Stick a fork in me….I’m done!!! One more year down. Overall, it was a very good year. I started out the year by dismissing a boatload of kids…more than I ever have. It’s taken me 30+ years, but maybe, just maybe, I’ve finally gotten the hang of it!
I ended the year by only having 2 1/2 weeks of therapy to plan since my intern left near the end of the year. As we all know, therapy is hit or miss the last couple of weeks of school, so I pulled out my camping team game for 1 of my game days. The kids loved this game! The groups that only had time to play it once expressed their displeasure, and the ones that were able to play it more than once wanted to play it more!
(Sorry for the fuzzy picture...my camera phone is having trouble taking clear pictures in that room!)
Back in January 2015, I bought a January Mystery Packet from Teach Speech 365. She did a few months of "mystery packets", and I was never disappointed for taking a chance on them! Anyway, that month's packet was Amazing Artists; it was a packet full of language activities that were just the thing I needed to end the year with these students! We did some categories, answering questions to a short story, following directions (seen below),
and functions (seen below).
She still has this packet in her store, so it's well worth the $3!
I have a student who is working on reducing echolalia and producing complete sentences, so I pulled out the Spring Interactive Books from Speech Universe. (The cues are from Smarty Symbols.)
I also used Structured Sentence Building from Queen's Speech. These are some of my favorite things to use with kids who need some work on making complete sentences.
The last week of therapy was all about just having fun and talking about summer plans. When my students walked in, they were expecting a 5 Minute Day, but I had a special surprise for them: they made "hamburgers":
An SLP that I worked with in SC showed me this goodie (thanks, Jen!), but I haven't used it in a while so I thought it was time to pull it back out. The last time I used it, very few of my kids said they liked Peppermint Patties, so this time I had backups: peanut clusters (none of my kids have peanut allergies, so I was in the clear with that one!). The ingredients: 2 vanilla wafers, red & yellow icing, and a peppermint patty. To get each ingredient, the students had to say a few cards (nothing is free in Speech!). After they got their cookies, I put the mustard and ketchup on one side, and they did the other side. (They had to say their cards before getting each thing, so before we put mustard on 1 cookie, they said some cards; then said more before putting mustard on the other cookie.)
When the hamburgers were "done", they were put in a storage bag with his/her name on it, and put in the backpack to be taken home to eat later. (I don't allow students to eat in speech...just in case! You can read more about that here.)
You know what was really amazing? I only had 1 student who said he didn't like peppermint patties!
A couple of my students brought me end of year gifts. I can't wait to put this in my room next year:
But this made my heart full:
I'm not gonna lie: this student & I went through some tough times this year. That note means the world to me. And, I love her, too. The card would've been enough without the Starbucks card & the Pioneer Woman coffee cup.
The celebration didn't stop there, though. Oh...no. One of my SpEd teachers is retiring, and we threw her a shindig at her favorite restaurant (and my husband's & my usual Sunday dinner spot). The other SpEd teacher ordered her a cake, which was perfect for her:
We had a good turnout, and a lot of fun. It's going to be weird to go to that school next year and not have her be there. We've shared a lot of laughs, tears, frustrations, and joys the past 7 years.
I know I'll get through it. We're getting an excellent SpEd teacher who I've worked with before, so I know it's going to be alright! Besides, I'm not going to worry about it for the next 2 months!