Amy grew up with ear infections. She had tubes placed in her ears so many times, she stopped counting  surgeries somewhere in the double digits. This morning at 8:30 CST, she is having day surgery to clean out her right ear in an effort to improve her hearing. If all goes well, she'll have another procedure. She doesn't know I'm doing this, but I know she would appreciate prayers that all goes well according to God's plan. Thank you.

Congrats to winner Kim C.B.!

Do you know Lindsey over at Word Nerd Speech Teach? She has wonderful ideas, so I was excited when we started communicating and she offered to share a few products. This year, I'm working with several 3rd-5th graders, so I was happy to receive Robotic Oxymorons and Over the Rainbow Figurative Language Pack. Disclaimer: These products were provided for free, but opinions are mine.

First up is Robotic Oxymorons:

The packet includes 24 sentences with oxymorons, like this one:
It also includes the same 24 sentences with multiple choices, which I love. If a student has difficulty answering a question, I like to offer choices, but it's sometimes hard to think of those on the fly.
And then there's a Wizard of Oz themed pack, Over the Rainbow Figurative Language! I always had a soft spot for the movie, and then I saw Wicked and just fell in love with the musical. This packet includes idioms, something I'm always trying to tie in.
Students can compare,
Match idioms,
and interpret proverbs.

Lindsey has done a wonderful job of creating functional materials, and she has also offered them for a giveaway. Make sure to visit Word Nerd Teach Speech, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
From Amy:
#1   I mentioned I was heading to San Antonio last Friday.   So, here is the reason behind the road trip....Michael Buble was in concert.    He was AH-mazing.   I know everyone says that after a concert.   But, Michael is quite the entertainer and singer.   Oh, and he is very easy on the eyes!

#2   I love a good feel good story.   I love even more when the underdog wins.   I love it when it is proven that hard pays off.   No wonder I love this story.    Congratulations to James Montgomery at Northwestern University!

#3   Here is where I will be this weekend.

I will be an attendee at the Texas Book Festival.   It is all about books this week and weekend for me!

From Laura:
#1 - I always love the 25th of the month because it's
#2 - It's snapshot week, which means all of my paperwork has to be in order. And we started a new system this year. Caffeine to the rescue!
#3 - October has a special meaning for me this month.

One year ago, I was two weeks into my medical leave after starting chemo on Oct. 15, 2012. I'm thankful for the care I received and thinking of those still fighting the battle.

#4 - Have you seen the wonderful resource list compiled by Jessica Chase at Consonantly Speaking?
She has listed 770+ blogs!!! Plus, there are tons of websites. Hurry, go there now! And be sure to give her a thank-you for all of her hard work!

This week focused on creepy crawly arachnids! Here's a peek:
My younger kids read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle and played The Busy Spider Game from Maria at Communication Station. The bucket is from Target's Dollar Spot and was perfect for this week! Students in Functional Academics and Life Skills used the choice board to identify icons. I just got a new computer - which I'm very thankful for - but my Boardmaker CD didn't work. So I went low tech and used Sticky-Tac to put the game pieces in a dry-erase pocket.

I found a spider web at Dollar Tree. The plastic spiders were barely glued on, so it was easy to separate them from the web. I taped the web onto white paper, and then we practiced putting the spiders ON the web, ABOVE the web, etc and then describing where the spiders were.

3rd-5th-graders worked on Spiders: Fact and Opinion from our store, All Y'all Need. In Texas, we use TEKS instead of Common Core, and Fact/Opinion is a big part of TEKS. The students took turns reading the cards to get in practice for artic and fluency, and then we discussed why the statement was a fact or opinion. Plus, there's a recording sheet for homework!
Most groups also made eight-eyed (!) spiders inspired by Thank God It's First. Students had jobs and had to communicate to each other to complete the project.

1) Get two sizes of black paper plates. I found sets of 20 for $1.50 at HEB. Staple the "head" to the "abdomen". Job #1 - stapler.
2) Use punches for the whites and pupils of eyes. I have circle punches from my scrapbooking days. The students had to punch out the circles as part of their job. Jobs #2 and #3 - punchers.
3) I eyeballed when I cut the strips, but they are approximately 6 inches by 1 inch. Students had to write artic or language words. It is perfectly permissible to use white crayons, but I used chalk. To prevent the chalk from smearing or rubbing off, we used a LIGHT COAT of Aqua Net, the smell of which brought about some descriptive language! Hey, I'm an 80s girl, and I like hair spray! Job #4 - sprayer.
4) Students glued the legs on. It is perfectly fine to staple the legs. The glue was kind of hard for some students because they got impatient holding the legs until the glue dried. Job #5 - gluer.
5) I wrote directions for home practice on the back.
Variations: Glue artic/language pictures on the ends of the legs or abdomen.

And, it turns out I wasn't the only one thinking spiders this week. Check out Kelly's post at Speech2U!

What did you do this week?
So, we were having a little celebration at school.    Well, it was a pretty big celebration.    It warranted cake.    A big cake.   The bakery messed up the saying on the cake.    The cake decorator changed it, but was perplexed what exactly the problem was.

