It’s been a long while since I’ve posted an update here! As many of you know, my career branched out into a Clinical Assistant Professor position at a university, a job I truly loved! After about seven years of university teaching and clinical supervision, I relocated to my hometown in Virginia and began working in the corporate world as an SLP/Learning Consultant. When the world shifted in our post-covid era, I started to really long for personal connection again and dreamed of re-opening my private practice and serving children and families in my community. At the same time, my wonderful, hard-working husband was working to expand his dental practice and purchase the entire building that houses Geary Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. This larger practice and bigger space meant that there would be room for me to share his space (and his love for helping people) and open my speech-language therapy practice right in the same building! I am so excited to have begun this next adventure, serving families in my very own hometown. So, introducing Yorktown Therapy Services! Don’t worry; I plan on continuing to blog here to serve devoted supporters of Live Speak Love! I have lots of information and therapy goodies to share! But feel free to head over to my new practice Facebook page and give Yorktown Therapy Services some love!
Thanks everyone for continuing to support me and my dreams! Check out pictures of my new practice:
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!:
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 Pinterestand 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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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!!
I have been getting messages recently that the LiveSpeakLove site has been featured in continuing education workshops, on radio shows and on other websites. Feeling amazed and overwhelmed at the support I continually receive for this labor of love, I recently came across this website featuring LiveSpeakLove as on of the Top 100 Websites:
Just click on the “Teaching Tips” header at the top to find the section where LiveSpeakLove is featured. The entire list is a wonderful compilation of sites written by passionate SLPs like me that want to make a difference in the world by sharing information and resources. I am humbled and thankful to be included on this list…thank you everyone for your support!
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)
formulation of verbal requests
measurement and estimation
following sequential directions
ordinal and sequential vocabulary
answering WH questions
recall and retell of sequential events
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!
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:
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.
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!
Wow, time really does fly when you are having fun– and when you are knee-deep in navigating a new position and new responsibilities! I am loving life as a new clinical faculty member at Towson University — teaching classes, supervising in the campus Speech-Language and Hearing Center and running a Pragmatic Language program for adults on the Autism spectrum. I wish I could list all of the things I’ve learned in the last few months! I’ve lost count. I feel blessed every day to go to work, and I love the variety my new position gives me. I feel this job is a noble and humble calling…training future speech-language pathologists through academic instruction and clinical experiences, also helping members of our community.
Beyond my new job, I do have a few updates for those who have been kind and patient with my recent blog neglect:
Team Living and Lovingdid it again! We supported a wonderful lady and raised over $2,300.00 with over 40 registered participants at the 2012 JT Walk to Stomp Out ALS! Here is a picture from our inspiring (albeit wet and windy) day:
LiveSpeakLove is now accepting appointments for consultations and assessments. Our ongoing therapy schedule is currently FULL; however, you may call and have your name added to our waiting list should a therapy time open up in the future. Feel free to call or email with any questions!
I will be expanding my blog focus a bit to include topics and materials relating to my univeristy position. Coming soon: tools for mastering phonetic transcription, data collection and planning for therapy sessions. Also, topics in Autism across the lifespan, instructional technology in speech-language therapy and personal thoughts as I face the challenges of full-time work, an additional private practice, raising amazing children and more.
Product reviews are coming!! The months have flown past at an astonishing speed. In the back of my mind, have been several product reviews I still need to post. Of particular interest in the works–a review of a truly amazing book that I am currently using in my practice and at the university…Speaking of Apraxiaby Leslie Lindsay. More to come, but suffice it to say that this book is a gemand chock-full of everything any parent or professional needs to know about Apraxia.
I am sure there are more updates I’m forgetting, but at nearly 2:30 am, I will save them for another day. THANK YOU for your patience and for checking out LiveSpeakLove!!
Live Speak Love is beginning a new venture! In addition to seeing private clients, I am thrilled to announce that I have been offered the position of Clinical Assistant Professor at Towson University in their department of Audiology, Speech Language Pathology and Deaf Studies. I have been supervising Towson graduate students during their internships in the public school setting for several years now, and am so excited to be taking on this new challenge as Clinical Faculty member. I will be teaching some classes, and also supervising undergraduate and graduate students in the University Speech Language and Hearing clinic. I will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty members in some research endeavors, and possibly collaborate with other department’s faculty as well. I plan on exploring options regarding the application of technology in the therapy and educational settings, and will collaborate with Baltimore County Public Schools to continue some of the technology projects that I began this year. This is an amazing opportunity for me, and I am thoroughly excited about prospects ahead of me. Thank you to all for the encouragement and support you have shown me, and for embracing the work I have completed as part of Live Speak Love, LLC. I am honored to be serving children, families, educators, students and clinicians with my thoughts, inspirations and creations. I plan to continue my work online and in my community, in addition to working in my new role. Thank you for your support and for visiting Live Speak Love, LLC!
It’s that time of year! Time to start making plans for summer, if you have not done so already. Live Speak Love, LLC is happy to announce that we are now scheduling appointments for summer speech-language services in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Do you want your child to continue speech-language therapy, but they did not qualify for Extended School Year services? Or maybe you are concerned with your child’s speech-language skills and do not want to wait an additional 60-90 days for an assessment after school starts in September. Why not schedule a comprehensive speech-language assessment this summer? Are you looking for a second opinion or consultation? Whatever your speech-language needs, Live Speak Love, LLC is happy to work with you to create an arrangement that suits you, your child and your family. Call today for information and/or to schedule an appointment!