6 Easy Bulletin Board Ideas for SLPs


Do you have bulletin boards, or perhaps some wall space that needs a little special something, but don't have the time or energy to come up with an idea?  Tired of feeling like you have to change them up for each season?  No need to worry, because I've gathered six easy bulletin board ideas for you, designed specifically for SLPs!

6 Easy Bulletin Board Ideas for SLPs

1.  Student Goal Display (free here)


 

This is something easy that I do with my students each year in our first session!  I love it, because it gives me a chance to get to know my students, as well as get a picture of if they truly understand *why* they come to therapy or not.  


It's also great to refer to during sessions when students ask what we're going to be doing that day.

2.  "I Can" Posters Aligned to the Common Core State Standards for SLPs





These posters are something I came up with a few years ago when my state switched over to the CCSS, and I wanted to be able to tie them into therapy.  I have two different levels - kindergarten through 6th grades, and fifth through twelfth grades - and multiple color options.  I love these, because they look so nice, but can be put up once and stay up for years!

3.  See You Later, Alligator Posters for Articulation


 See You Later, Alligator Posters for Articulation

I created these posters when I was trying to think of ways to encourage articulation carryover.  I often told my students, "See you later, alligator!" when they were leaving my therapy room, and one day, I thought it would be a good idea if I had responses set up for them with their target speech sounds in them!

 See You Later, Alligator Posters for Articulation by Natalie Snyders

4.  "Words Have Power" Growth Mindset Bulletin Board



This bulletin board was inspired by the growth mindset movement - where you encourage students to go from negative, "what I used to say," to more positive "what I say now."  I simply printed the negative statements in different fonts on white paper, and put the positive re-framing statements on colored copy paper.

5.  Inspirational Quote Posters for SLPs


This set of ten inspirational quote posters are all related to communication, so they are perfect for an SLP's room!  You can put them in individual frames, or make a bulletin board display with them.

 Inspirational Quote Posters for SLPs

6.  High Stakes Vocabulary Builder (younger and older versions)

 High Stakes Vocabulary Builder for SLPs


My High Stakes Vocabulary Builders are designed to strengthen a student's testing vocabulary throughout an entire school year, with one word used per week.  There are two versions - the younger version for about first through fourth grades, and the upper version for about fifth through twelfth grades.



Sometimes, we don't always have a lot of time or materials available to us as busy school speech-language pathologists.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs

The great news is that there are plenty of common objects that we can utilize for different therapy goals, including things like post-it notes, paper clips, and file folders!


12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs

Today, I'd like to share twelve easy ways to use common objects in stuttering therapy!

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs

1.  Use a file folder as a stuttering fact book.  I think it is incredibly important that students know the facts and myths about stuttering, and a file folder is a great place for them to keep track of what they are learning.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

2.  Use a popsicle stick as a pacing guide when working on slow rate.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

3.  You can also use paper clips as a pacing guide when working on slow rate.
12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

4.  Use a paper clip to show where to take a breath or pause when working on chunking or phrasing.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

5.  Use post it notes as a visual reminder on which fluency enhancing techniques to use.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

6.  When reading aloud, use a post it note to remind your student which strategy to use, as well as cover up the next lines to encourage your student to only focus on one line at a time.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

7.  Use dice to determine which fluency enhancing strategy to practice.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

8.  Use dice to determine conversation topics when working on demonstrating fluency enhancing strategies in structured conversations.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

9.  Use popsicle sticks to randomly draw conversation topics when working on fluency at a structured conversation level.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

10.  Use mini erasers as story prompts when working on fluency enhancing strategies in unstructured conversations.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

11.  Use a file folder when practicing the slow rate or phrasing/chunking techniques as a warm up for therapy.  Break up the sentences into 3-4 word chunks, and write each one on a different side of the folder.  This forces the student to slow down as he or she has to flip to the next part of the sentence.

