Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Outgha Know About....

You Oughta Know about………  Some classroom lifesaver hacks!!

  By now mostly everyone has stated school, the newness is starting to wear off and things are settling in. Before I came back to school, I stayed on Pinterest and InstaGram looking for new ideas that I could bring to my little therapy space. And today, I want to share those things that are really working for me!! The first classroom life saver hack is….

The Technology Docking station!!

It's actually a dish dryer rack!! 

 For some reason this is like the easiest hack ever…. but I never even thought to do this sooner!!! This is sooo awesome!!! I am VERY big on keeping everything nice and NEAT!! This is a big help because all of my kiddos know when they are using the iPad or Kindle that it goes to the docking station. The other cool thing about this is that you can place a surge protector in the back and the cords are already there waiting for you to plug them in!!! This helps keep the cords in place and also can be easily found when you need them!!! Awesome Awesome Awesome hack!!!

 Another great hack is the cork board with clothes pins!!!

All you need is a cork board covered in the fabric of your choice. Hot glue some thumb tacs to the back of clothes pins BAM! you have a fancy letter holder!!  

In the world of speech therapy, it is very fast pace and you constantly have to send things home to your student’s parents. You have so much going on it gets awfully difficult to remember that you have to send home these form/document! However this is something that is very easy to make but is a VERY BIG HELP!!! Each day when I have to send things home I hang the important information on my pin board! Each document has the students name on it. I have also made the students responsible for checking the board to make sure they do not have anything hang on it for them. So, one of my procedures is before exiting the room they most check the board. If there is something hanging, the student’s must ask… “Ms. Winfrey is there something for me to take home?” If there is nothing hanging, nothing is said!!! This helps me out a great deal!!

My last share is really not a hack BUT it really helps me keep order in my speech land!!! yes people I am speaking of the  ORGANIZATION!! These are two key things that helps me stay together and makes things a lot easier just in case you might have to change your lesson/activity in a moments notice!

The ole trusty Binder and Page protectors!!!

I actually have a binder for each month!! Inside each binder the activity is housed inside a page protector. This is great because the protectors are clear so its as simple as flipping through a book!! Once you select an activity you can take it out the binder with ease! Now, I know this is too simple, BUT it really keeps everything together and you can place your fingers on what you needed at a moments notice!!

I hope what I have shared with you today helps you in your prospective field/classroom environment.

Have a FABULOUS school year!!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

You Ought To Know...... Back To School!

Hey Everybody!! Today I am linking up with Mrs. McClain, a fabulous first grade teacher, over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her monthly You Oughta Know blog hop. Other bloggers and I will be sharing things that you “oughta know” for your classroom. Today I will be sharing some ideas to help you sail through this school year!

You oughta know…… (For special and regular education teachers)

Great beginning of the year planning strategies!

This is my Lucky 13th year as a Speech Language Pathologist, and I have learned some things along the way! The one thing that I feel is most important is PLANNING! If you are a special education teacher you can understand that we are haunted by dates and paperwork!! So a great way to keep up with them is to tackle them head on and use resources that will help limit some of the time it takes to complete paperwork.

When I first started in the school system I was all over the place! And I would often almost fall out of compliance when it came to completing IEP’s. Until I started doing something really simple!! I started tracking IEP’s at the beginning of the school year! 

I use a form to keep track of all students’ IEP and evaluation dates. Another helpful thing is also keeping track of when you should be sending the IEP notification letters home. In my school district we are required to make contact with the parents two weeks prior to the meeting date. Now I do mine by the month….. have a form for each month.

This will also help you do things at your speed! If you are the related service provider you can also go in and complete your section of the IEP. This will help because you will not be so dependent on the primary service provider to let you know when something is due… which is always tomorrow!! J

Regular education teachers I haven’t forgot about you!! There’s something you oughta know too!

