Antonym Reversal Sentences and Free Trial Task Cards

14 Jan


February is the month I usually focus on antonyms.  You may remember some of my  past February bulletin boards that had an antonym theme to them. Some of my language learners still have difficulties with antonyms following 3rd grade which is when the Common Core has them listed for proficiency.  A lot of my therapy materials seemed a bit childish for older students and they were tired of them by that point. I decided to create some task cards especially for them. This led me to producing task cards that were at a sentence level and using a little more advanced vocabulary then you would find in the early grades. I still include pictures because some of my students really benefit from visual cues. I like them self checking so that students can use them independently and for homework.  As usual, I will post some trial cards for my readers to test out. There is a set of 12 cards.

I have a set of 40 cards at my TPT store if you find them useful and would like more.  Click on the button below and it will take you directly to them.

Speech Therapy Tasks for our High School Level Students

26 Nov

I know finding speech therapy materials for high school students can be difficult.  I also know that some students still benefit from  having skills broken down into specific learning modules.  They get lost when presented passages containing complex sentences and unknown vocabulary. Teachers Pay Teachers is having their annual Cyber Sale so I thought I would take advantage by showcasing two of my products that work with the High School crowd.

Recently, I have been a substitute Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at a high school location.  I found at the  high school level it is often more relevant for students to bring their class work for speech therapy.  However, the students being served often forget and come empty handed.  I try to have activities on hand to make the time productive.  I thought I would showcase 2 activities that have worked well with encompassing what they are working on. They are Word Association Cards for vocabulary development  and Sentence Sequence Task Cards for complex sentence comprehension and development. There are free samples in the Vocabulary section of this blog for the Association cards and in the Expressive section for the Sentence Sequence Task Cards.  If you haven’t tried them yet you should.  If you want to get the full sets at my TPT store, they happen to be part of the  Cyber Sale which makes them a real bargain.

Our speech students are often behind with developing vocabulary.  This affects them throughout all their classes. One way to boost vocabulary is to develop word association skills. They need to be able to compare and contrast new words to integrate them into the vocabulary they already have. I often tell them this analogy: Your brain is a closet with different shelves and drawers  holding different words. You try to place things together that are similar such as your socks in a sock drawer.   If you just try to memorize words without making connections with other words you know, it is like throwing everything  in one big pile on the floor and trying to find a brown sock to match another brown sock.   You won’t be able to find or remember what you have when you need it. It seems many of them can relate to this.   Therefore categorizing and making associations is an important skill to learn for their academic career.   This is a skill that gets better with practice.

High School students are often required to take notes on subjects that use a lot of   complex sentence forms.  They they need to be able to consolidate information and retain the meaning in their notes.  Sequencing events using complex sentence forms is a natural way to get students to produce complex sentences and practice this.  These cards present two different activities to address production and comprehension and promote better note taking.

In Activity 1, the students are instructed to use the main details of the three given sentences to form one complex sentence using connecting words such as; and, so, but, because, before, after, when, while, that, and then. In sentence production, students replace parts of the sentence with pronouns to prevent redundancy. They  need to consider which information is most important, hold information into memory, think about time sequence, and then manipulate the ideas into one sentence.  These skills are used in note taking as well as comprehending complex sentences in reading passages.

In Activity 2 the student is presented sentence examples. The students may have developed some of these while completing the first activity. One of the sentences does not have the same meaning as the other two or is an incorrect use of the conjunction.  The students are instructed to find the incorrect sentence. The answer is provided in a QR code in the lower right corner of the card  or by using the answer sheet. Students can correct the error sentence for additional practice.  Student are often motivated by using technology and appreciate the QR code. It means the cards can also be used for independent practice.

I hope you find these products useful and they free up your time from lesson planning. Happy Holidays



Traveling SLP, What is in your bag?

15 Jan


I  just finished a couple of weeks subbing as a middle school SLP.  I find  am still enjoying getting to know middle school students.  After so many years with elementary level students, it has been a nice change. It is one of the benefits of traveling.  It gives you the opportunity to change work environments.

As I started another subbing experience I got to thinking about which therapy items were most helpful on the first day when I don’t know the students and their goals.  The SLPs have been good at leaving plans for me but of course stuff happens.  For instance an app I needed required a password I didn’t know. Also I couldn’t find the assigned worksheet which was probably in front of my nose at the time. I found it the second day.  Between bell schedules, student schedules, and locating students it can be a lot to figure out that  first day.

I was left a folder of goals, data sheets,and worksheets which was very helpful. The goals were your typical ones about building various complex sentences and articulation mainly at the sentence level.  There were students building a dictionary using Tier II vocabulary.  There were also a few others with social communication goals and using AC to communicate.