12 Easy Ways to Use Common Objects in Stuttering Therapy for SLPs by Natalie Snyders

12.  Use a fun band aid as a reminder to use fluency enhancing strategies outside of therapy.  (Definitely check with your student first to make sure they are ok with this!  I find a lot of my students are fascinated by all of the "fun" band aids I keep in my drawer, and it can be a good reminder if the student is comfortable with it.)



PS: Don't miss any ideas when you sign up for my email newsletter at www.bit.ly/NatalieSnydersNewsletter!






Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!


If you have been following me on social media, you know that I recently returned from the first ever Speech Retreat in Anaheim, California!

The Speech Retreat is a new kind of professional development for school based speech-language pathologists - it is an entire day of practical, hands-on ideas and advice that you can immediately implement to make your life as a busy school SLP easier and more efficient!  Our goal is for therapists to leave refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle the new school year with increased confidence and ideas.

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!


The Speech Retreat is a collaborative effort between myself, Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun, Felice Clark from The Dabbling Speechie, and Maureen Wilson from The Speech Bubble SLP.  We’ve been planning the first Retreat for the past six months, and had such an amazing inaugural event!  Today, I wanted to take you a bit behind the scenes if you weren’t able to make it.

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

One of our guiding principles behind planning the Speech Retreat was to be transparent and honest about what it is like to live the #speechlife, and for our attendees to know they aren’t alone in their challenges, and offer them solutions.  The real #speechlife is not always beautifully organized, or with thoroughly planned therapy sessions, or stress-free.  But it is, as I think most SLPs would agree, one of the best jobs in the world!

We had 125 amazing SLPs, SLP-As, and graduate students give up a day of their summer to spend with us, learning all things speechie!  They came from near and far, including ones who flew from Minnesota and Tennessee(!).  

Our day included sessions on:
  • Power Hour: Organization, Data Collection, & more
  • 30 Ideas for Therapy That Take 30 Seconds - or Less - to Prep
  • Make and Takes - practical ideas that our attendees were able to leave the retreat with an implement the next day
  • Adapting Materials for Different Ages & Disorders
  • Tricky SLP Situations (including tips on push-in therapy, how and when to say “no,” how to manage as a traveling therapist, ideas for working with older students, and AAC)
We also had a tremendous amount of giveaways from some generous sponsors, including:
  • For all attendees:
    • 3 month memberships to The Informed SLP
    • Coffee & bagels provided by Therapy Travelers
    • App codes from Erik X. Raj
    • Lanyards from Smarty Ears Apps
    • Stickers from Peaceable Kingdom
    • AAC Placemats from iTherapy
    • Erasers from Ooly Ooly
    • Speech Retreat sunglasses, beach ball, & tote bag 
    • our own swag (see below)

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

  • For select lucky winners:
    • Gift certificates from TeachersPayTeachers
    • Memberships to SLP Toolkit & SLP Now
    • SLP Tumblers from Cupcakezie on Etsy
    • Jewelry from Charmingly SLP on Etsy
    • Games from Eeboo, Peaceable Kingdom, & Think Fun
    • Miniature items from sensory bins from Dinky Doo Dads on Etsy
    • Amazon gift cards from Speech Pathology Group
    • Throat Scopes
    • Planner stickers from Kiwi Speech on Etsy
    • ABC See, Hear, & Do Book by Stefanie Hohl

I must admit, I’m much more comfortable behind a computer screen than I am up on stage in front of a crowd, but presenting with some of my best friends and in front of such an amazing audience made it such a wonderful experience!

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!


Because we had such a tremendous response for the first Speech Retreat, we have already planned our second one!

We’ll be in Chicago on Saturday, October 14 - you can find out more information and sign up at www.speechretreat.com.  Our tickets are about 75% sold out right now, so I would encourage you to grab your seat this week before they are all gone!  

What do you think?  Would you come to the Speech Retreat if we came to your area?  We'll be making plans for Summer 2018 soon!

PS: Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Send me an email at natalie@slpnataliesnyders.com!



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Is the weather ever so nice that you just want to take therapy outside for the day?  We don’t get those days too often in Illinois, and it doesn’t always work with what I need to target or get done in therapy, but here are some ideas I have used when I do!



