Lisa M. Geary, MS CCC-SLP * 1-888-863-9460 * lisa@livespeaklove.com

Category Archives: Language

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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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?

 


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


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!!


The season has really just begun…despite what retailers have been telling us since before Halloween! While there are more fun activities yet to come, I know many of you are planning out your entire month as we speak. To help with your planning and to add some holiday fun, I have compiled my Holiday Speech-Language Activities into one Roundup Post! I am thrilled with all the support and feedback I have received so far, and am so feeling the love over at my TPT store. THANK YOU, and keep it coming! Here is my HOLIDAY ROUNDUP for you..enjoy!!

LiveSpeakLove Holiday Roundup

Activities for you include the following Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa theme activities:

Holiday Receptive/Expressive Language Bingo & Activty Set

Holiday Decoration Articulation

Santa Claus Categories

Pragmatic Presents

Best Ever Cookie Recipe & Activity Set

Holiday Clipart – for educational & commercial use!

And the following FREEBIES for your classroom or therapy room:

Santa Speech /s/ Activity

Holiday Pacing Board Activity

Functional/Pragmatic Communication Visual

If there is anything else you would like to see, please let me know. I have lots of resources that I will continually post throughout the season, but I also take requests! Please leave a comment and let me know what would help you in your classrooms and therapy rooms this month. Thank you for visiting LiveSpeakLove!


Do you know about PACING BOARDS? Pacing Boards are a MUST for any therapy room. I usually keep a stash of pacing boards, with varying shapes and colors in different length sets–stored in a pocket chart or hung from a magnetic clip so I can grab them quickly when I need them. They are easily accessed during a therapy session and are useful in almost any therapy activity. My gift to you on this Giving Tuesday is a holiday themed printable containing two pacing boards.  Use these festive pacing boards to give students visual/tactile/kinesthetic input for reducing rate of speech, increasing fluency, sequencing sounds/syllables in multisyllabic words, increasing mean length of utterance, formulating sentences, marking grammatical structures in a sentence, increasing conversational reciprocity and more!! These pacing boards  can be essential tools to increase student independence as they practice skills — perfect for students to use at home, too — just print onto cardstock or durable paper and/or laminate. You can print multiple sets and then cut the boards to include only two or three shapes — perfect for targeting formulation of two and three word utterances. These boards can also be used as game score cards, schedule cards, token reinforcement cards, pattern sets or sorting cards!! Hope you enjoy this freebie, and put it to good use…I’d love to hear how you use this resource, so leave a comment to let me know! Thanks for visiting LiveSpeakLove!

~Lisa

 Holiday Pacing Board Freebie

 


Very excited to be moving into the festive holiday season…ready to decorate the LiveSpeakLove headquarters with my little (and not so little) ones! I love how memories flow as we unpack beloved ornaments, and blend them with new traditions. Wishing you all a wonderful start to your holiday season, and hope that you will enjoy some activities I have for you:

Target word class skills using this colorful holiday theme.  Students will be delighted with this activity  as they label categories, list items in a given category, sort picture vocabulary into categories, highlight critical attributes of given items, explore similarities and differences of related items, describe given picture vocabulary and more! Santa Claus Categories is a defnite must for your therapy room…great for literacy centers, too!
What you get:
18 pages total with text AND visuals for each category and item
Direction Page 12 Category Cards 36 Categorical Objects
Use “Santa Claus Categories” to support students in a variety of receptive and expressive language skills. This set can be used a stand-alone activity, or can be used as a “launchpad” for higher level skills. Simply remove visual choices or require students to provide additional examples to extend or differentiate the tasks.
Help students get in the holiday spirit as they practice later developing sounds in the initial, medial and final positions of words. The colorful
theme-based stimuli cards can be used with limitless activities…many suggestions are included in this resource set.

