise test when they come to speech therapy, but not just any test. This receptive language test is one that I created that truly demonstrates the importance of paying attention to instructions in a nice, lighthearted manner. I call it the Following Instructions in Speech Therapy Test.

Yes, I know that the name is not all that exciting . . .

But let me tell you, this test is everything but boring. It’s loads and loads of fun to give and take!

How much fun is it, you ask?

Well, it’s just so much fun that everyone in the speech therapy room usually laughs his or her head off! (Please note: I’m not responsible for any medical bills you might have to pay because excessive laughter caused your noggin to fall off.)

Wanna learn more about my test? (Of course you do!)

First, you have to go HERE to download it. Then, print it out, give it to your students, and say something along the lines of, “Today, each of you will be taking a surprise test in speech therapy. It’s a test that helps me see just how good you are at following instructions. There will be no talking for the next 5 minutes and I’m not able to answer any questions. Just please read and complete the test. Once the time is up, we will all talk about the test together. Now, let’s begin.”

During the 5-minute countdown, I usually start to hear them clapping, barking, and pretending to sneeze. This obviously means that they have failed the test because, as number 14 clearly states, all of those questions were to be ignored, but yet, they still did them.

Why is that?!

Simple. It’s because they didn’t read the instructions carefully (if at all!). They saw the format of the test and automatically started going from one question to the next. It’s a mindless routine where most students rush to get done first, but I want my students to be better than that. I want to get them sharp. I want them to be aware of my tricks because if they can start to spot my tricks, chances are they will start to become more observant while completing their other school assignments, too. This is just one example of how this specific test sets the stage for future successes in learning!

It also sets the stage for insightful dialogue.

After my students realize that they didn’t follow the instructions on the test correctly, we begin to talk about other scenarios where not paying attention to instructions could get them into a bit of a pickle. Some situations that have been mentioned before are not paying attention to written instructions while doing a science experiment or not paying attention to instructions when learning how to drive a car for the first time.

In addition . . .

We often get into a rather eye-opening conversation as to WHY tests make us feel so nervous, anxious, or scared. The back-and-forth discussion between everyone usually results in some “ah-ha moments” where the students realize, “Well, I guess the only tests I’m really scared of are the ones that I don’t study for.”

Hallelujah!

We, as educators, can nag our students to “remember to study!” or “remember to read all the instructions!” until our faces turn blue, but it isn’t until they actually realize it, for themselves, that our suggestions actually start to stick. I believe this silly, little test can begin to help start the “sticking process” because I have seen it, happen in my own speech therapy room.

In closing . . .

This receptive language test totally shines light onto the subject of using your careful looking eyes to take in any and all information that pertains to the task at hand. Once you do that, the surprise test doesn’t really seem all that scary. So, do you think you could somehow incorporate my Following Instructions in Speech Therapy Test into an upcoming session? Do you think your older speech therapy students would fall for this trap? As always, I would love to hear from you. Please let me know how speech therapy idea goes over with your kiddos.

Making Paper Speech Cubes in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Making Paper Speech Cubes in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

In my opinion, a school-based speech-language pathologist can never have too many speech therapy materials that relate to practicing the /R/ sound. The more the merrier, that’s what I always say, so that’s exactly why I wanted to share with you my most recent one. My students love this speech therapy material to pieces, so without further ado, I present to you . . .

Totally awesome paper speech cubes for the /R/ sound!

Click HERE to download them.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “What’s so special about paper cubes?! I’ve been making those in my speech therapy room for years.” I know, but these paper cubes are different. I designed these bad boys to actually have faces and arms holding stuff. Trust me, your students will have a blast making and playing with these paper speech cubes while practicing their /R/ sound. For real!

Get ready for some paper speech cube /R/ fun!

All together, there are 4 different /R/ characters you can make.

  • A rabbit holding a rattlesnake
  • A robot holding a rose and a rocket
  • A rhino holding a radish and a rattle
  • A rat holding some rice and a rock

I also included 2 blank sheets so that you and your students can create your very own paper speech cubes, too! Good times? You bet!

In closing . . .

What do you think? Are these paper speech cubes something that your students would be fans of? I sure hope so! As always, I hope this little speech therapy idea makes you and your speech therapy students smile! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. It’s always so great to hear from fellow SLPs.

Thumb Wrestling in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Thumb Wrestling in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Put away that iPad and no need for that board game because you and I are going to do a speech therapy activity that only requires 2 things: a thumb and a thumb! Yup, I’m totally talking about the classic game called Thumb Wrestling. This timeless and intense hand competition is ideal for your students who are working towards perfecting their /TH/ sound. Come along with me as I describe to you how my students and I go head-to-head (err, thumb-to-thumb) in this action-packed thumb wrestling activity.

