Motivation, humor, and ideas that every school-based
speech-language pathologist will love!

79 posts contain the topic "speech therapy idea"

That One Time I Talked About Records and Record Players in Speech Therapy

posted on February 23rd, 2015 by Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP
That One Time I Talked About Records and Record Players in Speech Therapy

You know what they say, technology advances quickly. At one time, the rotary telephone was all the rage. Now? Not so much. In fact, there are many things that elementary school-aged students growing up today will never get a chance to experience because of technology advancing. For example, VHS tapes (remember rewinding a video?!), phone booths (remember not having enough change to make a call?!), or how about cassette tapes?!

What a blast from the past!

Just as technology can become out-of-date, the same can be said for speech therapy materials, too. And I'm willing to bet that if you look deep in your speech therapy room's closet, way in the back, under all that dust, you probably have some ancient speech therapy materials hiding. I know I did. Well, if you do have some oldies chillin' in that closet, whatever you do . . .

Don't throw them out.

Before you chuck that stuff in the garbage because of the apparent worthlessness, try them out with the students on your caseload, first. Seriously. Because I bet you that whatever you show them will surely get them talking. Why?

Because confusion usually triggers questions.

As you can see from my main picture in this blog post, I came across some classifying and vocabulary building language cards from the 1970s. Most of the pictures were actually still quite relevant. There was a dog/bone, baseball/bat, soup/spoon, but the one that threw me for a loop was the record/record player combo. I saw those and instantly felt the need to show that pair to my students.

Let's guess what these things are!

I showed the record and record player cards to a bunch of 3rd-5th graders. The responses ranged from, "I don't know what those are!" to "I think it's a donut maker and those are donuts in donut boxes." From there, I was able to enlighten them with the fact that, at one time, there was no such thing as Mp3 players or iPods and whatever. Music existed on those "donuts" and that "donut maker" was actually a speaker of sorts that played music out of the "donuts." My students were genuinely interested in what I was saying, so I went on YouTube and I found a video from the 1980s Nickelodeon show called Mr. Wizard's World. In that 2-minute video, there's a nice description of what a record player is and how someone could make a homemade record player.

Lots of opportunity to target goals and objective from that video!

After watching the YouTube video, can the student tell you the main idea? Can the student remember how the record player worked and actually explain it back to you? Can the student recall what items were used to create the homemade record player? All of that and so much more could be asked during a typical speech therapy session.

In closing . . .

I'm all about kickin' it old school. So let's make it a point to show our youngsters how us old folks used to live back in the day (ya know, when dinosaurs walked around and stuff, lol!). Give this speech therapy idea a try and let me know how it goes.

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Missing Letter Articulation is Perfect for Older Articulation Students

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP
Missing Letter Articulation is Perfect for Older Articulation Students

Let's play a quick game together. This is a word game of sorts. What I'll do is show you a few words and each one will be missing a letter. Try your hardest to guess which letter is missing so you can correctly spell out the word. Cool? Cool!

Time to get this word game party started!

  • 1. RABB_T
  • 2. R_BOT
  • 3. RECY_LE

How did you do?

Did you guess rabbit, robot, and recycle? If you did, you're correct. Give yourself a solid pat on your back because you're awesome!

And speaking of awesome, I just came out with a new app and it's pretty awesome!

My latest app is called Missing Letter Articulation and it's a speech therapy game. It's jam-packed with over 1,000 sound-specific articulation word puzzles (words that are missing one letter). Your goal with these word puzzles is to figure out which letter is missing before the timer runs out. Remember RABB_T? And R_BOT? And RECY_LE? Yup! That's what I'm talkin' about. These word puzzles were designed for us speech-language pathologists to use with our kiddos who exhibit difficulty producing the following speech sounds: S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH.

It's a simple game that's perfect for older kiddos.

I created Missing Letter Articulation because I have a few older artic students on my caseload. Some 5th graders, 6th graders, and even a few 7th graders. Students in these grade levels need something a bit more "grown up" and age-appropriate. So in my humble opinion, this speech therapy app does the trick. If you're looking for an app to use with your older kiddos, Missing Letter Articulation is where it's at. Get the app HERE and let me know what ya think. Enjoy!

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Shrinking Speech Therapy Homework Sheets Results in More Homework Complete

posted on January 19th, 2015 by Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP
Shrinking Speech Therapy Homework Sheets Results in More Homework Complete

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post about mini homework sheets. To recap, in the past I've noticed that almost every single time I gave my students some speech therapy homework, a few days later they would almost always confess to me that they were not able to complete the homework because they had lost it. So in an effort to shrink the percentage of homework sheets lost, I came up with the idea to LITERALLY shrink the actual homework sheets.

Yup, I made 'em smaller.

I created articulation-centered homework sheets for my students that were pocket-sized, instead of the standard paper size of 8.5" wide by 11" tall. My rationale for these tiny homework sheets was that if the take home practice papers were a bit smaller, roughly the size of a typical cell phone, they might not get lost as much because students could just put the homework sheets directly into their pockets, thus, the homework sheets would have a better chance of ACTUALLY making it home.

