Friday, February 28, 2014

Peek At My Week 2/28

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

This week, the book was The Hat by Jan Brett. I was really pleased when I asked the kids what they thought would happen and they said the animals would all get stuck in the hat. They remembered The Mitten from last week (if you missed that post, check here). Sometimes they can't remember what they had for lunch ten minutes ago, let alone last week!

I grabbed some free worksheets from Making Learning Fun for a quick and easy follow up activity. I've found that once we read the book and answer questions throughout (I usually have the students retell the events during the book too), I have little time for an activity. That's why I don't usually plan a big, elaborate activity. We colored the items as we went through the book. I love Jan Brett's book because they are great for prediction. She always has clues as to what will happen next (plus her illustrations are just amazing). She has a wealth of ready to go activities on her website too!

My 5th and 6th graders learned about the luge. We read an informational article and watched this video to learn more about how these athletes train. They have really enjoyed learning about the Olympics and I loved that I got to work in non-fiction reading comprehension along the way.

However, the true star of the week came about by accident. Some of my 4th graders are working on explaining associations and overall expressive language. I happened to find this free Association Dice activity from Kari Radovich on TpT. I printed it out and used a free dice app. Each student got to roll the die twice so we knew what category we'd be working on. Once they determined that, the fun began. I told the students that we were going to play a game. I set the timer for 30 seconds and told them to write down as many things that fit that category as they could. When the time was up, we shared our answers (I played too). Each student got a point for each answer they had that others didn't have. Let me tell you = huge motivator. Plus, it worked on word retrieval and vocabulary in a fun way!

What did you do this week?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{Review} Social Thinking: Continuum of Truth

Graphics: Creative Clips

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience. 

One of the most interesting parts of Thinking About You, Thinking About Me for me was the section on the Continuum of Truth. It's something I didn't really think about needing to actually teach. Socially savvy people can decide when it's appropriate to tell a white lie to spare someone's feelings; however, those with pragmatic disorders often cannot. In order to teach this, I first went over the Continuum of Truth. 

First, there's TRUTH: this is what you believe to be a fact. The sky is blue, an apple is a fruit, it is the winter. We came up with some truths. 

Second, there's WHITE LIES: this is something that may not be the complete truth, but you say these to protect someone's feelings, provided it doesn't cause harm to that person. This is more of a gray area. I came up with some examples first, like "I like that shirt, you didn't mess up your presentation that badly, I like your new haircut." 

Third, there's BOLD-FACED LIES: this is something you say that you know is a lie to prevent yourself from getting in trouble. These may get other people in trouble. We came up with hypothetical situations, like blaming another student for cheating (when you were), not eating the last cookie (saying your sister did), etc. 

I came up with some scenarios and had my students sort them into truths, white lies, and bold-faced lies. We had a discussion about when it's ok to tell white lies vs. when it's never ok to tell a lie. It's an abstract concept for kids because "lie" has such a negative connotation for most.     

Have you ever thought about doing a white lie vs. truth lesson? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

What's In Your Cart? Linky Party

Jenna at Speech Room News is doing a Linky Party to help you decide what to buy during the big TpT sale Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to the sale like a a kid looks forward to Christmas!

First, some recently added products of mine that you may have missed (click the pictures):

S.L.A.M.: Speech and Language Activities for a Month: If you liked the format of this freebie, you'll love this. It includes 4 open-ended games, 2 open-ended coloring sheets, 1 open-ended HW sheet, and enough stimuli for a month for commonly targeted goals. 

Carl's Crazy Day: Choose Your Destination NPST book + activities: This is a no print book during which the student can make choices throughout the story, making no two stories a like! There are also printable activities!

Verbitions: NPST mini news stories that focus on irregular past tense in sentences. 

Why Do I Come To Speech Therapy mini-books (K-5 and middle/high school): perfect for explaining why students attend speech therapy!

These are some of the products that are currently sitting in my cart, just waiting for me to hit "Check Out."

1. Super Sleuth: What Doesn't Belong by Mrs. T SLP: I have some kids working on this skill, as well as some who are working on identifying and explaining associations. This will work well for both goals.

2. Ultimate Data Collection Binder for Speech and Language by Nicole Allison: Two words - data collection. That is all that needs to be said.

3. Superhero Syntax by Denise Polley: This will serve many purposes and can be made into a cool flip book!

4. Emotions Interactive Book by Autism Educators: This seems like it would benefit my students with autism. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Clinical Skills Confidence: Social Story Resources

SLPs use social stories all the time! The term "Social Stories" is trademarked by Carol Gray and more information can be found on her website. In a nutshell, they are stories that are designed to help a student understand a situation or skill.

