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Thursday, October 28, 2010


Finally Leah and I got our picture made together at a conference. We spoke at OSSPEAC in Columbus on Monday. We have been trying to do this for the last 2 years. We wanted to have our pictures made while we were presenting one of our sessions but they never turn out very good because one of us always has our mouth open, haha! So here we are....Leah on the left and Dean on the right.

Leah and Dean

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ORGANIZATION-Part 6-Utility Bins

I had a choice. I could either send this blog post early or late. Leah and I are heading to Columbus, Ohio, in the morning for the OSSPEAC conference and will not be back until Tuesday. I guess, if you're reading this then, you know I chose to post early this week.

Utility Bins

Today’s little blog is the last in this series on organization. We sincerely hope that you’ve read something in this series that you could implement into your daily routine. Hopefully, it has made your workload a little lighter, saved you a little time, or just gotten you to thinking about making changes to your system that will work for you.

You’ll find items for organization in many different places. Today’s item, the utility bin, comes from the hardware section. They come in different sizes from small ones with a few drawers to larger one with numerous little drawers. We suggest you give thought to how you plan to use it before you purchase one, so that you won’t have to go buy another one.

Here’s a list of possible items that can be stored in them. Since the little drawers are clear, it is easy see what each contain. If you happen to own a label maker you could label your drawers; a Sharpie would work too!

Store your game pieces: pawns, dice, spinners, etc., (Assign a drawer to each item)
Small erasers: seasonal or themed from the Dollar Store.
Colored chips; sort by color in individual drawers; when doing activities involving them each child takes the drawer out of the utility bin and uses the drawer to hold his chips.
Small office supplies: paper clips, push pins, rubber bands; paper fasteners,
Individual stickers; themed
PECS pictures/by alphabet letter or category/theme

Anything small can be stored in them.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll share a picture of Leah’s utility bin.

If you've been bored with this series perhaps you'll find the next series more of an interest. Next week we begin sharing websites that can truly enhance you therapy. We will begin with a series of wonderful websites for AAC. These are truly awesome!

Have a great week with your kids!
Dean and Leah

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Good Morning Everyone! This is a new week and we have a new organizing tip to share. Today we going to talk about clipboards and how to use them to keep yourself organized.

If you were training as a Speech Therapist back in the 1970’s, you would have been easily identified by your little white lab coat and clipboard. That was standard issue when doing your clinical work. I was very glad to see that trend fade away, but clipboards are a handy little thing to possess.

I kept a clipboard on the side of my table with my weekly work schedule on it, so that I could keep up with which group comes next. I suppose this could have been due to my failing memory, but nonetheless it was especially handy, if I had been in a meeting, with keeping me on track. It was also useful when a new kid was placed on my caseload in remembering with which group they would be coming to therapy. As we all know kids come and go all year long. We never have a static caseload.

Leah also kept one on her therapy table with her weekly schedule. She would print a copy at the beginning of each week of her schedule and put it on top of the pages in her clipboard. With that she could quickly keep track of whether her students were present or absent, on a field trip, in an assembly, moved, etc. She would write in IEP meetings that were held and pencil-in the new students into therapy time slots. Then the following week, she would quickly update the schedule before printing it. This provided her with a quick and easy way to see when students transitioned in and out of her program.

You can use colored highlighters to denote the absences, which makes attendance tallying even quicker. Assemblies, field trips, IEP meetings, etc., could also be quickly noted by the use of different colors. You decide what color you want your system to be and make your color key.

Although this may not sound like there is much to this tip, you’ll be surprised how much time you can save in your day just by implementing this little system.

Here is a picture of Leah’s therapy table. Again, note her clipboard.

Now if you look at the overall picture (below) of Leah's personal work space you will see how she set it up to streamline her daily therapy. You will see her working folders are on her right (we're right handed) within easy reach, and her craft basket holding her most frequently used supplies and materials are at her left, with the clipboard at the ready conveniently on the corner of the table! You would not believe how much time you can save by not having to get up to get things. This a a very doable set up that anyone can do with little time or money.

Next week will be our final entry on organization. We will share with you how to utilize utility bins effectively in your space. Until then enjoy your therapy this week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ORGANIZATION-Part 4-Craft Baskets

Good Morning and Happy Columbus Day!

Here in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia the hills are beginning to blaze with color! It will soon be a feast for your eyes if you love the fall colors. It is also nearing time for BRIDGE DAY IN WV, which is held the third Saturday in October. “When Bridge Day arrives, more than 200,000 people converge over the course of the day to take part the day-long festival. BASE jumpers parachute off the New River Gorge Bridge diving 876-feet into the New River Gorge below. Rapellers descend on ropes like caterpillars beneath the mighty bridge. More than 200 vendors provide delicious foods and fantastic entertainment!” (Excerpt taken from HYPERLINK "" Just thought I’d share about a fun day in “wild and wonderful WV”.

