Live Speak Love, LLC

Lisa M. Geary, MS CCC-SLP lisa@livespeaklove.com

Towson University’s Adult Language and Pragmatic Skills (ALPS) Groups Featured on ASHA April 29, 2014

Filed under: Resources,Undergraduate/Graduate Classes — livespeaklove @ 12:10 pm
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I am very excited to serve as featured contributor for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s online publication, ASHASphere. I was asked to write an article about the groups I facilitate at Towson University for adults with autism. Here is my article, featured today on their website:

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Thanks for reading!

 

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Summer Fun Resources April 20, 2014

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 8:30 am

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Summer Fun Resources

With summer just around the corner, I wanted to highlight some summer fun activities I created that were featured on the ASHASphere blog a couple of years ago. There are lots of ideas and FREE resources for you to download! Please feel free to pass on the free downloads — just link back to my site if you do. Thank you and ENJOY!

 

 

 

CyberMonday and Tuesday SALE from LiveSpeakLove! December 1, 2013

Interested in some new therapy supplies? Take advantage of Teachers Pay Teachers HUGE Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale! Every single LiveSpeaklove product will be on SALE for 28% off! Now is your chance to stock up on all of the LiveSpeakLove goodies you need. Holidays are our specialty– and we have LOTS of holiday-themed goodies that will give you a December to remember. Keep your prep work to a minimum and target a variety of speech and language goals using my theme-based activities. Fun, engaging activities that allow for differentiation and are aligned to the CCSS…take advantage of this HUGE event and you will have the best, easiest holiday season ever! Don’t forget to check out my FREEBIES!!

Thank you and Happy Holidays from LiveSpeakLove!

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Thanksgiving Activities from LiveSpeakLove! November 3, 2013

Happy November from LiveSpeakLove! As we polish off the last of the Halloween candy, many of us are gearing up for the next big holiday…Thanksgiving! November is typically a blur for me with the ASHA convention, American Education Week and anticipation of the ever popular Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa holiday season. But I always make it a point to very purposefully and carefully appreciate the moment that we have for Thanksgiving. I hope you do, too! To help get you get ready for Thanksgiving in the speech-language therapy room, here are a collection of Thanksgiving activities I made targeting comprehensive skill sets from the CCSS. These activity sets allow for differentiated instruction in individual, small group or whole class settings. Everything you need for this month in one spot…Enjoy!!

Happy Thanksgiving from LiveSpeakLove!

Happy Thanksgiving from LiveSpeakLove!

 

What are YOU thankful for this November?

 

 

Anncredible October 14, 2013

Filed under: Announcements,Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 11:38 pm
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From LiveSpeakLove’s new Anncredible Page:

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The Anncredible Fight

What is The Anncredible Fight?

The Anncredible Fight is a story that will touch your heart and compel you to act. It is the story of a woman and her fight with an aggressive form of breast cancer. The story of a fighter, whose journey has already inspired so many. She is a single mom of two children, one with significant medical and developmental needs. She is a caregiver, a lifesaver, a warrior and teacher. She is the light in her children’s eyes and the laughter in their hearts. She is  a daughter, a niece, a cousin, an aunt. She is a friend. A good friend. She loves with her whole heart, and she helps others before she helps herself.

She is you, she is me; she is all of us that Live, Speak and Love in hopes of making a difference.

She is Ann, and she is my sister.

(You can read more about Ann and her story at Anncredible.)

How Can You Help?

Because Ann is the primary caregiver and support for her special needs son, Eliah, Ann is unable to work and has NO INSURANCE. Please consider helping Ann in one or more of the following ways:

ann fundraiser

Donate money to help Ann with medical and household bills - any amount will help this single mother who has devoted her life to caring for her children. She has been unable to work and has NO INSURANCE. Donations are being accepted so that Ann can focus on getting healthy without worrying about losing her house or her children.  Ann’s Fundraiser: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/secret-friends-helping-our-anncredible-secret-fundraiser-/88540

anncredible fight swag

Purchase an “Anncredible” t-shirt, hoodie or related apparel - All proceeds go directly to Ann. Post a picture of you sporting your Anncredible swag on my Facebook page to show Ann your support! The Anncredible Fight Swag Store: http://anncredible.spreadshirt.com

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Join the Ann Can! Facebook group follow her journey and send her messages of encouragement. Ann is very open about her experiences and encourages your request to join our group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/ANNCAN/

Thank you for supporting Anncredible!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for caring, and thank you for supporting this very personal journey. Blessings to you all!

