Farm Themed Speech Therapy Toys & Materials

Farm Themed Speech Therapy Toys & Materials

Planning therapy around themes can make it a lot easier to come up with ways to cover all the goals in your mixed groups. And if you have a large caseload, finding ways to use one set of materials for a wide range of goals will make servicing your caseload much more manageable.

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials to Cover Goals in Mixed Groups

How many goals could you cover with this farmhouse toy (Amazon affiliate link)? If you had a mixed group with a student working on reducing the phonological process of fronting, a student working on verb + ing and another student working on following directions, you could cover all those goals with this farmhouse!

For fronting, you could have the student say, “Go _____” with the animals or, “I can see _______” during play. To target “verb +ing,” the students can talk about what the animals are doing. For example, the pig can roll in the mud, the cow can eat grass, and the horse can jump over the fence. Use the animals and farm items to work on basic concepts and following directions. And just like that, your therapy session is planned and that easy to adapt!

Do you need a cheat sheet that would help you remember all the target verbs, questions, vocabulary and activities to do with a farm house? Grab my Toy Companion Speech & Language Cheat Sheets and always feel prepared doing play-based therapy. 

Build Your Personal Material Stash

When I find toys that can be adapted for a lot of ages and skills, it usually becomes part of my personal therapy stash. If I ever move sites or school districts, I want to be able to take the materials that I use all the time with me.

Another toy I use often is my Mr. Potato Head. Check out this post here to see how you can use this toy in therapy. If you need more toy ideas, this post covers some of my most used toys to work on functional language that you can read here.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

Using a Farmhouse in Speech Therapy

Use a farmhouse to work on all sorts of goals! Here are some goals/skills you can target with this one toy:

—Turn taking and waiting.

—Initiating requests and comments. You can also work on joint attention by withholding objects until you get some eye contact and joint referencing.

—Teach prepositions such as in, out, next to, behind, in front.

—Work on verbs such as eat, sleep, run, jump, laugh, feed, play, roll, sit, gallop, drink.

—Answer wh-questions about the animals and farm equipment.

—Describe the farm animals by attributes.

—Create a story working on sequencing, story elements, and grammar structures.

Finding a farmhouse toy that is affordable can be tricky for SLPs on a budget. You can always try Facebook Marketplace and thrift stores for a deal. If you can’t wait, Amazon or Target have farmhouses.

Favorite Farm-Themed Books for Speech Therapy

I love bringing literacy into my sessions. The books have such colorful pictures, so I often use those to help stimulate language. Of course, you can work on story retell and oral narration with farm books, but you can also target grammar concepts, vocabulary, perspective taking (social skills), and articulation/phonology with words from the story.

Here are some of my favorite farm-themed books:

Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

If you don’t have time to head to the library or your Amazon purchase hasn’t arrived yet, you can still use books in therapy. Search for book read-alouds on YouTube like Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner.

Farm-Themed Toys for Speech Therapy

Use the Create-A-Scene for the farm (Amazon affiliate link) to work on simple story telling, practice verb +ing, following directions, describing nouns by attributes and answering wh-questions.

You can use the farm animals from Learning Resources to work on lots of skills in therapy. Here are some ways you can use these farm animal figurines: target more/less, plural noun markers, describing the animals, sorting the animals by features (i.e. two legs, tail, four legs, color), CORE vocabulary go/stop and as a reinforcement toy for completing other skills.

I love this puzzle to work on farm-themed speech therapy goals from Melissa & Doug. You can work on word opposites open/close as well as lots of CORE vocabulary such as more, look, what, want, turn, and like/don’t like.

Melissa & Doug also have these affordable farm-themed reusable stickers that come with farm picture scenes. This can be a great way to work on grammar concepts, following directions, and story retell. You can also create mini stories and then work on answering wh-questions for those stories!

Farm-Themed YouTube Videos for Easy Therapy Planning

When I just don’t have a ton of time to plan extensive therapy, I turn to YouTube to help me with planning simple, yet effective lessons. I will use farm-themed YouTube videos to target goals for language.

