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

A Goal Mind!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on September 30, 2013
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So September is here and almost gone. I have started my scheduled, tweaked it and swallowed a few aspirin but generally it is working out. I just wish I had more time to work with my 41 boys and 9 girls.  As some of you may remember I work with  K-3rd grades with a very diverse population (98%). So many of the students are coming to school with limited English, limited vocabulary base etc. but they all come with big smiles, energy and an eagerness to learn.  The wonderment has not vanished from their eyes and I hope to keep the spark there. And that’s why I come back each day.

This month we learned about each other and fought off pirates. Who knows what next month will bring?!!


You can find the All About Me sheet here.

pirate w  p boat

Check out an earlier post on pirates here.

Now to the Goal Mind!


At my school the teachers  work on Hopes and Dreams with their students. Our principal also had staff think about our own Hopes and Dreams for the year. I decided I wanted to work on helping students understand the reasons they come to speech. All staff had to create an apple with their own Hopes and Dreams- these will be placed on a tree in the school hallway.

Mine looked like this: I used the site Tagxedo to create the apple with goal words and used the Skitch app to add my hope and dream statement.

apple 2

So now that I have my Hopes and Dreams I needed to do something about it.  I knew most of my students needed pictures or visuals rather than words. I used Custom Boards.  I created these with the students so they could help decide on the symbols.  I printed these and put them in clear sheet protectors and use as “place mats” for each student to use in their sessions.

Here are some examples:

I only have 3 articulation only students-  this is what we decided to use for goals. I kept it simple. I want them to know their target sounds. We will talk about levels in therapy sessions ( words, sentences, etc.).


These are examples of what we used for some of our language and social goals.

image image

My hope and dream for you is a schedule that works and allows time to dream up some fun ideas to share.

Now go put your own twist on these ideas!


Pirate invasion!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 4, 2012
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I am finding that I really enjoy doing units of fun in therapy. To me a unit of fun is choosing a theme and pulling in all my books, games, apps and whatever else fits and then doing therapy as usual…sort of.  I tend to stick with a unit for at least two weeks. I found one week was too short when you look at it through my students’ perspective. I am lucky to be full-time in one building but my students may only be in my room 1 or 2 times each week.  I see some of them in other rooms too. So if you do the math that’s not a lot of exposure to a theme’ofun.  Besides once I start a theme I keep finding more “stuff” treaures that I can add.

Anyway ….

Me speech room has been taken hostage by PIRATES! We’ve been practicing our meanest “ARRGs” and “AYE’s.”  It started on my door. I took pictures using the Pirate Ninja app (.99). You take a picture and use the app to add a pirate hat. This was a problem solving activity involving making choices- do you want to smile, make a pirate face, look mean, etc. then they had to choose which pirate hat (3 options) they liked the best. For my door I printed off their pictures and glued them on construction paper. I then added pirate sayings. Here are the ones I used in Word format so you can make changes or add to them: pirate bubbles or in PDF format: pirate bubbles pdf. I used a pirate hat cut out at the top of the door that I found on another site: Pirate Hat

Then I realized I would not be able to put all my speech pirates on the door so…

This is the white board in my room. I am not an artist so I did a quick search and found how to draw a pirate ship here. I used brown tag board, vanilla construction paper and a brown marker to outline.  As my ship began to fill up I added a dinghy and attached it with several pieces of yarn that I twisted to look like a rope. I added a few gold coins, a ring and treasure map. I found the shark, octopus/squid a whale and water in the Pirate Puzzles app (.99). I did a screenshot of each, printed and cut them out. There are still a few stowaways I need to add.

While checking to see what to call a group of pirates I came across two options: tango and crew. I like a tango of pirates- can’t you just imagine that! Think Jonny Depp…yah now you got it me matey!

Here are some of the materials I used and displayed for the unit.

Here are some of the activities: The pillowcases came from a set of 8 that I found at party store on clearance. I used these in a group wih my OT. The students worked in pairs. Not only were they working on fine motor skills but a whole lot of cooperation was going on!  The pirate paintng book I found at the dollar store. The paint is on the bottom of each page and the kids wet it with a cotton swab to color. I used this to work on following directions. Warning: 5 & 6 year olds tend to tip paper cups of water which led to another problem solving task!


There is a wealth of materials about pirates so it is an easy unit to find materials. I love the inexpensive materials found at Perkilou Products. Here is a link to the pirate materials but be sure to checkout the freebies and other resources. Pirate Set You can see one of the game boards in the pirate painting picture above.

One more freebie for you: This is game I made to go with the pirate theme: pirate game

Apps: I am not listing prices as they may have changed. There are lots of Pirate apps out there. These are a few I won, were free or purchased.

Pirate Ninja – this is what I used for turning me students into pirates

Find the Differences

Penelope the Purple Pirate

Pirates band of misfits movie app

Pirates Cove


I’m Going to be a Pirate

Pirate Treasure Hunt

Pirate Chat

Pirate PHD

Pirate Scribble

Motleys HD

Treasure Kai & the lost gold of shark island

Pirate Jokes

Huggy Bird HD

Pirate’s Rope