Now for today's tip ......Craft Baskets

Craft baskets are essential to hold therapy supplies! The ends of my therapy table were always a mess of papers, books, pens, markers, hole-punches, scissors, etc. No matter how well intentioned I was, it always ended up disheveled. A simple craft basket was the solution to my perpetual mess.

Any of the major craft stores have a large selection from which you can choose. If you aren’t in a hurry, they will be on sale at some time in the year and you can get organized inexpensively. You could even use one of those gardening baskets that has the liner with all those outside pockets going around the perimeter.

The craft basket will have a larger center compartment and several compartments around the center. It is very room and you can store many more items than you would think. Leah has hers stocked with some of our Grab-N-Go games, stopwatch, clicker counters, homework slips, pencils, pens, markers, glue, paper clips, Post-it Notes, blank index cards, and a stapler. You can also include rubber bands, a hole punch, or anything else you use frequently. Imagine no mess. Everything stored neatly and not taking up much space on your therapy table. Such a simple solution for a big messy problem.

Here’s an actual picture of Leah’s basket.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Launching 2 New Products

Hello! I know I said I would not use this as an advertising platform, but we just got our 2 new CDs in and I just had to share them with you! They won't even be on our website for sale for a few weeks yet, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek and special offer! Advertising our products will be an infrequent occurrence in this blog spot.

We are launching these at OSSPEAC in Columbus, Ohio, October 24 and 25th. If you're in the area come by and see the actual products!

The first CD is our FAME Preschool Workbook which targets those early developmental sounds. This is a delightful new workbook on CD chock-full of fun articulation activity pages. All activities are age appropriate. Targets: M-P-B-T-D-N-W-H-Y in words, phrases and sentences. For each sound there are 8 pages targeting initial-final words; 8 pages targeting phrases; and 10 pages of sentences. The exception being W-H-Y which do not occur in the final position. We also included several bonus pages for phonology! This CD contains 222 pages in pdf format so that you can print only the pages you need, when you need them. Print from home or work! Print in color or black and white! The CD is easy to transport from school so it won’t add extra weight your therapy-bag!

The other one is our FAME Articulation Cards. This is an amazing CD from which you can print your own artic card decks for therapy! There are 48 individual picture cards for each of the 10 most frequently misarticulated phonemes F-V-K-G-R-S-L-CH-SH and TH. A total of 480 original word pictures. NO CLIP ART! We use only our original copyrighted artwork. You print on card stock, laminate, and cut them apart and voila` you have a deck of cards. You can print as many decks as you wish, or print the pages to send home for practice! We've included printable card backs, sound card dividers, and game playing cards (wild, reverse, skip, Old Witch, etc) with game instructions, so you can create your own game cards. They are color coded by sound and initial-final positions and are further coded by a moon or star to make quick work of sorting!

Ordering information:
CDFPW-2002 FAME Preschool Workbook $24.99
CDFAC-3003 FAME Articulation Cards $49.99

New launch discount of 10% off your order.

FREE shipping on orders over $50.00 or flat shipping rate of $5.00

You can email me to purchase or for free sample pages of either CD:

Thanks for letting me share my excitement!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

ORGANIZATION-Part 3-Homework Slips

I want to begin my day by wishing everyone a Happy Fall Morning!

Today’s organizational tip has to do with homework. In the previous entry you read about how I try to stay ahead by keeping worksheets/homework copied in each child’s working folder. Today however, Leah will share a great idea on simplifying homework and getting it returned! She has had a tremendous rate of success with her system. It is unfortunate for me that she didn’t come up with this idea until after I retired!

In Leah’s school she has to schedule her kids by grade level to avoid pulling kids from “closed academic times”. This is why, as she explained last week, her working folders are color coded by grade. She uses this color coding system for her homework slips. She matches the color of the homework slip to the student’s folder. On the front of the door to her therapy room, Leah has attached a “homework” envelope. Her students return their completed homework slip to the envelope any time throughout the day. At the beginning of a group session, Leah, will have one of the students pick out the homework slips (of their color) and bring them to the table. She will then make note of which children returned them in the child’s working folder.

This is how they are used. Each page you print will have 6 slips. Print several pages of the various colors you have chosen for your grades. Then cut them apart. Keep them on or by your therapy table for easy access. (Leah keeps them in a “craft” basket along with other small, frequently used items. The homework slips can be used for artic/phonology/language, etc. Each slip has 5 lines for the homework targets. As you come across a target during therapy, write it on a slip for practice at home.

Here’s an example of the slips.

We are sharing Leah's homework slips as a pdf, so you are free to use them if you wish! Go to-

Enjoy your kids this week!