Amy's Faves:
1:   Annual Barnes and Noble Book Fair benefits my school library
Saturday is our big library fundraiser of the year.      We will have story time, musical performances, a magic show, a Make Your Own Valentine station, a custom-frappuccino drink called the Frap-A-Lap-A-Ding-Dong, a photo booth, a Happy Birthday Party for the Elf on a Shelf and cookie decorating.

If you shop online, use the book fair code 11051034

If you live near Round Rock, Texas, come join us!

2:   Etsy Store:   Perfectionate
I purchased our props for the Valentine Day Photo Booth from Heidi.   Her creations are amazing!!!   Let me share that they look even better in person.   I cannot wait to use them on Saturday at our Book Fair.   These are her Disney creations.   Adorable, right?

3:   Snow Day
I did not think I would be sooooooooo excited for a snow day.  But we have had two snow (really ice) days in January.    I was so excited to stay home those days.   I know I will not like making up the days.   Ok, do not mind making up on President's Day.   I will be a little sad to go to school on Good Friday.    But I remember as a kid having to make the day up on a Saturday!     Some of the teachers protested by wearing their pajamas.    

This week was a little crazy. Monday was an in-service day, and Friday was a snow day (which is why Thursday Therapy is appearing on Friday). In between, my groups did a lot of drill work with this Peace Month Roll & Cover {freebie} from our store, All Y'all Need.
Students practiced targets and then spun. Whatever number they landed on, that's the box they colored. I used this Super Duper spinner - with the sound off:
And of course, most of my older students pointed out they had numbers higher than what the spinner has. Once we got to that point, they spun again and we added up the points. They really liked pushing the button more than once. Easy and lots of targets, and perfect for a mixed-up week!

Here's a bonus Wild Wednesday story.
3rd grader: Where did you get that spinner? Because I like it, and I might want one.
Me: Super Duper.
3rd grader: Oh, that's out by where I live.
Me and my new CFY: *share look and smile*

Hope you're staying warm!
We are so excited to be taking part in the SLP Frenzy going on today through Monday! Just click on the map to go to Facebook pages, click like, and get a freebie from these talented SLPs!
We are looking forward to seeing what everyone has in store, and All Y'all Need: Family Business has a special early valentine for you. It's a cold weekend - snuggle up, click away, and feel the love!

I know, I know you have been missing Tuesday talk.

But I have been a slacker.   Or what is lazier than a slacker?   That is what I have been.

My sweeties have been working hard.   One in particular has a new job.

Sweetie (aka Kid Mayor) will make you smile.

She is fantastic.


Til next time (no promises it will be on a Tuesday),

A friend and I went to Painting with a Twist to check things out. Neither one of us are artists - she's a 5th-grade math and science teacher, and I'm an SLP who draws stick figures. But we were interested in making a Cracked Monogram, and here is a rundown of our night.

The instructor, Brad, first made us feel welcome and assured us that even if we weren't artists, he would show us how to use the supplies to make something great. The first step was pretty easy - painting a black border around the edges:
No evenness - imperfection, texture, and personalization were the name of this game! We added white stripes in various places and rubbed in the white with the black to make gray in some areas.
Around the inside of the border, we used a brush to make jagged lines like a stone and painted the middle white. Pretty easy so far. Then, we used dark and light brown paints to make shading. It was at this point there was some groaning going on. Brad told us we were too close to the painting and asked us to look at it from farther back - and it looked better! Instead of looking at the white glob I was trying to blend in - it's in the top right corner - I actually saw shading instead of the glob! We finished the outside of the frame with some shaded cracks.

We took a break to let everything dry. Brad asked us to think about what kind of letter and style we wanted while he got out chalk. Cool, I thought. They are going to letter for us, and we will just fill it in. Oh, no. It didn't work that way. We got to draw our own letters in chalk and paint over them. And I learned that D is a boring letter compared to my friend's H.

