Free Association Task Cards to Celebrate the New Year

27 Dec

 

 

 

 

I have been working on more categories of association task cards of late.  I thought my blog readers might enjoy having something new to start the year.   These are similar to the previous sets I have made but cover plants, land elements, and transportation vocabulary.

This is a sample set for you to try.  It has 12 cards and the complete set at TPT has 32.

I find this vocabulary to be more difficult for elementary and have you used it with the middle school population.  When you add them to the previous free sets you should have about 36 cards.  If you haven’t downloaded the others you can do a search for task cards and find the others.

As many of you know, one way to build vocabulary is to develop word association skills.  These are  task cards to help develop that skill.  When given a set of four words students compare and contrast  words to find which word  does not belong in  the set of four (the odd one out).  They then give a reason for their choice. This involves a higher level of thought process and awareness of word meanings beyond memorizing definitions.

A QRC code is  provided to explain the answer given.  Students can use this feature for self checking.   It is possible to have more than one answer although only one answer is provided.  You can download an  APP  on most mobile devices to scan and read the code. The reader is from  http://www.qrstuff.com/

The cards also lend themselves to answering wh questions, and using negatives such as  does/doesn’t in sentences.  I also  use them for eliciting spontaneous speech when  practicing articulation.

 

I hope you enjoy the free download and have a Happy New Year.  Thank you to all who have purchased from my TPT store and helped cover the cost of the “In Spontaneous Speech Blog.”  I have gotten thanked from people in my travels and that always makes me feel like  it is worth while continuing.

You can find the TPT set here. 

 

Free Trial Association Task Cards

31 Jul

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I recently added a new resource on Teachers Pay Teachers and as usual I made a trial version for my readers to try.  I used my association cards a lot last year and realized they really needed updating.  I decided to add pictures to make them more appealing.  I also made them double sided so that an answer could be given and QRC code could be added for reasoning.  This allows students to independently check their answers and  the use of technology can be  motivating.  The pictures are appropriate for older students so may be used beyond elementary age.

If you would like to try the free trial just click below.  free trial button                                    Association cards animal and householdtrialpdf

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School Sale starting tomorrow. If you would like the complete set please visit my store by clicking on the sale sign below or the cover at the top of this post.  You will be able to get them at a discount when you use the code.   I would really appreciate any comments you may have.

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The Order of Things Comparative Task Cards

14 May

 

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My caseload includes  6th and 7th graders this year so I have had to dig out  activities for older students. These are a remake of comparative cards I have used in the past.  I have used them with my general education 4th and 5th graders as a speech task for articulation skills and they are able to do them.  My 6th and 7th grade language learners often need review of the vocabulary and the memory component is often a challenge. I like that they are direct instruction for what is needed in academics and the common core.

My orignal set of task cards only had printed words.  I decided it would be useful to provide answers so students can independently check them.  This expands the ability of using them with partners if you are teaching a small class.  Pictures bring some  eye appeal  and a bit of cuing even for the older students. I try to make the pictures appropriate for an older more sophisticated eye.  Bubble heads do not go over very big with my teens.

The premise of these cards is very simple. Four items are listed along  with a  descriptive term.  Students reorder the items according to the descriptive term.  It seems simple but actually requires quite a few skills.  They need to have knowledge of the vocabulary listed and descriptive details for measurement so comparisons can be made.  They also need to use their short term  memory in oder to change the order.  The task lends itself to thinking about comparative vocabulary and using er, and est word endings. If you want to test them out, click on the button below and you will get a set of 12 task cards to try out.

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The order of things free sample 

If you would like a full set, I have them listed on TPT

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Free Tier II Vocabulary Task Card Challenge

22 Mar


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Happy Spring everyone!  We have Spring break here so I finally have time to finish a project. I have been working on this one for a while and have tried out a version of these vocabulary cards with my 4th  through 6th graders.  I seem to have quite a few students with low vocabulary this year.  The Common Core State Standards put a strong emphasis on nonfiction, and informational text.  If they have difficulty with vocabulary it affects their comprehension.  The teachers are beginning to really notice with test preparation in full swing.

