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We are so excited to be taking over Target Teachers today! If that's new to you, Target Teachers is an Instagram account for educators who loooove Target - which should include about 98.9879% of you.

I'm always looking in the Target Dollar Spot for therapy activities. These inflatable dice looked like a lot of fun! I'll be sharing with you how to play a life-sized game with them, and it only takes about 7 minutes to set up (with 5 of those minutes being blowing up the dice)! So for about 2 minutes of prep and less than $10, I made a game that several of my students called "the best ever!"
Use inflatable dice and sidewalk squares to make the students themselves a game marker in speech and language therapy!
* inflatable dice - 4 10-inch dice come in the $5 pack from Target
* sidewalk chalk - the sidewalk chalk is also from Target - I bought it in the toy section. It has a holder for people who don't like sidewalk-chalk-dust fingers, like me.
* a clipboard for data pages
* cards for each student. All of my cards are on a binder ring. These artic cards are from Gold Country SLP. Each student was responsible for carrying and flipping through their own cards.

Optional: an IKEA cart to hold everything

To set up:
* go outside, use the existing sidewalk squares or hopscotch squares for game squares, and write START in the first block and END in the last block.

Seriously, it's that easy. I mean, you could go all out and decorate squares and add go forward and move back spaces, but it's not necessary. It would be really cute, but I only used START and END, and the game was a hit.

After a student practices a skill, the die is rolled and the student moves that many spaces forward. That's it. And the kids love being the actual game!

I did learn a few things.
1) One of the inflatable dice had a hole that I could never quite completely cover, so only 3 of the 4 dice worked. If this is a concern, buy more than one package of dice.
2) The dice are pretty round when blown up and do roll more than I thought they would.
2) The two days I did this were pretty windy. I ended up having the students toss the dice to me as I stood about a foot away. I twirled the dice, tossed it back, and whatever number their right thumb was on was the number they "rolled".
3) Of course, one student will roll all 6's and be the first one through. To slow that down, the students had to roll the exact number to get to the END. So if they were two spaces away and rolled a 4, they couldn't move and had to continue to take turns until they rolled a 1 or 2.
4) And to add to that, one student will be lucky and finish quickly. I had my students continue to take turns and give their rolls to another student. IDEA: You could use this for behavior, as in having the finished student give their roll to the quietest student, the one standing in their space the whole time, etc.
5) If you need to stretch out the game, students could move backwards. So if a student needs a 2 to get to the END and rolls a 4, they have to move BACK 4 spaces.

After we played the game, students wanted to play it again, said it was the best game all year, and asked to play it the next session. I sincerely hope this helps your students!
"Be nice to your secretaries and custodians."

That's my advice to every CF and grad student I've supervised.

It may seem weird. They are probably expecting pearls of wisdom about working with mixed groups, how to implement behavior management, or encouragement or affirmation.

And I  just toss out those words - "Be nice to your secretaries and custodians."

They are the words my own mother told me 23 years ago. They've held true.

Today, I'm focusing on the unsung heroes in schools - the custodians. They clean for not very much money. And they clean yucky stuff. That alone is enough to boost them up on the pedestal. They will do so much more for you. Last year, a glass-framed picture above my chalkboard fell to the floor. I don't know how. It was up when I left in the afternoon and then laying shattered on the floor when I returned the next morning. I went to borrow a vacuum. The custodian wouldn't give me her closet keys - instead, she left her breakfast post to vacuum for me. And when I forgot to take the frame home to try to fix it, another custodian fixed it for me and hung it back up. Custodians have our backs.
Here are 5 tips that don't cost anything and go a long way in establishing a relationship.

1) Learn your custodians' names

Say hello and good-bye with their names. Say "thank you" with their names. It's common courtesy, but it is so appreciated.

2) Show interest in the custodians

If I have their children or grandchildren, that's a powerful common bond. And it seems to mean a lot when I ask about their children who are older and are in secondary or even graduates.

