Round up of November Activities

The holidays always offer such fun and creative crafts for my little friends! This month we finished up with some fall-themed activities and then the turkey themed activities were in full swing!

Squirrels 

I did this adorable squirrel craft with many of pre-school students. Crafts are a great way of targeting a diverse amount of goals, especially when paired with a core vocab/topic board to increase that spontaneous speech. My little ones chose different colors and posted pictures of articulation words or language targets (i.e. verbs, nouns in various categories, etc.) I paired this activity with the sneaky snacky squirrel game and the sessions were a big hit!  This particular activity came from Speech Musings TPT store found here.

Squirrel

 

After the first week of November, we moved right into Turkey themed EVERYTHING!

Prepositions and Following Directions: 

A lot of the children I work with are working on prepositions as well as following directions. I love using these turkey themed preposition cards on a game of Cariboo. I target prepositions both receptively (i.e. Find the turkey that is on top of the pumpkin) as well as expressively (i.e. where is the turkey?).

Cariboo

 

 

I also found this following-directions worksheet that I’ve laminated and cut the turkeys out. I have the children follow directions placing the turkey in various places.

November Worksheet

 

Finally, I broke out my old Turkey beanie baby from when beanie babies were all the rage and have children follow directions containing prepositions (i.e. put the turkey under the table).

 

Categories: 

I found this great turkey activity on TPT and absolutely love it for categorization. I’ve laminated all of the turkeys and the feathers so that they last longer and can be used multiple times. There are 6 different categories and it is a nice way of keeping with the thanksgiving theme while still working on categorization.

Turkey Activity     Turkey Activity

Articulation 

For articulation activities this month, I had children create turkeys with their key words on each feather. We also completed a “My plate is full of ____” activity in which we put target pictures on a “Thanksgiving Plate.” This freebie can be found from The Dabbling Speechie.

Turkey Feather Activity        Turkey Feather Activity

 

Thanksgiving Plate

 

After a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, it’s time to start planning some winter holiday themed activities! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

October Activities

The fall offers so many wonderful activity themes! As I mentioned in my previous post we did an apple themed activity which was a big hit since a lot of my little friends had gone apple picking. As we went into October, we did a few more fall themes.

Fire Prevention Week

Our classes did a lot of talking about fire safety and fire prevention at the beginning of October. We also had a member of the local fire department come in to talk to the students about fire safety and to show them some of the fire equipment they use to help keep everyone safe. The children really enjoyed it! I saw this cute idea online and decided it was a great way to talk about fire safety in the speech room while still working on students’ goals. This was a simple craft where we traced the students hands. For articulation students we wrote various words on the fingers for home practice. For my language based kids it was a great activity for following directions, working on prepositions, and requesting.

October Fire

Leaves

During another week in October our theme was leaves. I seemed to have been too busy to take many pictures so I apologize! All sessions started with a book about the fall and about leaves. For my more older students, we read a early reader book about why and how leaves change colors in the fall. For my younger students we read a simple book about the leaves falling. Books are a great way to target language! For our craft we either cut and glued target words/pictures onto a pre-cut leaf or we added mini leaves of various color to a blank tree. Again crafts are a great way to work on following directions, comprehension of prepositions, requesting, etc! I always pair my crafts with a core vocabulary board along with a topic/fringe vocabulary board to provide visual supports for expressive language.

Leaves

Halloween 

We closed out the month with halloween themed activities. I found a cute little spooky house box at the dollar store. I slit a hole in the “roof” of the house and students loved putting in various cards into the “haunted house.” I used this activity for articulation drill as well as labeling drills for nouns and verbs. We of course read various halloween themed books. One of my pre-schoolers favorites are the Little People Halloween book with the different flaps on each page. It’s a big hit and a great way to work on commenting such as “I found a____” or “I see a_____.”  We also did a craft with pre-cut pumpkins. We drew different faces on the pumpkins and talked about different feelings. We also used pre-cut pumpkins to glue different target words on to so students could take them home and practice. A co-worker of mine also gave me a great halloween themed worksheet that had big and little halloween themed clip art. It was a great way to work on concepts of big/little as well as requesting what colors to color them, if we should color big ones or little ones, etc. On Halloween our school lets the children come in in their costumes and we have a little parade in the parking lot for the parents. It is always so cute to see all the students in their costumes!

