Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Tis' the Season...

I wanted to take the time to do a little reflection and spread some holiday cheer. It's that time of year once again, for some [or many] it's a busy time, for others [or many] it's a stressful time, for some [or many] it's a joyful time, for others it may be a sad time and then for the rest of us [many and all] it's a time to reflect on the holiday season, all the baking that needs to get done, holiday shopping, decorating, family, friends, love, joy, peace, harmony, the birth of Jesus, and the long to-do list[s] we make to get done before the end of year [or when all of our holiday company] officially arrives. With it being in the midst of hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I wanted to reflect on those simple things in life that make the Christmas season so warming to the soul. It's a good time of year to remind ourselves [and those we love] what we all so dearly yearn for in life, especially this time of year. What is Christmas all about to you? What do you feel blessed for? What about the holidays make it so special and dear to your heart? How do you spread cheer to others?  For me, it's the simple things that make this time of year so blissful. Sending a simple smile to a stranger, opening the door for an elderly person, enjoying a hot chocolate, cuddling with a loved one, giving a co-worker a kind compliment, phoning an old friend,  giving encouraging words to someone in need, or maybe it's something as simple as spending a moment thanking God for all the things you are blessed with [because after all, big or small, we are all blessed]. Enjoy the little moments of the season and take the time to reflect on whatever it is that makes your heart smile & spread your holiday cheer [to many and all]! 

Artic Turkeys

I know I know, Thanksgiving has come and gone and I'm beyond behind, but I thought I would go ahead and post an articulation activity I did with some speech kiddos. I simply cut out different colored turkey feathers and had had the students request what colors they wanted for their turkey (e.g., I want a red feather, I need green). After they had glued on their feathers, they then cut out pictures with their target sound [or target vocabulary] to glue on their turkey feathers. They they went through each feather and drilled on that word to get plenty of practice. Simple and fun!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving [because there is so much to be thankful for]!

Hello all! Hope everyone had a splendid, well-rested, turkey-filled Thanksgiving. I don't know about you all, but a Thanksgiving break was well warranted. Did anyone do Black Friday Shopping? I decided for the first time to give it a try and it wasn't too shabby. Now that we are done with Thanksgiving, I have Christmas music and shopping on my mind. So, let's get the holiday season started. Looking for shopping steals, holiday gift ideas, tasty treats or simply even inspiration to keep your spirits up this holiday, head over to this new blog: geared to incorporate all of the above. Enjoy your weekend before we are back to the grind and stay tuned for new speech-language winter/holiday posts to come!

Friday, November 16, 2012

"A Turkey for Thanksgiving"

Since we are about a week away from Thanksgiving, I decided to utilize this great Thanksgiving  book ["A Turkey for Thanksgiving" By: Eve Bunting] to target language skills. There are a lot of great things going on in this book that make it easy to use this time of year to target so many different skills. Here are some skills I targeted using this book:

  • WH Questions
  • Story Elements (Characters, setting, problem/solution, etc.)
  • Story retell (Beginning, Middle, End)
  • Vocabulary 
  • Character traits (e.g., How does Turkey feel, how does he react, what is he thinking, etc.)
  • Main Idea (e.g., "What's the "gist" of the story? What are supporting details?)
  • Making predictions, Inferences, comparing/contrasting characters and settings
One thing I did, was use colored turkeys to be a reinforcer for the kiddos as we read the book. After we read or looked at each page there was a plethora of questions, predictions and comments to be made to talk about about was happening in our story. The students had opportunities to earn these colored turkeys to reinforce their responses. At the end of the story, I would have them turn over their turkeys and answer any questions that were written on the back (e.g., Who are the characters? Use 3 words to describe a turkey? How did the characters feel in the story? etc.) of them to review and retell the story and reinforce responses. In addition, I created a few documents to make predictions about the story and answer comprehension questions for those students who needed more visual supports to assist them. Check them out and download for free!! Like I said, there are so many great things you can target using this book and it's a great narrative during this time of year.Enjoy!!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Turkey Talking Categories" [free download below]

