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

There Was a Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice

Pat Mervine creator of the web site Speaking of Speech has written another book. This one is titled “There was a speech teacher who swallowed some dice.”


You may be familiar with books like “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.” There are many different books with this same premise that I utilize in my therapy sessions a lot. Now I have a new one to add to my collection and hopefully you will too!

The book follows the same story line as many of the “I know an old lady who…” books.  But the twist I love is the items are all eaten by a speech therapist!  She eats dice and a variety of other therapy materials.  I don’t want to spoil your dinner the ending but your students will eat it up! The book includes an activity for a speech scavenger hunt and descriptions of what an SLP may use in therapy sessions.

You can gobble up purchase the book on Amazon or from Pat’s website.

I plan on adding my own twists by creating pictures to match the items “swallowed” in the book using my Custom Boards app. The pictures can then be used to retell the story, sequence, play matching  or a go fish game. I’m sure my students will be eating out of my hand when we use this book!


Now it is your turn to add your own twists to this new fun book!


Disclosure: I was provided a digital download to proof and review. The comments are all mine.




S’More fun in our speech room…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on June 4, 2014
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I posted earlier about combining three of my theme units to end the school year. We have been enjoying visiting the Meester Resort.

I shared what we did for our Beach Theme and Bug Theme. Now on to part 3…. it’s time to do a little camping!


I have added a few more items to our scene. I put real paddles, binoculars, fishing poles, tackle box and a toy lantern.

If you read one of my past posts you can see some of things we did HERE.  Now for the twists I added this year….

1.  We made binoculars out of TP tubes and dollar store duct tape. We wrapped the duct tape once around the tubes. Concepts worked on: next to, middle, around, etc. You could add a yarn loop to hang it around your neck. We explored our camping area and our vocabulary pictures using our binoculars. We compared our binoculars to a real set. This is the sheet I sent home: binocular letter home

      image       image

 2. I taped pictures of a canoe and a kayak to the coolers. Now we could “paddle” around and get a different view of the resort and look for wildlife. It was so fun spotting loons, bears, fish jumping, deer, moose and more from our boats! We compared the how the paddles or oars were different.  This was a fun way to work on joint attention and imaginative play.

3. We learned a lot of camping/nature vocabulary.  We used our binoculars to spot pictures after taking turns giving clues.  I used the vocabulary pictures to do a pretest and post test. These are the vocabulary pictures I used: camping 1     camping 2

4. I taped pictures of hikers on the wall. We used sticks, long rulers, walking sticks (mine from home) to go on hikes.

5. I  had pictures of  kids in sleeping bags in the tent. We pretended it was night and “crawled” into our sleeping bags (real ones and we also used a blanket). We listened to night sounds (a CD and our imagination).

6. You can find a lot of lessons and ideas at :  We used the apps and a Chipper book.


7. Making S’mores… if you want to make real ones at school you can microwave your marshmallows for a few seconds. It’s fun to watch them expand. Or you could use marshmallow fluff. Or if you can only have healthy snacks then you can make pretend ones. Check out the picture (at top of page) of the campfire… notice our marshmallow (cotton balls).

8. We used a fishing game that I created you can find it here: and a fishing guide sheet: fishing vocab page.

9. We used magnetic fishing poles to catch articulation word cards (just add a paper clip) and other items. There are a number of fishing games from Super Duper that we used too.

9. I used all the activities to target student goals in both articulation and language. You can do the same skill practice but just add a camping twist.  For example: I used camping words that contained the target sound(s) for students. If they were working on sentences we paired their target word with a camping word. If the student was working on /r/ and the target word was red we used it in a sentence about a red sleeping bag.

Now it’s your turn to add your own twists to these ideas!


I know many of you are done with school. This is my last week before summer vacation!

 I’m ending the year at school by helping pass out free RIF books to students! Always a good way to end the year in a costume!

The Paper Bag Princess and Ms Frizzle are ending the year with big smiles!


“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.





Don’t bug us when we are camping at the beach….

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 17, 2014
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There are not that many school days left and I wanted to use some more of my theme units. So…. I decided to merge three themes into one and use them until the end of the school year in June.

Bugs   +   Camping   +   Beach   =   Fun way to end the school year

So welcome to our bugs


and camping …..


and our beach!


Sit on our coolers and join in the fun…


I’ll do separate blogs about the adventures you can experience in each area. So stay tuned and in the mean time grab your bug spray, beach towel, favorite beverage and get ready to add your own twists!


P.S. This is what it looked like at my home yesterday…. spring disappeared.  Just another balmy day in MN.


It’s a little nuts and bolts around here…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 11, 2014
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It’s that time of the year where hair is being pulled as deadlines are looming. So you may feel like you’ve lost a few nuts and bolts. I have a solution… just collect them and make a robot or two. I posted about robots a few years ago. Check it out: Robots

My robot parts were safely stored away and sadly forgotten until this week. As I was bringing two kindergarteners to my room one put his hood over his head- we said he looked like a robot. And ding ding ding I remembered by box of nuts and bolts.! So I pulled it out and we had a lot of fun this week.

