I imagine some of you are wrapping up your school year and ready for a break. We still have 4 weeks to go here. I am still doing lesson planning in the middle of all those end of the year IEPs and progress reports. I can’t help thinking about last year’s contract negotiation issues which caused an unplanned for week off. This year is going much better. Looking at the bright side, I developed some strong relationships with my fellow teachers with all that walking. It paid off in my interactions this school year. This got me thinking about how bad things often have a silver lining, and how that carries us through to a better future. My inflexible thinkers often have difficulty seeing this possibility and have difficulty making a recovery when things go badly. It may be one of the most important life skills to develop. If you are using a Social Thinking Curriculum by Michelle Garcia Winner, www.socialthinking.com, it fits in well with determining “The size of the problem.”
I decided to address this ability to turn a bad thing into a good thing more directly. We’ve been using cards I made called “Bad Thing Good Thing’. I started using them with my 3rd and 4th graders who are part of a social skills group. That was tough. The inability to think flexibly was very apparent and they needed a lot of prompting to think otherwise. The 5th grader did better. I was worried that I might have created something too difficult for the age range so I brought them out for my articulation students working on sounds in conversational speech. The 3rd graders through 5th graders were able to do them without prompting and pretty automatically. I concluded that these cards were very telling about a deficit area.
I am putting the full set of 32 cards on TPT. You can reach it by clicking on the button at the top of the page.
I am listing the first 11 cards here Good Thing no. eleven cards. I would love to get your feed- back on how they work for your students.
It is Spring Break for me. I have time to get some creative juices flowing. Just before break, we had our annual book fair. One of the hot items was a “Top Secret UV Pen”. I was lucky enough to get one before they sold out, although teachers were saying it was one of the main items they had to confiscate later after multiple reminders to put it away. Maybe I should have just waited and one would have come my way. Anyway they are pretty inexpensive, in the $3 range. Book fairs are not that different from school to school so maybe you have seen the pens too. I know you are itching to try it out so I am providing the perfect opportunity.
When I saw this item an idea came to mind. I knew my students enjoyed a Super Duper item that had a decoder light. I thought I could make some of my cards more motivating by using it in the same way. It would be perfect for my before and after cards. Many of my students have difficulty with the semantics of when to use before or after. I made a deck of before and after cards with pictures for my non readers quite a few years ago. They were lost in my move last Spring and I dearly missed those cards. Unfortunately they weren’t digital. This pen motivated me to make another set. This time I left a frame where I used the UV pen to write before and after depending on the sentence. The students can light up the answer to see if they are correct. The cards are still very useful even if you don’t have the UV light.
I made a free set of 9 cards on 3 pages for you to try out. If you have the UV light you can add the light the answer feature. I am not sure if the UV will work if they are laminated. I’ll have to see when I get back to work. Anyway try out these free cards and if you want more I’ll have a set of 30 at the TPT store. Click on the button at the top of the page and it will take you directly there.
WordPress before and after free set of 9 trial cards
I have five days left before Spring Break and I realized Easter is coming faster than I thought. It will be done when we come back from Spring Break and I haven’t even pulled out the plastic Easter eggs. The Easter eggs always add a little variety to the speech therapy sessions. In preparation for this, I updated the Descriptive Sentences Activity that is in the Expressive Language section. It now has 20 basic sentences and I added color and visual cues to the spinner. It is free at the TPT store here. I will print out the basic sentences and insert them in the eggs. The students will pull them out and spin the spinner to make more elaborate sentences. If they succeed they will keep the egg. If not, it will get thrown back into the basket. I will give some sort of little prize to the person with the most eggs.
There has been a set of cards called Comprehension of Complex Sentences in the Listening and Comprehension section. I expanded on those, adding pictures and colors and more of them. If you have used these a lot you may like the new version. The answer card on the right is meant to be folded behind the prompt card on the left. This provides a sturdy card if they are glued and laminated.
Download the free set of 9 trial cards.
If you feel like you can use more, there are the full set of 36 cards at the TPT store. The button below is a direct link to the store.
I have been working on some new social pragmatic cards. I found that most of my social pragmatic cards did not have answers included. I needed cards that students could use in small group activities and would have an answer they could discuss if an adult wasn’t with their group to get them thinking. I also wanted to use them for role playing. I found that students really enjoyed video taping themselves and viewing themselves. However a written prompt was needed for some students. Students will be told that the answer is a possible answer and there may be more than one possible answer in some cases.
These cards were made for my students in 3rd through 6th grade. I tried to include some more difficult scenarios that would be beyond the school environment. Some of my older students need to spread their wings a bit more.
I included 12 cards for download here and under Social Language. There are 20 more at the TPT store.