Christmas Play Dough Fun and FREEBIE


Merry Christmas! I’m keeping the simple theme going, so I borrowed (with permission) the take-home play dough idea from Sounds Like Fun and changed it up by giving it a Christmas theme. We are making Christmas trees and reindeer this week. Each take-home kit has either an articulation list or ideas for language carryover. My littles LOVE this! Grab the Christmas tree version FREE in my TpT store, and get the reindeer version here!
Enjoy playtime with your little elves this month!


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My SLP Story



I think I have shared with y’all before that I’m kind of nosy. I love learning new things about people, especially those connected to me in some way. This week I am in luck. The Frenzied SLPs are hosting a link-up called My SLP Story. Because Speech-Language Pathology is a relatively unknown field (many people have no idea it even exists), I am always fascinated by other SLP paths to this career. In case you are curious (or nosy) like me, I am sharing my story.

I, like several others in this linky, was in college and unsure of what to major in. Choosing a career is a HUGE decision! There are a million choices, and you are supposed to stick with one FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. I wanted to help people, so some of the (many) majors I considered were nursing, pre-med, and psychology. I wanted to do learn everything, and possibly I wanted to do ALL of the jobs! There were three people in my life that helped me figure it out.

First, my middle sister is hearing impaired. She had speech therapy in elementary school and continues to exhibit an articulation impairment as an adult (side note: she has refused to wear hearing aids her entire life). I knew about “speech teachers” because of her, but my knowledge was limited. Second, my mother is a special education teacher. She suggested speech-language pathology might be a good fit, since I wanted to help people, but didn’t want to be a teacher. The third person that influenced my decision was my daughter. I was already a mom when I started college. I was working, going to school, and trying to raise her all at the same time. I thought long and hard about my options, and finally chose the SLP route. As much as I wanted to go to medical school (or at least I thought I did), I wanted to be with my daughter more. It took six years to become a school SLP, but the University of West Georgia program was pretty flexible at the time. I was able to work as an SLP with my undergrad degree and provisional certificate while going to grad school part time. This path lets me help people in need, satisfied my craving for life-long learning, and gave me flexibility to spend time with my sweet girl (and later my sweet boy). I am so thankful for this career! What’s your SLP story?




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Free Thanksgiving NO or LOW PREP Ideas


Are you busy this time of year? I am DROWNING in evals and placements! My therapy activities for this week are simple, no prep, or low prep by necessity. I hope to be back on track after Christmas, but until then, I’m living with my grad school theme of “Keep it simple, sweetie!” 

First of all, I plan on reading Run, Turkey, Run with ALL of my PK-2 students. The kids love this book, and it is easily made interactive (which keeps them engaged). It is short enough to read in a session and then complete a short activity or plenty of drill. 


I also found this great Build-a-Turkey from Tech n’ Talk SLPs. It is perfect for a collaborative game, it’s FREE, and I only have to download it to my iPad and open in iBooks. It also works well on the SmartBoard.



For my tiny turkeys (PK-K), I am using Sounds Like Fun’s FREE Play DoughTurkey for Articulation Practice. I do have to purchase more Play Doh, but I already have all the other materials. There is nothing to laminate or cut. We made these last year, and they were a huge hit!

I’m also planning to use my Thanksgiving Speech Seek and Language Look for my 1st-5th graders from my Year-Round Bundle. It is print and go, quick and fun! Because I am so thankful for my followers, you can download it here. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the right for more free and easy materials sent right to your inbox.



What are you planning this week? Comment with any ideas that might be helpful for busy SLPs like us!

With Love and Gratitude, 

I have provided Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience. If you choose to purchase something after using the link, I may earn a small percentage of the purchase price from the seller.



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Blow Me Down! Talk Like a Pirate Day in Speech

Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

Yay for pirate week! This is one of my favorite themes for speech therapy. There are so many fun activities to do, and I haven’t had a student tell me yet that they don’t like pirates (keep in mind I work with middle schoolers, too). Many of my SLP friends also celebrate pirates and the awesome Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. In fact, Ashley Rossi from Sweet Southern Speech is hosting a linky to help all of us find fabulous pirate ideas for this week.

I am (as usual) a little late to the party, so I’m going to tell you a few of my favorite no-prep products (in case -gasp- you haven’t planned for tomorrow) as well as a few other activities I like.
First up, the easy, breezy FREEBIE in my store that is perfect for mixed groups. My Pirate Edition Speech Seek and Language Look can be found here, and includes an articulation word list, vocabulary list, and a fun game.

