Happy Anniversary and Secret Circle Activity

6 Jul

It is a year ago that I made the switch to a self hosted  web site.  I do not know why I waited so long.  I have enjoyed having the freedom of decorating as I wish.   There was definitely a learning curve, especially when I found it was hijacked at one point.  Over all It has been worth it.  I decided a free download was needed to celebrate.  Continue on to find it.

For some reason containers hold a certain fascination for me.  It seems like I am always collecting them and thinking about how I can use them for speech therapy.  While drinking my morning orange juice, I got to thinking about the cover to the juice container.  It would make a good tile for a hiding game.  It is at least 2 inches in diameter, can hold  a reasonable size card on top, and a small object underneath.  I also drink enough juice to get  a number of them in a reasonable amount of time.  This led me to thinking about the game of Secret Square and Cariboo. It seemed like it could be made into a game adaptation for either game. The covers just need velcro dots to fasten pictures on top.

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Do you remember the old therapy game called Secret Square?  It was a game that had tiles with pictures on top.  A chip is placed under one of the tiles.  Students find it by asking questions about the pictured items and eliminating the pictures that do not correspond to the answers.  Eventually the chip is found.  Cariboo is similar in that it has pictures on doors that can be chosen to find a hidden balls that is used to open a treasure box.  Both games are very versatile when addressing goals for describing, questioning, and synthesis of information to get the main idea.  It can also address articulation  and specific speech vocabulary such as prepositions with a switch of the cards.  Students love the idea of finding the secret object and it keeps them motivated. Unfortunately Secret Square and  Cariboo are no longer in production.  They can be hard to find and a bit  pricey if bought second hand on e-bay.

 

juice lids

juice lids

Which brings me back to my orange juice container lids.  I could see potential for making a game of   “Secret Circle”  and possibly even a Cariboo type game with items hidden under the lids. This could include pieces of a puzzles hidden  under some of the lids.  All I needed to do was drink 10 containers of juice to get  10 covers and place velcro dots  on top.  Pictures for the tops can range from articulation cards such as found on Mommy Speech Therapy to preposition cards such as found  as  a  free product at my TPT store. I updated and revised my Preposition Penguins especially for this post.  free download button There are a number of Cariboo cards on Teachers Pay Teachers that would also work.

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Don’t Fall Through the Ice

8 Jan

This is our first week back from the holiday break. Some of us are in the grips of winter.  Baby its cold out there!  It seemed appropriate to go with a winter theme  and cold things.  I dug into my archives and brought out my version of “Don’t Fall Through the Ice”.  This activity has been in the vocabulary section and there are written instructions that can be printed out  under the link.  I didn’t include pictures so some of you may have missed it.  As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. The activity is really very simple and made from recycled materials.  I get a lot of use from my coffee cans.  All you need is a wide mouthed container like a coffee container, a large rubber band, paper towels, marbles, and a spinner made from a plastic lid.  The spinner has the words, one, couple, few, and several.  The marbles are placed in a container of water.  The paper towel is stretched across the mouth of the container and held by the rubber band.  Students take turns spinning the spinner, taking the corresponding amount of marbles from the water, and placing them on top of the paper towel.  Eventually the water will weaken the paper towel and the marbles will fall through.   I used this activity as a reinforcement for  students during therapy or as a group activity to work on the concepts of amount.  I have table groups play and then compare the number of marbles they put on top before they fall through.  In addition to the spinner words you can talk about the concepts of wet/dry, weak/strong, and most/ least.

Ice game

Game Adaptation for Crocodile Dentist

12 Apr

Here are two adaptations for the game Crocodile Dentist.  This is a plastic crocodile that has a spring loaded mouth.  The mouth closes when a certain tooth is pushed down. Kids enjoy the suspense of seeing who is going to get bit.  The trigger tooth changes location each time the mouth is opened. Some of you may already use this game for reinforcement.  I thought you might like to know how you can expand its use a little further.  I use it to expand a student’s verbal output to 2 to 3 word phrases using a communication board and to review prepositions when following directions.

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Using permanent markers, I colored the teeth alternating colors.  I used pink, green, and orange because I already had a die that had those colors.  If you don’t have a die you could make a spinner or use colors for a die you have.

For my students with limited verbal abilities, I use the communication board along with the die in a plastic jar.  I have the students shake the die to get the color of tooth they need to push down.  I then model phrases using the communication board while playing the game.  The game creates a lot of opportunities for repetition of phrases such as “I have ….” or “push down green tooth”.  I also reinforce saying “your turn” and “my turn.”   After repetition the students start to say the appropriate phrase when you point to the correct icons as a prompt.  Finally, they may prompt themselves by pointing to the icons and verbalizing.  This is a good way to break up an imitative pattern that often happens when training non-verbal children and uses a natural context for turn taking.

