A Simple Tissue Paper Tree Project

26 Nov

tissuetree

Do you need a simple project for the winter season?  This tree was made  by  my students and completed during  one 20 minute therapy session.  Students at  all   grade levels seemed to enjoy making them.  They also made a good  bulletin board that was culturally sensitive for this time of year.  I added the silhouettes to discuss winter sports and the word silhouette.

I targeted quite a few goals with this project.  As usual, I used the app StoryKit to make the directions.  My articulation and older students began by sequencing and taking pictures. They recorded the directions using their best articulation skills.  My language students targeted vocabulary such as stencil, limbs, triangle, around, and tree trunk.  My language processing students listened to the directions and followed them in the correct sequence.

Tissue paper trees.

You can get the pattern for the stencil  here.

The storykit directions are here.  I removed the verbal directions because of student confidentiality.

A Very Simple Spider Web

11 Oct

The school year is in full swing.  I had a bit of a shaky start and that is why it seemed like I disappeared.  We have a lot of new staff to include a new principal, new psychologist,  and Learning Resource Teacher.    The new Learning Resource Teacher just started a week ago and a substitute teachers took her place until then.  As  if that weren’t  enough, rooms had changed over the summer and the resource room  was a newly emptied room.  That doesn’t work very well for a substitute teacher and many of you may relate to when chairs, tables and desks are not in rooms they are up for grabs.   I was left with the duty of getting things found and organized so a teacher could use the room with students.  In the spirit of “Good Thing”  and “Bad Thing”; new  procedures can be put into place because there is no one  left to remember the old ways except me, but I am also the only one that  is familiar with the history of  the special education files and students.  I felt like I had to wear many hats.  We also have a new program to complete our special education paperwork.  This  is really challenging my ability to be flexible and learn something new .  It is making me go through the procedures we tell the students to do; deep breaths, count to ten.  It is not OK to scream.

This  school year.  I have pretty much the same population as last year;  2  Life skills classrooms, general education K-5th, and a charter school K-6th.  I am doing push in for two Kindergarten classes and the 2  Life skills classrooms.  The need for social pragmatics groups continues to grow.    I am team teaching  3 social pragmatic groups  with the help of the school counselor. We are implementing material from 2nd Steps, Michelle Winner’s materials, and other things we find.

So getting on  to the topic,   We have been completing spider related activities.  Many of you may be familiar with the Spider Web Activity where students form a circle and toss a ball of yarn across while continuing to hang on to the yarn with one hand.  This creates a spider web in the center of the circle.  I have used it in the past for concepts such as across, left hand, right hand, over, and under.  It also works for teaching the  social pragmatic groups  the importance of working with a group.  If a student doesn’t keep their mind and eyes with the group, they drop the yarn and the web becomes messed up.  We have been talking about how you need to keep your eyes, your ears,  your brain, your body, and your heart with the group so everyone can learn and work together.

I came across this spider and decided it would make a good bulletin board project.   http://momitforward.com/craft-toilet-paper-spider .    It met my requirements for materials that are easy to find and cheap.  I found the eyes at the dollar store and already had the paper rolls and pipe cleaners.  I bought a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart  for a total cost of $3.

I made a spider web out of yarn. and just stapled it to the bulletin board.  It is looking like this.  I added my pom pom spider from last year.

Spider web 1

The students will make spiders that look like this and add them to the web.  I added the crumpled paper on the back for some color.

IMG293 (1)

I like  my bulletin board activities to cover as many therapy objectives as possible. I use the  free app Story Kit to make pictured directions that my older students can record.  The younger students will practice following  directions and understanding the sequence.  The spiders also provide opportunity for problem solving and telling directions.  It is easy to see how they are made by just looking at them because the parts are all visible.  The Story Kit directions are in the process of being made so the audio is not all available yet. Story Kit formulates a storyboard that can be shared.    http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=rpdpipex66oskuofy2ua      The app formulates a  book with pages on your device.

