Sunday, February 1, 2015

For The Love of Speech

What's better on a snowy day in northeast Indiana, well....a blog hop of course (particularly since I am  not a huge football fan)!  Thanks to the amazing organizational skills of Speech to the Core and the Speech Owl, I am thrilled to participate in the For the Love of Speech Blog Hop!

I absolutely love Valentine's Day and what could be better than to have all of my planning done for a whole week's worth of speech-language themed activities for my pre-K through 5th grade students!  I am pleased to share my Valentine Compare/Contrast Activity.  Click on the cover page to download!

This activity includes 12 pairs of compare/contrast cards as well as two different token boards as a motivational reinforcer for your students as they complete this task!  Use them with magnetic chips and wand for even more fun!

Thank you for participating in the For the Love of Speech Blog Hop.  For your next stop, click on the picture below!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Celebrating the 100th Day of School!

As a Frenzied SLP myself, I just realized that the 100th day of school is right around the corner (January 26, 2015 for me).  As such, I thought I would share with you some of my FAVORITE 100th day ideas in case you needed some last minute ideas!

1.  100th day snack from
Be sure to double check each student on your caseload for possible food allergies!

2.  100 therapy trials from my friend Peachie Speechie

Meredith has several themed and seasonal placemats students can use to keep track of 100 trials! Again, double check each student on your caseload for possible food allergies!

3.  100 Days of School Articulation Challenge from Nicole Allison

This is a great packet for assembling a bulletin board, words lists for 13 different sounds, and ribbons for those students who accept and complete the 100 word challenge!

4.  Do you have mixed groups...if so, check out these 100th Day themed books from compiled by boy mama teacher mama!  These are great for students working on speech sounds in reading passages, sequencing, story retell or comprehension, as well as students working on wh- ?s

5.  Need an idea for students working on speech sound carryover, conversational exchanges, or writing goals.  Check out these freebies from The Lesson Plan Diva at

Thanks for joining me to celebrate the 100th day of school!  Feel free to share any ideas you use!  I am always looking for new ways to celebrate!!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Comprehensive Assessment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children with Down Syndrome: A Review

Children with Down Syndrome present with unique characteristics and challenges as compared to many of the different populations with whom I work in my school-based setting.  Honestly, it is a population about whom I know little.  Today, I have the incredible privilege of reviewing for you a product by Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP of Smart Speech Therapy LLC entitled Comprehensive Assessment of  Monolingual and Bilingual Children with  Down Syndrome.

Let's begin...


Tatyana's presentation is intended to assist the reader with the assessment of children, both monolingual and/or bilingual, with Down Syndrome.  She details the specific speech-language deficits frequently observed in this population, and provides examples of how to document these deficits in written form to develop an appropriate plan of service in multiple target areas.  It is intended, not only for speech-language pathologists, but for parents/caregivers and related professionals as well.

Down Syndrome:  An Introduction

For those of you like me who have little experience with this population, Tatyana begins by expertly describing the prevalence, general milestones, and specific impact of this disorder on the areas of feeding, oral sensitivity, swallowing, craniofacial anatomy, speech, voice, fluency and prosody, language (covering all components), and IQ.  This information provided me with valuable background knowledge I was lacking, as I knew of speech-language deficits from my graduate work, but lack that same degree of detail with many of the other areas covered.  She also detailed overall strengths and weaknesses typically displayed by this population.  I know this summary was very beneficial for me in looking at how I could re-tailor how I work with this population.  Now I know how to better use each student's strengths to work toward minimizing his/her weaknesses.

Assessments for Nonverbal and Limitedly Verbal Children with Down Syndrome  

Do you have difficulty assessing your children with Down Syndrome with traditional assessments? Me too :( You will absolutely treasure this section of Tatyana's presentation.  Again, her attention to detail is impeccable as she explores assessment of each of the different facets of speech-language that should be considered/evaluated when working with this population.  Assessments for both nonverbal and limitedly verbal children are explained in detail.  Links to products are included for your convenience and some of these assessments are FREE!  Yes, you heard me correctly, FREE!  I have some experience with both the Augmentative & Alternative Communication Profile and the Communication Matrix and have used both with a variety of different populations, but I haven't yet used with children with Down Syndrome.  It is definitely time for me to pull these tools from my toolbox as well as try new ones suggested by Tatyana.  A quick summary of each is included to aid the clinician in selecting the most appropriate assessment(s) for the child in mind.  


