Monthly Archives

August 2013

language, parenting, repetition, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Repetition is Important to Children!

At some point every parent has to face that moment when all his/her child wants to do is watch the same movie, listen to the same song, or read the same book over and over. I know it can get pretty boring and annoying for us adults, but your little one feels more secure with the story or song s/he already knows. As babies get older, you will see more evidence of this type of repetition, like the four-year-old who can’t stop watching “The Lorax.” 

Each day your child is seeing new places and learning new things and that can be scary for him/her. Experts believe that repetition offers security and a sense of control to children. If your child loves a certain bedtime story book and wants to hear the same story every night, read her/him the story and gradually introduce new stories (Curtis & Schuler, 2010). 

Repetition plays a big role in language learning in your little ones. To facilitate your child’s language through repetition, you can set aside some time each day to encourage the repetition of songs, lullabies, stories, and other activities. 

I run an Early Intervention Group (0-3 years) twice a week at work and we start our day with a good morning song followed by circle time. During circle time, we sing 3-4 songs; we pick from a list of about 15 songs over and over. These kids hear the same songs pretty often and it really helps them learn. I often see kids who come into these groups with no language and leave with lots of words they learn during circle time through repetition in the songs. The best part is the smile you see on their little faces when they finally get the words right to their favorite song. 

We always encourage book reading in this blog. However, your children don’t have to own a ton of books to learn new words. You can read them the same books they enjoy and you can always check out books from the library too. According to Senechal and Cornell (1993), multiple readings of the same book provide children with opportunities to encode, associate, and store information about new words or information, resulting in stronger memory representations. Horst, Parsons and Bryan (2011) looked at the effects of repeatedly reading the same story to young children and they concluded that repetition is important in learning new vocabulary from books. 


Curtis, G., & Schuler, J. (2010). Your bab’ys first year. (3rd ed., p. 455). Cambridge, U.S: Da Capo Press.

Horst, J., Parsons, K., & Bryan, N. (2011). Get the story straight: Contextual repetition promotes word learning from storybooksget the story straight.Frontiers in Psychology2(17),

Sénéchal M., Cornell E. H. (1993). Vocabulary acquisition through shared reading experiences. Read. Res. Q. 28, 361–374.

Reinforcement, Uncategorized, Uncategorized


Hello everyone!

These past couple of days have been quite busy for me as the start of the school year is approaching. This summer I have really been thinking about the reinforcements I have been using in my room. I believe that praise, feedback, and reinforcement are things we often forget about but these things can also impact the success of our kiddos greatly.

I have always done a sticker chart for my students, however I am thinking about using “speech bucks” in my room this year. I want my students to be able to take more responsibility for their actions.

How will students earn speech bucks?

– Following the 5 finger rules: ears are listening, eyes are watching, mouth is quiet (unless it’s their turn), hands are calm, body is calm

-Being respectful towards their speech teacher and peers

-Trying their hardest during the activities

-Bringing back their homework signed and dated by an adult

When do students need to pay me with their speech bucks?

-When they do not follow the rules

-Not bringing back their homework by the due date

-Not having their homework signed

I want my students to be able to take more responsibility for their actions and to take ownership in the actions that they complete-good and bad.

How can their earn extra bucks?


-Kind deeds

What will their be able to do with their speech bucks?

This year I have decided to go against the “catch all” speech box and rather have 3 different drawers of prizes increasing in their “worth”: 10, 20, 30. The students are then able to make the choice of getting a prize once they reach 10 or saving up their bucks for a better prize!

Here are the charts/speech bucks I will be using my room this year.

Click on the link and download for free!!

Sticker Chart & Speech Bucks

Hope you all have an amazing school year! Please leave me feedback on our TPT store and let us know if you downloaded this product & how you will use it in your room.

Irregular Past Tense Verbs, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Verbs

Irregular Past Tense Verbs Printable

This week I worked on “Irregular Past Tense Verbs” with some of my kiddos. Some kids have a really hard time with irregular verbs. Some add -ed at the end of irregular past tense verbs and some use the present tense form. I listened to some common errors my kiddos made this week and I made this list. I also made this free printable with pictures you can use to teach these verbs to your kids at home –> Free Printable Irregular Past Tense Verbs Download the PDF here!!

Present Tense Verb
Past Tense Verb

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Social skills, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Super Flex: Social Detectives Working on Social Skills

Due to the heighten level of awareness of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD), there is a need for individuals and community members to understand the struggles and challenges of social thinking these children face that may come so natural for others.  Social cognition is the process where individuals acquire skills to understand and use social knowledge to accurately respond to verbal or non verbal social information or social cues (Cooke, Hendrix & Rachman, 2008). For most of us this comes naturally, and we were taught appropriate ways to interact with others through our caregivers and observing social scenes throughout our early childhood.  However many children, specifically children on the spectrum, have difficulty acquiring those social skills.  Their limitations may include recognizing social cues, interpreting verbal or non verbal social intentions or actions, inability to take different perspectives and understand that other people have different thoughts (2008)

Teaching children flexibility in
their thinking can be a challenge. 
Creating a game where the child can be a “social detective” can empower
and motivate children to understand their social world and as a result minimize
anxiety and meltdowns.  Social stories
are a great tool to use in helping children understand how to act in specific social
situations.  In working with children on
the spectrum, a child behaviorist in my school introduced a book called Super Flex.  The main character is a super hero, called “Super Flex” who takes on villains called the
“Unthinkables” in order to maintain his “social smarts”.  This interactive
book can be used for young children as they learn to develop their social
cognition along with older children that seem to be struggling socially.  The “Unthinkables” are characters that
prevent you from accomplishing your social goal.  For instance, “Unthinkable D.O.F. (Destroyer
of Fun)” is super competitive and
often suffers from meltdowns when he loses a game.  Another example is the “Unthinkable Rock Brain, who is incredibly stubborn and can only comprehend one way of
doing something.  There are many
different social stories within the book that can be fun to read and explore
with children.  