There is a wealth of resources available out there. Why reinvent the wheel? If you're looking for a general social story, you can usually find one with a little searching. If not, never fear, I'll let you know how I have customized ones when I couldn't find what I needed!

First, the ready-made ones:

Sometimes I am unable to find what I need, so I'll create one using Custom Boards by Smarty Ears. Among other wonderful things that this app can do, one of the options is to create a mini-book. Open the app, click "new," then "worksheets" and "My Book." You can add pages as needed to fully customize it for your needs. You're free to email the pdf to print and go!

Again, there are specific guidelines to writing Social Stories. You should write them from the perspective of the student. Carol Gray suggests a ratio of 2-5 descriptive sentences for each directive sentence. Feel free to learn more here.

A descriptive sentence gives information about a situation (who is there, events that occur). Example: When it is time to work, students sit at their desk and pay attention to the teacher. 

A directive sentence gives information about what the student should do in that situation. Example: I should stay in my seat and look at my teacher. 

A perspective sentence gives information about what others feel. Example: My teacher likes when I stay seated and listen to her. 

*This information was summarized from*

Do you use Social Stories? Do you find that they work well for your students?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Peek At My Week 2/21

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

This week, the book was The Mitten by Jan Brett. I truly love Jan Brett's books and have every one she's written or illustrated. This one is a classic! I won a free product from Pam Dahm of Chit Chat and Small Talk, so I chose her Mitten Story Fold-Out Book. I decided to adapt it a little because sometimes my students get a little distracted if they have things to play with. I cut out the pictures and we sequenced them and glued them on a piece of construction paper. I asked comprehension questions throughout and then we retold the story.

Learning about the luge with my older students is being pushed to next week. So far, we've learned about bobsledding and curling. Stay tuned for next week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Speachy Feedback Linky February

Another month has flown by, which means it's time once again for Speachy Feedback. As a treat for leaving constructive feedback, two lucky buyers win a free product from my store! Check below to see if it's your lucky day!

Megan purchased my Pin the Heart on the Conversation activity and Natalie left feedback on my Mirror-TIC: TH freebie. 

If you see your TpT username, email with your choice of product (sorry, bundles are excluded)!! Keep leaving constructive feedback on free and paid products and you could win a product next month!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bingo & Beads

This past week, I decided to try something a little different with my older students. A few of them are working on synonyms and antonyms. I happened to find some plastic beads and string and decided to put them to use. I grabbed a piece of construction paper and a Sharpie and drew a 5x5 grid. I placed a FREE space in the center and wrote some words in the boxes. I called out words that were antonyms and the student found and placed a bead on the box. When the student got bingo, he could string the beads to make a bracelet. You could also play this by placing beads on all the boxes and having the student name a synonym/antonym before picking up the bead to string. It was a hit and they were motivated to participate! 

This method can easily be used for homophones, multiple meaning words, describing attributes, and more! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Peek At My Week 2/14

Graphics: My Cute Graphics

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I used The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond as my book this week for the younger grades. Our craft was a very simple umbrella with "raining" hearts. I got the umbrella from here. I cut out little pink and red hearts with the elision cutter. The kids had a ball coloring their umbrellas and gluing hearts in between answering questions/discussing the book. I covered WH questions, past tense verbs, story retell, prepositions, and more using this book. 

My older kids have enjoyed learning about the Olympics. Last week, we read an article and watched a video about bobsled racing, which was a big hit. This week, we're reading about curling. I found a great free reading comprehension activity from TpT, which you can grab here. We watched this video to see it in action and learn a little more. This has been super motivating for my older crowd! Next week, we plan to learn about the luge.

What did you do this week?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What A SLP Blogger Does During A Snow Day!

I have a snow day today. Much like most of the East Coast, I believe. Winter grabbed hold this year and apparently it's not letting go any time soon! 

What does a SLP blogger DO during a snow day? I'm about to let you know what I'm doing!

Step 1: Turn off that alarm. We got the call last night, so I was able to shut it off then. I can't tell you how nice it was to wake up naturally this morning, instead of by a loud sound that pulls me from that nice dream and my warm bed.

Step 2: Peruse TpT. I probably do this daily anyway, but I like to see what's new and exciting! 

Step 3: Take care of logging for my students: I don't like to get behind on this, so I make sure to do it when I'm thinking about it. Even on days that there are weather related closures.

