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

“Insecting” things are happening…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 20, 2014
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One of my last posts was about our Beach Theme and this is my part 2 of our three units to end the school year. It’s all about bugs.

 I wrote about bugs as part of a nature unit in an earlier post that you can read HERE.

Here are a few new things that we added this year. bug 1  bug 2

1. Bug vocabulary – I created worksheets using boardmaker.

2. We made an art project with the bug worksheets. This was a way to target, following directions, sequencing, problem solving, prepositional concepts, etc. You will need:

  • Construction paper for the background (I used blue) and green for grass (draw a line to cut up to)
  • Trees- some students drew their own, some colored tongue depressors or a strip of construction paper and glued them on
  • Log- same as the trees- I did break the tongue depressors in half
  • Flowers- some students drew their own and others used the flowers from our bug sheet.
  • Glue the bugs on the tree, under the log, under the grass, on the grass, in the sky, etc.
  • We glued the extras on the back along with the instructions. from the sheets.
  • You can use the bug sheets I created: bug 1   and bug 2


3. We used bug capsules to”grow” a bug. I have found these at Target, Dollar stores,etc.

bug capsules

4. We wore bug masks (from Target dollar spot) while exploring our bug area.

bug collage

5. We even ate bugs!!! ( I bought these on clearance after Halloween but there are often gummy bugs in the candy aisles.)

bugs to eat

6. We read a lot of buggy books and played with some buggy apps.

Here are a few we tried:

 Bugs and Buttons

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Bubbles

Bugs and Numbers


Bug Games for iPad

Sago Mini Bug Builder

Butterfly Farm

Insect Coloring for kids-lite

Forest Insect Pests in North America

7. Images and Videos- there are a lot online to view about bug life cycles and more. Check out those from National Geographic  or  Science Channel

So now add your own buggy twists!


Tell grandma he REALLY is saying “truck”

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 3, 2014
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Many times as a speech language pathologist I have worked with children who are very difficult to understand.  I have even acted as an interpreter for testing with one kiddo so I could help his teacher understand his responses. When they are little some of the sound errors are cute and we may smile and know that they will outgrow it just as fast as their clothes size changes. Maybe you have worked with a child who had difficulty with consonant clusters for /r/ or /s/ and the substitutions can be interesting at times. Hence the title of this blog posting. I have had a few who used /f/ for /tr/ which caused a few gasps from grandparents or other relatives. Those are times I counsel parents and teachers on how to “interpret” and react. It is also a time to remind parents to let grandma know that he/she really is saying “truck.”

I do not know of many books that are written from a child’s perspective who has difficulty with articulation. I have used Hooway For Wodney Wat but that’s the only one I have on my bookshelf.  Now I can add a new book “The Mouth With a Mind of Its Own.”


This is book was written by Pat Mervine . The name may be familiar as she also created the website Speaking of Speech.

Here is a little synopsis:

Matthew is a little boy and his family thinks the way he talks is cute. He is excited to start school and then the difficulties begin.  Matthew can’t say his name correctly so his teacher ends up calling him Mah Yoo.  The story continues with Matthew meeting and working with the speech language pathologist. And not to give the ending away but if you too are an SLP I think you can imagine it.

This 32 page book is one you will want to add to your bookshelf.  There are not many books about speech difficulties geared for kids. Matthew let’s us experience life with a speech disorder through his perspective. It’s a wonderful resource for adults and kids. It could be used to introduce a child beginning speech therapy. I believe it would be a great book for a classroom lesson on differences and acceptance. It’s also here just in time for Better Hearing & Speech Month.

You can order it in print or kindle editions on Amazon  or get an autographed print copy with free shipping from Pat’s website: Pat Mervine’s books.

How will you add your own twist? Let me know.



Disclosure: I was provided a preview digital copy of this book but the review is my honest opinion.

Jump in the water’s just speechy!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 2, 2014
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My last post showed how I planned to end the school year with 3 units combined.   I put a sign on my door that states this is Meester’s Resort! Check it out: Meester’s Resort

I promised I would elaborate on each unit so here is our Speech Beach area.


I have added a few more items and we have been working away on our speech and language goals while soaking up some sun!

Here’s a quick inventory of what’s on our beach.

1. Sand – I bought this sand from Brookstone. You can read about it here: Beach Sand  The brown paper also represents our beach and helps keep the sand off the carpet. Here we are burying pictures of ourselves. They were first working on he, she, I, has, have, her, his, we sentences by putting some of the beach items on the pictures (He has a shell. I have a dophin. We have fish.)


2. Bucket full of shells and coral. If you don’t have your own collection you can buy a bag at the dollar stores

3. Lounge chairs- I purchased these at the dollar spot at Target a few years ago. I have added sunglasses to the chairs (also from the dollar spot). We can’t play at the beach without our shades!


4. Giant Sand dollar- I made this with my granddaughter out of styrofoam. It turned out pretty cute. You can find directions to make this HERE .


5. Killer whale – this is the background picture that I purchased a dollar store.

6. Tub full of sea creatures- some from the dollar store and others from vacations.

7. Fishing poles with magnets- we catch sea creatures, fish and articulation or vocabulary cards (with attached paperclips).

8. The kids were noticing there wasn’t any “real” water.  So I got some waterbeads (of course from a dollar store) and created our ocean water minus the salt. This time there were blue, green and clear beads so I combined them to make our lake/ocean.  I can hide sea creature erasers, laminated articulation or vocabulary pictures, etc. Or we can just use our hands and dive in!

beads  beads 2

9. In one of the coolers I have more beach games and books.


10. I made vocabulary pages. I have each student take a pretest to see what they can label. When we finish playing at the beach I will give them a post test and see how many they can label. Plus I’ll see if they can provide details about each item too.  ocean words 1   ocean words 2

11. I just bought a plastic table cloth from the dollar store. I’m thinking of games I could play with this….hmmm. Maybe cut it into game boards and toss pom poms (pretend they are beach balls) onto the pictures. We could make it a tic tac toe game. Well who knows what twists   we will come up with!


I wrote about the Ocean/Beach theme before so check it out for some more ideas:  Can you SEA me now?

Now it’s your turn to add your own twist!

Leave a comment on how you may have used a beachy theme.