Tier II Vocabulary Task Card Challenge 3

23 Nov
Tier II Challenge 3 Cards Cover

Could you use some task cards to help students over the summer break? Take a look at my sets of Vocabulary Task Cards for students to quickly review vocabulary. Challenge 3 is written using words off 7th and 8th grade vocabulary lists. If you have used the Challenge 1 and 2 cards using lower level vocabulary, these are similar. Words are presented in a short paragraphs and students complete word meaning and comprehension tasks after reading them. I have included a free sample in this post for you to try out. Scroll down to find the free download.

The cards are flexible for a variety of teaching situations and student ability levels. I always liked materials that I could tweak for different learning styles and students don’t appear to be getting something completely different from their peers. I think the instruction sheet below, included in the download, best explains the different options available.

The full set of task cards are on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT). You can assign them to individual students digitally on EASEL platform. This allows for paperless teaching if you wish. You can also download and print them out on cardstock. They can then be used with individual students for home work or in learning centers. 126 words are covered in 20 cards/slides. A variation of the 20 cards using the same words means there are 40 cards/slides total. The free sample provides the word list used.

click here for free sample.

If these cards work for you and your students, you can purchase the whole set at my store “The Spontaneous Speech Spot”. Click below for a direct link to the full set.

Summer Games For Speech

26 Jun
Summer game toys

Summer is here and thankfully we are getting back to normal for summer play. The age old question may be coming up now. “What can I do?” Take advantage of that boredom to review language concepts. Students may be interested in participating in their own Summer Olympic Games. Just go into that toy closet and bring out the beach or nerf balls, balloons,  pool noodles, frisbees, and jump ropes  for some fun. Students won’t even know they are reviewing concepts at the same time.  These items can be adapted for almost any ability level.  Here are some ideas I have used in the past.

For a game of badminton, tie a jump rope between two chairs, trees, or poles to make a net.  Use the pool noodles to hit a balloon over or under the net in a game of balloon badminton. Review vocabulary such as over, under, beneath, high, and low. Best of all, the noodles won’t hurt anyone who is accidently hit in the enthusiasm. Also the balloons are slower moving for individuals who need a slower pace. Make sure you have back up balloons for when they break.

Take a few of the noodles and bend them in an arch. Fasten them to the ground with dowels, sturdy sticks or lawn stakes. Use the center holes in the tubes to fit over the sticks after you pound them into the ground. Make a course similar to the one used in a game of croquet. Use other noodles to hit nerf balls or balloons through the arches. The dog may even let you use his frisbee. Count how many hits it takes to get through the course and use comparison vocabulary such as less, least, more, and equal.

pool noodle arch

Make circles with the pool noodles by joining two ends. with a dowel. Fill juice or milk jugs with water to make good sturdy targets for a ring toss. Practice throwing the circle or hoops around the jugs as you would at a carnival. Use distance vocabulary such as close, further, near, and far.

noodle ring

Fasten rings to chairs, trees, and poles with bungee chords, or tape. Make an air golf course. Use straight noodles to hit balloons through the hoops. This may not work with a breeze but you can change to nerf balls or a frisbee You can also switch it up by throwing the noodles like spears through the hoops. Review vocabulary such as almost, close, far, near, and through.

I hope you enjoy your summer and come back refreshed. Hopefully these ideas give you a good start for making your summer games a success.

Family Dog

Directions for Fidget Mazes and Happy New Year

4 Jan
Baxter head

I hope everyone had a good holiday break and are refreshed for 2024. This post is dedicated to Baxter who crossed the rainbow bridge just before the holidays. He was a Belgian Malinois, Lab mix (thats our guess) rescued from the dog pound back in 2012. Although he was intimidating to some and took his guard dog job seriously he was a gentle family protecter. Our door bell stopped working and we didn’t bother to get it fixed because he always told us when someone was at the door. He made the family feel secure with his presence. He is missed.

I looked back at my posts of previous years and decided to replay this one on fidget toys. I had several students who had trouble staying focused in class.  Keeping their hands busy seemed to keep them out of trouble. Cloth marble mazes are simple to make, functionaal and do not become deadly missiles in the end.