Lisa, Live Speak Love

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Me and my Sis, Anncredible

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Me wearing my Anncredible shirt to support my sister

Beautiful and Brave...Anncredible

Beautiful and Brave…Anncredible

 

WHOOO Loves Owls?! August 20, 2013

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 2:54 pm

Wow, I am loving the response to my cute Owl Clipart – seems I am not the only one who thinks the little owls are perfect for the back-to-school season!  You can read more about my year-round obsession with owls here or here. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to my love for the little creatures (in real life, I would probably just watch in awe and run for my life if one dared come close to me, hahaha. I am always fearful that my little five pound ball of fluff puppy, Cooper , will be carried away by a hungry fowl. But I DO love them from afar.)

Anyway, here is a repost of my ever popular WHO questions featuring the Owl Clipart I made. Hope you enjoy!!

Owl Who Questions Preview

 

Back to School SALE at TPT!! August 18, 2013

Filed under: Free Downloads,Holiday Theme,Therapy Tools — livespeaklove @ 7:15 pm
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If you did not already know, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide SALE for the Back to School season! Come check out all the goodies to get you off to a fabulous start. Happy New Year!!!

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Owl Art

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 7:01 pm

Reposting my original OWL CLIPART, because I happen to think that Owls are perfect for the back to school season!  Yes, it took me hours and hours to make these images but how cute are they??? Click to download for your personal, educational and commercial use…check it out!

Owls

 

Back to School Season!

Filed under: Articulation,Holiday Theme,Language — livespeaklove @ 6:45 pm
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The end of summer…the beginning of a new season, a brand new school year…anyone else just LOVE that fresh, back-to-school feeling that makes you just want to get ORGANIZED and ready for Fall? Back to School season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Buses rolling through the streets again, children skipping along with back packs and book orders, with visions of soccer games and Halloween costumes not far behind them. Soon we will be ushering in brisk nights filled with pumpkins, scarecrows, hoodies, colorful leaves and homework at kitchen tables as the dusk falls early around our homes. Such a wonderful time of year, filled with promise and the forgiveness of a new beginning. Maybe I am a little sappy and cliche about the back to school season, but to me, this season is the beginning of what life is really all about. Are you ready to start on the right foot??? LiveSpeakLove is here to help! I’ve just posted one of my favorite back-to-school activity sets! This original set is the perfect activity for the Back to School season as classroom routines are formed and baseline data is collected. Use the materials in this set to introduce Back to School vocabulary and the Back to School theme unit. Print duplicate pages to create memory games, take-home practice pages, learning center activities and more! Target receptive and expressive communication skills with wh questions, sentence formulation activities, describing object attributes…these materials can be adapted to meet ANY articulation or language objective. Aligned with Common Core Speaking and Listening standards for multiple grade levels, this set is GREAT for differentied groups!! Hurry, on sale now in my TPT Store!!

Back to School Activity Set

 

Calling all Puppy Lovers! May 20, 2013

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 7:26 pm
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Cavachon PuppyLiveSpeakLove is excited to announce the adoption of a wonderful little Cavachon Puppy! I would love to connect with other Cavachon owners, particularly if you adopted a Cavachon or other puppy from DCDogFinders in the MD, DC, VA area.

Please fill out the form below and I will add you to our wiki page where we can post our photos, tips, stories, etc. Can’t wait to share!

 

 

 

 

 

Calling All Night Owls March 20, 2013

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 3:23 am
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I recently posted this meme on the LiveSpeakLove Facebook page and have since then seen it crop up on Pinterest and other sites. I must not be the only one! Anyone else a night owl? When do you get the most work accomplished? I’d love to hear!

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Destinations February 27, 2013

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 12:54 am
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A reminder to live in the moment (something I need to remember daily!)

