This was the second year I used the "post-it" method of scheduling. There are several variations, but a sharp-eyed licensed assistant shared a post from Speaking of Speech with me, and I thought it was a great idea.

Other places to look:

I drew a very imperfect grid on my chalkboard, filled in spaces for lunch and walk-ups, and left the other spaces blank. I sent out a letter to each teacher who has a speech/language student and explained the process. The e-mail went out on Tuesday, the second day of school, for Thursday scheduling. I have to turn in a schedule by Friday and start seeing students next week, so I let teachers know that, and most are very understanding even though they are still working out their own schedules. 

When the teachers walk in, the speech groups are listed on post-its. Scheduling is painful, but I try to ease that with breakfast treats. This year, my wonderful mom made blueberry and apple-cinnamon muffins.
Here's a close-up of the time sections:
I arrived at school at 6:45. That's 6:45 a.m. Duty starts at 7:10, and I wanted everyone to have a fair chance at picking times. The first post-it is from 5th grade. They really put a lot of thought into their time because one of the students has a lot of services. The second post-it is from a kindergarten teacher who was already at school and followed me into my room to claim her time.

This is what the schedule looked like after lunch:
It's mostly filled in, but I have four more teachers to schedule with. Right now, I'm pretty happy because the schedule gives me time to work with my CFY and room to grow. That is not always the case.

I do have to point out that I have the support of my principal and assistant principal in doing the schedule this way. They saw how easy it went last year.

The benefit is that the teachers get to see the overall schedule, not just their students. Also, they get to pick the times which helps out with communication. Everyone was very accommodating, and there were very few instances where the first-choice time was taken.

And on an unrelated note, I have to share this product with you. It's called mavalus tape, and my sister and cousin introduced me to it. The tape is strong but doesn't pull paint off the walls. It's worth a try!

I'm starting my 20th year as an SLP, but I didn't always know I wanted to be an SLP. Way back in the day, my mom took me to the Texas Tech clinic because she was the only one who could understand me. My parents remember exercises to make my lips and tongue stronger. I can only guess that I probably had final consonant deletion or blend reduction or both.

When I moved up to 4th grade and Intermediate School, I still wasn't saying my /r/ sounds. I remember going to speech therapy during social studies with another boy. There were picture card decks, and we often earned points to throw beanbags through a big board with a picture of a clown juggling empty holes. At one point, the boy learned how to say /r/, and the speech therapist asked me why I wasn't saying it like he did. I thought I was.

At some point, I actually heard the difference and asked my parents to discriminate my productions of /r/ words. I was dismissed at the beginning of 5th grade.

In college, I majored in journalism and became a copy editor. I met my husband, Jim, a sportswriter. We decided that working from 3 p.m. till midnight would not be conducive for a family. Jim had gotten a teaching certificate at his parents' insistence and got hired as the journalism teacher at the high school. I decided to go back to college. Truth be told, I was a little jealous of the summers off my mom and sister had, but I didn't want to be a teacher. Communication disorders seemed to be the way to go.

Now, I can't imagine doing anything else. What's your story? Why did you become an SLP?

                                                    Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Mark Teague is one of my favorite authors, and I love "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" for starting out my groups. Tomorrow will be the first day with students, the first week will be full of finding where students are and enrolling new ones, and therapy groups will start the next Monday.

My first group sessions are usually pretty informal. First thing is to review the rules. Students can decorate their incentive charts while we talk about what they did last year and goals for this year. Then, we will start sharing summer vacation experiences. I'll bring out this book and activities during the second session of the week.

Because we won't spend a lot of time on this book, this plan is actually more of a mini-unit than the full package deal, so All Y'all Need is offering it as a freebie! Click here to get the download. I realize many of you have already started school, but I'm operating on Texas time. If you like it, go ahead and download now and enjoy being very far ahead for the next school year!

I promise the graphics are not blurry like the picture above. Can anyone tell me why my pins are showing up like this? I've updated Adobe.
My family on the first school day of 2011. They are so thrilled I still make them take a picture!

In Texas, most first days of school are Aug. 27 this year. That's because our Legislature determined that earlier starts interrupted tourism and summer work jobs. I have been reading blogs where teachers are back in the full swing of things, so I feel like I'm a little behind, but I'm really not. At least not yet!

I discovered several years ago that schools - and I - operate on cycles. Eventually, it hit me that we have to start thinking about the next school year early in the second semester, that it happened every year, and that I forgot every year. Although I won't have a schedule next week, I still need to write down some of the things that happen every year.

