I found a pattern for these darling little black crows on Pinterest and adapted them as a project for my speech therapy students. Crows and sunflowers just seem to naturally go together and I am all for getting as much use of my bulletin board as I can without completely redoing it.
This project met my requirements for a speech therapy project. The directions were fairly easy and the project could be completed within a 20 minute time frame. I could expand the project to include multiple speech goals. Most of the materials were available from our school materials closet and were easy to obtain.
Preparation was minimal. I used the die cut to cut out black circles and yellow triangles from construction paper. I have younger students who have a lot of trouble cutting and this consumes more time than I have. You could have students trace circles around a cover and cut them out. I had left over googly eyes from the dollar store and already had paper fasteners in the store room. A hole punch and glue sticks were other things I already had. Making the circles and triangles were the only thing that took preparation time.
I expanded this project to include most of my students. Incorporating the free app Storykit opens up a lot of possibilities. My language groups worked on sequencing the directions. They took the pictures to make a logical sequence and wrote some of the instructions. This also took some communication and collaboration as students agreed on what pictures to take, how to place the materials and what the direction should be 1st and 2nd etc.
My groups working on sounds in spontaneous speech created the verbal directions to go with the pictures. They listened to their recordings and decided if they needed to record again to improve their production. The school confidentiality regulations didn’t allow me to keep their recordings for publishing so you ended up with my lovely voice instead. My students listening enjoyed figuring out who was speaking when they were listening to the directions.
My younger students who are working on following directions and positional vocabulary followed the directions to create their crow. Concept words included whole/half, center, top, and through. It was interesting to see which students followed the directions for the fasteners or tried to use the glue stick instead. My students really loved the idea of the movable wings and posed them for the bulletin board. I had some students who could not part with their bird, so they didn’t end up on the board. Hopefully they took them home and explained how they were made to someone in their family.
The directions were published on Storykit. Click on the bird button below and you will see them. When you use this app the directions are made in a storybook format. When it is published it comes into your email like a story board. The app can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. I did not find it through the app store.
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.
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.
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. There are a number of Cariboo cards on Teachers Pay Teachers that would also work.
Progress reports are in and it is time to get back to planning for therapy. February is a short month so it goes by quickly. I find I still need to keep things simple for my younger folk. We dressed the bulletin board up with heart animals. This activity was more open-ended then the ones I have done in the past. I used a die cut to cut a variety of hearts in different sizes and colors. They used sequins for the eyes. Students were told to put the hearts together to form an animal. I showed them a few pictures from Pinterest and then they were on their own. It was hard for them to get started. When they found they could try pieces out 1st before gluing they got a little more adventurous. It was a good opportunity to practice social skills to ask for tools and materials. We have worked a lot on sequencing and this activity required them to think about the order of gluing. I also listened to my articulation students to see how they were progressing with their spontaneous speech. Quite a few of my students decided to take them home to give for Valentine’s Day.
They came up with a good variety of animals.
April is here and time to switch out the bulletin board again. We seem to be getting our fair share of rain and the fruit trees are in full bloom. I know some places are still getting snow so I don’t really have a right to complain about the rain. When looking for this month’s bulletin board project, I saw several variations of paper flowers on Pinterest. I happen to have a supply of colored computer paper that would make colorful flowers for the traditional saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” I was able to adapt one of the flowers to a version that used the materials I have on hand; paper and tape. The flowers are simple enough that my older students in the Lifeskills program were able to complete them along with my younger general education students. My only problem is that the students want to bring them home for their mothers so I had trouble getting them to leave them for the bulletin board. This is what the board is looking like so far. We made the directions and shared them on Storykit. It is still a good exercise to have the students record the directions. Their voices were removed here before posting because of our school privacy requirements. Directions for flowers on the bulletin board.
March is here again and it is time to find a new project for the bulletin board. I looked into the supply closet and found coffee filters left from someone elses project. This looked like a possibility for inexpensive fun. I started looking for a shamrock pattern. I was disappointed to find the die cut pattern was too big for my needs. Then the kindergarten teacher came to my rescue. She pointed out it was easy to make a shamrock from hearts. Even though I couldn’t find a shamrock, I found 3 sizes of die cut hearts. The plan was coming together. It would be easy to get this project ready because I already have all the materials.
I saw a project that used water based markers and a spray bottle of water. The water made the markers run into interesting designs. I thought the students would enjoy experimenting with that. They could glue the hearts on top of the colored coffee filters and it would look like stained glass. It would add some color to the board. I found a simile that worked well with the shamrocks; A best friends is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have. This gave an opportunity to talk about Similes with my older students. The younger students worked on following directions and talking about St. Patrick’s Day. This is what it is looks like so far. More Shamrocks will be added as they get completed.
Directions on StoryKit here.
Have fun and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!