What you get:
17 pages total (6 target sounds stimulus card sets, duplicated for easy printing to created card pairs)
- Stimulus cards for consonant clusters, /s/, /s/ blends, /r/, /l/, “sh”, “ch” and “j”
- Instruction and idea page
-Cover Page – perfect for student notebooks or RTI packet covers

This activity is the perfect way to target Pragmatic/Social Communication Skills in small, large or whole classroom groups! The holiday “present” theme highlights the unique challenges associated with gift-giving, holiday shopping, seasonal celebrations and more. Discuss social commnunication strategies, themes of friendship, diversity and general safety in public situations with thought-provoking questions that will get students TALKING! Highlights general holiday giving, Christmas, Chanukah (Hannukah) and Kwanzaa.
What you get:
11 Pages Total
Cover Page (perfect for RTI packets, File Folder Covers, etc.)
Direction Page
32 orginal Pragmatic Presents questions
If you want to create your own resources to use, share or sell, my original Holiday clipart set is just what you need! You get 35 PNG files containing various images and colors (see above preview for a look at what is included.) Perfect for creating holiday activities using ActivInspire or other Smartboard program; or for creating interactive bulletin boards, file folder activities, literacy center activites, worksheets and more. This clipart is acceptable for educational, personal or commercial use (this last statement is VERY important if you want to create activities without any copyright violations! Trust me, you want to comply with copyright laws. To do so, you must use clipart and/or graphics that are ok to use –especially if you want to sell.)
Have you been thinking about creating your own activities, and possibly posting them in your own TeachersPayTeachers store? (If you haven’t ventured over to TeachersPayTeachers, I highly recommend it — an INCREDBLE resource for you…entire unit plans, lesson plans, literacy center activity sets, thematic units and MORE…all created by the people who KNOW about teaching children. I cannot express to you what a goldmine of credible, effective and affordable resources this site is! Want to find out more about sharing your own resources? GO HERE.
Interested in finding out who is selling on TeachersPayTeachers? Check out this Resource List from Jenna Rayburn of Speech Room News!
She compiled a list of over 50 SLPs who are now sharing resources on TpT. I love how Jenna comments that most of the reosurces “cost less than a cup 0f coffee!” Take a look at her list, complete with links to each SLP’s TpT store:
Finally, to spread some holiday cheer, I will be participating in TpT’s CYBER MONDAY and BONUS TUESDAY sale!! ALL LiveSpeakLove Resources will be 20% off! You can also enjoy an additional 10%  TpT discount using the following code, for a total savings of up to 28%!! Take advantage of this holiday kick-off event:
THANK YOU for your support, and for visiting LiveSpeakLove!
~Lisa

Introducing a new series that I would like to share…Speech-Language Therapy in the Kitchen! Over the years, I have developed a real appreciation for the power of real-life activities to support speech-language and academic skills. As I continually seek ways to incorporate technology into my speech-therapy sessions, I am also seeking ways to motivate clients with engaging real-world application of the skills we are targeting. The winner, by FAR, is any activity that is cooking or recipe related. I have posted a few of my recipes in the past, but I decided to devote a blog feature to the wonderful cross-curricular activity that is all things cooking. The inspiration for this feature transpired over the weekend, as I made a batch of cookies with my six-year old daughter. We had great fun highlighting all the “fun facts” that were part of our recipe. We labeled, counted, measured, estimated, followed directions and socialized during our cookie creation, and our fun ended with the delicious reward of our “Best Ever Cookie” Tasting Party! I was reminded of other cooking activities I have used in therapy, and how I always recommend that parents cook with their children when possible to practice speech-language skills in the home environment. So, the Speech-Language Therapy in the Kitchen series was born…in my very own kitchen amidst a bit of mess and fun. Here is a pic of what we made; a truly Best-Ever Cookie, adapted from a couple of different cookie recipes with a surprise “twist” of an ingredient:

I decided to create a Recipe and Activity set using this very Best Ever cookie recipe (I didn’t want to forget this delicious creation, and I thought I would share a little “cookie love” with those who might use this engaging, edible activity in their own kitchens. By the way, this activity could also be completed in a classroom — just use a closely monitored toaster oven if you do not have access to a full-size oven.

Here is the full activity set, including what I feel is an award-winning recipe!

