Sunday, January 24, 2016

Quick and Easy Recipes for the Frenzied SLP

This week we're all about helping frenzied SLPs with meal prep! First, I would like to thank this week's hostesses Kelly of Speech2U, Lisette of Speech Sprouts, and Mary of Old School Speech for their behind the scenes work. Be sure to like our Frenzied SLPs Facebook page.

I have a couple of easy-peasy recipes for you today. But first let me share my strategy for making sure we actually eat dinner! Several years ago I bought a chalkboard sticker that I adhered to the side of our refrigerator. I believe I got it at Staples in the Martha Stewart home office section. Every Most Sundays I look through my recipes (some in my head) and I write them on the sticker. I then hang the actual recipes I will be using for the week on my refrigerator so I don't have to go looking for them.

Sometimes I wonder how this fridge hasn't fallen over from the weight of the things on it, but when I look at it it makes me smile. It is so us!

I then go through the recipes and create a corresponding grocery list. I have found this saves us money, because we only buy what we need for the week rather than winging it or making three grocery store runs in a panic and buying randomly.
Jim thoughtfully did the shopping this week, but I have to be very specific about what I write on it :) My favorite is "retried beans!"

I don't know where I originally found this first recipe, but we love it and it can be prepared the night before, which is wonderful if you are anticipating a busy day.

I love to bake and I make it a point to have fresh bread. I know, I know, who has the time? Several years ago I came upon the best method for bread baking that puts the task on my schedule, not the bread's schedule. I follow the method developed by Jim Lahey, owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC and author of My Bread. The technique is simple and truly the bread makes itself, all you need is a cast iron pot with a lid. I have three so I can do three loaves at a time if I wanted, but I usually keep it to two per week.

I hope you are able to find a recipe that satisfies you and your family in our linky. Do you have a favorite recipe? Well, please link up and share it. I could always use another recipe to keep things varied. Also, check out Lyndsey Zurawski's Facebook group #SLPeats Recipe Swap for more ideas.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Create Change. Create Tension.

"You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter written from the Birmingham Jail

Change creates tension. Tension is uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable. Be a change-maker.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Organization Tips for SLPs: A Frenzied SLP Linky Party

I'm a little behind this week, perhaps a little disorganized! Better late than never, though. The Frenzied SLPs are bringing in the new year with their three favorite organizational tops. Thank you to Kelly of Speech2U, Lisette of Speech Sprouts, and Mary of Old School Speech for hosting this linky.

Okay, here are my top three tips:
1. My handy dandy binder. This baby has everything I need to stay on top of my to do list, calendar, and lesson plans. Every summer I print a new one and have it spiral bound for the upcoming school year. I love it and I think it's pretty, too!

2. Lists, lists, lists. Several years ago I learned how to print on post-its. It is really very easy. Here is a tutorial. I created these to do post-its and they help keep me on task.

Last but not least if you are anything like me, you get immersed in the most fun part of the job, therapy. When that happens I forget about little things like meetings. In order to not have to walk in late and shame-faced, when I receive meeting notification, I write it on my calendar, I write it on my planning checklist in my binder, and I enter it into my Google calendar. I write directly on the meeting notification "posted 2x," so I know I entered it in my calendars. I set alerts in Google calendar for 30 minutes and 10 minutes before the meeting. Overkill? Maybe, but I haven't forgotten a meeting in a loooong time.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. I would love to hear how you stay organized. Comment below!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

One Craftivity; Many Goals

I mentioned in a previous post my student "Joy," who keeps me on my therapeutic toes. You can read about my experiences with her here. After vacation, Joy returned to school not really felling the speech thing, so I had to come up with an activity that whetted her whistle and targeted language goals. I headed to Pinterest like any desperate SLP and found a craft that I thought would be well suited to our needs. It was originally designed by Kindergarten 3R's: Respect, Resources, and Rants and posted to Pinterest.