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Feature on PediaStaff February 25, 2013

Filed under: Articulation,Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 2:26 pm
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Many of you read the recent post featuring Gretchen Hines and her poignant story of being Mom to a child with apraxia. Gretchen’s story of a mother’s love, sadness, frustration and eventual success touched many  hearts (including mine) and inspired us as parents, therapists, educators and advocates. I am pleased to report that Gretchen’s story is featured in PediaStaff’s Parent’s Corner this week! Special thanks to social media extraordinaire, Heidi Kay, for picking up the story and spreading the word.

Gretchen’s post on PediaStaff: (click on image)

Gretchen Hines and two of her children, Ben (left) and Tyler (right)

Gretchen Hines and two of her children, Ben (left) and Tyler (right)

Thanks for reading! Lisa, LiveSpeakLove

 

Judge Not…A Mother’s Journey February 20, 2013

Filed under: Articulation,Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 11:21 pm
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Gretchen with two of her children, Ben (left) and Tyler (right)

SLPs, educators, parents, and anyone needing a bit of inspiration in life today — please join me in welcoming featured contributor, Gretchen Hines. Gretchen graciously agreed to share this very personal, heartfelt account of her journey as a mother of a child with apraxia. Perhaps you are on a similar journey with your own loved one, or perhaps you are working to make a difference in the lives of families like Gretchen’s. Whatever your story,  I hope that you will find inspiration in this mother’s words. I know I did. ~Lisa, LiveSpeakLove

The following post originally appeared on Gretchen Hines’ personal blog, MommyCircus. Head on over to her site and let her know how you liked her story!

Judge Not…

It has been a few months since I have posted, but September came, school and sports started and my time became sparse. But, I’m back! Hoping to catch up on and continue to post about the happy happenings of our large household.

What got me started tonight has been weighing heavy on my mind for a few weeks and I thought it best to make a post, in hopes that it may change, if only one persons perspective on what I am about to approach.

Sixteen years ago this past October, we were blessed with our first born son, Tyler. As any first time parent would do we carefully marked milestones…first smile, sitting, crawling, walking, first word… Tyler made all of those milestones mostly right on time. right around a year or so old he spoke “mama” and “dada” for the first time. His brother Ben was born when he  was 13 months old and Tyler called him “kitty” because of the his large amount of brown hair. But, his words were few and far between. When he turned two I found out I was expecting a third baby, and right about that time fourteen years ago, our beautiful little red haired 2 year old boy stopped speaking at all. Instead, he mumbled as though he had a mouth full of food. We took him to the pediatrician, who referred us to the local children’s hospital for evaluation. We were told initially that he might be autistic. I was devastated. I felt guilty that I was pregnant again while my precious little  boy would need so much help. I had no idea what the future would  hold for him… We went to lots of appointments and testing and finally ended up in the speech therapy department at CHKD. They explained to us that he was not autistic, however he displayed the high intelligence that a lot of autistic children display. What he had was a condition they termed apraxia. The connection between his brain and his tongue had a malfunction within it, thus making it very difficult for him to form words. The diagnosis they gave stated that they were ” cautiously optimistic” that he would ever be able to speak.

We quickly began daily speech therapy and were told it would be best if we learn sign language to communicate with him. Our precious  two year old boy learned to sign to us to let us know what he needed. I desperately wanted to hear my son speak as I watched his tiny hands sign things to me. I became his mouth. I spoke for him everywhere we went. I watched in utter sadness as he would try to play with other children, only to have them walk away because he could not speak to them . On the playground kids would ask why he wouldn’t talk to them. Children wanted to know what was “wrong” with him. So, I kept him to myself. I kept him away from other children. He was always a curious little fellow and dearly loved to scavenge around the yard for worms and lizards. He loved exploring, and we would often explore the woods behind our house, just me and him and his brothers. His younger brother Ben, who at this point was 2 years old and speaking enough for both of them was quick to understand that his older brother could not speak. This, was not going to work for him. Determined to have his brother speak to him, Ben would talk at him, often forcefully “talk to me” he would say. And he would talk and explain to Tyler all day long. To this day, and forever, I owe a debt of gratitude to my little son Ben for his part in helping Tyler speak. He was persistent and forceful and often arrogant, and I believe that he still feels a bit of responsibility towards Tyler that he will never understand.