Target a variety of speech-language skills in this functional activity that students will love! This cooking activity offers a practical, motivating way to address receptive and expressive language skills, social communication skills, occupational therapy skills, academic skills and more! This tried and true recipe from the LiveSpeakLove kitchen will engage learners as they participate in this cross-curricular, multi-modal learning activity. Potential targets include:

  • receptive and expressive vocabulary (labeling, object identification, compare and contrast)
  • cooking/kitchen safety
  • formulation of verbal requests
  • quantitative vocabulary
  • measurement and estimation
  • descriptive vocabulary
  • following sequential directions
  • ordinal and sequential vocabulary
  • answering WH questions
  • recall and retell of sequential events
  • summarizing
  • cooperative group work
  • use of core vocabulary

What you get:

Nine (9) pages total including:

  • Cover page with real color photograph of Best Ever Cookies
  • Cooking Safety page to review safe practices, visual supports for each “rule” provided
  • Ingredients Page with full-color visual depictions detailing type and quantity of each ingredient
  • Directions Pages– Part One and Part Two – detailed visual directions in sequence to provide detailed instructions to create the Best Ever Cookies
  • WH Question Stimuli Page – to target WH questions, formulation of responses, recall and vocabulary (for use as you make the cookies, or after you finish to revisit concepts and target recall/memory skills)
  • Sequential Event Page – For formulation of recipe summary and retell of events; uses graphic organizer with sequential terms as visual support. Pair with visual direction pages as needed for differentiated supports
  • Taste Test page – visual support for use of core vocabulary to express preference/like/dislike. Can also be used to tally survey data of group or as a conversational support when students offer other people a cookie to try.

Look for more Speech Language Therapy in the Kitchen resources from LiveSpeakLove, coming soon!

Thank you,

~Lisa, LiveSpeakLove


The holidays are very quickly approaching! Who am I kidding, they are already here. Before busy moms and dads had even finished their school supply shopping, stores were convincing us that holiday preparations must immediately begin. Even though I am still creating my back-to-school organization system (a nevr-ending process, apparently,) I am clearly in full holiday mode and planning for the hustle and bustle that will carry us all into 2013. How about a FREE DOWNLOAD to spread some holiday cheer!?

Image

With family dinners, parties and get-togethers planned, the holidays can be a
hectic time–possible overwhelmingly so to an individual needing pragmatic or
communication support. These pragmatic communication cards containing core
vocabulary/functional phrases provide visual support for expressing wants and
needs in a variety of social situations. The cards can be left as-is and used as
a communication/choice board, or cut apart and placed on a ring for easy access.
The cards can also be used in conjunction with an AAC/AT device or low-tech
communication board for communication support that is portable and
functional.The cards are applicable year-round, but may be especially useful
during holidays, family get-togethers or parties.

Enjoy!!


In addition to my big Thanksgiving Sale over at my TPT store, I am now offering a Giveaway! Want to win my most popular Thanksgiving resource? This 18 page download offers many different ways to target descriptive vocabulary with a Thanksgiving twist:

Interested in winning this LiveSpeakLove favorite?? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Head on over to the LiveSpeakLove page on Facebook
  2. SHARE (with public view) the Giveaway post
  3. Comment underneath the post so I can include your name in the random drawing

That’s it! One lucky winner will be selected by tomorrow (Friday, November 16, 2012) at 8:00 PM. Can’t wait to see who wins my very first giveaway!!


Anyone else wondering just WHAT is going on with Mother Nature? A recent earthquake, a hurricane, a blizzard? Here in Maryland, it seems a bit odd and armageddon-ish to be seeing forecasts for both a massive hurricane and a stormy blizzard. I’ve been hosting a slumber party in my living room for the little people who live here — all of us excited to be home from school and work obligations, but still rather in awe of the storm’s potential and what the night may bring. Here is a glimpse of our Storm Headquarters, a camp that has evolved a bit throughout the day:

Children love to talk about the weather phenomena that we experience each year. With weather events opening the door for incredible conversations relating to science, social issues and language themes, I have used many weather-related games and activities to address a variety of skills in speech-language therapy. And so, as I wait for the modern-day privileges of electricity and the internet to end, I am sharing my year-round favorite — Weather Bingo. Here is a glimpse at the set I have created:

Use the picture vocabulary to increase knowledge of specific vocabulary, then target a variety of language skills as you play the Bingo game in small or large groups. Picture vocabulary can be used to target wh question comprehension, use and comprehension of descriptive vocabulary, visual discrimination skills,
formulation of phrases and sentences and more! What you get: 6 unique Bingo boards, all containing the same picture vocabulary; 1 page Bingo stimulus cards (can be printed twice to create instant memory/matching game!) I hope you enjoy using this activity to support important structured and conversational learning that can take place using a timely, relevant theme.

Thanks for checking it out!