Here are some farm-related YouTube videos you can use:

4 Reasons Why Cows are Awesome by Scishowkids

Chickens! What, Where, How by AnimalWonders Montana

Fun Farm Animal Facts for Children by Kids Learning Videos

Farm Animal Sounds by Kids Learning Videos is an interactive video to work on what animals sound like. The kids love it!

Some farm sensory bin fillers you can use are popcorn kernels or black/brown beans.

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials for Push-In Language Support

 

Wanting to bring farm-themed speech therapy activities into your whole class lessons? Check out my Farm Push-In Activities. They are perfect for busy SLPs wanting to use language activities in small groups and push-in lessons for their K-2 students.

You will have materials completely planned for at least two weeks. I include cheat sheet guides, 3-5 station activities, a Google Slide presentation, as well as a newsletter you can send home to parents. When I started push-in support I wanted to find a quick way I could let parents know what we were working on, in hopes that they would help reinforce the same language at home. I read a research article that found students with language impairments need up to 36 engagements with a word before it is mastered! It gave me permission to do themed therapy for more than one week!

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials You Love

What farm-themed speech therapy materials do you love to use in your sessions? I would love to know what is working for your students. Over the years, I have really grown in learning how to adapt materials just from listening to what other SLPs do in therapy. Please share by leaving a comment or emailing me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

Collaborative Services Can Support Your Students

Collaborative Services Can Support Your Students

There has been a shift in service delivery models in which school districts are wanting SLPs to implement collaborative services for students with IEPs. I know when I did my grad school internship, I was only introduced to doing “pull-out” group sessions with students.

I never really learned about what collaborative services were in grad school, nor did anyone show me the ropes to implement these types of services. As I began to grow as a clinician and see the needs of my students, I knew that I wanted to be in the classroom more often.

Collaborative Services Are Scary (At First)

I was nervous and scared. No one teaches you how to work with your colleagues or how to implement collaborative services. There isn’t a manual or a curriculum that you can follow. What I have discovered over the years is that there is not a “one size fits all” solution for students. What works for one student may not work for the next student.

So, today, we are going to learn the different types of service delivery models that you can start implementing for students. 

Collaborative Services For Your Students

Co-Teaching: an integrative service delivery, where the SLP and the classroom teacher plan together and carry out a lesson together.

This could mean that one or both teachers do the whole class instruction and each run a different station that was planned together.

One-teach/one-float: the classroom teacher teaches the lesson and the SLP “pushes in” to assist specific students or observe a student. There is no planning with the teacher using this service.

Consultation, coaching model: the SLP discusses strategies with the teacher to implement social skills in the classroom.

You may come in to model a strategy or skill. Creating visuals or supports and coaching the teacher on how to use them are examples of this type of service model.

Pull-out model: the SLP is addressing areas of need in a small group setting outside of the classroom environment.

Teaching Approaches You Can Use with an Integrative Service Delivery Model

  1. Supportive teaching—a combination of pullout services and direct teaching within the classroom.
  2. Complementary teaching—the classroom teacher presents the curriculum content as primary instructor, and the SLP assists specific students with work completion.
  3. Station teaching—instructional material is divided into parts, with the SLP and the classroom teacher(s) each taking a group of students. Students rotate to each station, or learning center, for instruction.

Teaching Approaches Continued

4. Parallel teaching—the students are divided, and the classroom teacher and the SLP each instruct a designated group of students simultaneously, with the SLP taking the group of students that needs more modification of content or slower pacing in order to master the educational content.

5. Team teaching—the SLP and the classroom teacher teach the academic content together, allowing each professional to provide his or her expertise.

6. Supplemental teaching—one person (usually the teacher) presents the lesson in a standard format while the other person (usually the SLP) adapts the lesson.

How I Implement Co-Teaching in my K-2 SDC Classrooms

For the past three years, I have implemented a co-teaching collaborative service model with my Special Day Classroom teachers. Once I had buy-in, doing this model has been so effective for my students. I also found that I was able to also implement consultation and coaching with this model. Check out how you can set up your own push-in sessions HERE.

What Questions Do You Have About Implementing Collaborative Services?

Starting a new way of servicing students is overwhelming, scary, and filled with doubts! If you have a question about how I implement collaborative services, email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

I would love to know what successes you are having with implementing one of these collaborative service delivery models. Share in the comments or email what is working for you and your staff.

