Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving is almost here!! I can barely contain my excitement!

Several years ago I stumbled upon this virtual field trip. You can choose from four video tours that explain The Mayflower, the pilgrim village, the Wampanoag homesite, and Plymouth Plantation. They range from 17 minutes to 30 minutes, but you could easily watch it in sections and/or split it up among multiple sessions. These “field trips” are a good way to target answering comprehension and inferential questions. You could also use this vocabulary list to introduce new vocabulary related to Thanksgiving. To the right of the videos, there are lessons that are common core aligned for grades K-8. These activities bridge the gap between the speech room and the classroom by incorporating not only ELA standards, but social studies content as well.

In addition to taking a virtual field trip, you could have a party! Kiddos are beginning to get excited about the upcoming holiday season. Why not plan a party in the speech room. To get started, you could either have students brainstorm what you would need to do to plan a party or you could use this party planning checklist. If there are too many or too few details, feel free to alter it to best fit your students’ needs. This activity could be used to target sequencing, inferential reasoning, following directions, and pragmatic skills. Once you and your students have worked together to plan the party, HAVE A PARTY! This activity would, most likely, need to be broken down into several sessions, but you could plan and execute a party from start to finish! Invitations with various themes can be downloaded free here. If you choose to serve food at your party, students could be involved in preparation. When it comes to the guest list for your party, the options are endless! You could throw a party for just your speech group or you could invite the whole school! It might even be fun to collaborate with the classroom teacher to plan the party for the whole class! As a follow up to the party, you could ask students to compare and contrast the party you planned to their Thanksgiving festivities at home. When planning the decorations and food, you could use this worksheet where students will use basic inferential reasoning skills and categorization skills to decide which items would be appropriate décor for your party. You could also use these picture prompts as a sequencing activity. If your students choose to do a craft as one of their party activities, the options are endless, from a simple woven placemat to a paper bag turkey.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving in your speech room?

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…But Social Media is Supposed to be Recreational!

I have found that if I am not careful, social media can be a black hole where my free time disappears. One minute I tap open the Pinterest app on my phone and before I know it, hours have passed and I have accomplished nothing! I know I’m not the only one who sometimes loses hours of time while browsing social media sites. However, there are ways to make our “idle” time more productive. The following is a quick overview of some ways that social media outlets can be used to improve your practice as an SLP.

Blog
A blog (short for “web log”) can be used to write about basically anything! There are all sorts of blog topics, including *you guessed it* speech therapy. ASHA has a blog called ASHAsphere. ASHAsphere covers a wide range of topics written by a variety of bloggers. One post in particular gives a fairly comprehensive list of other blogs that cover topics related to speech pathology. PediaStaff is a staffing company, but they publish a blog that is geared toward SLPs, OTs, PTs and School Psychologists.

YouTube
YouTube can be used to supplement your practice in a couple different ways. You can use it to find information and you can also use it to find videos to use in therapy. ASHA is also on the bandwagon with YouTube. You can find their channel by typing ASHAWeb into the YouTube search bar. This channel spotlights things like patient success stories, SIGs, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Other channels include Autism Speaks, autismtreatment, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Akron Children’s Hospital, SpeechLanguageBeyond, and sayitrightspeech just to list a few. EduTube is a resource that is similar to YouTube but geared toward education.

Pinterest
Pintrest is a great way to find resources that are available via the web. For those of you who aren’t “pinners” yet, Pinterest is a virtual cork board. You can follow other people and they can follow you. When you see pins from the people you are following that you like, you pin it to a board. You can also pin other things that you see online or even take a picture of something you have done and pin it to a specific board. Pintrest it’s self is really just a tool for collecting ideas, but following other speech therapists/speech therapy practices allows you to see what others are doing. You can follow people you know or perfect strangers.

Twitter
I have to admit, I have been slow in joining the Twitter revolution. In fact, I just started my Twitter account in preparation for this post. However, I know that it is a good way to stay connected with colleagues at the school level. Many principals tweet as a way of providing information to parents and staff alike. Even our own superintendent of schools tweets. How do you use twitter?

Facebook
This is where social media started, right? Facebook can also be a useful tool to stay in contact with other therapists. KSHA and ASHA both have Facebook pages. Both post links to articles, calls for action, photos and reminders. You can become “friends” with other therapists and join groups that are related to speech therapy. You can also link your Pinterest to your Facebook account.

What types of social media do you use? What are the benefits and draw backs to this type of communication? Are there things I have forgotten? Comment to share what you think!

*I/we do not represent any of the groups/individuals listed in this post. They are simply resources that are available to check out! As always, nothing can replace your professional judgment!

Welcome!

Welcome to our blog! We want to emphasize that this blog belongs to all SLPs in our school district. We will shape the design of this site to offer support and inspiration to assist in your daily work. Although your work leads you in different locations, the purpose of this blog is to help everyone feel connected as a cohesive group.

Here are some ways we recommend to use this resource:

· General information and job-specific resources

· Opportunities for inspiration

· Peer questions and answers

· Peer reviewed resources

· Professional learning opportunities

· Idea development

· Creative resource sharing – We want your FABULOUS and CREATIVE ideas.

· Colleague recognition and support

· Community building

Guest bloggers are welcome! We want to introduce a wide range of topics. Topic suggestions are welcome. If you have a special areas of interest and expertise, feel free to let us know.

Here are a few ground rules:

· Remember the ethical considerations surrounding confidentiality

· Be courteous and professional

· Stay positive – If there are concerns, please contact the speech office. We will be happy to listen and work to find a mutually agreed upon resolution.

· Be constructive, not destructive – Recommendations are welcome.

The speech office will have the final word on what is published on this blog.