There was  a note stating I could make changes and use what I wished. I appreciated that note because it gave me license to change things up a bit.  Student’s appreciate the newness a sub can bring and I usually am better with materials I know rather than reading directions a few minutes before students enter that 1st day. I find students are more cooperative if you are interactive with them.

I thought fellow SLPs would like to know what materials were in my bag that first day and how I used them. I try to travel light and make everything fit in a beach tote I own.  I also put my lunch in there because I often don’t know how much time is in the schedule to find any.  It is one less thing to worry about. So lets look in that bag.

Chelsea was making sure I packed my lunch. Can you tell that it is often a worry of hers?

In my bag I brought  my Go Fish Deck of descriptive snowmen.  Go Fish is one of those universal games good for all ages.  Adding a descriptive feature, increases the therapy value.  I am always surprised to find a few students who don’t know how to play.  This school has high poverty and a newcomer population so this may not be that surprising after all. The deck consists of a variety of snowmen that are all different but enough alike that students really need to work on describing them.

In the game of Go fish, they asked for snowmen producing complex descriptive sentences.  Some  also worked on articulation in phrases and sentence.  They particularly drilled r, s, and th in the word “with” as they said sentences such as, “Do you have the snowman with a blue hat, a striped scarf, and a carrot nose”.  They also drilled  sentences such as, “There is a snowman who has skates on his feet, and is skating.”  I provided a sentence frame for some students who needed an example to get started.  A few students were working on written sentences so I had them write it out as a separate exercise from the game.

You can print yourself out a deck of snowmen by finding them at Speaking of  in the Materials Exchange section, under thematic units and snowman game.  Click on the snowman below for a direct link to that section.

Many years ago I purchased a Dover Coloring Book called “Whats Wrong with this Picture by Anna Pomaska.  This is one of my prized possessions for a therapy material that is easy to carry . It can be used as a regular coloring book.  However, I have slipped pages into plastic sleeve covers so students can use dry erase markers for marking on the page and then they can be wiped off for the next group.   Students enjoy finding the things wrong in the pictures and they are good prompts for verbal production as well as written sentences.  I found that still sells this book. You will not regret having this in your bag. click on the picture below and it  will provide a direct link to Amazon.   I do not have any affiliation with Amazon and do not get anything from the purchase.

I also  brought an assortment of my cards from this web site and TPT.  I am finding that a lot of these cards also work for middle school.  I used the Tier II vocabulary cards heavily because they happen to be some of the same words they were putting in their dictionaries.

I paired these up with an old game called “Pig Mania”.  It is a dice type game in which you toss pigs and get a score depending on how they land. I believe this is now  being sold as “Pass the Pigs.” in many toy sections of stores. It added a little bit of incentive after each task card.

The students working on social skills used various apps and problem solving using a 5 point scale to rate behaviors.  Commercial materials were provided so I didn’t go into my bag although I did have my “Size of the Problem” with me.

So that rounded out my day and I was able to cover everyone with the things in my bag.

This post has been added to a link party of similar blogs.  Click on the button to see what else is out there.

Free Association Task Cards to Celebrate the New Year

27 Dec





I have been working on more categories of association task cards of late.  I thought my blog readers might enjoy having something new to start the year.   These are similar to the previous sets I have made but cover plants, land elements, and transportation vocabulary.

This is a sample set for you to try.  It has 12 cards and the complete set at TPT has 32.

I find this vocabulary to be more difficult for elementary and have you used it with the middle school population.  When you add them to the previous free sets you should have about 36 cards.  If you haven’t downloaded the others you can do a search for task cards and find the others.

As many of you know, one way to build vocabulary is to develop word association skills.  These are  task cards to help develop that skill.  When given a set of four words students compare and contrast  words to find which word  does not belong in  the set of four (the odd one out).  They then give a reason for their choice. This involves a higher level of thought process and awareness of word meanings beyond memorizing definitions.

A QRC code is  provided to explain the answer given.  Students can use this feature for self checking.   It is possible to have more than one answer although only one answer is provided.  You can download an  APP  on most mobile devices to scan and read the code. The reader is from

The cards also lend themselves to answering wh questions, and using negatives such as  does/doesn’t in sentences.  I also  use them for eliciting spontaneous speech when  practicing articulation.


I hope you enjoy the free download and have a Happy New Year.  Thank you to all who have purchased from my TPT store and helped cover the cost of the “In Spontaneous Speech Blog.”  I have gotten thanked from people in my travels and that always makes me feel like  it is worth while continuing.

You can find the TPT set here. 


Sports and Occupation Association Task Cards: Free Trial

22 Oct



A great way to build vocabulary is to develop word association skills. These cards are similar to the animal association cards but use sports and occupation vocabulary.   When given a set of four words students compare and contrast  words to determine which word  does not belong in  the set of four (the odd one out).  They then give their reason for their selection. This involves a higher level of thought process and awareness of word meanings beyond memorizing definitions.