Kim and Angela from Sounds Like Fun also have this Speech and LanguageTherapy Pack: Pirates that I love. Full disclosure, I got it for free, but I would totally buy it if I had not because it provides enough no or low prep fun for almost ALL of my groups.

I am also playing Pop-up Pirate with some of my kids. I just ordered it this summer, so they haven’t seen it yet, but I have the feeling it will be a new therapy favorite!


I use books for many of my sessions, and my favorite pirate book is The Lost Treasure of Skull Island. It has pop-up pictures that are a little scary, but not too scary, and its short, rhyming text is perfect for a 30-minute group.


Last, but not least, I have many games, crafts, and additional inspiration on my Pinterest board Speech with Pirates. Take a look if you need some fresh plans!

More great ideas can be found on Ashley’s blog. Click the image to check those out as well.


Fair winds and have a great week!




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Quick and Easy Scheduling Tips

Well, y’all, it is that time of year again-time to schedule your speech students. Before you start feeling that migraine coming on, I want to share two quick tips that may help you, your students, and your teachers manage the speech schedule. These tips won’t work for everyone (of course they won’t!), but they have made this difficult task a little easier for me.

Quick Tip for Making Your Schedule: Schedule Speech for Classroom Transition Times
This tip works especially well for my fifteen minute articulation groups. As much as I can, I try to pull them right after or right before exploratory/encore/specials, recess, lunch, and other times where the whole class is getting ready to transition to another subject or area in the building. They are missing very little academic time, these are easy times to remember, and often the rest of the class is putting away materials, using the restroom, etc.
Quick Tip for Getting Your Students at the Scheduled Time: Have the Classroom Teacher Set an Alarm
One of my regular education second grade teachers actually came up with this idea. She sets an alarm on her smart phone.  She has several of my students, so for the alarm label she puts their speech days and names. The first week she tells the kids to go to speech when the alarm goes off. By the second week, the kids know what the alarm means, and when it dings, they just get up, leave the room quietly, and come to speech. This works best with grades 2-8. Many teachers will probably think this would be too distracting for the class, but it actually keeps them from having to interrupt the class to send the kids and from having to remember the schedule. It is a win-win for us.

I hope these tips have been useful! Comment below with any other strategies you’ve found for keeping the schedule nightmares away.



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BTS 2016: What’s In Your Cart? {LINKY}

Can you believe it is back-to-school time already?!! I know some of you lucky ducks still have weeks left in your summer, but many of us here in the South are heading back soon. In fact, my school year starts TOMORROW! So much to do, so little time. Thank goodness for the Teachers Pay Teachers BEST YEAR EVER Back to School Sale. Time to gather great materials for my new caseload at a fantastic discount. The lovely Jenna Rayburn from thespeechroomnews.com is hosting her usual linky party to help us busy SLPs find the best products in a snap.

First of all, I want to show you what I have on my wish list for this sale:

Quick Strips Prepositions from Word of Mouth

Articulation ProgressTrackers by A Perfect Blend

Grab ‘n Go Social Skills by Kristine Lamb

I can’t wait to use new materials! In my store, I think you’ll like:


No Prep Print and Go Language BUNDLE



All three products are print and go-saving you time and that precious colored ink!
To find more great speechy stuff, take a look at Jenna’s blog post and follow the links. Be sure to use code BestYear for 28% off everything in my store. Happy shopping!



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Change Brings Opportunity-For You :)