Many, many months of speech therapy later and one very persistent  little brother…. my first born son at the age of 4, began to speak in sentences. And every word he has spoken since then has been a miracle. At this point, our therapy benefits had long since expired and it seemed as though our son had gone about as far as he could with speech therapy. His therapist agreed that he had progressed far beyond their expectations and it was probably best to discontinue his therapy. He did still have some difficulty with certain sounds, but we were satisfied that he could speak, and a slight speech impediment would not be the end of the world. At this point we decided to enroll him in pre school to help him learn to socialize with other children. I was scared to death. I wouldnt be able to be there if he needed help or if someone didn’t understand him. But, in true Tyler fashion, he was so excited to go to school. He went the first day and loved it, couldn’t wait to go back. He had such a good time at school and really seemed to be interacting well and making friends. And then came March of that school year. March is when the school holds parent conferences to discuss your child’s progress and determine a plan for the following year. My husband and I went for our conference on a March afternoon that I will never forget… A very misguided pre school teacher sat us down, and in not so many words told us that our son was “dumb” because she couldn’t understand him. She told us that he would never be able to succeed in a regular classroom and that she really didn’t feel that he should go on to kindergarten. Once again, that feeling of devastation set in. I cried the rest of the day and declared that I was removing him from that school. However, my level headed husband explained that it would not be fair to our son to take his school away from him because he loved it so much. That we would not let that teacher get the best of us. We would push forward, knowing that our son WAS capable of anything.

We enrolled him in private kindergarten the following year, and he thrived. His teacher was kind and understood him. She took the time to know him and she was able to see that beyond his speech, he was a very special, smart little boy. Feeling great about his year in kindergarten, we decided to enroll him in public school for first grade. Again, I was scared to death, but he was so excited. And, once agin in true Tyler fashion, he approached each day with such enthusiasm. I felt really good about our decision to put him in public school. And then, once again, a very misguided teacher decided that since she couldn’t understand him all of the time that he needed to be placed in special reading groups. But, not only could he read, he could read chapter books! I quickly had this situation remedied, however I had to agree to place him in speech therapy through the school so that she could better understand him. Come second grade, a year into public school speech therapy, little progress in improving his “horrible” speech impediment, he is placed into a second grade class for students with special needs. Once again dismayed at the treatment of my son by the public school, I am told that he was placed in this class under the recommendation of his first grade teacher. Determined to push forward, we kept him in the class, and actually found out that he had one of the most wonderful teachers we have had to date. She was kind and understanding, and agreed that he did not belong in that class. She took him under her wing and truly bonded with him. She let him speak in front of the class and give directions and be in charge. It was a wonderful year for him. He ended that year with so much confidence.We also found out this year that Tyler has a beautiful ability to look past others handicaps and differences and see that there is something good in everyone. He would tell me about the little girl in a wheelchair who was his friend and he never once mentioned that she was in a wheelchair. He went on to third grade and was placed in a high level third grade class. Again, he had a wonderful teacher, who saw his potential. He thrived that year and was actually placed in the gifted program. Fourth grade came, and while he again had a very kind teacher, we found out that year that this is the age that children become cruel. Suddenly Tyler was the brunt of a lot of jokes because of the way that he spoke. He would tell kids that he was from another country, and that is why he spoke that way. It was soon found out that this was not the case and he was criticized for everything from his speech to his red hair. But, as I had found out two years previous, Tyler has an extremely kind heart. He never spoke ill of any of the children who teased him, he would tell me that they were his friends.

This ridiculing continued through fifth grade. My worst fear realized, and I could not go to school and fix it for him. I had to stand back and sob. Which I did everyday that year. It broke my heart to watch my precious, beautiful son ridiculed, laughed at, singled out. Why, because he was different. He did not speak the same as everyone else. This year I pulled him out of speech therapy at school as this was a point of some of the ridiculing. Progress had not been made as the school system had hoped. But, I was happy with him as he was. My hands were tied. I tried to fight for him from afar, but this could only go so far. I asked him if he wanted to be home schooled, but he always told me no. Despite the treatment he received at school, he still loved it, and wanted to be a part of it. The bullying continued into middle school, and I watched as my once happy go lucky little boy became quiet, angry. He had had enough, but wasn’t willing to give up. He continued on alone at school.He had some good, understanding teachers, but we were still met with those that just could not get past his speech. He made good grades and was happy at home. He would not give up. I think that he knew somewhere, somehow there was a light at the end of the tunnel… That light finally came the end of his eighth grade year.