Using Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

Using Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

I am always on the hunt for materials that are easy to prep and will help engage my students while they are working toward their goals. A good worksheet or set of flashcards will definitely produce positive outcomes in the therapy room, but my kids seem to produce so much more work when the activity is hands-on.

Letter Stamps Can Increase Engagement

Today, I want to show you how you can use letter stamps in speech therapy. It won’t make a huge mess and will be easy to carry around for you traveling SLPs, or those SLPs who do quick artic in the hallways.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. I get a small compensation when you click on the link and purchase the item.

Where to Find Letter Stamps for Speech Therapy

Last summer, I found these plastic Letter Stamps from Lakeshore Learning and had to have them! You can also snag some on Amazon from Discount School Supply. There is also Mad Mattr dough that never dries out and has a fun consistency. I bought the upper alphabet set that comes with numbers and letters. If you need more playdough ideas for therapy, head to this BLOG POST (it includes FREE mats to use with playdough).

Making Your Traveling Letter Stamp Kit

You will need the set of letter stamps, a pencil box or small container, and playdough or kinetic sand. I put some playdough in the pencil box and was ready for therapy!

How to Use Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

There are several ways SLPs can use letter stamps in speech therapy. Here are some of my favorite ideas for articulation/phonology therapy:

Have your student use the letter that correlates with his/her sound and stamp it each time that he/she producing the sound in syllables or words. I know that not all the sounds match the letters perfectly, but it works for most of them. You can get in lots of drill with this! If you need some stimulus task cards for prevocalic R, r-blends, and vocalic R words, grab this Articulation Letter Stamp Station HERE. I also have a blends version you can grab HERE

More Ways to Use Letter Stamps

You can read words, single sentences, or a story out loud to your student. Your student can stamp his/her sound letter every time he/she hears her sound.

Use the B, M, E stamp letters in the kinetic sand. Say a word to your student and have him/her identify which position your student hears his/her words. This will work on sound awareness and also phonological awareness skills.

Make an Articulation Station

If you are working with mixed groups and need some dedicated time to baseline/progress monitor other students or just need a good solid 10 minutes to teach a new concept to a student in the group, you can create articulation stations with activities that keep the students focused on his/her goals independently. You may need to teach the behavioral expectations when implementing stations those first few weeks. If you need a framework for how to do that, head to this BLOG POST.

Give your students a task card with pictures and the spelling of the words. Have them stamp out each word in the playdough. Then, they have to practice that sound 5 times or write it in a sentence. Then, the student can take those sentences home to practice or use the next session as a warm-up!

Phonological Awareness Activities With Letter Stamps

With the number stamps, you can have students identify the number of syllables in a word for phonological awareness or working on breaking down multi-syllable words.

You can also work on building phonemic awareness by having students stamp out real or nonsense CVC words in the playdough/kinetic sand. Then, have your students work on substituting sounds to make new word combinations. Or have them add or delete sounds to create new sounds.

Using Letter Stamps with Language Therapy

When you are working on describing nouns by attributes (i.e. category, function, size, color, texture, parts, etc.), you can have your student stamp a number for each attribute they share. This will allow them to visually see how many attributes they provided. You can visually and verbally give feedback when they provide more attributes.

Students can identify if a phrase is true/false using the T and F letter stamps.

Using Letter Stamps To Visually Cue Students

For your students working on monitoring social behavior in a group session, you can stamp an E for expected behavior and a U for unexpected behavior during the session. This can visually cue the student to monitor his/her behavior without stopping the lesson. Plus, you will have some data on how often you had to cue them. You can also give the student a social situation and have them stamp E if the behavior was expected or U if the behavior was unexpected.

Share How You Would Use Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

The best way to get the most out of a material item is to collaborate with other like-minded professionals. That is why I always want to know how you would use a material in therapy. When I have more ideas, therapy feels fresh and new with my groups. If you use letter stamps in speech therapy, please share how you use them in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

Also, I love seeing therapy pics in action, so feel free to tag me on Instagram with your letter stamps @thedabblingspeechie.

Use Paper Plates to Target Grammar – EBP aligned!

Use Paper Plates to Target Grammar – EBP aligned!