The cards lend themselves to a variety of goals to include building vocabulary through word associations skills, answering wh questions, and using negatives such as  does/doesn’t in sentences.   They may also be used  for eliciting spontaneous speech when  practicing articulation at a conversation level. I am finding them appopriate for 5th through 8th grade.

I am posting a set of 12 cards for you to try out. Just click on the free trial button and it will bring you to the link for the free download.  If you find them useful, please consider purchasing the full set at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Your purchases help off set the cost of this blog.sports-thumbnail

free trial buttonThe full set at Teachers Pay Teachers consists of  a total of 48,  2 x 3 inch double sided cards; Included are 32 sports cards, and 16 occupation cards.   To make more durable cards print them on  card stock.  They are  double sided card with a front and back.  The front side provides the  word association task and the back side provides the answer.  Students may use the QRC code to get a confirmation of their reasoning. You can download an  APP  on most mobile devices to scan and read the code.

The apple button will bring you directly to the cards in TeacherPay Teachers.

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Free Trial Association Task Cards

31 Jul

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I recently added a new resource on Teachers Pay Teachers and as usual I made a trial version for my readers to try.  I used my association cards a lot last year and realized they really needed updating.  I decided to add pictures to make them more appealing.  I also made them double sided so that an answer could be given and QRC code could be added for reasoning.  This allows students to independently check their answers and  the use of technology can be  motivating.  The pictures are appropriate for older students so may be used beyond elementary age.

If you would like to try the free trial just click below.  free trial button                                    Association cards animal and householdtrialpdf

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School Sale starting tomorrow. If you would like the complete set please visit my store by clicking on the sale sign below or the cover at the top of this post.  You will be able to get them at a discount when you use the code.   I would really appreciate any comments you may have.


The Order of Things Comparative Task Cards

14 May


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My caseload includes  6th and 7th graders this year so I have had to dig out  activities for older students. These are a remake of comparative cards I have used in the past.  I have used them with my general education 4th and 5th graders as a speech task for articulation skills and they are able to do them.  My 6th and 7th grade language learners often need review of the vocabulary and the memory component is often a challenge. I like that they are direct instruction for what is needed in academics and the common core.

My orignal set of task cards only had printed words.  I decided it would be useful to provide answers so students can independently check them.  This expands the ability of using them with partners if you are teaching a small class.  Pictures bring some  eye appeal  and a bit of cuing even for the older students. I try to make the pictures appropriate for an older more sophisticated eye.  Bubble heads do not go over very big with my teens.

The premise of these cards is very simple. Four items are listed along  with a  descriptive term.  Students reorder the items according to the descriptive term.  It seems simple but actually requires quite a few skills.  They need to have knowledge of the vocabulary listed and descriptive details for measurement so comparisons can be made.  They also need to use their short term  memory in oder to change the order.  The task lends itself to thinking about comparative vocabulary and using er, and est word endings. If you want to test them out, click on the button below and you will get a set of 12 task cards to try out.

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The order of things free sample 

If you would like a full set, I have them listed on TPT

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Free Tier II Vocabulary Task Card Challenge

22 Mar

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Happy Spring everyone!  We have Spring break here so I finally have time to finish a project. I have been working on this one for a while and have tried out a version of these vocabulary cards with my 4th  through 6th graders.  I seem to have quite a few students with low vocabulary this year.  The Common Core State Standards put a strong emphasis on nonfiction, and informational text.  If they have difficulty with vocabulary it affects their comprehension.  The teachers are beginning to really notice with test preparation in full swing.

 I  had a student transfer in with a goal that referred to Tier II Vocabulary.    I decided to  investigated  so I could address his goal.   Tier II Vocabulary  turned out to be those  words that occur frequently in academic  text. Students may find these words when reading Science, Social Studies and English text   I wanted something that would make the most impact for my students and also have a  way to track progress.   I decided to make a list of words  from Tier II vocabulary lists and then use them in the contexts of short paragraphs.  This way I could also address comprehension and making inferences from text. There are two different activities. One involves describing the meaning of words and the other is answering comprehension questions.  One set requires students to find the answers from given answers and the other is answering the questions and referring to the answers.  The level of support can be quite flexible depending on how you cut and fold them.ccbutton

 The words used on my task cards are not a complete compilation and come from a variety of 3rd and 4th grade vocabulary lists.  I used what  made sense in the context  of the paragraphs I wrote.  I used a total of 106 words.  A few are used more than once and cover multiple meaning. I now can write a goal for teaching Ter II Vocabulary to 80% and measure it. I love making data collection simple. 

I made a trial set for you to try.  It gives you an idea of what they look like up trial button

If you find these fit your needs, there is a full set available on TPT,  just click the button below.

