Speech Language Play

Leafing Through Speech Goals September 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 10:42 pm

I have to apologize for the fact that I have been MIA. Over the past few months I have gotten engaged, got a new job, and have planned a wedding (in what would be considered less time than is humanly possible).

So I will just leave you with a tiny bit of good stuff to start the year off right. Since many of you (including me) make a fall themed bulletin board, I thought that it would be great to have students reflect on their goals while making a fun little play on word “Leafing through my speech goals” (“leafing” as related to leaves but also to all the IEP’s I’ve had to read over the last few days.)

Students can verbally state, write, or select a symbol related to what their goals are and why they are working towards those goals.

Simple little double sided book that can be used with kids of all abilities.




Giveaway of “The Monster at the End of This Book” App May 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 11:02 pm

I have been offered a free code for this really awesome app, so if you would like it, please do any of the following and post a comment for each one that you complete. I will pick a winner on Thursday June 7th. 


You can post a link to my blog on facebook, twitter, pinterest, or anywhere else its relevant.

You can follow my blog. (This would make me happiest of all)

You can like Callaway Digital Arts, and send them a hello from SpeechLangaugePlay https://www.facebook.com/CallawayDigitalArts#

Or you can just leave me a message about what you would be interested in reading on my blog.


You’re Graduating! Now what….. May 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 9:31 am

I have been lucky these past few years to have such amazing graduate interns. They are eager for

Imageinformation and their zeal for therapy is unmatched. It renews my own enthusiasm in therapy and makes me give extra thought to what I am doing therapeutically and why I am doing it. One part of being a supervisor is answering questions and making sure graduate interns get an honest view of what working in the profession looks like (the good: trips to Toys R US for fun, and the bad: too many students, and almost endless paper work)

A wonderful and creative former graduate student of mine Katrina Van Sluyk wrote this guest post on some of the questions she used to ask me about life after graduation. So please enjoy!


Congratulations to all the January, May, and August 2012 graduates! You did it! Commencement services are fast approaching or have passed and you now hold a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology!! Parties, dinners, imitate gatherings, and celebrations are now over and you are in search of your first job, a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) position in Speech Language Pathology.  This is a very exciting time in your life but can be also be very scary.

The beauty of our field is that there are so many possible employment opportunities.  If you don’t already know, you need to decide what population you want to work with.  After completing my placements, I knew I wanted to work with pediatrics.  During my last semester of graduate school, I had a ton of questions regarding what I should look for in an agency, school and/or supervisor before I accept a CFY position. Viky, my supervisor at the time, gave me a lot of useful advice about what I should look for when choosing my CFY position.

I am going to try to answer those questions and help advise you based on the advice that was given to me.  Here is the advice that was given to me when seeking a placement that I would like to pass on to you:

First, I hate to be the bearer of this news, but it very difficult to find a CFY position.  Once you have spent time searching the known websites including www.advanceweb.com, www.indeed.com, www.speechpathology.com and www.craigslist.com, just to name a few, you will see that many of the agencies, private practices, and both private and charter schools are looking for certified SLPs with a few years of experience.  Keeping in mind, that CFY positions are limited from the start, and let’s face it, we all want to finish our 9 months ASAP, to become Certified Speech Language Pathologists, I suggest not settling for the first position that is offered after you ace the interview.  A CFY position is an extremely critical time as we still have a lot to learn in the field.  This is the last time we will have a Supervisor guiding us as we treat disorders and cases we did not come across during our graduate internships and externships.

You will need to choose which aspects of your CFY are most important for you.

  1. Other therapists, CFY’s on site (like the saying goes “two heads are better than one”) to bounce ideas off, share materials, and ask questions to obtain an immediate answer
  2.  A full time position is always better than part time (full times requires 9 months, part time is longer)
  3. A salaried position (getting paid for days off/sick days, benefits)
  4. A Supervisor that is always available (phone, email, text messaging-being able to use all modes of communication)
  5. Supervisor observation (how often does the supervisor comes to observe you)
  6. A convenient location (consider travel expensive)
  7. Mode of transportation (distance from train/bus to site of employment, parking arrangements if driving)
  8. Dress code of employer
  9. Methodology of treatment (play therapy vs. structured ABA/PECS therapy)
  10. Group vs. individual therapy (you may get paid per hour not per person seen)
  11. Requirements of paperwork/reports (is there time built into the day to complete paperwork, or done on your own time)
  12. When considering working with junior high school/high school-the nature of our field is changing to include more fields so consider the requirements of the child that includes reading and writing therapy
  13. Working environment (your own room, sharing a room with multiple therapists, or working in a hallway, using different rooms)
  14. Availability of resources (therapy materials, computer, I-pad, specialized computer programs)

If this was not mentioned in your graduate courses it is a vital piece of information and if it was, I think it is worth repeating: CHECK WITH YOUR STATE ABOUT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A CFY!!!!!!!!