Two of my favorite outdoor therapy items are sidewalk chalk and bubbles!

For sidewalk chalk, here are some ideas:

  • ARTICULATION: Draw pictures or write target words with your students’ articulation target sounds.
  • LANGUAGE: To target following directions, have your students draw what you direct.  (Ex: “First, draw a blue circle.  Then, draw a red star.”)
  • ARTICULATION/FLUENCY: You could create an obstacle course, with spots for the students to hop to, walk backwards on a line, balance on one foot, and spin around - but the catch is that they have to say their target words/phrase/sentence or answer a question correctly before they can go through to the next section of the obstacle course.  (Bonus: Have your students working on following directions set up the obstacle course for you by following your directions!)
  • LANGUAGE: For students working on describing or comparing/contrasting, have them draw items you direct (ex: animals).  Then, have them describe the items they drew, and compare and contrast them.  (You could do this outside, or after you come back inside.)
Want to take your speech-language therapy outside? Here are some easy ways to incorporate common goals with chalk and bubbles!


Here are some ideas for bubbles:

  • LANGUAGE: Bubbles are a great communication temptation for your younger students!  You can target basic phrases like, “More bubbles” and "Pop it,” as well as expanding those utterances for students working on increasing their MLU (“I want more bubbles,” or “Open it, please!”), and turn taking.
  • LANGUAGE: For your older students, bubbles are a great way to incorporate STEM into your therapy!  I like to pour bubbles in a shallow dish, and provide some different options for creating what I call “bubble wands.”  Some suggestions include cut up straws with string, mason jar lids, and pipe cleaners.  Before blowing bubbles, you can predict which wands will make the best or biggest bubbles, and after you are done, you can summarize what happened, compare and contrast the results of the different wands, and write about the experience.

  • LANGUAGE: You could target following directions by having students follow the directions to make their own bubble solution.
  • ARTICULATION: Bubbles are a simple, yet effective reinforcer for targeting both articulation and phonology.  Have your students say their target words/phrase/sentence correctly a set number of times before being allowed to blow a bubble.  Or, have them say their targets a large number of times quickly (50-150), and then they can pop all the bubbles they can catch in one minute as a reward.

What are some more ideas you have for using chalk or bubbles in therapy?  Share in a comment below!

PS: Like these ideas?  Make sure to sign up for my email newsletter so you won’t miss any!  Go to bit.ly/NatalieSnydersNewsletter to sign up!  


Is you district using the Danielson or Marzano model to evaluate its SLPs?  Are you confused or don't have the time to figure out everything you need to include in your portfolio or supporting documents to get full credit?

Fully editable and customizable Danielson evaluation portfolio for school SLPs


Trust me, I've been in your shoes!  When my district first went to the Danielson evaluation model a few years ago, I was overwhelmed with all of the different areas covered, and didn't know how to explain all of the things I do on a daily basis to get "credit" on the evaluation rubric.  Also, many of the criteria - even on the "therapeutic specialist" rubric - seemed more suited to classroom teachers than speech language pathologists.  I spent many, many hours reading the rubrics and creating and tweaking my own portfolio.

Thankfully, you don't have to worry about this, because after working on it for over a year, I'm ready to share my completely editable Danielson Portfolio for SLPs!

Fully editable and customizable Danielson evaluation portfolio for school SLPs

It includes a completely editable Powerpoint template, using either standard or custom fonts, as well as a full example portfolio (my own!) in PDF form.


A full breakdown of the information and pictures needed are included, as well as helpful tips and step by step directions on how to edit the PowerPoint file.



Also included are ten different customizable cover options!



Need more tips and ideas with the Danielson model, including writing an individual growth plan?  Check out these posts here!