As a special education provider, I look to keep regular education teacher in the know!! Classroom teachers need to be aware of any type of modification/ accommodations or medications that is on a students’ IEP. Once an accommodation is checked off on a student’s IEP, the classroom teacher is required to implement them in the general classroom setting. However, it can get awfully confusing when there is more than on special education student in your class… A perfect and easy solution to this problem is to use an “IEP At Glance” form.  

These forms generally pull out the generally information you as a regular education teacher need to know. You can place this in your teacher binder and have for easy access just in case you need to provide any information. This Form can be found at my TPT store for free!

I know these planning strategies are simple but they are very valuable! Use these and your fellow teachers will look at you and say… “Hey that teacher got it together!!” LOL

I just could not end this post without telling you about a super great app that falls in line with planning and keeping organized!

 I LOVE this app sooo much! File manger pro download, organize and view all of your files on your iPhone or iPad. Its like Windows Explorer on your PC or the Finder on your Mac. 

It allows you to store your documents and place them in labeled folders so that you can refer to them when you need to whenever or wherever you are!! 

Hope you found this post informative and that you all have a FABULOUS school year!!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Free App Alert!!

Hi all!! Wanted to come and share an educational app that is free today!! 

Focuses on sight words and Language skills!! This app is usually $1.99. Check it out today.... Not sure how long it will be..... FREE!! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pinterest Project Turned Speech!

Hi All! Its that time of year!! Getting ready for a new school year!!! And if you are like me you are at home searching Pinterest for neat ideas to bring back to your classroom/office! Since I am always being over the top, I decided to think outside the box when it comes to classroom/office decor for the school. When looking through Pinterest I discovered a sign that was made for the home and wanted to implement it at school!!

My finished product came out AWESOME!!! But before showing my finished product...... Here's how I got it done!!

What will you need....

1. I bought all items that I didn't already have at Hobby Lobby!! The Metal Work was actually 50% off this week so it ran me about 6.99!! The wooden plaque was 2.99 and the wooden letters were .99. Paint can also be found there for cheap, but I already had my own little collection so I didn't need to purchase any this time around. Screws to hang the metal work can be found at Home Depot or Lowes. These usually come in bulk and and include many different sizes! Oh! I did get the screw hook from Home Depot for about 1.50! 

2. I screwed in the Hook at the top of the wooden plaque. I love these screw hooks because all you need is a little elbow grease no power tools!!! LOL Make sure you screw the hook towards the back of your plaque so that you can hang it properly.....

3. Now this is were your personality comes in!!! Paint each piece individually. That's the beauty of this project, you can paint this any way you want!!! Once the plaque is completely painted and dry (front and back) and the letters are completely painted and dry then you can glue them on! 

4. Lastly, hang the metal work up on the wall by your door..... This is were those screws in bulk comes in handy! However, you will need to find those power tools to get this up... so, in my case... find someone who knows how to use the power tools to put it up for me!!! :-)   

I have not had a chance to hang it up yet but this is my finished product......

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Can't sleep so let's chat!!

Hi all!! Well it is almost 4:00am it's raining cats and dogs outside, we are under a flash flood watch annnnd I am wide awake!!! Sooo since everyone else is sleeping I came here to chat!!! I figured I could share two great apps with you! 

All of my kidos, including myself, love fruit ninja!! Both of these apps work the same way but the student is actually learning valuable information! And these two apps will work great in the speech therapy setting as well as the classroom!! Woo~Hoo!! 

ABC ninja is a great FREE app that will assist in teaching letter recognition! The voice will call out a letter and the student must slash the fruit with the correct letter! 

Fruit ABC is great for older students! This will assist with letter sounds and spelling! Now there is a free lite version but the full version is $2.99. But if you want to test this app out, I think the free lite version will do just fine!! I can't wait to try these out with myspeechies!!  Check these two apps out and let me know what you think!!! Nighty nite!!! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

You Oughta Know About: (Not just for SLP's, teachers can use these too!!)

Hi Everybody!! Today I am linking up with Mrs. McClain, a fabulous first grade teacher, over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her monthly You Oughta Know blog hop. Other bloggers and I will be sharing things that you “oughta know” for your classroom. Today I will share two awesome things that you can implement in your classroom life!!

