Distinguishing when a statement is an opinion, fact, or untruth is a critical skill. Students get bombarded everyday in social media with information that is not always correct, although it is presented as fact. They need to be able to weed out the facts and not get persuaded by inaccurate statements. I published this post a few years ago during an election year when it seemed to be a particulare problem. Well here we are back to anther election year with plenty untruths or deceptions present. As candidates give their their speeches students are presented ample opportunities to make judgements on what is presented.
I published a new activity on my TPT store to help address this. There are true statements, untrue statements, and opinion statement task cards for students to identify. After students read the sentences on one side and identify them, they can be flipped to see the corresponding answers. As usual, I will provide a free sample of 3 pages (9 cards) for you to test out. The full purchased activity consists of 10 pages of 3 inch by 3 inch cards for a total of 30 cards and a digital option that is on the Teachers Pay Teachers EASLE activities. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions to improve them or see an error. Click on the comment cloud in the post heading.
The cards use facts, myths, and unproven statements that are often passed around in society. These are intriguing to students and they will learn some interesting facts. They can be used for small independent group activities or they can be projected up on a screen for a class quiz activity. Student’s can compete against each other to earn points for correct answers.
A definition chart is provided in the free sample as well as in the TPT product. Students will need to review the following definitions to complete the activity accurately.
You may use this chart for students on your classroom or therapy list. I ask that you refer people to this site for their own copy. Do not distribute or publish it for commercial use.
Click on the star below for your free sample.
The full 30 card and digital version activity can be bought at Teachers Pay Teachers. Just click on the button and it will take you there.
February is the month I usually focus on antonyms. You may remember some of my past February bulletin boards that had an antonym theme to them. Some of my language learners still have difficulties with antonyms following 3rd grade which is when the Common Core has them listed for proficiency. A lot of my therapy materials seemed a bit childish for older students and they were tired of them by that point. I decided to create some task cards especially for them. This led me to producing task cards that were at a sentence level and using a little more advanced vocabulary then you would find in the early grades. I still include pictures because some of my students really benefit from visual cues. I like them self checking so that students can use them independently and for homework. As usual, I will post some trial cards for my readers to test out. There is a set of 12 cards.
I have a set of 40 cards at my TPT store if you find them useful and would like more. Click on the button below and it will take you directly to them.
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.
For the square I sewed straight lines.
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.
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.
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. 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.
This was the look of the bulletin board at the end. The birds are suppose to be sitting on wires.
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.
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.
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.