December 11, 2012

Speech Snowmen

 fun snowman craft that incorporates speech/language practice

Here in Iowa we finally got our first snowfall of the season! Well, it was just a dusting and it was all melted by noon that day, but it was still exciting for me! I love having snow around for Christmas, but it's alright by me if it melts away come January :)

Back home where I grew up in Minnesota they got 15 inches of snow last weekend! I can't wait to go home to MN in a couple weeks and play!

This week, to celebrate the upcoming winter season, in my speech room my students are making Speech Snowmen! I found the idea here, but modified it so it could be a quicker craft with fewer pieces to cut out and assemble.

After the first couple snowman, I ended up making pre-cut scarves, hats, and noses so my students didn't have to spend time figuring out how to cut them. All about efficiency and speed when you only have 15-20 minutes to introduce, assemble, and complete the activity while also working in plenty of speech/language practice.

I love how they turned out! My students were so creative - one of them even decided it was sunny where his snowman was and he made a "melting snowman" :D

Here's how we incorporated our speech goals into this activity:

Language: practice following directions; answering wh-questions about winter; sequencing (how to build a snowman, first/next/last, etc.); address winter vocabulary; name categories and items in categories (winter clothing, seasons, snowy activities, etc.); body parts; concepts big/medium/small/top/middle/bottom; practice answering by forming complete sentences; requesting the parts they need to complete their snowman; etc.

Articulation: earn cotton balls by producing accurate speech sounds; use best speech while discussing snowmen/winter or any of the above language activities

Fluency: use easy speech strategies while requesting/naming parts/talking about winter

AAC: create board naming parts of snowman so student can request what he needs

Leave a Comment: What winter activities do you have planned?

December 06, 2012

Behavior Management

motivate and reward your students

There are so many different ways to motivate your students and curb defiant behavior before it becomes a problem. Most SLPs I know use some sort of sticker/prize box system. And I am no different :)

First of all, I make my expectations known from the beginning. The first session of the year with my students I go over my "speech room rules". I keep them taped to the table to serve as a reminder throughout the year. My rules are simple: 1) listen with your ears; 2) watch me with your eyes; 3) no interrupting while others are talking. Sometimes I use that last picture to remind them to always be talking with their best speech/language skills.

If my students follow all these rules during their session, then they earn a sticker. I let them choose their own sticker sheets at the beginning of the year. I got most of these from I keep them in a word document on my computer and can easily print off more as I need them. My students get to put on one or two stickers every time they come to see me, and when the sheet is filled up, they get to pick a prize from my prize box. I keep the box full of pencils, toy cars, plastic bracelets/rings, bubbles, and other small trinkets from the dollar store. I never put in candy - just personal preference.

Another thing I started this year was a bonus prize jar (idea from here). Students who achieve an goal in their session, have an exceptionally great attitude, try their best, or do something kind get their name put in the jar.

Every two-three weeks I pick out a name and that person can choose their prize. They almost always choose to pick a prize out of the prize box. I really need to stock up that box again!

So there it is. Quick and easy - these methods do not take more than a minute at the end of a session to complete.

Leave a Comment: How do you motivate and reward your students?