In the spring of eighth grade we had to make his schedule for high school. I was once again scared to death. How was he going to make it in high school? He came to me with his scheduling paper for me to sign so that he could participate in ROTC. I was very skeptical about this decision. How on earth with the problems he has had with communication would he make it in ROTC. I agreed to it,  and this… became the light…. He entered ninth grade alone, and I think afraid. But, he was met with some very understanding teachers. Teachers that saw past his speech, in fact I said something to one of his teachers, and she replied ” I didn’t know he had a speech problem”. But, by far, his involvement in the ROTC program was a God send. That year,  he attended boot camp in the fall. He was awarded numerous merits and by the end of his ninth grade year he was ranked as a Petty Officer 1st Class in his unit. Something very few freshmen had done.He had new friends. He was finally my son again. For the first time in several years he was smiling again. Those cruel children from the past seemed to have dissipated amongst the rest of the school. He was finally able to be himself again,  though I believe that through those past years we had lost a bit of who he once was. The outgoing little boy who once would stop and dance for no good reason, or sing out loud was gone, taken by cruelty and misguided expectations.

Last week my little boy, the one who would never succeed was named as Chief Officer in his ROTC unit. His commanding officer asked him which unit he would like to be in charge of next year. Why, because of his ability to communicate with other cadets. Because of his ability to lead and be a leader. This evening that same little boy, my precious red haired boy will walk across the stage at Gloucester High School as he is inducted into the National Honor Society. Succeed… he did! There is a small part of me deep in my heart that wishes those teachers who labeled him “dumb” because of his speech would all be sitting in that auditorium tonight. Would they know my son? Succeed he did… and he will. He will be great things!

So, the point I am trying to make here is this… Please don’t judge. Never label child. All of our children are beautiful blessings from God! They all have a beautiful purpose, whether they can speak or not, whether they are in a wheelchair, whether they look the way that society would have them look. They are all important and great, and can do great things if we just allow them to do so. If you see a child who needs a little extra help… see them, hear them, help them, understand them… And to all of those teachers and friends who did understand… Thank You!

About Gretchen: I am Mom to nine beautiful children. I am a nurse by trade, and worked as a critical care nurse for a few years before becoming a home health nurse. Home health nursing is where I met my best friend and soul mate who is a home health physical therapist. We were married a year after our first date and shortly thereafter began having children… lots of them. I quit working as a nurse after our third child was born to become a full time Mom and to focus my attention on the needs of our first child. I thoroughly enjoy homeschooling my younger children, and dedicate a large portion of my time to their education. In my spare time these days I am a photographer and writer. Being a mom to nine children has been my biggest challenge and my most amazing blessing. At times it can be an uphill battle…but, at the end of the day we are blessed beyond belief and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. Gretchen Hines, MommyCircus

 

Heart of the Ravens January 7, 2013

Are you a Ravens fan? Here in Baltimore, it is hard to go anywhere without seeing the color Purple or hearing about how the Ravens are headed to Denver for the playoffs. But did you know there is a deeper story? A story that may appeal to SLPs, or to those of you who love someone with a communication disorder or life-threatening illness? This story struck me not just because I am an SLP whose mission is to help others communicate — it struck me because I love someone living with ALS. My mother-in-law, Nancy, was diagnosed with ALS on July 3, 2011. Her spirit and passion for loving others and making a difference in people’s lives continue to shine, just as they do with Ravens Player O.J. Brigance. Take a look at this video that premiered on ESPN just before the most recent Ravens game:

Love you, Mom!

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Reflection & Review

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Welcome to my Year in Review Post! 2012 was an exciting year for me…the creation, evolution and launch of LiveSpeakLove, new writing opportunities, new friends and fellow SLPs from around the world, and a new job at Towson University! I can hardly believe the whirlwind year I have had, full of opportunity and blessings. Last week I received a 2012 Year in Review email from WordPress, and I read the email in pure amazement that I am privileged to have found such a labor of love that people enjoy. I though I would share a few website stats and highlights as part of this reflection post:

Visitors:  According to WordPress, about 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 3 years for that many people to see it. My website had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Top Posts: Here are the Top 5 Posts for LiveSpeakLove in 2012 – wow, each of these posts had 8-10 THOUSAND hits!:

  1.  Visual Supports for Behavior, February 2012
  2.  Top Five Ways to Encourage Spontaneous Language , April 2012
  3. Question-able Material , February 2012
  4. Not-So-Super!, March 2012

Global Reach:  LiveSpeakLove was accessed in over 154 countries in 2012! United States of America and Canada were the top two countries, followed closely by Australia, United Kingdom, Phillipines and New Zealand. Hello and THANK YOU to all my supporters around the world!