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to share my new blog with y’all! I am a Georgia girl as you know, and I really loved being The Speech Peach, but the thing is- there are SO MANY “speech peaches” out there! I mean, it’s like all of the Georgia SLPs thought (just like I did), “Hmm. Peach and speech rhyme, and they are so cute when you put them together. I’ll be The Speech Peach!” Then, (just like me) they forgot to check around and see if there was already someone using that name, or another variation of it. There are also tons of other Georgia educators who call themselvesThe Peach Teach, or something along those lines. 
After becoming more involved in the online community, I decided it was time for a change. The problem was I didn’t want to fully let go of the “peachy” part of me. Remember, I really loved it! So I googled a few things and found the phrase “Everything’s Peachy!” That sounded AWESOME to me, so I thought, I’ll change to Everything Speechy and keep the whole “peachy” thing in my tagline. I shared my idea with some blogger friends, but, alas, not everyone liked it. Some suggestions were made to incorporate birds into my logo/blog somehow because my last name is Finch. Those were great ideas, but I really don’t like birds. I have actually had one poop ON MY HEAD. While leaving for work. While already running late. The bird idea wasn’t for me.
 Following some encouragement from my BFSLPs and a few other blogger buddies, I decided to go with my heart and stick with Everything Speechy. The amazing Rachel Vincent from RachBV Designs helped me out by redesigning all of my stuff (she calls them elements, which does sound more professional, but I like “stuff”). My TpT store will remain as Jessica Finch, but all of my social media and my blog can be found under Everything Speechy. If you are already following me, you are all set-no actions needed. If not, I’d love for you to by clicking the icons to the left. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. As a reward for you and celebration for me, I am giving you the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Just enter with Rafflecopter below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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Six Resources for Easy Speech Session Planning


There are many things I love about my job as a school SLP. Planning is not one. In a way, IEP goals make it easier-you know which skills you have to target each session, but you also need some sort of activity planned. Like many school SLPs, I may have the same students several years in a row. This means that using the same plans and same activities every year gets pretty boring for my students (and for me, if I’m being completely honest). Who wants to make the same back-to-school backpack (no matter how awesome and relevant), for example, if you made that exact craft last year? Unfortunately, I am not really a creative genius, and I have difficulty dreaming up fun, new, amazing activities. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for new therapy ideas. 
I’m guessing that some of you might be in the same boat, so to speak. Not to worry-I have some resources for all of us (and most are FREE)! I have even included some links (some which may be affiliates) for your convenience.


#1 Pinterest

If, in the unlikely event, you do not know about Pinterest, it is AMAZING. Find it here and sign up for an account. Then you can save any ideas you find to boards that you name. For example, I have boards called Speech-Articulation, Speech-Spring, etc. To find great ideas for speech therapy, follow other speech therapists and teachers. To locate others, I search “speech” or “speech therapy.” Another way to search is to look up the theme or area you are targeting. If you are looking for something with a back-to-school theme, you could type “back to school speech” and pull up a good selection of cool stuff for your speech-language plans. 


#2 SLP Blogs

You know the saying, “Two heads are better than one?” Following SLP blogs is like having hundreds of heads focused on the same goal: Being a GREAT SLP! Ideas, experiences, and often FREE resources can be found on these blogs. Two places I have found great SLP blogs are Bloglovin’ and this resource, The Best of SLP Bloggers, from Activity Tailor and SpeechSprouts.


#3 Teachers Pay Teachers

I love, love, love Teachers Pay Teachers. Do not let the name turn you off-there are many SLPs found on this site who have THE BEST resources. You can type in what you are searching for (r sound homework) and BOOM-over 1000 results. You can narrow by price (like FREE) or specialty (Speech Therapy) to help find the perfect one.


#4 Classroom Curriculum

My second graders read a story every year in their regular classroom about dogs. Guess what I use to plan for my second graders that week? That’s right-a dog theme! Sometimes I even branch out to include all pets with my other elementary kids too. In addition to facilitating planning, we can target carryover by using the classroom curriculum! How awesome!


#5 Children's Literature

Using children's books in therapy is not only fun, but smart. You can plan your sessions around a specific book, a series, or an author. This makes it easy to search for related activities and/or themes. Often, you can address multiple skills using one book. One of my favorites for winter is Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Caldecott Medal Book) by Simms Tabeck. In this book alone, I have targeted vocabulary, sequencing, questions, concepts, articulation, and fluency. I'm sure there are others as well.


#6 Social Media

I have seen some fantastic therapy ideas on social media, particularly Instagram. Search and follow other SLPs by using hashtags such as #slpeeps, #schoolslp, #ashaigers, #speechtherapy, and #slpsfollowslps. Many SLPs are also active on Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope and have Facebook pages. You can find Facebook groups specific to your area of interest as well. 

I hope this helps make planning easier (and less boring) for you! If you have any other ideas, please comment below! 

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Community Involvement and the SLP


Happy, happy summer, everyone! Here in Georgia, the heat and humidity are sweltering, but it is nice to have some time to rest and relax. I am a bit of an introvert, so it is sometimes hard for me to work full time in a very social setting and profession and then participate in social activities outside of school. Often, I need time alone to recharge. Summer break offers plenty of time for me to recuperate after the hectic school year.