Step 4: Work on activities: This is my favorite part of a snow day. Today, I'm working on a fairly substantial activity that I'm hoping to finish in the next week or so. Here's a little peek:

Step 5: Workout later instead of 5:30AM: I usually squeeze in my workout early in the morning, but today I think I'll hold off until later. 

Step 6: Bake something so that house smells good: I plan to make some fruit crisp later! 

If you're off today, what are your plans?! First person to comment and leave an email wins their choice of a product from my store (bundles excluded)!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Interpreting Facial Expressions With Video Clips

Facial expressions. We all have them. We go through probably hundreds of them each day, depending on our mood. For kids with pragmatic difficulties, they can be super difficult to read and interpret correctly. I usually have at least one student who needs to work on this skill, so I thought I'd share how I target it.

First, we talk about why it's important to LOOK at people's faces. Some of our kids tend to retreat into their own worlds, which can make it more difficult for them to recognize the subtle nuances of facial expressions. Some of my kids need direct reminders and instructions to look at people's faces. Not stare, but be aware that you can gain valuable information from a person's face.

Once attention is brought to that, I like to pair students up and take turns "experimenting" with different expressions. These tend to become more exaggerated, which is ok for now. We talk about what the other person's eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, and eyebrows are doing. That's a lot of moving parts to discuss!

After that, we move on to pictures/apps with static pictures so I can be fairly certain the student can interpret those correctly before dialogue and other language is added. Some apps that are good for this include:

Touch and Learn Emotions (free)

Then it's time to bring on the video clips! The pause button will become your best friend here. You should preview these to make sure they are a good fit for your students. The following are some great starting clips:

1. Pee Wee Herman: This clip features a few different people with varying emotions, so you could pause and discuss what each person is feeling.

2. Cosby show: This is an older show that most of your students probably won't know, but that's ok! There are several kids in this clip and some great expressions!

3. Kids Foot Locker: This one does a good job of showing confusion. 

4. Gogurt: This one shows surprise, excitement, confusion, etc.

5. Doritos: This one is cute and shows surprise, shock, fear, and happiness. The dog's expression is pretty funny too!

This is just a start! Be sure to have your mouse handy, so you can click pause at the right moments! I hope this helps you target facial expressions in your therapy room. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Peek At My Week 2/7

Graphics: My Cute Graphics

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience. 

It's February and full steam ahead! For the craft this week, I decided to use the foam snowflakes I picked up on clearance after the holidays. I had the kids use dot markers on them in any design they chose. It was a nice way to keep kids busy if it wasn't their turn.

I decided to start the Valentine's Day train with a book called The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett. It's a cute story that features a bear couple that come out of hibernation to enjoy a lovely Valentine's Day. It was great for listening comprehension, making predictions, and generally getting into the V-Day spirit! 

I used my Broken Hearted NPST activity with my older grades and they enjoyed it! I also wanted to share a resource that I've been using a lot called AAC Language Lab from Prentke Romich. You can find some free lesson plans and resources on this site. It works well with my students with autism (not all of them use AAC devices either). What did you do this week?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Clinical Skills Confidence: Speech Note [freebie]

Some of my parents like to have more back and forth contact than just a quarterly progress report. Usually the requests are few and far between, so I'm happy to oblige if they want more routine updates. I decided that I wanted to create a simple one that I could just copy and write on. So that's what I created! You can grab a copy for free too - just click on the image below:

I included 2 different versions. One has a notes/homework section, the other includes a strength and weakness area. I think it's important to highlight strengths whenever possible (not just at progress report time). On the 2nd version: exciting = something great that the student did during the session, keep fighting = something the student still needs to work on. 

I hope you find this useful! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

How Do You Use It? Linky

Speech Time Fun has started a monthly linky party and I just had to join. Each month, she's sharing her ideas for items found in most therapy rooms and inviting other SLP bloggers to share theirs. This month is index cards!

I use index cards all the time. Here is what I use them for most frequently:

1. Homework: I find it easy to write artic words, synonyms, antonyms, etc on index cards. This way, I can use them in the session and then just rubber band them and send them for homework. 

2. Keep track of what I'm working on (otherwise known as "keep myself sane"): I write some of my IEP goals so that the student needs to learn X amount of regular past tense verbs, synonyms/antonyms, common objects, etc. over the course of the IEP. I keep a "master deck" so that I know which ones we're working on.

3. Social Thinking activities: I frequently use them for social thinking activities, like this one.

4. Cues: If a student needs visual/written cues, I frequently will pull out the index cards to quickly jot them down. 

Make sure you check out Speech Time Fun's post to read ideas from other bloggers!