June 19, 2019

2018: STEM and Language with Pumpkins

I wanted to round out the 2018 school year with another holiday-themed activity that I did with ALL of my students on my caseload: Pumpkin Experiments! This is a Nichole Allison product and I highly recommend all of her science-based language/speech activities.  I try to do at least 2 a school year, one in the fall, and one in the spring. Here are a few snapshots:

As you can see, we did a LOT of texture/sensory describing activities that are designed to help write and think like a scientist as well as work on expanding vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

For my speech students, never fret, we were covered on all fronts by a passage specifically geared to target their speech sounds (or fluency skills):

Some groups also got to do some sensory art with apple stamping! I found this idea on Pinterest (as always) and we worked on colors, shapes, following directions, and creativity.

I got a lot of positive feedback from students about how much they enjoyed this project! We loved exploring the taste, texture, and smells from the pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, and apples. We also used the worksheets to expand our writing. 

2018: Ghost Craft

It has been awhile, hasn't it? Life and the school year got away from me so I'm taking advantage of the summer break to catch up on a few posts that I need to do for my 2018-2019 school year. This was a fun craft that we did to target and address labeling, expressive language, following directions, fine motor skills, and describing, to name only a few.

We always start with an overview of directions and expectations:

Here is what the finished product should look like:

I think I found this craft on Pinterest because I was looking for something simple that had everything I already owned so I didn't have to purchase anything for it because I already had glue, cotton balls, and construction paper on hand. 

We also used the research-based tool, Expanding Expression Tool (EET) to describe our ghosts. I used visual supports and aides on the smart board to help students who needed a variety of choices to help shape their answers correctly.

It is always important to have others that help support you in your lessons and I couldn't do half of what I do without my bestie, Rhoda!

The students were hard at work and really enjoyed making their ghosts. We eventually added a hole at the top and we hung them from the ceiling for the rest of the month (October) to make the classroom spooky for the holiday. I forgot to get a picture of that end result, sadly. Thanks for checking out our Halloween holiday craft!

February 19, 2019

2018: Caramel Nachos

This was a fun activity that we did in our special forces class called "apple nachos." We did this as a fall themed activity and I love doing cooking projects with my students. It teaches and works on so many skills such as following directions, labeling, commenting, requesting, problem solving, and so much more!

Here is where I got the visual supports that I used in this activity. I highly recommend this product as it was made by a speech-language pathologist FOR speech-language pathologists, but could be used by any professional who works with special populations.

Preparing the caramel, they were so excited to see what the end treat would look like!

You can never have enough visuals when working with students or anyone with special needs. I also have a few students that are using the PECS system so having as many visual supports as possible is recommended.  I love PECS and have been two of their intensive training sessions and I love this system and how it helps to give some students a "voice" of their own to communicate. 

Starting to look yummy, aren't they?! I know that all my friends were starting to get so excited to try these. Always think of food allergies or issues with students and try to make sure you don't cook or prepare anything that someone might have trouble enjoying.

We always try to end these sessions with a quick comprehension check. These accompanying worksheets are perfect to see if students remember what we did together to make our wonderful treats!

All in all, we loved this activity! It is definitely something I would try again in the future. If you are looking for an easy fall-themed activity, I highly recommend this recipe! What recipes do you use with your students? 

December 3, 2018

2018: Cariboo

I love the game of Cariboo. Unfortunately, it's not a game that is made anymore so I had to snag my copy from eBay. Luckily, I didn't have to pay too much out of pocket for my version.  I love to use it for a variety of activities, so here are a few ways I used it this year:

I always start the year off by taking baselines on what my students can/cannot do with regard to their goals with me.  That can get a little tedious or boring so I usually let them have a turn at Cariboo in-between turns to keep things interesting.

I have a ton of seasonal-themed cards that can go on top of my Cariboo game. Then, we can use them for describing or other activities and I usually pull out my EET aka "color caterpillar"  visuals out to describe the pictures on top.

Sometimes we do worksheets or another type of activity for 90% of our session and the last few minutes I let students play a quick round of Cariboo so they feel like they got to "play a game" if even for a couple of minutes--it is an easy game with little to no set up involved.

How do you use your Cariboo if you use it in speech-language therapy?

November 29, 2018

2018: Articulation Strategies

Concerning articulation and speech sounds, parents will often ask me how their child will work on those goals to obtain proper speech sounds.  We do a variety of activities and here are a few snapshots of some of the things we've done this year:

I love to use books to practice speech skills. I use both fiction and non-fiction to accomplish this task.  Students can practice reading out loud a very simple book that targets lots of words that have their targeted speech sounds in it.  During the book, while they are not reading, they write words down from the story that has their sound in it. That targets their auditory discrimination skills.  We also focus on if their targeted sound is at the beginning, middle, or end of the word. 

Students love these books and the worksheet turns their speech drill practice into a game.  We also use crayons to color on words we've practiced. This activity gets a LOT of repetition into the mix which is great for muscle memory! This activity also work with auditory bombardment if you read aloud the words to the student for them to hear at the beginning and end of each session.

We also use speech sound cards (Thank you, Super Duper! Love your products!) and whisperphones to practice speech at the sentence level. The whisperphone is a simple PVC pipe and it allows students to hear their own speech more clearly.

For my /r/ kiddos, we use a combination of reminder and cheat sheets, iPad animations, and tooth flossers to get the placement job done correctly.

I also use games to target skills.  Here we are working with minimal pairs (w/r) and playing a fun and quick game of Cootie!  Easy and simple but gets a lot of practice in with this one.

If you are an SLP, what are some ways you engage and target students for their speech sound goals? I love teaching articulation skills and it has become one of my favorite areas to remediate!