Did my mini homework sheets idea work?

Absolutely! This idea has been a massive hit. My articulation students love getting mini homework sheets and they almost always will bring them back completed. And get this, they will now even request a mini homework sheet once the speech therapy session comes to a close. Imagine that?! Students asking, "Hey Mr. Raj. Do you have another homework page for my pocket today?" Now THAT'S music to my ears. Sweet, sweet music!

Mini homework sheets can be put in many different places, too.

I have a lot of fun with my students by encouraging them to put their mini homework sheets in many different places. Places such as:

  • Put your homework in the front pocket of your pants.
  • Put your homework in the back pocket of your pants.
  • Put your homework in your front shirt pocket (if the student has one, of course).
  • Put your homework in your sock.
  • Put your homework in your shoe.

They really get a kick out of putting their mini homework sheets in their shoes!

Would you like to give some of my mini homework sheets a try?

I would be so happy if you did! Right now, I have a downloadable product on my Teachers Pay Teachers page called 525 Multiple Choice Mini Homework Sheets for Articulation Speech Therapy. As I'm sure you could have guessed from the name, the downloadable product features 525 articulation-specific multiple choice questions that I know your students will enjoy. It's 128 pages worth of amazing questions that will absolutely bring you and your kiddos 100+ hours of serious laughter AND learning. Check it out HERE to see a sample and to download.

So, what do ya think?

Do you think my mini homework sheets could be useful for you and the students on your speech therapy caseload? Do you think this spin on homework size might help your kiddos to bring their homework home? I sure hope so! Please, give these mini homework sheets a try and let me know what you think. And if you think I should make even MORE mini homework packets, let me know.

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Sharing Your Travel Videos in Speech Therapy

posted on January 12th, 2015 by Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP

I'm a huge fan of teaching materials that have an audio/visual component to them. Now don't get me wrong, from a speech therapy point of view, our students relate quite well to pictures that go along with our given lessons, but if we're able to show them some sort of video footage that coincides with their targeted goals and objectives, well that's another story. Those moving images packed with sounds are just THAT much more engaging and THAT much more easy to comprehend. So in my opinion, videos will almost always beat out pictures and that's why I try to utilize videos as much as possible within my speech therapy room.

You know I've written about videos before, right?

In the past, I've confessed how much I adore using YouTube videos in speech therapy and I've even went one step further with giving big props to THE BEST website out there that features an impressive library of child-friendly videos that are absolutely ideal for us speech-language pathologists to show our students who have various expressive and receptive language difficulties.

Let's take a moment to chat about travel videos, shall we?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret about me; I love to travel. If you were to ask me what was the one thing that I simply couldn't live without, my answer would be travel. Traveling really resonates with my soul because it feeds me new and wonderful experiences. So when I travel, I'm always armed with my trusty digital camera because it enables me to snap a few pictures in an attempt to freeze that moment in time as a remembrance. And I've always had a blast sharing my travel pictures with my students because pictures like that are ideal for generating robust conversation amongst students.

But what about sharing travel videos?

Here is what I'm proposing. We should take more videos with our digital cameras because, like I said, videos are just THAT much more engaging and THAT much more easy to comprehend. For example, during my recent trip to New Zealand, I got the opportunity to climb a glacier. Seriously, a real glacier! It was enormous and the pictures that I took were pure art. Yes, I will be sharing those pictures with my students, but I will also be sharing the little video clip that I took which is featured on this very blog post. Because I'm able to move my digital camera to pan around the location, I believe whoever watches the video clip is much better able to understand the sheer beauty of where I was and I know it also helps to generate so many more questions such as, "Glacier? What's a glacier?"

You can personalize your videos, too!

Notice how in my glacier video, I actually announced, "Hello Woodrow Wilson Middle School!" Not only am I able to share with my students this cool video clip, but I'm also showing them that I was thinking about 'em while I was on my glacier adventure. Kiddos really dig that personalized touch and it always triggers a handful of responses like, "Whoa! Did you hear that? He just said hi to us! So cool!"

The travel videos don't have to be extreme.

I realize that New Zealand might be a bit of a crazy example because it's a location that's very VERY far from New Jersey. However, you can easily share exciting travel videos that aren't a world away from where you live. For example, if you're driving to the beach on a warm day and your family makes a really cool sandcastle next to the water, grab some quick video footage of it and explain how the sandcastle was made. Or if you're visiting a local park during a snowy afternoon and your family goes sledding down a hill, grab some quick video footage of that and all the fun that comes along with swooshing by on a sled!

In closing . . .

I sincerely hope that this blog post has given you a few video ideas to pursue with your digital camera. Snag your digital camera and grab some travel videos so you can share them with your kiddos today! And just so you know, you can take videos with your iPhone or really any type of smart phone these days. So come on, there really isn't any excuse to not give this little travel video idea a shot. Thanks to phones, we now all have a video camera in the back of our pockets, so let's start shootin' and sharin'.

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