Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Open the door for BHSM

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 17, 2013
Tags: ,

May is busy and I have not done a lot for Better Hearing and Speech Month this year. In the past I have had poster contests, had parents & teachers  in to observe sessions, posted facts about communication in the hallways, did presentations in classrooms on hearing and voice, etc.  and even had students present facts during the school’s morning announcements. Now before you think wow Meester is really a super fantastic out of this world SLP I did these things over the 35+ years and not all at one time.  I have gotten much more low-key due to the demands of the end of the school year.

This year after taking down my lament to Mother Nature I decided to put up the BHSM poster from the ASHA Leader.  Looking around my speech room I realized I could just move my posters that  Erik Raj had created. Thanks Erik!  My students always like to see themselves on my door so I did a quick adaptation from BHSMStudentFactSheet.  I used the Popplet app to create the student’s quotes- Popplet Lite (free) or Popplet (4.99).

Here is the result:


This is another fun poster on my door that I found somewhere…. sorry I can’t give credit to who it belongs to.

super power

The quote I loved the most was this one: Remember my post about Losing your Marbles….


Now add your own twist!


PS- I am still hoping to meet my fundraising goal. Here is the post about Helping Paws or a direct link to my Fundraising Page.

A favor for a great cause

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 13, 2013
Tags: ,


I only fundraise for one organization. I donate to many, buy from kids selling for school and of course Girl Scout cookies. But I only request donations for one… Helping Paws.

I trained a service dog, Gabby. She was with me for almost 3 years before she was matched with Angie. Gabby was trained to help Angie open doors, retrieve dropped items, turn on/off lights, carry items, tug off socks and more. The best was training her to snuggle by resting her chin on my shoulder.  Gabby was a gentle soul who helped Angie become more independent.

I brought Gabby everywhere I went while I was training her. I even brought her to school. She was like a therapy dog for staff and students. On days I didn’t bring her the kids were disappointed. Gabby even helped my students improve on their speech goals. When it was time for her to graduate the kids made her a special blanket to take with her.

It was a wonderful experience.  It was bittersweet to see Gabby leave. Yet knowing she was ready to do the job she was trained to do was heart healing.  Gabby and Angie bonded and became a team. When I visited Angie, Gabby was excited to see me and I got my snuggle fill. Gabby worked with Angie for 8 years before she started having her own health issues. Gabby has since crossed the rainbow bridge and left us missing her.

I am sharing this in the hopes you have enjoyed my blog and the free ideas and materials. If you are able I would appreciate a donation to Helping Paws.

My fundraising link: Cindy Meester’ Fundraising Page for Helping Paws

hp 1   help   helpi

If you would like more information about this organization follow this link: Helping Paws

I will be at the Wag Walk and Run volunteering and helping to run the dog contests. What a sweet sweet job. Wag Walk & Run Event

Thank you!


Are you losing your marbles? How about a giggle or two?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 10, 2013
Tags: ,

This time of the school year can be busy, rushed and feels like you are losing your marbles. We need to try and keep our resting faces like the yes faces below and not so much the not face. I’m trying to measure the end of the year in giggles and not how many IEPs or reports I need to complete.

Say yes to this….                                                     and not this….

Surprised Woman Man Laughing               mad 3

So here are few things that have gone on in my twisted speech room that have made me smile.

  • Me:  Do you have a dog?   Student:  No but I have a sister.
  • ~~~
  • We were working on the story “If You Give a Dog a Donut” and working on comprehension, predicting, vocabulary etc. The kindergarten was having some difficulties and finally stated “Please no more sample questions!”
  • ~~~
  • Student:  You look beautiful. – Last week he told me to “Get out of my face.”
  • ~~~
  • Me (Meester):  Are you thinking about the group?  Student:  My face is in Meester channel (and then he drew an “M” with his finger on the front of his shirt)
  • ~~~
  • Me:  You like spaghetti but not lasagna?  Student:  Yep I just have one taste bud.
  • ~~~
  • Me:  What book did you check out?   Student:  Ponies- My Dad’s gonna have a baby and it’s a pony!
  • ~~~
  • Student: I’m teaching my baby how to be an adult. Me: Wow! What do you need teach them?  Student: How to watch TV.
  • ~~~
  • Student:  Wow Meester you really know your stuff.
  • ~~~
  • Me: (working on emotions/feelings using pictures) How is he feeling?  Student:  Medium
  • ~~~
  • We had been working on the days of the week. I realized it was too difficult for the student so we focused on what today was (MONDAY). We sang it and we clapped it and we watched videos and we chanted “today is Monday” and more for at least 15 minutes.  At the end of the session:    Me: Today is….  Student:  Saturday    Me: I wish it was too…


Now a marble activity that will surely bring a few more giggles your way!

I  had saved a marble activity from News-2-You several years ago.  It was a great activity to work on concepts, turn taking, problem solving plus have fun! We did a lot with social skills, fine motor, motor planning, following directions (verbal and visual), and more. I’m an SLP who often rolls (get it!) with what the kids do or say in our sessions so there are often twists to our sessions.

I used this activity with almost all of my students. As an SLP we know how to adapt and modify to fit the needs of our caseload. My articulation groups were more independent and I could monitor carryover of their sounds. My students in our autism room needed more prompts and guiding to work on this activity but they could do it!

We had a few issues knowing what was inside the circle and outside of the circle.


We followed directions on how to set up the marbles.

photo 2   5

We shared a few giggles and lots of fun.


We kept the marbles that were hit out of the circle on the white board shelf. A good lesson learned why we don’t keep them on the floor when you are moving around the circle! Don’t worry there was no blood or broken bones.


We used the cards to put the directions in order and the visuals helped us set up the game too.  Here is a copy for you to use: Marble Game Pictures

I guess there are “real rules” for playing marbles but we did not really follow them. One of my students had actually been in a marble tournament so we were able to compare how we played vs. what he did in his tournament. IF the word cheating came up we then talked about what we should allow or not. Throwing was not allowed an all the kids were able to flick the marble in their own way.

Some apps with marbles: There are plenty but playing with a bag of marbles from the dollar store and a masking taped circle was a lot more fun!

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Marble Mixer

Plunk the marble game

So take these ideas and add your own twist! Just don’t lose your marbles!


Call it May…be?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 1, 2013
Tags: ,

It is May 1st. It is May day. If our kids want to put treats on someone’s door step they will need to put on their winter boots and coats. It’s May 1st and it is snowing … again here in balmy Minnesota (insert fake smile with chattering teeth.)  Plus we are having indoor recess!!!!  So that is why I decorated my speech room door like this today….

photo 1

photo 2

I am having my students send text messages to Mother Nature today. You never know it could help!

Here’s how it works:

1. New messsage TO: Mother Nature

2. We discuss what/who is Mother Nature. Each child decides what message they want to send and I type it in.

3. Press send and hope for the best!

Here are a few samples:

collage 2

So far Mother Nature has not sent a text back. May…be she is busy.

Now go put your own twist on this!