Referrals:   It may come as no surprise that the Top Two Referring Sites were Pinterest and Facebook! Pinterest has evolved into a goldmine of resources for creative SLPs who know the value in sharing a good thing.  Many of my referrals came from other SLPs who searched my LiveSpeakLove Pinterest Board and other boards like the shared SLP Blog Post Board for ideas. Big thanks to all who repinned my posts or shared my materials on Facebook!

Features:  I am beyond thrilled to have been featured on some amazing websites this past year. I actually lost track of all of you who mentioned LiveSpeakLove on your own blogs and websites. If I’ve missed you, feel free to post a comment with the link and I will add you to my blogroll. The features below are from websites (the ones I know about) where I was featured as an award winner or special contributor.

  1.  ASHASphere - the official blog of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. On their site, I was featured in the following articles: The Best Speech-Language Blogs A-Z, Better Hearing and Speech Month Roundup, and Making the Most of Summer Fun: Language-based Activities for Children and Their Families. Thanks, ASHA!
  2. PediaStaff - A National Pediatric Therapy Company who runs one of the TOP resources sites for SLPs and other service providers. Heidi Kay, social media extraordinaire contacted me early in 2012 and featured me on their site several times: SLP Corner: Earth Day Activities by Lisa Geary of LiveSpeakLove, Pinterest Pin of the Week: Encouraging Spontaneous Communication from Lisa Geary of LiveSpeakLove, and The SLP Professor’s Corner:  Project Showcase – /fæbjuləs fənɛtɪks/. Heidi has already asked me to write more articles in 2013 to be featured in PediaStaff’s new “SLP Professor’s Corner,” inspired by the post I wrote about my students’ phonetics projects. Of course, Heidi!
  3. Future Speech-Language Pathologists - a fabulous site created and owned by Jourdan Saunders, MS, CCC-SLP. Her site is filled with information and resources for aspiring (or current!) SLPs. Jourdan featured LiveSpeakLove on her site: LiveSpeakLove – A Wealth of Resources Just For You
  4. OnlineSpeechPathologyPrograms.net - this site is an all-in-one resource with information about the SLP Profession, Apps, and more. I am very proud to have been named on of the Best 100 Web Sites for Speech Pathologists! Check out the Teaching Tips Section of this Top 100 article. Thank you!
  5. Presence Learning - a site dedicated to telepractice and current therapy trends. LiveSpeakLove was featured in their 12 Days of Christmas Series.

What an amazing year! I am beyond thrilled to be working at Towson University, educating the next generation of SLPs — and sharing a little bit of my SLP life here. Thank you to all who have supported this site from its genesis, and offered encouragement and kudos to me throughout 2012. I look forward to another great year in the months ahead. To give you a glimpse at just how blessed and happy I am right now with my work, I will share with you this reflective Teaching Statement I submitted recently as part of my first year faculty review:

Walking into a classroom filled with thirty-eight young adults this past August was not easy. I knew that each student was anxious to meet me, to hear what I had to say and to quickly assess their upcoming semester. New to Towson University and to the position of Clinical Assistant Professor, I remember feeling a bit intimidated as I looked around the room. I also remember silently acknowledging that the crowded classroom was exactly where I wanted to be. I knew this fact before I entered the room, but I savored the thought as I introduced myself to everyone…exactly where I wanted to be. Somehow, I had earned the perfect opportunity to use my personal strengths and talents to do something that I truly enjoyed…help people learn. In that moment, I realized that my core beliefs about teaching would shape the success of those thirty-eight students who sat in front of me.

