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Icky Sticky Frog.

30 Apr


This week’s book was Icky Sticky Frog. We have enough copies for each student to hold their own (the tongue/fly attachment on the book is quite the hit), which they always like! Gives us a nice chance to review some of our academic vocabulary (cover, title, author, illustrator, back cover, etc). It’s a nice story for sequencing/recalling: what did the frog eat first? Next? After reading the story we got out a bouncy frog and set up bug visuals around it. The students each got to pick a frog bean bag, bounce it, and label/describe the insect to which their frog landed the closest (e.g. caterpillar: long, green, fuzzy, will be a butterfly). Then we split into two fine motor groups—-one went to make caterpillars with paint, another used tongs to go on a “bug hunt” in two “bean boxes”. Students described the bugs they found. Question of the day: If you could be a bug, what bug would you be (answers were actually pretty great, especially from the students who could answer “why”)? Song: 5 Green & Speckled Frogs

Download: Adaptation of the book (sentence strips). Used to answer wh- questions, expand utterances, target speech sounds (medial /k/, st-, fr-, etc).





Very Hungry Caterpillar.

9 Apr

This week’s book was one I’d guess almost everyone has lying around: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I know my copy is from my parents’ basement; another childhood relic (my parents deserve a lot of gratitude for forming my love for reading—-so many books around!).

Here are a couple of downloads to start us off. Click here for the Boardmaker visuals that coordinate with the story (made by Jordan), and here for a SMARTBoard lesson I made. Have students click and drag the appropriate quantity and fruit label into the boxes and use the visual sentence strip to help answer “What did the caterpillar eat?”.

In our speech/motor group we read the story along with some food visuals and a stuffed animal caterpillar (the kids had to listen for their item and come up and “feed” it to the caterpillar). The kids then colored their favorite fruit from the story on the last page of a book our OT printed out (looking for attributes in the picture and if they could label it correctly). Here’s a similar booklet. Next, we split the class into 2 groups—one out at the SMARTBoard with me. The other picked a fruit visual out of a mystery box and then crawled through the tunnel, matching their fruit to one on the felt board once at the end of the tunnel. For snack the kids counted out 4 crackers/4 pieces of cheese and then got to pick from 2 of the fruits in the story (strawberries and oranges). The kids completed a sequencing/matching task with the visual shown below (egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly). Question of the day: What was your favorite food the caterpillar ate?

In some of my articulation small groups we also read the story. Used to target /v/ (very!), /k/ (caterpillar), st- (He was still hungry!), /f/ medial (butterfly). We made easy caterpillars made out of paper strips (say a word, make your caterpillar longer!).

Links around the internet: DIY felt book/free printable, page of links to many downloads/printables, Eric Carle coloring page, food items/number matching, ABCs from the story, questions to go with the story.

Gratitude, Spot, & Break.

23 Mar

First of all, I was so flattered and excited to be featured over on Playing With Words 365’s Thrifty Thursday post this week! Check out this week and the archives for great ideas on the cheap! Starting up a blog can sometimes feel slow—-how do you get the word out? Are people benefiting from what you post? But this week it has felt great to see lots of visitors (welcome! so happy to have you here). Thanks also to PediaStaff for featuring Elena Marie, SLP on their boards.

I’m off to enjoy one of the perks of being a school-based SLP: Spring Break! Leaving you with a printable book I made yesterday, clearly inspired by Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. My (25-year-old) copy of the book is ripped to pieces—always have to tell my kids that “baby Miss Elena” wasn’t a very good book owner. Whoops. Used it with a student working on spatial concepts & s-blends. Click on the photo below for some sp- visuals as well (it’s one of my favorite sounds, since you also get SpongeBob and Spiderman ;-D).

Happy Spring Break!

Articulation: Stories.

9 Mar

One thing I struggle with is eliciting target speech sounds during less structured activities—-that step when you want more than single words or phrases…but know that errors creep back in in conversation (well, and eliciting them in conversation can also be challenging to do/tricky to keep accurate data on). Play-based activities can be great (e.g. playing with a toy farm to elicit many opportunities to produce initial /f/, legos for medial /g/, having child request different cars for /k/,  constructing a snowman for s-blends, etc.), but sometimes I really like to get in more practice!

One way to do this is to a) have a child try to retell a story you’ve read together (another reason I love using picture books during therapy) or b) to use stories specifically made with your artic target in mind. I started making some stories of my own after finding Heidi Hanks’s (of Mommy Speech Therapy) so helpful. She has free downloads for the word, sentence, and story level for most sounds, and her app (Articulation Station) is structured the same way. The app also has “Level 2” stories for older students who don’t need the visual aids (and both levels have a few comprehension questions after each story).

Below are some of the “stories” I’ve made up using Boardmaker. With primarily pre-K students, my kids aren’t reading, so having visual aids helps them to retell the story (I usually read it first). I hope they’re helpful! Will have to make up some new ones soon…

/f/ initial story

/t/ final story

/v/ initial and medial story

/z/ initial story

s-blends: st- initialsw- initial, sk- initial Scooby Doo, sk- Scaredy Squirrel,  -st final


6 Mar

I’ll keep it short and sweet today. Just thought I’d share the visual I made yesterday to go with today’s Lego activity. The students I had in mind are working on /g/ in the middle of words, but could also be used for students targeting /l/ at the beginning of words (or s-blends for “I spy”). No re-inventing the wheel here—-we just practiced “spying” Legos using the sentence strip and then built whatever the students wanted. I kept the box of Legos behind me and each student had to request the Legos to get more materials for their creations (I want three green Legos, I need a big blue Lego). Could also certainly be used to target expanding utterances, using attributes (big/little, long/short, color, quantity, etc), pronouns (He wants 2 red legos. I want a blue one). Always eager to hear play-based activities for articulation—-would love to hear yours!

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.

28 Feb

Figured I should post about this book before winter officially ends. We have had such a mild one here in Chicagoland that books about snowmen almost don’t feel appropriate. But, hey, with all the kids who have s-blend goals on my caseload? I will use every snow-related material I can get my hands on.

Activities: I brought in a “mystery sack” with random items (some normal: scarf, hat, etc—mostly bizarre like in the book: markers, quarters, etc) and had the kids decide what body parts the items should be (an arm made out of headphones? an orange marker nose?). For snack we emphasized our hot/cold theme with cups of hot chocolate…and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We also drew snowmen on the whiteboard; I had the kids give me directions on what to draw next (using body part vocabulary, top/bottom, how many?, etc) until we had a great snowperson.Also a great book for simple predictions (They made a snow dad. Who do you think they’ll make next?).

Other snow/winter books for preK+: 

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel

Red Sled by Lita Judge

Toby and the Snowflakes by Julie Halpern

Snow by P.D. Eastman

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Downloads: Visuals from the story (made by co-worker, Kristin), Sn- blend visuals (mostly snow related), SMARTBoard targeting hot vs. cold, SMARTBoard for building snowmen (made by Kristin), S-blends to go with “Snow” by P.D. Eastman, S-blends to go with “The Jacket I Wear in the Snow”. If you do have access to Boardmakershare, also recommend searching for winter/snowman activities—there are some great ones!

We print/cut/laminate/velcro the visuals from most books we use during large-group activities. Use it to hold the kids’ attention (give each student a picture, have them listen for their word during the story), provide visual assistance to kids who need it, have an assistant use the folder with a student who needs some extra  support during circle, etc. Once we’ve sequenced all the pictures, I usually have the kids help me retell the story at the end to start practicing “first, then” (First they made a snow dad! Next they made…?).