~Lisa, reporting to you love from Hurricane Headquarters :)


Grab this FREE DOWNLOAD – visual for simple wh questions. Provide visual cues and structured supports for answering simple wh questions in any therapy or classroom activity. Supplement auditory processing and reading comprehension tasks with this visual, and help increase independence during instruction.


As I’ve been working with graduate students and guiding them to incorporate strategies to increase their client’s spontaneous communication during therapy sessions, I’ve been covering some of the basics like:

  1. Ask open-ended questions, avoiding questions that can be answered with a simple yes/no or other one word answer
  2. Provide choices as much as possible, encouraging statements of preference
  3. Try not to anticipate the needs of a child – allow them time to formulate their wants and ideas into their own verbal attempts
  4. Set up the environment purposefully with preferred items out of reach
  5. Use visual supports to increase communication independence
  6. Provide modeling and expansion of a produced utterance– reinforce verbalizations and show them how to take it one step further

Beyond these basics, there are a few strategies I have blogged about in the past that people seem to particularly appreciate. My post on Communication Temptations is a steady favorite, along with my handouts for encouraging speech and language skills in the classroom and home settings. One particular blog post has been making the rounds again on Pinterest and Facebook — my Top Five Ways to Encourage Spontaneous Language. I do like this post quite a bit, not just because I still stand behind the content but also because it pretty much captures who I am.  Reading the post gives you a glimpse at my therapy style (and my general personality, I believe,) and highlights what I feel is a real desire to connect with children in the moment. The techniques I recommend in the post are not necessarily natural for many people, especially new therapists, but I am encouraging the graduate student clinicians I supervise to give these five tricks (and many others) a try as they discover their own therapy styles.

Interested in my Top 5 Ideas? Here is the link to my original post:


I’m so glad people are enjoying my resources and taking advantage of my new, lower prices  and the Pre-Halloween Sale. Being new to the TPT scene, it is hard to gauge what price is reasonable for the work behind the product, and the potential the product has in terms of its application in your classrooms/therapy rooms. Thank you for being patient while I made some initial adjustments! Keep looking for more resources — seasonal favorites as well as practice management/clinical tools. Also, don’t forget that my Pre-Halloween Sale ends TOMORROW!!! Don’t forget to take advantage of my FREE downloads, too. Thank you for your support!


I was supposed to be finishing my whole house cleaning and organization today! Oooops…after a long night of nearly NO sleep (due to the cutest owls ever) and a sick little owlet who needed some TLC in the wee hours of the morning, I haven’t exactly mustered the motivation necessary to get up and moving and find my bootstraps just yet. Ahhh, there’s still time!! For now, I am happy to bring you my next set of resources. Many of you may know I am a big fan of visuals. Aside from Universal Design for Learning standards, visual learning styles and the vast amount of evidence-based practice research that supports using visuals to increase communication competence and independence… well, here’s what I know. THEY JUST WORK. I’ve learned the theory, I’ve read the standards, I’ve seen the research and I’ve experienced the undeniable success first-hand, over and over and over. Are you using visual supports in your therapy room? In your classroom? With your whole class or only certain students? I challenge you to incorporate as many visuals as possible with ALL of your students. Here are a couple that you can use to help your students become more aware of their thinking, their self-reflection and their self-advocacy skills:

Road to Success Visual - With the implementation of Common Core Standards, it is now even more important to help students become independent thinkers and learners. Need a way for students to participate more in their learning and reflect on their progress? Increase student independence and help students persevere when “the road gets rough” with this Road to Success visual tool. This tool will also help students to advocate for themselves during instruction or independent work in a positive way. You can also use this tool to provide teacher feedback with a simple gesture without interrupting the flow of your teaching (pointing to yellow on the stoplight to indicate, “I know it’s hard, but keep trying.” ) Simple visual tools like this one become very powerful in the classroom!

The download also includes a printable with three visuals on the page — just cut out and laminate, then tape on each student’s desk for individualized feedback/student reflection.

Next, you will definitely want this visual tool created to increase students’ metacognitive skills. What are metacognitive skills??? Essentially, “thinking about one’s own thinking.” It is an important skill to develop in students for academic reasons, but also so that they will be successful in LIFE. To be successful in any situation, it is important to be aware of what you KNOW and what you DON’T KNOW. Start developing this critical thinking skill NOW using this visual that can be applied to any subject area – reading for learning, reading for memory, reading for enjoyment, mental math, basic math functions, independent seatwork, collaborative groups, and the list goes on!!! Read more about metacognition at education.com (for starters — this is a big buzz word and there is a growing amount of research and instructional materials dedicated to this area of cognitive skill.)

