If you haven’t been on The Dabbling Speechie blog you are missing a lot of great ideas and information. Check out my guest blogging stint on her site: Guest Blog on the dabbling speechie!
A sneak peek at what I wrote about:
And of course add your own twist!
I think polar bears are beautiful animals. I love to help kid learn facts about them. But I’m really tired of the same thing and was looking for a twist. One of my students and I checked out some books about polar bears from our media center. We gathered the usual books with cute pictures and fun polar bear facts. I refused to even look for the Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear book. As we looked through the books one really caught my attention it is called Irving and Muktuk- Two Bad Bears by Daniel Pinkwater. There is a series of books with these characters. The story follows the two bears who crash the blueberry muffin festival year after year. They are trying to steal as many muffins as they can. They disguise themselves in their vain attempts to get muffins.
So then my twisted brain came up with the following plan.
1. Read the book with the students- work on comprehension, wh questions, vocabulary, inferencing, articulation, compare/contrast, predicting, sequencing, expected/unexpected behaviors, problem solving, cause/effect, perspective taking (what were those bears thinking!) etc.
2. I found how to draw polar bear directions on line and printed some of them off. I gave each student a marker and a recyled paper (reduce, reuse recycle!). They chose which polar bear they wanted to draw. This worked on sequencing as they needed to follow each step. You can find the site I used HERE.
3. The next time we reviewed the main idea of the story and talked about how the bears disguised themselves. Then they came up with how they would disguise their bears. I did not let anyone see the other students bears. And only one student came up with the same idea (Batman). I encouaged him to think of a new one and he did.
4. We used microsoft word clip art and a google image search to find pictures that would work with their costume/disguise ideas. Lots of problem solving and thinking about what pieces they would need for the disguise. The disguises were taped on so they could be lifted and show that it really was a polar bear. I think this one is my favorite.
5. I created a banner for our blueberry muffin festival wall with materials from the supply room. I also printed out pictures of the ways the people traveled to the event- snowmobile, snow shoes, skis, small plane and dog sled. I cut some blue tag board to create the ground and sprayed it with fake snow. Of couse I printed out muffins! Here are my signs Blueberry Muffin Festival what do you see small muffins vocabulary pics
6. I used post it notes to write the vocabulary words we learned: snow mobile, snowshoes, cross country skiing, small plane, dog sled, festival, muffin, captured and disguise. These were placed on our blueberry festival wall and the kids could match the words with the pictures.
7. I took pictures of all the disguised polar bears and created a book uisng Custom Boards app. You can see our book here- be sure to check out our surprise ending found in part 2: Muffin Book part 1 Muffin Book part 2
And yes we did learn some polar bear facts along the way but that wasn’t really the plan. I guess some kids are just curious!
So now it’s your turn to add your own twist!
The set I received came in a long tube with four different colored dice in sets of 10. As stated on the tube it is a easy fast paced game in which everyone rolls until someone gets all their dice on the same number. One of my students told me this was the “funnest day” ever in speech!
This is how I introduced it to my students with a speech therapy twist.
Vocabulary: die, dice, dots, square, cube, roll, shake, high/low, count, match, same, different, matches, rules, more, most, less, least, slow, fast paced, demo/practice, set aside, strategy, eyeballing, invent, create (inventor/creator), original
Logical thinking: I showed the dice and then removed them from their vision. I asked them how many dice they thought the game had. I gave them the clue that the game was called “TENzi.” It was interesting to see how the different brains processed this information.
Team players/Social skills: They each chose a set of dice. If they wanted the same color then they had to come up with a plan on how to decide who got that color. Some chose rock, paper, scissors; some asked me to put one die behind my back and they picked a hand; some willingly let the other player have that color, etc.
Playing the game: My rule for any dice game is when rolling it has to remain on the table or you lose your turn. With this many dice I gave each player a plastic container or the cover of the container to use for rolling their dice (worked great).
- We played a demo or practice game first which helped everyone become familiar with the rules. We talked about if this was a slow game or fast paced game.
- We talked about strategies: setting aside the dice (outside of the container) we were matching, picking, eyeballing the dice quickly when first choosing what number had the most showing; should you hold the dice high or low when rolling/shaking.
