Thursday, May 29, 2014

Favorite Therapy Item Thursday Guest Post by Abby From Schoolhouse Talk: Lego & Duplo Blocks

We are super happy to have Abby Goldenstein from Schoolhouse Talk guest post today. We love her detailed and friendly reminder of how useful building blocks are when doing speech therapy.  This post provides some awesome tips!  Abby is a school-based speech-language pathologist that is always busy making awesome therapy materials and contributing to her great blog, Schoolhouse Talk!  In fact, she has 53 documents over at her Teachers Pay Teachers store right now.  We highly suggest that you check them out by following this link: Schoolhouse Talk at TpT.
Thank you so much for contributing to our Favorite Therapy Item post, Abby, and have a good end to your school year and a very happy summer!  
Manda & Shanda

Big props to Shanda and Manda for allowing me to guest post for them today! Those two girls have wonderfully creative ideas, so I am thrilled to add to the mix.

With our hectic school schedules, sometimes we have to provide therapy "on the fly". I was thinking last week about my therapy sessions, and I found myself going back to Lego/Duplo blocks again and again as my go-to "grab and go" therapy item. My current assignment is working with early intervention (birth to 3) as well as preschool-aged children, and these little blocks of joy are perfect for bringing communication opportunities and fun to our time together.

What can I target with Lego/Duplo blocks?

You can target so, so much with building blocks! Here's a sampling of what I've done with them:

*Basic Concepts: talk about the colors of the blocks; the number of "bumps" they have; discuss the attributes of the blocks (long, short, skinny, large, etc.); build different shapes or letters out of the blocks; talk about which blocks they need first, next, and last
*Emerging Language Skills: Legos provide the perfect opportunity for students to practice requests: more, block please, my turn, more blue, I'm all done, etc.

*Turn-Taking and Pronouns: Some of my preschoolers have a behavior goal for turn-taking. Building blocks are also perfect practice for this as you work together to build a masterpiece. We also get tons of opportunities to practice pronouns: my turn, your turn, we go at the same time, his turn, you do it, I need help, etc.

*Prepositions: up, down, around, bottom, top, inside, through, first, last - they're all covered here!

*Following Directions: You can instruct your kiddos how to build something with the blocks, or have them practice telling each other directions. Since the building pieces are different colors and shapes, it's perfect for adding describing words to your sentences: "Put the long red piece on top of the short purple piece." You can also download building plans such as this one online. Instead of printing them off, I just display them on my laptop or iPad for students to reference.

*Articulation: I have my articulation students practice their target sounds a designated number of times before they can earn more blocks to use. I've also attached their target pictures to the blocks and had them practice as they build. (By the way, this adhesive is such a time and money saver for temporarily attaching pictures! So much better than Velcro!)

Another favorite Lego activity of mine is the Lego Read & Build kits. These neat little activities come with a book and all the Legos you need for building the characters inside the book.

I have this farm set, but there are also caterpillar, fairy tale, jungle, and vehicles sets that I've seen. They are great for little ones and the pages show them exactly how to assemble each item. These are great for traveling SLPs because they are compact and contain only the specific blocks you need for that book.

Finally, if I don't want to lug around a set of Lego blocks as I travel from site to site, I always can count on the Lego Juniors Create & Cruise app to help me out. It is a wonderful and FREE app that I recommend to all the parents and teachers I work with. Students get to build their own Lego car (great for targeting language goals as they describe the car they want to build!), and then drive it while they earn additional game pieces! This one is a must-have app and it is definitely a favorite of all my students :)

Thanks so much for reading! I hope I've inspired you to "build" some fun into your therapy sessions!

Schoolhouse Talk!

Monday, May 26, 2014


We put them together for your convenience! It's our two summer-themed no prep, quick print packets! One packet targets the sounds of L, S, & R The other one targets the sounds of SH, TH, & V. Plus, both of them offer open-ended worksheets so that you can write in any word or sound in order to target any sound that we did not do for you.

These packets would be great for you to use during the last few weeks of school, summer school, or anytime that you want some fun and sun in speech therapy!

Just like all of our other quick print packets, these are both completely in black and white! This will mean little to no prep for the therapist and a whole lot of money saved on not needing to use color ink. Just print and go!