To make them I used textured cloth; fleece and terry cloth.  I cut a 9 inch circle for one and 9x 8 inch squares for the others. I then sewed around the edge leaving a gap to turn it inside out. After turning it inside out, I  drew a maze leaving 1 and 1/4 inch channel for the marble to move through.  I then sewed on the lines with my sewing machine.  These can be as simple or difficult as you want to make them.

Here are some different designs to get your creative juices going. I made the circle look like a snail with the marble moving from the edge to the inner circle.  Just sew a spiral going to the center.  I used a simple stitch first to make sure the marble would make it through and then used a stretch stitch to make it sturdier.

roundmarblemaze

For the square I sewed straight lines.

rectangmarblemaze

 Remember to alternate the lines from reaching the edge so you have a path for the marble.  When you are finished,  insert a marble through the opening  and sew the opening shut.  Students use their fingers to move the marble through the maze.

The teachers gave good reviews on these. They held up well and were washable. Once I got the hang of it, I could make one in 20 minutes.

marblemazeall

Starting a New School Year with Your Speech Students

29 Jul

A school year often starts by getting acquainted with new students. You may know nothing about them except for a check mark indicating special education services on the registration records. Often the record hasn’t been updated for a year and isn’t very accurate. If you hit the jackpot, you might actually get a record containing a current evaluation and the last progress report.

I love when parents have kept all the paperwork and can give you updated paperwork from the previous school. In some cases, technology has improved the ability to get current records by linking records across schools. Sometimes it takes weeks before everything comes together. Meanwhile, you need to figure out what your students need so you can form your schedule and help teachers meet the needs in their classrooms.

To start out the new year, I usually take out one of my conversation ice breakers. It gets students talking and gives you an idea of where to start with them in the coming year. One of my favorites is a suction cup ball you often find at Target, The Dollar Store, Walmart, or any party favors section of a store. You could also use a dice or spinner with numbers.

I really like the suction ball. Everyone likes to throw a ball at a target and it is quite engaging even for reluctant students.

You then have them help you write questions and number them. Here are some examples: 1. Did you take a road trip during the summer? 2. Did you learn anything fun? 3. Did you get anything new? 4. Did you eat any fun foods? 5. Did you see any movies? 6. Did you read any books?

I draw a target on a white board with an erasable marker making a few rings and target areas. I label the rings with numbers 1-6.

Students take turns throwing the ball at the target and answering the questions according to the area hit. Fellow students are then asked to think up a follow up question according to the answer and topic.

I like this activity because students of any age and ability can do it. I have plenty of opportunities to observe their speech and language skills. I can observe students in a mixed group and see how they interact. I can use this activity to see how a student answers questions, stays on topic, and contributes to a topic that has already been started. It goes fairly quickly because turns do not take long.

I hope you have a good beginning to your new school year.

Refresher for Stuttering Therapy Skills

20 Jun
sprayers

It is finally summer break.  Those last few weeks are always  such a whirlwind trying to get everything completed.  It is hard to think of plans for some of out students who receive summer services. This was a popular post a number of years ago so I decided to bring it back up to the top to see if it would help with someones plans.

It seems that every school district I have worked for  over the years has difficulty providing relevant training for the SLP staff.  The best year was when the district SLPs  took control over the situation.   One of my fellow SLPs had sent for the Six DVD Series from The Stuttering Foundation entitled Stuttering Therapy: Practical Ideas for the School Clinician.  We obtained permission to use it for our training during spring inservice times.

I highly recommend this series if you need a refresher for Stuttering Therapy.  It addressed therapy with preschoolers all the way to adulthood.  It lived up to its title and provided a lot of practical therapy activities. They still have thiss series as of this posting. They presented video clips of  real therapy sessions which was very helpful.  Most of the speakers identified themselves as stutterers which made it even more credible to me.

One of my students was a third grader who appeared to take his therapy sessions quite seriously.  I wanted to get him to lighten up a bit.  One of the suggestions for identification and voluntary stuttering was to use spray bottles and spray each other when stuttered words were heard.  The words could be a real stutter  or a voluntary stutter it didn’t matter.   I thought this sounded like the perfect activity for the last therapy session.  

