Contributions from your SPG colleagues with summer birthdays…
Emily Nielsen (Holmstedt)
This year I received a Mr. Potato Head family from a friend. It has been my go-to material that students of all ages love. It’s great to work on description, same/different, making requests, pronouns, and social skills. For artic groups, I sort the pieces (eyes, ears, feet, arms, mouths) into different bowls and have my students roll a die to determine not only how many target words to practice, but also which part they can pick to add to their potato. Whoever completes their potato first with a complete face, wins! It’s quick, easy, and keeps all my students’ busy hands occupied while I work with each student in the group. I am constantly amazed by the different potato head pieces I can find at garage sales and on amazon!
Ann Nguyen Leong
Cooking and baking are usually my go-tos to de-stress.
My favorite these days is to make a summer strawberry cake. Here’s the recipe.
I’m very cold-natured, so my hands are usually pretty cold.
Me: The boy’s hair is long, The girl’s hair is…..
Me: Great! Put your hand on the table *I place mine next to his*
Ok, your hands are little, and my hands are….
Kid: *touches hand* Cold!
Family Recipe. A tradition.
2 c of flour
1 cup of sugar
2 t. B.P.
1 T. melted butter in ½ cup of milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
Sift flour, B. P., salt and sugar into bowl. Add the eggs, the milk and melted butter. Stir to a smooth batter. Bake in (13”x9”) pan about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool, cut into 1 cube and ice, then roll in crushed peanuts. Refrigerate until set. Can be kept frozen indefinitely. ICING: 1 cup butter or margarine, 1 pkg. powdered sugar, vanilla and enough canned milk to make the right consistency for spreading. Makes about 9 doz. cookies.
I am contributing my favorite recipe for an on-the-go workday breakfast (or mid-morning/afternoon pick-me-up).
I make ahead ice cubes from my favorite cold brew coffee (I use Trader Joe’s or Simple Truth Organic-Kona Blend, or you can use your own brew) and keep in a ziplock bag in the freezer so they are ready whenever I need in a hurry.
2 C. Cold Brew coffee ice cubes (see photo)
1 1/2 C. Almond milk (I like Califia Coconut Almond milk – see photo)
1 scoop of your favorite protein (vanilla or chocolate) powder
1 small banana
1-2 Tbsp. Almond butter
Blend together in NutriBullet. If it’s too thick, add a little more almond milk. Or if it’s too thin, add another 1-2 coffee ice cubes. Put cover on and it’s ready to take on-the-go! You can also add a Tbsp. or two Greek yogurt and if you like it a little sweeter blend in 1 Tbsp. honey. Enjoy!
My speech & language tip for families would be: Reducing the number of “What’s this/that?” questions, and offering more comments, and descriptors (ex: instead of asking “what’s that?”, comment “That’s a yellow banana. We can peel it. It’s yummy. It’s mushy in your mouth.”). This tactic offers more opportunities for modeling language for a child, and facilitating their input, rather than ‘testing’ with questions. Hope that helps!
Amal Al Yousef
For resources I used over the past year, I found listening to Speech podcasts very beneficial. It was a great resource for new ideas and techniques. Another resource was attending Coursera speech related classes. It’s free!!! I liked to use hands on activity for language goals and I found origami is a cheap and easy way to target these goals. I liked talking long walks to maintain my emotional and physical health (worked most of the times).
One resource I would love to share is an online seminar series offered by SLP Summit. Twice a year (January and July), they host and broadcast 8, hour-long courses that can be counted towards CEUs… and it is FREE! If you listen to the live broadcasts, you can count them as regular CEUs, and if you listen to the recorded version and take the quiz, you can use the CEUs as self-study. They keep the recorded versions up for about 2 weeks after the live versions and you can do as many or as few as you like. The topics are always really relevant and interesting. Here is a link to this July’s offerings. I have gotten so much out of this freebie!
For my contribution I’d like to include some information about a great therapy tool:
While working with one of my students, he would regularly ask for tickles. I began to correct him and say “squeezes” to apply that pressure he needed because even though I enjoyed seeing him smile with tickles, it only made him more anxious. By using squeezes starting on his upper arms down and same with upper legs down, he displayed greater calmness. It makes a great de-stressor.
I just started with my job so I am learning tips and tricks as I go along. So far, I’ve learned a deck of cards can go a really long way in therapy. SPG’s own resource library is such treasure trove of materials that really comes in handy when moving from school to school. I love it!
I am currently *obsessed* with this chocolate chip cookie recipe!
Check out this video to see how to make them. So good!