 I  had a student transfer in with a goal that referred to Tier II Vocabulary.    I decided to  investigated  so I could address his goal.   Tier II Vocabulary  turned out to be those  words that occur frequently in academic  text. Students may find these words when reading Science, Social Studies and English text   I wanted something that would make the most impact for my students and also have a  way to track progress.   I decided to make a list of words  from Tier II vocabulary lists and then use them in the contexts of short paragraphs.  This way I could also address comprehension and making inferences from text. There are two different activities. One involves describing the meaning of words and the other is answering comprehension questions.  One set requires students to find the answers from given answers and the other is answering the questions and referring to the answers.  The level of support can be quite flexible depending on how you cut and fold them.ccbutton

 The words used on my task cards are not a complete compilation and come from a variety of 3rd and 4th grade vocabulary lists.  I used what  made sense in the context  of the paragraphs I wrote.  I used a total of 106 words.  A few are used more than once and cover multiple meaning. I now can write a goal for teaching Ter II Vocabulary to 80% and measure it. I love making data collection simple. 

I made a trial set for you to try.  It gives you an idea of what they look like up close.free trial button

If you find these fit your needs, there is a full set available on TPT,  just click the button below.

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Irregular Plurals Interactive Book

30 Oct

Morgan button                                                Click on this box  for direct link

Sometimes we need to allow ideas time to grow.  We don’t always have the right  materials and knowledge when we first start out with an idea. It takes trial and error.  This is a  good lesson to impress upon our students. My wish to write a children’s book was a personal example of this.  I thought you might be intrigued about the process I went through.

Publishing a children’s book was one of those things on my bucket list. So 20 years ago I began to work on it.  It had several different titles and variations but in the end I called it  Morgan the Magician and his Amazing Box.   I didn’t always have a lot of time to devote to it. I would get a part of it going, end up with a road block, and it would get stuck back in the filing cabinet until I was ready to attempt it again.

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So how did I end up with the idea of Morgan the Magician you ask? Irregular plurals are not something that seem that important at first glance. Classroom instruction spends only a short  time on them.  They seem to play a small part of what students need for academic performance.   However I find my language students usually have  difficulty  with them and don’t acquire them through the  general education curriculum. I usually try to find some opportunity to review them.

For my therapy students, I started out my career using the usual task cards and tried to

morgan beginningget them to memorize them.  What else can you do when irregular plurals don’t follow the usual rules and are so  irregular.   This seemed to take more time out of therapy sessions than it was worth. Some would get memorized from the cards but were not used in any  other context.  So I tried to think of a better way.  I decided putting them in a story would give them some context.  My own children always liked the stories that had  pull flaps and they could  interact with.  Rhyming also helps us to remember things.  So this began my journey on making an interactive book with flaps that used rhyming.  I often had rhymes swimming in my head so I had empathy for Dr. Seuss.

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I started by making it for personal use first.  In  the first version, I hand drew the characters and objects. This was before graphics were available on computers for  the average person.   My own children said my wizard looked freaky and would scare children.  I  decided I better make him  a more friendly magician.   My first version had a pull strip that was pulled  through a door so that the single item went in the door and the plural came out the other side.  It was a workable book  but  the strips were a bit cumbersome and students had a tendency to pull the strips all the way out.  I also wanted the pages to be double-sided.  The last challenge was making it printable and user friendly for construction.  That turned out to be the biggest challenge.

Getting a publisher interested would be another challenge, but then came Teachers Pay Teachers.  I found I could just publish it myself.  page3 I discovered Power Point and that this program could be used for formating and placing  clip art easily on pages.  I got a notebook with a sketchbook app which openedup new possibilities for drawing characters.  I could draw the magician once and then make some changes to him as I  went without him changing appearance too much.  No more hand drawing each page.  It made it possible for me to make the clip art,  make multiple pages, and make it in such a way that others could make copies for themselves.

Then I had one of those light bulb moments.  I could just use doors and have the pages back to back.   The single task card could be placed in the door by the student.  The next page could  contain the plural form of the word.  The task cards are separate so they can be attached with velcro and used for  other activities.  Such a simple method that took years for me to come up with.

 

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Click on the button at the top of this post for a direct link to TPT and the book.

 

 

Free Sample; Unexpected and Expected Behavior Task Cards

29 Apr


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I use Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking® curriculum with many of my students. One of the concepts that is explored in this curriculum is “I have thoughts about you and you have thoughts about me.” In other words, people are always thinking about each other and they may have comfortable or uncomfortable thoughts depending on their actions. This may affect how they treat individuals in the future. People want to be with people they are comfortable with and have good thoughts about. They may avoid those that don’t make them feel comfortable. Therefore being able to tell the difference between what is expected behavior in given situations and what is unexpected can help us when making and keeping our friends. You can find more information on her concepts at http://www.socialthinking.com/

I needed a good set of task cards to review actions that students may do or observe others do.  You may find them useful  if you are teaching from this curriculum. They are double sided with an unexpected behavior on one side and a matching expected behavior on the other side.