You will love how fun these worksheets are and we just know that you will find them useful for targeting articulation for many of your students. We have made worksheets that target the individual sound, the sound plus a vowel, and words that have the sound in the initial, medial and final position of words.

Please see the detailed preview to review the contents and several actual worksheets that you will find in this 160 page bundle (each packet is 80 pages).

OR- if desired to be purchased separately:

 (*currently 50% off for 24 hours due to being a new product)

By the way, each of these packets are $8.00 if bought separately. When buying them in a bundle you will save $4.00!

Have a happy and fun summer season!

Manda Riebel, M.A. CCC-SLP &
Shanda Gaunt, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologists
Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Freebie! "Me" vs. "I' Pronoun Puddle Jump Activity

Step into cute rubber boots and download this freebie to get your students jumping into correct pronoun use during this rainy time of spring! 

Just tape the two puddles on the floor and ask your students to jump to the correct answers to finish a sentence. 

The questions ask for your students to choose the "I" or the "ME" pronoun to finish a sentence. 

An "I" and "Me" pronoun teaching page, colorful puddles and teaching cards, and also color ink- saving black and white cards and puddle pages are included in the download. 

Kids love to jump into puddles! In fact, this fun activity was inspired by Manda's own son when we saw how much fun he had jumping from puddle to puddle after it had rained last spring! :) 

Give your students this fun opportunity to learn about when and how to use their pronouns while they move in a fun way too! 

Enjoy this free download and thank you for stopping by Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC to pick up this grammar freebie.  While you are here, please consider becoming an email subscriber to receive all of our blog updates.  We try to post helpful speech and language related articles and reviews weekly.  Plus, we create a freebie document almost every month!  If you become a follower by simply entering your email address in the follow by email space found on the top right hand side of this page, you will be the first to know about these freebies!!  

Have a happy springtime!
Manda & Shanda, SLP's

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1/2 off! Quick Print, No Prep -Summer Articulation Unit

Are you looking for articulation practice for the last couple of weeks of school? Are you preparing home practice packets for your students for the summer? Or, are you working with articulation students throughout the summer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have the perfect articulation unit for you!

Come on out and enjoy the sun and swimming! It's summertime and it's a fun time to enjoy everything outdoors! This brand new posting will be 50% off for the next 24 hours. Please get it quick!

Why not try out this fun articulation packet with your students in order to celebrate the beautiful season of summer? We have included a whole packet of super cute summer-themed clip art on worksheets that target the /L/, /R/, & /S/ sounds at the C, CV, and initial, medial and final position of words. We have even left all of the worksheets blank so that you can write in any speech sound that you would like to work on. That's right, a whole section of super fun summer- themed open-ended worksheets! Now you can target anyone with an articulation goal in mind, not just the ones listed on our packet descriptions!

And just like all of our other quick print packets, this one is completely in black and white! This will mean little to no prep for the therapist and a whole lot of money saved on not needing to use color ink. Just print and go! 

You will love how fun these worksheets are and we just know that you will find them useful for targeting articulation for many of our students. We have made worksheets that target the individual sound, the sound plus a vowel, and words that have the sound in the initial, medial and final position of words. 

What's great about this packet of worksheets, is that you can print one out for an individual student and/or print out a whole packet in order to target a whole group of students. Of course the worksheets also make perfect homework assignments. This product is versatile and comprehensive! 

Please see the detailed preview to review the contents and several actual worksheets that you will find in this large articulation unit. 

Have a happy and fun summer season!

Manda Riebel, M.A. CCC-SLP &
Shanda Gaunt, M.S. CCC-SLP

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month! Pick up your voice FREEBIE here!

Hello! May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!  It is a special month that has been designated to help increase the awareness about Shanda and I's chosen profession that we love so very much- Speech Therapy! Better Hearing & Speech Month has  inspired us to share this voice freebie with everyone we know, and especially the teachers who use their voices a tremendous amount during their working days!  Did you know that speech- language pathologists help to diagnose and treat voice disorders?  This is just one of the many areas that we help out others with.  A short list of our wide range of diagnosis and treatment areas include: stuttering, articulation disorders, verbal expression delays, receptive language delays, cognitive deficits, swallowing disorders, and social pragmatic delays (to name a few). Also, did you know that teachers seek professional voice therapy more than any other profession?  Here's some information for you about one of our common treatment areas- voice:  

What is a Voice Disorder?
A voice disorder can be defined as a problem involving abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound produced by the larynx, more commonly known as the voice box (ASHA PDF 1). A person may have a voice disorder or dysphonia (medical term) if the change in the voice has occurred for at least two weeks and in those two weeks the person wasn't experiencing an illness.

