Cupids and Hearts

1 Feb

January was a very busy month.  I didn’t get to my usual bulletin board project.  I ended up putting up snowflakes from a previous year.  The students always look forward to the crafts so I didn’t want to disappoint them by skipping  another month.  Besides Valentines  Day is the perfect time to bring out the glitter.

I decided it would be a  variation of the antonym bulletin board from previous years.  I still used the antonym theme but  added cupids.  I have a younger student population who benefit from  having one of the antonyms presented to them . I wrote a word on the cupid and they needed to think up the match and print it on the heart.  They then joined them with yarn and stapled them on the board.  I cut out the cupids and hearts ahead  to save on time.  My older students used the  Storykit app to make the directions  for the younger ones to follow.  They have done this previously with my help but this time they used my iPad and  did it independently.  I was pleased to see how far they have come in planning the directions with pictures and verbally presenting them.  This is the link for their directions.     Storykit Cupid and Hearts

Here is a picture of the bulletin Board by the end of the day.

cupids and hearts

December Bulletin Board, Paper Wreath

25 Nov

There isn’t much time before winter break and the turkeys will need  to come off my bulletin board.  The students really enjoyed the paper ornament last year so I decided to look for something similar.  I found this paper wreath on www.activityvillage.co.uk/index.htm

The good thing about paper folding is it provides plenty of opportunities for following directions and  a lot of paper cutting is not involved.  I’ve found that paper cutting is really tough for some of my students and we spend more time with it than I want to.

In preparation, I have cut the 3 inch by 5 inch papers using some of my scrap wrapping paper and colored printer paper.  I knew that would come in handy for something.  I have put the directions on Story Kit.  I really like that app.  I will have some of my  students record on the directions so I have left the audio off for now.  I will post the bulletin board when I get it up.  For now I’ve put some of my samples up in the header so you can get an idea of what they look like.   You can see the directions by going here.  It is in story board form on here, but on the app it reads like a book.        paper wreath direction on Story Kit app

Here is an update and  picture of the bulletin board.  I am getting compliments on it so I am happy with the way it turned out.  It turned out to be a longer project than I anticipated.  It took about 30 minutes for most of the students.  Most of them ended up starting it one session and we finished it up on a 2nd session.  I ended up helping with some of the paper folding to supplement the slower students.  It was good training on developing perseverance.   Everyone really improved their paper folding by the 12th triangle.  Some were convinced they couldn’t do it and wanted to give up.  They  were really proud of their accomplishment.  It was good project to illustrate how completing little parts can eventually make a complete project.

bulletin board wreath

November Bulletin Board

11 Nov

This is probably one of my more simple boards to make.  Our district has less student time with staff development days, conferences, holidays etc.   I needed to go with something simple.

There are a rich variety of turkey riddles and jokes out there.  I am having the students post riddles and then tell how the play of words make it a joke.  It is great for reviewing double meaning words and getting some flexibility of thought.  So far we have come up with.

Why did the turkey cross the road twice?                     To show he wasn’t a chicken.

If April showers bring May flowers, what does May flowers bring?          Pilgrims

Why did the police arrest the  turkey?                               They suspected fowl play.

What vegetable does a turkey like?                                  Beets me.

A turkey’s thought.                                         I wonder if I will get invited to dinner.

How does a turkey know when to answer the phone?     When it Wings and Wings

October Bulletin Board and Activities

20 Oct

It really has been a busy month .   I decided I better post before the month is over.  Just to give you a heads up, I added another page to record group activities.  I am finding my group activities tend to get buried in the blog when I try to refer back to them.

I have been using a theme of spiders this month.  In our part of the country the spiders really come out of hiding and webs are very noticeable.  Children are always fascinated by them.  I am working with a younger population and students with more severe disabilities that require a lot of repetition and motor activities to keep them interested.   I find if I can use the same theme vocabulary with a little variety in the activity they are more likely to keep interest and retain the vocabulary.   It helps to find a theme that has a lot of activities. I discovered there are really a lot of songs, rhymes, and crafts around the topic of spiders.

The first project I started was the bulletin board.  I got my idea from enchantedlearning.com.  They had a craft that used glue, black paper, and glitter to make a spider web.  You know how the students and I love glitter.  Besides, we have a new janitor and I had to condition her.   She was nice enough to take it in stride although she said it may take awhile to get rid of the last sparkles.  I really do try to keep the mess down, but my drying box turned out to have a hole in one corner.   In the past, my room has had  a trail of glitter coming from it down the hall.

