Friday, February 22, 2013

Guest Post: Spring Related Materials!!

Today, I have a guest post from Tatyana Elleseff M.A. CCC-SLP about spring related therapy materials!

Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP is a bilingual SLP with a full time hospital affiliation as well as private practice in Central, NJ. She specializes in working with multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted as well as at-risk children with complex communication disorders. She presents workshops for a number of medical, academic, and non-profit organizations and writes articles for various specialized publications.  For more information visit her website and blog @

Keywords: therapy materials, language delay, language stimulation, listening comprehension,  play, preschoolers, school-age, resource websites, speech language pathology

Therapy Fun with Ready Made Spring Related Bingo

Spring is just around the corner and there are many fun therapy activities you can do with your preschool and school aged clients during that time of year.  Now, while many of my colleagues are great at creating their own therapy materials, I am personally not that handy.  If you are like me, it’s perfectly okay since there are plenty of free materials that you can find online and adopt for your speech language purposes.
Making Friends, an online craft store, and Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource, are two such websites, which have a number of ready-made materials, crafts, flashcards, and worksheets that can be adapted for speech language therapy purposes.  One of my personal favorites from both sites is bingo. I actually find it to be a pretty versatile activity, which can be used in a number of different ways in the speech room.
Let’s start with “Spring” bingo from the Making Friends Website, since its well suited for preschool aged children.  The game comes with both call-out cards and 12-4x4 card printable boards that can be printed out on card stock or just laminated.
Spring vocabulary words include: kite, butterfly, birdhouse, bird, birdbath, watering can, pink flowers, yellow flower, blue flower, flower basket, potted plant, spotted egg, yellow egg, rain, raincoat, umbrella, galoshes, bunny, Easter basket, wheelbarrow, bonnet, gloves, clippers, shovel, spade.
Next up are the “Insects and Bugs” as well as “Parts of Plants and Trees” from Boggles World, suitable for school-aged children.  Both come with call-out cards as well as 3×3 and 4×4 card generator/boards. Clicking the refresh button will generate as many cards as you need, so the supply is endless! You can copy and paste the entire bingo board into a word document, resize it and then print it out on reinforced paper or just laminate it.
Insects and Bugs” vocabulary words include: ant, bee, fly, ladybug, beetle, moth, butterfly, dragonfly, grasshopper, cricket, flea, mosquito, caterpillar, firefly, stick bug, termite, cockroach, praying mantis, worm, spider, centipede, horsefly, stink bug, wasp, cicada 
Parts of Plants and Trees” vocabulary words include: berries, branch, bush, cone, flower, vine, fruit, grass, leaves, needles, nut, plant, roots, seed, thorn, tree, trunk, bark, blossom, bud, bulb, canopy, grains, sprout, reed, stump
Now the fun begins!
Here are some suggested activities:
Phonological Awareness:
§  Practice Rhyming words (you can do discrimination and production activities): fly/flea, bunny/funny, cone/comb

§  Practice Syllable and Phoneme Segmentation  (I am going to say a word (e.g., wheelbarrow, galoshes, berries,  etc) and I want you to clap one time for each syllable or sound I say)

§  Practice Isolation of initial, medial, and final phonemes in words ( e.g., What is the beginning/final  sound in branch, nut, plant, etc?) What is the middle sound in root, seed, moth, etc?
§  Practice Initial and Final Syllable as well as Phoneme Deletion in Words  (Say cricket! Now say it without the et, what do you have left? Say beetle, now say it without the /b/ what is left; say bird, now say it without the /d/, what is left?)

§  Practice production of select sounds/consonant clusters that you are working on or just production at word or sentence levels with those clients who just need a little bit more work in therapy increasing their intelligibility or sentence fluency.

§  Practice Categorization skills via convergent and divergent naming activities: Name Spring words, Name Insects, How many trees which grow flowers can you name?

§  Practice naming Associations: what goes with a flower (watering can), what goes with a berry (bush)

§  Practice providing Attributes via naming category, function, location, parts, size, shape, color, composition, as well as accessory/necessity.  For example, (I see a fly. It’s an insect. You find it outside or inside. It’s black and is the size of a bee.

§  Practice providing Definitions: Tell me what a butterfly is. Tell me what a shovel is.

§  Practice naming Similarities and Differences among semantically related items: How are dragonfly and ladybug alike? How are they different?

§  Practice explaining Multiple Meaning words:   What are some meanings of the word fly, bug, branch, plant, etc?
§  Practice Complex Sentence Formulation: make up a sentence with the words birdbath and unless, make up a sentence with the words wheelbarrow and however, etc.

§  Or you can just make up your own receptive, expressive and social pragmatic language activities to go along with these games.

So join in the fun and start playing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Bonanza: My Top 5 To Use In Therapy

Head over to The Speech Bubble for What's Up Wednesday to see my guest post on the books I like to use in therapy!!! 

Here's a little taste:

I decided that I would talk about my favorite books to use in therapy. I haven't delved into creating activities that go along with books, but I think it's on the horizon! It's hard to say which books are my absolute favorite to use in therapy, but I'll give you my top 5. I find that using literacy based activities are a great way to hit a lot of goals in a relatively short amount of time. It's also great for groups.