My list for next week is rather generic, but I hope it will help me plan ahead. One note - Texas has ARDs - Admission, Review and Dismissal - which is our term for IEP meetings.

Aug. 27-31
Finish making student lists for each grade to find out teachers and who has moved
Call parents/previous schools to verify services for new students
Expect parent phone calls requesting speech/language testing
Check on current/ new students as needed
Set up transfer ARDs
Expect 1-2 unintelligible kindergarteners
Attend transfer ARDs for students who are not speech-only
Work with CFY

Everyone is on duty before and after school

Early morning duty
Medical appointments

E-mail teachers about scheduling
Bake muffins to give to teachers on Thursday morning

Arrive early - before 7 a.m.! - to schedule

Plan everything for next week
Medical appointment

You may have noticed medical appointments on my calendar. I invite you to visit this page if you would like further information. I am usually a private person, and it is difficult for me to share on a blog, but I have felt the power of prayer like never before, so there you go... My posts in the future will probably decrease and be more sporadic, but I do intend to keep going!

What is on your first-week list? Or, if you've already started school, what happened that you didn't expect?

Finally, I am ready to post the "after" pictures of the speech room! Click here to go to the middle. Here's the view upon entering. And please excuse the blurry pictures...

Last year, the desk was to the immediate left upon entering, and the file cabinets and big metal storage cabinet were all next to each other. It was important to me that the table where the students work is the first thing, so I moved it closer to the door. To the immediate left now is a big metal storage cabinet, so I broke up all the putty-colored metal stuff.

A look around the room, moving left to right. I covered the storage cabinet with fabric from Hobby Lobby, laminated border and personal Disney pictures..

A view of the corner. The Super Duper decks are on book binder rings in visible pockets. The plastic drawers are lined.

I found the buckets at the Dollar Spot at Target and proceeded to use the "sticker sneeze" method of covering them with year.o.graphy stickers.

Here is a view of the red wall. Students' sticker charts will fill up the space in the brown border.

The chalkboard wall with vocabulary and dry-erase speech bubbles:

My desk. The top part is a screen divider from The Container Store. All those bright pink notes are new students I have to verify services for. Yikes!
The old bookshelf that was in my kids' nursery. It's been painted 3 times. My daughter thought it was boring, so she added leopard-print duct tape.
I hot-glued ribbon on the edges, but that wasn't enough for her.
 The whole thing:
Back to right behind the door - the Wall of Fame that students get to sign when they are dismissed.
Thanks for looking!


All Y'all Need is in a back-to-school giving spirit! We've also joined up with Tammy from 1 2 3 Teach with Me. She has reached 400 followers! Tammy is also a creative soul - check out Dots of Fun. Whew - two blogs and she's giving away prizes? She might need an award! I used her digital paper for a fun project here. The winner of the giveaway gets 20 items of their choosing from various TpT stores. That would be a great back-to-school prize! Good luck!
Patti at A Series of 3rd Grade Events has reached 300 followers - yay! -  and is having a giant giveaway to celebrate! All Y'all Need has joined in with our Turkey Time: Language Focus and Literacy Centers for Thanksgiving, an $8 value. The BIG prize is worth #131, and you can have up to 57 entries! So head on over and check out the super creative blog from a fellow Texas teacher!

#49? My contract officially starts on Monday. I am beginning to think that 50 pins might be my accomplishment this summer rather than 60.

Okay, so here's my latest project, framed letters for Jim's office. The SBMS are the initials of his school.
Here is what I wanted to do. I just keep going back to this pin from Dittle Dattle:
                          Source: via Laura on Pinterest
I miscalculated and took Jim to IKEA on a Saturday. I also didn't tell him my plan until we were at the curtain rods department. Our afternoon went something like this:

At IKEA, we rubbed shoulders with a few new friends.
Me: Oh look - curtain rods!
Jim: I need to pull out of the fast lane.
Me: This rod is perfect! What ends do you want?
Jim: Huh? Whatever you like. What is this for?
Me: The big space above the desk in your office.
Jim: Oh. How are you making this?
Me: I'm going to frame the letters SBMS and hang them from the curtain rod.
Jim: How are you going to hang them?
Me: With ribbon!
Jim: I'm a guy. Can you use something else?
Me: No.

More walking until we finally get to frames.
Me: These will be perfect for the Mary Poppins quote!
Jim holds up bright red Tolsboy frames for 99 cents: Can we use these in my room instead?
Me: It won't be in proportion. You have a big space.
Jim: Please?
Me: Okay.