In New York State (where I am) you are only allowed two Supervisors during the total time of your CFY position (9 months full-time/more for part-time).  You will need to stay a total of six months at one position (either full-time (35 hrs/per week) or part-time (a minimum of two days per week consisting of no less than 12 hrs/per week) in order for your hours to count towards NYS Certification.  Here is the link with additional valuable information for New York State’s requirements for Certification.   http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/slpa/speechlic.htm#exp

—-Katrina Van Sluyk


Spring Food Craft- Field of Sprouts May 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 10:18 am

I have been working on the planting/gardening theme for a bit of time. We have read books, planted seeds, repotted plants, made art projects, and played in the dirt. I wanted to create a food craft to round out the theme while reinforcing the students’ use of vocabulary and their ability to follow directions with the new vocabulary. This is just a fun project they can eat.Image

I also thought it would be good for students to see the whole process from planting the seeds, watching them grown, watering them, and “harvesting” and eating. The kids should be able to taste what they planted (I personally love sprouts) and it was great to see some of my students asking for more sprouts.



For each student:

1 slice of whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon for cream cheese

1 slice of banana

5-10 sprouts (I used sunflower) but if you use smaller ones like (alfalfa) you may want to use more.

1 ziploc bag or a small bowl (for mixing)

1 spoon for mixing and spreading

1 drop of blue food coloring


1. Mix the cream cheese with a drop of food coloring.

2.Spread the blue sky on the bread

3. A slice of banana for the sun in the sky.

4. Sprouts in the soil.


I worked on reinforcing the vocabulary: sprouts, sun, field, sky, sun, soil, planting, farmer.

My students loved this recipe.


Mothers Day Craft May 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 9:57 pm

With some of my older (and more involved) students, I make sure to give them some level of control in the activities that we do. I sometimes give them a choice between two options, and sometimes (much like for this following craft) I leave the instructions more open ended.

I introduced this particular student to Pinterest and gave her the following directions: “find a craft that you can make for mother’s day.”

She found this mother’s day ice cream cone with adjectives for sprinkles.

Once the task was selected, she had to make a list of necessary materials, walk to the reception desk to request the materials, and decide how to make a similar “cone.”Image

I made that task harder by having her write a sentence for each word that she use to describe her mom. We then added a cover and made it a card (we glued it on backwards so you will have to forgive us).


Happy Mother’s Day


Answering “Wh” questions: Combining Auditory and Visual to Support Learning May 5, 2012

Filed under: Language — speechlanguageplay @ 1:37 pm
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Some of my students have difficulty with working memory and receptive language (or auditory processing, or whatever else you may call it) and this makes answering questions based on simple stories and events almost impossible. I find that including visual supports and starting at the simplest parts of a sentence/question can help build up confidence to complete harder tasks.

I put together a simple color-coded board to work on a 3 part “subject—-verb-object—–location” sentences with the “verb-object”  part connected. I find that it sometimes creates a more salient image in students minds to have both the verb and object paired together, because if they are able to recall one it may be a trigger/cue for the other. This helps answer the “what doing?” questions.

What I try to do when using visual is give specific instructions so students can make associations between the visual input they are seeing and the auditory input they are hearing.

This is the hierarchy that I move up and down on depending upon the child’s skills. EACH OF THESE STEPS SHOULD BE REPEATED FOR PRACTICE MANY TIMES UNTIL A STUDENT MAKES THE CONNECTION AND POINTS TO/ANSWERS INDEPENDENTLY. I make it a point reinforce their correct responses by repeating what they say. I praise them with their response as a part of the praise. (“eat the cookie”; “You’re right, you answered what she is doing, she is eating the cooking”)

  1. “When I say ‘WHO’ you point to the yellow and say ‘_persons name/subject_’ “
  2. ” _subject_, WHO did I say? “
  3. “”When I say ‘what is subject doing’  you point to the green and say ‘_verb+object_’ ” *I accept “verb”  or a point to the corresponding correct picture in the response.
  4. ” _verb+object_,  What is the boy/girl doing?”
  5. ” ‘subject verb object‘ , ‘Who is verb objecting?’ “
  6. With the same picture sequence as in step 5, “What is subject doing?”
  7. “When I say ‘WHERE’ you point to the pink and say ‘location‘ “
  8. “location, WHERE?”
  9. Present the “Subject+Location” phrase and ask subsequent questions “who, where? questions.
  10. Present the “Subject, What doing, and Location” phrase with subsequent “What+What doing+Where” questions.
I move the picture cues from the board where they are all stored (using velcro) to the smaller sentence strip which also have velcro. I present the sentences or phrases or words on the sentence strip to help students make a connection with the visual and corresponding auditory input and ask them to point along as I “read” them the sentence. Once students have mastered the task of answering each part individually, I fade the visual cues by covering up the target picture and asking the students to try to remember what is under my hand . By this point,  it’s a game to try to see if they can beat me and remember the answer without the picture.
To download the freebie, click on the picture below, it includes 1) a storage page for all images, 2)pictures for people, places and actions, and 3) a simple color coded sentence strip.