"Turkey Talk Categories" was inspired completely through pinterest. I created this document to assist speech-language students grades kindergarden through second grade to target their receptive/expressive vocabulary as well as categorization skills. I created categories for: fruit, vegetables, Thanksgiving meal items, weather, fall clothing and animals. You can take the feathers and put them upside down and have kiddos take turn pulling a feather, labeling it and placing it on the correct "Turkey Category," or you can put the feathers in various locations in your speech room and have kiddos go "Turkey Feather Hunting," and once a student finds a feather, have them verbalize "I found a ____." This also would lend itself nicely to target concepts for students who need to work on positional concepts (e.g., "I found a feather under the table) and lastly you could easily target WH questions or Yes/No questions (e.g., What do you do with a scarf? When do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Is a banana a fruit? etc.) Hope this activity will be a hit this week for Thanksgiving. Enjoy! Download "Turkey Talk Categories" -ksu.speechie

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Supermarket Speech"

One of the lessons being taught in preschool right now is "Supermarket." Any time there is a new lesson or theme in preschool [or actually for any grade], I immediately think "What will my targets be? How can I increase speech-language skills with this theme? What are functional, age-appropriate vocabulary terms related to this theme?" So...with that being said, this is one activity I did to increase use of language, vocabulary and sorting skills. I utilized sentence strips to promote language ("I put ___ in the cart," "I see ____," "I like/don't like _____," etc.) and cut out food items from newspaper ads for the students to sort. This was a great way to categorize food into different categories as well as identify vocabulary. Some categories we sorted by were: Foods we liked/Foods we didn't like, Fruit/Vegetables, Sweet Foods/Salty Foods, Dinner Food/Desserts, etc. Also, it allowed opportunities to make connections between what they see/eat/like[don't like] to get from the store. Again, another easy, fun activity that kept the kiddos engaged.

"Apples & Pumpkins"

Since we are finally in the wonderful season of fall, I recently did a lesson on "Apples" and "Pumpkins." I chose the following books to read, sequence, retell and compare/contrast to help my speech students with their language skills. The books I read were the "The Apple Pie Tree" And "It's Pumpkin Time" Some of the targets/activities I did with these books were: Story retell, asking/answering questions about the books, compare/contrast the books (e.g., one thing my kiddos noticed was that they had the same author), sequencing (e.g., how to make an apple pie, how to grow an apple tree, how to grow a pumpkin), compare an apple/pumpkin.
Then we created "Apples" and "Pumpkins" with construction paper. We labeled the parts of the apple/pumpkin (i.e., apple, stem, leaf) and cut out words to describe our apple and/or pumpkin. We used adjectives to describe what apples/pumpkins look like, feel like, smell like, etc. We also talked about what you can do with apples/pumpkins (e.g., make pie, make applesauce, make a jack-a-lantern). It was great way to target language goals in a functional, fun, fall way! -Ksu.speechie

"Halloween Treat Bag"

I know I know, Halloween has come and past, but I thought I would post a little activity I did with some speech kiddos on Halloween. I purchased a cheap plastic Halloween treat bag (cost a buck) and filled it with various items that contained target speech sounds (/k/, /g/, /s/, /s/-blends, /r/). All of the items were objects I found around the speech room, home or items I found for a buck at Target. Some of them included: miniature box of cereal, candy corn, spider, marker, mask, acorns, leaf, etc.I utilized a sentence strip (i.e., I found ____ in the treat bag) to help students expand their language and allow for opportunities to describe objects by feature/function/category (e.g., What do you do with cereal? or What does a spider look like?), use target sounds and turn-taking skills. The activity was a hit and of course the kids loved it. They were engaged and eager to have their turn to find out what they'd find in the treat bag. Targets: Identify objects to increase use/knowledge of vocabulary, produce target speech sounds in words/sentences/conversation, Answer questions to identify objects by function/feature/category, turn-taking skills.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello World!

Well hello world! I have finally come around and decided to officially start a blog. I have played around with the idea for a while now and finally decided to take the plunge.  After hours of cruising pinterest and numerous blogs I have found myself fully motivated and impelled to start my own blog adventure. I am. I'm a school based speech language pathologist and I work with preschool and the school aged population. The purpose of creating this blog is to document my experiences, therapy ideas, resources and stories to inspire, animate and influence any and all. So, on that note let me start off with a little positive thought.... Enjoy!
-Ksu Speechie