Who diagnosis a Voice Disorder?
Often a person who is having voice concerns will mention the problem to their General Practitioner who will in return, refer the patient to see an ENT (EAR Nose & Throat Doctor).  The ENT doctor is also called an Otolaryngologist and the ENT will examine the patient by putting a scope down the patients throat. If voice concerns are found a decision to have surgery to help correct the pathology is made by the ENT.  More often than not, a referral is made to a Speech- Language Pathologist who is specialized in voice therapy to see if the vocal fold lesion or vocal nodule, polyp or cyst can be improved with voice therapy (Anderson & Sataloff, 2002;Johns, 2003).  This voice therapy often eliminates the need for surgery. 

* Please see our document for reference links.

What we would like to do, is provide you with a link to a 13 page document that we have put together to help increase a teacher's knowledge of voice disorders and how to help prevent and manage them.  Please click on any of the descriptive pictures below to pick up this voice freebie over at Teachers pay Teachers and feel free to share this with your own clients (as it can be adapted to be used with a wide audience from children to adults who are struggling with problems with their own voices) and the teachers that you know that may benefit from the information provided.  

Best wishes for a happy May and Better Hearing & Speech Month!
Manda & Shanda, SLPs

This document includes a 30 day calendar that you can use to track the days to a better voice in just one month! 

We have also included a description on separate pages describing why the change in behaviors mentioned on the calendar are encouraged. 

And please look over this slide provided by ASHA -American Speech-Language & Hearing Association.  It has been provided to teach the public about communication disorders.  We hope you find it informative!  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Feed Maxi App Review and Giveaway!

Feed Maxi By Speak Eazy Apps
Feed Maxi Technical Support

I had one of those moments we all just wait for in the life of a Speech-Language Pathologist.  This moment is the "breakthrough".  It came at an unexpected time, and it was marvelous!  Let me give some background before I tell the story: I had the honor of being contacted by the wonderful folks at Speak Eazy Apps about a month ago. They asked if Manda and I could do a review of their app named Feed Maxi.  We tried it out for several weeks in our speech room. This is when "IT" happened. My non-verbal three- year old autistic dx'd client came into the speech room. He seemed to be looking for something. I watched him as he looked through his sensory bin of toys, as he went around the bouncer he loves, and even past the spinner he loves even more.  He stopped by my desk and started uncovering some materials I keep stationed there.  That is when the moment happened: He showed me what he had been looking for, and it was my Ipad! He opened it up, looked for a minute at all of the icons, found Feed Maxi and watched it as it began.  Bang- there it was- THE HUGE SMILE!  I had showed him the Feed Maxi app the week prior and he remembered it. This is what he wanted to see again! The level of communication and the strategies he utilized to begin this wonderful exchange was beyond this SLP's hearts wonder. Thank you so much Speak Eazy, your app has already made a difference in the life of one of my precious clients who usually has a difficulty communicating in any way, and I know it must be doing the same with others trying it out as well!

Read below for further details on this wonderful app.  If you too can see someone you work with that could benefit from this app be sure to enter the Rafflecopter give away below. Speak Eazy has generously donated five codes for five lucky people who have read this Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy app review!!

Feed Maxi was developed by a speech- language pathologist named, Pamela Mandell. Maxi is a fun and interactive monkey who just loves food! The purpose of this app is to help develop the ability to identify, follow directions and understand simple sign language in the early years population. Its intended audience is toddlers, preschoolers, children with special needs, and young children with limited English proficiency. I tried this app with a child in each one of those categories and found it beneficial to use with each one. One child's target was communication exchange, another was learning sign, another was identification between three objects, and another was imitating early speech sounds. I was able to use this app for each of these children and find it beneficial as part of their speech therapy sessions. The parents were also impressed to see the positive effects and fun interaction their child had with the app and each parent showed interest in purchasing the app for their child's home use as well. There are several other goals for this app, as well, that can be targeted such as: concentration, categorization skills, cause/effect skills, print recognition and visual scanning with fine motor control.

