Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chain Letter Link-Up

In case you missed it, Teach Speech 365 had a great idea for the SLP blogging community to connect!  She started a Chain Letter Link-Up (you can read the first post here).  To start, she interviewed four SLP bloggers (including me).  We each provided a FREEBIE to go along with our interviews.

You'll have to follow the link above to get the freebie I offered, but here's a peek:





Now...to continue the chain!


Crazy Speech World


1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one
Jenn Alcorn

2. When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in June of this year.  I had been following speech blogs for a while and have always made my own stuff, so I thought I would join in the fun!  It has become a huge part of my life and I love it!

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
Depends on the day :)  I love working with children with ASD, as I did an autism program in grad school...they bring me the most joy with the simplest things. K-2 is probably my favorite age range.

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
Holy moly.  A lot...probably about 15-20 hours a week.  It's like having a part time job that I adore!

5. What's your favorite topic to create materials for?
I work in themes, so I always make materials for those.  My favorites so far has been the ones I made to go with children's books.

6. What's the best thing about blogging? 
Connecting with other SLPs all over the world...Sharing my passion...and that it has made me a better SLP and I am so grateful and thankful for that.  

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
Patience, grasshopper.   I love seeing all the up and coming speech bloggers, there is sort of an explosion right now.  But I also have sensed some competition, which I wish wasn't there.  We are all here to help each other help our kids.  You will develop a readership in time, but it does take time & hard work.

8. Add a question and answer of your choice (can be speech related or not). 
What are your favorite indulgences?  Sushi, red wine, and night out with my girls!


Jenn included a FREEBIE!  It's called Beginning Sound Match Up. You can download it HERE.  And here's a preview:













Next we have...


Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology


1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one.
Name - Brea (full name is Breanna)

2. When and why did you start blogging?
I first started in February 2012 while I was still in grad school. I started blogging because I love to create materials (in fact, that's probably the best part of my job), and I didn't really want to work for someone like Super Duper because I am not a saleswoman. I don't like to pressure people into buying things. I would rather have them look at something and say, "Wow, yeah, I can totally use that!" and then grab it for free. :)

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
I have the most experience working with K-4; however, I am getting more and more used to the Pre-K population. I LOVE working with my little ones. We do such fun crafts, and it's so great to see their little sponge minds absorb everything around them.

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
Well, I am sure my end will be a bit smaller than others because I truly enjoy my down time and spending time with my fiance. I probably spend around 4-8 hours a week on creating materials and writing blog posts. If I have to do an app review, I probably add an extra 2 hours just so that I can review the app, take pictures, and write everything out. Also, I should probably add more time (and extra 2-3 hours a week) because I am on Let's Talk SLPs Facebook quite a bit.

5. What is your favorite topic to create materials for?
Honestly, I probably love making materials for articulation kids. Those materials are probably the easiest to make (in my opinion), and there's so much you can do for that topic. For artic all you really need is a variety of words. When you get into language, you have to break everything up into different areas (following directions, WH-questions, synonyms/antonyms, etc). That gets to be a lot of work, and everything has to be individualized per student.

6. What's the best thing about blogging?
I love being able to help people. I get a lot of emails about how thankful people are for my free materials. Every time I get a heartfelt email, I feel like that's exactly what I should be doing in the world. You all may think we don't care about feedback or anything, but we do. I read every single email I get and use that information when I am creating my next materials. Why do I only offer free materials? Well, I'll answer that in a bit.

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
My biggest one is to not use google images! :) I was probably using google images for... 6-7 months before I found out that it's technically not okay. Get a subscription to a larger clipart database and use that. Another blogging tip is if you're planning on starting your own blog, figure out what will set you apart from others. For instance, I offer all free materials, Let's Talk Speech Therapy is a grad student blogger, and Jenna from Speech Room News is well known for making big packets of materials. What will make your blog different and stand out?

8. Add a question of your choice. The question I am adding that I get A LOT is "Why are your speech materials free when you could make so much money off of TpT?"
This is a huge question. As a short reply, I would say that my free materials are a "thank you" for reading and following my blog. However, my reasons go deeper than that. In my opinion, one of the best ways to get our profession to grow is to share materials and ideas for free. I remember being a poor college kid (in fact, this is my first job, and I am still poor). I remember not knowing what to do or how to help someone. I had no idea where to go to get ideas, and even if I could get ideas, I couldn't afford them. No, I couldn't afford to pay $5 on TpT for one packet of materials that may or may not work in therapy with my specific student. Each child is different, and not all children will respond to materials in the same way. Some kids will love it and some won't. I really didn't want to spend the money on something that might or might not work. 

You know, my mother asked me this very question, and it was so hard to explain it to her. I simply said that education shouldn't cost anything. Why would I charge you, my coworker, my friend, a parent, a colleague, or an advocate for something that I could simply provide for free? I'm making these materials for my own kids anyway... why put a price on it? Don't think me to be a saint just yet. Trust me, there have been PLENTY of times where I have rethought this and almost decided to charge for materials. I get a little sad when I can't participate in Sunday Fun-day giveaways because I can't do giveaways since all of my stuff is free. I also get a little sad when I see how much money people are making on TpT for their stuff when I'm making practically the same materials and I'm not getting paid for it. In fact, I'm losing money. However, I had to wake myself up from that and tell myself that it's more important to help that one parent who can't afford to buy a packet of materials than it is to pay myself. That is more important. You might remember that I changed my Timeline photo on Facebook. That change wasn't for you (although it does look nice and pretty). That change was to remind ME why I do what I do.... and I love it. :)

Please don't think that I judge others for charging for their materials. I don't. It's an extremely personal decision, and everyone has different ideas with regard to charging or not charging. I don't care if others charge. More power to them. I just don't, and I won't.

Brea was kind enough to offer a FREEBIE as well.  It's called Make a Snowman - Shapes.  You can download HERE.  And here is a preview:







Last but not least...

Speech Time Fun



1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one
Miss Speechie

2. When and why did you start blogging?
January 2011.  I started when I working on updating my portfolio and wanted a way to help document and remember fun therapy ideas.  Colleagues were always coming up and commenting on my therapy materials and how I often create my own to target specific needs.  I realized I would love to share what I do and my love for speech-language pathology!

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
Elementary!  I have worked with Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High School.  Elementary especially late elementary is the best!

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
Seems like 3-4 days a week currently!  I make what I need for my students and then share it with all of you!!  

5. What's your favorite topic to create materials for?
Describing, wh- questions, and auditory comprehension

6. What's the best thing about blogging?
Hearing from my readers how their students benefited from my ideas.  As well as learning from all of my readers more fun ideas to use!

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
Have fun with it!  Listen to the readers.

8. Add a question and answer of your choice (can be speech related or not).
Why do I remain anonymous???  I chose for professional reasons not be be "google-able."

Link to my wh- questions Christmas Board Game freebie http://speechtimefun.blogspot.com/2012/12/wh-question-xmas-board-game-freebie.html




*REMEMBER TO GO TO EACH BLOGGER'S FACEBOOK PAGE AND GIVE THEM A "LIKE!" LET'S ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER!*

Now, keep checking Crazy Speech World, Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology, and Speech Time Fun for the continuation of the chain!

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