At home, I started looking at the frames. I had already decided to use chevron paper as the background, but Michael's didn't have any. It was 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night, and Hobby Lobby closes at 8 p.m. and is closed on Sunday. That's when I decided to try digital paper. I used my new resource, Teachers pay Teachers, and found this cute packet from Tammy Ferrell's store.

I'm not sure if this is how it's done, but after a quick download, I enlarged the pattern to a 6 x 8 square, printed it out onto two pages of card stock, trimmed the paper to 4 x 6 squares, and framed. So easy! Then, I used the Billionaire Cricut cartridge to cut 3-inch letters, inked them, glued them down, and had four done frames in about 30 minutes!

Here's a close-up of the M:
I just love how easy it was to complete this project with digital paper. Check out Tammy's Blog at 1 2 3 Teach with Me  and her cute clip art at Dots of Fun, where she's having a giveaway! Disclaimer - I don't know Tammy, although she seems very nice and super creative - in other words, I was planning on showing this project anyway and she is not paying me or anything. Just another great resource!

                                            Source: via Laura on Pinterest

I want to share another resource I found this summer, Teachers pay Teachers. A disclosure - I am the first L in the ALL of the All Y'all Need Store. I just want you to know that upfront. But what I really want to share is that Teachers pay Teachers, or TpT as it's known, is a great resource for SLPs.

What is TpT? My sister Amy (the A in ALL) and my cousin Lisa (the second L in ALL) introduced me to the site over spring break and then again this summer. TpT is described as an "open marketplace". It is an online store, not a brick-and-mortar location. Teachers sell lessons in downloads on current topics and themes. It is not a place to sell instructional materials we don't use anymore. Purchases come in the form of downloads - just click, download, open, and print!

I am always amazed at the variety of materials available and the reasonable prices. You know how we are always making stuff? Sometimes at the last minute? What if we could pay a few dollars, the dollars you would spend on materials, and make it even more efficiently?

For example, I am now in love with glyphs. I love how students can work on following directions, sequencing and target artic sounds and so much more. Then, I usually record the students telling their story on the iPad and we talk about it in regards to their objectives. I love this Pirate Glyph by Glyph Girls. For $5, the patterns and key are a great deal for me. And check out their current free download, a cute Back to School Pencil.

Wanna know SLPs on TpT? Take a look at these Pinterest boards - mine and Consonantly Speaking's. It's free to register for TpT and follow stores. Active sellers include: Jenna Rayburn, Consonantly Speaking (all free downloads!), chalk talk speech therapy, and SLP Gone Wild (Crazy Speech World). And, of course, our little store.

And some more notes from my Bossy Firstborn side. If you like something, take a few seconds to rate it. Sellers really appreciate that. I wouldn't buy a low-rated or no-rated book from Amazon, and the same thing applies to TpT. People use the ratings as guides.

I hope that gives you another place for ideas!

Graphics From the Pond    
To everyone who shopped at our store over the big two-day sale - THANK YOU! You're inspiring us to plan and create more! From All Y'all Need at TpT
No, you're not seeing double. This summer, during the week of July the 4th of all times, my Special Ed. Director e-mailed everyone about the upcoming staff meeting tomorrow. The theme is something along the lines of "favorites", and we are all supposed to bring in 2 identical items of something we can't live without. The budget is $5. I don't know if that's $5 an item or $2.50 an item, but I'm cheap, so I'm going with $5 total.

My first thought was..... PENS! I mean, who couldn't use more pens? I go through tons of black and blue pens (apparently blue pens prevent forgery). But if there's anything I've learned this summer from my daughter, my sister Amy, my cousin Lisa, and the tons of creative bloggers and pinners, it's NOT to be boring. And I would put pens on the boring list.

My second thought was..... PAPER CLIPS! We are fortunate to have clerks who process all of our paperwork. That means they copy, mail to parents, and scan in forms. Our clerks love paper clips because they don't have to take out staples and reattach. The clerk I work with is very particular about paper clips. She prefers the plain metal kind, although I've snuck in some pretty plastic colors. When I tried the shaped paper clips, like dog bones, she collected them and brought them back to me. Are you snoring yet?

My third thought was..... IBUPROFEN! Everyone has one of those days, and I thought I could get some little bottles for the right price. 

My fourth thought was...... MAGNETS! I love mighty magnets from the Container Store. They hold everything! But at around $13/package, I'm only buying those for me.

My fifth thought was........ SONIC! We have 3 Sonics within our district, so people traveling often come in with Sonic cups. I'm sure my local Sonic would give me two large cups, and then I could put in $2 in each cup.