Let’s face it: SLPs are on a budget. And apparently, so are school districts . . . ‘cause they never seem to have any money available for educators to use for materials (this could be a whole different blog post filled with rants).

I know some SLPs get NO money for supplies, which is very unfortunate. That’s why I love having speech therapy activities that are budget-friendly, engaging for students, AND align with evidence-based practice.

Budget-Friendly Grammar Speech Therapy Activities

Today, I am going to share some grammar speech therapy activities that use paper plates. All you need are paper plates, glue, scissors, and markers! Plus, these grammar speech therapy activities will make you feel like a confident SLP, knowing that your lesson is aligned with EBP. Your kids will never know that they are “working” the entire session—which is a dream for the busy SLP.

What’s the Evidence Around Grammar Intervention?

If you want more information about best practices for grammar intervention in speech therapy, head to this blog post for more articles and tips. I always feel more confident about my therapy when I see research backing it up.

Cueing our students with the correct grammar form has shown to improve gains with grammar. In this study below, the researchers looked at using conversational recasting and cueing. Cueing showed more significant gains, but in other studies conversational recasting has also shown to be effective. Click the pink button below to get this FREE verb checklist. 

With the results from another study, the researchers found more gains with grammar concepts when the clinicians used 24 unique verbs in a session with conversational recasting. Conversational recasting  is when the clinician emphasizes what the child said with the correct grammar target. For example, if the child said, “He eat,” the clinician could say, “Yes, he eatsssss cookies.”

I will show you how you can get those 24 unique verbs in a session with my paper plate ideas. After reading this research, I did recognize that implementing this approach could be very difficult for SLPs who have high caseloads and are forced to have therapy groups of 4 and 5 students.

This research helped me to remember that I can target more than just a handful of verbs during a session (what I was previously doing in my drill) and that using a variety of verbs really does help our students with language impairments.

Plante, E., Ogilvie, T., Vance, R., Aguilar, J.M., Dailey, N.S., Meyers, C., … Burton, R. (2014). Variability in the language input to children enhances learning in a treatment context. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23, 530–545.

This research article found that explicitly teaching the grammar rules to students is effective.

Finestack, L. H. (2018). Evaluation of an explicit intervention to teach novel grammatical forms to children with developmental language disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0339.

Grammar Speech Therapy Activities with Paper Plates

The research shows that children with language impairments make better gains with generalizing grammar markers when provided explicit teaching of the grammar rules. That means we have to teach them the rule for the grammar concept.

So, for example, you can make a paper plate grammar slider to work on noun-verb agreement and present progressive markers.

You can also target past tense “was/were” and past tense regular and irregular grammar markers.

How to Make a Paper Plate Grammar Slider

First, you need to get an X-Acto craft knife, paper plates, markers, and colored paper (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience). Then, you can cut out a two inch colored piece of paper to write the verbs and another strip to write is/are.

With the X-Acto knife, you will need to cut two slits in the paper plate. Allow at least 2 inches for the slits. Then, write your verb targets on one of the papers. Use two strips and try to write 24 verbs. The research also shows that using 24 unique verbs in a session shows significant improvements with language.

Then, slide the strips of paper between the two slits. Now, you can slide the paper strips up and down while practicing different verb targets.

You can adapt this grammar activity to work on pronouns or adding prepositional phrases.

Paper Plate Grammar Challenge

You can also work on grammar targets with a fun grammar challenge using paper plates. You need two paper plates. With your scissors, cut 2-inch slits around the plate. Then, on the other plate, put a generous amount of glue on the middle of the plate. Then, stick the plate with the slits on top of the glue.

Students can flip the flaps as they practice using their grammar target at the word or sentence level. After doing some drills, you can have students do “verb charades” and act out different verbs as an engaging activity. If you need help with coming up with verbs, download my free verb checklist by clicking the button below.

With your marker or stimulus picture items, glue/write your grammar targets on the bottom plate. You could write the verb on the top plate and then the conjugated verb for present progressive, past tense, third person singular, or future tense on the bottom plate.

More Easy-Prep Grammar Speech Therapy Activities

I have these fun visual supports that you can use with playdough to work on building more complex grammar structures. Read about it HERE and get the free printable.