 As a speech-language pathologist, I have learned that good teaching should inspire students in meaningful ways. This semester, I wanted to inspire my students to learn course material and to have fun while they learned. But I also wanted to inspire each student to become a life-long learner, and to feel excited about the idea of becoming a speech-language pathologist. I wanted students to know why they were learning something, and to understand its value. Each class this semester, I worked to make sure that students could connect with what they were learning, and know that what they were learning was important. I incorporated stories from various clinical experiences to help them understand the application of their learning. I believe that I was, in fact, very successful in this endeavor. Many students thanked me in person and through email for a wonderful semester, admitting that I had helped to solidify their commitment to the profession.

 I also know that good teaching should engage students in their learning. Engaging thirty-eight students in a classroom at one time is not an easy task. I did learn some new techniques through suggestions following a Peer Evaluation, and through my own experimentation. I worked hard to incorporate Universal Design for Learning Standards, offering multiple means of presentation and responses throughout my assignments and instruction. I used Prezi presentation software in addition to the standard PowerPoint lecture format. I also incorporated videos, group break-out sessions and hands-on activities as much as possible. In addition, I realized that I needed to quickly learn everyone’s names (again, no easy feat in a class of thirty-eight students, especially in back-to-back sections.) Learning names helped me to include more students in class discussions, and to validate their responses and participation in a personal way. Connecting with students in personal ways also allowed me to better assess their personalities and learning styles.  I noted that in the future, I would like to get to know students individually much sooner in the semester.

Finally, I know that good teaching should include intentional excellence. To effectively engage and inspire students in intentionally excellent ways, one must be prepared and organized. Organization is not exactly my strength, but I did work hard this semester to walk into each class with a specific plan and a designated purpose. I spent long hours and many late nights making sure each activity, assignment or video clip aligned well with my learning objectives, and that the selected tools would inspire and engage students. I wanted each and every class meeting to specifically increase the knowledge and expertise of all the students in my classroom. I periodically sought feedback from students regarding quizzes, assignments and assessments, reflecting on whether each course component was useful and relevant. I also collected feedback to assess whether I was meeting the learning needs of individual students. I did recognize changes that should be made in future classes, and I recorded those suggestions in a personal teaching log. 

I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to educate young adults in ways that reflect my core beliefs. I want to continue learning new ways to inspire and engage learners, while effectively preparing them for graduate school and future careers. I know that I have come a long way since I walked into that university classroom five months ago, with thirty-eight young adults eagerly waiting for me to teach. Reflecting on that first day and on the rest of the semester, I feel very successful despite some mistakes.  I feel encouraged by what I have learned, grateful for the experiences I have had, and still confident in knowing that I am exactly where I want to be.

Thanks to all, and have a Happy 2013!

 

Happy New Year Sale!! December 29, 2012

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 8:20 pm

Now is your time to stock up on SLP and Classroom Resources — one last time before the New Year. From now until the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, ALL LiveSpeakLove resources are 15% off! Check out the goodies and get ready to ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year from LiveSpeakLove! 15% off Everything!

Happy New Year from LiveSpeakLove! 15% off Everything!

 

Project Showcase: /fæbjuləs fənɛtɪks/ December 17, 2012

Filed under: Technology,Undergraduate/Graduate Classes — livespeaklove @ 10:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Today I gave my last final exam of my first semester at Towson University! Now to grade the stack of ~ 80 exams. :)  I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVED teaching the two sections of Phonetics class I was given in addition to my other clinical responsibilities. The Phonetics of American English class is one of the very first classes TU students take after they are admitted into the Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies major (following pre-major status and a competitive application process that allows only the top 70 students officially into the major.) The students I taught this semester were inspired, fresh, enthusiastic and very bright. They asked lots of great questions, and seemed to even welcome the many quizzes I’d built in to the course (perhaps too many; that was a lot of grading!!) There was one assignment in particular they seemed to embrace — the final phonetics project. Students were given the basic instruction to apply knowledge from the course in a way that appealed to them (paper, presentation, creative endeavor, etc.)  I purposely left the type of project up to them, wanting to include different styles of learning and multiple means of responses (stop right now and Google Universal Design for Learning standards if you are unfamiliar with the concepts of learning styles and multiple means of responses.) I also wanted the students to fuel their inspiration and apply what they’d learned in a way that THEY found meaningful. I have to say that I was completely blown away by their ingenuity, creativity and hard work. Nearly all students took this project to a level I hadn’t anticipated, and their excitement about the project was contagious. I wish that I could showcase all of the talent and inspiration that poured into my classroom during the first couple weeks of December. I have instead selected a few projects to share with you here. Each project is posted with permission from the student(s). I hope you enjoy their work…I know I did!