First, name your thumb wrestler!

Whenever you watch professional wrestlers on television, they always have cool names. So, your thumb wrestler should be no different. Take the opportunity to visit Google and do a web search for names that start with TH. The results generated will surely help you and your students discover tons of names that have their target sound at the beginning. Here are a few /TH/ wrestler names that my students have come up with: Theo the Muscle Thumb, Thaddius Thunder, Theo the Thumb Thrower, and my personal favorite, Thumbzilla Thor.

Next, design your thumb wrestler!

A naked thumb is so blah. How about you throw some paint on that blank canvas called your thumb and draw a face on it? My students get a kick out of taking markers and drawing eyes and other facial features on their thumb to give it some personality. (And if drawing on your bare skin is just not your thing – don’t worry because I’ve created a FREE thumb wrestling worksheet that you can draw on, instead. Click HERE to download it and start creating the thumb wrestler of your dreams.)

Don’t forget to pick your thumb wrestler chant!

Normally, you would chant the following before you start thumb wrestling, “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war!” That chant is okay, but I came up with a better one that is filled with lots of /TH/ sounds, “Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four, I declare a thumb war!” Feel free to use that chant or make up your own. (Or maybe you can sing my Thumb Monster song? Haha! Either way, your students will be exposed to a large number of /TH/ sounds.

Give your student a thumb wrestler award!

I have created a thumb wrestler award certificate to make this speech therapy idea even more exciting. Click HERE to download it. This document is the icing on the cake and one of my student’s parents even told me that he put his in a frame and hung it on the wall in his bedroom. Does it get any better than that?! So thumb-tastic!

In closing . . .

Clasp those hands so your fingers curl together and your thumbs are facing each other while pointing up. Then, get ready to rumble as you practice your /TH/ sound! I guarantee that your students will love attempting to pin the other students’ thumbs to their hands. Or better yet, YOU could get in on the thumb fun and challenge YOUR students to an epic match of thumb wrestling. Is your thumb up for it? Let me know how it goes!

P.S. If you liked this speech therapy idea that had to do with using our hands, then you’ll adore my Rock, Papers, Scissors idea, too!

Keeping Your iPad Clean and Safe in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Keeping Your iPad Clean and Safe in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Working as a speech-language pathologist in the school-setting can sometimes get a bit messy from time to time. I have gotten my fair share of glitter glue on my favorite shirt, spilled water all over my laptop’s keyboard, and even almost dropped my iPad into a bucket of green paint (don’t ask, haha!). There are literally thousands of ways that we can get dirty in speech therapy, but one of the most important rules in Mr. Raj’s speech room is to try your hardest to keep the iPad as clean as possible because a clean iPad is one that is less likely to break. My motto is a clean and safe iPad is a healthy and happy iPad, so here are a few FREE downloads that I know can help your iPad to live a long and prosperous life.

We all need an iPad Promise!

My buddy Rachel created an amazing iPad Promise printable sheet that highlights the right way that students should interact with the speech therapy iPad. Her iPad Promise (which is a FREE download) reminds students to carry the iPad with the case closed, touch the iPad with gentle fingers, and so much more! Ever since I introduced this iPad Promise into my speech therapy routine, my kiddos have been much more caring towards my iPad, and that warms my heart like no other. I promise, you’ll love her iPad Promise so make sure you download it as soon as possible. Ya promise?

Silly iPad rules? Oh yes!

Rachel inspired me to make a pair of my very own iPad Rules sheets for a few of my students. But here is the kicker, unlike her serious rules, my rules are VERY silly. For example, one of my rules on the one sheet is Never let a real rhino sit on the iPad or another rule on the other sheet is Never put the iPad under a lawn mower. I know these are some wacky rules, but let me tell you, they are perfect for language therapy (i.e., explain to me WHY should we NOT let a real rhino sit on the iPad?). So by all means, please do download my FREE iPad Rules sheets and let me know how your students like ’em.

In closing . . .

Using iPads in speech therapy can be a real blast, but we need to make that sure our iPads are clean and safe so they can continue to be an option. So let’s make every effort to make sure our iPads are in tip top shape and that our students treat the technology with the love and respect that it deserves.

Oh, wait. I almost forgot to tell you something really important!

While we are on the subject of iPads, I just came out with a brand new app that I know will blow your mind. It’s called Open-Ended Articulation and it features a collection of over 500 open-ended questions designed for speech-language pathologists to use with individuals who exhibit difficulty producing the following speech sounds: S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH. If you are a fan of Multiple Choice Articulation, you will totally fall in love with this one, as well. With over 2 hours worth of fun and exciting audio questions and answers, Open-Ended Articulation will trigger a tremendous amount of fantastic conversation in your speech therapy room. Guaranteed! So, give it a try today by clicking HERE.

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