Just for the record.....fiesta and siesta do not mean the same thing!

Even though, I might like a cake before I take a siesta.   It is more likely you will have a cake for a FIESTA.   Right?

It is a good thing a couple of teachers picked up the cake.   They were able to do a little afterschool tutoring at the bakery.  

After a few laughs, I remembered this website about cakes gone wrong.    Have you seen this website?   Cake wrecks?   Here a few goodies to enjoy.

Here is the cake that "started it all":

I guess sprinkles were not meant to be?

Well, I guess this one was recent:

Enjoy the day!   Maybe try to eat some cake today, too.

Our school district's theme this year is Daring Greatly from Theodore Roosevelt's speech. It's a wonderful speech, and my favorite part is how the credit should go to the person in the arena. A few things have happened lately that have made me question my attitude. My prayer for myself is that I'm the person in the arena as an SLP. And if I'm not in the arena, like when I'm a band parent or football fan, that I'm giving credit to those who are.
Through mutual friends, I saw this post from Jeremy Engelke, a coach in our area. He makes a good point about coaches, but I think some words could be substituted to fit SLPs, teachers and librarians, basically anyone in public education. Here are Jeremy's thoughts:


Until you've coached for a living and have watched hours of film, or opened the weight room on a summer morning, or pulled money out of your own pocket to feed a kid, or spent a night in an emergency room with an injured kid because his/her parents were out of town, or stood there in an operating room watching one of your players having an ACL repair, or agonized every single decision you made the entire week in preparation for a game you just lost by 1 point/run/goal then you don't know what it's like.

So think twice before you have a knee-jerk reaction to a win or a loss. Especially before you go onto a public forum like Facebook and call for someone’s job. Those men and women have families that see stuff like that. They have kids that go to the same elementary schools that yours do and the children of these coaches have to listen to their classmates repeat the ignorant stuff that their parents say at home about how much of an idiot the Coach is.

If you have a child on the team and you have a concern-voice it. If you approach a coach with a rational concern, it will be addressed or explained. You have the right to question the treatment of your child, but you do not have the right to question playing time, or team strategy. Ask questions like, “What does my son/daughter need to improve upon in order to help the team and earn more playing time?”

Another thing, listen to your child vent about their coach. Then follow it up with, “Have you talked to Coach ___ about this?” or “Why do you think you’re better than ________?” If a kid asks a question, he/she will get an answer. It might not be what they want to hear, but they will get an answer.

Everyone has the right to their own opinions and that’s fine. I have had the opportunity to be a part of athletic programs from 2A Marion High School all the way to Division I programs at Baylor and Texas State, heck, even spent the summer with the U15 & U17 National Football teams two summers ago. In all that time, I have only come across one coach that honestly couldn’t care less if his kids won or lost. One out of about 175-200 different coaches, trainers, team doctors, and equipment managers.

The people that do this job for a living care about kids. They work hard to put them in the best positions to be successful on and off the field/court/course. Before you call for their job…answer this question: Do you do as much for the kids in your community (wherever it is) than that man or woman does? Athletics is about so much more than wins and losses-it is about character development, dealing with pressure and adversity, and other life skills that can’t be taught/acquired anywhere else.

The funny thing is that they don’t let the Facebook posts and Tweets bother them, because they don’t work hard for the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else living vicariously through high school and junior high kids…they do it for the kids. They work 80-90+ hours a week for your kid. Hoping that the hours they spend away from their own families are helping to make YOUR kid a better part of YOUR family.

I have seen enough in the last few weeks from people that are calling for this man’s job or anyone else’s to last me a lifetime.

Thought I would tag some coaching friends of mine that deserve some recognition. These folks work hard and do things the right way. If you have something negative to say about any of them do it somewhere else because you won’t like the response you get from me. I promise.


It's hard sometimes, but keep the focus on the kids, and keep daring greatly!
From Amy:
#1  Rock the Frenzy Part 1
We joined up with our Speech Peeps.   Grab your 20 freebies in the Spooky Fun Frenzy!

Click on Spooky Fun Frenzy Map to access the map.
You will need to Open and Download the map.
If you save the map to your desktop, you can click on the links.

#2  Rock the Frenzy Part 2
Ok, so one Frenzy was not enough.   So, we joined up with Heather at Creation Castle for her October Frenzy.
Click on Frenzy Maps to access the maps of the FB Frenzy
You will need to Open and Download the maps.
If you save the maps to your desktop, you can click on the links.

#3  Going on a little road trip.   I'm headed here on Saturday......the beautiful Riverwalk of San Antonio.    Hope you have a great weekend, too!