Laminate this visual and place on each student’s desk, make copies to post at learning centers or in 100 Book Challenge or reading folders, blow up to poster size to use as a visual/anchor chart…and more! Increase student indpendence by encouraging learners to become part of the evaluation process.

I hope you are finding these materials useful. I would love your feedback about the types of resources you would like to see, your impressions of my current pricing (I am new and apparently have a bit to learn in this area) and any other feedback you would be willing to share. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at lisa@livespeaklove.com.

Thank you!

~Lisa

 

 


Halloween is one of my favorite times of year! Pumpkins, apple cider, costumes and crafts…there’s nothing like a little spooky fun to thrill students and engage them in their learning. Looking for ways to target a variety of academic and communication goals using a Halloween theme? Look no further! I have so many resources I’ve developed over the years that are tried and true winners. Check out my resources below, and follow the links over to my new TeachersPayTeachers site. Free downloads located at that site as well!

First, if you are looking for ways to target vocabulary, receptive and expressive language skills, turn-taking and visual discrimination, you will want to download my Halloween Bingo Set. Pair these colorful game boards with wh questions, verbal “mystery clue” descriptions, sentence formulation activities and more to target skills in a fun, creative way. Easily students’ activities to target IEP goals as you simultaneously work with a larger group — just vary the type of question or response that you are requesting as children take turns throughout the game. There a six different bingo boards in this set:

If you are looking for activities to target pragmatic language skills, try these Halloween Pragmatic Question Cards…definitely a hit with both students and other teachers! I always incorporate an activity like this into our pre-Halloween lessons and discussions — to target the social pragmatic skills that are often tested this busy time of year, but also to target Halloween safety. I have used this activity to do push-in lessons in the classroom setting, and all of the students in the class participate in very useful discussion generated by these questions. I have students draw the little cards out of a jack-o-lantern bucket, or hide them around the room for students to find while they get some opportunities for movement and kinesthetic learning in their day.

The next Halloween activity I have to share is Halloween Word World — an activity targeting /r/ in various positions of the word. This activity would also be great for students learning about /r/ controlled vowels, or for use as a simple seasonal activity. Have fun!

Activity for targeting /r/ in various positions

Here is a fun make-and-eat activity that my students (and graduate student interns) are STILL talking about, years later…making Spooky Spiders to eat! Target a variety of language skills including following directions, sequencing, sequential and ordinal vocabulary, basic math and literacy concepts and more. AND you get to eat these yummy little spiders!! I use the visual directions to also target comprehension and expression after the activity — summarizing the procedures, retelling the events in sequence using appropriate vocabulary, answering wh questions about the procedures…and then I send the recipe page home for students to make the spiders for their family…instant homework, generalization to the home setting, and very happy, proud little monsters.

  

You may be busy creating your own materials, resources or blog posts, and find yourself in need of some festive clipart. But if you are posting the clipart or distributing the images in any way, you need to make sure you are following the copyright laws. Not sure what to do? Not interested in paying the crazy retail prices for clipart packages or digital scrapbooking content? You may be interested in my latest endeavor — self-made clipart images. I won’t even go into the hours I spent makingthese in Powerpoint…creating each little critter line by line and shape by shape. I’m obviously not a digital image pro, but I think these images turned out pretty cute. And the images are designated for personal, educational and even commercial use. Please link back to my site if you do use these images in any way. I’m quite proud of my little creatures — labors of love, for sure!

I hope that you are now in the spooky Halloween spirit! You may have noticed that many (if not most) of my materials are seasonal or holiday-themed. There’s a method to my madness!! If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 20 years, it’s that children remember celebrations. Chilchood memories are often tied to holidays, vacations and school events. We are all wired to remember the extraordinary. So, why not make learning FUN and enjoyable? Even celebratory?? You can accomplish the same goals, cover the same material and reach the hearts and minds of children the same way — if not better- than with traditional classroom activities. Children remember celebrations…and they will likely remember YOU as well.


