Friday, March 29, 2013

Talking About Arthur's Pet Business

Marc Brown's books about Arthur are wonderful books to use with the young elementary aged students.  In the classroom, Arthur's Pet Business is often paired with the social studies concept of goods and services. Arthur wants a puppy and starts a pet business to prove to his parents that he can be responsible. 

I used Arthur's Pet Business in inclusion settings as well as in small group language therapy. Pair this book with Arthur's Puppy for a month of language lessons. These books can be read to students on-line at AOL Kids

This book gives your students the opportunity practice answering when, how, and why questions.  In addition, find more complex questions at Kids Econ Posters.  

Illustrate and define the following words.
  • business
  • responsible
  • job
  • exhausted
  • naughty
  • searched
  • train 
  • amazed

Sort pictures of pets and wild animals. Explain why or why not a pictured animal would make a good pet. Find free animal pictures at Patrick

Set up a pet store. Use stuffed animals, bowls, baskets for cages, cups with pet food labels, and a few dollar store items. 

  • Students buy pets and tell how to care for the pet. 
  • Describe each pet's appearance.
  • Tell locations of pets and where they might eat or sleep if the pet lived at the student's homes. 
  • Take pictures of each pet and ask "Who's pet is this?" to elicit possessive /s/.

Retell the story in comic book/stick figure format or take Arthur's Pet Business Sequence Quiz at Quia. 

Find visual supports for Arthur's Pet Business at



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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday's Treasure Box: PC Snipping Tool and a Free App

If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 with Home Premium or better, you have the Snipping Tool. I have never used Windows 8, but assume that Microsoft would include this useful tool in their new version of Windows as well.  

I use Snipping Tool daily. You can snip a small portion of the screen or an entire window - it's much better than using print screen as you might not want to see tool bars, your second monitor, and more. 

If you don't know where to find your Snipping Tool, click on the Start button and in the search box, type Snipping Tool and click on it when you see it on the list.

To learn more about Snipping Tool, click on this Microsoft link for a demonstration and more information. 

I used Snipping Tool to cut this app symbol from its iTunes page. 

By the way, this app is Read, Write and Think's  Trading Cards app. Make trading cards to describe characters, places, literature selections and more. For more about this great app along with lessons for grades 1 to 5, visit Read, Write, and Think.


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Some clip art from

Friday, March 22, 2013

Target Language Skills with Mr. Gumpy

I've used John Burningham's predictable book, Mr. Gumpy's Outing, in therapy many times. It's a simple book about children and animals who take a ride in Mr. Gumpy's boat. 

Use the book in therapy with students in preschool and primary grades. 
  • Talk about words, introduce synonyms, and practice verb tense.  
  • Demonstrate and talk about the verbs kick, trample, flap, bleat, muck, tease, chase, hop, squabble, and tip.  
  • Define bank, outing and tea
  • Explore rivers on maps, in books, and on the Internet. 
  • Share experiences by talking about outings.

Sequence story pictures and retell the story.

Practice describing animals seen in the story. Use the sequencing pictures or story props described above as visual supports. 
  • Use at least two attributes to describe (A calf is a baby cow and lives on a farm., Chickens lay eggs and have feathers., Sheep bleat and have wool., etc.).
  • Match animal parts to animal pictures. Use possessive -s in response to Whose ears are these? or Whose wool is this? Download my free PowerPoint Whose Parts Do You See? 
  • Play a guessing game. Ask questions such as I am thinking about an animal that bleats. What is it? or I am thinking of an animal that has long ears. What is it? 

More links:

Find good writing and other literacy activities for Mr. Gumpy's Outing at Teaching Ideas

Download the lapbook at Home School Share for ideas applying to many school subjects. 



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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday's Treasure Box: Fisher-Price

Find many games and activities for your preschool aged children at Click on the Games and Activities tab to find links to games, crafts, videos, and even apps.

There are games that match specific language skills (opposites, spotting differences) and games that match themes such as animal habitats, transportation, food, community workers, and more.

Infant games require only one touch of any key to produce an action. A switch can be used to activate these programs. See my earlier post, Free Switch Accessible Activities for Young Children, for more switch activities and to learn how to connect a switch and an interface to your PC.

Click on Crafts to see seasonal crafts and snacks and don't forget to check out the free apps


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Clip Art from

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Eggs and Birds - Links and Apps

Click here to see my post
Eggs and Birds, Free Downloads for Speech and Language
Earlier this week, I posted several items that I made or used in my lessons about birds and eggs. Today, I am posting links and apps to use as resources for your speech and language activities. 

In my early childhood special education classrooms, I sometimes used Sesame Street video clips when introducing themes or concepts. Here are links to three videos related to birds and eggs. 

If you need some photographs of birds, download 25 FREE bird cards at Tired, Need Sleep

Print and make books to tell the sequence from egg to chicken. See Egg Story at

If using an Interactive White Board,  Chateau Meddybemps is a great site! Find eggs, decorate eggs, read an egg story and more!

Visit Tarheel Reader to find many books with wonderful pictures about birds and eggs. Read the books on-line, download and print, or read on your tablet. My books, seen on the right, can be read on my iPad in iBooks. 

Search for these free on-line titles about birds at We Give Books:
  • Look Closer - Birds by DK Publishing
  • Ducks Don't Wear Socks by John Nedwidek
  • See How They Grow: Owl by DK Publishing
  • See How They Grow - Chick by DK Publishing
  • See How They Grow - Penguins by DK Publishing
  • See How They Grow: Duck by DK Publishing
  • Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells

    Look at these free bird apps:

Birds Kingdom Free by feng min 
Birds Kingdom Free is a bird encyclopedia. Find photographs and detailed descriptions of all sorts of birds.

