Tag Archives : Spring Themed Activities

Spring Into Literacy {Teaching Compare & Contrast}

Spring Into Literacy {Teaching Compare & Contrast}

I absolutely LOVE integrating literacy activities in my speech-language therapy sessions! There are so many skills that you can target while using fiction and non-fiction text. 

Recently, I decided to use the 2 books pictured above, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!  and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog!  to target teaching my lower grade elementary students the concept of compare & contrast. For them, I introduced the skill as explaining similarities and differences. During one session, I read aloud one of the stories and we talked about the sequence of events. Then we briefly talked about how that book was similar to others we read earlier in the year. For an extension activity, my students completed this book with assistance. 

Then another session, I read aloud the book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog! Then we talked about how that book was similar and different to the one that I read last session. Then they made their book. 

I used non-fiction text to teach my 4th and 5th grade language therapy students the skill of compare and contrast. Over several sessions, I read aloud passages from my Historical Irish American unit. Then my students selected 2 people to write down on their Venn Diagram such as Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy and Henry Ford. I modeled for them how to find similarities and differences from the text and then write them down in the correct part of the diagram. Lastly, they took turns verbally comparing and contrasting what they learned. This is a great activity for students to practice synthesizing what they have learned. 

Here is a picture of 2 completed Venn Diagram for this unit.

You can purchase your copy of the Historical Irish Americans unit in my TPT store so you can teach this skill to your speech-language therapy or language arts students. Click here for direct access to the digital download of this product! 

Thanks for reading the blog today!

Tamara Anderson

Spring Time Speech-Language Activities

Spring Time Speech-Language Activities

Spring is finally here and I am thrilled because it is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Although today is a rainy day in Atlanta, I actually don’t mind it because that means my garden will look beautiful very soon! Plus, aside from going to church this morning, I had a nice day at home.  

Guess What? There are only 38 school days left for the year in my district! It is definitely full speed ahead with therapy sessions, eligibility meetings, IEP meetings, and a few re-evaluation meetings remaining. I want to share with you my therapy intervention recommendations that will carry you through the spring! Click on the pictures to go directly to the product links in my TPT store.

First, I have a freebie that I created back in 2013 to address word associations. This is an essential part of language processing. The photos are from my own flower garden. I got my green thumb from my grandmother and mom! 🙂

Next, I have my best selling 2nd-5th grade English/Language Arts Common Core Standards vocabulary task cards. These include a variety of skills that SLPs address in language therapy that directly relate to the standards. This is a great way to review a variety of E/LA skills with your students.  I have a bundle that is ideal for use during basketball season this spring because it has a bonus basketball game included! 

My Historical Irish Americans unit is perfect to use with 4th-8th grade students receiving speech-language therapy services or special education services for reading. This packet addresses comprehension, identifying the meanings of Tier 2 vocabulary from sentence contexts, compare/contrast, and word associations. This is the 2nd in my series of Historical American Figures. 
My newest series of Guess What? Curriculum Vocabulary Products are great for language intervention sessions with children in 3rd-6th grade. It is important that SLPs provide educationally relevant therapy and these resources do that because they are interactive games for kids to practice Tier III English/Language Arts terms. 

The SLP Lingo & Test Prep Vocabulary is my 4th in the series that will be available this week! I’ll keep you posted. 

These are my recommendations to equip you with successfully leading therapy sessions and instruction with children. I wish your students and clients continued speech, language, and academic success!!

Tamara Anderson

Basketball Challenge- Speech, Language, and Academic Skills

Basketball Challenge- Speech, Language, and Academic Skills

Wow! I can’t believe it’s June already. I am thankful to have completed another successful school year. My summer break started 2 weeks ago. Hooray! The last 2 months of school was quite busy with the usual tasks of group speech-language therapy sessions, testing students, IEP meetings, special education team meetings, staff meetings, committee meetings, and tons of paperwork/computer work. Let’s not forget our beloved high stakes CRCT, the state test here in Georgia. Among all those important and urgent activities, I made a deliberate effort that my students have fun while learning and practicing their speech and language skills in my therapy classroom.

