Congrats to winner Heather B!

Another busy week, but a fun weekend - details later - all come together to prevent me from trying a new recipe. But, that just means a giveaway! Amy has updated our Veterans Day Pack and put it on sale for $7 - it's usually $10 for 100+ pages!
The pack includes literacy, math and SLP  activities.

We also have the Veterans Day unit broken down for SLPs, ELA, and math if you don't need the whole package. We're offering this giveaway now so you'll have plenty of time to prepare! Thanks for taking a look, and good luck!
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Disclaimer: The Word Vault app was provided to me but opinions are mine.

Have you heard of Word Vault? I hadn't until last week, but I have given it quite a workout in the one week I've had it!

Word Vault comes from Home Speech Home, which is run by Luke and Hollie, two SLPs. Word Vault provides TONS of words that are practical for therapy for articulation, apraxia, phonological processes, language, and social. Interested yet? Let's take a look.
Here is the home page. Simple. So easy to use while doing therapy. The bottom tool bar give options for Home, using multiple screens within the app, emailing, information about Word Vault, and my favorite, the question mark for telling me what all of my options are. Have I mentioned that I am very much a digital immigrant? I love this directory.
Articulation Vault/Phonology Vault:
The Articulation Vault has 87 (!) word lists, and I can look by sound, syllable, or position! Within this level are even more levels, all the way from syllable to conversation. And a really cool feature? Just use the mail button at the bottom to email the list to parents! Super easy communication!

My first favorite part of the Articulation and Phonology Vaults is how they address apraxia. Apraxic students seem to be on the increase in my district, so I am happy to have more resources. Word Vault contains tons of vowel lists, nonsense syllables, and multisyllabic word lists.

My second favorite part of the two vaults is the minimal word pairs section, particularly the w/r list. Minimal pairs were becoming popular when I started as an SLP, and I still find value in them.
My third favorite part is how the lists use IPA symbols because I'm geeky like that.

Language Vault:
The Language Vault has 22 sections. I love the categories because I've started working on vocabulary more in categories than single-word use. My favorite part of the Language Vault is Directions. I have such a hard time going beyond, "Clap your hands and touch your nose", and Directions has sections for 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-step directions, plus a set of conditional directions (If you like school, clap your hands). I see the directions being a super time-saver for me! My previous option was flipping through pages of HELP books. This is so much easier. Here's a sample of the lists:
And then, there's also a Social Vault!
I haven't used this one as much in the week I've had the app, but I see a lot of use in the future, especially with Idioms.

After only one week, I am loving Word Vault! It is easy enough for me to look up lists while doing therapy, and there are enough lists to cover almost everything my students are working on! I don't have to refer to and go through all my HELP books and card decks to find words I need. It's super easy to use, and I am not a technology person. And yes, the price at $9.99 can cause some gulps, but it's a bargain compared to ordering everything in hard product form. Word Vault is a must-have for SLPs!

Yep, it's Thursday Therapy on Saturday. Long week. This week was Apples Week. We read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, tasted red, green and yellow apples with cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel, played a fruits and vegetables game, and worked on requesting tissue paper squares to glue into an apple shape.

The theme for the week of Sept. 30 is Leaf Week. We don't get many of the beautiful fall colors on our trees here in Central Texas, but that doesn't stop me from loving all the colors! Here's a peek at activities:
The book my primary students and FA and LS students will be working from is Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. I'm using two games I've had for - e - ver from Linguisystems' Games to Go - Rake 'Em Up and Locate the Leaves. These units prove that lamination is worth the effort because they are going strong after 20 years! These groups will probably be requesting and gluing tissue paper squares onto a tree shape, too.

Elementary students will be doing Autumn Write & Say the Room, Rake 'Em Up, and leaf jokes from Fall Funnies.

What are your plans for the upcoming week?

From Amy:
I am totally addicted to clip art.   Are you in the club with me?    I have lots of favorite places to get my clip art.    But, if I had to pick just one artist right here, right now to recommend..................Krista at The Creative Chalkboard:

I am happy to see the return of "Dancing with the Stars".    I have never heard of some of these supposed stars.   But I do not care.   I just like to see the dancing.    I have no, zip, nada dancing abilities of my own.    If forced, I quietly say, "I am Baptist.   We don't dance".   The total truth is....I do not know how to dance, I am totally uncoordinated, and I never want to learn to dance.    Well, saying all that just seems harsh.  Currently, I don't have a particular dance team that is my favorite.   I'll have to keep watching :-)
And, just to show how much of a nerd I am.    My last Friday Fave is World Book Online
It is easy and simple.    I use it for just about everything to look up with the sweeties.    I don't even want to tell you how old the encyclopedia books are at school.    Can we say outdated?

