Sunday, March 9, 2014

Product highlight for 3 of my faves.

 
Synonyms by the Sea
 This was the first paid product I created on TPT. I recently gave it a major facelift and added pages to the set. I changed out the clip art, and I cleaned up the format so that it's easier on the eyes. I think I tried to use every font in my possession on the first version! If you have already purchased this set, check your "my purchases" section to download the revised version free. Check that section from time to time - you never know when a seller might add pages or make a product even better. The new download is always free - even if the price of the product has increased. I get so excited when I see the blinking notification that someone has revised a product! Anyway, this product is great for SLP's & Teachers. I know the Common Core Standard is worded in a way that explores "shades of meaning" with synonyms. If they put me in charge, the standard would teach these as synonyms first, THEN we could talk about how they are not quite the same. I already have a hard enough time getting kids to not shout out an antonym for the answer, let's not confuse them even more! (Sometimes they say a rhyming word - and that is also a hard habit to break!) When I use this product, I try to phrase my questions every way I have ever seen it phrased on standardized tests. "What is another word for run?" "What word means the same thing as run?" "Run means the same thing as _____." "Instead of the word run, I could say ______." After we do that, I can eventually go to "Tell me a synonym for run." I really play up how "Synonym" & "Same" both start with "S." This packet is broken into three sets of synonyms, and it includes several worksheets for each set. There are also flash cards and Bingo sheets to make it fun.
 
Speech Therapy Reminder Cards
Speech Therapy Reminder Cards
I made these speech therapy reminder cards out of sheer necessity! I don't know about you, but I have kids who stop by my room at all times of the day, the wrong days, or any time they go to the restroom to see if it's time for speech. My all time favorite is when they see me in the hall and say "Why didn't you get us for speech today?!" (With my luck, they say it loudly in front of an administrator!) Maybe because it's Thursday, and you come on Mondays & Wednesdays? I am glad they love speech so much! It can get crazy when I have a group going smoothly at 10:00 on Thursday, and my Mon/Wed 10:00 group walks in the room. Inevitably, the game we are playing looks like more fun than what they should be doing, so it takes a while to get them back out the door! I try my best to set up groups during transition times to reduce classroom interruptions. (Our 2nd graders change classes, so I try to get them during the change...or the younger ones might come right after P.E. etc...) I guess they are just conditioned to think when the transition happens - it much be speech time! These little reminder cards are taped on their desks, and it has helped more than I ever imagined! The teachers love them because they already have enough to remember. They have reported fewer interruptions from children asking if it's time for speech. I provided two types of clocks to fill out, so they can look at it & compare to whatever kind of clock they have in their classroom. I just check off the days, and they can compare that to their calendar math center for the current day. This simple idea has really helped my schedule run a little smoother. We have a phone system, so I can call room to room, but it doesn't work correctly at least once a day. Our school is huge, and I don't mind walking to get the kids...I get kind of antsy sitting in one place all day anyway. But, speech sessions are short, and it wastes some of our time. (And there is always the one kid from another class who did remember.....spinning in my office chair while playing with scissors and a hot glue gun when I get back with the other group!) Just kidding - but you get the idea! I would never remember to send speech kids if I had a classroom full of kids, so I don't expect the teachers to remember! This set includes multiple color combinations to match the d├ęcor in just about any classroom. I originally created these square cards so they could be laminated and attached with velcro dots. I added a new version recently that is smaller with a chevron pattern....I made it narrow enough to attach with a single piece of clear packing tape. That eliminates the whole laminating & cutting again process. I hope you enjoy these - there are 5 different designs in the set for $1.25.
 
Cinco de Mayo Morning Work & Photo Props
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-de-Mayo-Morning-Work-Packet-ELA-and-Math-w-photo-accessories-681147
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-de-Mayo-Morning-Work-Packet-ELA-and-Math-w-photo-accessories-681147

Why would a Speech Language Pathologist create a product for Language Arts and Math? Well, it was high stakes testing time...and I knew I could help my language kids with some of the tricky vocabulary that we love to throw at them on standardized tests! I can't tell you how many of my language students excel in math, but bomb standardized math tests because of the language/literacy components. I know some of that is unavoidable, but I don't think we are getting a true picture of math concept mastery. (We wouldn't give a child with a hearing impairment, an auditory math test....Why would we give a child who struggles with reading, a math test he can't pass if he can't read?) As a person with A.D.D., I am so thankful we didn't have these tests as a child! I do remember taking the ITBS & thinking it was eternal! I remember just picking an answer without reading the passage because it was so long & boring! I actually did the same thing on a few sections of the SAT, and that was a test that actually mattered to me! I must have had some lucky guesses because it worked out ok, but I don't recommend that strategy. ;) If I did that as a teenager on a test I cared about, how do we expect small children to focus on tests that take three hours per subject? We are basically asking very small people to take the SAT.... 3 - 5 days in a row! I guess I could have made another blog post about standardized testing. I mainly meant to tell you why I created this Cinco de Mayo packet in the first place. It will not make your children pass "the test" - but it is a pretty fun review of 2nd grade common core standards! I included some fun photo props to use on Cinco de Mayo, and I tucked little facts about the history of Cinco de Mayo in throughout the pages. As it turns out, the 5th of May is actually about a battle...and not a reason to drink margaritas!
 
I hope you enjoyed my long & rambling blog post! I am not even going to proofread it, so enjoy the grammatical errors and typos! :)