Saturday, December 21, 2013

Love it & List it! Holiday Link-up


So....I lied.  I lied in my post on Thursday when I said I was taking a 2 week break to get ready for Christmas and to spend time with my family.  I didn't mean to, honestly.  I completely forgot about the Linky Party at Speech Room News every 3rd Friday of the month!  Here are my favorite holiday activities from this December:

1)  "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell" activities.  I used the companion packet from Mindy Stenger. 

Oh, my goodness, did my kids love these activities!  The first day of the week when I had my kids, I read the book and they rang a bell every time they heard their sound.  (The older kids did this, anyway!)  The younger kids played the Bingo game that's included in the companion packet.  For the second day of therapy, we played the open-ended game in the packet.

2)  My kids love, love, love the non-competitive games that I have from Troll in a Bowl.  Unfortunately, they are out of production.  If you do a search for "Troll in a Bowl", you're taken to some apps.  Anyway, we played "Fat Santa" and "Polar Bears".  I talked it about it here.

3)  My preschoolers decorated a foam Christmas Tree with foam stickers.  I had an "aha" moment when we started to decorate them:  I had just read "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell", and had the idea to decorate the tree with things the old lady swallowed.  They followed directions by putting the sticker "over, under, on, beside" and "at the top".  
5 stickers is about all they could handle before we completely lost their attention!

4)  A new game this year is going to have to go into the rotation:  Santa's Cookie Slam.
The hardest part of this game was making sure the kids waited until I said "Go!" to put their hand on their choice!  And, this is a freebie!  

5)  How could I not put "Bear Stays Up for Christmas" on my list?  
 For the first day of the week, my kids (except for Kindergarten & preschool) made a mark on the graph every time they heard their sound while I read the book.  
The second day of the week, we played "Bear Hunt", and my language kids worked on recall and making sentences out of the vocabulary word.  This is from SLP Gone Wild's companion packet

Those are my favorite activities from this year.  I try to rotate my activities so the kids aren't doing the same year from year to year!
 Head over to Speech Room News to see what everybody else did for the holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Short Therapy Week in Review: 12/18/13

Who loves short weeks?  Okay, that was a pretty stupid question!  Wednesday was our last day before break, and the buses didn't run, so I had time to tie up some loose ends and get a jump start on progress reports.
~  Monday in the Developmental Preschool Class, I read "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell".  Each kid had one of the items and fed it to the old lady when they heard the word.  Then, we decorated foam Christmas Trees with foam stickers I bought from the Dollar Tree.  I did this activity a couple of weeks ago with a couple of walk-in preschoolers, but this time the kids only put things on the tree that the old lady swallowed.  And, they had to follow my directions as to where to put the sticker.  The COTA got in on the action, too.
The "big kids" played "Fat Santa".  This is a non-competitive game by Troll in a Bowl (which  is no longer in existence).  The kids have to get all of the ornaments on the tree before Santa is fat and ready to come.  If they get a card with Mrs. Claus, they have to put a piece of Santa on the board; if they get Santa on an exercise bike they get to take a piece of Santa off.
 After that game, we played "Polar Bears".  Santa lost a bag in the middle of polar bears, and his favorite elf volunteered to go get the bag back.  He has to find  things to help him get to the bears:  a sled to go down the hill, ice skates to get over the frozen river, an umbrella to get through the cave of falling icicles, a pogo stick to hop over the cracked ice, carrots to get past the angry snowmen (who are angry because rabbits stole their noses!), decorations for the sad tree, and fish to feed the polar bears so he can get the toys.  And, they have to get all of those things before the bears get all of the toys.
~  Tuesday, the kids played the same games that we played on Monday.  Since the buses weren't running on Wed., most of the kids were busy with activities, so I was able to get progress reports done.

~  Wednesday, I only saw a few groups.  I read "On the Christmas Tree" by Ruth Morgan.  I put it on the Smartboard, and we talked about what they saw on each page.  Then, we made brownie trees.  We worked on making complete sentences, asking for the m&m's, and the colors red & green.  
After we made the trees, the teacher played a sweet little story that involved pretend play.  They "ice skated" around the room to music.

Oh, I forgot to share how our day started!  Our cafeteria ladies supplied us with fresh cinnamon rolls:
MOST excellent!!!