I am pleased to share with you one of my newest resources that I created and used with my students during the months of April and May. The Basketball Challenge-Speech, Language, and Academic Skills is an awesome interactive activity that kept my students engaged during their 30 minute speech-language therapy sessions. I primarily used my English/Language Arts Common Core Vocabulary questions (http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4th-Grade-EnglishLanguage-Arts-Common-Core-Standards-Vocabulary-652220) with this activity. Here is how to play this basketball challenge. Most of my groups have 4 students, so they would divide into 2 teams, and select a name for their team.

I would write the name on the statistics sheet shown here.

Then, they would choose a basketball player.

I would place the basketball court and 2 nets on the table.

I would then place all the basketballs face down on the table.

Each student took turns answering a learning question, then they would pick up a basketball, dribble the ball to the net, and shoot the ball. It was the luck of the draw if they would get 1 point, 2 points, or 3 points.

During the game, I recorded the number of basketball points each student earned and the number of learning points they earned by answering questions correctly on the statistics sheet.

The game would end when their speech-language therapy session time was over. I would then calculate the accuracy percentage for answering their speech, language, and academic questions.

My students were so excited to see if their team won the game and also what individual player had the most basketball points and learning points.

This activity is definitely a win-win for both the students and the SLP. You can purchase it here to use with your students: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Basketball-Challenge-Speech-Language-and-Academic-Skills-717131

Thanks for visiting my page today!! I will have several new posts and therapy/educational products available next school year.

Tamara Anderson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist on Summer Break! 

March Mania & Spring Fever: English/Language Arts Common Core Style

March Mania & Spring Fever: English/Language Arts Common Core Style

My school district is already in the final stretch for the school year as we are in the  midst of the final nine weeks of instruction and have ONE more week before SPRING BREAK!! This is the time of year when speech-language pathologists and teachers focus on the remaining skills we desire for our students to learn. In the speech-language classroom, the typical vocabulary echoes throughout the room: story elements, main idea, supporting details, fiction, non-fiction, antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, word associations, BREATHE, basic concepts, following directions, idioms, similes, compare, contrast, cause, effect, fact, opinion, BREATHE, parts of speech, irregular plural nouns, irregular past tense verbs, types of sentences, summarize, and REPEAT!! Last month, my school had a “March Madness” theme and many students received extra instructional time during SPECIALS (e.g. music, art, P.E., etc.) to improve either English/Language Arts or Math skills that needed remediation.   

For the past 3 weeks, I focused on reviewing English/Language Arts common core standards questions with my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade speech-language students in their usual therapy sessions. I created a set of 36 English/Language Arts questions based on common core standards relevant to skills that I address in my speech-language therapy sessions with my students.   

During each session, I put a red token next to each learning question card.  Each page had 6 questions and 6 tokens. Students got to pick up a token when they answered a question correctly. They were very competitive and eager to see who would earn the most tokens.  I told them that their goal is always to try and beat their highest individual score. I have to admit that it has been quite exciting and interesting in the speech room lately.  Most of my students are happy and cheer when they earn the most tokens or “learning points” while I’ve had one to cry because he didn’t win.  The latter moment is when I switch into my unofficial title of counselor, mentor, listening ear and shoulder to cry on! YIKES! The joys of elementary education…I digress…

Anyhow, here are links to the awesome and time saving materials I created:



After a few sessions reviewing questions using my classroom original, I photocopied  individual learning packets of these questions for my students. We completed the packets in class by circling the correct responses from a field of 4 choices and writing the correct vocabulary word in the cloze sentences. My students took the packet home after each session for independent practice. 

This is a great way to incorporate the English/Language Arts Common Core Standards into speech-language therapy sessions and also help prepare students for end of year state tests.

The 4th grade and 5th grade learning sets are coming soon!!! The 4th grade set has 42 learning questions including questions related to idioms and similes! 

