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.

The Positive and the Negative

10 Feb

This week I have  been working with a  group of young boys that are working on pragmatic language skills.  They  are having  difficulty determining when a statement is positive or negative and  are equating statements with math concepts.  If it is true then  of course it is positive.  They are not comprehending that some true statements can actually be quite hurtful and not a  positive experience  for the person who hears them.  I’ve decided we really need to explore this much further.

I prepared a lesson and thought that maybe some of you would like to use  it as well.  I  prepared  a  list of statements that can be  differentiated as being positive or negative.   We will talk about how a negative statement can be turned around to be more positive.  I may use the glass is half empty or is it half full analogy. I also have my demonstration spatula I use as a prop to encourage flipping the pancake.  We will talk about times in which  a true statement should be left in the mind and  not verbalized.  We will also explore  what effect a different intonation pattern may make on a statement.  The statements are ready to be cut out and put into a grab bag.  You can find them in the social  language section and here.

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

Toontastic is Fantastic for Therapy

2 Jan

I find that many of  my students  have  difficulty telling a story.   I usually start with sequence cards.  They start  getting the idea of sequencing a story and understanding a story has a beginning, middle, and end.  At this point they get bored with the sequence cards and still need work on being able  to elaborate from that basic structure.   I am always looking for  ways  to expand their experiences from the typical sequence cards and allow for more imagination and story plot development.

Just before winter break, I found an free app for my iPad  that allowed students to develop story plots much like using puppets.  They were  able to make animated stories and the structure of the program encouraged them to construct a story with sequence and plot development. The best part was they could replay their creations and critique them.   The program has built in  flexibility allowing them to add their own drawings and speech.   It also allowed them to  add  music and set a mood.   I was impressed that it was child friendly and allowed for imagination to develop.  This is a program that actually allows  for imaginative play.

My daughter and I had a fun time trying the program out.   The app came from toontube.launchpadtoys.com.  I want to thank this company for providing a high quality program free.  It runs with little  interference from advertisement, although they would like you to purchase more characters and scenes.

Currently my employer has restrictions on purchasing apps for our iPads until they get the logistics worked out.  This leaves me  exploring  the world of free apps. When this  restriction is lifted,  this app will be on my list for more characters and scenes.

Here is an example of my daughter’s creation..

http://toontube.launchpadtoys.com/9370

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