I just happened to have mini water sprayers given as party favors about 10 years ago.  Did I mention I never throw anything out  because you just don’t know when it will become useful.  Well they turned out to be the perfect thing. The above picture makes them look bigger than they are.  They held about 3 tablespoons of water so we couldn’t get too soaked. You may be able to find something similar where you purchase party favors for children’s parties.

My student couldn’t believe he could spray me.  After a few good squirts from my bottle he didn’t hold back.  To see his eyes light up and have fun with stuttering made my day.  I am sure he will remember it when we start again next school year.

Spring is for the Birds

5 May

Spring is for the birds. This was a “following directions activity” as well as introducing idioms for the older students. I posted this quite a few years back. Originally, I put the birds up on a bulletin board I had in the hallway. Students from all grades would pass by and comment on it. I decided to update it since the directions were a digital book and the link no longer worked.  

I converted the directions to a pdf. This allows you to present the directions to your students in different ways. You can get the pdf here.

My older students had a homework component. I made flyers with idioms printed on them and they either wrote or told me the meaning after researching it.  Here is the flyer. Bird phrases.   

Bird Board redo

This was the look of the bulletin board at the end. The birds are suppose to be sitting on wires.  

Social Skill Activity Using Tangram Puzzles

17 Feb

A Tangram Puzzle is an old Chinese tile game that consists of seven geometric shapes called tans.  The tans usually consist of a square, 5 triangles and a parallelogram. The shapes can be used to form various shapes and designs.  I used the original square but also developed a Shamrock puzzle for a lesson that was presented  in  March. 

These puzzles work great as a cooperative activity for social skills groups.  It is a good activity to work on problem solving, seeing another person’s perspective, using directive language and cooperating within a group.  I recommend using the square first because the  shamrock  tends to be more difficult for the studernts to figure out.  Hopefully you have a chance to work on social skills, observe your students in action, encourage their social development and get a break from lesson planning.

To begin the activity you need a square puzzle printed out on cardstock for each student in the group. Look at the bottom of the post for the pattern. Have them cut the square apart into individual shapes.

At its simplest level each student mixes their pieces up into a pile and then puts them back together into a square shape. The difficulty and need for interaction can be increased by having students mix their pieces of the puzzle with other students.   They choose puzzle pieces from the mix  and then try to put their square back together again. This forces students to look at the pieces they have and what other students have.  It will require them to negotiate and trade for the pieces they need to make the original square.

There are two free downloads for this activity.  One is the square pattern and the other is a shamrock pattern .  I hope your students learn from and enjoy this activity.

 Square Tangram pattern

 Shamrock Tangram pattern

Valentine Social Group Activity

26 Jan

Will you be observing Valentine’s Day with your classroom students? The Trial and Error Pass Activity is a good way to celebrate and also work on social and problem solving skills at the same time. It is presently on my Teachers Pay Teachers store and I made it a FREE download until the end of February. There is a link at the bottom of the post.

This activity requires students to use a trial and error method of problem solving. This is quite difficult for some students who want success on the first attempt and have difficulty when they fail. This activity reinforces the idea that mistakes are not necessarily bad and can be used for learning. It also teaches students to work together toward a common goal. The solution will be found by observing the mistakes of everyone and it would be very difficult to succeed individually. It also requires students to use their short term memory and make inferences to predict the pattern.

This activity can be used with small groups of students, two competing teams, or with one or two students. The object of the game is to cross the grid in 6 moves stepping on the correct sequence of images.

Valentine TandEgrid
Trial and Error Grid

A judge, who could be a student or teacher, is selected. The judge takes one of the pattern cards that will be the solution to the stepping pattern. A student begins the challenge by stepping on one of the cards in the first row and moves one row ahead for each step. As the move is made the judge indicates if it is the correct one by saying right or wrong move. If a buzzer is available that can be used for the wrong step. There are some buzzer sounds available on apps for electronic devices that students really enjoy using. If it is the right step the student continues to move forward. If it is the wrong step the person returns to the start or the end of the line and waits for another turn. Students can watch the attempts of others until they get to the front of the line again. The students may notice that a pattern is developing as students discover the correct moves. This will speed up the progress until someone finally makes it across. The students should be reinforced for working as a team and not make it an individual competition to make it to the finish.

free download
click here for link to TPT and free download