April 10, 2016

Activity of the Week: 4/4/16

This week was all about the theme of spring things.  The speech room was definitely blooming with adventures this week.

We started with self-contained special forces students and continued to target the theme of spring items, plants, and the concept of growing seeds. We had a fun worksheet to label concepts and for following directions.  We had a simple book about growing seeds to review the concepts and sequence (step by step order) of the process. We used an interactive vocabulary book by Speech Room News (Growing Carrots and Making a Garden) and paired it with a TechTalk AAC device to match, label (for non-verbal students), and practice joint attention to a task/activity.

Here is my graduate student, Julie, working with a student on joint attention, following directions, expressively labeling (confrontational naming and -WH questions), and matching color pictures,

Find the matching picture!
Here I am working with two students (separately) on various goals such as staying on topic, receptively matching, joint attention, and answering -WH questions with visual and verbal supports.

Other groups worked on inferencing and answering -WH questions with a silly "Ants in the Pants" themed game. Here is Chipper Chat, Inferencing fun deck, and the cootie game Ants in the Pants and the students loved this activity because of the silly bug theme and the game (remember, we play games to make the WORK FUN, not to "just play games."  That is a BIG pet peeve of mine.  I rarely bust out games in my classroom but when I do, it is to make the discreet language drills a bit more engaging and enticing. 

Most of my other groups worked on reading and comprehension strategies, as we have the ACT ASPIRE test to administer next week.  Here are some resources that I used that we reviewed and students took home for a homework packet to prepare themselves:

Reading Lesson Plans (these I used throughout the semester to TEACH my comprehension strategies. A great resource for teaching these skills first and then use it to reinforce good habits for close reading techniques, etc.) This can be used with ANY book which is really nice.

For our big self-contained project, we created flowers with construction paper and real sunflower seeds. We targeted vocabulary (level 1 and 2), locations (on top, next to, inside, above, below), colors, following directions, fine motor skills, requesting, and many more!  I love craftivity projects because you can simply target a multitude of skills with one activity, something I always advocate to those I am mentoring: work smarter not harder.  Pick one task or activity and try to adapt it to as many goals and skills as you can.

The finished products:

Simply beautiful!

Activity of the Week: 3/28/16

We had a very entertaining and exciting week. Groups really focused on a variety of skills! Let me give you a tour of some of the things we did this week: 

Here is a snapshot of a group of students who are playing a simple bingo-style game. We were working on labeling, following directions, turn-taking, scripted social narratives for conversational topic maintenance, inferencing information, and answering -WH questions (themes including animals and food). This product is created by SuperDuper, Inc. 

Here I am working with a student doing a color-based interactive vocabulary book (thanks Speech Room News!) with a student. We also used an iPad app, Bitsboard, to do a variety of activities.  We are labeling, spelling, following multi-step directions, letter matching, sight word recognition, categories (by color and function), and reading, to name only a few. It is simply amazing that one activity can be used to target such a variety of skills and needs! They always say that the best clinician can do effective therapy with just a pencil and pad of paper... but I love having great resources and tools at my disposal. Thanks, Teachers Pay Teachers!

For our other students, we decided to target deciphering unknown words, utilizing contextual clues and inferencing information, and reading comprehension with an activity by Peachie Speechie.  I had some leftover Easter jelly bean candy and decided to use it on this adorable product that was a simple download from TPT.  Each student was required to read a short paragraph (we took turns as a group reading out loud) and answer questions from that paragraph. We cited our evidence (they had to show me where they found their answers), used context clues, and worked on comprehension in this activity.  Once we were finished, the students got to eat the jelly beans (optional) and they loved the special treat.  Anything I can do to make work fun as we learn and target new skills! We also used goal sliders from Speech To the Core to show each student what goal they were working on specifically and the back of the card has a slider rating scale for the student to decide how they did towards their skill during the activity.

Even though some students had a variety of goals other than reading, comprehension, etc., we could use this activity to target topic maintenance, turn-taking, following directions, fluency/stuttering modification techniques, and articulation (at the reading and conversational level, which most of my 4th-6th grade students are currently at anyway).  I love being a multitasking SLP! :) I used empty binders to "hide" each student's packet from each other so they couldn't "cheat" on the answers since jelly beans are easy to see in terms of answer choices.  I wanted each student's work to be independent during this activity. 

Here is my amazing graduate clinician (from University of Alabama A&M), Julie, working the jelly bean activity with some students. They really love working with her! We will miss you when you are gone, Julie! She really knows how to engage students and keep them occupied, on task, and focused during an activity.

Here's a sneak peek of me in action during the jelly bean task working with a student who has fluency goals at the reading and conversational level. The other student was focusing on finding details from the main idea of the paragraph, using learned memory strategies for recalling information, and comprehension.  

Here's a peek also at our project we began for some of the special forces special needs self-contained classrooms. We targeted a growing/plant theme to work on discussing the theme of spring events. We hope to work up to actually planting our own flowers and watching them grow. Soon!

Hope you enjoyed our recap of the week's events.  Stay tuned for more adventures!