Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pragmatics (Descriptions, Feelings, Connotations and Registers of Language) Mini-Lesson and FREEBIE!

I have been very busy prepping for my maternity leave from school and nesting around my house. My baby boy should be here within the next month, so I am very excited! I have a few more items in the works and hopefully I can get them out to you before he comes!

This new product is a mini-lesson that I finally put on paper. A lot of times the connotations and emotional meaning behind words are very abstract for my students with social goals. In years past, I have started out with them describing objects with concrete features and transitioning them to describing words and people with more abstract thoughts. When a child learns that emotion can be concrete and felt to a listener, I feel the student can be more aware of how words can "hurt" others or have an attached meaning that maybe the student did not intend to attach to his words.

There are 8 sets of worksheets included in this product. The first description worksheet set I have made available as a freebie. This can be used to enhance vocabulary as well, because I picked higher level description words for the activities that are more fit for a upper elementary, junior high or lower high school student.

The table of contents is as follows.
Introduction and talking points 
Worksheet Set 1 Descriptions
Worksheet Set 2 Descriptions
Worksheet Set 3 Adjectives
Worksheet Set 4 Intro to Expressions and Feeling Words 
Worksheet Set 5 Adjectives in a story 
Worksheet Set 6 Intro to Tone of Voice
Worksheet Set 7 Connotations of Words
Worksheet Set 8 Registers of  Language
Graphics Credit/Copyright Information
There is a full preview available of the product to give you an extended view of what the product will entail prior to purchasing the activity mini-lesson. The freebie is included in the preview.

***Be sure to only print the pages of the freebie otherwise it will print the rest of the mini-lesson with the word preview across the page***
Here are some example pictures of the activity in its entirety for easy convenience and a small taste of the mini-lesson with student worksheets! There are 43 pages total, so this is just a few of the activities in the lesson!

Thanks as always for reading my blog! If you leave a comment in the blog comments, I will pick a winner later on for a free copy of the activity

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Graduate School Off Site Series--Post #1 The Hospital (My experience)

I was browsing on Facebook and came across one of my supervisors and her son singing a Christmas song. It kept popping up on my newsfeed throughout the week. I then had lunch with another previous supervisor for lunch the same week. Simultaneously two of my former school speech supervisors are planning a baby shower for me this month. It got me thinking how blessed I was that I had the opportunity to be a student under their supervision and how extremely blessed I am that I am still in contact with them! 

SO I was in the shower today after working at the hospital and I was thinking about how blessed I was to have the speech supervisors that I did in graduate school and thought I need to write a post about my experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) with my off site rotations and share a few of my thoughts as I went through some of them. I will begin a short series of posts that talk about some of my rotations. So here is a post about my hospital off site clinical experience and how it lead to my future. 

My first off site clinical experience was at a local hospital. I was STOKED! This was what I wanted to do and I was DEAD SET on being a medical speech pathologist. My clinical director told me the information for the start date and I showed up  on that day (and early) haha for my supervisors reading this I know you are laughing because I am always early. I walk down to the basement and ask for a guy named Chad. He was the one in charge of all the student placements at this hospital and is a PT. He greets me and states "I thought we cancelled you". (In my head I'm freaking out). I reply "well this is where I was told to come today. My supervisor is supposed to be Christina". He says "OOOOO you are the speech student. I thought you were my PT student". He brings me back to the kitchen area and says "Christina should be here soon". 

So I wait and wait and wait. An hour and a half goes by and Christina comes through the door with a huge smile and a "Ready lets go. We're busy today. I'll talk on the way". She tells me I get to just observe for a while then I will slowly start to get my feet with and work with patients. She was pregnant at the time so my first day at my first off site rotation I get to feed the patients for the 3 MBS's we did. Welcome to acute care haha LEARN FAST! 

I didn't have a typical rotation because both of my supervisors were PRN or as needed employees so when census was low, they got cancelled and that meant so did I. 

Shannon I met the next day and she was bubbly and a talker! It was neat having two supervisors at my off-site because I got to see how both problem solved, wrote notes, interacted with patients and other medical professionals.  In any case, I got a lot of great experience and advice from both Christina and Shannon. 