At one point, Brad offered assistance with my D - in the way of showing a paint technique on the table, not on my canvas. I had to look at his techniques and instruction and make them my own. Here's a picture of the whole class - we had the same example and the same instructions, but everyone has their own individual picture. Yes, I had to tie it into speech/language therapy.
My Cracked Monogram might not win any awards. But, it's mine! I did it! And when I got home, my husband and daughter had wide eyes when they saw what I had done. That's what I want for my students - to have the supplies, instruction, and encouragement and to be proud when they get their communication skills!

From Amy:
#1:   Our book club book this month:
I'm in a book club with several current or former school employees.   Each month, a member is responsible for picking the book.    I was excited to see John Grisham's latest book was our January selection!    In true Grisham-style, you do not want to put the book down!

#2:   John Grisham's very cool friend:
In 2009, Lisa and I kind of chased/stalked John Grisham around at the National Book Festival in Washington DC.    The gentleman to the right of Mr. Grisham is Dr. James Billington, my hero.   
Dr. Billington became the Librarian of Congress in 1987.   You can read more about the coolest librarian ever right here: Dr. James Billington

#3:    More entertainment from the charming Garth Brooks
I have so been enjoying my Christmas present!   I haven't made it through all the CDs and DVDs yet, but I am loving the cover tunes!    I have been listening to Garth since the early 1990's.   He simply does not disappoint.     I have seen him in concert five times and cannot wait for his new 3-year tour.

From Laura:
#1 - Painting with a Twist
I am so far from being any kind of artist, but a friend and I decided to try our hands at a cracked monogram. So much fun! It might not win any awards, but it looks fine in my living room, and I want to go back!

#2 - Keurig. My parents got my daughter a Keurig for Christmas. For her dorm room, which is 2 1/2 years off. And since Keurigs go bad if you don't use them - I'm sure I heard that somewhere, probably the Internet - we plugged it in and have become a family of morning coffee drinkers and afternoon/evening hot chocolate drinkers.

#3 - Papa Murphy's opened up a couple of blocks away. It will be our standing Friday dinner for a while - Mediterranean Herb Chicken and either cheese or pepperoni. Plus an extra punch for calling in my order!

2014 has started off fast and furious! My district got lucky with a CFY hire. She graduated in December and hit the ground running on Jan. 6! We've been doing a couple of weeks of winter while she learns all the processes involved in working in schools. Here's a sample of the past two weeks:
Life Skills students made super easy snowflakes and worked on following directions and requesting. This project involves small paper plates - I used silver, but blue, pink or red would also work - with a hole punch at the top. Then, I just used glue to make a line with an X, and students requested Honeycomb cereal. Frosted Cheerios would also work nicely. Fluffy white yarn is used for the hanger. On the back of the plate, I wrote a quick note about speech for parents.

The Mitten by Jan Brett is one of my favorite winter books because of the story, illustrations, predicting, sequencing, etc. In the bottom right is an example of a file folder activity that goes with the book. Several years ago, I was really into Boardmaker. This particular folder focuses on Function with the prompt on the left side - What do we use wool for? The pictures on the right are Velcroed on, so I take them off and pass them out to the group, and the students have to work together to match everything up. Then, we move up to three pictures with categories and describing and five pictures with sentences. I use these for Functional Academics and Kg-2nd grades.

The middle right picture shows a few winter pictures from Write and Say the Room. Winter cards with artic sounds are hung all over the room, and students use clipboards to move around and complete their recording sheets. Presto! Speech homework is done!

Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you are staying warm!
Lisa was drinking out of her pink glittery Vegas cup when one of her kinder cuties asked what it said. When she said, "Las Vegas," he replied, "Why is it lost? Can nobody find lost Vegas?"
We are looking forward to July in "lost" Vegas for I Teach K and the TpT conference! Anyone else?
My family took a Christmas week trip to Disney World, and one day on the way to Magic Kingdom, my daughter and I were talking about princesses. I happened to mention Cinderella and Rapunzel in the same sentence and then paused and mused - "Hmmm, those princesses have multisyllabic names with later-developing sounds." My daughter, who is 15, rolled her eyes and said, "Mom, stop being a speech therapist on vacation." But it gave me an idea - how do the princess names rate?

