Five for Friday: January 23


We are happy to linking up with Kacey at DoodleBugs Teaching this week.
 Write and Say the Room: My World by All Y'all Need
We are finally getting with the program. The bundle program, that is. And even offering a growing bundle! Check out Write and Say the Room: My World for $4.50. A new unit is coming soon, so if you buy it at this price, you can just update with new units!
 Polar Bears Facts and Opinions by All Y'all Need
It's pretty cold here in Central Texas. We might even see a few snowflakes today! Of course the temps go right back up to 70 next week. Before that happens, students will be learning facts and opinions about Polar Bears!
 The Frenzied SLPs on FB
Have you liked The Frenzied SLPs yet? It's our inaugural month, and I have learned sooooo much from fellow SLPs. Be sure to check out the page and meet us, plus get great tips about digital voice recorders, housecleaning, and more!
I'm so excited to be going to my first Texas blogger meet-up tomorrow! Amy and I will be attending the get-together in Austin. And we might be bringing some treats! Thanks to Ari from The Science Penguin for hosting!
Such a fun evening activity!




An Inspirational Sign for SLPs

The hard part of the spring semester is about to start. Christmas Break is over, MOY testing is going on, and soon, we'll be facing state assessments. AND, sometime in February, we'll start talking about the 2015-16 school year. There are days I need to remember what I'm doing and why. It's all about the children. My hope is that this free sign helps you work through piles of paperwork, frustration that you aren't doing enough, or whatever else you face, and to focus on all the good you do.
 Past, Present and Future Sign for SLPs by All Y'all Need
Download Past, Present and Future Sign for SLPs at All Y'all Need.

The Frenzied SLPs for January!

Hi! I'm Laura, and I'm honored to be part of The Frenzied SLPs! If you don't know about it yet, The Frenzied SLPs is a Facebook page dedicated to making your own frenzied SLP life easier! This month, you'll meet each participant and get a tip from each one. So… here's me!
I'm a native Texan. I try not to be an obnoxious Texan who thinks that everything revolves around Texas, but I can't help it. I'm guilty of this kind of thinking. Yes, we really believe here that everything is bigger in Texas!
In fact, when my sister, cousin and I were trying to decide on a store name for TpT, we thought of our initials - Amy, Laura, Lisa. ALL. All You Need was our next thought, but Amy Texan-ized it perfectly to All Y'all Need. So I'm the first L in the ALL of our name. Sometimes, it's just me and Amy together, so we are AL. Or just Amy and Lisa, AL again. It's rarely LL. Amy doesn't like to miss out!
 All Y'all Need on TpT
When I married my husband, I told him I never wanted to leave Texas and live somewhere else. But in 2006, we took a family trip to Disney World. A few trips later (okay, 5-6 trips later), Jim and I decided we want to live in Florida part of the year when we retire. Our plan is to buy an RV and spend 4 months in Florida and 4 months each with our son and daughter. They are just thrilled…
 All Y'all Need Disney Trip at Christmas
Jim and I took a Disney trip by ourselves in April 2013. It was a celebration trip. In early fall of 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through the journey of a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, and the April trip celebrated the end of those treatments. My breast cancer journey changed me in several ways, including having my "bossy firstborn" side come out more. Just ask "baby club" members Amy and Lisa!

So the "bossy firstborn" hat is what I'm wearing now. My tip is something I just discovered this year. After 21 years of being an SLP. It's so embarrassing that I didn't think of it before. (Or uhm-BEAR-uh-suhn. I'll stop with the Texas thing now). Therapy time is precious. There isn't time to be wasted on making all students happy with what they want - the color of a marker, the part in a game, line leader, etc.

I've tried several things. I did years of "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit". I didn't love doing things this way. After all, I'm trying to facilitate communication, and don't choices, self-advocacy, and acceptance come with that? Also, I had several groups who bargained - "Do you really want that? Wanna trade?" And that wasted time. So here's my tip, what I now say when starting out with a group:
It's very easy to do in therapy, but it's a little harder to explain in writing. Here's my attempt.

Set out dry-erase markers, Reader's Theater parts, game pieces, or anything you are using that day that involves a choice. Each student gets to indicate their first preference by touching - not grabbing - the item. For Earth Day Ask Away, I put the sheet into a sheet protector, and students use dry-erase markers to eliminate choices, like Guess Who? If everyone is touching different markers for their first choice, they get that marker, and we move on to therapy. It takes 30 seconds tops. (The hands belong to me, Jim, and my daughter. Just pay attention to the choices, not our ratchet hands. They were reluctant hand models). Here, we all get our first choice.
But I know there are going to be groups where two students want the same first choice, so I'll walk you through that. Let's say there's a group of 3 students and six markers. For the first choice, Student #1 touches blue, and Students #2-3 touch yellow. Student #1 gets the blue marker.
There's the coveted yellow marker left, plus orange, red, green and black. I take the yellow marker out. Now, Students #2-3 get to touch their second choice. If they choose the same second choice, like this picture where the second choice for both is black, here's what happens:
I take the yellow and black markers, mix them up behind my back, and hand them out. The students can see I haven't shown favoritism, so there's no cry of "Not fair!" when one gets the yellow marker and one gets the black. They've still gotten a choice. They know the other student won't trade. We move on.

If #2-3 choose two different second choices, that's okay, too. So I've taken out the yellow marker, #2 chooses black, and #3 chooses green.
I mix up all 3 markers behind my back and pass two out. And sometimes, neither #2 nor #3 gets the first choice. Sometimes, they get each other's second choices. There might be a quick trade, but it takes no longer than a few seconds.

Here's what I've noticed:
* Increased cooperation through communication. 
If students choose the same first choice, one often changes. I hear comments such as "#1 wants green more than I do - I'll take the red." And then in a future session, comments like this one from #1: "#2 let me have my first choice last time, so I'll change this time." Okay, that's mostly from the artic-only groups. But it's wonderful to hear the problem-solving and communication going on!
* No more "Not fair!" complaints.
Typically, if two students want the same first choice and we work through the steps above, there is NO grumbling, whining, or complaining. Not even from my student with AU who has to have the green marker every single time. No need for me to take out precious therapy time to referee.
* Acceptance. 
We don't always get everything in life we want. But I've given my students a choice. They know they might get their first choice in a future session.
* Students know the routine now. 
I have one group with two artic-only students who are friends. When we were using colored pencils one day, I set out the 20 pencils and didn't say anything. I thought they would just start writing their homework words. Instead, they both looked at me and asked, "Do you want us to touch our first choice?"
* Increased efficiency and more time for therapy.  
Really, it took you longer to read the how-to than it will be to carry it out. It now takes a very short time to introduce the lesson, get set up, and start communicating!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this help you out with your therapy! Be sure to follow The Frenzied SLPs  for more great tips!

5 for Friday


We are happy to linking up with Kacey at DoodleBugs Teaching this week.
Do your kids have trouble with spatial concepts?
Like when I say, "Please, get behind me."  
They run to be in front of me or beside me.
Sadly, no one is behind me.
We are optimistic these activities will help the sweeties.
Yum!   We love cupcakes.
We can always use more practice.
Valentine Spatial Concepts
We are getting ready for Valentine's Day with the sweeties.
As you can see, the sweeties will be getting lots of practice.
We are teaching the sweeties about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
They are fascinated by anyone who has their very own holiday.
I mean to a 6-year-old sweetie the very idea of having your own holiday is awesome!
We will continue to learn why we honor Dr. King next week.
The sweeties love to perform.
So, this is a perfect way to learn about Dr. King.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Informational Bundle
This includes the Fact and Opinion set plus the Informative Reader's Theater!
Whoo to the hoo!
Both products for only $4.50.
I am finally reading my book,  Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography.
The book's tagline:  "Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?"
I will admit that I have a hard time reading in the "choose your own adventure" fashion.
I am reading from page 1 to the end.
I know.   I hear you.   Boring.
Not boring.
Not boring at all.
Thank you, Dr. King.
Enjoy Monday if you have a holiday.




Five For Friday


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Downton Abbey is back! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Downton and I'm so glad excited for this season!



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I'm trying to commit to my new year's resolution of eating healthier and breaking my Diet DP habit. This week, I've only had one Diet DP per day. This may not seem ground breaking to some but it is huge for me. I also purchased this new cookbook to help with eating healthier. Everything is so practical and easy for a commuting teacher.




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Koo Koo Kangaroo on GoNoodle. My kindergartener's love them and so do I!



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At the beginning of the year, I held a Lemonade party to discuss sweet and sour words. Throughout the first semester, my kinder kiddos have done an excellent job of using sweet words instead of sour. To start the semester on the right foot, we did a few mini lessons as a refresher. I created a mini unit while I was stuck in my house during a snow storm. I'm hoping to post it on tpt this weekend. :)


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My sweet kinder kiddos because I missed them so much during the break! Kids came on Tuesday and we had four fantastic days of getting back into the swing of things. I love this time of year because you see the kiddo's "switch" turn on and everything we've worked on for a whole semester has stuck. What a great feeling! Today, my girls wanted to organize my homework and fluency folders for me. I think my OCD is rubbing off on them. :)




SLP Monthly Must Haves for January!

 Write & Say the Room Patriotic Holidays by All Y'all Need
Today only - Write & Say the Room for Patriotic Holidays is on sale! Regularly $9, it's $4.50 today! You'll be ready for Presidents' Day and more!

Tuesday Talk

Here are some ideas for winter reading.   
Yesterday was our first day back to work and the sweeties were ready for story time!   
I hope you enjoy all the book ideas for the month of January.