It’s definitely that time of year! Hallways are filled with the hustle and bustle of end-of-the-school year excitement. In between closing sessions with students, team meetings, wrapping up special projects, prepping for summer private therapy and more, I have also been busy putting together summer speech-language packets for my public school students and their families.

The packets cover a variety of speech-language skills, incorporating theme-related content and activities that can be adapted for individual students. I included many of the popular activities found in my previous Summer Fun post. In addition, I also included information and tips/tricks for parents found in these handouts and in my previous Communication Temptations post. These speech-language Summer Fun packets are for both kids and their parents.

I have received a number of requests to post additional summer-themed activities. As always, I am happy to spread a little speech-language love and share resources I have developed. So, here you go! Additional activities straight from my Summer Fun Speech-Language Activity Packet…free for you to download for educational and/or personal use. Let me know if you are using them; I would love to hear your feedback!

Bingo Boards:

 Summer Speech/Language Activity Pages:

 

Stay tuned for more posts this summer including book, product and iPad app reviews. More free downloads for your summer themes in store as well. Thank you for visiting Live Speak Love, LLC…have a wonderful summer!
~Lisa


I’ve recently discovered a new tech tool for speech-language therapy…Word Clouds. Using word clouds is a fun way to incorporate text into your speech-language lessons, perfect for increasing the speech-to-text connections. If you are utilizing Universal Design for Learning Standards (and you should be,) word clouds are also a powerful tool to customize the display of information, highlight critical features of a subject matter and incorporate media in learning activities. They are also just plain fun. Kids seem to really enjoy seeing their words and ideas instantly transformed into art.

Below are a few word cloud activities I have used recently. I’ve been exploring different features of the available word cloud sites, and I’ve included examples of my favorites:

Tagul.com - Below is a word cloud I made with a group using the Tagul Word Cloud Generator. Tagul allows you to customize the shape, colors and fonts, and quickly produce word clouds that can be saved as images, emailed or embedded into web pages. I used this word cloud site with a group of students as we generated categorical vocabulary given the topic “Things We See Outside in the Summer.” Students verbally produced categorical lists and then we reviewed the words, discussing similarities and differences between related word pairs.

ABCYa! - ABCYa! is a simple word cloud generator that is quick and user-friendly. There are limited layout, font and color scheme choices, but the word clouds are created instantly without fuss or worry over too many parameters. Below is a word cloud we created in a group co-treatment lesson with the social worker. As a follow-up to a story lesson, we generated positive attributes and descriptive words. We instantly created the word cloud, and the students then used the word cloud words to identify five attributes to describe themselves. We ended with a group discussion in which students offered positive attributes about their peers. The activity was engaging, powerful and memorable, as students used their speech-language skills to reinforce themes of self-concept, friendship and giving compliments.

Wordle - Wordle is another fun word cloud generator that allows custom colors, fonts and layouts (not in shapes, though) to produce a visual vocabulary display. With Wordle, you do need to capture screenshots of your word clouds in order to save them as images; otherwise they are stored online in a public gallery. Below is a brainstorm word cloud I created with a group as we identified relevant summer vocabulary words in response to the questions, “What do you like about summer?” Students eagerly participated in this group discussion, formulating sentences to describe their favorite summer pastimes and memorable events. A variety of language skills were targeted using this simple visual tool.

Tagxedo - Tagxedo is one of my favorite word cloud generators, allowing text to be displayed in a shape using customizable color themes and fonts. You can even have your word cloud in the shape of an actual word or phrase. I have been experimenting with the options that Tagxedo offers, and came up with this LiveSpeakLove Word Cloud:

There are many other word cloud generators available on the Internet. You can find a generous list of word cloud sites with a simple internet search. I would love to hear if you are using word cloud tools in your classroom and/or therapy rooms…feel free to post your ideas in the comments section. Thank you for visiting Live Speak Love, LLC!


With summer just around the corner, many parents and teachers are already making plans for summer fun. Do you need ideas for speech-language activities during the summer break? Read on!  Here are my top suggestions for fun, language-based activities that target communication skills in memorable ways.