The colors are used in the direction cards also.  Cards were made using the concept vocabulary:  next to, beside, between, right, left, colors, not, side, front, either/or.  Children take turns drawing the cards and following the directions for the tooth to be pushed down.  We play a variation by giving each child three poker chips.  They feed the crocodile a chip if he bites.  The person who feeds all three chips is the winner.   I provided a word program down load because I thought people may need to adjust the color words for their needs. If you have any difficulties with this, leave me a comment.  Print out the cards and have the students pull them out of a bag and then follow the directions while playing the game.

card download here

Eggs-actly Descriptive Game Cards

3 Feb

I made a set of egg cards a number of years ago that I always brought out in the Spring to go along with Easter Egg themes.   They evolved from the barrier game cards that are available for download  in the social language section.  I decided they could use an update so I increased the number and difficulty and added a BINGO game.  There is now a bigger range from simple to more difficult.  The full set is at  TPT.   I put 12 of the cards for download here ( Eggs-actly PDF wordpress) . so you can try them out.   I had a fellow SLP that works in the middle school use them this last week..  She said they kept the students interested which is not easy for this age group.  They were able to progress into the more difficult ones. I did make some adjustments.  I had made multiple color spots and they tried to tell the location of each spot.  I thought that was a little too much so changed the spots to the same color.

These cards have been used with 3rd grade to 7th grade students to target descriptive vocabulary and to follow multiple directions. The cards range from two step (make a green star in a red triangle) to more complex directions that require 5 or more steps (draw red lines that intersect perpendicular to each other in the center, draw a red triangle in the upper left corner, a yellow circle in the upper right corner, a green heart in the lower left corner and a blue star in the lower right corner). The following vocabulary can be elicited: inside, parallel, diagonal, end, striped, spotted, across, center, corner, intersect, above, below, vertical, horizontal, half, between, left, right, perpendicular, heart, square, diamond, triangle, rectangle, and star.

I’ve also used them to elicit r,l,s and blends in multi-syllable words in spontaneous speech.  They were especially good for practicing the  th sound in that pesky word with.

You can use them in the traditional speech therapy games of  matching, go fish, following multiple directions, and mystery card.

I also used the cards with a free app called Educreations.  It allowed the students to use the  iPad for drawing.  It seems anything with the iPad is very motivating. I liked it because I didn’t have to deal with markers.  I hope you have fun and let me know how they work for you.

3 eggs

Maps and Cars and Updates

13 Jan

I have been getting a lot of mileage out of match box cars.  (pun intended)  The enthusiasm still seems strong and with limited materials for my concrete thinkers,  I  go as long as possible.  I blogged a long time ago about a cars and maps activity I used in my Kindergarten Concept Groups.   If you want to look it up it was written in Sept 2009 for  concept group #2.  I have updated this map over the last few years so that it now looks like this.

car map  I have students select match box cars.  We run through the course a couple of times using prepositions; start,   across the tracks, turn the corner, over the bridge, through the tunnel, between the grass and at the finish.  I then bring out a spinner that doesn’t go above the number 4.  We work on turn taking, number concepts, and telling where their car is using a preposition.   Depending on the positions of the cars you may also elicit 1st, beside, before, after  and behind.   For some reason, they always want to run the track backwards so they get a  2nd repetition on the return.

I have continued to make some updates and add resources when I found them.  There are free animal alphabet cards on TPT from Jason’s Online Classroom. (Update: sorry  they are no longer free but they are  still there) In my concept activity number 12 you needed alphabet cards to cut in half.  I think these would work great.  Look in the Vocabulary section of this site under Half/Whole for the direct link.

Are we there yet?

22 May

I know some of you have finished your school year, but we are still plugging along here.  With all those end of the year meetings its hard to plan for the actual therapy sessions.  I’ve been grabbing into some old but goodies.

In a previous post I talked about using beanie babies in a mystery box to elicit questions, identify attributes, and categorize.  I’m doing something similar to this using match box cars and vehicles. It helps to put the vehicles out first and identify parts, use, and descriptions.  I have a student put one of them in a mystery box and the others ask questions until it can be identified.  You can also have a student make a riddle describing 3 attributes and then have the students guess.   I use a vehicle communication board to help students to formulate their questions and descriptions.  This board is now in the vocabulary section.  The boys always like to see the cars, so this activity keeps their attention.

