Motivation, humor, and ideas that every speech-language pathologist who works with children will love!

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Sorry, No iPad Today in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Sorry, No iPad Today in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Sometimes I forget my iPad at home. Has that ever happened to you? I’m sure it has and I’m also positive that you’ve experienced a situation or two when a speech therapy student made a comment to you like, “Aw, but you promised that we could use the iPad today.” We speech-language pathologists have a lot on our minds, so it only makes sense that sometimes we forget things. However, I created a bunch of fantastic coloring sheets that can cover you in the event that you forget your beloved iPad.

Shhh, the iPad is sleeping.

My students get a kick out of the idea that our iPad is a living and breathing creature that needs to take a nap from time to time. That’s why it isn’t in the speech room sometimes. Click HERE to download a coloring sheet that I use that perfectly illustrates an iPad catching a serious snooze. While my students color this sheet, I ask them WH questions that relate to where they think the iPad is sleeping, what they think the iPad is dreaming about, and why they think the iPad is dreaming about that. You’d be amazed at the responses I have gotten from my kiddos. “Mr. Raj, he is probably sleeping in a hotel room and dreaming about downloading I Dare You Articulation or Multiple Choice Articulation so he can play those apps on his belly!” or “I’m sure he is sleeping in his bed and dreaming about some new Apple EarPods that he could plug into himself because he wants to listen to the new Beyonce album.”

Sorry, no iPad today because it went on vacation somewhere warm.

We all could benefit from a solid vacation, heck, even an iPad could benefit from a break. Click HERE to download a coloring sheet that highlights an iPad soaking up a beautiful, sunny day. While my students color this sheet, I often ask some receptive questions, such as, “Show me the coconuts.” or “Where is the surfboard?” Also, feel free to ask your students what types of activities they might enjoy doing if they went on a beach vacation. Would they build sandcastles, go swimming, eat ice cream?

Sorry, no iPad today because it went on vacation somewhere cold.

Who says you can only have fun in the sun? For all you snow bunnies out there, click HERE to download a coloring sheet that shows an iPad having a blast while snowboarding down a mountain. Why not use this sheet to ask your students some multi-step direction questions? For example, “First color 2 trees blue and 1 tree green.” or“Before you color the snowboard black, color the scarf red and blue.”

In closing . . .

Forgetting your iPad does not have to be the end of the world. In fact, thanks to the coloring sheets that I’ve shared with you, forgetting your iPad can be the beginning of a fun and effective speech therapy activity. So, what do you think? Do you think your kiddos would chuckle at this activity? Do you think you will give these coloring sheets a try? I hope so! Please let me know how it goes and I look forward to hearing from you.

***BONUS***

If you want to get really creative, I have put together a blank iPad sheet where you and your students can invent your own reasons as to why the speech room iPad is missing. Click HERE to download it. Hooray!

Are You Talking About Speech Helpers in Speech Therapy? [Free Download]

Are You Talking About Speech Helpers in Speech Therapy? [Free Download]

“Mr. Raj, how do we talk?” -2nd grader

Wow. Just. WOW! What a beautiful question! The fact that this student is inquiring about his speech helpers makes me want to do at least a dozen back flips. I wholeheartedly believe that one of the best things that we, as speech-language pathologists, can ever teach the students on our caseload is the speech mechanism. Regardless of what students’ goals and objectives are, whether they are articulation, fluency, language, or anything in between, knowing about the basic anatomical structures that help us to effectively produce speech will benefit all students within the speech therapy room.

Are YOU taking the time to talk about talking?

Not too long ago, Kim Lewis and I were chatting about the importance of introducing the speech helpers to our speech students. Together, we exchanged some fun and functional ideas on the ways that we enjoyed teaching this specific lesson. Feel free to borrow the dialogue below that Kim and I consistently use within our speech therapy setting. (Free download at the end of this post.)

Learnin’ about lungs!

“My friends, can you point to your lungs? (Students point to their chests). Correct! So, what do you think we use our lungs for? (To breathe in air?). Yuppers! Our lungs fill up with air, which is us breathing. We need that breath to talk. Did you know that we can’t talk when we hold our breath or when we don’t have any breath inside of us? Let’s try. (Attempt some silly non-breath “talking” here). We need to keep the air moving in and out of our lungs to talk. The air helps our words come out of our mouth. (Then, practice breathing in and out, speaking on the exhalation).”

