Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thrifty Finds for SLPs!

Today I'm linking up with Jenna over at Speech Room News where we are talking about thrifty finds! 

So, what do you do when you have no funding to buy supplies for your speech room? And what if you have 2 or more schools to serve? YIKES! That was and IS my situation. We have not had any funding for materials for so long I can't remember the last time I had a budget!

Well, the solution is.....you learn to become a hunter! Where do you hunt? Thrift stores and yard sales are my favorite hunting grounds! I have found MANY great bargains using all of these methods. Here are some examples of things I have found recently:


Books are the MOST important addition to the usual selection of speech room materials and they are EASY to find at thrift stores! I regularly scour the four different thrift stores we have locally. I even hit thrift stores in other towns when I'm traveling! Yes, I'm kind of hooked on thrift stores. Soooo many bargains!


Games are another GREAT find at thrift stores and yard sales! I have so many games from both that I can supply all of my schools easily.



Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles! You can find high quality, inexpensive puzzles both and thrift stores and at yard sales. 




I found the Honey Bee Tree game on Facebook page dedicated to local yard sales. The seller had posted pictures of some of the items for sale. I responded immediately and asked about this game. We agreed on a price and I told her I would be there ASAP. Of course, once I got there, I found a couple more items I couldn't leave without!



The Little Tykes bus cost a little more than I would usually pay, but it has ALL of the little people in it! This treasure was also found on Facebook, similar to the game above. 

Use your local FB pages to locate items, as well as yard sales! Visit your local thrift stores regularly! You, too can supply your speech room with GREAT finds at GREAT prices!

Now, go to Jenna's page and see what other awesome finds our colleagues have to share!


Happy Hunting!



Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Summer FREEBIE!

Friday FREEBIE!!


The school year has ended and now it is time to focus on FUN things! To help you get into the mood for summer, I'm linking up with Speechie Freebees and I have a great FREEBIE for you! This simple game board features a camping theme and is appropriate to use with PK through elementary-aged kids. I’ve had SLPs tell me they are going to use this game board while working ESY (extended school year). When the kids come back to school, you can pull it out again and use it to review any camping experiences your student had over the summer. Click on the picture below to get the FREEBIE!




If you like the freebie, then you should check out the full-version of this packet. It contains several sets of game cards (Candyland-style). One set is meant for the PK-1st grade age group and the others are for older kids and target specific language goals including category naming, vocabulary, problem-solving and following directions. The cards allow children who have different goals to play the same game at the same time!

Click on the picture below to check out the full packet....on SALE for ONLY $2.00!



Check out the other FREEBIES here:



Wishing you a very Happy Summer!



Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Review of: 


SPEECH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

by Tatyana Elleseff, M.A.  CCC-SLP
Smart Speech Therapy LLC


Whether you work in the school system or in private practice, there are MANY tests that can be used to assess a student’s speech/language difficulty.  Lots of tests.  And very little time-if you work in the school system. So how do you choose which tests to use? This checklist was designed to assist the SLP faced with having to choose what assessment instruments to use for a particular client or student. For those of us who work in the schools, in particular, it is VERY important to be efficient with regard to assessment because we often have very little time in our schedules for testing. Sometimes we have to wait for someone to be absent in order to find time to test. Sometimes I have even resorted to cancelling therapy sessions to complete assessments. So, you must choose the tests that will help diagnose the problem and you must also be efficient. ALL language assessments MUST include more than one testing tool, as well as informal measures. In private practice, there is more flexibility, but I follow the same guidelines used in the school system.

The checklist is very comprehensive and covers every area of our field. There are many excellent detailed questions included. The way I would suggest using this list in the school setting, would be to interview to the child’s teacher first and determine the basic areas of difficulty. Then, I would print out this checklist, highlight the areas of concern and ask the teacher to complete the checklist. Depending on the situation, I might actually sit down with the teacher and/or parents and go through this list item-by-item. This would allow for a thorough inventory of skills and would allow for the opportunity to ask about modifications—something that must be done before testing in the school system. When you are finished with this inventory of skills, you will have a very clear “picture” of the situation. Then, you will need to decide which tests to administer.


How many times have you pulled out an assessment tool only to discover that the student is outside the age range of the test? It happens! The list in the next section will help prevent that from occurring--it is a wonderful, comprehensive list of the current, commonly-used assessment tools. The list is broken down into specific skill areas/domains. Also included is the age range for every testing tool listed. I like that this list also includes tests of reading/writing/spelling. While I do not use those in the school system, they might be used in a private practice setting.  There is a page where a specific area of concern is listed along with suggested assessment tools.

Finally, the last section is a data collection tool for caregivers and family members. I have found that some training in data collection techniques is required for parents and caregivers to assist with this task. Teachers usually have enough background in data collection, but often do not have the time with 30+ kids in a classroom to collect data. I know, because I have made this very request! I would use the required specific sections of this form-only, rather than give it in its entirety to a teacher or caregiver.


This is an excellent tool that would be very helpful in addressing a new referral—especially for new clinicians in the school setting. 

Access the checklist HERE.

Happy Summer!

Tracy