You can also use Simon’s Cat videos to work on LOTS of verbs and grammar. I usually pair these videos with my FREE graphic organizer that you can find HERE.

What materials, books, or resources do you use to work on grammar in speech therapy? Share in the comments. If you make these fun paper plates in therapy, I would love to see pics. Just tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie.

5 Visual Supports Your Speech Students Need

Early on in my career as an SLP, I knew that many of my students benefited from visual supports to comprehend speech and language tasks. There were many sessions when I was scrambling to scribble out visuals to help my students understand a concept. You can relate, right!? In the early days, I didn’t always have the visuals, or the time to make the visuals I wanted. With more years of experience, and the help of the internet, I have developed or found visual supports that are staples for my speech sessions.

Benefits of Using Visual Supports 

Visual supports help our students process information presented orally. They can also help reduce the cognitive demands placed on the brain when trying to comprehend or expressively use a new language skill. Visual supports can also help our students be able to better communicate when they are upset or don’t have a strong expressive skills to let us know what they are feeling or thinking.

Visual Supports for Students to Help With Articulation Generalization & Self-Awareness

#1 Articulation Carryover Visual Supports for Students

Many of my students working on 1-2 sound errors struggle with monitoring their speech productions. I have started incorporating self-awareness tasks to help students be more accountable for their productions.

At the start of each session, we do a Yes/No visual check-in. I either produce the sound correctly or incorrectly  in isolation, syllables, or words. The student then judges my production. Then, the student produces 5-10 sounds/words and judges his/her production. We do this before jumping into drill practice.

As my students progress to the sentence and conversation levels (multiple sentences, reading, structured conversations, etc.), I incorporate self-reflection time into my sessions. We also fill out conversation scripts for specific times, places, or people that they may need to use their correct speech. Check out my info about artic carryover HERE. If you need more practical strategies for generalization, I have a blog post HERE you can read.

#2 Articulation Production Feedback Visual

It isn’t super helpful to tell articulation students whether or not their production was correct. I notice a lot of my students get discouraged if I say a lot of “try again” or “nope, wasn’t quite right.” When I give more specific feedback about their production, the student can see when they are on the right track, but may need to adjust their production slightly.

I really love Speechy Musings’ production feedback visual that you can download for FREE here. I have used it in therapy and also sent it home for parents to use with the student as well. I love using file folders to make home programs. You can check out how I make a home program using a file folder and this visual HERE.

#3 Visual Sentence Strips For Speech & Language

Having visual sentence strips or sentence frames for my students has helped so much when learning a new skill. You can read more about how to use sentence strips in therapy HERE.

My visual sentence starter strips have been handy for my mixed groups because I can easily find the sentence strip for different students. They include articulation strips, fluency, grammar, language, and social skill strips. No more writing on sticky notes!

#4 Visual Supports for Social Inferencing

When working on inferencing skills, I like to incorporate visuals. Many of my students with social pragmatic weaknesses or language disorders struggle with making inferences. Some of my students can make inferences, but then have NO idea how they got their answer. So, I like using sentence frames to break down the skill. We first work on what we “see” (concrete details), then talk about what we “know” (accessing scheme and background knowledge). Then, we each make a “smart guess” about what the person could be feeling/thinking or answer a higher order thinking question. 

Many teachers are wanting their students to use more academic language when explaining their answers, so I like having those visually displayed, so my students can start to practice using those vocabulary words in context. Need this free visual support? Head over to my TPT store.

#5 Visual Supports for Behavior

I have a lot of students working on following routines and expectations. Many of my students benefit from having a working for chart, first/then visual, and visual reminders for what their bodies need to be doing in a session. That’s why I decided to put all my frequently used visuals in one place.

I just printed it out, glued it to a file folder, and laminated the file folder. Then, I could re-use the visual supports using a dry erase marker. I love that I can use this for multiple students at one time. 

If you need this visual, hit the pink button below for this free download. Need more ideas for using file folders? Check out this blog post, HERE.

What Visual Supports Do You Love Using in Speech Therapy?

I would love to know what visual supports you have found helpful for your clients or students. Share the visual in the comments or tag me on social media at @thedabblingspeechie.