The spider web craft project was meant for individual webs.  However, I decided we could make one large web if we joined them.  I like to promote group effort for social pragmatic reasons.  Before doing this project with the students, I tacked black paper up on my bulletin board.  I then used a white crayon and string to draw circles from the center.  I then added intersecting lines to make the web.  I then took the black rectangles down and cut them into squares for the students to use.  The students put glue (white glue or heavy glue stick) on the lines and shook the picture in my glitter can.  They always love seeing their creation when it comes out.  This gave the opportunity to talk about parts and the whole.  Warning!  If you have a lot of squares it would be good to number them before taking them off the board.   We then tacked the squares back up on the bulletin board to form the web.

I decided to extend this project even further for some of my older students.  They read Charlotte’s Web for their “Battle of the Books” last Spring.  If you remember the spider saved the pig by putting newspaper clippings in her web and spelling out words.  I encouraged them to add positive words from newspaper clippings to the web like Charlotte did.  It was emphasized that old newspapers and magazines are used and not books.   I added a spider made of yarn and pipe cleaners in the corner.   The older students also used one of my favorite app programs “Storykit” to sequence the directions and provide the oral commentary.  This was used as a visual direction for the younger students.

The counselor and I run social pragmatic groups in the two Life skills classrooms.  We brought spider activities into those classrooms as well.   You may notice I have added a new page, listed above, to keep record of classroom activities for this population.

The  1st  session with this group involved calling a name of an individual to get attention, using eye contact,  and then tossing a small rubber ball to them.  This encouraged a number of social pragmatic skills around how to get someone’s attention and make a communication exchange.  It also was good preparation for the yarn activity coming up in another session.  We had pictures of the kids which we placed under colored paper leaves.  We sang the song “ Where is Thumbkin?” and used the kids names.  It promoted using names, the colors of the leaves, and asking where questions.

In the next week, session 2,  we used a ball of yarn instead of a ball  for the tossing and kept hold of the yarn with a left hand.  The yarn stretched across the center and built a web of sorts.  This promoted group participation because everyone needed to remain connected for it to work.  We added concept words such as over and under when talking about the yarn.  For a 2nd activity we introduced spider songs, “There is a Spider on the Floor”  from http://kinderkorner.com/spiders.html.  I used a free app called SoundingBrd to build a 2×2 communication board.  The board was used by our non verbal students to direct what body part the spider should go when singing the song.  This introduced body parts and basic prepositions.

For  week 3  we used a sheer length of fabric ( I think it was a curtain in a previous life) and placed a beanie baby spider on top.   The students grabbed hold of the edges and followed directions of holding it up, down, low, high etc.  The spider could be slid down the fabric by holding it up and down on the ends.  This introduced some more prepositions; up, down, edge, and end.  We sang there is a spider on the floor again and reviewed prepositions again.  We put pictures of the students behind leaves.  They guessed where individuals were behind the leaves saying a color plus the leaf.

For  week 4  of this theme we used spider rings from the dollar store.  The previous songs were used again.  The spider rings were placed in the locations mentioned in the songs.  Students were introduced to prepositions such as behind and in front.  A new song  “Little Miss Muffet” was added.  We hid the spider rings behind our backs and then sang up the notes as we crept up from our toes to our head.  For the end, we put pictures of the students behind cut outs of pumpkins and they guessed where individuals were.

For the older group we discussed near and far.  The students tossed bean bags as they got further and further apart.  We then used a spider in a game of warmer/colder except we used nearer/further.  One child closed his eyes while the spider was hidden.  The other students then called out further or nearer to the student until he located the spider.

We have conferences coming up so that takes us through the month of October.

Spring is Here

28 Mar

I hear Spring has come to some parts of the country.  We are not experiencing too much of it here. After waking up to three mornings of snow last week, I am happy to settle for rain this week. Occasionally the sun peeks out  and  I run out to catch a few rays.  I am looking forward to seeing more of that sun.

April is coming soon and I am using my Spring Break to make some plans.  This is the time of year I usually try to focus on non-literal language and metaphors.  I saw this pattern for a butterfly  here at

http://www.marinmommies.com/ and thought it would be an ideal project.  It meets  my criteria.  It uses a minimum of  steps, concept vocabulary  and  recycled materials I already have on hand.  The youngest to the oldest will find the end result enjoyable.  I will put them on a Spring Bulletin Board with the following title.

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.  R.H Heinlein.

It will lend itself to a discussion of what makes up  a metaphor and if they can find more to add to the board.

I am having so much fun using StoryKit to make sequenced directions I decided to use it once again.  StoryKit is a free apt that allows you to make an edit your own books.  On an Ipad it has actual pages rather than the story board format.

The link for the butterfly directions is here.

