October 26, 2015

Halloween Language Tricks and Treats

spice up your language therapy with these spooky Halloween activities

The Frenzied SLPs are back! This time we are sharing Halloween Tricks and Tips for Language :) Your therapy room will be loaded with fun, just in time for Halloween on Saturday! I started using Halloween activities in my room last week, and here's what has been successful.

Green Ooze! This was a super fun project that I was able to complete with a couple students last week, and will use with the rest of my older students this week. It's a great activity for following directions, sequencing, and making descriptions about the texture, smell, feel, and behavior of the ooze. If you'd like to make your own, here's an instruction sheet with visuals that I put together. This was so. much. FUN!

For the past couple years I've made a masking tape spider web on the floor during the week of Halloween. This is a reinforcement game students can play while they practice any therapy goal. I added point pumpkins and ghosts throughout the web and had students toss glow-in-the-dark spiders. If the spiders hit or land on any pumpkin or the ghost, students get that many points. So easy and simple, but the kiddos LOVE it.

Another perfect activity for this time of year is Ned's Head! My students can't get enough of this gross game and all the disgusting items packed inside Ned's noggin. I love to use this game to talk about making thorough descriptions of objects. We talk about the features of all the items inside - size, shape, soft/hard, does it have legs, will it be flat or bumpy, etc. We also look at the cards first and predict how those items will feel so they can be more successful at picking out their object.

S.L.A.P. for Halloween: I created this packet so I could use it with every language goal on my caseload - following directions, inferences, vocabulary, synonyms/antonyms/multiple meaning words, categories, plural nouns, past-tense verbs, story sequencing, compare/contrast, barrier game - it's loaded! Bonus - it's almost completely black and white printing!

These Sentences are Scaaary: This is a semantic absurdities packet, and my students have loooved it this year! Each student gets a sorting mat, then they draw a card and correct the semantic error in the sentence. If they get it correct, they can add the card to their mat. First student to fill up their entire mat is the winner!

Spooky Spiders Halloween Words: Need some seasonal vocabulary ideas? This packet has lots of great new Halloween words to learn, and they are sorted by phoneme in case you have some articulation students in your groups. I've been helping students look up the definition of their card, then they have to teach the rest of the group what their word means. Sometimes we draw definitions of our words on the back of the cards. You can also put the cards in a pile and play an open-ended game.

Build a Monster Play-Doh Mats (from The Speech Bubble SLP): My preschoolers and early elementary kiddos had a blast with this one. It's great for following directions, number sense, identifying colors, basic concepts, and body parts.

Apps: Don't forget apps - there are so many great ones! I especially love Mask Jumble Halloween, SagoMini Monsters, Millie's Book of Tricks and Treats, and Parents Magazine Carve-A-Pumpkin.

Thanks so much to Doyle Speech Works , Twin Speech Language & Literacy LLC, and All Y'all Need for hosting this linky. If you'd like to add your own ideas, feel free to join using the link below. The linky will run through October 30th. Happy Halloween!

October 22, 2015

2015 Speech Therapy Room Tour (Part 1)

come see how I set up one of two therapy rooms I share this year

The new school year brought a lot of changes to my assignment this year. Instead of working full-time in one building, my assignment is now split between two buildings within my district. I spend 40% of my time (2 days per week) at the same school I was at last year, but I moved from 3rd-8th grades down to Preschool and Kindergarten. I had to change rooms, and this meant going from a full-size classroom all by myself, to sharing a room with the occupational therapist. Come see how it's turned out!

This is the view when you walk into the room. The OT has all her stuff on the other half. (The bookcase with the pinwheels is the divider.) I chose teal, apple green, and pink as the main colors, with snippets of orange throughout.

To the left of the doorway there is a narrow storage area. Two 2-door cupboards, a bookshelf, and this shelf set with paper cubbies. I keep handouts and homework pages for each speech sound and many other therapy targets stored there. It makes grabbing practice sheets quick and easy for this last-minute-planner.