- I told them that the game inventors/creators encouraged us to invent new ways to play. So we did. Disclaimer: The game comes with other ideas on how to play but I never looked at them so we may have created similar ”new” ways to play.
Our inventions for new ways to play Tenzi (the groups also had to come up with a name that fit the game)
1. Castle: Each player uses 10 dice- the object is to build a castle (pyramid) with 4 dice on the bottom, then 3, then 2 and then 1 on top. Each player rolls and tries to get 4 fours on the bottom then moves on to 3 threes, 2 twos and 1 on the top. The first one to finish their castle is the queen or king. You could make a smaller castle by using only 6 dice (threes on the bottom, then twos and one on top)
2. Silent Tenzi: Play in pairs and each player has 3 dice. The object is to get numbers 1-6. One team member rolls their dice and tries to get 1-2-3 (in order) when they have that the partner rolls their dice and tries to get 4-5-6 (in order). This is all done without talking. You could also play this as a single player against others.
3. Tower: Each player has 6 dice- the object is to stack each die on top of each other. The bottom die would be 6 and then 5 etc. until the top reaches 1. Or play it with 1 at the bottom and stack up to 6. You can add a challenge by stating if the tower falls before it is finished those dice must be rolled over.
4. Dice-O: Play in partners- each person has equal number of dice (you could play this with 2-10 dice)- Each team member rolls one die at a time and when they both have rolled the same number they set them aside and continue until all their dice match.
5. Pig: Each player has 6 dice- you are trying to create a pig face. You need to roll ones for eyes, 4 for the nose, 6 for the mouth and threes for the ears. The first person who finishes their pig face makes a pig noise. You could call this another animal but pig is what my students wanted.
6. I Got It: Each person has one die- One player calls out a number. Everyone rolls at the same time and the first person to roll the called out number yells “I got it!”
7. School: Each person has 6 dice. Each number represents a grade- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th. Everyone rolls at the same time. You need to roll a 1 before you can move on to the next “grade.” Once a player rolls a 6 (for 6th grade) they yell “I graduated.”
8. Match Dash or Double Trouble: Each player has all 10 dice. Everyone rolls once and whoever has two matching dice is the winner OR you could play until all a player gets 5 matches.
9. It’s Not Adding Up: Each person needs 1 die. All players roll at the same time in the same location or container. Whoever adds up the total shown on the dice is the winner. You can also play this for subtraction but we only used two dice.
10. Make a Tail: Each player uses all 10 dice. The object is to create a snake-like creature. Roll a six for the head, eight ones for the body and a 3 for the tail. You cannot make a tail (3) until you have finished the rest of the snake. The first one who puts a tail on their snake hisses.
So now it’s you turn to add your own twist!
Check out the free app Tenzi app for iPad (it is also available for Android)
Oh yes and now for the GIVEAWAY!!!
Just sign up through the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own Tenzi game!
MN as many other states has been in a deep freeze. We even had two days of school cancelled due to the negative temperatures. But now we are back and it is a balmy 10 today and heading for the 30′s later in the week. And yes our students do go out for recess even when it is -10. So I plan to continue embracing this cold by doing snow activities with my students. Here is one idea that we have used.
The print outs for this activity can be found at this site: http://spoonful.com/printables/build-your-own-snowman-snowman-scene
Be sure to check out the other fun things there too.
Here are some ways to use these cute snowmen.
1. Following directions
2. Describe how they are the same or different
3. I have a window full of these and the students give clues for us to guess which one they are thinking about.
4. Add talking or thinking bubbles – and see what the snowmen are talking about
5. There are lots of different faces to make so maybe create different emotions on each one. This could lead to a good discussion about what they are feeling and why.
6. Work on concepts: on, under, top, bottom, over, next to, right, left, around etc.
7. Give the snowman a name and write a story about him. My students used letter stickers to add the name.
8. Read one of the many snow or snowman books- check your school library.
9. Embellish your snowman with glitter, a pet, an animal friend etc.
10. Write articulation words on the page
11. Write words about winter on the page
12. Ask the kids what else they could do- they always have fun ideas!
As always add your own twist!
