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!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Speechbook Articulation Activity!

This is probably one of my most creative products to date! It includes 25 speech sounds in initial position. 11 of those speech sounds have multiple Speechbook pages for older/younger students. It has been a big hit already in many of speech rooms! There is at least 40 hours worth of time invested into this product and there are 36 pages of articulation fun.

The Speechbook will be a work in progress, as I have full intentions to add to it over time. As I add speech sounds, the price will go up. That means if you purchase now you will be getting all the additions for free over time! 

There is a /s/ freebie version for your convenience. Go ahead and download it, use it with your kids and I'll be surprised if you don't come back and purchase the full version! Many people have done this already! 

Ok so here is what is entailed in the product! 

Speechbook has received some good feedback already:
1) "Awesome way to target articulation skills in a creative way!! I am looking forward to using this resource with my students. I really like the rating cards, and my students can use them to self-monitor their productions. Also, the different levels are the perfect way to differentiate to meet the ability level of students. 
Thank you for such a great product!!"  -- Merritt

2) "Awesome! I work exclusively with secondary students who have a broad range of reading and comprehension skills. Several of my life skills students are working on intelligibility (not necessarily just a certain phoneme) and ALL of them are interested in or curious about Facebook! Way to pick a theme that will definitely grab their interest! I'm excited that you'll be adding to it;" --Speech Ninjas 

Try the free version of the /s/ sound in initial position HERE!
Purchase the full version HERE

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Halloween Riddles and Fun for Older Students

Here is a fun supplement for the month of October. It was always hard for me to find fun age appropriate things to do for "fun" as a supplement to my speech products for Halloween, so this seemed to fit perfect this year! 

I hope your kids enjoy it! I had some of my students read through them and tell jokes to each other already in preparation to bringing this activity to you guys, and my students laughed and laughed. I also made them explain why the joke was funny to emphasize the play on words aspect of the activity. 


There are 32 riddles total in the packet, so this page is just one page of the worksheet set.

Grab the freebie HERE
Happy Halloween Speech Friends!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Muncher--Grapes and Yogurt or Pudding!

ok I know I did a monday muncher a while back about dipping grapes in pudding for a snack, but here is a fun new twist! I took grapes and covered them in yogurt and covered other ones in pudding. I put them all on a baking sheet and I placed them in the freezer for a few hours! I pulled them out and they were an awesome cool treat for these hot summer days we have been having here in Oklahoma City!

I got the idea from this page--Sunny with a Change of Sprinkles!  Here is a picture from her page!

I didn't use toothpicks, but if I was having a dinner party or having people over I would probably dress up the snack by utilizing toothpicks or something similar! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Junior High Speech Room and some fun extras!

This is my 4th year at my current junior high and I just love my little space. I was at two junior high's last year so I had to condense two rooms into my space here at this junior high. I am only working 3 days a week this year so I can be a partial stay at home mom with my son, Kade! He is on the verge of crawling and its just so fun to watch! I'll put a video in here to show you that too!

So here is my room! I took a panoramic photo, so its a little distorted.

Here is the awesome shelf space I have! In the baskets, I have some of my go-to TPT materials and some other card decks so I can easily grab them!

Here is my computer, desk and work area. 

Here is my awesome stash of materials. Hi my name is Amy and I am addicting to buying speech therapy materials!

I also have awesome shelf space under my cabinets too! 

I am so excited to welcome my junior high students into my room this year! I have worked hard prepping my room and getting my schedule done this first week! Next week-I meet students! Yay!

PS as promised here are some cute videos of my son Kade beginning to army crawl and babble! I just love him so much!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A quick and easy printout for swallow precautions in acute care/inpatient rehab!

I work in acute care on the weekends and I wanted to revamp the swallow precautions sheet that I use. I tape this above my patient's beds so family members can see and any staff member that walks into the room can see the current swallow precautions for the patient with dysphagia. 

You can grab the freebie HERE

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dear Parent.....

