You Are My Sunshine!

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Popping in to say “Hello!” and share a fun little activity. End of year gifts for my students! These are so easy and functional. Magnets, bottle caps and googly eyes. Plus they can hang their homework sheets on the fridge!

And I have a new blog Monae’s Speech House so head on over and add your name to my email list so you will know when and what I post and you’ll see all the fun therapy ideas I use with my students! And I’ll be sharing special freebies for my email friends too!

I have lots to say and share so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend! Monae 🙂

Tic-Tac-Toe

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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We often hear the words, “BE MINE” or “BE MY VALENTINE” on Valentine’s Day, right? But I think we should say, “BE MINDFUL” instead…

It’s so important to be mindful when working with children or spending time with our own children. We have more distractions today than we did a few generations ago so when we do carve out those small pockets of time, we need to shut off the electronics and give our attention to the little ones in front of us. They can sense when your mind is in three places at once. It’s a habit to develop, mindfulness. Practicing a little every day will help. Slowing down what we are doing and just being in the moment… because when you think about life, what’s the point if we can’t enjoy the little things, which we all know are really the big things in life!

Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day and I’ll be in touch soon.

Warm regards, Monae ❤

Simplicity Contentment Nature

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Some of the best times for expanding language, comes with everyday moments. It’s important to remember to use those moments to make memories that connect language to whatever nature offers! So if you’re having a snow day or a windy day, like we are in my neck of the woods, think of all the basic concepts and vocabulary you can use to describe what you are seeing or feeling.

For those of you who are lucky enough to experience snow, then your kids may have already had the chance to build a snowman or go sledding… but if you want to bring that indoors, there’s always the instant/fake snow you can buy online. My students had a blast using it! I also like to save (for a year) the extra hole puncher dots from my book binder machine and spread those on the floor so we can make snow angels. And yes, I’m down on the floor doing it too! With my autism programs, we actually had to help move their hands and legs at first because they did not know how to do it. This always reminds me of the simple things that we think our kids should know, sometimes need to be explicitly taught. I’m always surprised at how many of my students do not know how to catch a ball. Just using a simple ball (or snowball) to toss back and forth is a great chance to build lots of language and motor skills.

Remember, increasing your child’s communication skills is best done throughout the day, all day long. Talk, talk, talk… then talk some more.  Best regards, Monae 🙂

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If you would like some very fun, very cool free materials, then check out this catalog with over 55 SLP contributors! I’m sure you’ll find a few things to increase speech and language skills! CLICK HERE FOR CATALOG!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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“A little smile, a word of cheer,

A bit of love from someone near,

A little gift from one held dear,

Best wishes for the coming year.”

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

Hello Friends!

As we come to the close of 2016, I hope you’ve had some time to reflect on the good times, the great times and the challenging times. I had a bit of all three… and that’s okay because it’s called life! With that said, I am sooooo thrilled for the New Year to start because I always get super excited with fresh starts and blank pages in a new chapter of life.

CLICK HERE FOR A PERSONAL GOAL SHEET FOR US GROWN UPS!

I just posted these freebies for the New Year so please grab them. The igloo is a lot of fun and perfect for working on spatial concepts, answering questions and following directions. Your kids will love it!

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CLICK HERE FOR THE IGLOO ACTIVITY!

CLICK HERE FOR NEW YEAR BRAG TAGS!

I’ll be adding a surprise freebie every month that will include some of the brag tags that I use and also one other helpful item that you will be able to use with your students.

Have a safe and healthy New Year and remember, we are always stronger when we work together… so ask for help, give some help and try and make 2017 a year that you’ll remember because you did both!

Best regards, Monae 🙂

 

GERMS!

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CLICK HERE FOR A FUN LESSON/BOOK!

This topic is ongoing for the entire year, but it felt like myself and my students were a little more sick this year… “Go Away Germ Bug” should have been on my playlist for December!

Teaching children about germs and covering our mouths is an important lesson, but teaching the WHY is also important. I like adding TONS of visuals to my lessons. And I always use puppets, but this year I am going to start adding small video clips to explain the WHY. If you tell someone WHY they should cover their mouth when they sneeze, that is a great reminder, but if you show them, it can help them grasp the concept a little easier.

CLICK HERE FOR A FUN VIDEO ABOUT GERMS

CLICK HERE FOR A GROWN-UP VERSION OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN YOU SNEEZE!

I also think there is no substitute for old fashioned handwashing with soap and water. Yes, our classrooms and schools have the squirt bottles of anti-bacterial soaps, but from personal experience, these dry out my hands and can cause rashes such as eczema so I am a big fan of plain old soap and water. As parents, we need to teach and remind our little ones everyday about washing hands properly because too many kids (and adults) still have not developed this important habit. Germs are real and they do spread so let’s all do our part to keep our little ones a little healthier!

With the holiday season wrapping up, I hope you start your New Year Happy & Healthy! Best regards, Monae 🙂

HIGH-FIVES FOR EVERYONE!

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The dictionary defines a high-five as:

“a gesture of greeting, good-fellowship, or triumph in which one person slaps the upraised palm of the hand against that of another.”

We all use high-fives throughout the day with our students, but have you ever thought about a way to use it as a teaching strategy to mean more than good job?

I use high-fives with many of my students, but I especially use this gesture of “good job” with my students on the spectrum. During whole group therapy, I use high-fives throughout the lesson when my students follow a direction or complete a task. High-fives are great, but after a while they can lose their meaning so it’s important to say something more than “good job!” Be more specific. Say something like, “I like how you clapped your hands!” or “I like how you said snowman!” or “ I like how you listened to your teacher when she asked you to sit!”

Another thing I like to do is use high-fives to work on basic concepts and making choices. I will ask my students, “Do you want a high five or a low five?” I will use a high voice and a low voice when saying the corresponding words. Or I might ask, “Do you want a front five or a back five?” Many of our students on the spectrum are working hard on those communication skills so think of all the different ways you can present scenarios that require a response to a choice. You can offer them a choice between a high-five or a sticker of a high-five (they sell those on Amazon). You can have high-five hands printed on different colored paper or different sizes, laminated then attached to a wooden stick and ask, “Do you want to high-five the red or blue hand?” or “Do you want to high-five the big or small hand?”shutterstock_201853597  My typical ending to a whole group session is to offer each of my students a high five or knuckles. My students love knuckles because they are usually exploding knuckles!  Within a short time, many of my students are asking for one of each as they hold up one high-five hand and one knuckle… lol!shutterstock_385815010

So remember how important a simple high-five can be. Always combine positive words/feedback with that high-five. Even on days when the behaviors are elevated, I will find something positive to say such as, “I like how you are sitting!” or on those really rough days, “I like that you were here today!”

With Warm Regards,  Monae 🙂