Feed Maxi has the ability to collect group therapy data for up to five children. It will record how the student does on the level. I began collecting data for one student who I am assessing for the ability to begin an AAC device with one, two or three choices.  It features the ability to email results to yourself or the student's caregivers.  It is able to be turned on and off for voice sounds. In the options area, I also had the ability to select which food item and which food category that I would like to have featured.  There is also the ability to select the level of play such as easy, moderate or difficult. In addition, in the options section the parent can choose parental control to help reduce level changes as the child plays.  I found it beneficial to select which foods that were being seen since some words were multisyllabic (i.e. cauliflower) or were unrecognizable (as in the case of some foods that weren't consumed by my Spanish speaking student).

Each student was very motivated to interact with Maxi. He is fun! The app features real pictures of food and Maxi asks for the child to pick a food that he has named.  A pleasant voice is used and he shows fun and immediate feedback. The most loved interaction I noticed with my caseload was when he asks for the student to "give him five". They would touch the screen and he would say that they were "so strong". Every time my students would laugh at that!  After several interactions (depending on which level the student is working on) a wonderful interactive page would be rewarded to the student. They would be able to touch different parts of the screen and it would move. Balloons fall from the top of the screen, as well, and once the student pops them the foods they have just worked on would be reinforced by them hearing and seeing them once again.  Maxi eats them again too. This was also very motivating for each student and they just loved it. One student said to me, "He is so funny, but eats so much!". ha! Yes, Maxi is hungry but so fun and motivating too!

I highly recommend that you try out this app with your young communicators. It's just fun and functional! It's only $2.99 in the ITunes store, but you can also try out your luck to win one in the giveaway below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 5, 2014

DON'T MISS THE BIG SALE! 20% off all Twin Sisters Products + more savings from TpT!

Don't miss the big sale starting on May 6th, folks!  Teachers pay Teachers is spreading the love with another site wide sale!  In support of the sale, Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy LLC, will be putting all of our 98 speech, language, grammar and literacy themed documents on sale!!  You will be able to receive 20% off right away from us and another 8% from TpT by entering the code: TPTXO at checkout.  That's a lot of savings and we love that we can help bring such a great deal to you with the support of our on-line seller.  It's a fantastic partnership!

This is a great time to buy a bundle.  How about a bundle that will give you wide variety of verbal apraxia, articulation or grammar documents?  In addition, do you like to do holiday themed therapy?  Well, we have you covered with holiday themed bundles!  Here is a link to all of our bundled documents at our Teachers pay Teachers store: BUNDLES

And here is a peek at some our latest documents and bundles that you may be interested in seeing.  Just click on the picture if you would like to be taken to the description for each one.

Happy Spring Shopping!!  Thank you so much for supporting us!  We hope that you can find a fantastic new document to compliment your grammar, articulation, speech or literacy files!

Best wishes, Manda & Shanda

Our new comprehensive articulation workbooks have been bundled just in time for the sale!! 

Take a look at the voiceless /TH/ workbook.  It is fun and engaging for your students
 that need to work on this later speech sound! 

This packet is terrific for all of your students who enjoy sports and who need to work on slowing down and producing their multisyllable words better. 

This grammar bundle is great!  We have included a very wide range of grammar goal areas! 

This packet is terrific for teachers and SLP's.  It includes a lot of sequencing, reading and listening comprehension materials for helping students learn about the life cycles of insects, plants and frogs.  It is a terrific edition to any classroom or therapy room this Spring! 

This packet will be on sale just in time to target Mother's Day!  We are doing Mother's Day activities this week at our speech clinic and are having fun with the wide range of speech, language and articulation goals that are included in the packet. 

This is another terrific packet for the Spring!  We have included black and white worksheets 5 common articulation goals.  These black and white articulation packets have been very popular! 

How about getting our apraxia treatment packet while it is on sale?  It is full of a TON of terrific best selling documents! 
Last, but not least is our voiced /TH/ sound quick print and no prep articulation workbook.  Very popular and just what everyone has been asking to have.  Enjoy!! 

Wishing you a happy and blessed spring!! 
Manda & Shanda


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