Being from a more rural area of northeast Indiana, bilingualism in my district, while present, is a very, very small percentage of my caseload.  That being said, it is rarely a factor in the assessments I typically conduct. I appreciate all the efforts displayed by my colleagues in working with bilingual children.  Tatyana specializes in the area of bilingualism, so I truly appreciate and respect her expertise in this area.  Her analysis of factors to consider and how those factors shape the assessment process is an excellent resource to which I will refer in the future, should bilingualism be a consideration in a child for whom I am providing a speech-language evaluation.

Evaluation Report Writing Considerations

Report writing is by far one of the most challenging components of my job.  I always err on the side of caution and include more information that what most would consider critical information. Call that a strength if you will, but it also makes for a long, detailed report for my readers.  For anyone who struggles with this, or who just wants to improve his/her report writing skills, the samples included by Tatyana provide excellent examples of not only the areas to be included, but wording to be considered/used.  I found her examples for the bilingual population to be an excellent resource should I switch settings or experience multiple students in the future for whom this is applicable.  Not only are Tatyana's examples an excellent representation of information that should be considered/shared regarding children with Down Syndrome, they are an excellent model by which to write any evaluation report.  In addition to the areas detailed above, Tatyana also provides examples for adaptive behavior and learning style, attention to task, and dynamic assessment, all of which are additional areas to consider.  One could not ask for a more thorough representation/example of report writing for this intended population. Tatyana left no stone unturned!

Writing Therapy Goals

Another area equally challenging for myself as a fairly new clinician is goal writing, particularly for individuals who present with characteristics with which I am less familiar.  Tatyana's section on writing appropriate goals is extremely thorough and an excellent reminder to any clinician of what to consider and/or include in writing meaningful, measurable goals.  SMART, or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, should guide each and every goal that we write as clinicians. Tatyana provides the reader with both tips and specific examples for writing these SMART goals and includes both long-term goals and short-term objectives.  An excellent resource to have available for any new student who crosses your path!


What more can I need this packet!  The packet as a whole is a valuable resource for working with children with Down Syndrome.  In addition, Tatyana has listed 3 pages of resources to aid all individuals who work with this population - links included.  What are you waiting for? Check out Comprehensive Assessment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children with Down Syndrome at Tatyana's store:  Smart Speech Therapy, LLC by clicking here.

A heart-felt thank you to Tatyana Elleseff for allowing me the privilege of reviewing this product.  It will indeed change the way in which I work with my students with Down Syndrome.


Graphic obtained from:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"What's In Your Cart" Linky Party

Wow, I can't believe it is that time again!  Time for the "'What's in Your Cart" Linky Party!  Thanks to the 3 million teacher milestone at TPT, a site-wide sale is being offered this Thursday and Friday, February 27th and 28th.  The Linky Party is the perfect way to scout out great new products being offered by sellers like myself as well as products I think are noteworthy and in my cart for purchase!

First, ALL of the products in my store STRAIGHT UP SPEECH will be available for 20% off.  When you combine that with the promo code TPT3 at checkout, you can get a whopping 28% off!!  These TPT site-wide sales only come along a couple times a year, so now is the time to stock up for the remainder of the school year!

What's new in my store you might ask?  Well, here are my favorites...

1. Token Boards:  A Seasonal and Holiday Assortment Pack

This packet includes an assortment of 50 different token boards that can be used for a variety of speech-language activities!  The kid-friendly graphics are sure to be a hit with your students!  Check it out here:

2. Articulation BINGO for /sh/, /ch/, and /dz/

This is the 5th set in my Articulation Bingo series!  At a whopping 95 pages, it provides the target sounds in all word positions with bingo boards per position as well as mixed boards with all positions represented! Stimulus cards are also provided for drill, memory, and go fish activities!  Find it here:

3.  Last, but not least, Luck O' The Irish Open-Ended Game Boards and Activities for Speech and Language (Just in time for St. Patrick's Day).  This is the third in a series of open-ended game boards and activities I have created!  You can find out more about this particular set by clicking here: and noteworthy from my fellow TPT sellers that are must-haves in my cart:

1.  Tackling Apraxia:  CV & CVC Early Sounds Edition /b, p, t, d, k, g, m, n, j, w, h,f/ by Mia McDaniel (Putting Words in Your Mouth)

I have recently seen an increase in students with apraxia of speech on my caseload.  I'll admit, I am growing tired of using the K when I saw this packet, I knew it had to go on my wish list.  Not only does it include picture cards, it includes pacing charts and boards with super cute kid-friendly graphics!  I am excited to pick this one up to use with my preschoolers!  You can find this packet by clicking here:

2.  Describing Daisies:  an EET Companion Activity by Jennifer Gibbs-Moses (SLPRunner)

I have heard such good things about EET (Expanding Expression Tool) that I am always looking for packets I could use with it once I purchase it.  The great thing about this packet is that while it can be used with EET, it can also STAND ALONE!  Check out this packet by clicking here:

3.  Category Sort - 2nd Edition by Natalie Boatwright of Just Wright Speech

I picked up the 1st Edition awhile back and was excited to see that Natalie added a second one!  This set targets toys, letters, numbers, furniture, desserts, clothing, school, sports, and tools.  I can't wait to use this with my preschoolers.  Want a peek - head on over by clicking here:

4.  Associations:  An Interactive No Print Activity by Jess Schulman from Figuratively Speeching SLP

If you are anything like me,  you go through ink like CRAZY!  Well, have I got the perfect activity for you. This one can be downloaded to your iPad or used on your computer - NO INK NECESSARY...need I say more?  Ok, how about it is also an amazing activity for targeting associations!  You can find out more by clicking here:

5.  BOOK COMPANIONS ROCK!  I found a collection of 4 from Karen Parden over at the Speech Umbrella

I love the books by Laura Numeroff and this packet features 4 of them!  Check out If you give a...Bundled units for speech and language and follow the adventures of cat, pig, mouse and moose!  Find them all by clicking here:

6.  Last, but not certainly least...Minimal Pairs:  Final Consonant Deletion, Phonology, Speech Therapy by Kelly Hungaford from Speech2U

I need some new minimal pairs activities to supplement my current materials and am so excited to pick this one up.  I have quite a few preschoolers who delete final consonant sounds so this will be a new way in which I can target this in therapy...More versions are planned too...can't wait!  Want your own here:

Whew...who knew an SLP could "talk" so much! Ha Ha!  Thanks so much for sticking with me!  Hope you find exactly the materials you need during the sale.  If not, please feel free to drop me a message/leave a comment below and I will see what I can create to meet your needs.  Until next time...happy shopping


Monday, October 21, 2013

October S...Peachy Feedback Linky Party

I can't believe it is time for another S...Peachy Feedback Linky Party hosted by Nicole Allison of Speech Peeps.

While I see these posts roll around every month, today I am joining in the fun! (Life has been a bit hectic since starting a new position in the schools this year, so I apologize that it has taken me so long to hop on board)  That being said, my lucky winner for this month is SLPeachy (coincidental??) for her comment on my Elementary My Dear Analogies Packet

SLPeachy  (TpT Seller)

Thank you SLPeachy for your kind words.  I am so thankful for you and all of the many others who follow and support Straight Up Speech!  Please email me at for one free product of your choice from my store!  Thank you all and keep sharing your feedback as you could be the next winner (in addition to earning those valuable TPT credits!)!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

SLP Back to School Blog Hop

Welcome to the Back to School SLP Blog Hop

You will get the chance to collect great back to school ideas for SLPs, win prizes and get freebies by touring 17 fantastic blogs!

Use the Linkytools at the bottom of this post to hop around 17 blogs, collect ideas, and the clues!

Summer...where did it go?  For me, summer brought about BIG changes in my professional life as my journey to CCC-SLP finally came to an end!  Summer also brought about a BIG change in my career path as well, as I accepted a position as an SLP in my children's school district (my DREAM JOB!).  Having already completed my student teaching in this district, I am so very fortunate to be now be joining this amazing team of SLPs and working with students in the school setting again!  

The big question do I transition from working in an outpatient pediatric clinic to working in the school setting?  As of right now, I am still working toward a good answer to that question :) School starts Wednesday and I am right in the middle of planning and prepping for my new students.  

Here are my top 10 tips for anyone preparing for their first year working in the schools

10.  Breathe:  I have had to remind myself to do this several times.  I am NOT one who likes change, but my friend Jennifer over at SLP Runner told me the other day that "Change is hard...but it's one of the secrets to a happy and fulfilling life".  For me, this is so very true.  Changing careers in my late 30s/early 40s, while scary, has been both exciting and fulfilling all at the same time! Just remember - you've got this!!

9.   Take one day at a time:  It is easy to get overwhelmed and caught up with all the things on your to-do-list.  I know I have had several of those moments throughout the past couple of weeks.  As with everything else in life, it WILL all get done - maybe not as quickly, or as smoothly as we'd like, but it will - just be patient!

8.   Network, Network, Network:  I am so thankful for all of you with whom I can ask questions, collaborate, share stories and just laugh with - without all of you, this journey would be far more difficult and not nearly as much fun!

7.   Be organized:  I know, easier said than done, right??!!  I am a list maker for sure.  This helps me to organize my thoughts and prioritize what needs to be done and when.  Good 'ole paper and pencil work for best for me as I love the satisfaction of crossing things off my list - but if you are a gadget guru - kudos to you!

