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Round-Up.

3 May

Time to share a few random things I’ve made and loved this week.

Made by me: Garden SMARTBoard activity (made from the visuals I had laminated/velcroed for Muncha Muncha Muncha. Can use for labeling veggies, following multi-step directions, spatial concepts, etc) + what I sent home to parents, in case you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s a powerpoint targeting /v/ in all positions of words (very simple). A visual to help retell We’re Going on a Lion Hunt. Worksheet for medial /t/ and /d/.

Found around the web: Love this 4-step sequencing download over on Boardmaker Share. Slapples to Slapples: an Apples/Apples-ish adjective game (I just downloaded the free preview for now! Loved using it with my 4-6th grade students). And I want to take advantage of these: sequencing cards that go with books (for preK-1st grade).

And an article I loved reading: “7 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent“.

Have a great weekend!

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A to Z.

1 May

Have been trying to come up with new ways to target auditory memory and word retrieval. I would be eager to hear any of your ideas! Some of my student’s inherited goals are maybe not my favorite—targeting how many syllables are in the sentence a student can repeat back to me, for example, doesn’t feel too functional. In any case, “Free Language Stuff” is one source for inspiration on following directions tasks, which I like for having students follow spoken directions of varying complexity. Last week I played the ever-popular old-school car game “I’m going on vacation, and I’m taking apples, bananas…” with one of my students. It wound up being really interesting just to see what strategies he used to recite every item—-checking out the alphabet posted on the wall, tapping out his responses while going down the page, writing down each item, etc—-and what error patterns popped up. If it’s something that might be useful with your students, feel free to download the visual I made below! I’ll admit, I found myself craving some visual cues by the time we got to Z…

Scattergories, Jr.

11 Apr

Today I was all about Scattergories, Jr. with my older kids. My mom, an occupational therapist, recently retired, and I’ve been scooping up her games and materials (score!). I was perhaps the most excited about Scattergories. I used it with two of my language groups today (4th and 6th grade), both of which contain students working on both word finding and vocabulary building. With one of my 5th grade artic groups we just took away the rolling-of-the-letters component and said you got 2 points if you wrote down a word with the /r/ (in any position), their target sound. My last group of the day is composed of 1st/2nd graders, and our sounds of the day were /s/ and /z/. For them I just turned it into a bit of a round-table game show, presenting the items verbally (Your category is “THINGS I’D TAKE ON A PICNIC”. What’s something that has your /s/ or /z/ sound?). They were actually really great at coming up with appropriate responses, and it just made targeting their sounds a little more fun. Here’s the (very simple) worksheet I sent home with some of my kids.

From around the web:

-I liked this quote from an SLP on Scattergories.

-Now I want to try Scattergories Categories

Great take-home worksheet from Heard in Speech. Would definitely work with this activity!

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Free downloads I’m loving today?

Sheets to send home to parents: information on “sh”, “ch”, “th”, /s/, etc. Nice descriptions of strategies to try at home/what is being targeted at school.

Pronouns activity. Many printable sheets with a camping theme targeting he/she/they. Nice visuals—I’m so used to Boardmaker ones!

Step by step drawing visuals. Nice for following directions!

“Ch”

2 Apr

First day back from Spring break!

Can’t say I’m feeling terribly organized today, but thought I’d start off the week by sharing a few “ch” visuals I’ve made. I forgot to include a “ch” story in my “Articulation Stories” post, so figured I’d better get it to you. Hope your week is off to a great start!

-“Chewbacca sees…” + choices

“Ch” verbs

“Ch” medial foods

She/He chooses

“Ch” story

Sending It Home.

22 Mar

I’ve loved seeing how other school SLPs communicate with parents (see Speech Room News, Speech Lady Liz’s take-home programs) . I work with a few different groups of students. For my itinerant speech PreK students, their parents bring them to all sessions. We typically get to chat at least briefly after each session, so—along with word list/activities from sessions that get sent home in their “speech folders”—I think they’re kept pretty informed of what’s going on in our sessions. For my students in our preK classrooms, I’ve at least committed to sending home a handout weekly after our large speech/language group. I typically take a visual we used together in the group and add a little written summary of what we’ve been working on/how they could reinforce this at home. This takes only a few minutes to write/print/xerox, and I distribute it at the end of our group along with a rhyming activity (“If your name sounds like Melena, come get your paper!”). Students I work with in small groups/individually throughout the week will also occasionally have artic/language worksheets to put in their backpacks.

At my K-8 school, I don’t always have access to printing. Sometimes the take-home will just be a xeroxed cover of the book we read, along with a quick note on which words were our targets. Other times I make a quick handout regarding the “book of the day” (if applicable) and which sounds we targeted. Some days I send home a note on an iPad app we used in speech therapy. It all varies a bit, but, sure, the overall key is: keep the door to communication open and let parents know what’s happening in speech! Give them word lists/ language activities so that they at least have easy access to continuing practice at home. Does every family utilize these? No. But I still think it’s worth it to try and encourage carryover!

Here are some Word documents and photos of things I’ve sent home, in case you need inspiration. How do you promote carryover?

Does Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? (medial “th”); “Articulation Station”; Pigs Make Me Sneeze (s-blends); Turkey Day (medial /k/); Toby and the Snowflakes (s-blends)

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

18 Mar

Just thought I’d share a book I made last year to target /z/ initial: “1,2,3 to the Zoo”, to go along with the Eric Carle picture book. Could also be used to target matching, labeling zoo animals, plurals, counting, making predictions, etc. I just had students paste the appropriate animal on each page and, depending on their level of practice, typically help me complete the phrase “1 elephant at the ________” to elicit initial /z/.

More /z/: here’s a basic page I made with the phrase “The zookeeper helps…”. I typically print out several copies of this page and let the kids pick whichever animals they would like to finish it (visuals here). Already shared this one, but here’s the /z/ initial story I made up as well.

Over at Autumn’s powerpoint site she has a great “Zoo” one that lets the kids guess which animal is next (great sound effects & visuals). Another nice way to elicit /z/! Was set up for targeting making inferences, so could also be great for that! In play I like to use zoo/farm animals and have the kids categorize them and tell me where the animals live. For word lists/practice in the medial and final positions, check out Mommy Speech Therapy.

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