From Laura:
It's finally fall in Central Texas! And by that, I mean temps in the 90s, which I am loving. Alas, fall also means the return of cedar fever. Thanks goodness for nasal spray!
HEB's Turkey Cranberry Salad is awesome! I love having a carton around to eat on the days everyone else is busy. If you don't have an HEB, Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange has a copycat recipe. Here's her picture:
From Lisa:
I just got back from my cousin's wedding in Lexington, Kentucky. Although I missed my kinder babies, I LOVED Lexington! Weekend getaways are wonderful!! While in Kentucky, we toured The Woodford Reserve Distillery, went shopping, drove around looking at horse farms, and visited Keeneland. This West Texas girl was very happy to see green grass and rolling hills! haha 

The Voice! So glad The Voice is back. Adam, I've missed you. :) 

Tuesday Talk

Just wanted to say congratulations to the bride and groom, Megan and Kyle!
They married on Saturday in Kentucky.   I am sending them best wishes from Texas!
Welcome to the family, Megan.    We love you both!

Now, it time to read irresponsibly!    Yes, it is Banned Books Week this week.     I know this poster is old, but it's my favorite.   I love seeing Lady Liberty reading.    

I thought y'all might enjoy this list.   Be sure to read the reasons for banned books.

Have a wonderful first official week of Autumn,
This post is NOT a quick weeknight meal. But it is a recipe I tried and want to share because - no lie - this is my favorite pork chop recipe of all time! Yep, you read that right. I usually don't go to extremes, but Tender Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples and Onions from Mel's Kitchen Cafe has just become a staple for my family.
Maybe it doesn't look like much. Just give it a try. I found it because I was craving something with Granny Smith apples now that our temperature only hit the 70s today and felt like fall. I found it with a Google search.

Confession: pork chops aren't my favorite. I'd much rather use a recipe with shredded deli chicken. But I had time on a Saturday, which is a good thing, because these babies cook for 3 hours! And they are worth every minute. They are so tender that we didn't even need knives. My husband and teen daughter volunteered that they would eat the pork chops again before I even asked.

The Good: I love the combo of pork chops, yellow onions, and Granny Smith apples. It just shouts FALL to me. Mashed potatoes is the perfect side. The meat falls off the bone. It's super easy to assemble.

The Bad: The 3-hour cooking time. It's going to be hard to do this on a weeknight. But I think it could be assembled, covered and refrigerated the night before, and if I ever got home on time, I could stick it in the oven and then forget about it till time to eat.

Summary: Try Tender Pork Chops as soon as you can! This will definitely go in our meal rotation!

From Amy:

#1  Have you seen this?   Kid President is just cool, so cool.

#2   We are very happy to be participating in Creation Castle's FB Fall Frenzy
Click on our Facebook Page and Like Us to get the Freebie.   Then, go to the next stop.   It's a great time to grab lots of freebies.   A quick peek at our freebie below :-)
#3  Want a treat?  First math, then yum time.    Candy corn + M&Ms +white chocolate = Halloween Happiness

From Laura:
#1 - Another forecast! Rain and temperatures in the 80s! Well, for a few days, anyway. I'll take it!

#2 - Another sign of fall - Autumn Mix!
#3 - Steven Curtis Chapman. We've been waiting (not so) patiently to see who our narrator will be at the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and it's SCC! We are big fans and so excited! Here's a picture of him with my daughter from our 2008 trip to Disney World.
From Lisa:
#1 50 ClassDojo Points for You!!! 
A precious kinder kiddo said the sweetest thing. We were reading Plaidypus Lost and my kiddos had never seen a pin cushion or handmade stuffed animal. The next day, I brought my grandmother's pin cushion and one of her bears that she used to make. As I passed them around the circle I said, "Please use gentle hands. These items are very special to me." One of precious babies said, "I'm going to hug it and give it a kiss. If it's precious to you Miss F, then it's precious to me." Talk about making my heart melt!!!!

#2 Name Pennants! 
We have been working our names in kinder like crazy. I used Cara Carroll's adorable name pennant idea from her "Say My Name" unit. I sent it home as a family project and the kiddos absolutely loved it! I was very impressed with the end result. Now, if only I could get rid of that TV. It's in the way of a very cute bulletin board! haha

This week, my students learned about Constitution Day with a couple of books, Arthur Meets the President by Marc Brown and Duck for President by Doreen Cronin. Activities included an Informative Reader's Theater, an Ask Away Activity, and a Wh- game. I used Speech2U's Flip Flap book along with the game so that students could write their answers and then either practice artic sounds or make sentences at home.
Preschool, FA, and  Life Skills students made a flag out of big and little craft sticks based on this one from Enchanted Learning. We used crayons, though, instead of paint. I learned that white crayons do not color very well on craft sticks, but we still worked on requesting, vocabulary and speech sounds.
Next week includes my husband's and father's birthdays! I'm not too sure my students are interested in that, so it will be Johnny Appleseed week. We're actually having days in the 80s, so it might feel like fall for us!

Here are a few items I'm getting ready. First is The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall.
Second is another Informative Reader's Theater.
A Fact and Opinion from Orange You Smart.
I already have an APPLES Game from Speaking of Speech. And I'm working on an apple tasting activity.