6.  Use your resources:  With so many SLPs now blogging, it has been easy for me to gather helpful tips, check out speech room organizers/designs, find data sheets, and be reassured that I'm not alone in this venture!  Thanks to all of my fellow SLP bloggers who find the time to share what works for them with all of us!  So grateful for each and every one of you!

5.  Choose a theme:  For me, I decided on an outer space theme for my speech room.  I wish I could share pictures with you, but it is still a work in progress - made a trip to the teacher supply store just a couple of hours ago...stay tuned!  But honestly, it helped me plan out bulletin boards, speech room decor and gave me something to get excited about when I felt overwhelmed by all that still needs to be done. are some work in progress pictures of my new "space".

Welcome to Speech accompanied by the "In Our Speech Room" poster Jenna from SRN created.

Therapy Central!  My room is pie shaped, so not a lot of extra room or wall space to decorate, but the rocket is by far one of the coolest decorations in my room!  My "Welcome To Speech" get-to-know-you worksheets (see the link to that freebie below) are on the left and my super cool new TPT binder covers decorate the binders on the right!  Also pictured are my Give Me 5 posters - also a freebie off TPT!

Last, but not least decoration-wise is this set - I am going to let each of my students decorate a star with their name on it and put them up trailing off from the big star (think shooting star here!)

Storage galore thanks to my custodians!  I started with zero cabinets when I moved in and ended up with three (I still even have empty cupboards to fill with all my new supplies that should arrive early next week!)

4.  Take a tour and introduce yourself to other building personnel:  I was fortunate enough to schedule a time to meet with my principal prior to the first staff day.  I was also lucky enough to meet the school secretary and head custodian - you'll definitely want to get to know all three as soon as possible!  That is how I secured carts for moving in all of my supplies, was able to access my office when my key didn't work, and figured out how to get from point A to point B and back again through all of the hallways!  I think the secretary is getting chocolate on Monday as a big thanks!  It was a miracle that she was in the building on a Saturday afternoon at the same time I was!  Thanks Lynda - you're the BEST!!

3.  Take inventory:  The first thing I did before unpacking my personal speech materials was to take inventory of what was already on hand.  Both my special education director and my principal offered to purchase materials I felt I might need, but I needed to know what I already had to make wise choices about what I needed.  I was excited to find that a couple things on my list were already in my supply closet!  I almost felt like a kid at Christmas sorting through all of my newly acquired materials!  

2.  Be PATIENT :) With 3 days to go until school starts, I am still anxiously awaiting the awarding of my state teaching license...fortunately, I have 12 weeks after the start of school to initiate an emergency permit. This one goes hand-in-hand with taking things one day at a time.  Patience is not one of my strong points, but it seems to be getting a little stronger every day.

...and last, but certainly not least...

1.  HAVE FUN!!  This is perhaps the most important tip for me personally!  I sometimes get so caught up in the politics and planning and paperwork that it is easy for me to forget that I LOVE BEING AN SLP and  I LOVE WHAT I DO!  Don't EVER lose sight of that!

Hopefully these tips prove worthwhile to those of you new to a school like I am - or at least gave you a good laugh if you've been in my shoes before!  For sticking with me through that lengthy top 10 list, here is a freebie for you that I created.  It is entitled "Welcome to Speech"  My caseload is made up of both preschool and K-5th grade students.  This is a little "get to know you" activity that will give me some great information from each of my students with which to plan therapy activities.  You can get your copy in my TPT store by clicking here

Now back to the BLOG HOP:

5 winners will receive a goodie basket of TPT products from our stores.
which includes a copy of my Articulation Bingo for /s/ and /z/, 

which you can also check out in my TPT store by clicking here

1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive the following in addition to the activities:
a $50 TpT gift card
School of Multi-Step Directions from Virtual Speech Center
Articulation Station from Little Bee Speech
and Kid in Story from LocoMotive Apps

The rules of the contest are simple:
You must decode a secret message
In order to complete this task, you will need to visit each of the 17 blogs and find the OWL CLUE
The OWL CLUE will include one word that is part of the code.
When you enter the contest through RAFFLECOPTER, you will be asked to type in the secret code.  have fun and enjoy blog hopping with us!  The contest will run from August 11th to August 17th, 2013.

Enjoy reading through the blogs, downloading the freebies, and participating in the blog hop.  Good luck everyone!

HERE IS MY SECRET CODE!  Enjoy the school year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Now that life has slowed down a bit (wow has it been a crazy summer), I decided to give Bloglovin a try! You can now follow me there and find out the latest and greatest!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin