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Fall Speech Language Activities

Fall Speech Language Activities

Hey everyone. I am excited to tell you that I created a new bundle of my Fall Speech Language Activities. I use these activities frequently in therapy sessions to increase my students’ receptive and expressive language skills. 

First, there is a fall themed word associations activity that will help kids practice Tier I basic level vocabulary. I have 2 sets of learning cards to elicit naming word associations. One set has text on fall photographed scenes and the other has text with smarty symbol pictures to help kids recall related words.

My Fall Themed Multiple Meanings: Homographs packet has 3 activities included for you to further differentiate instruction. Kids can match words to definitions on learning mats from a field of 6 choices, answer multiple choices questions when given cloze sentences to identify the correct homograph meanings, practice orally defining the vocabulary, or stating 2 sentences for each term.

My students love using the dry erase marker on laminated sheets to answer the multiple choice questions. They often play the included fall themed game board with this activity as well. 


Next, there is an activity to practice identifying fall words when given attributes or verbally defining words with attributes. Kids also have an opportunity to practice identifying English/Language Arts vocabulary by attributes (definitions) and orally defining them as well. I recommend that kids may earn bingo chips to cover up words on their vocabulary mat when they get a question right. The kid that answers the most questions correctly is the winner! I have included SLP question prompts so you can easily read the attributes/definitions.

In addition to this new Fall Speech Language Activities Bundle, I created a FREEBIE wh questions check for one of my favorite autumn stories, Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie. Enjoy this complimentary digital download available in my TPT store!

Thanks for reading the blog today!

Tamara ๐Ÿ™‚

4 Keys for a Successful Week

4 Keys for a Successful Week

Hey there! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve reached the middle of the work week! Yeah! I want to share with you 4 of my keys that help me have a successful week. Here they are:


I truly believe that if you implement these 4 strategies that your week will be more productive and you will feel more energetic and content! I’m sure we all rather feel like our BEST self rather than wanting to hit rewind to redo our day.

Here’s my take on these 4 keys.

Each day you should word hard at using your gifts, talents, and professional skills to serve others. Make sure you have a list or a mental note at least of the tasks you NEED to accomplish today. Then, press forward to getting those tasks done. Make sure you add a smile as you execute those tasks! ๐Ÿ™‚ I highly recommend that you consistently use your calendar to keep up with all work meetings and deadlines. Staying organized at work is also a key to staying on top of all your tasks!

Success is doing what you LOVE! Spend some time participating in an activity you really enjoy. It may be going for a run after work, going to the gym, attending mid week church service, spending some mindless time watching tv, cooking, or catching up on the latest social media happenings.

You have got to get enough sleep! Plain and simple. Stop saying you’re a night owl if it negatively impacts your productivity the next day. If you can benefit from a quick 15-30 minute nap in the afternoon or early evening,  do it! Now if you have other responsibilities like helping your kids with homework or making dinner, I understand. However,  I suggest rearranging the home schedule to allow time for REST even if it’s sitting on the sofa for 20 minutes.

This is simply talking with God. Tell him how thankful you are for him loving, guiding, and protecting you and your family each day. I start every day with a morning devotional reading and prayer. Check out intouch.org for a FREE monthly booklet of daily readings. Throughout the day, I encourage you to check in with God. I truly believe prayer is a conversation with God. Over time, you will learn to “hear” his voice as you make various decisions throughout the day.

I hope that you find these 4 strategies for a successful week beneficial! I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and keep in touch with me by subscribing to this Building Successful Lives blog.


Tamara Anderson

September Book Review {Pirate Theme}

September Book Review {Pirate Theme}

Hey everyone. I hope you are enjoying pirate themed activities in your speech-language therapy lessons this week in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day on Saturday. 

This year, I read aloud a new story that I heard about to my speech-language kiddos. The media specialist at my school and I are good friends and she is always recommending great books to me. It helps that my speech language room is across the hall from her office. ๐Ÿ™‚

My students and I now LOVE the fiction book: No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou!  The story line is awesome and so are the illustrations!

The main characters are Pirate Pete, his parrot Igor, and the librarian Library Lou. The story opens with Pirate Pete loudly bolting into Seabreezy Library looking for treasure. The folks in the library are quite alarmed and down right scared of his intimidating demeanor. Ms. Library Lou is definitely not impressed by his lack of manners and strong smell of the outdoors. Ughh!

This story has a great twist as Library Lou looks at the treasure map and declares that she knows how to find the treasure. Pirate Pete reluctantly listens to her as she guides him through finding the treasure. 

I definitely recommend this book to elementary school aged kids because I know that they’ll love it. Plus so many of them need practice with answering wh questions, story retell, and understanding the meanings of tier 2 vocabulary words from the story. Speech-language pathologists can also pick out articulation words from the story as an extension activity for kids who need to practice pronouncing specific sounds. 

Here is a freebie WH questions worksheet with a field of 4 choices for each question. Feel free to carry your pirate theme on to next week if you’d like. I’m sure your students won’t mind! Argggh Matey! Thanks for reading my blog today.

Tamara Anderson

Quick &  Easy  Back to School Tips {Guest Blogger}

Quick & Easy Back to School Tips {Guest Blogger}

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great Wednesday at work today. Today I am the guest blogger at Allison’s Speech Peeps. Head on over to her blog and read my three tips for Back to School! I’ve included  a link to freebies from my TPT curriculum store to keep you motivated this school year!
Tamara Anderson
Building Successful Lives
BSL Speech & Language

Back to School Baseline Data

Back to School Baseline Data

Hey everyone. I know that many school based speech-language pathologists have already returned to work and many will start back soon. Tomorrow will be the beginning of my 4th week back at work and 3rd week for students. After the initial excitement and sleepiness of going back to school and work has worn of, speech-language pathologists need to make sure that they take baseline data on their students’ IEP objectives. For many kids there will be some variability in their scores from the end of the school year to their beginning of the school year data. However, with a quick re-teaching of the skill they are back to where they were previously. 

Some of you may be thinking, so what really is baseline data? This is the data, percentages, or measurable information that you collect to informally assess specific skills outlined in a child’s IEP objectives. ASHA’s Evidence Based Practice Glossary states that baseline is “a benchmark, measurement, or calculation used as a basis for comparison.” 

Many SLPs consider the first data point gathered on a skill an accurate measure for baseline while I have heard others say that they consider 3 data points as baseline data. I have created several quick informal assessment and/or progress monitoring tools that will make it easy for you to gather this data. Just click here to access these digital downloads to help simplify your SLP life.  

I have assessment tools for oral story retell, basic concepts, vocabulary (Tier I semantic processing- object function, similarities, differences, etc), associations, wh questions, irregular plurals, irregular past tense verbs, speech fluency, speech intelligibility, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meaning words, and English/Language Arts Tier III curriculum vocabulary.  I have personally used these tools frequently in my speech language sessions with students on my caseload. 

I suggest making several copies of the forms that you need to record baseline data and keep them in a binder. I typically select the forms that I need for each student and place them in my daily student therapy files. Using informal assessments/progress monitoring forms have truly improved my ability to quantify the skills of my speech-language students. This also helps as I record progress check data throughout the school year.  

I hope you have a great school year! Make sure you subscribe to 
my blog: Building Successful Lives by entering your email in the right hand column above. This way you will get my blog articles sent directly to your inbox. I look forward to you reading what I have to share ๐Ÿ™‚

Tamara Anderson

Speech-Language Curriculum Assessments

Speech-Language Curriculum Assessments

I am absolutely thrilled about my newest product, Speech-Language Curriculum Assessments that is available in my TPT store!!! It is designed for use by speech-language pathologists who support teaching the language underpinnings of the 3rd grade English/Language Arts Common Core State Standards. Other grade levels will be available in the future.

I provide educationally relevant speech-language therapy frequently and this product is a great way to assess students knowledge of the language underpinnings of the Common Core Standards related to skills that SLPs instruct. This is a must have if you work as a school based SLP.ย SLPs have the clinical skills needed to provide direct vocabulary instruction that will improve students’ ability to learn the standards. Here are some examples of terms assessed in red below.

This product contains 13 curriculum assessments that are informal standards based evaluation tools in a cloze sentence format with a word bank. ย They can be used to collect baseline or pre-assessment data and for post-assessments after the vocabulary words are taught in speech-language therapy sessions.

The assessments provided will evaluate students’ understanding of the vocabulary skills that are needed to master 3rd grade standards. As a bonus, I have also included English/Language Arts vocabulary assessments according to categories such as types of nouns, types of sentences, parts of speech, story vocabulary, types of literature, types of writing, figurative language, and prefixes.

I hope that this product will assist you in providing educationally relevant speech-language therapy services!

This product pairs well with my language interventionsย Guess What? Curriculum Bundle and English/Language Arts Common Core Vocabulary Bundle.

Thanks for reading my Building Successful Lives blog today. Make sure that you subscribe by entering your email in the box in the right hand column of this page. Stay connected and remember that SLPs are building speech, language, academic, and social skills of kids everyday! Keep up the great work! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m back to work full-time tomorrow. Summer break is officially over.

Tamara Anderson

Tell Me About Summer Stories

Tell Me About Summer Stories

I love hearing great stories! Lately it’s been from friends over dinner or a juicy summer story with a friend on the phone! No gossip…just sharing some interesting life happenings. I have also been reading some great books. 

Well, in speech-language therapy, it is critical that children are taught how to retell fiction stories. They need to understand the sequence of events and key story elements such as character, character trait, setting, introduction, problem, solution, conclusion, etc. They need practice with verbally communicating narratives. It’s a good thing that most speech-language pathologists and educators know how to read with expression to really grab the attention of children. This helps keep children engaged during literacy lessons.

Summer is a great time to read new stories to children and have them practice retelling the story in the correct sequence with key details. Here are some great summer stories for young kids:



Now for those of you working with private practice kiddos this summer you definitely need my best selling Oral Story Retelling Rubric. School-based SLPs this is a must have for you as well. Many of you will be back to your regular SLP awesome life in the schools very soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are what some buyers have said about this product:

“I am very happy about this rubric. It is a great resource for me to figure out what I need to focus on more with students. I like the grading system as well.”

“The rubric addresses areas that I focus on in therapy. I do not have to generate my own, which saves me time in the planning process as well as when writing IEP goals.”

“This is a great visual to use to show the students as well! Love it! Thanks!”

There are still a few weeks left of official summer. So keep reading summer stories and have speech-language kiddos tell you about them! What are some children’s books that you think young kiddos love in the summer? I’d love to hear your favorites! ๐Ÿ™‚


Summer Sale in my Curriculum Store!!

Summer Sale in my Curriculum Store!!

In case you missed the announcement on my Instagram page, I am having a 20 % off Summer Sale today and tomorrow in my TPT Curriculum Store. This is your chance to purchase informal assessment tools, speech-language therapy materials, and educational products to use with students and clients at discounted prices. 

I absolutely LOVE designing products for you!  I use them as well during my pediatric speech-language therapy sessions. I am committed to equipping speech-language pathologists and educators with tools of excellence to excel at their craft of igniting student’s communication and learning. 

Make sure that you stay connected with Building Successful Lives blog aka BSL Speech & Language to receive all the latest scoop for working with children with special learning needs and learn about my latest products and complimentary resource guides. You can subscribe to the blog by entering your email in the box on the right hand column of this page. 

Until next time, 

Tamara Anderson

Communication Success Tips

Communication Success Tips

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful July so far! I am truly enjoying my summer. I try to do something productive and fun each day. That’s why I have 2 new resources to tell you about in my Building Successful Lives curriculum store.

I created Communication Success Tips (for children ages 12-36 month) so that speech-language pathologists, educators, and parents can use this guide to foster communication development in children’s everyday routines. I thought of this idea last Sunday afternoon as I was reflecting about the fact that my sweet little niece would be 18 months the next day. I couldn’t believe it! I am blessed that I am able to visit her regularly. It is such a joy to watch her as she grows and learns! As an SLP, I of course am all about those developmental milestones and thinking about all the things she can do now and what she needs to learn next.

Here’s a picture of her last Monday when she turned 18 months old!

Isn’t she adorable?! ๐Ÿ™‚

You can access this COMPLIMENTARY digital download here.

My next resource guide in this series that I specially designed is Communication Success Tips for Colleagues.


My idea behind creating this was to remind SLPs and educators including myself of tips needed to build and maintain healthy relationships at work. I believe that effective communication skills are the foundation for healthy relationships. Colleagues are more productive when communication is clear and they feel valued by others.

I hope that you love this new resource guide as much as I do! You can access this COMPLIMENTARY digital download here.

Have an excellent week!

Tamara Anderson

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

Hey everyone. Today is a start of another week. For those of you that follow me on social media, you most likely saw last week’s motto: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life. One of my desires through this #buildingsuccessfullives blog and social media is to encourage others. I realize that EVERYONE can use some inspiration.  

I really do believe that if you deliberately change your perspective about life’s circumstances your life will change too! Most of the time, your outlook WILL drastically improve your day. Although your circumstances may not automatically change, you control your response. 

One of my passions is definitely building successful lives of children with special needs that I work with during the school year and equipping speech-language pathologists and educators with the tools to do the same. However, it’s much bigger than that. 

SAY WHAT? I desire for young adults to know that they too can build a successful, balanced, and fulfilled life for themselves. Yes, work is important. But what about your relationships with others, are they healthy? Do you think positively? Are you a glass half full person?

Stay tuned…more to come and remember. Change your mind, change your life! Use #inspireBSL and #inspireSLP to share your weekly inspirations on Instagram and Twitter. 

Make sure that you subscribe to this blog by entering your email on the right side of this page where it says “subscribe by email.”  That way you won’t miss an article! 

Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tamara Anderson