I’ve also used the map I made for the  concept group labeled Cars and Map.  I added two taped papers to make walls on either set of the track and added a paper cone to make a mountain to go under.   I have the students drive the cars on the track telling me where they are in the process.   On the way they identify across the tracks, under the mountain, over the bridge, through the tunnel and between the walls.  Some of my lowest students love this activity and can identify those prepositions.  Who would believe that poster board with recycled junk taped on top  could be so motivating.

The Homonym Bulletin Board

29 Apr

It must be Spring.   The students are asking me when I will put up the pear/pair tree.  I decided to resurrect this post for those who may have missed it the first time around.  I start by making a tree on the bulletin board.  The tree takes many forms depending what paper I have available.   I twist brown paper to make limbs and have them come together for the trunk.   I then have students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out.  I  roll  them and tack them next to the limbs for leaves.  This makes a 3 dimensional tree.  I cut out pear shapes from yellow construction paper and have them ready for tacking up.

I use the tree to make students more aware of homonyms in our language.   Students are encouraged to find homonyms, tell me the word meanings and then write them on a pear shape to place on the tree.  I get them started by placing the first pair/pear on the tree.   Names do not count.  I learned that student’s would say almost any word was a name to match another word.  I allow only one pear per individual per day so that more students have a chance to find words.  I keep an alphabetized list so I can cross out those that have already been used.   I found that this saves time when searching to see if it is already there.  Amazingly each year they come up with new ones that weren’t used previously.   I give students a token candy for each set they find.  A student is required to tell the meanings of the words they are using and the correct spellings before I allow them to record them on a pear.  I have placed a list of homonyms in the vocabulary section of this site.  It is an excel list because if new words  need to be added,  I can easily put them in the correct alphabetical order.  I hope most of you will be able to open it and can just add to it.  I usually start this bulletin board in May and keep it up until school is out.  It will have a lot more pears by the end of the month.

Descriptive Animal Activity

7 Oct

Some of you may remember when Beanie Babies were the fad and many fast food places were giving them out with the kid meals.  My daughter was at the right age for the fad and managed to accumulate a lot of them.  Eventually she got tired of them and I inherited them.  She had kept them in a shoe rack with the plastic pockets that hang over a door.  I took the whole thing and hung it up in my speech room.   People have noticed it hanging there and have brought me even more animals.  I now have quite a variety of small stuffed animals, dinosaurs, and cartoon characters.  I bet if you keep your eyes open you may find some at garage sales or as donations.  It seems people are eager to move those collections along now.

These stuffed animal characters have become quite useful for playing descriptive games centered around animals.  I have a gift box that I bought at the dollar store.  It is decorated with a bow and has a removable lid.  I call it the mystery box.  The students put a mystery animal in the box and the other students take turns asking a question and then guessing the animal or cartoon character.  Some of the students have difficulty generating questions and I use communication board to help them.  Not only does this activity promote asking questions, it requires using memory and consolidation of the details to determine the correct animal.  An example of the cue card is posted in the vocabulary section and can be printed out.

Concept Group 12

15 Dec

This is the last week before our winter break.  The sugar plums dancing in the children’s  heads make it a bit more difficult for them to focus.  We worked on the easier concepts of half, whole, top, front, end, and match.  Our reading program has large letter cards of the alphabet letters  made into animal and common object characters.  These are called alfa- friends.  I cut a set of  these cards in half so that there was a bottom and top section.  The children formed a circle and sat down on the carpet.  Each child was given a top half of a card which they placed on the floor infront of them.   The bottom sections were placed in a container for grabbing.  Each child was given the chance to pull a bottom section out and join it with their top.  This made for some silly looking characters.  The children then decide if it is a match or not and where it should go to make the whole character.

   I am adding an update to this entry  I added a source and link to a place to get free alphabet animal cards.  Look under the vocabulary section for half/whole.
 

 

 

Concept Group 10

24 Nov

     This week, like many schools, we have a short week because of Thanksgiving.  It seemed like a good week to have a food theme.  We did the “Never Ever Dinner Plate” activity.  I originally made this activity to introduce the concept (never).  It also works for matching skills, categorization of food and talking about empty and full.  The kids always get a kick out of finding the things you never eat.  It’s similar to the memory game so also encourages concentration.

    We are amazed at the progress the students have made since the beginning of the year.  They are now taking turns without difficulties.  We can leave a table periodically and the activity will continue on without direct supervision from an adult.  They are not worried about who is winning and will actually help students who are falling behind.  This is quite amazing since our classes are quite large.  It really helps to have them more independent and cooperative.