Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Doing Our Part to Keep Our Dear Earth Green

Today is Earth Day also known as "Earf Day" in Speech. It's super cute when kids say Earf or Eawf for Earth. I almost don't want to correct them :)
With this day coming up, I have been thinking about what my family, my speech kiddos, and I have been doing this year to help keep our Earth green. I'd like to share our "green-ness" tips with you all. 

1- Use Earth-friendly products: We have been using "green" products about 90% of the time to clean around the house. I have also been using "green" cleaning products in my speech room.   No kids should be smelling chemicals from cleaning products in my home or speech room.

2- Educate children: We have been making nature crafts in speech and have had major lessons on trees, flowers, birds, bees, etc. We have also been singing and listening to "Earth" songs. This helps younger children become more interested in environmental topics.

3- Recycle: We recycle at home and we have been very careful recently about what we recycle. We checked out our city's recycling page and have corrected our recycling ways. My speech kiddos have also been recycling their papers they use in speech.

4- Use both sides of paper: I use recycled paper to take data most of the time. When I write on paper, I make sure I use both sides of it.

5- Reuse second hand: We reuse! My friends and I have been passing down baby/toddler clothes and toys to each other so we can reuse and buy less.

6- Use less bottled water: We almost never buy bottled water. We filter our water so we don't use plastic bottles. We take our water to go wherever we go.

7- Use cloth bags: We have been taking our own reusable cloth bags to grocery stores. 

8- Pay bills online: We have been paying our bills online to avoid extra paper usage. 

9- Plant: We bought lots of seeds last week so we can plant new veggies and flowers in  our backyard. 

10- Buy local: We have been trying our best to shop at our local farmer's market. This is not practical all the time, but we're trying our best. 

What are you doing to keep our Earth green? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring, Spring, What Do You See?

The weather in Seattle has been gorgeous these past couple of weeks. With the sun shining, flowers have been blooming everywhere. The beautiful colors you can see outside is one of my favorite things about the season.

Last fall, I make a fall themed book that was similar to the ever so popular bear (a certain bear that is brown ;)) books. They were a hit with my preschool and kindergarten students. The book also helped them to learn vocabulary that was relevant to that season. With spring in the air, I was inspired to create a spring themed book. The first few pages are the book. I've also included vocabulary cards, basic concepts cards, and a spring themed game board.

Head here to download the spring themed book: Spring, Spring, What Do You See?

What is your favorite thing about spring?

We've also linked up with Speechie Freebies yet again this week! If you've found us through them, thank you for visiting our site!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

We've hit a milestone!

We're celebrating an amazing milestone that we've just reached on our twitter and instragram accounts… over 600 followers!! We are blessed to be part of such a wonderful community and to have the most amazing supporters! We continue to do what we do because you inspire us to!

To thank you for your never-ending support and encouragement we are hosting a flash freebie of Christine's latest Earth Day Craftivity Packet. Below is a picture of the craft that can be created with this packet. It also includes a variety of writing prompts so that you can pick the one that best suites your students! Be sure to download this packet by 9 pm PST (04/08/14). Head over to our Facebook and like us to find out how to download this packet for free: Facebook- The Speech Chicks


Thank you again for your support! It means the WORLD to us! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Out and About "WH" Questions and Conversation Starters

Many of my language delayed kiddos and kiddos with autism struggle greatly when they are asked "WH" Questions --> what? when? where? who? why?
It is important for these kiddos to learn how to answer these questions in order to get their needs met and interact with others around them. Us, SLPs, are always trying to come up with different tools, ideas and activities to help these children comprehend and answer these questions correctly. I have been working on "WH" questions mainly with my school aged kiddos every day for the past year and I thought it would be nice to come up with an activity where the kids have to interact with their families in order to answer the questions. Here is the packet I made: Out and About "WH" Questions
This packet (6 pages) gives the children the opportunity to learn a little bit more about their town/city and neighborhood. 

We are also linking up with Speechie Freebies again! Head over to their blog to check out other Friday FreeBEES. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Young Children Use Verbs They Know to Learn New Nouns: Evidence from 15- and 19-month-olds

Researchers at Northwestern University looked to see whether children can use their knowledge of verbs they already know to learn new nouns. The participants included thirty 19-month-olds and twenty nine 15-month-olds, and they were acquiring English as their first language. 

The children were shown familiar images (e.g. bird, bottle, cow, dog, horse, spoon) and abstract images on a screen and overheard people having a conversation about one of the images, then they were shown these images again and they were prompted to find the object that was previously mentioned and the researchers followed their eye gaze.  According to the results, by 19 months, infants used their verb knowledge to identify new nouns. Researchers concluded that even before infants begin to talk in sentences, they pay attention to the way new words are used in conversation. They use the rest of the sentence to draw a meaning for the new word (Ferguson, Graf & Waxman, 2014). 