Dear Parent,

I am writing to you as your child's speech pathologist. I only get to sit and talk with you at length once a year during the annual IEP meeting because you are a very busy person. You have seen me a handful of times in your life. I don't really feel like you know me, know my heart and dedication although I try to show you each time I visit with you. I see your child every day. I try to show your child my heart, dedication and love everyday whether they come to speech or not that day. I show all of my students that same love.

I am the person you yelled at today. Me, Amy Minor. You kept calling me the speech teacher, but I am a person with a name. The words you say to me hurt sometimes. My job title is a speech pathologist, but my job is to help your child be as successful as possible inside and outside the speech room. I remind myself daily how important my job is before I walk into these school doors. You talk to me as if I am trying to decrease services "just because I want to". You told me I am not doing what is in the best interest for your child. Instead of yelling at me, I gladly would have listened to your input and concerns. I am very open to what you have to say. You brought your threats to the meeting about a lawyer and yes you scared me. Did you realize that? I may have continued to act professionally in that moment because thats the kind of person I am; but as a person who makes significantly less money than you, I was scared. You told me I don't care about your child and questioned my intentions all while I was sitting in a meeting after school hours (hours that I am not paid for) listening to you criticize my skills as a speech pathologist. Skills that I acquired after 6 years of college-a bachelors degree, a minor in psychology and a masters degree.  Skills that I continue to pay for through student loans and yearly continuing education hours. Skills that I have acquired through experience. This is what I want you to take away from this letter, parent.

I am a speech pathologist. I am a person, a wife and now have a child of my own. I LOVE my job. I love my job so much that I get to school early in the morning. Yes I am one of the first people through these doors every morning. Many times it is to prepare for the upcoming speech sessions that day. Your child was the most difficult child I have ever encountered in my speech career, but that made me want to work even harder. I have researched behavioral techniques. I have bought special materials to help your child accomplish the goals we have set this year and took time out of my day at home to even make materials specifically for your child.  I love my job so much that I will drop my child off at child care this next school year. Yes I will drop my child off at child care in order to come help children like yours here at school. Do you realize that I do that? Do you realize that I was so eager to help your child succeed that I used to lie awake at night trying to think of a new way to tackle a goal in order for your child to succeed? There are minutes on IEP paperwork and I saw your child for those minutes every single week. I am so dedicated to your child and all my students that I made up sessions even though I didn't have to. I spent countless more minutes talking to teachers, administrators, making activities, buying activities and setting up a successful environment for your child. I sent home homework and activities over break for you to work on with your child.  I spend a lot of my own money each year to provide the newest of materials for your child and the rest of the students on my caseload. I worked extra jobs so I could do that which was more time away from my family.

At the end of the school year, your child who was moving on to  a new school gave me a HUGE hug, a kiss on the cheek and said "bye minor". This brought me to tears because when I first met your child, there was no production of the sound /b/. Your child went from throwing tantrums because your child had no other way to communicate to three years later being able to tell me "bye minor" using words.  So, when you told me that i don't care about your child. It struck my heart. Please know this parent. I do know your child. Unlike you, your child knows my heart. I would only recommend for your child what I would recommend for my own. A lot of my recommendations came from hours of contemplation over your child's best interest for the remainder of this school year and the for the transition to a new school. I gave up a lot to be able to help your child every day and I make that choice everyday and will continue to make that choice when the new school year begins next year for my new students that I will receive. I love all my students. I love your child. Please keep these things in mind when you want to yell at someone who works with your child.

Mrs. Minor

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Zoo Visit Freebie

I was recently at the Zoo and saw many families and children interacting and talking about the animals. I wanted to provide parents with a simple resource to refer to for some simple questions to ask their school age children when at the Zoo to provide for some real life language/vocabulary stimulation. This is an easy sheet to refer to to provide some carryover for vocabulary skills learned during the school year during speech sessions.