As an introvert, I periodically have difficulty getting involved in community activities. On the other hand, I have seen how important it is for my students (and their parents) to see me in our small community and know that I support them both inside and outside of school. One of my goals for the next school year is to become more active in the community where I work. I have taken part in several things on and off, but I want to be more consistent. In the fall, I attended a Down Syndrome Buddy Walk which was coordinated by one of my girls’ mother. My sweet student was so happy to see me there, and I know her mother appreciated that I took time to come. I have joined students whose parents were unable to attend their Parent Day Lunch, and I have also lent a hand at class parties. I have cheered students on during Field Day, at parades, and at ball games. I have attended funerals and visitations. I have taught Bible School and church classes. The kids always light up when they see me, and any positive time I can spend with parents is great! They know I am not just someone who works on speech skills, but I care about the whole child. This summer, I am invited to a birthday party for a precious five-year-old with many debilitating conditions. I don’t think I’ll know anyone but the student and his mother there, but I am going to go. They need to know me, and they need to know that I care. So I will be there, even though it is hard for me, because I DO care, and because I have seen the positive difference community involvement makes. My own personal challenge is to keep making these connections on a consistent basis.

I hope you are able to see these differences in your own community, whether you are another educator or an SLP in a hospital, private practice, or school. It may take a little more effort, but the results are worth it!
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Easy Ideas for Middle School Speech Therapy


Hey, everyone! I hope you all have either enjoyed their spring break or will be enjoying it soon! My spring break is over, but I only have six weeks left in this school year. It is time for me to make the final push through statewide testing and end-of-the-year IEP meetings in addition to the usual schedule.

I don’t know about y’all, but I am struggling with new therapy ideas right now, especially for my middle school kids. It seems like there is no end to cutesy, fun stuff for the younger set, but finding age-appropriate, relevant, interesting activities for my older ones is a constant battle. Thank goodness there are some other speech therapists and special ed. teachers who seem to have it figured out. Here is a list of my go-to resources for middle school therapy:


This is a collaborative board, which means many different people are allowed to pin ideas to it. It really seems to have something for everyone.

Newsela (online Instructional Materials based on current events)
Newsela is fantastic for older students! Signing up for the basic account is free, and I use my students' interests to choose articles for therapy. The articles can be adapted to different reading levels and include comprehension questions, but I use them to target ALL my IEP goals! Seriously, it is awesome!!

Erik X. Raj (SLP, Blogger, App Creator)

Erik seems to be really in tune with middle school boys. His blog posts almost always have something that will interest this hard-to-please group of kids. Fair warning though, sometimes the ick factor is pretty high (probably why the kids love them so much)!

Curriculum Materials

This suggestion is one of my favorite tools to use, but it is often easier said than done. If you have access to your students’ curriculum materials, they are perfect for therapy use. What better way to facilitate carryover than to incorporate vocabulary, assignments, etc. from other classes? I seem to get a lot of resistance (maybe resistance is the wrong word-perhaps lack of cooperation would be better) from both teachers and my students in this area, so I do not use it as much as I should. That is something I plan to work on.

Apps

Who doesn’t love apps? My favorite for this age is Word Vault Pro (pricey, but so worth it). It just seems like putting something on a tablet appears like less work and more fun to my sweet middle schoolers.

I hope this post helps you with your pre-teen/teen caseload! Comment YOUR favorite ideas for this population below!




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App Review: Learning Verbs from Language Concepts

Hey, y’all! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! I am finally recovering from ours, so I thought I’d share a new app with you. 
Anna from Language Concepts generously provided a code for the Learning Verbs app in exchange for a review. Although the app was provided free of charge, all opinions are honest and my own.

Learning Verbs has several awesome features:
1.Real photos along with spoken words are provided as stimulus items.
2.There are 22 verbs provided, AND you can add additional photos if needed.
3.You can select the field size (1-4 flash cards) for choices based on the level of your clients.
4.Auditory feedback and text can be turned on and off as necessary.


I used the app for PK-1st. It was perfect for labeling verbs, identifying verbs, targeting pronouns, and sentence building. If you are looking for something versatile as well as reasonably priced, this would be a good choice. It is only available for the iPad and is $2.99 in the App Store. Take a look, and tell me what you think!

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