Are You Interrogating or Modeling?

Fellow SLP, Are You Interrogating or Modeling? It’s a stereotype of movies and books, the mom who won’t stop interrogating their kids with questions. And it’s clear to anyone watching that the incessant interrogation is pushing the kids away whether they’re 10, 20 or 30 years old. And yet… SLPs do the same thing to the little ones in our therapy sessions.  Where? Who? What? Why? When? You feel the pressure of targeting all of the child’s goals and gathering sufficient data, so you inundate them with questions and never truly model the targeted skills. Say… Show me… Do… The

Read More »

Preschool Attention Spans: What to Expect and How to Accommodate

We’re all familiar with the pediatric therapist and their bag, but have you ever stopped to notice that the bag, or rather bag size, gives you a fair idea of what age they serve? It’s an inverse relationship. Big bag, little people. Little bag, big people. Part of this is because toys are bulky and if we have any hope of reaching and engaging our young learners we need to meet them with appropriate play. But it’s also because of those developing attention spans. How long can they attend? A rough estimate is that a child will have an attention

Read More »

Why I Stopped Using Apps in Speech Therapy

I’m so sick of boxes and that ridiculous packing tape that wants so badly to stick on itself. Have you ever experienced carrying box after box after box in NC heat? It’s brutal. I did it moving offices this spring, twice in August moving kids to college and then this past weekend when I moved offices again. It really makes you assess all your stuff. But here’s the thing. Several years ago I really embraced the app thing. Dedicated speech and language apps were coming on the market, iPads were hot and the kids were so into them. It was

Read More »

Picture Book Giveaway!

This summer I started a YouTube channel so I could share some of my favorite read-aloud books to use in speech therapy (or for fun at home). In my videos, I tell you a bit about why I like the book and then make suggestions for some follow-up activities. If you look in each video description, you will also see a link to the page of free lesson plan downloads. I hope you’ll take a minute to check out some of these! I post a new video each week, so be sure to subscribe! Looking to win a copy of

Read More »

The Importance of Unstructured Time and When to Intervene

It makes sense that shows like Stranger Things are set in the 80s when childhood was less structured, making it more prone to adventure, abduction and alien beings. Nowadays, kids would be hard-pressed to find that kind of unscheduled time for exploration. They’re enrolled in structured enrichment activities outside of school and the classroom schedule has had to drop recess and (free) playtime to create more “academic” blocks. But it’s to the detriment of learning. Unstructured play gives little ones a chance to explore and create and these opportunities are much more likely to result in deeper learning and understanding—not

Read More »

How to Build a Play-Based Lesson Plan

Before we dive right into how to create an effective and fun play-based lesson plan, let’s address a couple of elephants in the room:  What is play-based speech therapy? Who needs play-based speech sessions? Play-based speech therapy Play-based speech therapy is PLAY WITH A PURPOSE.  Play-based doesn’t mean you take any toy off the shelf and let the child direct all the action. SLPs have specific goals to target after all, so a bit of advance planning needs to happen.  (Although the more experience you get with this, the faster you’ll be able to adapt nearly any toy to fit

Read More »

Teaching Growth Mindset plus a Giveaway!

I make it a point to teach Growth Mindset with my kiddos working on social skills and tie it in with all of my students regardless of what we’re working on (because, seriously, don’t those artic kids need some Growth Mindset if there’s any hope of tackling their goals?). But it’s been hitting me on a personal level recently. It was time to jump start my exercise routine so I recently joined a Pound class a couple of days a week and tried out a couple of boxing workouts too. Pound is fun. If you haven’t seen this before, it’s

Read More »

Max’s Chocolate Chicken Activities

I’ve always had a sweet spot for Max, that little bunny that so closely mirrors the behavior of many of my students. In Max’s Chocolate Chicken he’s at it again. Ruby is bound and determined to follow the egg hunt rules to win the chocolate chicken. Max, on the other hand, is easily distracted by ants, mud, acorns, a spoon….in fact, at the end of the egg hunt he has nothing but ant and acorn mud pancakes to show for his work. Does that matter? No! When you aren’t penned in by the rules, you can grab the prize and

Read More »

Working on Categories in Speech

Is categorization a skill we really need to work on? YES. In fact, it’s probably the most critical attribute skill we need. The ability to categorize objects allows us to “file” information in our brains according to “like” characteristics. This ability to organize not only makes accessing the information more efficient, it allows us to predict or make inferences about similar, unfamiliar items. For instance, we might know quite a bit about dogs or farm or zoo animals, but what about a quokka? Even if we’ve never heard of this before, a quick glance and we’d place it in the

Read More »

Are You Interrogating or Modeling?