last web

Welcome Back to School Bulletin Board

2 Aug

It is August and the back to school sales are beginning.  It is time to get ready for another school year.  I will be returning to the same room which has a bulletin board outside my door.  I won’t have time for students to decorate it before the Back to School Night  so I usually keep this one pretty simple.  I will probably have students add to it later on.  This is not the most original idea but I like the sentiment for starting a new year, “Welcome Back to the School”

Here are places for the fish origami directions.

http://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami-fish.shtml  video directions for this fish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcyIz4E1wJw

http://www.origamiway.com/origami-fish.shtml

http://www.clickacraft.com/origami/animals/origami-angelfish-folding-instructions

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-fish.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-goldfish.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-dolphin.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-angelfish.html

fish bulletin

Spring is for the Birds

1 Apr

It is time for a new Spring bulletin board.   I became inspired by the paper curl bird on fun family crafts here.  I changed it a little bit mainly because I didn’t think my students would be able to handle that many paper curls.  birds

I continue to try to have some speech therapy value with the bulletin board.  This one will promote giving and following directions as well as  understanding idioms.   As in the past  I used the app  Storykit  to have students produce and narrate the instructions on making the birds. I hope you have found this great free app by now.  It is in the blog roll if you need to find it.    Here is the story kit link to How you make Paper Birds.   If you use the app it will look like a book with pages rather than a story board.

My older students will have a homework component. I made flyers with idioms printed on them and they can either write or tell me the meaning after researching it.  Here is the flyer. Bird phrases.   I’ve been giving animal crackers for a reward lately.  They go with the theme of Spring animals and I tell myself they aren’t as bad as giving candy. The students seem to like to work for them.

Bird Board redoThis is the look of the bulletin board so far. The birds are suppose to be sitting on wires.   I guess you could say it is a work in progress.

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

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

Direction Sequence for Paper Ornaments

27 Nov

This is really an update for the paper ornaments mentioned below.  I had so much fun learning about this tool that I wanted you to be aware of it also.   It is a  free app for the  iPad called StoryKit.  I didn’t have the opportunity to explore its capabilities until now.  I was trying to figure out the best way to provide directions for the paper ornaments and it came to mind.  I am impressed.  It was easy to use and I can see a lot of potential for making sequences and having the students make their own stories. The stories can then be saved on a server for future use.  Here is the link for the directions for the ornaments.  On your iPad it will actually look like a book that you can turn the pages on.  It is also possible to  add audio to each page.

Antonym Bulletin Board

12 Jan

I woke up to freezing rain conditions,  no school,  and time to be creative.  I need to switch my bulletin board away from the December/January winter theme to something for February.  I like to be able to get some language value out of it as well.  The Pear Tree (previous post) has always been very successful for making students think of homonyms.   I thought something similar for antonyms would be great.  I’ve decided to make the title “Antonyms, a Love and Hate Relationship.  I will cut out hearts the student can decorate with a stickers, stamps, or drawings.   They can label them with antonym pairs and post them on the board.   It could be made more interactive by cutting the hearts apart in puzzle fashion to be matched or making two different colors of hearts that are joined by a piece of yarn or string.

Antonyms are a good way for students to learn vocabulary and the ability to compare and contrast.  The mind seems to remember words better when we manipulate the meanings in our mind.   Older students learn how to use suffixes and prefixes to make words that are opposites.  I have made up a list of antonyms that is in pdf form or excel.  There is an advantage of being able to sort the excel list, but I’m not sure it will open for everyone.   The number to the right of the word  is my way of giving a level.  The 0 level is typical preschool kindergarten beginning  knowledge.  I have K through 5th grade in my building.   The basic antonyms are developed in primary grades  and there may be fluctuations in the grades they are learned depending on what material is covered in class.  I’ve found that by making a list I can write objectives in their Individual Education Program (IEP), show progression and know what the student has covered.  Click here for the excel list, click here for the pdf list.

I found glitter to be quite motivating.   I put glitter in a coffee can so I could seal it with a lid.  I let them put glue around the outer edge of the heart after they wrote the antonyms on them.  They slipped the heart into the coffee can and shook it.  The heart came out decorated with glitter and looked good no matter what the skill level.  It only took a few minutes per child  and surprisingly there wasn’t much clean up.   This is how the board is looking.

The Antonym board

The Antonym Board