Friday, April 28, 2017

Teaching Basic Concepts using Rosie's Walk

Teaching Basic Concepts using Rosie's Walk

Why do we teach basic concepts?

Teaching Basic Concepts
Basic Concepts are essential for success in school. Early concept development begins as young as six to nine months with “more juice” and “all gone.” For school age children, basic concept knowledge is needed for following directions and participation in every aspect of the classroom.

Here is a list of some basic concept categories that students need to comprehend and use in the classroom. Most concepts should be well developed by first grade (age 7-8 years).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Grouchy Ladybug: Speech Therapy Activities for Mixed IEP Groups

The Grouchy Ladybug: Speech Therapy Activities for Mixed IEP Groups

 Do you need some new ideas for mixed groups?

Grouchy Ladybug ideas
The Grouchy Ladybug  by Eric Carle is an all-time favorite with early elementary teachers for introducing and teaching elapsed time. There are many different speech and language goals that can be targeted using this picture book during a shared reading activity and follow up extension activities. I typically use this book with students in second through fourth grade. It can also be adapted for older students in alternative curriculum classes with comprehension skills at this level. The Grouchy Ladybug is a fun and interactive book for mixed IEP groups.

I’ve listed some possible IEP goals that you can target during reading and extension activities.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

5 Highly Effective Strategies for Managing Behavior

5 Highly Effective Strategies for Managing Behavior 

(Part 1: Why is He Acting That Way?)

Manage Difficult Behaviors
Have you ever had one of those days when you felt like that thirty-minute therapy session was a “total waste of time?” Be honest, we’ve all felt that way. Do you remember that session where little “Johnny” just couldn’t sit still? He couldn’t follow directions, stay on task, sit in a chair, stop making noises, and a sticker just would not motivate him. There are some days I feel like we don’t get anything accomplished in our therapy groups. Those are the days I am ready to just take those little friends back to class and hand them off.

Then, I take a deep breath, and remind myself that all I am seeing is BEHAVIOR, but the intended message is COMMUNICATION. That behavior IS communication, and my job is to help little “Johnny” reshape that behavior into an appropriate form of communication. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Create Amazing Adapted Books for Practically Free!

How to Create Amazing Adapted Books for Practically FREE!

Turn Thrift Store Trash into Therapy Treasure

One thing you should know about me is that I love to shop at thrift stores. I am not careless in buying just anything, but I do like to find some hidden treasures. That is where I find the BEST books to adapt for my therapy sessions.
Next time you drive by your local thrift store or Good Will, turn around, go back, and check out their children’s book section. Most thrift stores in my area sell children’s books for 25 to 50 cents each. Hardback children’s books are typically 75 cents.

So why should you shop at the thrift stores for books to adapt? 
Children’s books donated to thrift stores are often gently used, high interest, and may even be donated from home-school parents or classroom teachers thinning out their book bins. I have found Dr. Seuss books, Tomie DePaola, David Shannon, and Kevin Henke sets at Good Will in the past. Of course, I snatched them up!

Monday, April 10, 2017

4 Simple Games Using Easter Eggs

4 Quick and Simple Articulation Games using Colorful Eggs

Easy Articulation GamesDo you need a motivating articulation activity that results in a high number of repetitions? Plastic eggs are enticing to children and only come out of our speech closet for one to two weeks out of the year. There are so many different ways to use plastic eggs in language therapy and play-based therapy.  I want to give a few fun examples of how plastic eggs can be used in articulation therapy that results in up to 100 repetitions in a session.

First, put small picture cards with the target sounds inside the eggs. Students choose an egg and say the target word, phrase or sentence. I often have students roll a die and produce the number of repetitions shown on the die. For older students have them multiply the number times two or three. If the student rolls a four, multiply it times two and the student produces eight repetitions of the target.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Do You Want to Target More Goals in Your Speech Sessions?

How to Use Free Play to Target  More Goals

Free Play and IEP Goals
I have an amazing group of PreK students that I serve on my campus. One group in particular, my group of 4-four year old boys. Taught me all about being flexible this week. Like so many other days, I had a specific lesson planned, the book picked out, manipulatives ready and my outline of my IEP-driven lesson planned out. When those boys, however, walked in my room, they quickly reminded me that they had already done "work" in the classroom and wanted to PLAY. I heard the words, "Can we play instead?" Who am I to argue with the requests of 4 year olds to play?

So What is FREE PLAY? 

Free Play is child-centered. Students choose the activity and direct the play. Free play elicits problem-solving skills, fosters social-emotional development, and allows for creative thinking to flourish. In free play, the child chooses the activity, determines to function of the objects and directs the episodes during play. The clinician in this setting provides appropriate cuing and scaffolding to elicit skills targeted in student IEPs.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Complete Frog Unit for Your Speech Therapy Groups

A Complete Frog Unit for Mixed IEP Groups

frog unit spring
Happy Spring everyone! It is raining and chilly in Texas. But just wait, it will be warming up tomorrow. That's how often the weather changes in the Texas Panhandle. As I sit and work on my lessons for the month of April, I realize I keep changing my mind about themes, books and activities as much as the weather is changing. There are so many exciting and wonderful Spring themes, and it can be a little overwhelming to plan thematic units and literacy units for mixed IEP groups, mixed grade levels, and mixed ability level groups.The one theme all my students absolutely LOVE is FROGS. Fiction or Non-fiction, kids (and adults) love frogs. I want to share with you some of my ideas on using frogs in therapy. There are some amazing books, activities, and media that you can use in your therapy this month, and it's all about FROGS.