Monthly Archives

September 2013

Reinforcement, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Simple Positive Reinforcement System

I made this simple positive reinforcement page for one of my speech kiddos this week and it worked really well so I used it with a few of my other kiddos and it worked WONDERS!! This super simple system was so motivating for my kids…I was shocked and a bit disappointed that I hadn’t used it in my previous sessions. I see some kids with ADHD and this visual worked great for these kids. It kept them on task and it was easy for me to redirect them…all I had to do was point to our system.
Here is the page! Download the free PDF here!

And this is how this system works:

  • You or your child color one of these boxes on the page or fill out the boxes by writing down the good behavior every time s/he earns a point for doing a good job on something or accomplishing a task –> Good behavior in speech (i.e. completing table task for 10 minutes, producing /k/ correctly at the word level, learning 5 new irregular past tense verbs, etc.) or good behavior at home (i.e. cleaning up toys, doing extra chores around the house, helping with yard work, etc.)
  • 7 points = one small reward
  • 35 points = one big reward (the small/big reward would obviously be subjective)
  • Since this is a positive reinforcement chart, you only color a box when your kiddo does something good… no need to put Xs for bad behavior on here.

You can color each box:

Or you can write the good behavior in each box:

adjectives, fall, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Fall Adjectives!

Two more days till it’s  FALL time! Although summer is my favorite season, I like this time of the year too, mainly because I like pumpkins and I get to enjoy everything pumpkin. I am ready for my Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin candles, soaps, lotions, and our home-made Pumpkin Cheese Pie. And of course I’m also ready for my speech kiddos, so I made this Fall Adjectives Printable for them to get started on our fall activities. Click on the link in light brown to get your free PDF file.

Happy almost fall!

categories, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, vocabulary

Categories (Part II) : Sports

This is the continuation of our previous blog about categories! Here is a free Sports Category Printout!

PRINT
LAMINATE
CUT OUT THE PICTURES


1- Use these pictures to help your students/children learn sports’ names 


3- Have 2 pictures out at a time and work on teaching your kiddos how to make a choice when they are presented with two choices


4- Print double of each page and play a matching game

5- Combine these sports’ pictures with our animal and fruit pictures to work on categories!

scheduling, therapy schedule, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Scheduling- A Never Ending Puzzle

Hello everyone!

I apologize sincerely for the prolonged absence. Let’s just say this year has started off very busy. I found out 3 days prior to coming back to school that I would be changing buildings. The change was a little bittersweet. I am slowly but surely settling into my new building.

One issue that every school SLP is faced with at the beginning of the year is the joy of piecing together the puzzle pieces of creating the perfect schedule. It is always a struggle trying to find the perfect time to see a student for speech therapy without pulling them from a time in their class schedule that would impact them significantly.

I managed to capture a few pictures as I worked through the process to share with you all.

First I wrote a schedule on one of my whiteboards with 30 min increments on the side.

Next I wrote down each student’s name or the names of a group of students on a post-it note. At the bottom of each post-it note I briefly wrote down a general description of their goals just so that I would have something to reference to in case I needed to move students in my groups around.

Then I drafted up a letter to give to each of the teachers. I wanted to be able to give the teachers a way of indicating their preference for times I could pull their students. It’s truly a balance trying to find the time slot that would impact them the least academically while still meeting their minutes of service. I found that many (if not all) of my teachers were willing to work with me if a preferred time could not work. My teachers have been absolutely amazing during this process!

Next came the tricky part! Once I received the preference letters back from the teachers, I placed the post-it notes with the students’ names on the various time slots. Don’t get me wrong, I had to shuffle and reshuffle around names several times! I double checked to make sure I had all of my students on my caseload on the board and then I created a schedule on the computer. When the computerized schedule was complete, I printed copies for each of the teachers and highlighted their students’ names on the schedule. I told teachers that I tried my hardest to arrange the puzzle pieces as best as I could while keeping their preferences in mind. I asked them to come and see me if they had any objections to the schedule.  So far I’ve only had to rearrange one group! I think I may finally have a schedule up and running!

Since I know scheduling is one of the toughest tasks to complete during the beginning of the year, I’ve uploaded a generic “teacher scheduling letter” to TpT for you all! Hopefully this will help you in your process as you build your schedule.

Scheduling Letter for Teachers

What tips do you have for building your schedule for the year?

Before I say goodbye, here’s a quick peak into my new speech room! I promise to post more pictures as soon as I fully settle in!