Fellow SLP, Are You Interrogating or Modeling? It’s a stereotype of movies and books, the mom who won’t stop interrogating their kids with questions. And it’s clear to anyone watching that the incessant interrogation is pushing the kids away whether they’re 10, 20 or 30 years old. And yet… SLPs do the same thing to the little ones in our therapy sessions.  Where? Who? What? Why? When? You feel the pressure of targeting all of the child’s goals and gathering sufficient data, so you inundate them with questions and never truly model the targeted skills. Say… Show me… Do… The

Read More »

Preschool Attention Spans: What to Expect and How to Accommodate

We’re all familiar with the pediatric therapist and their bag, but have you ever stopped to notice that the bag, or rather bag size, gives you a fair idea of what age they serve? It’s an inverse relationship. Big bag, little people. Little bag, big people. Part of this is because toys are bulky and if we have any hope of reaching and engaging our young learners we need to meet them with appropriate play. But it’s also because of those developing attention spans. How long can they attend? A rough estimate is that a child will have an attention

Read More »

Why I Stopped Using Apps in Speech Therapy

I’m so sick of boxes and that ridiculous packing tape that wants so badly to stick on itself. Have you ever experienced carrying box after box after box in NC heat? It’s brutal. I did it moving offices this spring, twice in August moving kids to college and then this past weekend when I moved offices again. It really makes you assess all your stuff. But here’s the thing. Several years ago I really embraced the app thing. Dedicated speech and language apps were coming on the market, iPads were hot and the kids were so into them. It was

Read More »

Picture Book Giveaway!

This summer I started a YouTube channel so I could share some of my favorite read-aloud books to use in speech therapy (or for fun at home). In my videos, I tell you a bit about why I like the book and then make suggestions for some follow-up activities. If you look in each video description, you will also see a link to the page of free lesson plan downloads. I hope you’ll take a minute to check out some of these! I post a new video each week, so be sure to subscribe! Looking to win a copy of

Read More »

The Importance of Unstructured Time and When to Intervene

It makes sense that shows like Stranger Things are set in the 80s when childhood was less structured, making it more prone to adventure, abduction and alien beings. Nowadays, kids would be hard-pressed to find that kind of unscheduled time for exploration. They’re enrolled in structured enrichment activities outside of school and the classroom schedule has had to drop recess and (free) playtime to create more “academic” blocks. But it’s to the detriment of learning. Unstructured play gives little ones a chance to explore and create and these opportunities are much more likely to result in deeper learning and understanding—not

Read More »

How to Build a Play-Based Lesson Plan

Before we dive right into how to create an effective and fun play-based lesson plan, let’s address a couple of elephants in the room:  What is play-based speech therapy? Who needs play-based speech sessions? Play-based speech therapy Play-based speech therapy is PLAY WITH A PURPOSE.  Play-based doesn’t mean you take any toy off the shelf and let the child direct all the action. SLPs have specific goals to target after all, so a bit of advance planning needs to happen.  (Although the more experience you get with this, the faster you’ll be able to adapt nearly any toy to fit

Read More »

Teaching Growth Mindset plus a Giveaway!

I make it a point to teach Growth Mindset with my kiddos working on social skills and tie it in with all of my students regardless of what we’re working on (because, seriously, don’t those artic kids need some Growth Mindset if there’s any hope of tackling their goals?). But it’s been hitting me on a personal level recently. It was time to jump start my exercise routine so I recently joined a Pound class a couple of days a week and tried out a couple of boxing workouts too. Pound is fun. If you haven’t seen this before, it’s

Read More »

Max’s Chocolate Chicken Activities

I’ve always had a sweet spot for Max, that little bunny that so closely mirrors the behavior of many of my students. In Max’s Chocolate Chicken he’s at it again. Ruby is bound and determined to follow the egg hunt rules to win the chocolate chicken. Max, on the other hand, is easily distracted by ants, mud, acorns, a spoon….in fact, at the end of the egg hunt he has nothing but ant and acorn mud pancakes to show for his work. Does that matter? No! When you aren’t penned in by the rules, you can grab the prize and

Read More »

Working on Categories in Speech

Is categorization a skill we really need to work on? YES. In fact, it’s probably the most critical attribute skill we need. The ability to categorize objects allows us to “file” information in our brains according to “like” characteristics. This ability to organize not only makes accessing the information more efficient, it allows us to predict or make inferences about similar, unfamiliar items. For instance, we might know quite a bit about dogs or farm or zoo animals, but what about a quokka? Even if we’ve never heard of this before, a quick glance and we’d place it in the

Read More »