Back to School Bash from the Elementary Entourage

We have all started school.
Laura and and I are at our same schools.
But Lisa has changed schools, districts and grade levels!
Lisa is now officially a PreK teacher.
She has so many wonderful ideas to share this year, but she is feeling sick right now.
Sure hope she feels better soon!
Maybe she needs Blue Bell Ice Cream?
It is back on store shelves this week.
Whoo-hoo!

But for today, Laura and I are talking back to school.
One thing Laura and I like to focus on is oral language.
That's right.
We like to get kids talking.
I know!
Call us crazy.

Laura's strength is working with kids to communicate.
One of her favorite sayings is:
If they can't understand it, they can't read it.
If they can't say it, they can't write it.

Understanding leads to all the comprehension questions. If students can't answer questions about their life, stories are going to go over their heads. Make a lot of text-to-self connections with 
language-disordered children.

Did you know that a child should roughly be able to express as many words as their age?
A 1-year-old says single words - Mama, go, juice.
A 2-year-old combines words - I go, big doggie.
Kg students should be able to combine 5-6 words - My favorite color is blue.
And by the time a child hits 12 and is using more complex sentences, 
that sets the stage for their teen and adult speech.
A child may have written sentences that are a couple of words shorter than spoken sentences.

Good oral language is very much tied to future academic growth.

Books are a great way to model language.
This week I read to students a hilarious book called
Rufus Goes to School written by Kim Griswell.
We talked about why pigs do not belong in our school.
The sweeties had fun announcing all of the crazy things they suspected
Rufus would do at our school.

But Rufus really wants to learn to read.
And he is not interested in causing havoc.
Next, we talked about what they wanted to learn in school this year.

Finally, it was time to get to know each other a little better.
So, it was the perfect time for our Ask a Friend Activity.
We hope you enjoy this freebie!

Have a wonderful day,

Speechie Freebies - Thank You Cards from SLPs

Scheduling is tough. Make it a little easier with Thank You Cards from SLPs by All Y'all Need.
Thank You Cards from SLPs by All Y'all Need
Just print, cut apart, and attach candy with double-sided tape. Easy peasy and teachers love it!

COSF Form for Frenzied SLPs

Update later on 8/24: COSF is all the rage in my area. If you do COSF, keep reading. If you don't, be sure to look at the links below for more great info about data collection!

Welcome to another linky to help make your frenzied SLP life a little easier!
Data collection for me was made easier with this idea for using mailing labels from Queen's Speech. So go there and get some great ideas.
WAIT!!!! Don't stop reading! I still have a freebie for you!
I always forget to transfer my data to COSF forms.
You know, Child Outcome Summary Forms.
The bane of my existence.
Because first of all, I don't think anyone actually looks at them.
And second, all the info is in the IEP and evaluation. Why am I double reporting?
Because my director tells me to and is not shy about calling me up in the summer - when I'm off contract and she isn't - to tell me to get 'em done.
Not that that's happened, but it could.
The freebie form I have for you is what I'm keeping forefront and center, right on the bulletin board, to help me remember this year.
And it comes in B&W or a fun color version. With credits to Creative Clips and KG Fonts.
Because they make all things prettier.
And if it's prettier, I'll use it.
Happy tracking! And click on the links below to get more ideas and FREEBIES!

Find Us Today on A Spark of Inspiration Blog


Hop on over to A Spark of Inspiration
to see how Lisa uses a fun lemonade party to teach her students to use sweet words.

The First Week - Eat Your Toads and Keep Everything Visible!

This week, The Frenzied SLPs are sharing ideas about the first week of school. My advice is - Eat Your Toads and Keep Everything Visible.
The first week, I always feel like I start out behind, no matter how much prepping I do.
I can get my room ready, check and re-check student lists, and prep materials.
I might even feel like I'm actually ahead of the game.
It won't stay that way.
My principal and Sp Ed director will stuff for me to do.
The school and Sp Ed secretaries will give me forms to fill out.
(And above all, make your secretaries happy. Get their tasks done first and quickly.)
Parents will stop by.
Teachers will have requests.
I'll get unexpected emails and phone calls.
New students with a range of needs.
And that can be in just one day.
Here is where the toad comes in.
We had a speaker a few years ago who used the phrase Eat Your Toads.
It just means - do the difficult stuff first.
Make the phone call you don't want to make. Return the awkward email. Talk to the hard-to-talk-to co-worker.
If you do the hard stuff first, the rest of your to-do list looks pretty easy.
If I put the phone call I don't want to make at the end of my list, I'll procrastinate on the easy things because I don't want to get to the end of my list.
If I make the phone call first, I feel like a superhero flying through the rest of the list.
My desk is set out according to my toad tasks.
Phone calls are my least favorite tasks. I don't know why. They are not usually that bad. But that's my toad. So my phone is at my left so I can work left-to-right. Phone calls - tackled!