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Free Sample; Unexpected and Expected Behavior Task Cards

29 Apr

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I use Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking® curriculum with many of my students. One of the concepts that is explored in this curriculum is “I have thoughts about you and you have thoughts about me.” In other words, people are always thinking about each other and they may have comfortable or uncomfortable thoughts depending on their actions. This may affect how they treat individuals in the future. People want to be with people they are comfortable with and have good thoughts about. They may avoid those that don’t make them feel comfortable. Therefore being able to tell the difference between what is expected behavior in given situations and what is unexpected can help us when making and keeping our friends. You can find more information on her concepts at

I needed a good set of task cards to review actions that students may do or observe others do.  You may find them useful  if you are teaching from this curriculum. They are double sided with an unexpected behavior on one side and a matching expected behavior on the other side.

I put the cards in a draw bag. The students reached in and drew a card out, and placed it on the table.  They then decided if the side facing up was an expected behavior or unexpected.  They talked about how the actions make them feel. If the unexpected is presented first, students can talk about what they think the expected behavior would be on the other side.

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Students checked their answers by using the Top Secret UV light which I got at our book fair.  I put a U or and E in the box for them to check.  There is also a QR code for those who would prefer to use a scanner. My students find this motivating and they can self check if they are working in small table groups.

The draw bag is an easy thing to make.  I took a sleeve off an old sweater and sewed across the bottom.  The cuff makes a nice finished opening and the bag is stretchy.  It has got to be the easiest bag I have ever made.

In my TPT packet, there are 28 expected cards and 28 matching unexpected cards side by side.  They are meant to be printed on card stock, cut on the horizontal lines and folded back to make a double sided card.   I put a box on each card so I could write with my UV light pen a U or E in the box.  Students can light the answer up. I also put a QR code for those who like that option. The QR code is from When scanned it will read expected or unexpected to correspond to the side it is on.

I am putting 2 pages of the cards below for you to review as a freebie.  If you like them consider getting the full set at TPT.   Just click on the cover page button at the top  for a direct link to the product.  Your patronage covers the cost of this website and keeps it advertisement free, except for me I suppose.  I am trying to keep the commercial  aspect down and provide resources. I know most of us are on really tight budgets.


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Free Trial of How and Why Question Comprehension Cards

14 Mar

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I  have several students who are  answering  a  how question with a why response. Our students with language delays, autism, and 2nd language learners often have trouble with these skills.  “How” and “Why” questions are question forms that require a higher level of thinking and language skills to formulate responses.  The students often need the ability to problem solve or take on another perspective when answering them.  When looking through  the Language Arts section of the  “Common Core Standards”  I discovered this would be a skill they would need. Like many of you, I am rethinking what is most valuable to my students as we try to align curriculum with the “Common Core Standards”.  I made  task cards to specifically address  how and why question forms from a  given text.

Students  may require some direct teaching  on the differences between how and why questions.  How question  have  a few variations.  It may require a student to tell how something is done in steps, how something is done descriptively,  the amount  of something,  or state of being such as  with “How are you feeling?”.  The answer may contain an adjective or adverb.

Answering why questions  often involves finding the antecedent or cause  of an event.  The answer recalls  facts that happened before an event.  For example the question  “Why did the dog dig a hole?” He dug a hole because he smelled a bone under the ground.   Compare this to the  how question.  “How did he get the bone?”  He dug a hole with his paws and grabbed it with his mouth.

Answers to how question often  relate an action and possible  steps. These response can seem to be quite similar  to a student.  For instance, look at these questions and answers. “Why did the lights go out in the storm?” or “ How did the electrical wires get knocked down in the storm?”  The answers, “The electrical wire was knocked down in the storm because a branch hit it.” and  “A strong wind blew a branch off the tree and it hit  the electrical wire which was torn down.”  They seem interchangeable except the because is used in response to the why question and how elicits a series of events. Our language learners will shorten their  response to, “A branch fell off the tree”, for both questions.

The  packet I am posting on Teachers Pay Teachers  has  30, 3 inch by 3 inch cards with 3 questions on most cards.  In the packer there are 4 cards that deal with how many questions and amounts.  26 cards deal with the variations of how and why listed above. There are 17 cards that also contain a question on  vocabulary  within the story context.  This provides opportunity for students to derive word meanings from the text and verbalize it.  You can find them here or by clicking on the picture button at the top of the page which takes you to TPT and also gives a preview.

I made a free trial packet for my readers.  You can get it by clicking on the button. free trial button

There are 3 pages of cards for a total of 9.  You can see if they are something of value for your students.  I have been using them with my 3rd through 6th graders.  I try to keep the picture cues meaningful and appropriate for middle school range.  I  have a lot of boys and they don’t tolerate things that look cute. I make them double sided so they have possible answers available.  This helps when I have groups and it is motivating for them to flip them over and see if they got it right.