The diaphragm is important, too!

“There is a really important part inside of our body that sits below our lungs (Students point just above their bellybutton). It is called the diaphragm and it helps with pushing the air out of our lungs so that we can talk.”

Time for the voice box, buddy!

“Have you heard of a voice box? It is in our throat. We have a voice box or vocal folds right here. (Point to your throat). The folds come together and apart (Demonstrate the vocal fold movement by making your hands come together and apart, index finger to index finger, with your fingers tight together and thumb tucked under). When the folds move together and apart, they change the way the air moves and makes different sounds. Have you ever taken a balloon and let the air out? If you pull the top, you can make different squeaky sounds (Use a balloon to demonstrate it). Our voice box does the same thing. It moves the air when it’s coming out and helps us make words. (Also, depending on the age and maturity of my client, I sometimes show this YouTube video that shows the vocal folds in action.)”

Let’s chit chat about the tongue!

“What about your tongue? (Stick your tongue out). What do we do with our tongue? We can stick it out, move it from side to side, or even try to touch our nose with it. Why do we need our tongue to talk (usually they have something to say about this). You’re right! We put our tongue in different places to make different sounds. Let’s try to make the /L/ sound with our tongue. Now, let’s try to make the /L/ sound without our tongue. That sounds silly! Now, let’s try to make the /T/ sound with our tongue. Now, let’s try to make the /T/ sound without our tongue. Hey, that sort of sounds like the /K/ sound! How interesting!”

Oh teeth, we could never forget about teeth!

“What about our teeth? (Make a big smile to emphasis your teeth). What do we do with our teeth? Yes, we use them to bite and chew our food, but they are also important for talking. Let’s try to make a /S/ sound. Notice how your tongue is touching the back of your teeth when you make that sound? Well, if you didn’t have your teeth there, your tongue would come out of your mouth when you make that /S/ sound. Let’s see what that would sound like (make a sloppy /S/ sound with the tongue out of your mouth).”

Show some love for the lips!

“What about our lips? (Make a funny kiss face). What do we do with our lips? Do our lips help us talk? Yep. Our lips help change the sounds we make. (Experiment with different sounds we make with our lips coming together). Say mama. When we say mama, our lips come together for the /M/ sound. If we couldn’t have our lips come together, we wouldn’t be able to say mama. (Attempt to say mama without having the lips come together, it sounds like ahah).”

In closing . . .

In order to help you with teaching your students the speech helpers, I have created a FREE DOWNLOAD for you. You can go HERE to download the male version and/or you can go HERE to download the female version. I’ve been using these sheets over the past few weeks and they’ve been a hit with my kiddos. Enjoy!

Child-Friendly Dares Unlock Imagination in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Child-Friendly Dares Unlock Imagination in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Every speech-language pathologist has a story to tell, and this one is mine. As a school-aged child, I despised the fact that it was almost always mandatory for me to remain seated as I learned in elementary school. In retrospect, I felt like an animal locked in a cage, and now, years later, I see the same frustration in the eyes of my speech students. They usually don’t want to stay in their seats during speech therapy, and why should I force them to?

I want students to get up and move around!

My mind is curious, my spirit is adventurous, and my body is everything but still. I am an educator that believes in the power of using our arms and our legs during all learning instances, especially during speech therapy. Children, by nature, are active learners and this is the reason I have spent the last two years writing a slew of hilarious child-friendly dares. As a practicing speech-language pathologist, I consistently ask my students to do child-friendly dares during speech therapy and they can’t get enough of ’em!

Download my FREE child-friendly dares packet, today!

This PDF packet consists of over 30 flashcards that can easily be printed out, laminated, and used with all of the students on your speech therapy caseload. Some of my favorite include:

  • I dare you to pretend like you’re a ninja.
  • I dare you to pretend like you’re a dinosaur.
  • I dare you to pretend like you’re a ghost.
  • I dare you to pretend like you’re a guitar player in a band.

Click HERE to download the PDF packet. These child-friendly dares are guaranteed to help unlock your students’ imagination while they continue to work on their given goals and objectives.

What about articulation-specific child-friendly dares?

Now THAT sounds like a fantastic idea, right? What if I told you that there was a way to show child-friendly dares to your students that are categorized by the target sound they are working on? You would probably clap your hands and cheer, right? Well, today is your lucky day because I have been working hard over for almost a year to create just that.