From Laura:
#1 - Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Chips - Oh my! My mom trained me to like homemade goodies, but these refrigerated cookies smell good AND taste good! Picture is from The Holidaze, and check out their review!
#2 - Rain and a band contest - This weekend, we headed north to watch the Marching 100 in the DeSoto Classic. It rained all the way up and then again at the stadium just before the band went on. The Marching 100 finished 5th out of 10 bands in the finals - the highest they had ever finished before was 7th! We were excited. They compete against bigger bands with bigger budgets. Here's a short snippet of my favorite part:

And here's a picture of the rainbow after the front blew in:
#3 - And finally, one of my favorite quotes and a reminder to myself:

From Lisa:

#1 - Going Batty! 
This week, we've been studying bats. I found these adorable trays at Dollar General and they've perfect for batty addition! 

#2 - Pinktober!
I absolutely love October. Halloween, pumpkins, cooler weather, and breast cancer awareness. Pink is my signature color and I tend to stock up during October. I love walking into a store and seeing multiple aisles of pink. More importantly, I love how everyone is raising awareness and supporting a cause that's very dear to our family.  I'm extremely proud to support strong survivors like my aunt Emily and our very own Laura! :)

#3 - Laughter is the best medicine
While scrolling through Pinterest, I found this gem. The bigger closet and sugar daddy are most welcome! hehe  :)

This week brought a focus on bats! I was working on ARDs when my licensed assistant had the students hold out their arms to show them how big a wingspan can get. Holy Bat Wings! Luckily, the big ones live in Indonesia. I'll stay in Central Texas, where we are lucky enough to sometimes see the bats at McNeil Bridge swarm out. This summer, we got out of the car under the bridge and heard the bat noises - but mostly SMELLED the bats. I'll stick with viewing from afar! I haven't seen the largest city colony in Austin under the Congress Avenue Bridge, but maybe someday. A bat cruise sounds fun!

On to therapy:
My 3rd-5th graders read Stellaluna aloud. Then, they read the Fact/Opinion cards to each other. Lots of artic practice! And Fact/Opinion is a big deal in TEKS.

My Life Skills students fed items to the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat and then made snack bats. We used hand-over-hand to color the clothespins and glue on the eyes. Students had to request the items and the cereal in the baggie. Materials from the book are from Speech Room News. There are lots of companions for this book, but I thought the manipulatives were good for my Life Skills students.

My Functional Academics students also did the same book and made clothespin bats from the Therapy Links series. I love these books because we can do a craftivity and I can send home the directions page for homework.

How do you celebrate bats?
After Amy read this to PK today,
they said, "Thanks for the show!" She's such a good storyteller.
Here is my all-time favorite Halloween story to read.   I must read it every year.    It never gets old.    I love it!

 I am sharing a few other books I will be reading to get into the Halloween mood.    

My school does celebrate Halloween.    I teach at a primary school.    We do not do scary or creepy.     We do not make anyone participate.     We talk about a lot safety.    We have a schoolwide parade.   The teachers dress up.   The kids dress up.    The principals really get into the dress up!    The neighborhood comes to participate because we are a small town.    On Halloween,  there is major dancing.   Lots of laughter.     And of course, story time!

Hope you have some favorite books to read this time of year.
Have a wonderful day,


We are ready for a little Columbus Day information celebration.    Our Informative Reader's Theater unit is in available in our TpT Store.  
I have training on Monday with my library peeps.    I love meeting with my librarian friends in our newly renovated high school library.   It will be a great Monday.
My neighbor's have this decoration in their yard.    It's a blow-up Hallo-Wiener!    So stinkin' cute.   It makes me smile every time I see it.
I started wearing my little Jack-O-Lantern charm this week.   I got it with Lisa when we were in Las Vegas.   I am just happy I remembered I had it before December!   It is a proud moment for me.

Have a Fun Friday!   And Happy Columbus Day!

From Lisa: During morning message, I used a green Expo marker from last year. The pom pom that is glued to the end has definitely seen better days. When the kiddos saw the marker, one kiddo said, "What's up with that marker's crazy hairdo?!?"
Where would you live if you could?
I mean anywhere.
Like the sky is the limit.
You are not worrying about rent, mortgage, restrictions, responsibilities or your real life.
If you could pick anywhere.

Maybe here?   It's a castle.    It's called Castle Farms in Michigan.  
Or here?   On the beach in beautiful, sunny Hawaii.....
Or  maybe you would like to see this every evening?
Or maybe you like an old, Southern town like Savannah?
What about this?   The Big Apple.....the city that never sleeps.
Is Chicago the city for you?
What about Austin?    It's close to my heart.   And Deep in the Heart of Texas.....
So, how about dreaming big.    Like here?   There is rumored to be a secret door that takes you to a knock-your-socks-off suite of rooms for the rich and famous.    
If I have to move out of Texas, first I would go into shock.    Love my home state.    

Then, I would pick this place.   Because I am a nerd.   Because it is beautiful.    Because I would just feel smart if I could call this place home.    I would have so much to see, do and read.    And it smells like books.   
And, surely I could read in here.   Since I live here and all :-)
And I could examine Thomas Jefferson's collection, after closing time.
And they have a cool ceiling!   No reason to remodel :-)
Did you guess?    My place?
Do you have your own place?
Well, it was nice to think about.
But, there is no place like home. 
Dorothy was one smart girl.....with a pretty cool pair of shoes.

Have a wonderful day!

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