We are heading into the holiday week and a new year will soon be creeping in. I look back on my professional life of 2013 and want to thank all of you who have followed my blog and left comments. When I started posting on-line many years ago it was through backflip- a web site that allowed you to bookmark and access from any computer. I used this often and spent many hours finding resources and putting them into appropriate folders. But then the site crashed and never did recover. So I turned to WordPress and started this blog in the fall of 2009. It has evolved and so have I and so has the social medial network. Now there are hundreds of SLPs blogging, on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Teachers Pay Teachers and more. The world has shrunk and now it is so easy to post questions and recieve advice from other professionals around the world. When I began as an SLP 36 years ago we only had interschool envelopes and ditto paper. There was no skyping or facetime. I didn’t have a phone in my speech room – there was only one or two for my entire school. Life has changed for making connections and that was what 2013 was for me. Making connections… in 2013.
Here are a few connections from ASHA 2013. I only wish I had taken more pictures. Thank you for sharing time with me even if it was a quick hug and hello. It was special. If I try to mention those not pictured I know I will forget someone.
So head into this new year with plans for making connections. It doesn’t need to be at ASHA. It can be within your own work setting. Reach out and ask for ideas or advice. Reach out and share an idea or a laugh. It really does make a difference. Sometimes I feel like an island, the only SLP in my work place. Sometimes it can be wonderful and other times depressing. Being an island isn’t always fun but hop on your jet ski and head over to those other islands. It may be as close as your next door workmate or across the social media links. Just do it and you will be thankful too.
Here’s to ”reining” in the new year and to making new connections! (
Bun I mean pun intended!)
As always go add your own twist!
PS. I bought the packrat puppet at ASHA and she has made many connections with my students. Her name is…Asha.
We have a freeze wave happening. The temperature has been hovering in the negatives. When you add in the windchill (-20 or more) we get lots of indoor recess days. We have our frozen fingers and frost-bitten toes crossed that it will warm up enough to let the kids out soon! It’s looking like it may be 18 degrees soon and here in MN that’s outdoor fun time!
In the mean time I have been trying to keep the energy focused in the speech room. This has led me to pull out more hands on and movement activities. Here is one activity I tried this week…
Take two second graders working on social skills, comprehension, perspective taking, inferencing and add one Grow a Snowman.
First we looked at the front of the packaging. What do you think grow a snowman means? How can we find out what to do? We checked out the back and looked at the pictures to make our guesses before we read the instructions. There was new vocabulary and concepts to discuss: room temperature, full size, 72 hours, near original size, grow over and over again. Hunting for a container was an adventure and we discussed why the cover on our container was a good idea or not.
We walked and talked about where we could find the best placed to get room temperature water. We found hot water in the teachers lounge (another learning experience on why they should wait by the door). Now we had hot water- was it too hot? The boys said I should add a little cold water. Returning to the speech room we noticed the cover was steamed over… hmmm why? Finally we measured the snowman so we could compare his changes and plopped him the water. Now we looked for a good spot to keep him safe.
The instructions stated that we would see growth after 2 hours so the boys came back to check it before going home. After the first check we noticed it was a little fatter but not really taller. I guess we’ll see what happens next… just like our weather!
Now how will you add your own twist? Leave a comment and I’ll pick one idea and send you your own Grow a Snowman! (I will choose on 12/20.)
I bet you sang the title of this post didn’t you? I know I did as I typed it. This is a quick post about an unexpected hero that rescued me in a therapy session today. And yes it was Batman along with his trusted sidekick Robin with a Ninja Turtle in a supporting role.
“C” is a kindergartener in one of the autism classrooms in my school. He is speaks Spanish and English with an autism dialect. He loves Ironman. He hates getting his picture taken, well maybe it’s just hard for us to take a picture of a constant moving mini superhero who guards his identity. I see him with the occupational therapist and 2 sidekicks in our motor room once a week. It’s a great place to practice our superhero moves. Due to the demands put on a superhero it was easier for me to transition to his superhero hideout for a second meeting.
Recently we have rendezvoused in the hallway after he has been returning from one of his many crime fighting adventures. So his main partner thought we should try meeting in my room to conduct our continued alliance. The first meeting went well and progress was made on our plan. But at our next meeting this mini superhero thought there might be villains in our designated meeting room. We reassured him that Batman and Robin were already in place and had cleared out all evil nemeses. Feeling that the area was secure our mini superhero moved into our meeting room.