I will be taking the next 2 weeks off to prepare for Christmas, and spend time with my family.  I hope everyone has a safe, happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Waffs

Time for the last "Wednesday Waffs" of the year!  Enjoy!



~  While I was in a Kindergarten classroom talking with one of my students, I asked him what color all of the blocks were.  When he came to purple, he called it "grayple"!  Priceless!

~  From Making Meaning on Facebook:
   Student:  I hate school.
   Me:  Why?
   Student:  Because I can't take a nap and I'm soooooo tired!
   Me:  Welcome to the club!

~  From Miss Math Dork on Facebook:
~  The finale:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Behavior in the Speech Room

                            Affiliate links are included at the end of this post. 
There are times when even Speech Kids get a little unruly!  Here is my "tried & true" way to keep them on task:
At the beginning of every year (regardless of how long he/she has been in speech), I review my procedures, which are posted in my room.  You can see them in the top right corner of this picture:
At my other school, I have them sitting on a round decorative table right by the door. 

 The procedures are simple:  Check book, sit down, complete activity, get sticker, walk quietly back to class.  I have a picture beside each procedure as well.
During the session, I have "Super Job Slips".  I got these when I first started working (in the dark ages!); they were part of a book that featured Willard the Worm:  Pick a Peck of Lessons (Kathy Shurley).    The book has open-ended games (some of which I still have) that included some seasonal games.  Anyway, the slips have an apple with a worm coming out of it (that would be Willard!) and the words "Super Job" on them.  Each kid is given 5 slips.  I'll give them 1 verbal warning so that they will know the behavior that is not appropriate (talking when it's someone else's turn, not sitting in his seat, etc.).  The next time the behavior occurs, I don't say anything, I only take a slip away.  They have to have 1 slip left to get a sticker on their sticker chart.  (I use the sticker charts from Super Duper's Year 'Round Lifesavers & Timesavers.)  
When the student gets a row filled up with stickers, he is rewarded with a trip to the prize box.  The student can earn an extra sticker if he brings back his speech homework with a parent's signature.  When I first started using this reward system, I let them pick a piece of candy, but then the schools started getting away from giving out candy, so I switched to a prize box.  (That's probably a good thing, because I would end up eating the candy the kids didn't like!)  In recent years, I would rotate the rows between prizes and fruit snacks, but, since I have to buy those out of my own pocket, I've switched to just the prize box.   At the beginning of the year, I use some of my money to buy prizes from Super Duper.  
If a student should happen to get a "sad face", they don't get to go to the prize box when the row is completed...they have to wait until another row is completely filled with stickers.  I have very rare occasions where a student will get 2 sad faces in a row.  If that happens, I put the sad face in the next row.  It sounds kind of harsh, but it works.  I have very few students who ever get more than 1 sad face, and, after they get that 1st sad face, they never get another one!  There are ways to get an "automatic sad face":  laughing at other speech students, arguing with me, and not following hallway procedures (walking quietly back to class).  Again, this very rarely happens, and I often will warn the student before I give them a sad face.  I forgot to mention:  if a child gets down to just 1 slip, I will point it out to them and tell them to be very careful.
I usually only have to use the Super Job slips for the first few sessions, then I don't have to put them out once the student understands behavior expectations.  In fact, the other day I asked one group if I needed to get out the Super Job Slips, and they said, "no" rather emphatically!  Their behavior was perfect the rest of the session.
I give my groups time to get out all of their extra talking (telling me about their weekend or their plans) on the walk from their room to the speech room.  By the time we get to my room, they're ready to focus on speech, and we can dedicate "most" of the 30 minutes on speech.
I'm trying something a little different with my 4th graders this year.  I thought the sticker charts were a little babyish for them, and I ran across these on TpT:
It's the same concept as the Sticker Chart, except once the dollars go in, they don't come out until they've earned the number of dollars that I set.  If the student is seen individually, she has to have $6.  If there are 2 kids in the group, they have to have $12; 3 kids- $18.  They put the dollars into a cup:  I found some plastic cups at the Target Dollar Spot and decorated them with Washi tape.  Once they earn the specified amount, they decide as a group whether they want to go to the prize box or have some iPad time.  Surprisingly, most of them choose the prize box.
I do have some fruit snacks on hand...for my walk-in preschoolers.  I make sure I have at least a couple of activities per session so they will stay busy.  That cuts down on a lot of behavior issues!
That's my behavior system in a nutshell.  How does this compare to what you do?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Therapy Week in Review: 12/13/2013

I wanted to write another post this week, but the inspiration just didn't hit me!  The end of the week posts are easy, since it's a review of what my students did in speech.
First...my epic fail for 5 minute day on Monday.  I saw this idea on Facebook (I should have written down where I saw it...if it's your idea, please let me know so I can give you credit!) and thought it would be perfect for Monday.  The kids should be able to get through this in 5 minutes, right?