These learning activities may be used with an accompanying basketball game. The custom made illustrations and game pieces will be available soon. Check back again soon!! 

4/8/13 Update The 4th grade English/Language Arts Common Core Standards learning packet is available and now has 48 questions. Don’t hesitate to click on the link below! 🙂 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4th-Grade-EnglishLanguage-Arts-Common-Core-Standards-Vocabulary

                                      Thanks for visiting today!! 🙂

Spring Word Associations Freebie!!

Spring Word Associations Freebie!!

I absolutely love spring time! I love the weather, emergence of colors in the blooming flowers, and I love SPRING BREAK which is 3 weeks away for me here in Atlanta! Most importantly, I am grateful that Jesus Christ loved mankind so much that he made the greatest sacrifice for us. Spring is a season to reflect on his  death, resurrection, and free gifts of GRACE, MERCY, and FORGIVENESS to all those who believe in him. 

In anticipation of spring, I want to share a gift that you can use in your classroom so I specially created a Spring Word Associations Freebie for you to use with your students. 

Click on the link to download the resource: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Word-Associations

In the download, you will see photographs I took over the past few years of plants from my garden (green hosta, pink lily, yellow lily, pink knock out rose), my mother’s garden (white magnolia bloom), and my Aunt Pauline’s garden (orchids). I hope you enjoy the activity and photos! 

Baseball Themed Baseline & Progress Check Data Forms

Baseball Themed Baseline & Progress Check Data Forms

I am excited to share that I have completed receptive and expressive language packets that include baseball themed data collection forms to address synonyms & antonyms, associations, multiple meanings, and irregular plural nouns/irregular past tense verbs. I decided to create these materials because I have several activities to use when providing speech-language services for my students.  Although my students love when I use different games and activities to target their vocabulary and grammar activities, the words elicited are not always the same each session and I needed a way to effectively measure their language progress over time.

My solution for this dilemma was to make a quick way to keep track of my students’ knowledge and use of specific vocabulary and grammar targets versus solely using data from a variety of question probes each session.   I love my new data tracking forms and have already starting using them to record my students’ accuracy with each skill (baseline data) and will recheck their percentage of accuracy after additional language therapy sessions. In the field of education, these forms are called criterion referenced tests or CRTs. This is because you are informally measuring students’ knowledge about a set skill and monitoring their progress over an extended period of time.


In my school district, we use an online documentation system to create Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). SLPs and other special education teachers are required to enter a percentage for baseline data at each annual review and then update progress online each 9 weeks for each goal/objective using a percentage of accuracy.

These forms will be great to record data for my elementary school aged children and I am sure other SLPs can utilize them as well!! You can administer the probes across 4 data collection days with this informal assessment tool. This will make your data collection much easier and reliable.

Here is a picture of the materials that I used with my students recently:


I first used the synonyms data tracking form during a “baseball game” with one of my students who has mild autism and receptive/expressive language disorder. He was eager to play the game by naming synonyms as we have been practicing this skill for a while in therapy. He liked getting to put the mini baseballs on the field when he answered questions and made his way around the bases. After the student finished answering his questions, I wrote his score on a large baseball with a note about what language skill he practiced during therapy. He thought it was awesome that he got to take home a baseball ! You would have thought  that it was a real baseball and NOT just a paper version. He left my speech room with a big smile!! Small joys! 🙂

These resources are available at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store at:http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Synonyms-Antonyms-Baseline-Data-Progress-Check-Forms
Here is what you will receive in the Synonyms & Antonyms Packet:

1) Cover page
2) Instructions page
3) Boy and girl baseball players; custom made illlustrations for BSL Speech Language
4) Baseball field custom made graphics for BSL Speech Language
5) 2 pages of different size custom made baseball graphics for BSL Speech Language
6) 2 Synonyms lists
7) 2 Antonyms lists

Kindly leave your feedback in my TPT Store.

Thanks for reading the blog today,

Tamara Anderson


Baseline & Progress Check Data Forms…..coming soon!

Baseline & Progress Check Data Forms…..coming soon!