I put the cards in a draw bag. The students reached in and drew a card out, and placed it on the table.  They then decided if the side facing up was an expected behavior or unexpected.  They talked about how the actions make them feel. If the unexpected is presented first, students can talk about what they think the expected behavior would be on the other side.

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Students checked their answers by using the Top Secret UV light which I got at our book fair.  I put a U or and E in the box for them to check.  There is also a QR code for those who would prefer to use a scanner. My students find this motivating and they can self check if they are working in small table groups.

The draw bag is an easy thing to make.  I took a sleeve off an old sweater and sewed across the bottom.  The cuff makes a nice finished opening and the bag is stretchy.  It has got to be the easiest bag I have ever made.

In my TPT packet, there are 28 expected cards and 28 matching unexpected cards side by side.  They are meant to be printed on card stock, cut on the horizontal lines and folded back to make a double sided card.   I put a box on each card so I could write with my UV light pen a U or E in the box.  Students can light the answer up. I also put a QR code for those who like that option. The QR code is from http://www.qrstuff.com/. When scanned it will read expected or unexpected to correspond to the side it is on.

I am putting 2 pages of the cards below for you to review as a freebie.  If you like them consider getting the full set at TPT.   Just click on the cover page button at the top  for a direct link to the product.  Your patronage covers the cost of this website and keeps it advertisement free, except for me I suppose.  I am trying to keep the commercial  aspect down and provide resources. I know most of us are on really tight budgets.

 

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Free Trial of How and Why Question Comprehension Cards

14 Mar

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I  have several students who are  answering  a  how question with a why response. Our students with language delays, autism, and 2nd language learners often have trouble with these skills.  “How” and “Why” questions are question forms that require a higher level of thinking and language skills to formulate responses.  The students often need the ability to problem solve or take on another perspective when answering them.  When looking through  the Language Arts section of the  “Common Core Standards”  I discovered this would be a skill they would need. Like many of you, I am rethinking what is most valuable to my students as we try to align curriculum with the “Common Core Standards”.  I made  task cards to specifically address  how and why question forms from a  given text.

Students  may require some direct teaching  on the differences between how and why questions.  How question  have  a few variations.  It may require a student to tell how something is done in steps, how something is done descriptively,  the amount  of something,  or state of being such as  with “How are you feeling?”.  The answer may contain an adjective or adverb.

Answering why questions  often involves finding the antecedent or cause  of an event.  The answer recalls  facts that happened before an event.  For example the question  “Why did the dog dig a hole?” He dug a hole because he smelled a bone under the ground.   Compare this to the  how question.  “How did he get the bone?”  He dug a hole with his paws and grabbed it with his mouth.

Answers to how question often  relate an action and possible  steps. These response can seem to be quite similar  to a student.  For instance, look at these questions and answers. “Why did the lights go out in the storm?” or “ How did the electrical wires get knocked down in the storm?”  The answers, “The electrical wire was knocked down in the storm because a branch hit it.” and  “A strong wind blew a branch off the tree and it hit  the electrical wire which was torn down.”  They seem interchangeable except the because is used in response to the why question and how elicits a series of events. Our language learners will shorten their  response to, “A branch fell off the tree”, for both questions.

The  packet I am posting on Teachers Pay Teachers  has  30, 3 inch by 3 inch cards with 3 questions on most cards.  In the packer there are 4 cards that deal with how many questions and amounts.  26 cards deal with the variations of how and why listed above. There are 17 cards that also contain a question on  vocabulary  within the story context.  This provides opportunity for students to derive word meanings from the text and verbalize it.  You can find them here or by clicking on the picture button at the top of the page which takes you to TPT and also gives a preview.

I made a free trial packet for my readers.  You can get it by clicking on the button. free trial button

There are 3 pages of cards for a total of 9.  You can see if they are something of value for your students.  I have been using them with my 3rd through 6th graders.  I try to keep the picture cues meaningful and appropriate for middle school range.  I  have a lot of boys and they don’t tolerate things that look cute. I make them double sided so they have possible answers available.  This helps when I have groups and it is motivating for them to flip them over and see if they got it right.