What are your plans for next week?

Tuesday Talk and No Pop Quiz....I Promise

Do you belong to a book club?   One with grown ups.   One that does not have more illustrations than words in the books.  

My first experience with book clubs was intimidating.   And scary.    I did not know everyone in the club.   These girls in the club had Post-It Notes to mark passages.   They compared the book to the classics.   They used words I only heard in my college English classes.   And then, only the professor used those words.    I was more worried if there was going to be a pop quiz in the class.

I felt like it was "Mad About You" book club moment.   If you do not remember the episode, Paul and Jamie picked Moby Dick as the group read.    Neither Paul nor Jamie read the book.    They ended up watching the Mr. Magoo version of Moby Dick on the VCR.

Well, I was invited to join a book club with some teachers at my school two years ago.    It is very different.   For one, I know everyone in the club.   No guilt if you do not read the book.   We read one book per month.    Everyone has different taste in books, so there is always a variety.    And, there is food!     We get to go out and eat.    And chat.    And use normal words to talk about the book.  I never worry about a pop quiz.  

Here are some of my top picks of our book club.  They are in random order.  

Let me know if there is something I should be reading......I love book suggestions.

Have a great week,

Congrats to giveaway winner Susan V.D.!

I'm tired. And it seems like I'm not alone. So I don't have a recipe for you today. But I do have a giveaway!

Amy may be tired, but she is working hard. She recently made Fact and Opinion sorting activities for bats and spiders. So how about a giveaway so that you have plenty of time to get these units ready?

Bats: Facts and Opinions comes in 2 complete versions in color and B&W. There is a header page for both Facts and Opinions. There are 28 sorting cards and two recording sheets, one for facts and one for opinions. I think this is the perfect activity for listening or for having students read aloud with artic sounds. Plus the recording sheets would be great homework practice! The packet is $3.
Spiders: Facts and Opinions also has a full set in both color and B&W, header pages, 28 sorting cards, and two recording sheets. It's also $3.
Thanks for taking a look, and good luck!
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From Amy:
#1  Gobble, gobble?   Well, it is not quite November.   But I went shopping at Etsy and found this cutie pie gobbler.   Isn't he going to make Turkey Day bright and happy?   Bright and happy are my favorite.

#2   Texas Tech is 3 and 0 this season
Tech gets the win on a Thursday night against the TCU Horn Frogs.   Guns Up!   Here is our talented QB Davis Webb.   Lisa and I earned our undergrad degrees at Texas Tech.   
#3  But there is one thing we all agree on.   We are Sonic Drive-In girls.   Love our Sonic Happy Hour!

From Laura:

#1 - Baylor. My senior son and I are going on a college visit tomorrow. No sleeping in this Saturday!
#2 - Instagram party! Speech Room News and Crazy Speech World are hosting a great Instagram party for September! Instagram has become my favorite social media. Search for the hashtag InstaSLP and see all the great ideas that have been posted!
#3 - Our weather forecast finally has all the days under 100 degrees! We're breaking out the winter coats...
#4 - Flip Flap Listening Comprehension from Speech2U. Kelly and I swapped products, and here is my review. I am really loving her flip flap books for more than just the activity. I'm planning on using them with something else next week, so stay tuned!
What are your faves from the week?

This week was the third full week for most Texas students and the first week I've gotten to see all of my speech/language kids. It went pretty well with a few adjustments needed for scheduling. And I am exhausted! I always feel like I am a week behind teachers. They were worn out and seem to have their footing, and I'm still grasping for a foothold!

This week centered around the book Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard. After reading the book, we did a Write & Say the Room.
On the second day, we reviewed the book and then played Back to School Ask Away.
If the pictures look familiar, it's because they are on Instagram with the hashtag #InstaSLP in a fun party hosted by Speech Room News and Crazy Speech World. I'm loving finding new SLPs to follow, which equals more ideas!

I came up with a quick idea for a bus craft for my Life Skills students. The idea came from Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails and from Juxtapost. My example is a little embarrassing, but I'm sharing it. If you use it, I'm sure yours will be cuter.
It's really just shapes. You'll need:
3 yellow strips cut into 6 x 1 inches
3 yellow strips cut into 3 x .5 inches
1 yellow strip cut into 4.5 x 1 inch
(I approximated on all of these)
4 black squares, about 2 x 2 (trim two of the squares into circles for the wheels)

Put two long strips down for the bottom of the bus and a third strip in the middle to cover the line. Glue the three short strips vertically to make spots for the windows and the medium strip on the top. Glue on the windows and wheels. Use white, yellow or gray crayon to draw people on the bus and wheel accents. Decorate as desired.

We worked on requesting, the concepts of short, medium and long, colors, and following directions.

Next week will be Constitution Week with an Informative Reader's Theater, an Ask Away Activity, and a Wh- game.

What have you been doing?

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