3) Place the trashcan next to the door

If I have to set it closer to the other side of the room for an activity, I try to remember to move it back before trash pick-up. Seriously, they are emptying so many trashcans. I can try to make it a little easier for them.

4) Show the custodians respect in front of students

Point out how we need to use the rugs to clean our shoes so we can help keep the floors clean. Teach students the names of custodians as part of back-to-school or vocabulary activities. Say hello to the custodians in the hallways.

5) Share with the custodians

For example, I don't keep play-dough over the summer because it gets hot and melty. Instead, I offer it the custodians, who are usually more than willing to take it to their children and grandchildren. I learned sharing the hard way when I threw away an empty gift basket. I didn't think anything about it. The next day, the custodian approached me shyly with the basket and asked if she could have it. Now, after cleaning out my room at the end of the year, I keep a stash and give first dibs to the custodians before putting it in the "share pile."


If you work in a school, you know what I mean. If you are new, follow this rule. No questions. Even if you go to school when no one is there, you will be tracked down and become the subject of an email sent to the whole school. Even worse, you'll be on the custodians' bad list. You really don't want that.

And now, here's some kindness for you from the Frenzied SLPs! We are sharing kindness this month the way we know best! We have collaborated to create FREE materials for use with your students centered around a kindness theme. Target a variety of speech and language skills with these products!

Pronouns, Places and Possessives: Kindness focuses on friendships and working together in the classroom while also targeting pronouns, prepositions, and possessive /s/.
Check out The Frenzied SLPs Sharing Kindness Blog Hop for more freebies by starting at Talkin' with Twang.

 The Frenzied SLPs Kindness Blog Hop

To continue with the hop, click below to go to Speech Sprouts.

We graciously thank you for downloading and using these materials with your students/clients. If you would be so kind, please leave feedback in our TPT stores if you find a few spare moments!
SLP Commitments. They can be so overwhelming. IEPs, testing, therapy, supervision - the list goes on and on. And between the demands of my district, my schools, ASHA, my state requirements, and my own personal standards, I could be exhausted - and it's only January...

This year, I commit to NOT STRIVING FOR BALANCE. Huh? No balance? All work? Not exactly.

I've determined that balance does NOT exist. How can I work towards balance if I don't know what my end result should be?

I will follow all of the guidelines to the best of my ability. I will keep students and their needs first. I will do my best to make all timelines. I will strive to serve, treat, and comply. To clarify, I have an experienced and wonderful licensed assistant. My caseload is more than some of yours, less than others. It doesn't matter because it's what I'm assigned. And it's enough that I can roughly follow 8 hours of work, with some days being more. I refuse to take work home - I'll stay later at school - because home is home.

I'm not a perfect SLP, wife, mom or daughter or person. I can't be. I can try my best to live out this life God has given me. For me, life is not perfect balance. It's more real, some things happening more than others at different times. Instead of striving for balance, I'm going with God's will for my life. He's a lot smarter than me.

I can hear the bells.... 

The Christmas break school bells that is!

I must say, I LOVE this time of year! I love the excitement, activities and everything December entails. Over the past few weeks, my PreK team has been very busy little elves. To celebrate all of their hard work, I've gathered some goodies that I know they'll love. On Black Friday, Amy, Laura & I went shopping at Bath & Body Works. They had a buy 3 get 3 free special going on that made our teacher hearts very happy! Needless to say, we filled up several bags. 

I plan on giving my team, office staff and janitors Christmas scented soap with a very cute tag attached. The best part is.... I'm sharing to tag with you! Just click the image below to download this freebie: 

We have also put our ENTIRE store on SALE for two days! Head on over to our neck of the TPT woods to check out some great deals!

 Click on our logo to go to our store: 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and I am definitely running on caffeine and Christmas spirit. Stay strong my friends! The break is almost here!!!

When your coworkers are your friends, you like to treat them extra special at Christmas.

This year Laura, Lisa and I quickly dashed over to Bath & Body Works amazing buy 3, get 3 free sale on Black Friday.

We scored BIG time.

If Mint equals Joy for you, click here to download the tag.

Merry Christmas to All!

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