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The Informed SLP - Relevant and Concise Article Reviews for Busy SLPs

I think most SLPs want to make sure what we're doing in therapy is informed by the latest research in the field.  However, as a full time school-based SLP, it can be a challenge to not only find the time to wade through the latest research articles, but also actually finding articles and evidence that are relevant to the topic at hand!  It also can be prohibitively expensive - we often have access to thousands of journals in grad school, but once we graduate and are in the field, we have to pay large sums to access anything beyond the ASHA journals.

Thankfully, Meredith Poore Harold, PhD, CCC-SLP, has a fantastic solution to this problem!  She is the author behind The Informed SLP, a website and series of email newsletters, whose mission is to connect clinicians and scientists with each other's work.

She believes that both the practitioners and scientists in our field are working towards the common goal of improving communication for all, but sadly, there is often a lack of communication between scientists and practicing SLPs.  Scientists are developing millions of dollars worth of funded research, all with the purpose of helping advance clinical practice, but most practicing SLPs don't see it, and don't even know about it for almost two decades after the work has been completed!  Across all health fields (including speech-language pathology), it takes around 17 years for something that’s been demonstrated in research to make its way into practice.  (Source)

So how does The Informed SLP help solve this problem?  Each month, Meredith reviews over 80-100 articles, and narrows them down to 5-10 that have immediately applicable results for school based SLPs.  She then provides a concise (a few hundred words or less!) and helpful review that gets straight to the point of each article selected.

The Informed SLP - Relevant and Concise Article Reviews for Busy SLPs

I have been receiving the Informed SLP newsletter for the past year, and have found it amazingly helpful!  I love the short and concise article reviews that I can immediately put to use in my practice. 

For example, in the December newsletter, there was a review of Storkel, H.L., Voelmle, K., Fierro, V., Flake, K., Fleming, K.K., Romine, R.S. (2016) Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children With Specific Language Impairment: Identifying an Adequate Intensity and Variation in Treatment Response. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.  

The article review included a short summary of the study, as well as the results.  I found it fascinating that students in the study with developmental language disorders required 36 different exposures to new vocabulary words in order to learn and retain them!  (Six exposures in each word of six consecutive therapy sessions)  It really made me think about how I only use a book for a session or two, and made me reconsider using them over multiple sessions instead!

So, how can you take advantage of The Informed SLP?  For the summer of 2017, access to the archive only costs $3 per month to be a member, or $6 for a day pass, or $12 per week.  If you sign up now, you will be grandfathered in at this rate forever!  I personally purchased my own monthly subscription, and find it to be an incredible value.

On August 30th, 2017, the site will increase in price, as new site features will be added, including the ability to ask for help finding evidence on any topic from researchers around the world!



Need a quick and easy craft idea for a busy time of year?  This cute sun craft will help you target multiple speech and language goals with very little prep involved!


First, you will need construction paper.  I chose yellow and orange for the sun, and blue for the background.  I went ahead and punched out a few circles ahead of time with my 3" circle punch, but you could also have your students do this.



As I was introducing the craft in therapy, I had my students help me cut some yellow and orange strips in different lengths for the "sunbeams."  This provided a great opportunity to talk about basic concepts such as long, short, skinny, thin, and thick.


What different goals can you target with this easy craft activity?

  • Following directions - You can easily work this in as you are creating the sun craft!  Talk about what they need to do first, next, last, or what needs to go on the top, middle, or bottom of the page.
  • Basic concepts - While you are cutting out the construction paper shapes needed for the craft, you can have the students find the longest or thickest pieces.
  • Categories - Write the category name on the center circle, then brainstorm different items that fit the category to write on the sunbeams.
  • Synonyms & Antonyms - Have your students come up with synonym or antonym pairs to write on the different sunbeams.
  • Articulation/phonology - Brainstorm words or sentences with the student's target sound, write them on the sunbeams, then have the students practice saying each one a certain amount of times.  This is also great to send home, so parents can see what you are working on in therapy! (Bonus tip: Write the speech sound cues you are using on the back of the page, so the parents know how to discuss it with their students.)
  • Describing - I had my students use the Expanding Expression Tool to describe the sun, and we wrote the different attributes on different sunbeams.





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