I had
great success implementing this book.  I
found that main stream students equally enjoyed the book and the challenges of
being a “social detective” as with the children on the spectrum.  I found the best results occurred when the
social stories and characters of the book are used daily.

Additional Social Stories:
SuperFlex by Stephanie
Madrigal (FUN FACT, she is a speech and
language pathologist who studied at SJSU)
Pamela J. Cooke, Ryan E. Hendrix, Janine Y. Rachman. (2008).  Measuring the  Effectiveness of Teaching Social Thinking to
Children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA). J Autism Development Disorder, 38,

Briana Headley, the author of this post, obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Child and
Adolescent Development from San Jose State University.  She has experience
working with children at
the pre-k and elementary school levels. In the last 3 years she has worked with
children with special needs.  After
taking a year off to raise her son, she will be returning to work with special
need students in the Resource Center and take classes to obtain her credential. You can contact Briana at if you have any questions about this post. 

Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Thank You

As a way of saying thank you to all of our followers and readers we wanted to host a giveway! You all have been so great with the support you have shown us on our blog, facebook, and twitter. It is because of you all that we continue to have a love and passion for sharing our ideas with you through these media outlets. The raffle will go through Sunday night.

One winner will win a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers and another winner will win 2 items from our Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Check out our store here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you again for your unbelievable support!

Final Consonant Deletion, freebies, Phonological Processes, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Minimal Pairs- /p/ and /t/ endings

Like I said last week, I have been working on Final Consonant Deletion (FCD) a lot lately. One of my kids at work who never produced the final consonants in words is finally producing her final consonants and she sounds so much more intelligible when we work on her words. We made a book for her last week with words that end in /p/ and she liked her book so much that she took it everywhere and she even slept with it for the week (so cute). But now we have a problem..when we work on her word list, she puts the /p/ sound at the end of all the words even when the words don’t end in this sound. So I decided to make her these minimal pairs that end in /p/ and /t/..that way she will see that her words ending in /t/ sound different than her words ending in /p/ and she will have a visual.


You can download these minimal pairs here for free and use them if you have a phono kiddo who is having the same problem.
Happy Friday!!

preschool, Songs, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Top 5 Beginning of the School Year Songs

Many of you are beginning to make your way back to your schools to get prepped for the beginning of the year. Though I’m not officially back at school until August 29, ideas are constantly running through my head. One thing that I have been planning in my head lately are the songs that I’m going to start the year off with in my preschool and developmental kindergarden classrooms.

I find that my younger kiddos stay more actively engaged when songs are paired with motor movements. Having children imitate motor movements is a precursor to being able to later learn other skills.

Below you’ll find my top 5 children’s songs that I like to sing at the start of the school year!

1) Hot Potato by the Wiggles: This has got to be one of my students’ favorite songs! They love pretending that their hands are hot potato, wiggling their fingers to make spaghetti, and pretending to mash bananas with their hands. I came across this song during my internship and have sang it with my students since. It’s a pretty catchy tune.

Purchase song here: Hot Potato

Watch video here for motions: 

2) Open Shut Them (and Other Opposites) by Super Simple Learning: Opposites is often a challenge for those younger kiddos and this song is a great way from them to work on learning them without killing and drilling with flashcards. I absolutely love this company and their CDs. Not only do they make great visuals to go along with each song, they also have versions of popular songs at a slower pace. Having songs available at a slower pace really help my kiddos to be able to learn the motions and the songs more effectively.

Purchase CDs here: Open Shut Them (and other Opposites)

3) These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner: This is actually a song that I learned while working at the summer camp for children with special needs. I love that we do motor actions where we pretend we have glasses and a book to read. This song also teaches children the purpose of a book! It is also very repetitive so it gives kiddos a chance to practice the motions and learn the song.

Purchase song here: These Are My Glasses

4) Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Greg and Steve: My preschool room that I am in starts off the year with Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carle. This is a perfect song to pair with the book. I love to sing this song while also teaching the kiddos the signs for the different colors and animals. The song is slightly different (due to copyright reasons) and it says “mother” instead of “teacher” but other than that it follows the book. You’d be surprised at how quickly the kiddos pick up the signs for this song!

Purchase song here: Brown Bear, What Do You See?

5) Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin: What kiddo/teacher doesn’t love the Pete the Cat series. I always love to start off the year singing the Pete the Cat: I love my White Shoes song because it helps to teach colors and it is a very repetitive song which makes it easy to learn. I also made a visual to go along with the book/song that help to keep the children engaged during the song.

Download the song here: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Hope you are all enjoying your summers and for those of you starting school we hope you have an amazing start to the year!