As Summer fades to Fall

As the summer comes to an end and the fall colors start to pop, I wanted to share some recent activities I’ve been doing with some of my little friends. Before Fall showed its’ true colors, I squeezed in two summer-themed activities. First was a crab made out of each kids handprints. I love doing crafts with kids because they elicit so much language and the little ones always love the opportunity to use a glue stick! With the crab activity, my one little friend wanted to make it 3D and “feed the crab” his articulation pictures. It was a great way to work on his target words in phrases by saying “crab eats ____.”

 

Summer Crab

 

Another summer themed activity I’ve been using a lot lately has been my kinetic sand box with some underwater animals. I’ve created a topic board as well as some PECS pictures. Its a great activity to use for requesting, following directions, and introducing some less common verbs such as “dig,” “burry,” “hide” “squish” etc. I also created a sentence strip “_____ in the sand” that allows my little ones to add a picture of a sea creature and then finish the sentence. The visual supports allow them to produce more comment based phrase/sentence rather than a request. I love how quickly my friends pick up the new sentence so quickly! Visual supports are key!

Kinetic Sand

 

Now that it’s officially Fall, I started an apple theme with my little friends. This week we made paper plate apples using various picture stimuli. I used this activity for ALL of my friends. For those working on articulation, I printed the target pictures in black and white and had them color them the color of their favorite apple. For those working on expressive language, I printed out various verbs/pronoun pictures in black and white and color them. For my friends working on basic requests, I had them request what color apple they wanted to make, what materials they needed, requesting help, etc. Once the children colored the pictures, they needed to cut them out and glue them on to the plate. While they glued them we practiced the target pictures either labeling them or putting them in phrases/sentences. For my friends working on requests, I made sure to utilize a “arts and crafts” topic board, PECS pictures, and/or basic icons on my Sounding Board AAC app on the iPad. Access to total communication is key!

Apples

My remainder Fall themes will be Leaves, Fire Safety, Pumpkins/Halloween. Stay tuned for more posts on some creative activity ideas!

Shark Week in the Speech Room!

This week at the outpatient clinic I work at over the summer, a little patient of mine came in with a shark puppet and a shark t-shirt and proceeded to tell me  he just watched Jaws and it was now his favorite movie! Given his new found interest and it being shark-week, I thought we could make articulation therapy a bit more exciting by having mr. shark eat our target words. This particular patient loves to color so I quickly found some shark coloring pages, let him pick his favorite, and printed it out. While he colored in the shark, I cut up our articulation words from a worksheet I had pre-printed and then we got to practicing and “feeding” mr. shark. My patient absolutely loved it and was so proud to show his parents when we were done! By including his interests, I know he will be more likely to hang up the picture and be able to have more opportunities to practice the words at home! The last picture in this post is of my patient who I see directly after my shark loving patient. He saw how cool the picture came out and he wanted to make one took. It worked out perfectly because he was practicing the ‘sh’ sound and the ‘l’ sound so there were lots of opportunities to practice ‘sh’ with “shark” and “sharp” (teeth).

 

P.S. I love the difference in coloring skills. The light blue paper is actually a 2nd grader, and the dark blue paper is a first grader! You can tell who enjoys coloring (and sharks) more!

IMG_20150708_162231666 IMG_20150708_161933824 IMG_20150708_170225654

Cross Generational Supervising and Learning

For those of you that don’t know, I attended Boston University for both my undergraduate and graduate carrier. I’m a proud Terrier and have always wanted to give back by supervising graduate students. I waited until I had a few years of experience before I agreed to take on a student. This past fall, I supervised my first student and loved it. I had a student with a strong academic background and clinical skills who was always very professional. Taking on a role of being a supervisor made me realize how much I really do know in our field and was also a wonderful learning experience for me. (more…)