We made short robots.            We made TALL robots.

2            5

And generally had fun following directions and sharing. We put parts on top, in the middle, on the side, behind and at the bottom. We even  gave our robots names and special powers.

3   photo 3   photo 1   4

Check out my earlier posting to get more information on how to create your own box of nuts and bolts: Robots

So now after you gather your nuts and bolts add your own twist to the fun!

Have fun and let me know what twists you add!


PS- Please if you have even one dollar you can pay it forward and help support a great project from Mobile Education Store: Crack the Books



Pay it forward….

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 8, 2014
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You’ve probably heard about someone paying for the person’s order in a fast food drive thru.  It’s a random act of kindness and often gets passed on in the drive thru line. So today I am passing on a way we can pay it forward to a great app developer.

Kyle Tomas created many apps for Mobile Education Store. He has always been generous with gifting app codes. Now he has a new kickstarter project. This project is something that I believe in and would hope it reaches it goal. Check out it out: Kyle’s kickstarter project.

There have been many bloggers who have reviewed the Crack the Book series so I am going to direct you to one of the reviews by Activity Tailor: Crack the books review.



This series is amazing. It can adjust to each readers level. Crack the Books fosters a lifelong desire for reading by featuring rich, audio-visual elements and interactive activities to help students understand difficult concepts. The series is designed to help students of all reading capabilities, from those with special needs to those with academic gifts, become better and more confident readers.

Please visit Mobile Education Store’s Kickstarter campaign and view its goals to fund the next generation of digital books. There is a short video right at the top of the campaign page that I encourage you to watch. It will give you a great sense of what these e-books are all about. Your support will ensure “Crack the Books” will be available to reach and inspire all students.

Once again you can view the video and learn more about the project here: Crack the books

Thanks for following my blog and considering this opportuntiy to pay it forward!


I’m a guest blogger… Check. It. Out.

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 19, 2014
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If you haven’t been on The Dabbling Speechie blog you are missing a lot of great ideas and information. Check out my guest blogging stint on her site: Guest Blog on the dabbling speechie!

A sneak peek at what I wrote about:


And of course add your own twist!


Polar bear twist

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 4, 2014
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I think polar bears are beautiful animals. I love to help kid learn facts about them. But I’m really tired of the same thing and was looking for a twist. One of my students and I checked out some books about polar bears  from our media center.  We gathered the usual books with cute pictures and fun polar bear facts. I refused to even look for the Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear book.  As we looked through the books one really caught my attention it is called Irving and Muktuk- Two Bad Bears by Daniel Pinkwater. There is a series of books with these characters.  The story follows the two bears who crash the blueberry muffin festival year after year. They are trying to steal as many muffins as they can. They disguise themselves in their vain attempts to get muffins.

So then my twisted brain came up with the following plan.


1. Read the book with the students- work on comprehension, wh questions, vocabulary, inferencing, articulation, compare/contrast, predicting, sequencing, expected/unexpected behaviors, problem solving, cause/effect, perspective taking (what were those bears thinking!) etc.

2. I found how to draw polar bear directions on line and printed some of them off.  I gave each student a marker and a recyled paper (reduce, reuse recycle!). They chose which polar bear they wanted to draw. This worked on sequencing as they needed to follow each step. You can find the site I used HERE.

3. The next time we reviewed the main idea of the story and talked about how the bears disguised themselves. Then they came up with how they would disguise their bears. I did not let anyone see the other students bears. And only one student came up with the same idea (Batman). I encouaged him to think of a new one and he did.

4. We used microsoft word clip art and a google image search to find  pictures that would work with their costume/disguise ideas. Lots of problem solving and thinking about what pieces they would need for the disguise. The disguises were taped on so they could be lifted and show that it really was a polar bear. I think this one is my favorite.

baby 1 baby 2

5. I created a banner for our  blueberry muffin festival wall with materials from the supply room. I also printed out pictures of the ways the people traveled to the event- snowmobile, snow shoes, skis, small plane and dog sled.  I cut some blue tag board to create the ground and sprayed it with fake snow. Of couse I printed out muffins! Here are my signs Blueberry Muffin Festival    what do you see     small muffins     vocabulary pics


6.  I used post it notes to write the vocabulary words we learned: snow mobile, snowshoes, cross country skiing, small plane, dog sled, festival, muffin, captured and disguise. These were placed on our blueberry festival wall and the kids could match the words with the pictures.

7. I took pictures of all the disguised polar bears and created a book uisng Custom Boards app. You can see our book here- be sure to check out our surprise ending found in part 2: Muffin Book part 1    Muffin Book part 2

And yes we did learn some polar bear facts along the way but that wasn’t really the plan. I guess some kids are just curious!

So now it’s your turn to add your own twist!


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