Take a walk – A walk that incorporates language skills can be as simple as a stroll around the block, or as complex as an afternoon hike to a scenic destination. As you walk, encourage conversation by asking open-ended questions or observations like, “I wonder what this is!”  Take note (out loud) of things that you see, hear, discover and enjoy, encouraging your child to do the same. You could also create a game or scavenger hunt for your walk, prompting your child to search for and label objects using a picture checklist:

Plan Day Trips – Take trips to local beaches, parks, museums or amusement parks. These excursions are not only fun, but they give your child the gift of developing background knowledge, or schema – an important database of personal experiences that become essential for reading comprehension. Providing your child with a variety of life experiences gives them a broader vocabulary base and fosters personal connections to text and stories. These connections will prepare children for higher level skills as they are introduced to new reading material and participate in group discussions. Day trips are also good practice for language formulation, planning and organization skills, and they offer many opportunities to reinforce conversational behaviors, language use and comprehension. Here are some select visuals that target these skills:

Take a Road Trip – If you are planning a vacation this summer, take advantage of the many built-in opportunities to develop communication skills. Trapped in the car for hours? Resist the urge to “autoplay” your ride with DVDs or handheld electronic devices. Why not target speech-language skills with games that kids love and will very likely remember for years? “I Spy,” license plate games or find-the-alphabet contests all target verbal skills and a variety of language concepts. You could also create a Seek-and-Find activity for your trip, like this downloadable version: 

 Make a Treat – What activity is more rewarding than one that ends in a fun treat to eat? Simple recipes can target a variety of language skills and are a favorite with kids. Practice following directions, using descriptive concepts, sequential vocabulary and more with real tools and materials.  Here is a super easy treat I’ve made with my own children and students, with visual directions that allow for review after you are done:Go to the Movies – ‘The movies’ are not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about fostering communication skills. How can sitting passively in a dark theater target speech-language goals? But let’s face it – many parents can become desperate to find an enjoyable activity for the kids on those stifling hot, lazy days of summer. Enjoying an air-conditioned theater for a two hour respite can be just what you and your child need. (For children with sensory issues that make trips to movie theaters a challenge, look for sensory-friendly movie times, like those offered in AMC theaters.) In addition to creating motivating content for future discussions and activities, movies also generate opportunities for language before and after your excursion. Decide with your child what you will seewhere and when you will see it. After the show, review with your child the movie plot, characters and sequential events. Ask questions like, “What was your favorite part? Why?” to help your child formulate and support their opinions. Offer your own opinion, too! Encourage critical thinking skills by asking “why”  “how” and “what if” questions. Some families I know even keep a log of movies they see throughout the year, giving each movie a rating after a family movie discussion.

Schedule Playdates – Effective speech-language therapy often includes group sessions to promote socials skills and to create opportunities that reinforce generalization of skills. Foster peer interaction, interactive play, functional communication and other skills by arranging a short playdate. Around two hours is a good length of time for a get-together, allowing ample opportunities for play, exploration and a small snack. Offer a few summer activities (bubbles, balls, sand toys, etc) and encourage conversation/interaction, but do resist the urge to organize their activities. Children need time to develop play with each other and discover what is motivating or fun in the moment.

 Read, Read, Read – Reading with your child is one of the best activities you can do to promote language and literacy skills. Studies show that time spent reading with your child is the best predictor of overall academic success. The AmericanAssociation of School Librarians reported a study, (Wells, 1988) where researchers found that “the amount of experience that five-year-old children had with books was directly related to their reading comprehension at seven and eleven years old. Wells stated that of all the activities considered possibly helpful for the acquisition of literacy, only one—listening to stories—was significantly associated with later test scores.” Read more.

 Not sure how to incorporate language into reading? The U.S. Department of Education outlines things you can do to help your child develop language and literacy skills. Read more.

Whatever your plans this summer, do take time to engage with your child in real ways using everyday activities. For more ideas/activities that target communication skills, please visit my speech-language blog at LiveSpeakLove.


I was very excited to come home and find this package on my doorstep today!

I will be reviewing this product from Super Duper Inc, one of my favorite speech therapy supply companies. I am really looking forward to trying this program with students that have auditory processing difficulties. The processing program (at first glance) appears to be based on research stemming from investigations of altered auditory signal presentation to remediate intermittent/delayed auditory perception in children. I find research like this –glimpses into variations of how the brain processes auditory signals as explanations for disordered comprehension– to be completely fascinating. I am very excited to learn more about the Altered Auditory Input technique proposed in this program, and will be posting my impressions very soon,  So, look for my review in an upcoming blog feature ~stay tuned!

 



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