The last day of the rotation. It was Shannon who got the job of giving me my grade for the rotation. My ability to do swallow related therapy/evaluations was stronger than my ability to do cognitive related therapy/evaluations at the time. I remember the words "your scores averaged out to be a B". Those words rang in my head saying "you will never work in acute care. You got a B" even though that was NOT how it came out of her mouth. But thats what I heard when I heard the letter B. I teared up. Here this hospital rotation was supposed to be the rotation my life was meant for and I couldn't even get an A. Shannon started crying because she felt bad that they got cancelled at times during my rotation and not giving me the "best student experience" even though that was so far from the truth. They gave me an awesome rotation. So here we both are in the basement of the hospital crying and apologizing to each other hahaha for crying. It's funny now! We still had 1 last MBS to do so we went to radiology to do it. She let me do all of it at that point, but there on the last swallow she goes "o he aspirated that. We're done" and I said "yup". (Now did I really see it???? NOPE! Was I WAY too embarrassed that on my last day of this rotation I couldn't even see aspiration and feel comfortable doing a MBS on my own?????? YUP) Was I ready to just get the heck out of Dodge and go home? YUP! I was just beating myself up in my head as if the world had just ended.

We got done with the day, we hugged and Christina came over from rehab that day to say bye. I moped out of the hospital on that last day thinking "maybe I'm not cut out to be an acute care therapist". My head was low and I just thought my whole life was turning in a direction I just didn't expect. I drove home. I get there and I just cried and cried and cried. My boyfriend (now husband) came home from work and he did his best to tell me I was going to be a great SLP someday. He says "You just watch. I'm sure no one is good in grad school at all that hospital stuff." He goes on "did you even have your swallow class yet in school". Then it dawned on me. NO I didn't have my dysphagia class yet. So a ton of bricks lifted off of my shoulders and I think wow I just did an acute care rotation without knowing 1 lick of dysphagia prior to entering the doors. It made me feel a lot better. 

I go to school the next day and my clinical director sits me down and talks about my grade. She says your grade for the semester ends up to be an A for your clinicals. (At the time I forgot my 8 week in house rotation at the college was averaged with my 8 week off site so I ended up getting an A overall). She says "You look surprised. Did you REALLY think you weren't going to get an A?". I remember saying these words "The student in me always worries about grades. The potential clinician in me knew I would be ok". 

How this all played out in my work future!

Today, I am still friends with both Christina and Shannon. I got hired as an acute care SLP  at the same hospital I did my rotation after working 1 year in a SNF post graduation from grad school. When I was hired, did I feel extremely comfortable with MBS's? NOPE. Did the other SLP on staff help me get to the level I needed to do them on my own YUP! I worked along side Christina for a year and it was great because since I was her student we really functioned like 1 therapist throughout the week even though we split the week up working different days and shared a caseload.

I also still work with Shannon at a different hospital in the city. I had lunch with her the other day! We still laugh about some of the funny times that happened while I was her student and it is really fun now knowing each other in a co-worker way as well as a friend in life way. 

How great is it that I got to work alongside both of my hospital supervisors from grad school when I thought I didn't have a future as an acute care speech pathologist. I feel like I am a competent medical SLP now and I laugh when I think back to when I thought about that B I got on my off site rotation. Who knew that B had NOTHING to do with my potential as a medical SLP. It was the educational clinical experience, awesome supervisors, my hard work post grad school and my constant drive to learn more that has contributed to my status as a medical SLP today. 

ADVICE: Don't think your life is over or that you don't have the potential to be an awesome clinician just because you didn't do as well as you thought on a grad school rotation. It's your passion, motivation and ability to learn from that point on that determines your potential. 

Next post will be be about my off-site school rotation! More fun stories go along with that post!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bloggy Secret Santa!

O we have had so much fun getting to know each other over the last year or more that this year we decided to do a secret santa with those who wanted to participate from my circle of my best blogger friends! It was so much fun shopping for each of our secret santa's, sending the package, then waiting for our own package to come in the mail!

So here is my package ready to be sent to California!!!!!!!!

Then  a few days later I received my package!!!

I was so excited to see what was under all these spacers!!!

I found a bright pink bag with a sweet card from my friend, Ms. Speechy, over at Speech Time Fun!

My gift included an awesome cup that says "I help people communicate. What is your super power?", some cool speech themed pencils, some decorative socks and a gift card to Itunes! I have been on the lookout for some new apps to purchase! 

This was a such a fun experience and I am so very glad to have shared with my blog friends!
 Now I am off to see what all of my other friends received! 
I was a "secret santa" for my friend Felice over at the Dabbling Speechie