Aaaaand, that would be a big fat "NO".  This little guy turned his paper around (it was supposed to be horizontal), so he could only fit 4 pictures on the bottom row.  They were supposed to make a Christmas Tree with their pictures.  I wasn't real sure what the problem was with them not getting through, but now that I look at the picture, it looks like this child didn't understand that he was supposed to color the whole paper green, not just the picture!  I ended up only doing this with 2 groups...1 group finished on Wednesday, working on it when it wasn't their turn; the other group finished on Friday.  In theory, it's a great idea.

My Kindergarten and First Grade groups played "Gingerbread Pirates" from Carrie's Speech Corner (FREE!).  We used Christmas erasers from the Dollar Tree as the game pieces.
Tuesday kicked off "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell" (by Lucille Colandro) week.  For my artic groups, I read the book, and every time the students heard their sound in a word, they rang a bell. 
My preschooler fed the old lady the pictures, courtesy of Mindy Stenger, and then played bingo, which is included in the companion packet.  (My artic groups also played bingo after we read the book.)  

My language group played "Go Fish" using these cute Christmas Trees from Bright Ideas SLP (Christmas Comparison Freebie).

They also figured out the secret message in "Summarizing Elves" by Teach Speech 365 (FREE!).  I printed out the secret message page and downloaded the activity on the iPad. 
We even had time for a quick round of "Santa's Cookie Slam" by Pam Dahm (another FREEBIE!).

My Kindergarten group worked on concepts and following directions using "Listening for Basic Concepts All Year Round" (Linguisystems).  I had to modify the directions by breaking them up a little; I had the students get their correct color before giving them the rest of the directions.
Wednesday and Thursday we re-read "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell", and then played the game from the companion packet (referenced above):
One of my language students did "What's Inside the Gift Box" by Ms. Lilypad's primary pond(Another freebie!).  I downloaded it on my iPad to save ink.  
I kept my preschoolers busy on Wednesday!  I'm trying to go into the class on Mondays and do a whole-class activity, then pull them on Wednesday.  That is the day when all of the kids are there, and it gets a little crazy (and loud!) in there!  This activity is actually a writing activity, but both of my little guys are working on making complete sentences and increasing MLU, so this was a good activity for them:
 We also named the parts of a gingerbread man.

On Fridays I have 1 artic group.  I do the same activity for them that I did with my artic kids on Wednesdays.  The rest of the sessions are individual sessions:  AAC, apraxia, and "regular artic" (just because of their schedule).  My apraxic student & I played "Help Ollie Get Home for the Holidays" from Word to the Wise.   (Guess what???  It's FREE!)
We didn't pay attention to the words at the bottom of the cards (unless it told us to lose a turn or move up or back).  I have my game pieces in the Altoids tin.

I got some of the materials that I used this week from the TpT sponsored 2013 Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies.  There are some for Pre-K & K, Grades 1 & 2, and Grades 3-6.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Therapy Week in Review 12/06/13

I hope your week wasn't as stressful as mine!  A couple of things at work, and a flute choir concert on Thursday really contributed to headaches!  I am so happy that last week is behind me!