There is no audio at this point.  I will have some of my students add audio when I get back from Spring Break.

Here is a picture of the butterflies.  I will put a picture up of the bulletin board when that gets completed.

 

March Expressions Bulletin Board

27 Feb

It is time to change the bulletin board again.  The students really seem to enjoy these projects and ask each month what we are going to do next.  I like them because they can encompass so many objectives from speaking clearly with detail to following directions.  I think they like using the art supplies since there is not as much time to do art in the classrooms.  These same students often have difficulty following directions and get lost in a large group.   In a small group they can all be successful.

I obtained my materials from a lot of different sources.  I found a  hat on this web site and shrunk it down to a usable size.       Leprechaun_Hat.   This site taught how to draw facial expressions.

I used Story Kit to record the directions.  This time I had the students take pictures of the project and make the story themselves.  It taught them about sequencing and providing important detail.  You can access their directions here.  Leprechaun Directions.

It took two sessions to accomplish everything.  Not only did it make interesting therapy sessions, I have a new bulletin board for March.  Here is a picture of the bulletin board.

Directions for Antonym Hearts

26 Jan

It is hard to believe we are getting to the end of January.  This is parent teacher conference week for us so it has been hectic getting all the progress reports written.  In between conferences I usually have a chance to make changes on the bulletin board for February.  I decided the antonym bulletin board  worked really well last year so I would do it again. I liked the way the directions for the paper ornaments worked on the Story Kit so I decided to make some for the glitter hearts using the same program.   I thought that some of you may find them useful as well.  You can find the directions on this link. Glitter Heart Directions

January Bulletin Board

28 Dec

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe we are this far in our school year.  I will be putting up a new bulletin board when I get back to school.  I thought some of you would like to get a head start too.   This is not a new idea for me, but for some reason I didn’t  get a picture of  the bulletin board from last year.

I keep to a winter theme by having students make  snowmen.  We have a paper cutter that cuts out snowmen.  If you don”t have this you could probably just cut 3 circles  small, medium, and large, for the students to stack and make a snow man.   They then use  scrap paper to make props and clothes for them.   Finally they make a sign with sentences written on it for the snowman to hold .  This gives them a chance to formulate relative clauses using descriptive phrases.  An example for a sentence would be.  “I am a snowman who is wearing a striped scarf and black hat”.  They get quite creative with this and can usually come up with several sentences that will apply. I have seen  flying snowmen with wings and snowmen who look like football players.

A snowman who.........

This year I will make sure I take a picture of the bulletin board and post it.

Snowmen Galore

December Bulletin Board

25 Nov

It is time for a  switch on the  bulletin board again.  I try to make it look festive for the holiday season and the students always request to decorate it.  In the last few years  our school has become more culturally sensitive which makes it more of a challenge for what I can actually put up on the board.  I continue to search for materials that have speech therapy value and are not time intensive.

I already have a tree set up from November’s bulletin board.  I will change the limbs of my tree so it looks more like a fir tree.  I will have the students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out.  I staple those on the tree to provide the fir part of the tree.  I will then have them make and  add paper ornaments.

I found this great paper ornament that meets the requirements.  It is a simple activity  that even the youngest children can complete and it allows practice  following directions and retelling a sequence.  It is found on  http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2008/12/paper-flower-ornaments.html  I have access to plenty of colored paper and glue sticks so I won’t need to get additional materials.

paper ornament

Our winter break is only a few weeks away so we will have to get this started as soon as we get back from the Thanksgiving break.   I will take a picture of the bulletin board and post it when it gets started.

Beautiful paper ornaments

Fall Bulletin Board

20 Oct

I’m a little late getting my bulletin board up for the Fall season.  However, I found something that can probably carry me until  winter.   I searched for something that I could use for therapy and looked appealing for Fall.  I found a pattern for owls that was simple to make, used shape and size vocabulary, would require sequencing of directions and I could add  preposition symbols to it to reinforce those concepts.  I used a die press to cut out most of the pieces for the owls.  I used Boardmaker to make  preposition signs to put on the owls belly. You could also print them from here.   http://www.speakingofspeech.com/Language_Materials.html#Prepositions

The Owl pattern is found on this page http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mshapesowl.htm

I started  by making a tree on the bulletin board.   I twisted  brown paper to make limbs and had them come together for the trunk.   I then added a half moon behind  and a rock below the tree.  This gave the children the ability to place the owls according to a preposition sign  they were given  for their owl.  They could place them in front, behind, beside, below, between, and next to an object or the tree.

I gave it a title  of “Who is Here?”   Here is a picture to give you an idea.

Fall bulletin board