Monday, June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream ~ TPT Seller Challenge #2

I am loving the TPT Seller Challenge going on right now.  So many educators have joined in the fun, and I just love seeing all the posts.  This week's topic is Dare to Dream.  We are each posting about what our hopes and dreams are for our TPT stores.  Here are mine:

Freedom from student loans!!!  Ugh, the dreaded student loan payment.  Between my husband and myself we have a good chunk of student loan debt.  I was motivated to start my TPT store when I saw another SLP post about being able to make extra payments on her student loans with her store profits.  That was enough inspiration for me.  I am dreaming of the day that my store brings in enough money that I, too, can start paying extra on those awful student loans.

Flexibility in the budget - My husband and I both work, and we do pretty well with our budgeting, but my dream is to have a little more flexibility built in for those "extra" things.  Sometimes last minute expenses pop up that don't really qualify as "emergencies" and I would love to have some more "misc." money built into the budget.  I would also like to be able to know we have funded our retirements sufficiently, as well as our daughter's college education.  And it's always great to have extra to give generously. 

Vacations and travel - My family all lives in California, and I'm in Texas.  My visits back home are limited by the expense of traveling back and forth.  Airfare is expensive and driving takes too long.  I also have a long list of places in the world I would love to visit: New York, Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, among others.  Vacations and travel can take months to years of saving for.  I am hoping my TPT store will help us be able to fund some future family trips.

Networking and friendships - I just love that blogs and TPT stores can bring people from all over the country (world even) together.  I am hoping that my blog and TPT store will allow me to meet other SLPs/educators and that I can have a circle of friends all over.  It's one of the things I love the most about reading other blogs.  Sharing ideas and networking makes us all better at what we do.

So those are my hopes and dreams for the future of my TPT Store and blog.  I am looking forward to reading what everyone else is dreaming of.  You can head over to Sparkling in Second to see all the other blogs that have linked up to share their BIG dreams. 
Sparkling in Second

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Makeover Madness ~ TPT Seller Challenge #1

I have joined in the fun of the Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Challenge hosted by Sparkling in Second, Teach Create Motivate, Third in Hollywood, and Peppy Zeppy Teacherista.

Challenge #1 was to makeover an old product.  I chose one of my first products that desperately needed some updates.  The product is my prefix and suffix packet and you can check out the updates I made below:

This product had a sort of movie theme to it, but it wasn't very consistent.  I updated the cover page to show off the theme a bit more.

I also changed the root word cards so they look like admission tickets (to stick with the theme).

Another change was to make the root word cards bigger than the prefix/suffix cards.  This will help them to stand out more as students manipulate the cards.  I also cleaned up the prefix/suffix cards by making the lines thicker (this will help students to cut them out better if being used as a cut & paste activity).

Other pages include recording sheets, teaching cards, and game boards for extra practice.

You can find this prefix and suffix packet in my TPT Store by clicking here.  It will 35% off for the next few days, so grab it while it's on sale!

Don't forget to follow me on social media and click back to Sparkling in Second to see what other TPT sellers have updated in their stores.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

What Do You Do?

Ah...the loaded question...what is it that you do?  If only the answer was as simple as the question.

Before becoming an SLP, I was a teacher.  So when people asked me what I did for a living I had a very simple, straightforward answer.  They sometimes would ask me what I taught and that was that.  Everyone knows what a teacher does.

Now that I'm an SLP (almost), I find this question more complicated.  I have found that I respond differently depending on who I am speaking with.  In some cases, I can actually say that I am an SLP (assistant/grad student) and I know that the other person will know what I am talking about.  This is usually the case if they know another SLP or have had experience with one.  But I don't always use "SLP" as my answer.  In most cases, I stick with "speech therapist."

Using the term "speech therapist" provides enough information that the person I am speaking to can infer what I do.  Most people know what a therapist does. so attaching that to "speech" enables them to figure out that I probably help people with their speech.  What they don't know is that it is so much more than they really think. 

I think it's safe to say that most people think of working on /r/ and /s/ when they think of a speech therapist.  "Oh, you help kids who can't say their sounds right."  Yes, that is part of what we do.  But that is only a part.  There are so many things we do that the average person would never even guess.  Here are just a few of the things SLPs do:
  • Articulation - yes, we work on /r/ and /s/ and all the other sounds that people might need help with.  But it's not just for kids.  We also work with patients who have dysarthria (perhaps after a stroke) or apraxia of speech (this involves much more than just practicing a sound or two). 
  • Voice - someone might need voice therapy if they have had some kind of damage or disease with their vocal folds, cleft palate, stroke, traumatic brain damage, or a disease (like Parkinson's) that may affect their voice.  
  • Fluency (stuttering) - we might work with kids or adults in this area
  • Language - with younger children we might work on vocabulary or sentence production.  With older children we might work on language skills that will help them in the classroom.  We also work with children who have not started talking at all, sometimes on using alternative modes of communication (such as a speech output device of some kind).  We might also work with children with autism on social skills.  This is also an area we might work on with a patient after a stroke or traumatic brain damage.  This area involves a lot and is more than I can describe here.  Anything related to vocabulary, grammar, sentence formation, and/or social use of language would fit here. 
  • Cognition - this area includes things like sequencing, attention, and memory that can affect a person's day-to-day functioning.  
  • Feeding/swallowing - this is one of the areas that very few people know we work with.  Being able to swallow is something that we take for granted until we can't do it.  SLPs can work with patients who are having trouble feeding/swallowing using a variety of techniques that they receive special training in. 
SLPs work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehab clinics, private therapy clinics, and home health to name a few.  Every setting is different, and every SLP has their area of expertise. 

One of the great things about this career is that it has a lot of variety.  No two settings are the same and every day is different.  It's not always easy to sum up what we do, and SLPs are really the only people who fully understand what the career is all about.  We teach, inspire, motivate, encourage, support, counsel, and train.  We make a difference. 

The next time someone asks me what I do, I will probably run through responses in my head like I usually do.  Then I will tell them that I am a speech-language pathologist, and I change lives. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Prep Positions {App Review & Giveaway}

How much do you love Smarty Ears apps?  They are just absolutely fantastic (and no, I was not paid to say that).  I am thrilled to bring you a review of another one of their great apps: Prep Positions, and I have a FREE copy of the app to give away...

Friday, June 5, 2015

One Special Moment {Linky}

The school year is officially over, and I have to say, it was a blur.  Between therapy sessions, learning to lead IEP meetings and complete paperwork on my own, grad school coursework, and being a wife and mom, I was incredibly busy. I loved every second of it!  Jen over at Speech Therapy Fun had a great idea that has helped me to reflect back on my busy year.  She is hosting the "One Special Moment" linky and I decided to join in.  :-) ...