But what I finally stuck with was Mary Poppins. My cousin Lisa found some FREE Disney quotes and made this very cute frame:
I thought the quote was perfect for some of our paperwork tasks, I love Mary Poppins - the movie and musical, and Disney goes along with me. I'm happy. The quote is from a girl with a glue gun. Go see the rest of the cute things she has!

I think I have something fairly unique, at least more than pens, something that will make people smile every once in a while, and something that reflects my personality. I just printed off the quote on card stock and framed. The hardest part was fighting IKEA crowds on a Saturday!

So here's my question: What is something, or two things, that you can't live without? I'm looking forward to hearing your answers! I think we could all learn from each other.

Also, don't forget about the big sale at Teachers pay Teachers today and tomorrow. All of our products at All Y'all Need are 20% off, plus use the code BTS12 at check-out for an additional discount. Stock up on speech/language checklists, bulletin boards, and units!

                                              Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Just a reminder - Teachers pay Teachers is running a big sale starting tomorrow. Everything in our store All Y'all Need is marked 20% off! That includes ALL of the Turkey Time units we introduced just yesterday!

SLPs - the 70+ Thanksgiving unit with speech/language activities will be $7.20, 20% off the $9 price. Plus, use the code BTS12 at check-out to get an additional discount for a 28% overall savings! TpT has 3 big sales per year, and this is one. Get your unit now and be prepared later!


Sorry for yelling, but I'm bouncing around like a baby monkey on a sugar rush!

All Y'all Need is proud to announce the posting of Turkey Time!
Turkey Time is a thematic unit for Thanksgiving using the book I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson and illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner. Turkey Talk is designed for K-2. The thematic units are what prompted the ALL in our title - Amy, Laura (me) and Lisa - to start All Y'all Need, and I'm so, so, so excited to see it posted!

SLP's - keep scrolling down to see our unit with examples and pictures.

First, we have the whole enchilada, Turkey Time: Craft, Glyph, Literacy Centers, Math Centers and Social Skills. Yeah, we might have gone overboard with 130+ pages, but you won't run out of activities! This includes all the literacy, speech and math activities for the unit. It's $15.

In this pack, you get:
-November Facts & Calendar Highlights
-Book Suggestions for Thanksgiving
-Writing Focus: phonological awareness, syllable counting & sentence construction
-Craft: Make Your Very Own Turkey
-Glyph & Data Analysis to go with adorable Turkey Craft
-Whole Group Teaching Ideas: autumn actions (to get your kids moving with action words) & teaching humor with Thanksgiving jokes
-Quick checks for understanding: a great sorting activity involving Foods I like & Foods I Do Not Like
-Social Skills Lesson: taking turns talking during conversation

5 activities to go with our featured book: prediction page, graphing activity, cause/effect activity, comparative illustrations, and story element cards

5 literacy centers:
sentence construction differentiated for K, 1st and 2nd grades
Granny Card Game
Noun Verb Sorting Game
Sequencing: What Granny Ate
Poetry Center

4 math centers: all with recording sheets
odd and evens
doubling numbers
fact families

This is worth your time to look at! This is a savings of $6! If you purchased our three other Thanksgiving units, individually, you would pay over $21
With this packet you get:
-our I Know An Old Lady Speech & Language Packet ($9)
-our Turkey Time Literacy Unit ($8)
-our Turkey Time Math Unit ($4.50 )
and lots unique activities just to this packet!

Don't need the WHOLE thing? Take a look at separate parts.

                                                 Source: via Laura on Pinterest

60 printable pages for your classroom!!! Hands-on activities, resources and whole group instruction ideas are included. Whole group activities and centers are included in this unit. It's $8.

5 activities to go with our featured book, I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
-prediction page
-graphing activity
-cause/effect activity
-comparative illustrations
-story element cards

5 literacy centers:
-sentence construction differentiated for K, 1st and 2nd grades
-Granny Card Game
-Noun Verb Sorting Game
-Sequencing: What Granny Ate
-Poetry Center

                                                 Source: via Laura on Pinterest

 36 printable pages for your classroom. Hands-on activities are included. $4.50.

4 math centers: all with recording sheets
odd and evens
doubling numbers

fact families
                                        Source: via Laura on Pinterest

This is the speech/language section. It's my second-favorite unit. The big Turkey Time is my favorite! The pack is $9.

In this pack, you get 75 pages of fun!!!!!!