There's a freebie there too! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Alternative to Scissors/Glue: Sticker Maker!

One of my favorite things in my therapy room right now is my sticker maker. 
Yes, a sticker maker. It looks like this:

I got mine at Michaels, but you can get it through Amazon or any craft store. It is a snazzy, little machine that has motivated my students when the thought of cutting/glueing has lost its "wow" factor. It comes with a cartridge already in it, but I purchase additional cartridges as I need them. The refills cost around $15 (where I am), but I usually make sure I have a 40% off coupon! The refills just drop right in. 

One word of caution: make sure you tell students they they can crank the handle, but you have to be the one to rip off the strip when it comes out the other end. I've learned that lesson the hard way. If kids pull it out too fast, the cartridge can get all sorts of tangled. Otherwise, you stick a piece of paper in, crank the handle, and voila: a sticker. 

Sometimes I use this as a motivator (say 5 words, make a sticker). Sometimes I take articulation pictures and cut them out to stick onto bags or paper. For whatever reason, the kids get a kick out of this!!

What's your current "must have" item in your therapy room?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Listen Up! Take A Ticket!

I'm constantly trying to find fresh ways to target listening comprehension, since most of my students need practice with this skill. It can be one of the "less fun" areas for kids to work on. I found some cute ticket clipart from Ashley Hughes on TpT and decided to put it to good use.

Take A Ticket Listening Comprehension was born:

First, you get visual aids for reminders on 4 types of WH questions (who, what, where, when):

Print a copy of the "tickets." If you have a larger group, I'd suggest printing 2-3 copies of this page. Once cut/laminated, place the tickets in a container. 

Students listen to a story (there are 24 total) and take turns drawing a ticket. The ticket they draw will be the type of question they have to answer! For example, if the student draws a purple ticket, the SLP asks the "where" question. If the student answers correctly, he/she keeps the ticket. Whoever has the most tickets at the end wins!  

Each story is 4 sentences long and the questions/answers are right on the card:

Students will have to be listening carefully to each story. Then they will have to make sure they are answering the correct type of WH question. I hope you enjoy this listening comprehension activity with a twist!

Get it HERE!

Enter to win a copy below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Compare & Contrast Castles

The ability to compare and contrast items verbally and in writing is an important skill for all students. I find myself working on this skill a lot, so I tried to come up with a slightly different (and fun) way to target it. 

Compare & Contrast Castles!

The "castles" can be used as an alternative to traditional Venn diagrams. On the left and right sides of the castles, students contrast the items. In the center, students compare the items. Example page is below: 

These are designed to be printed as full sheets to allow room for students to write; however, they can be printed smaller if you plan to verbally compare/contrast the items or want to save paper. 
There are a total of 35 pairs of items, plus a blank page in case you want to create your own!

Get it HERE!
Enter to win a copy below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Splat Balls and Light Up Balls

If you have any kids with phonological disorders who are doing the Cycles approach, you know that sometimes saying the same 5 words over and over can become less than exciting. I have some really young students that lose interest rather quickly, so I try to come up with different ways to entice them to say the words. Here's a look at one of my (and their) favorites:

Have you heard about "splat" balls? They look like this: 

*I try to have several on hand because they can get a little gross after hitting the floor so many times. This is also why I don't do this every session, because I would quickly go broke!*

I stick pictures (I have laminated them) on the wall using some tacky stuff. I put them in different places (some high, some low) on the wall. Then I hand over the splat ball and let the kids throw them towards the cards. If they hit a card and the card falls, they have to say the word 5-7 times (depending on their ages). It's a simple way to keep the kids entertained and they really seem to like it. If you have groups where students are working on different sounds, you could put a different colored X on different sounds and tell students to aim at their color. 

Another activity that they seem to enjoy involves these light up balls:

They light up when they are bounced on the floor. I will have the students say a certain number of words prior to turning off the lights and letting them bounce the balls. It's an easy way to get them to say a bunch of words in a short amount of time! 

How do YOU keep your students motivated when using the Cycles approach?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Red Rover, Red Rover: Carry My Artic Over!

Who remembers playing the game "Red Rover, Red Rover" as a kid? Well, we all know how difficult it can be to find new and motivating ways to work on carryover skills for articulation when a student has mastered words, phrases, and sentences.

This is a game that needs to played with a group. Divide students up into teams and have them stand across the room from each other. Depending on their sound(s), each student may have a different "chant" in order to take their turn in the game. Begin by giving each student 10-20 Super Duper or other articulation cards with their sound. Then let the fun begin!

For example, if the student is working on the /s/ sound, he/she would start by saying, "Silly Susie, Silly Susie, send a _____ over." The student has to fill in the blank with a word from one of their cards. If said correctly, they drop the card on the floor. Students take turns in a round-about fashion. The goal is to be the first one to drop all their cards. You don't actually "send" anyone over, but it should still be fun!

To save you time (who has enough anyway?), I have put together a free download with the "chants" for every sound!