First, I give you this video presentation showcasing transcription of the connected speech (song) by students Dana Rzewnicki, Lauren Ross and Kelley Finck:

Next, here is the group project from Rachel Bensley, Victoria Andre, Elena Mitoulis and Michael DiSanti. They created a CD insert for Taylor Swift’s album, RED. Their CD insert included transcriptions of every song on the album. Here is a picture highlighting some of their creative work:

red

The following project is from Samantha Cunzo and Katrina Mull. They put together a comical video skit highlighting some of their “study experiences” as they learned material throughout the semester:

The following project is from Emma Voss — she decided to incorporate her love for baking and create “Phonetics Cookies.” She baked and iced cookies featuring all of the phonetic symbols from the IPA alphabet, using different colors and outlines to represent distinctive features of the sounds. She also impressed the class by passing out the cookies for all to eat, along with a signature batch of chocolate chip cookies as an added treat! Here are some pictures of her cookies:

Slide1

Slide2

Natalie Hill and Sarah Morrison created this cute and comical “commercial” for the “Phonetics School of Phonetics.” They showcased parts of our very own Towson University in their commercial as they incorporated knowledge from various units we covered in our class.

Christine Feinour, Grace Baker and Anna Hild created The College Girl’s Guide to Phonetics. Their book detailed all the American English Phonemes of the International Phonetic Alphabet, with key words and graphics to illustrate the pronunciation of each phoneme. Their book was artfully crafted and highlighted distinctive features of each phoneme in a scrapbook-style memento:

photo

And last but not least, I give you Rachel Urban in her witty, debut performance as she demonstrates her knowledge of dialectal variation. Her unique presentation had me chuckling for a long while, impressed at the way she stepped a bit outside of her comfort zone.

Time and space do not allow me to share all of the wonderful projects with you — the board games, the presentations, the transcription of speech from various movies, and more. Suffice it to say that 1) I love my job; and 2) The future of Speech-Language Pathology is looking pretty darn good!

Now, back to grading those final exams…. :)

 

A 12-12-12 Giveaway!! December 12, 2012

Time for a celebration! In honor of the once in a lifetime date anomaly 12-12-12, I am offering a FREE GIVEAWAY of my most popular Holiday/Seasonal Activity! How about a FREE Holiday Bingo & Activity Set for your classroom or therapy room (or just to have at home for fun???) This MUST-HAVE comprehensive activity set targets language skills through seasonal vocabulary that can be adjusted to meet the needs of any student. Seasonal vocabulary from Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah) and Kwanzaa are used in these open-ended games, perfect for differentiation and inclusive education. Work on Common Core standards using these games can be tailored to meet individual academic or speech-language therapy goals–perfect for small or large groups, learning centers and push-in therapy sessions! Skills addressed in this packet include: seasonal vocabulary use and comprehension, use and comprehension of descriptive words, comprehension of wh questions, oral communication, knowledge of word classes/attributes…and more! Check out how to win this FREE RESOURCE below.

Holiday Speech Language Therapy Activity Set

To win this free resource, HURRY and visit the LiveSpeakLove Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/livespeaklove and follow the directions in the Giveaway post. You will need to 1) SHARE the facebook post; and 2)Comment on the post on the livespeaklove page. That’s it!! A random winner will be picked at 12:00 midnight, so hurry and share!! Thank you for visiting LiveSpeakLove and have a happy 12-12-12!!

 

Holiday Freebie: Consonant Clusters December 9, 2012

Filed under: Thoughts and Inspirations — livespeaklove @ 9:11 pm

Here is another freebie activity for you to enjoy in this season of giving…Holiday Speech Language: Consonant Clusters! This quick, easy printable is perfect for RTI, group or individual practice or homework! Target consonant clusters in all positions of holiday words using a fun, seasonal activity your students will love. Hope you enjoy!!

holiday consonant clusters

 

 
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