-A fabulous unit focused on the children's book: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
- Grade-level lists of speech words and language concepts from the book

-Manipulative sentences differentiated for Kg, 1st and 2nd

-Cause and Effect Game: Tummy Ache to work on sequencing
-Story Elements Cards
-Make Your Own Turkey Craft

-Glyph to go with Turkey Craft

-An open-ended game for up to 8 students, great for targeting individual objectives within the group
-Joking Around: Teaching Humor with Thanksgiving jokes
-Vocabulary Development: Thanksgiving Talk graphic organizers
-It's My Turn to Talk - ideas to work on social skills for Thanksgiving

Here are a couple of examples so you can see some of the activities included.

One of my favorites is an open-ended game, What Granny Ate.
The set includes granny pictures and food items for a group of up to 8 students. Each student gets a granny and then draws food items after taking turns with objectives. Great for targeting individual goals within a group!

My other favorite is manipulative sentences. Each sentence has at least 2 versions, and most have 3. Let me show you.

This is the basic sentence, the old lady swallowed the pie. Sight/Dolch words are written out, and other words have graphics. The student can arrange the sentence...

 and then add punctuation with the editing fixes. Here, it's capitalization and a period.

The sentence can be changed from 'The old lady swallowed the pie" to "The old lady swallowed some cider".

The sentence can also be changed to other things the old lady swallowed using the replacement cards. Here, the sentence is "The old lady swallowed the pot".

All of the swallowed items are included!

The second version of the sentence is arranged in passive voice, "The pie was swallowed by the old lady".

And the third version is the challenge sentence with words only for the original sentence, "The old lady swallowed the pie".
There are 10 sentences, all with similar variations, for Kg and 1st. Imagine how many sentences you can make with these cards! And how many artic sounds can be addressed!

For 2nd grade, the sentences are written words only. This sentence says, "The old lady swallowed some cider and a thanksgiving pie". I just noticed I forgot the capitalization for "thanksgiving", but it's in the packet.
Rearrange the sentence to make "The old lady swallowed a thanksgiving pie and some cider".
There are 5 of these sentences to combine and arrange in many different ways.

I hope you'll take a look. It's our first big product, and if you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at

Don't forget that ALL of items, including these packets, will be 20% off at the big TpT sale Aug. 12 -13. Use the code BTS12 to take an extra discount at check-out! Thanks from All Y'all Need!

TpT is having a big sale this weekend, and Cassandra at Adventures in Room 5 has started a linky party to share what's in everyone's wish list.

The rules are to share 3-4 items in my wish list, so here goes.

1. Fall Scarecrow Glyph by Glyph Girls, $4. I discovered glyphs last Christmas, and I am in love with them for speech/language therapy. Glyphs cover following directions, sequencing, artic sounds, requesting, and my favorite - having the students tell the story about their glyph and videoing them on the iPad for feedback. The scarecrows will be perfect for fall, which will be sometime in late October here in Texas!

2. Ladybug Collection by The Library Patch, $3. I just think the set is darling and bright.

3. Galaxy Grammar by SLP Gone Wild, $3.25. I don't have a lot of space-themed things, but this is cute and would be a good addition for the spring semester.

4. Cowboy Up with Categories by chalk talk speech therapy, $2. The cowboy theme is perfect for Texas!

What are you planning on buying? Go here to link up!

TpT is having a great Back to School Sale, and All Y'all Need is participating! We're marking every item 20% off, plus use the code BTS12 at check-out to get another discount!

Bulletin Board Sets
SLPs - if you still need a speech/language touch for your room, bulletin board sets will be $1.60. The sets are designed to go with popular themes. We have Camping, Owls, Groovy, Behavior Incentives, Wall of Fame, and Superheroes.

Speech/Language Checklists
SLPs - ever have teachers stop you in the middle of the hallway and ask you to listen to a student the first week of school?

Teachers - ever want your SLP to see your kid immediately? 

The PK, Kg, 1st and 2nd grade checklists are perfect to hand out to teachers to get some information OR for teachers to give to SLPs. The packages are usually $2 each and are $1.60 each for this sale. The checklists give you basic information on artic, language, voice and stuttering, plus pages for documentation. Go to Pre-Kg, Kindergarten, 1st Grade or 2nd Grade.

Subway Art
Don't forget about the FREE subway art for public school SLPs while you're there! We have several free downloads in colors and black and white.

Plus library and classroom subway art will be just 80 cents! Art comes in bright and primary colors and black & white.


Speech Bubbles for Vocabulary Development, usually $2,  will be $1.60.

One more thing - ever set up your schedule, go to find the student, and the whole class is missing? Consider getting these Where Are We? Cards for your teachers.

Thanks for looking at our store!
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