First Bird Book by Santpal Dhillon
Photographs and drawings of birds. Listen to the actual sounds that the birds make as well as the pronunciation of the bird's name.
Eggscapade - Free Storybook & Game for Kids by Mamanijo   Cute story, but I liked the game. Let student's tell how to obtain the appropriate designs.  Expand sentences, follow and give directions, and ask and answer questions. 

Bunnyfur's Easter Eggs by Interactive Touch, Inc.  
Focus on early developing speech and language skills while reading this interactive story. 

 ClickySticky Easter by Merge Mobile
Build bunnies, decorate eggs, fill baskets with cookies and candy, and hide eggs all over the yard!


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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday's Treasure Box: Format Painter

Format Painter
I do a lot of copying and pasting when making handouts and writing reports. Many times, when I have difficulty getting the format of a paragraph to match another, I use Format Painter.  Format Painter is a quick way to copy formatting in one part of a Microsoft Office document to another part. 

The Format Painter button is located in the Clipboard group on the Home tab. Copy the formatting of text (alignment, spacing, color, indentation, size, and more), a cell, a shape, and even special effects that you have added to a picture in a Microsoft document. Use in Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Publisher, and Access and in versions 2003 or later. Click here to see Microsoft's step-by-step directions for using Format Painter.


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Clip Art from

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eggs and Birds for Speech and Language - Free Downloads and More

"Eggs and Birds" is a great theme for this time of year, especially since this is the time that early childhood teachers are coloring and hiding eggs. I liked to stay with the same theme for three, sometimes four weeks, as it gave my students time to learn the vocabulary. This is a theme that can be used prior to spring break and continued into April (one less plan to write during the break). 

These activities were used primarily in my early childhood special education classes. Look at the bottom of this post to find a few creative ideas, from other SLPs, for older students. 

I introduced this theme with bird Beanie Babies, bird pictures, or  I Like Birds, a PowerPoint book. Download I like Birds here. This PowerPoint has 35 pages, reduce it or change it to meet your needs. 

Practice two and three syllable words while naming the birds. Download the free Bird Words activity here. 

Put tiny Beanie Babies, plastic birds and animals, or pictures in eggs. Students open eggs and label items as a bird or not a bird.  If using soft animals such as Beanie Babies, compare the hard eggs and soft birds as well as other hard and soft items. Click to download the free Soft and Hard PowerPoint book.

Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman is one of my favorite books. Use it to obtain responses from questions, make predictions, label nouns, talk about actions and use -ing verb endings. 

Play I Wonder What's Under? - Put objects ( I used "egg erasers" from a dollar store) or bird pictures under Easter basket grass.  Emphasize the concept "under" as you look for and find items. 

Play a fast game of Bird Bingo as part of a vocabulary lesson - four pictures on each card. Download my Bird Bingo at Perfect for young students!

Play Guess the Bird a version of Guess Who with bird pictures. Print two sets of bird pictures. Put one set on a display board. Choose and hide the "secret bird" from the second set. Students guess the name of the secret bird by asking questions. Does it swim? Does it fly? Does it have a long neck? Does it have a bill? Students help determine which birds need to be removed from the board as each question is answered. Download bird pictures and question prompts for Guess the Bird at

Great ideas (and freebies) from other SLPs. 

Just posted at Miss Thrifty SLP, Egg-tastic, social skills activities, categorization tasks, and sentence ordering tasks for grades three to five.  

A printable book from Chapel Hill Snippets - Eggs Everywhere targets prepositions, describing, and vocabulary. 

Speech-ster Egg Hunt found at Speech Room News  - Hunt for eggs while practicing articulation and language skills. 

Describing Eggs Teach N Speech describes common items found in eggs and includes a good homework idea.  

Find a nice pragmatic activity in the Spring Egg-stravaganza! from LiveSpeakLove, LLC.

Look for more links and some apps later this week!


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday's Treasure Box: Meaningful Therapy and a Google Tip

In my early years as a speech-language pathologist, I always had a treasure box in my therapy room. My older students earned 1000 points (a point for each correct response) and my younger students had to fill up a star chart. I loved filling the box with new and different items to keep students motivated.

This blog is much like my treasure box as I am always looking for new and interesting information to keep readers coming back. However, along the way, I come across so many fabulous websites, blog posts, apps, and ideas and I could never write about them all.  So, each Tuesday, I will post Tuesday's Treasure Box containing links to some of the wonderful information that I find while searching the web. 

Here are today's treasures.

Last month, Kristin posted Making Therapy Meaningful  on her blog, [SIMPLY SPEECH]. It's a great reminder for all of us as it applies to all populations. Look for the Interest Survey - a free download. 

Why Word Order Matters in Google Searches from Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers. I use Google searches daily, but never considered word order. This two minute video tells why and how word order will change your search outcomes. 


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Clip Art from

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Now Tweeting @BudgetSLP

I am using my computer time this weekend to learn Twitter. I created an account a month ago, but haven't used it or had time to check it out. I was pleased to see that I have five followers and four were SLPs. I just hope that they weren't waiting anxiously for me to tweet!  I have been reading about the terminology and navigation of  Twitter and feel a little more ready.  For those of you who haven't, but want to take the Twitter plunge, here's what I've been reading:

A great project by Jessica Hische - mom, this is how twitter works. NOT JUST FOR MOMS!

And, Ryan Pinkham's blog post,  25 ThingsThat Make You Look Dumb on Twitter

Just go to my Twitter button to follow me @BudgetSLP



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