Continuing around the room, there is a bookshelf where I keep therapy books. I also have a small whiteboard in this corner.

In the center of the room is an interactive white board. I added some positive quotes around it to try and cover up the green chalkboard peeking out. Did it work?

My one bulletin board is brightly decorated, but holds minimal items at the present time (including FREE Speech Sound Banners!). I was planning on hanging a bunch of my materials that are on rings, but they were too heavy and I couldn't get them to stay hanging on the bulletin board! Any ideas? Underneath the bulletin board I have milk crates holding all my picture books, pockets with artic cards, and my precious laminator.

On the other side of the room are file cabinets full of student files, testing materials, and themed/seasonal therapy materials. Three bookcases full of goodies also help form the divider between my half of the room and the OT's side. You can see her therapy balls peeking out behind the tallest bookshelf. I sewed a curtain for the shelf that held the games, but I think I need to add a second curtain to cover the tallest bookshelf too. All those fun toys are right at eye level for my 3-year-olds! By the way, I bought a clearance set of sheets from Target and used that for the curtain material. Yards and yards of material for $8!

I. love. having. windows! The sun shines in during the morning and it's so cozy. The windows look out onto a small courtyard that is between two wings of the building. It's been nice to see the leaves changing! A simple fabric garland and leftover wedding lanterns decorate the windows. I also crafted up some pinwheels and a banner for my desk. Plants are also something I love having in my therapy room. They just seem to make things a little more homey.

Desk organization: student working folders on the left, office supplies in front, sticky note command center next to my chair. Don't forget family photos on your desk!

That's it! Any questions?

October 16, 2015

Friday Funny

My husband and I are now proud kitty owners!

In celebration, let's see what we're "kitten" ourselves into:

Happy Weekend everyone!

October 12, 2015

Frenzied SLPs: Fall Articulation Ideas

quick and easy activities for articulation practice this autumn season

Hi! Twice each month, The Frenzied SLPs collaborate to bring you oodles of ideas and suggestions related to a specific speech pathology topic. This time, I'm so thrilled to be joining The Frenzied SLPs with ideas for Fall-themed articulation practice!

I share my time between two different buildings, so I prefer to use activities that involve minimal prep. And with articulation students, I want to make the most of our time together and pack in tons of practice. Let me show you some things we've done this season...

- Die Cuts: I love using the school's die cut machine for seasonal activities. This year I cut out leaf shapes in various colors and had students write fall-themed articulation words on the leaves. They could take these home for extra practice.

- Tech Search: Look through a book or do a "fall"/"autumn" Google image search. How many Autumn-related words can you find that contain your target phonemes?

- Leaf Rubbings: Bring the outdoors in with leaf rubbings! You can write artic words on the leaf veins and students can have art and artic practice all in one.

- Hide and Seek: I cut out pumpkin shapes (using that handy die-cut machine again!) and wrote fall-themed articulation words on each side, then hid them around the room. For groups, each student could only collect the pumpkins that had his/her target sound.

- Go for a Walk: Enjoy the last of our beautiful warm weather before winter comes. Look for things around you which contain target speech sounds.

- Don't Spill the Beans: I don't know about you, but in my therapy room this is one of the most requested games of all time. At Easter we used real jelly beans to play the game; try using candy corn or autumn-colored M&Ms this month. Students have to practice their sounds before each turn.

- Craftivity: Paper plate crafts are always a favorite of mine (see here, and here, and here!). This year we made fall wreaths. Sometimes students wrote their target words on the leaves, and others we just left plain and practiced our targets while we crafted.

- Carryover: For students who are moving towards generalization of their speech sounds, try playing the I'm Going on a Picnic game, but change it to "I'm Going on a Hayride" or "I'm Going to the Pumpkin Patch".

Don't forget to go back to the Frenzied SLPs and read everyone else's fun fall ideas! The link-up this month starts at Doyle Speech Works. Feel free to link up your own ideas!