Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Muncher- Thanksgiving Stuffing!

My dad has always made amazing stuffing for Thanksgiving! He makes it from scratch and it is one of my absolute favorite parts about preparing Thanksgiving dinner. 

HERE is a recipe similar to how my dad makes it and it comes from the blog Gluten Free Betty.

(Photo Credit Gluten Free Betty)

This is how my dad makes his stuffing. He takes an unmeasured amount of butter and places it in a frying pan to melt. He then adds his spices. Usually its thyme, sage, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning and garlic to taste. Then he adds chopped onion and celery and lets it soften in the butter. Next you toast a loaf of bread (or however much you want to make). After the bread is toasted, you cut the bread into cubes. The dry bread allows the bread to soak up the moisture from the butter mixture. Next comes the fun part! Put some of the cubes of bread into a mixing bowl, then pour some of the butter mix in the same bowl. Your hands get to do some dirty work! Start putting those puppies to work! Mix and mix and scrunch and scrunch. Then add more bread cubes and more butter mix until it is all done. 

When the turkey is finished cooking, place the stuffing mixture into the oven to bake up a little bit. I know this "recipe" doesn't include many measurements or times, but i think that's why Thanksgiving is the way it is. Each family does it a different way and that's what makes each Thanksgiving unique!

Enjoy eating all of the fun foods and you can still have a yummy Thanksgiving if you have to eat gluten free!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Thinkables and Unthinkables!

I was graciously given the opportunity to review a set of cards from Social Thinking. 
This double-decker consists of The Thinkables and The Unthinkables. These cards were designed to be used with 3rd-5th graders, but since I am at a junior high only this year, I decided to adapt them to use with my older student caseload. My caseload is quite diverse this year, so I have many students with social goals that are at junior high grade level, but are actually functioning at an elementary level. These cards were perfect to utilize with that sub-section of my caseload. 

I first introduced all of the characters from the card decks. We started our with the Unthinkables, then moved to the Thinkables. We spoke about various situations that each character would participate. We personified these characters as if they were members of our speech room. 

Here are some of the example cards from each deck! There are 4 copies of each card and since my groups are no larger than 4, it was perfect! 
Here are a few of the activities completed using these cards:

1) I made up a series of situations that involved the characters of the card decks. I would place the character options in front of the students. I read the story, then the students would take turns telling me which Thinkable or Unthinkable was present in the story from the multiple choice cards in front of them. As the students became more proficient with the characters, I would not give them answer choices and just have the student let me know which character was present in the situation.

2) I would give a student a social situation. I then would ask "How would the Unthinkable Brain Eater change this scenario?" The student would then have to analyze how the Unthinkable would affect that particular situation. 

3) If a student acted like one of the Thinkables or Unthinkable in the speech room, I would pause and say "which character are you acting like?" it was amazing how quickly my students related to these characters. It gave the students a chance to visually and emotionally connect with the social curriculum being presented to them.

4) I played a charades type of game. I would give a couple students each a character and they would be required to brainstorm a short skit to show how each Thinkable or Unthinkable would participate in the scenario.

5) Another way I chose to use the cards is I would develop a social scenario. The student would then tell me how each Unthinkable would interfere with a situation and how each Thinkable would help the situation. 

6) Lastly, I used this cards in pairs. I would find a Thinkable and an Unthinkable to pair up. The Thinkable was used to counteract the Unthinkable's part in a situation. For example, I paired up Meditation Matt and Brain Eater. Meditation Matt countered Brain Eater (who distracts people). Meditation Matt used his powers of staying calm to counteract the feelings that Brain Eater might create by constantly distracting others. 

There were some days where a student would say "Worry Wall invaded me this morning". Or "Don't be a Topic Twistermeister!". I personally think my students connected more with the Unthinkables than the Thinkables, but they did incorporate both sets of characters into conversation a lot more than I thought they would. These characters were so easily generalized into everyday scenarios. 

So once again, I believe Social Thinking does it again!  The only thing I did not like about the product was the packaging. We used the cards so much that the packaging is already falling apart =) I really like that the cards were made out of an non-destructible material!  Michelle Garcia Winner definitely knows what she is doing when it comes to developing products for social goals. This item has been a definite winner in my speech room. It was a genius idea to come up with characters to impersonate the various social concepts that happen in this world. 

Thank you for reading! You can purchase these cards on the Social Thinking Website

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The "I didn't go" ASHA Blog Hop!

This was a fun blog hop made up of some of the bloggers that couldn't make it to ASHA this year! We are all so jealous! I've always wanted to go to ASHA! Maybe next year! My sister lives in Denver, so it might be a good opportunity to visit her AND attend ASHA =)

If I were to present at ASHA, I would present on the topic of adapting materials to fit every student. It's amazing what I can do with any material and any student. Often the items I buy from big box companies or TPT, I adapt to fit all the students in a particular group even their particular goal isn't addressed in that particular activity. For example, take my emotions packet that just entered my TPT store. I used that all day with my junior high students. The packet obviously addresses primarily social skills/emotions, however, in the packet there are areas where questions are asked. I had all the students complete a section of the packet. We spoke about all the answers written. If a student was working on grammar, then I might collect data that session on  their grammatical accuracy when writing sentences. If a student is working on articulation, then when the student states the answer to one of the questions, I assess their intelligibility with whichever speech sound the student is working on. Of course, I do not do this every session, BUT it is nice when I am using a themed activity or an activity that all of my students can benefit from even though their particular IEP goals aren't specifically targeted. Another reason I feel this benefits my students is because I feel that this makes addressing their goals more "real life". Sometimes the biggest learning opportunities come from working on a goal indirectly ESPECIALLY with my junior high students.

I hope this little bit helps you in your speech room! I really do feel like flexibility is the easiest way to make your life as a speech pathologist 1000X easier =)

OK now for your letter =) 

The prizes will be
1st place-- a 10 TPT download bundle
2nd-- a 5 TPT download bundle
3rd place-- a 3 TPT download bundle

If you are starting here, you can go back to the first blog by pressing the icon OR you can hop on to the last blog by pressing the other icon!

Thanks for participating!