Week three is here for the challenge brought to us by Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Sparkling in Second Grade.  This week, the challenge is to Make Your Masterpiece.  I have a huge list of products that I am recreating (different fonts, graphics, etc...) so that I can share with others.  The various Dramatic Play Sets I pieced together and created over the years to use in therapy is towards the top of the list.  The one I targeted for this challenge was my Purr-fect Communication Pet Shop!

I have found that Dramatic Play is a very useful tool to have in my therapy bag of goodies. 

 Dramatic Play is just that PLAY!  The kids do not seem to care that I am using this free form play as a way to target a variety of their goals and to address multiple needs. 

 Diversity in Addressing Needs!  I love that it allows me to target so many areas such as receptive identification, labeling, categories, basic sentence structures (verbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc..), following multiple step directions, requesting, asking and answering questions, social skills, articulation, phonology, fluency shaping techniques, basic math concepts, sensory input issues, and so much more! This is a WONDERFUL tool to use when working with mixed groups and Early Intervention. 

 It's NOT just for the Little Ones.  For older elementary kiddos, parts of the Dramatic Play set can still be used to motivate without getting too “babyish.”  For example, the vocabulary cards can be used for description tasks, articulation, fluency shaping techniques, and generating more complex sentence structures. The price lists can be used to target more complex math skills by targeting language in word problems.  The barrier games are a wonderful tool for getting students to target narration.

For one of my other sets (Camp Communication), my older kids just enjoy getting away from the table and sitting in the tent while working on their goals. I think it gives them an excuse to sit on the floor. 

Movement!  “Movement can be an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, and (3) enhance learner motivation and morale” (Jensen, 2005). Research over the last 20 years has demonstrated a strong connection between Movement, Learning, and Language Development. All the more reason to support getting the kiddos out of their seats and engaged in role-play. 

I’m really excited about getting these Dramatic Play sets into my store! My kids have really enjoyed them over the years and I’m excited to use my updated sets in my own speech room this upcoming year. Therefore, I was highly motivated to use the Make Your Masterpiece Challenge to get it done! 

Be sure to go back and visit our hosts of this challenge to see what Masterpieces that others have been creating!

Jensen, E.  (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Edition. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Week two of the challenge brought to us by Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Sparkling in Second Grade is to dream and to DREAM BIG! No problem!
Before I began this new adventure, I knew it would be a LOT of work!  Thankfully, I’m no stranger to hard work and have spent the majority of the past 20 years working 2+ jobs (full + half+ mom, full + full, full + full-time grad student, or full + half + full time student) at a time! Plus, I have found since I was making materials anyways to meet the special needs of the students on my caseload, I am just putting an extra twist on it to make it more commercial (and meet all copyright requirements).  Since I had finally settled down to just 2 enjoyable jobs (school based SLP at one school site and mom to a special little miracle!), I had to ask myself a few questions prior to jumping in.  First, what is it that I want to happen from joining the TpT Seller Community?  Second, how can I make this work for my family and how will I go about finding the time?  This challenge is ALL about the first question that I had to entertain when setting up the blog and shop.  
FAMILY- There is a lot I want to give my family.  Here are examples of two such things. 
  • A Childhood Home for My Daughter:  I grew up in a house that my father built for us.  It was a home literally filled with my daddy’s love for his family.  Some of my earliest memories are walking up to the property our home would be built on and having my daddy lay it out and walk me around the framework to tell me what room would be where and sharing his vision of our families future.  I even remember helping him while he was working on the plumbing or electrical by holding the flashlight for him as we crawled under the house.  I grew up in that house.  I played with the same children my whole life and established friendships that over 30 years later are still in place.  I want that for my daughter!  She has always lived in a rental (and not necessarily the best parts of town, either).  She is getting to the age where she wants to have sleep overs, and I want to be able to give her those cherished childhood memories in a home that is safe to do so in (neighborhood, space to play, etc...)
  • Family Vacations:  Time spent together exploring new places would be a dream come true!  First on that list is taking my daughter to Disneyland or Disney World while it is still the most magical place on the Earth for her!  However, I love to travel so I would like my daughter to see different parts of the world also. I want her to see all the beauty that the world possesses and learn from different cultures and experiences.  As an added bonus, it would be nice to take a romantic stroll with my husband in an exotic location, or laugh with him over some crazy adventure we have as family. 
FUTURE-  I have to plan ahead for all of our futures.  My daughter will need college funds, we need retirement, and I would like to help do that by opening a private practice one day so that I can determine my own hours, spend more time with my family, and volunteer in her classes as she grows
DEBT-  We all have it and although I never expect to be fully out of debt, I would appreciate if I could pay off my student loans, husband’s student loans, and daughter’s medical expenses.   Those would be great places to start!  I do not need to live an extravagant life.  I would just like to live a simple life with the people I love. 
GROWTH- I feel that as I create more products and expand beyond my current comfort zone, I grow as a professional.  This allows me to give more to the kiddos on my caseload and their families also!  Since this adventure started 3 months ago, I have also been corresponding, collaborating, and building friendships with some amazing ladies within my professional field.  They have been helpful, insightful, and encouraging.  I look forward to meeting several at the upcoming 2015 TpT conference next month!
GIVE-  I want to give, give, and give! Yes, I have typed a lot about giving to my immediate family (daughter, husband, self).  However, I also want to give to others.  I want to give back to my parents, grandmother, and in-laws who have all helped our family over the years.  I want to give back to the students’ on my caseload and their families that have taught me so much, and I want to give back to my profession. My hope is that the materials I create are able to reach out and help so many others within my field, their students, and the families they serve.
I LOVE what I do!  I LOVE being a Speech-Language Pathologist! I think it is an amazing thing when a child is able to tell their parents that they love them for the first time or an adolescent who still had his needs anticipated is able to independently have his wants/needs known and expressed with the use of alternative-augmentative communication. This profession does so much to change the lives of others and I love that I can be a small part of helping to make a difference!  
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