My thematic window: This week I have “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books” with the visuals from the book displayed besides it. You wouldn’t believe the language I hear as from students as they pass by and see what’s in my window.
Unleashing my crafty side

Hope you all have a wonderful 2013-2014 school year!

categories, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, vocabulary

Categories (Part I) : Animals and Fruits

Want to work on categories in your speech room or at home? Here are two printable pages with pictures: Animal Categories and Fruit Categories [Free Printable]

PRINT
LAMINATE
CUT OUT THE PICTURES

1- Use these pictures to help your students/children learn animal/fruit categories

 If your kiddos are not there yet…

2- Work on learning the names of these animals and fruits

3- Have 2 pictures out at a time and work on teaching your kiddos how to make a choice when they are presented with two choices

4- Print double of each page and play a matching game

Have fun!

Sign language, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Benefits of Signing with Your Baby

I love sign language! I use it everyday in my therapy room with my speech kiddos. I love signing because signs make my kiddos talk! Many parents think that signing with kids will cause delays in their language development but the opposite is true; sign language is a stepping stone to spoken language. 

Let’s look at some benefits of signing with your baby:

  • Signing will eliminate the guessing game: instead of trying to guess if your baby needs milk, water, or a diaper change, your baby can tell you what s/he needs by signing to you.
  • Teaching your child sign language means that you are teaching him/her a new language, The American Sign Language (ASL). A second language = better language learning abilities throughout their life
  • Babies who sign can communicate their needs and wants long before children who do not sign
  • Babies who sign will speak at a normal time or sooner than babies who do not sign.
  • Parents of signing babies are less frustrated because they can communicate better with their babies. These babies are also less frustrated because their parents understand their needs.
  • Signing babies have more interest in reading. Interest in reading = better readers = greater academic success. They also have better spelling skills in school. 
  • Babies who sign have larger vocabularies when they begin to speak.
  • Research shows that babies who sign have increased activity on both sides of their brains.
  • Babies who sign will have higher IQ scores: One study followed babies who signed for 8 years and noted that children who signed had IQ scores that were 12 points higher than children who did not sign.
  • Signing babies enjoy a stronger parental bond and less distress.
  • Babies who sign make their first sentences six months earlier than babies who do not sign.
For more benefits on signing, you can check out this book: Baby Signing 1-2-3: The Easy-to-Use Illustrated Guide for Every Stage and Every Age, by Nancy Cadjan.
How to learn sign language?
Okay, so now you know some of the benefits of sign language, but you do not know how to sign or where to begin! Learning sign language is very simple and baby signs are easy to remember. You can learn sign language by buying a book on baby signs or just googling the sign for the word you are trying to learn on the internet. There are ASL video dictionaries all over the internet. I have used this online baby sign language dictionary in the past to learn some signs. You can also download ASL apps on your smartphones. 
What signs to learn?
Let’s talk about some baby signs that you can start learning. You can start with five to ten signs. Here are some simple signs to get you started; click on the word to see the sign.

When to sign to babies?

You can start signing as early as you want. Four months is a good start because babies at this age can see better and they like to interact with you. You can expect your baby to sign back at about eight months. 
When you sign with your baby, give him/her the sign right before you are about to expose him to that object/action. For example if you are about to nurse or bottle feed your baby, sign “milk” right before you give him the milk. Don’t sign milk and give him the milk 10 minutes later. You want your baby to associate that sign with that action. While you are signing, give your baby the verbal word as well. I posted a blog on here a few months ago about the importance of talking to your babies, so don’t forget to talk to them as well. We want our babies to hear as many words and see as many signs as possible. When you are trying to teach these signs to your baby, do hand-over-hand signing for them so they can practice the signs. Put your hands on their hands and do the signs for them until they learn the signs.

My personal experience with signing:

I started signing with my now 10-month-old when he was born. I started with simple signs like milk, change diaper, sleep, book, and bath. It wasn’t until six-seven months that he started paying close attention to my signs. He started signing back at nine months and he said his first real word at seven months. I really believe that signing has helped his verbal language. He has twenty expressive words at 10 months. About nine out of his twenty expressive words are signs. Signing has helped us a lot and has decreased his frustration. For example, he can tell me when he wants “milk” vs. “water.” I don’t need to guess. He can sign “more” if he wants more of something. He signs “brush teeth” in the mornings when he wakes up, so I know he wants to go to the bathroom with me and brush his teeth while I brush mine πŸ™‚ I am so happy that I started signing with him and I really encourage the rest of you to learn a few signs and give signing a try. I am willing to answer any questions about signing, so please leave a comment here or email me at sanazfarzan@gmail.com if you have any questions.

My baby signing “more”

References:

Cadjan, N. (2007). Baby signing 1-2-3: The easy-to-use illustrated guide for every stage and every age. Naperville: Sourcebooks, Inc.