Free Spinners for Game Adaptations

4 Dec

You may have noticed that I like to use spinners to expand the therapy value of some of my games and teach concept vocabulary.  I have some of them as part of my downloads in the vocabulary section.  The spinners in my previous downloads are  black and white and  not very colorful.  I decided to update them with pictures and color to make them more friendly for my non-readers. You can access them on TPT for FREE.  Just click the button.TPT button

 

The spinners are made from the clear plastic lids you find on products  such as  whipped cream  or oatmeal containers.  A pony  bead, paper fastener and spinner from heavy cardboard or plastic are added. The lids are clear so that the paper form  can be placed underneath and still be seen.  The paper can be replaced from one activity to the next and the same spinner stays intact. Look below to see my showcase of spinners and the games I use with them.

Left and Right Spinner.

This spinner  is used when playing Blockhead or some other block stacking game. It  targets the concepts of left and right.  The spinner has the directions of Left or Right  with a handprint for cuing. Students take turns spinning the spinner and use the hand that is indicated to pick up a block and stack to make a tower.  Point out to the students that when their hands are flattened on the table their left hand will form an L shape with the pointer and thumb. This is another cue they can use to distinguish their left hand from their right hand. I have used this as a table or center activity with table groups of 6 students in a Kindergarten class.

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 Size and Shape Spinner:

You need bean bags or soft balls that can be tossed, plastic pails and boxes of various sizes and shapes, and  spinners  with the vocabulary words printed on it.   Have the students  make a big circle with the containers placed in the center.  Instruct the children on how to toss the ball or bean bag safely so no one gets injured.

The spinners travel around the circle.  Students  spin the spinner and toss the bean bag or ball as required  trying to get the bean bag in the appropriate container that matches the word on the spinner.

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For the Amount Spinner, I use  a game I made up called “Don’t Fall Through the Ice ”       IMG326

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Use the amount spinner, one 2 lb plastic coffee container.  A rubber band that fits around the mouth of the container, tissue paper, marbles, cup to place marbles in water, spinner with vocabulary words.  Instructions:  Put one sheet of tissue paper across the opening of the  2 lb container.  Fasten it down by stretching the rubber band around the top of the opening. You may need an extra set of hands to accomplish this.   It should look like a drum.  Put marbles in the cup and fill with water.  Children take turns spinning the spinner and taking the number of wet marbles indicated.

The students place the marbles on top of the tissue paper top.  The wet marbles will weaken the tissue paper and eventually fall through.  The wetter the marbles the faster they will fall th rough.  If you are using this activity with table groups they can count the marbles and compare who has the most or least marbles.

Don’t Spill the Beans is an other game that can be used with the spinner.


 

The conversation spinner can be used with any board game that uses a typical number spinner.  It works well with games such as Snakes and Slides or Chutes and Ladders. Students try to follow the prompts on the spinner and give an example.conversation spinner

Free Trial: Reply to a Comment Task Cards

31 Jul

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Teachers Pay Teachers is having their Back to School Sale on Aug 4th and 5th. If you are waiting for the right time to get back to school materials, now is the time.  Don’t forget to use the Promo code when you check out to get the full discount.

In a previous post I mentioned how I worked with students to recognize comments and questions and how they should make a reply.  I made comment and reply cards last  Spring.  I have since updated them to include  pictures.  I’m putting a trial set here for my readers to try out.  If they look like something you could use, the full set is on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Reply to a Comment trial set

 

Quick link to Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Irregular Past Tense Verb Task Cards

4 May

 

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We are coming to the end of the year and it is time to see how much progress my students have made.  I have been working on new irregular past tense verb cards. My commercial cards have pictures that don’t reflect the past event and also have the printed word below.   I end up hiding the written word when doing post testing  which is annoying.  I also find that students do not always generalize to other contexts.   I wanted an activity the students could use after they have memorized  the verbs according to the usual prompts of what happened today and yesterday and would be a better indicator of what they know.   I made the cards so the past tense would be elicited within the context of answering a question.   The cards may also be used for interpreting questions that use the words before, after, during, and while and used for making predictions.  I usually have students working on different goals in the same session.  The  answers are hidden.  Students can use a QR reader to get an answer.  I have a UV pen I bought at a school book fair that I use to write answers in the blue boxes.  The students find it motivating to self check their answers.

I am posting 3 of the pages so you can try them out. You can download them by clicking on the button.. free trial button

The complete set is at TPT  which you can reach by clicking  the button below.

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Irregular verb example