So...here's what happened in my therapy rooms this week:
Monday: One of the stations during the 5 minute day was a Smartboard activity:
Tuesday:  I read "Bear Stays Up For Christmas" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.  For my first couple of groups, my artic students made a mark on a paper every time they heard their sound. 
 Then, I wised up a bit:  I took a form that I use for fluency tracking, took off the header and the word "date" from each block, and added some more squares.  This was a lot easier for the students to mark, and a whole lot easier to count how many marks they had!
This is a skill that all  of my students struggle with, even the 3rd & 4th graders, but it's a good skill to work on.
All of the students in my language group have a describing objective, so this activity was perfect.  The students picked a color, then gave me 3 descriptors for the word on the ornament.  If they were able to do that without any help, they put an ornament on the tree.
Thursday:  We continued with "Bear Stays Up For Christmas".  I read the book first, since I fragmented it when I was reading on Tuesday so the kids could mark their paper when they heard their sounds.  Then, we played Bear Hunt, taken from the companion packet from SLP Gone Wild.
My language group also played this game, but we used the vocabulary words from the book (provided by SLP Gone Wild in her companion packet) as the stimuli.  The students had to use the word in a sentence as it pertained to the book.
I had a couple of new walk-in preschoolers on Thursday.  One of them came with a preschooler that I had already been seeing, and the other one came by herself.  With both groups, I read the same book the other groups read, but we played "Chipper Chat" instead:
I was a little concerned about how the person who lost was going to react, but it ended up as a tie!  Good day all around!

Friday:  What a crazy day!  The rain, 2 meetings, and field trips all contributed to a much needed day of playing "catch up"!  I had a couple of preschool walk-ins... Guess what book we read?  Yep, "Bear Stays Up for Christmas"!  Then, after they said their targets, they told me which foam sticker they wanted to put on their foam Christmas Tree.  I got these last year at the Dollar Tree.
(You'll see these again next week when I use it for basic concepts with a couple of preschoolers!)
I'm completely on my own next week, and I'm pretty stoked about it!  Next week is the last full week of school before the holidays...the countdown is ON!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Waffs

I almost didn't write this post this week, but luckily a couple of people came through for me yesterday!

~  While reading "Bear Stays Up For Christmas", we talked about some of the words that the students didn't know.  One of those words was "bustle".  When asked what it meant, one student said, "put some muscle into it".

~  A Kindergarten Student had his last day at our school yesterday due to a move.  He had been telling his teacher for a few weeks that he was moving, so when he told her  yesterday, she asked when he was moving, since he had been telling her that for weeks.  When he told her that it was his last day, she said, "Please don't tell me that.  You're going to make me cry!"  He responded in total seriousness, (think of a student saying this with a Spanish accent)  "You cry like a little baby!"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What's in Your Cart? Linky!

Jenna at Speech Room News has come up with a new Linky Party!  This time, we're sharing what we have in our TpT Cart for Cyber Monday.  When there's a big sale, I try to look ahead to the upcoming months and figure out what I could use with the students on my caseload.  AND, I try to limit my self to a certain amount.  Last time, I over-spent by a "few" dollars!  Here's what I'm limiting myself to this time:
(Click on the image and just like Christmas Magic, you'll be right at the product in TpT!)
1) 
 Let It Snow! Winter Listening for Details
I used the Thanksgiving one last week, and loved it!  Taylor Rodgers did an awesome job; can't wait to use this!

2) 
Tops & Bottoms: A Language Book Companion with FREEBIE
I've had this book for years but wasn't sure exactly what to do with it.  Now, thanks to Jenna Rayburn, I have a plan!

3)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear: Preschool Speech & Language Companion
Another companion packet by Jenna Rayburn.  This is going to be great to use with my developmental preschool class at one of my schools!

4)
Winter Fun Listening for Details
I have a couple of groups that are working on recalling stories/sentences.  This product by Speech Wonderland fits the bill!

5)
There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!  Language Unit
I already have a companion packet by Mindy Stenger, but this one by Jenn Alcorn will be a wonderful addition!  I may have to spend a couple of weeks on this book!  AND, as a bonus, I have a Scholastic Warehouse just minutes from my house, and they're having a sale beginning December 6!  To see if there's a warehouse near you, click HERE.

6)
Speech Therapy Winter Bundle: Language, Articulation, & So
This is my big purchase!  This bundle is by Speech Therapy, and it looks like it should have plenty of activities to keep my kids busy during the cold winter months!

7)
Happy Holidays Direction Following
From Lindsey Karol, this activity will be great with my students who are working on all levels of following directions.

8)
Winter and Holiday Inferencing
The Speech Bubble made this product that will get my language kids thinking!

That's what in my cart...for now!  I may have more after I visit everyone who is participating in the linky and see what they have!  Want to know what everybody else has in their cart? Click HERE
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