Disclaimer: This post is meant solely for entertainment and in no way replaces the advice and information from a speech/language pathologist (SLP). If you have concerns about your child's speech and/or communication, contact an SLP. Information is based on general guidelines according to ASHA and Playing with Words 365. All pictures are personal and cannot be used for any purpose other than this post.

Let's start with the two princess names with early-developing sounds - Anna and Tiana. Anna is one of the two newest princesses from Frozen. Her name is a vowel-consonant-vowel word with two syllables and /n/, one of the first sounds. Tiana has three syllables along with /n/ and /t/, two early developing sounds.

Children should be able to say these princess names by age 3.
Developmental substitutions: None
Princess names quickly skip to middle-developing sounds, or those developed by ages 5-6. Pocahontas might be daunting for a young child with its four syllables, but most of the sounds - except /s/ - should be developed by age 5.
Developmental substitutions: - a lisp for the the final /s/ sound, as in "Pocahontath"
Until age 5, /t/ for the /c/ sounds, as in "Potahontas"
Snow White has gained in popularity with recent movies and starring role on one of my favorite shows, Once Upon a Time. It only has two syllables but also a tricky "sn" blend.
Developmental substitutions: a lisp for /s/, as in "Thnow White"
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of /s/, as in "Now White"
omission of final sound, as in "Snow Whi"
A blurry iPhone photo of my son, a soldier in Enchanted Tales with Belle
Belle is my favorite princess because she is a brunette and loves to read. Her name is only one lovely syllable, but it also ends with the /l/ sound.
Developmental substitutions: difficulty with /l/, as in "Beuh", until age 6.
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of sounds, as in "Elle" or "Be"
Mulan is close behind with two syllables, an early-developing /m/, and a middle-developing /l/.
Developmental substitutions: /w/ for /l/, as in "Muwan"
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of a syllable, as in "Mu" or "Lan"
omission of sounds, as in "Mula"
Jasmine also has two syllables, but also the soft /g/ sound and a /z/ sound next to the /m/. Yes, I know it's spelled with an /s/, but say it - Jazz-muhn. We spell with /s/ and say with /z/. Yeah, welcome to my world.
Developmental substitutions: difficulty with the first soft /g/ sound until age 7
lips for /z/, as in "Jathmine", until ages 7-8
Non-developmental substitutions: /d/ for soft /g/, as in "Dasmine" for "Jasmine" after age 5
omission of /z/, as in "Jamine"after ages 4-5
omission of final /n/, as in "Jasmi"
omission of syllables, as in "Jas" or "Mine"

Haven't seen your favorite princess yet? Let's head into the world of late-developing sounds, which might not be fully developed until age 8.

Elsa is another Frozen princess and another favorite of mine because she is voiced by none other than the spectacular Idina Menzel! When my daughter and I saw the movie, we had just learned Idina had provided a voice, but we didn't know which character until the grown-up Elsa uttered her first syllable. And of course, our favorite part along with everyone else, was Idina's version of "Let It Go" with the amazing ice castle. (My counselor husband's take: "You liked the part where she decided to close the world out?" Me: "Yes - she loved everyone enough to protect them from herself". Counselor hubby: "She could have worked that out better". Me: "Did you sleep through the movie?")

Okay, back to the topic at hand. Elsa has /l/ and /s/ together but only two syllables.
Developmental substitutions: difficulty with /l/ until age 6
lisp for /s/ until ages 7-8, as in "Eltha"
Non-developmental substitutions: /t/ for /s/, as in "Elta" until ages 3-4
pronouncing the name with one syllable

