Monday, January 7, 2013

SLP Chain Letter featuring Speech Snacks and Speech Lady Liz!

Teach  Speech 365 started this chain letter in order to connect speech language bloggers and their fan base to other bloggers.  Personally, I have really enjoyed getting to know my fellow bloggers better via this chain link-up! Thanks to for inviting me to participate.  I have been a fan of her blog and Facebook page as she provides a wealth of parent education and therapy resources on her sites.  Please take a moment to check out her blog in addition to the two, fabulous ladies that I had the pleasure of interviewing!

Speech Snacks
1. Your name, email, and TpT store if you have one. If not, feel free to leave me your blog link.
Rose Ann Kesting
I just opened my TPT store so the material is limited and it's also free!  Check back for more great SpeechSnacks in the NewYear!

2. When and why did you start blogging?
I started my blog in Sept 2011.  I had been following a couple of speech-language blogs and felt inspired to create one of my own. My passions are my profession and cooking (In my next life I will come back as a chef or dietitian).  I wanted a place to be creative and collect my ideas. I have always been a "think outside the box" kind of person, and I think the uniqueness of my blog reflects that.  I love new challenges and considered starting a blog a true challenge, especially since I had absolutely no experience with creating a website. I pretty much figured out how to set it up without assistance, which was very frustrating and time consuming at times!  That being said, I am proud of what I have accomplished and learn new things about blogging every day.

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
Our profession allows us to work with every age group-- from pediatric to geriatric.  I have appreciated working with different populations at different times in my life.  When I entered the field 18 years ago I was an SLP in two middle schools and a high school. I worked mainly with self-contained students in the public school system. I worked with this population for almost 10 years.  When I had my son, I decided to stay home to raise a family for a few years, while seeing clients privately from home.  When I returned to work on a part time basis, I decided to switch gears and work with preschoolers.   Most of my caseload consisted of articulation and mild language delays. I am now back to almost full time and am fortunate enough to work at two great jobs---with the preschoolers in a clinic and at a private school with 10-18 year olds with language-based learning disabilities---a very unique and rewarding work environment!  I enjoy being in different settings with different age groups----it keeps me on my toes---my job never gets monotonous!

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
It all depends on how busy life is at the moment!  My blog is very unique in that I have incorporated my passion for healthy cooking with ways to reinforce speech and language development.  I usually base my
posts on the foods I prepare for my own family or themed to holidays and seasons.  My blog started off geared primarily toward parents/families with the  goal of informing them of ways to enjoy spending time cooking nutritious foods while reinforcing  speech sound production, learning how to sequence steps in a recipe, building vocabulary by categorizing and classifying foods and other kitchen related words, etc.  It became a bit more elaborate as time went on and I now include printable activities that tie in with the theme of the post so that SLP's can also make use of my activities in the school setting.   I hope that parents, therapists and children can all take away something useful, fun and informative from my information.

5. What's your favorite topic to create materials for?
FOOD, of course!  I center each of my posts around a nutritious (and sometimes fun but not so healthy) recipe idea to make at home and, when possible, in the therapy setting.  I include detailed, colored photos of each step in the recipes so if it cannot be made at school, the photos can be printed and then used for sequencing and direction following.  My hope is that SLP's will share these recipe ideas with their “speech parents “so that there will be follow-up in the home environment. My blog is versatile for  many age groups—not only can you address various speech sounds with younger students, but older students who need to develop life skills  and executive functioning skills can utilize the recipes for this purpose.  I can’t think of a better way to strengthen communication skills than through cooking with your kids.  And it’s a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time connecting with them!

6. What's the best thing about blogging?
It's a great feeling to have an idea in your head and then see it materialize in writing and pictures.  My 10 year old son things I am a pretty cool mom for having a website and he often helps me with my recipes and some of the instructional videos I have posted on my site.  His cousins and friends have also gotten in on the act! (You can check out my “Cooking Up Good Speech” video series on my site to see them in action!)  It's rewarding to know that I have made a positive impact on their young lives and maybe inspired them in some way!   I hope I have helped my followers see cooking and healthy eating habits in a whole new light---a way to take what we do every day and turn it into a teachable moment!

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
1--If you don't have a strong background in web development or setting up a blog, get some help--it will save you a lot of headaches and time in the long run!  2---Blog about what inspires you!  You will be motivated to continue blogging if you are passionate about what you write about!  3--Keep a pen and paper near your night table....I have had many ideas come to me as I settled down for the night (I guess my mind is always racing or maybe I'm just always hungry!)  You just might "dream up" some of your best ideas in the middle of the night.

8.  Have you attended any good workshops lately?
Yes! This October I attended a workshop presented by the amazing Sarah Ward on Executive Functioning Skills.  She shared many practical strategies that I have been able to utilize with my older students. It has helped me gain a better understanding of some of the weaknesses they experience in their daily life.  She addressed time management skills, thinking in an organized way, organization related to homework, classroom management and basic living skills.  She had so much great information to share and was such a dynamic speaker!  Her workshop also helped me realize that my blog is a direct way of working on so many of the areas she discussed.  Cooking in the kitchen is a great way to address executive functioning skills---by practicing direction following in an organized, efficient fashion!  One more great reason to follow me at

Speech Lady Liz
1.  Your name, email, and TpT store if you have one. If not, feel free to leave me your blog link.
Liz Gretz, and

2.  When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging over a year and a half ago.  At the time speech materials online were few and far between.  I knew that when I started I was desperate to share and borrow ideas from fellow SLPs.  I had no idea it would take off the way it did!

3.  What is your favorite population to work with?
My favorite population are the lil’ guys, 18 months-6 years old.  The progress you can see in this younger population is astounding and it’s so rewarding when a non-verbal child all of a sudden starts talking and won’t stop.  This is also the age where play is so important in increasing language as well as social skills.  Let's be honest I love to play!

4.  How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
I wish I spent more time blogging and creating materials! I started a new job that does not leave me with much down time.  If I could, I would spend 8 hours a day blogging, creating new materials and looking up all the wonderful materials out there.  Unfortunately, it’s more like 8 minutes a day.

5.  What's your favorite topic to create materials for?
Definitely would have to be hands-on, experiential materials.  I love finding new and fun ways to create language opportunities that are not table top activities.  I believe you can get much more spontaneous and functional language through sensory and experiential learning.

6.  What's the best thing about blogging?
Being a part of this wonderful SLP blogging community.  I love the camaraderie between all the fellow bloggers and blog followers.

7.  Do you have any blogging tips?
Pace yourself.  I am a bit of a procrastinator and that gets me into trouble when I have lots of reviews or other blog posts to create.

8.  Why are your materials free?
Like I said before, most of my ideas are non-table top, experiential, sensory type activities which are a.) hard to sell and b.) if I have to create them for my therapies anyways I might as well share.  I’m constantly amazed at the wonderful things people are selling on TPT stores.  I desperately wish I had the time, patience and energy to do what all those bloggers do.  Unfortunately, at this time in my career and personal life I’m finding it very hard to make that time.  Thank goodness we have this wonderful SLP community!
Liz Gretz

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy the activities that you have put together and look forward to using them in the latter part of this year. Thank you.