It looks like in her version she might have used foam mittens and shapes. I opted for cardstock and construction paper and then had the students decorate their wreaths with shapes made with scrapbooking punches. We used both small and large paper plates with the centers cut out as the base for the wreaths. I loved the way these came out so much I made generic mitten shapes so I could target multiple goals and multiple students. We have been in a mitten wreath frenzy working on articulation, associations, grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and more.

I can happily report Joy loved the craft (the vocabulary, not so much), but we did manage to get some productive therapy accomplished. If you would like to try this craftivity with your students you can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers at my store, Doyle Speech Works. I would love to see pictures of your wreaths. Tag me on Instagram (anniedoyle226) and have fun! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Meeting 2016 in a Word From the Frenzied SLPs

My last blog post was December 5, 2015! I am a fairly committed one blog a week sort of gal, however I unintentionally unplugged for a month. There was no blogging, no TpT'ing, little social media, and no blog reading. It was a little slice of heaven and allowed me to truly enjoy Christmas. I suspect it is time to reenter, albeit slowly.

What I learned, is that I spend an awful lot of time consumed by my profession. Someone recently posed the question on Facebook, "What is your biggest time sucker?" I responded "typing evaluations." I spend at a minimum 2 hours and at a maximum 5+ hours typing evaluations. I also spend hours in therapy planning, reading articles and blogs, preparing materials, and more. I am exhausted by being the consummate SLP. I pride myself on my professionalism and my ability to seek answers when I have none. I identify with what I do as who I am. I was not aware of this until this week and I understood better why 3 days before vacation I was in tears because I had spent 5 hours (not including the assessment itself) interpreting and typing an evaluation and I was utterly drained. I had administered 5 tests in order to truly mete out the nature of the problem. It was an excellent evaluation diagnostically, but it had a cost for this school-based SLP.

Herein lies the rub; I don't know how to do it any other way. It is in my nature to be thorough, to go the extra mile.  I want to have materials ready that engage, motivate, and remediate effectively for my students. I have gotten into a pattern that is sucking the life out of me. I wondered; "Is this because of all the amazing ideas I see on social media?" "Is it all the wonderful materials that are available on TpT that are superior to my chintzy ones?" "Is it because I have tied my value as a professional to the time I invest?" No. It has been MY choice and that choice has become a habit and habits can be broken!

I imagine many of you have heard of the "One Little Word" project. Using this model one chooses a word for the year as opposed to a plethora of resolutions that are abandoned in one week's time. This word is savored, meditated on, carried in the heart. I typically don't make resolutions, I make goals and I am pleased to report I often reach them. The idea of selecting a word(s) that drive how I think and behave was intriguing. I have decided to select 2 words, a professional and personal word that I hope become my touchstones. Words I will journal and blog about, relate to my experiences and use as a vehicle for growth.

Without further ado, I offer my words: release and love.
Professionally I seek to release my compulsion for perfection. My therapy activity can be simple positive reinforcement, my evaluation based on 3 tests not 5. I do understand there will be times more deep testing will be necessary, but that can be the exception, not the rule. There will be times I want to do an involved therapy activity, but that can be the exception, not the rule. I will start my day with the word release etched in my mind's eye and explore what releasing myself to myself might look like.

Personally, there were so many words I could have adopted, but as I mulled over all the words I realized there is one very special word that is the foundation of all the others; love. Let love reign. Do all things in love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Out of curiosity I did a quick search for "love quotes" and came up with roughly 393,000,000! Phew! As I go about my day, I have been repeating the word love, before I respond with impatience or anger, or intolerance. When I look at the eyes of another I see the word love and behave with love. When I approach a problem I reach into my heart where love is seated and all my solutions, kindness, acceptance, peace, joy are released. Love must be at my center and love must be my foundation for it is only then that love can be at the forefront.

You can learn more about the One Little Word project here. Have you adopted a word or resolution? The Frenzied SLPs are excited to read about how you will meet 2016, so link up and share your aspirations.