We moved to the table to plot out our next adventure along with Batman, Robin and a Ninja Turtle. The case was daunting and our mini superhero was reluctant to discuss it. Batman and Robin convinced “C” that he had the powers to complete the mission. Our mini superhero agreed to collaborate and the results were successful.
1. Robin laid out the plan and one of the Ninja Turtles agreed that it was one of the “biggest” ones they had tackled.
2. Our mini superhero was ready to discuss the “full” plan on his own:
3. Our mini superhero cleaned up all the “littlest” details.
Now it’s your turn to share your own twist on how an unexpected superhero rescued one of your therapy sessions.
We have many cultures represented in my school population. Many of my students do not celebrate Halloween so I tend to be low key around this holiday. But it is still fun to get some crafting in. This is one I am doing this week. You can find the “real” directions at this site: Popsicle Stick Craft
I gathered all the materials from the school supply room except for the googly eyes. Here is what I used:
1. Green, purple, orange and black markers
2. White tempera paint and a brush
3. popsicle or craft sticks – we had the small/skinny ones but the tongue depressor size would work too
5. table covering – I used craft paper from the supply room that someone had already torn off and left.
Mistake #1 – I first grabbed permanent markers. Just say we had a lot of interesting colored fingers. So I switched them out for the regular washable markers which worked just fine.
Mistake #2 – don’t try to glue the supports on the back while the paint is drying- I’m a little impatient but I’m working on it. At least white tempera paint washes off ok.
Mistake #3- (all good things come in threes right?) don’t try to write the student name on the back right after it has been painted. I found if I wrote their name on one stick it worked better.
The first group helped to cover my table. Here come the therapy twists:
- Me: What is this ? Where are we putting it? Why do you think we are covering the table? As you know the answers were very very interesting! (The paper also worked for students to practice drawing their face before they drew it on their creations.)
- Me: (for the first group) You will get to be my guinea pigs! We had to look up what a guinea pig was (they did not know). I tried to explain what the saying meant. Sometimes my humor is lost on first graders.
- I showed them this picture that I copied from the original site: craft stick art We talked about what we saw, what they were made from, etc. then they chose which one they wanted to make.
- We counted how many sticks were used in the pictures and decided if we wanted the same, more or less.
- We talked about the materials they needed and how to use them.
- We talked about what was easier to color: sticks separated/apart or together
- When they had finished coloring we talked about what came next (gluing sticks on the back).
- We talked about turning all our sticks over.
- I glued the sticks with “guidance and instructions” from the students. We talked about using a whole stick and broken/half sticks.
- We talked about the reason we needed to glue sticks on the back (why) and what would happen if we didn’t.
- Then we washed our hands…. another lesson with lots of language.
- The next session they were able to complete their project by drawing the face and glueing googly eyes (I only used these for the monster/Frankenstein/zombie)
- During the project we had some fun discussions and not always related to what we were creating. And that’s real life!
I have many more t creations to add to our “Patch” but here is the start….
Now go add your own twists!
I started a unit based on a News 2 You edition about the new movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. We looked at the book that the first movie was based on. I mainly skimmed the pages and summarized about an island where it rained food and what happened when the food grew. It led to watching the video trailers for both movies which led to worksheets I found here: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball sheets.
You can see the sheets on my window wall:
We created game boards together. You can start anywhere on the game and the object was to get all the way around. Each group has different goals so some were working on using the word in a sentence or providing a description or a category, etc. We rolled a die to see how many spaces to move for each turn. I used magnetic chips and each student had a different color to place on each space.
I found these cute lunch bags from the Target Dollar Spot. I used them for following directions (color the mouth red etc.) I also cut out the mouth of a couple so we could use it for categories (food and not food etc.) synonyms and antonyms and more. They were nick named our Food Monsters.
But the most fun was creating our food wall about the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs book and movie. The students chose the food and their body postitions.
Since I quickly ran out of room for all my students we then created the second movie on my wall.
We drew sequence stories.
We had an APPitite for these:
We popped words, colors and other goal areas with ice cream cone shooters.
And of course we played lots of food games: Picnic Panic, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, Shake Shake Shake, Alfredo’s Food Fight, Ice Cream Scoops of fun and more.
We had a food frenzy without gaining a pound all the while targeting each students dietary needs- oops I mean IEP goals.
Now go add your own twist!