Next up are the Tremaines. Yes, I know they are not technically royalty, but THEY think they are! And if I don't include them, they might come stalk me. Plus, if you are doing the Magic Kingdom Princess Tour, the Tremaines are a must - they are a hoot!
Lady Tremaine has four syllables, the /l/, and an /r/ blend. /r/ sometimes does not develop until age 8.
Developmental substitutions: /w/ for /l/ until age 6, as in "Wady"
/w/ for /r/ until age 8, as in "Twemaine"
Non-developmental substitutions: omissions of sounds, as in "Temaine"

Drizella has three syllables and lots of middle- to late-developing sounds - the /dr/ blend, the /z/, and the /l/.
Developmental substitutions: /w/ for /r/, as in "Dwizella"
Lisp for /z/, as in "Drithella"
/w/ for /l/ until age 6, as in "Drizewa"
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of the /r/ completely, as in "Dizella"
/d/ for /z/ after ages 3-4, as in "Dridella"

Anastasia wins the family syllable contest with four. She has the /st/ blend, and the final /s/ is pronounced as /zh/.
Developmental substitutions: lisp for /s/, as in "Anathtasia"
Difficulty with /zh/ until age 7
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of the first /s/, as in "Anatasia"
/t/ for the second /s/, or /zh/, after ages 3-4, as in "Anastatia"

Merida can teach you how how to shoot an arrow, but she also has a tricky vocalic /r/ in her name. Luckily, it's bordered by the easier consonants of /m/ and /d/.
Developmental substitutions: /w/ for /r/, as in "Mewida" until age 8
Non-developmental substitutions: any omissions of syllables or sounds in "Merida"
Ah, Ariel. A lilting, musical name for a singing mermaid. But this name also has a vocalic /r/ plus the /l/. /r/ and /l/ are in the same family of sounds called glides, and it can be tricky to say them in the same word.
Developmental substitutions: difficulty with /l/ until age 6, as in "Arieuh"
difficulty with /r/ until age 8, as in "Awiel"
Non-developmental substitutions: omissions of sounds or syllables

Rapunzel has a German heritage along with three syllables and a few tricky sounds.
Developmental substitutions: /w/ for /r/, as in "Wapunzel" until age 8
Lisp for /z/, as in "Rapunthel" until age 8
Difficulty with /l/, as in "Rapuntheuh" until age 6
Non-developmental substitutions: omissions of sounds or syllables
omission of /z/, as in "Rapunel"
/d/ for /z/ after age 4, as in "Rapundel"

Cinderella has the big beautiful castle to accompany her four syllables and three late-developing sounds. She also has a nickname - Cindy - if the whole word is too difficult to say.
Developmental substitutions: lisp for "C" until age 8, as in "Thinderella"
difficulty with /r/ until age 8, as in "Cinduhwella"
difficulty with /l/ until age 6, as in "Cinderewuh"
Non-developmental substitutions: omission of syllables
omissions of sounds in a blend, as in "Cinerella"or "Ciderella"
Aurora is another favorite princess because of one of my first speech students. When she was in second grade, she came to me and asked if I knew what Sleeping Beauty's real name was. That was before my own little princess was born, and I did not know my Disney princesses very well. The student told me, but she was working on /r/, and I did not understand her production of "Aurora". This was also before the internet, so I couldn't just do a Google search, and she left the session disappointed that I didn't know the real name. She became determined to say "Aurora" correctly, and a few weeks later, she did! And then - because Aurora has a lot of tricky /r/ sounds - the production quickly generalized and she graduated from speech a short time later.

With Aurora, we are looking at three syllables and an easy start  with the "A" sounding like "uh". It then quickly transitions to /r/ followed by the hardest vocalic /r/ sound, /or/, before going back to "uh". Easy first and last syllables with a very difficult middle.
Developmental substitutions: difficulty with /r/ until age 8, as in "Awoahuh"
Non-developmental substitutions: any omissions of syllables

If you are going to Disney and looking for characters, check out easywdw's guide and Kenny the Pirate's site for more information about where to find the princesses. Have a magical day!

Try out a sweet (and free) ABC Order Activity:

Hope you enjoy!
We are all headed back to work tomorrow.    
Hi, ho, hi, ho, it's off to work we go…..
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