After that, the computer, post-it and stack kind of go together. Those three hold the rest of my tasks that I prioritize. What helps me out the most is actually seeing what I need to do. I always save files and they go somewhere deep in my computer into Documents or Downloads or something. So I started saving everything to my desktop.
The Organization Wallpaper for Desktops helps, and it's free in our store!
At the left are the projects I'm working on - it can be IEPs, FIEs, therapy materials, forms, whatever. That space changes. Whatever I need to do is right there and I can't forget about it.

Most Used files are in the middle and rarely change. Those are my templates and forms I use often.
There's an Other folder for things from technology that I don't know what to do with.

I have a confession. Sometimes, I complete a task just so I can file it away or cross it off. After I finish an FIE, I file it away and it's off my desktop. It's a sickness, I know. And what's even worse? I call it #virtualcrumpling. There, you know my deep, dark secret.

The post-it is there for pop-ins. You know, the teacher who comes by to ask about a student, the principal who comes by to ask about meetings... I write down those things.
And the stack is usually a pile of Sp Ed folders. The stack changes based on my priorities. IEPs that need to be processed first go on top.

And I have a bonus tip for you - clean out your email. I have a friend who has no more than 5 emails in her inbox at a time. I'm not there, but I do try to keep my inbox where I don't have to scroll down. Because if an email isn't visible, it's forgotten.
When you get an email, make a quick decision. If you want to delete it, do it now.
If it has a date, add it to your calendar and delete the email.
I file policy changes in my Sp Ed mailbox after writing the changes on my checklist.
No more going through emails more than once!

I hope you have a year full of staying ahead - or just even - by eating toads and keeping tasks visible!

Get even more tips by clicking on the links!

Funny Directions by Speecharoo App Giveaway

Disclosure: Speecharoo provided copies of Funny Directions to try out. Opinions are mine.
 The Frenzied SLPs
When The Frenzied SLPs relaunched, Speecharoo contacted us about their new app, Funny Directions.
What we like about Funny Directions:
* it's created by two SLPs
* fun graphics
* directions presented in several ways besides "touch the ____". For example, "Push over the sand castle" and "Pet the puppy"
* addresses 1-, 2- and 3-step directions
* cute sounds
* prompts - if a student misses the first direction, they are prompted to try again
* if a student misses the direction again, the object moves to prompt the student
* you can email results to yourself, and it gives a super-accurate picture of the student's performance

What we wish it had:
* a way to take turns to work with groups of students
* a way to store student data and track it over time

And - it's only $2.99! Speecharoo really wants to make your frenzied SLP life easier! And to make it even better, they are giving away a copy. Enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Look What I Am Excited About from the TpT BTS Sale

You still have time to shop at the awesome TpT Back to School Sale!
Remember to use the code BTS15 when you check out for additional savings.
I am sharing what I purchased today.
I am so excited to have Farley's 2, 4, 6, 8 Who Do We Appreciate? pack.
It is such an amazing time saver!
And Farley also gives so many creative ideas for appreciating students, parents and teachers.
I am already printing my first item from this pack as I type the blog post.

Melissa Dailey is such a talented photographer!
You may have seen her amazing photographs on her blog.
Now, you can purchase her photographs!
I am excited to own her first set of flowers.
I look forward to purchasing more photograph sets from Melissa.

We met Diane of Spreading Joy One Giggle at a Time in Vegas this summer.
I am so excited about her social stories.
First, I picked up We're Having a Lockdown Drill.
Diane was just wonderful explaining what was happening in kid-friendly language.
So, I went back on TpT to purchase Cafeteria Manners are Cool.

I love clip art!
Somehow I did not own Creative Clip's alphabet letters.
But, now I can say I have successfully added this pretty alphabet set
to my collection.
But, I did not stop there.

I love Melonheadz!
Boy, oh boy, is Nikki talented.
I cannot draw a stick figure.
I snatched up her Back to School Pack version 2
and Clubhouse combo packs.

Rebecca B Designs is quickly becoming one of my favorite stores.
I picked up three sets from Rebecca.
I purchased the Camera clip art (adorable, right?).
Check out all of these cool arrows.  
I just know that I will figure someway to use them soon.
And then, the Neon Backgrounds in Black ended up in my cart.

Last, but not least, I stopped off to shop for a little Whimsy Clips.

What did you buy at the TpT Sale?