Spring Flowers -Simple Craft for Following Directions May 3, 2012

Filed under: Language — speechlanguageplay @ 8:45 pm
Tags: , , , ,

ImageGoing along with the spring theme, I had a little fun today making spring flowers to decorate my tiny room (which I am very thankful for). I remembered how much fun my students had making snowflakes and the fun discovery that happened when they opened up the folded and cut up piece of paper.

Simple instructions on how to make paper snowflakes

I modified this idea to make simple and very colorful flowers to greet a new season. I printed colorful spring scrapbook pages with images of flowers and bugs and printed them double sided so that when the flower is made you could see the other colors on the reverse side. This activity is great for performing directions (in a specific order) several times, so you can have your students learn the task, review the task, and hopefully by the third or fourth time they can retell the directions back to you.

I helped my students follow directions to fold the paper. For the ones who needed limits on where to cut, I drew lines on their papers, and for others, let them go at it alone. Then poked a green pipe cleaner “stem” through the middle and TADA!!Image


Spring Prepositions and Vocabulary- Dora the Explorer May 2, 2012

I find that my students (whether it be preschool or school-aged) have difficulty using specific language when answering questions. “Where is the doll house? Over there;” “What do you want?  That.”

This is often due to lack of understanding and use of the content of language. Whether it be a lack of vocabulary (the name of an object) or lack of prepositional knowledge, a part of the message our kids are trying to communicate is being omitted.

Over the past few weeks I have been working on vocabulary related to “Spring,” and “Planting/Gardening.”  I find that real like 3D activities help kids relate to better to their world, and try out their language use in a safe and interactive environment.

One activity I have worked on is increasing vocabulary and use/understanding of prepositions.

I have used the free materials available at Nick Jr. :

Coloring Pages (Great for teaching early vocabulary)

Gardening Games (Great for the kids to practice interactive planting with quicker growing times)

And I have put together some simple printables to target both vocabulary and preposition use. Click on the image to view the document in Google Docs.


You can make several copies of which ever level your students are on, laminate, and have the students match the symbol to the picture or the word to the picture, or the picture to the picture.

I also used all the pictures from the boardmaker board above to make larger images that can be printed on sturdy paper (attached velcro, magnetic backing, or even just glue) and used as a barrier game to practice expressive and receptive language. Here is a site that has a really wonderful description of barrier games Playing with Words 365.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar (simple craft) April 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — speechlanguageplay @ 5:16 pm
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I have been seeing a million and one wonderful crafts, so why throw my recent adventure into the mix. I created this craft during a shared book reading task to give my children manipulatives to play with.



  • Green streamer (or green tissue paper cut into long strips)
  • Googly eyes
  • Brown Tissue to wrap the caterpillar (streamer) while it’s in the cocoon
  • Tissue paper of various colors (cut/ripped into random shapes) for butterfly wings
  • Construction paper butterfly (precut by therapist)
  1. First make the caterpillar by cutting a length of streamer (approximately 1 foot) and paste eyes onto it.
  2. Use the caterpillar throughout the book reading to eat all the foods in the book
  3. When the caterpillar gets larger in the book, have the kids wrap the caterpillar in brown tissue paper and put it to sleep in the cocoon.
  4. While “metamorphosis” occurs, decorate the wings of the butterfly with the tissue paper. You can have the kids follow a pattern of putting the tissue paper one (blue, red, green, blue, red, ____) and this task is also good for increasing fine motor control, as the kids have to take only one piece of tissue paper at a time, and sequence putting glue on the paper wings and then pasting the tissue paper down.
  5. Once the wings are complete the caterpillar is ready to come out of the cocoon and get to use his wings (paste the streamer onto the butterfly wings)
  6. TAH DAH!!!!
  7. Don’t forget to review the vocabulary related to butterflies, which will differ based on the age and target goals for each child.

Group Therapy

Filed under: Articulation,Language,Toys — speechlanguageplay @ 9:24 am
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UPDATE!!!! My guest post is up at SpeechBop!

 http://speechbop.com/ Image