This study shows us that by hearing what an object does (the verb), infants learn what the object is. We've talked about "talking to your children" in our previous posts. It is okay to point and say the names of pictures/objects around you, but it is also important for your infants to hear natural conversation. For example, if you take your child to the zoo and point to a lion and tell him/her to look at the lion, your child may not know what a lion is, but if you tell him/her the lion is sleeping, he/she can conclude that "lion" must be the animal that is sleeping.

I tell my kiddos' parents to use self-talk and talk about what they are doing to their infants. I've heard parents tell me that they are embarrassed to "have conversations" with their infants in public. There is nothing to be embarrassed about! At first, it might feel a little odd talking to an infant who can't talk back about what you are buying at the grocery store, but you will eventually get used to it and it will become a habit. By having a natural conversation with your infant about what you are doing and what is going on around you, you are exposing him/her to so much language. The more language children hear, the more words they will know. Even if they do not seem to listen, you are still exposing them to more language. Use nouns (e.g. bird, dog, chair), but also use lots of verbs in your conversations (e.g. The dog is barking). 

Ferguson, B., Graf, E., & Waxman, S. (2014). Infants use known verbs to learn novel nouns: Evidence from 15- and 19-month-olds. 131, 139- 146.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Recycle It: Irregular Past Tense Verbs

Happy spring everyone! Though Seattle had a mild winter, I am definitely looking forward to warmer days ahead.

We've decided to link up with our wonderful fellow SLPs at Speechie Freebies again!

I've put together irregular past tense verbs Earth Day themed packet for you. Irregular past tense verbs are a goal for many of my students. They can definitely be a little tricky for students. I think we can all agree that English is a hard language to learn, more so for those students with language delays/difficulties.

A fellow SLP in my district share these with our SLP group:

The bandage was wound around the wound.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.  

Can you imagine being one of your students and having to decipher what these sentences exactly mean?! I know I had to read these sentences again to figure out the meaning.

Hope you enjoy this irregular past tense verb packet. Be sure to leave feedback on our TPT store if you decided to download.

Click here to download: Recycle It: Irregular Past Tense Verbs

My Emotions and Facial Expressions

One of the most common characteristics of children with autism is the difficulty in reading facial expressions. It is important to teach these kiddos about facial expressions because in order to communicate effectively, one must be able to read facial cues and use appropriate facial expressions. I always start by teaching my kiddos with autism the basic emotions and the facial expressions that go with them. I like starting with "happy, sad, angry, and scared" and do role playing. 

As an SLP, I spend a lot of time teaching kiddos with autism about social skills. We work on facial expressions, body orientation/language, tone of voice, vocal volume, etc. Working on social skills is fun but sometimes difficult. I made a packet that I can use to help teach these kiddos the facial expressions for some of these emotions. Click here for a free printable you can use with your kiddos who struggle with this concept --> My Emotions and Facial Expressions

Here are some sample pages! This is an 8-page packet! 

We are linking up with our wonderful fellow SLPs at Speechie Freebies again! Click on this link for more freebies. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17- March 23 SLPeeps Shape Up Challenge

Who is ready for another #slppeepsshapeup challenge? Spring is this week! Let's get active SLPeeps!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Vocabulary, Pronouns, Spatial Concepts, and Irregular Past Tense Verbs

The end of the week is near and so is SPRING!! This is my favorite time of the year. I made a language packet with spring pictures for one of my speech kiddos and I'd like to share this with you guys. This is a FREEBIE (8 pages) and I hope you enjoy it! Click here --> SPRING LANGUAGE FUN
We are also linking up with Speechie Freebies this Friday again! Head over to their blog to check out other Friday FreeBEES. 

This packet includes:
-Spring Vocabulary
-Spatial Concepts

-Irregular Past Tense Verbs
-Spring Coloring Page

Sample Pages:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Phonological Processes: Fronting of the "K" and "G" Sounds (K/T and G/D Minimal Pairs)

One of the most common phonological processes is "fronting" of the /k/ and /g/ sounds. Phonological processes are simplifications of adult sound productions that affect entire classes of sounds and there are many types of processes out there. In this post, we are going to talk about velar fronting. This happens when a child says a sound that is supposed to be produced in the back of the mouth, in the front of the mouth. Click here for a 7-page fronting packet with pictures! (FREEBIE)

Fronting of the /k/ sound: [tea] for key or [sit] for sick
Fronting of the /g/ sound: [down] for gown or [mud] for mug

This phonological error is common in young children but it should go away by 3.5 years. Speak to a Speech-Language Pathologist if your child is older and fronts these sounds. 

Sample Pages --->