Introducing I Dare You Articulation.

I Dare You Articulation is an app for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod touch that allows, encourages, and celebrates getting up and moving around during speech therapy while practicing proper pronunciation. The sounds included are as followed: S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH.

  • Working on initial /R/ sounds? How about this sentence? I dare you to pretend like you’re wearing red roller skates. Show off some really cool moves.
  • Working on medial /L/ sounds? How about this sentence? I dare you to pretend like you’re a smiling shark about to attack a sailboat.
  • Working on final /CH/ sounds? How about this sentence? I dare you to pretend like you’re eating a rotten peach for lunch.
  • Working on /S/ blends? How about this sentence? I dare you to pretend like you’re a scary vampire with scary vampire teeth.

With just the tap of a finger, children and clinicians can uncover 600 (yes, 600!) child-friendly sound specific dares that are perfect for the speech therapy setting. In addition, I Dare You Articulation has an exciting narrative audio component to it that allows you to hear the words spoken. If you are a fan of my Multiple Choice Articulation app, you will adore I Dare You Articulation!

Smooth and clean, just the way it should be!

I Dare You Articulation has a child-friendly interface that is simple, intuitive, and as always, there are NO in-app purchases or external links.

You should download I Dare You Articulation right now. Click HERE.

Regardless of when, where or how these child-friendly dares are used within the speech therapy session, one thing is certain; children (as well as clinicians) will have a blast giving I Dare You Articulation a try . . . and in the process, your students will continue to practice the correct pronunciation of their sounds at the spontaneous conversation level. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with this therapy material!

Unwritten Goals and Objectives for Students in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

Unwritten Goals and Objectives for Students in Speech Therapy [Free Download]

As a dedicated speech-language pathologist, I am always evaluating and reevaluating the goals and objectives that each one of my students have. I do this to ensure that all educational lessons are appropriate for that specific learner. Once a simple objective is met, I crank it up a notch to make it even more challenging. I continue this gradual increase until eventually, the goal is achieved and we move on to yet another goal. Goals and objectives keep me focused and organized. They are always there within the students’ files, written in black and white, clear as day.

But I believe that there is such a thing as unwritten goals and objectives.

To me, unwritten goals and objectives are arguably some of the most important things that we could work on with our students. They are the goals and objectives that live inside of my mind that emphasize the importance of being a kind and caring person. For example, the student will demonstrate being a kind and caring person by holding the door for others as we walk to and from the speech room together. Or, the student will demonstrate being a kind and caring person by giving a compliment to another student within the speech therapy room.

Always work on the written goals and objectives, but try to create and work on unwritten ones, too.

Not long ago, I purposely dropped an open box of crayons all over the floor during speech therapy. I wanted to see how this particular student would react. Would he stand up to help me clean up the mess? Or would he simply sit there and watch me as I picked up the crayons?

Well, the 1st grader just sat there.

And I was not offended or insulted. I just took that as an opportunity to create an unwritten goal and objective in my mind that focused on building that specific student’s kind and caring skills. So I proceeded to say, “Gee, I sure wish I had a kind and caring friend that could help me pick up all these crayons.”

Like clockwork, he got up and started helping me.

A few days later, as he and I were walking down the crowded hallway, I purposely dropped a packet of papers on the ground. It was another test to see what his reaction would be like. Well, this time the moment I started to bend down to pick them up, he also bent down to help. Together, we both picked up the papers. I thanked him and he smiled.

I have the ability to inspire students, not only academically, but also personally.

Obviously, I don’t know this for sure, but I’d like to think that I quietly planted a kind and caring seed in that student’s mind when I first dropped the crayons on the floor. Then, when that student saw me drop the papers on the floor and he felt that urge to help me, I’d like to think that the seed sprouted ever so slightly and he became a more kind and caring person because of it. Ya see, not only am I able to grow his communication abilities from the written goals and objectives, I am also able to help him grow personally through my unwritten goals and objectives that help him learn and understand the power of being a kind and caring individual.

Now it is YOUR turn!

I encourage you to think up some unwritten goals and objectives for your students. What little tests can you give them to see how strong their kind and caring skills are? How do you think you could you help nurture their kind and caring abilities?

Oh, and I almost forget about your FREE DOWNLOAD!

I made you a beautiful poster that will help you remember to create unwritten goals and objectives for your kiddos. Click HERE to download it. Enjoy, my friends!

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