Grab the freebie by pressing on the picture above!!!!

Enjoy your time at the Zoo!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

End of the Year Student Information Page

I always like to have a quick snapshot view of a student at the beginning of each school year. I made a student info sheet to place in the students working file at the end of the year. This will allow any therapist to pick the folder up next school year and not have to do a bunch of research about the student regarding dates and goals/current accuracies.

Pick up the item here!

My first real post (post-baby)!

Hey everyone! I am finally able to squeeze in some time to jot down a post so I decided to let you all know whats been going on in my house.  I wanted to explain where I've been for the last 10 weeks!

My son, Kade, was born on Valentine's Day this year. He turned breach the day before his due date (stupid me tried to get off the couch without asking for help when I was having trouble). I had a c-section the next day! I had a really easy recovery thank goodness--up walking the day of and we got to go home a day earlier than planned.

Kade was a VERY tough baby from the day he was born. He battled really bad reflux and has had issues with that ever since. Medicine didn't help my little man at all and if he wasn't sleeping (which was very little) or eating, he was screaming. It was very very hard on this momma's heart. We ended up going to see a pediatric chiropractor and it helped a lot, but we still battle the reflux every day. I hear from everyone that the baby eventually out grows it, so I am really hoping it happens soon so my baby can have some relief. He deserves it.

Anyways, the reflux (among other things like severe gas and tummy issues), made him not be able to sleep well for the first 6 weeks of his life. After that things got a little bit better, but only until now is it getting much easier for him during the day. When you don't have a baby that sleeps during the day, there is little time to eat, rest or do chores much less be active on my blog FB page or blog.

You all are wonderful and I really appreciate you guys continuing to follow my blog despite this hiatus I had to take to take care of my son. Hopefully now that he is taking some much needed naps during the day I can squeeze in some more time to blog. I look forward to interacting with you guys again and being an active participant in the speech blogging community.

Did any of you guys have a baby with reflux issues? I am really curious what age your babies grew out of it.
Here is a picture of my sweet baby boy! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Post! Ways to Spice Up Any Word Therapy! by Allison's Speech Peeps!

Hi there! It's Nicole over at Allison's Speech Peeps today.

I am sooo excited to be guest-posting on Major Speech Pathology Fun with a Side of Gluten Free today! This has always been one of my favorite blogs so I'm honored that Amy's letting me spend a little bit of time with you today. 

Today I'm going to talk to you about some fun ways to spice up word therapy. In my mind, "word therapy" can mean anything from practicing articulation words to consonant-vowel-consonant words to synonyms/antonyms. All you need are some flashcards with words on them. My groups were working on learning sight words this week so that is what I used. 

1. Hide and Seek. 
What child doesn't love the fun game of hide and seek? Even if you have a tiny therapy room, it's nice for the kids to get up once in a while and move around. Simply "hide" target words around your room and ask students to find them. For specific words, I always clarify the word I want them to find. For example, when working on rhyming, my students must find the word that rhymes with "book." If they come across a different word, they must leave it there (shhhh....don't tell anyone!) and remember it for later. 

Can you find my sight words?

2. Light it up!

Grab a small flashlight and display cards with words on the table. Turn down the lights and have students say the words that are in the spotlight. My kiddos love this, especially when practicing articulation words!

3. Jump Around!
Use rings or even duct-tape and place words inside on the floor. Call out words and have each student jump into the ring with the word. This is a super easy way to assess whether they know the words. The kids also love it!

Therapy can become hard to make fun during this time of the year. I hope these ideas gave you some fresh inspiration! Thanks so much for letting me have some time with you!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring Basic Concepts Freebie

Today I have a spring basic concepts freebie for you all available in my TPT store! This freebie was designed to target basic concepts receptively. I have some relatively low language students in the ID classroom this year, so I made this to help them! It has been successful and they really like the spring clip art! The clip art came from Jenn over at Crazy Speech World! Yay! Grab the freebie here