You oughta know……

A great Therapy Activity!! 

This is something I learned about several years ago and my kiddos loved it then and they love it now!! If you are familiar with my blog, you know I love things that can be used multiple times and that is easy and convenient for you! All you will need is a book of your choice, poster board, tape, bean bags, and questions!!! Let me explain!!! 

 Tape a poster board in either 9 spaces for tic tac toe or in 12 spaces for “clear the board  action”

Select a book: the beauty of this activity is that it can be any book you want. This helps because most times SLP’s service students at a broad range of ages and levels. For this                             example, I have selected “The Big Pumpkin”

Once you have selected a book you can then enter questions on paper squares. I usually go into word to do this…

Print and cut each square and then place them inside of a square on the poster board. Then place the poster board on the floor. FYI you can also Velcro the squares to the poster board but it is not needed!

Once you and your students have read the book and discussed it... its time for the fun to begin!! Have the student step several feet back away from the poster board. Then take a bean bag and toss it to a square. Whatever square the bean bag lands on, the student will have to answer that question. Now if you are playing tic tac toe, the student will get an X or O if they answer the question correctly. If you are playing clear the board, then the student will collect the question square if they get it right. Once the board is cleared the game is over and whoever has the most squares wins!!

For upkeep I suggest you laminate everything. This way you could create one board and use it many many times for many different books! Also if you do not have a bean bag, there is an easy fix!! Just use a sock, fill it with beans, and tie/sew the ends real good!!

There’s one more thing you oughta Know!!

You oughta know about a super great app for the traveling SLP!

ABBYY Fine Scanner!  

Fine Scanner turns your phone/ipad into a powerful all-purpose mobile scanner and document manager that allows you to quickly capture images. The iphone/ipad camera can be used to scan paper documents, agreements, receipts, charts, etc and the results in PDF or JPEG format! This app has saved me many times. When I have a document that needs signing I sign, take a pic, save as a PDF and send it to where it needs to be!! Its quick just like that!!!

I hope you have found something of great value to enhance your classroom life!!! Now that you have read my blog post, hop over to any one of these other great bloggers!

Friday, July 4, 2014


Hi All!! Hope everyone is having a GREAT 4th of July! Mine has been eventful ! I did some shopping, which is always fun, and went for a bite to eat! And guess who I met..... "The Fire Works Queen!" Who is that??? Well I glad you asked!!!

She was awesome!! She had her tiara along with her dynamite scepter!!!

Ok let move on...... Today is Friday and I would like to introduce Hackin' Friday! Life Hacks refer to a strategy, technique or use of an item that will help mange one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way!! Today I will share 2 hacks with you that will make life in the classroom just a little bit easier!!!

1. Use travel soap container to store your playing/flash cards
   This classroom hack helps with organization and keeping up with all of your cards. I know many times, for SLP's, space is limited or there is always traveling involved during the work day. This is a great way to keep all of your therapy materials together. Teachers this will help you keep your classroom neat and clean!! These soap containers are also good for keeping colors, band-aids or any other items that are sometimes hard to keep up with!

2. Dish Dryer Rack as an Organizer!!

Okay Teachers, SLP's and other classroom individuals do you ever look like the picture above?? Well I know I have been on the verge!!! LOL! However, the Dish Dryer Rack used as an organizer is a really good idea!! As an SLP, I (we) have IEP's that are due all throughout the school year, and sometime it is challenging trying to keep up with which IEP's you have are working on, what attachments you have received from other teachers and which parent notice letter you have gotten back! This dish rack is an awesome organizational tool...

You can place all of your "currently working on files" in the rack just to keep yourself organized and  up to date of what you have and need to work with. This can also be used as a tool where students can turn in their signed papers.... This can be used in some many different ways! I always love ideas that can be used and can be adjusted in the way that will be convenient for you!

You know what...... I think I'm gonna love these Hackin' Fridays!!! I sure hope you do too!!