Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist


“Insecting” things are happening…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 20, 2014
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One of my last posts was about our Beach Theme and this is my part 2 of our three units to end the school year. It’s all about bugs.

 I wrote about bugs as part of a nature unit in an earlier post that you can read HERE.

Here are a few new things that we added this year. bug 1  bug 2

1. Bug vocabulary – I created worksheets using boardmaker.

2. We made an art project with the bug worksheets. This was a way to target, following directions, sequencing, problem solving, prepositional concepts, etc. You will need:

  • Construction paper for the background (I used blue) and green for grass (draw a line to cut up to)
  • Trees- some students drew their own, some colored tongue depressors or a strip of construction paper and glued them on
  • Log- same as the trees- I did break the tongue depressors in half
  • Flowers- some students drew their own and others used the flowers from our bug sheet.
  • Glue the bugs on the tree, under the log, under the grass, on the grass, in the sky, etc.
  • We glued the extras on the back along with the instructions. from the sheets.
  • You can use the bug sheets I created: bug 1   and bug 2

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3. We used bug capsules to”grow” a bug. I have found these at Target, Dollar stores,etc.

bug capsules

4. We wore bug masks (from Target dollar spot) while exploring our bug area.

bug collage

5. We even ate bugs!!! ( I bought these on clearance after Halloween but there are often gummy bugs in the candy aisles.)

bugs to eat

6. We read a lot of buggy books and played with some buggy apps.

Here are a few we tried:

 Bugs and Buttons

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Bubbles

Bugs and Numbers

Bugfest

Bug Games for iPad

Sago Mini Bug Builder

Butterfly Farm

Insect Coloring for kids-lite

Forest Insect Pests in North America

7. Images and Videos- there are a lot online to view about bug life cycles and more. Check out those from National Geographic  or  Science Channel

So now add your own buggy twists!

Cindy

Don’t bug us when we are camping at the beach….

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 17, 2014
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There are not that many school days left and I wanted to use some more of my theme units. So…. I decided to merge three themes into one and use them until the end of the school year in June.

Bugs   +   Camping   +   Beach   =   Fun way to end the school year

So welcome to our bugs

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and camping …..

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and our beach!

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Sit on our coolers and join in the fun…

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I’ll do separate blogs about the adventures you can experience in each area. So stay tuned and in the mean time grab your bug spray, beach towel, favorite beverage and get ready to add your own twists!

Cindy

P.S. This is what it looked like at my home yesterday…. spring disappeared.  Just another balmy day in MN.

snow

Are you going buggy this time of year?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 30, 2012
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This time of the year is always busy with evaluations, IEPS, progress reports and with the end of the school year deadline to complete it all.  So what a better time to bring in things that can “bug” us. I have had a nature unit that was “bugging” to get into my room. So we have been reading, talking and playing with all things nature-like including bugs, camping, creepy crawlers and more. We have been playing games, reading, and learning new concepts related to nature, bugs and camping.

Here are a couple of ideas:

1. Jigsaw puzzles- I picked put the Bug Picnic puzzle at Goodwill for .99 cents. I used it with several groups. The first group were kindergarteners so we worked on “flat, smooth and corner.” They tried to find the pieces that fit these concepts and even found some that “fit together.”  The next groups worked on “matching” colors and team work to find pieces. I figured there was probably some missing pieces and that became a “problem solving” activity for the last group when they finished the puzzle.

2. I love the Magna Puzzles- the one we used had bugs. I bought it at my Autism Shop quite a long time ago. I believe you can find these puzzles on Amazon. They are complicated so I made a photocopy of the finished puzzle as a guide. The groups work together and I sit back and interject as little as possible. This was the first time I used this with younger kids (1st & 2nd grades) and they really did amazing! I also used the Busy Beetles never-ending puzzle as another collaboration activity.

3. The game the kids literally screamed when playing and begged to play each time was Picnic Panic. This game is from 1992 and I bought it on e-bay a few years ago. I always hate to show you items that might not be available anymore but this one is just so much fun!  Here is an old video from the 90’s. 

4. The bug masks were picked up in the dollar section at Target. We wore them on bug hunts in my tiny speech room (I taped bug pictures and plastic bugs around the room). Sometimes we wore them just because!

5. Other games we played: Ants in the Pants, Can ‘o Worms (like monkeys in a barrel), and the Ladybug Game (another thrift store find).

6. We even had bug races down my cabinets. I found mine in the dollar section at Target. We raced to articulation and vocabulary cards at the bottom of the cabinet.

7. Camping out- we threw a sheet over the speech table and used our mini flashlights to do some of our therapy sessions. We even moved the campfire and marshmallows into our tent (see picture of my cabinet). To make this I used a wooden bowl I got at a garage sale and cut red & orange construction paper into flames. I wanted to use tissue paper but there was not the right colors left in our art supplies. I used long wooden sticks and glued cotton balls on the ends. When we were “roasting” our marshmellows I put one of the mini lights into the “fire.”  (I found these at Michael’s)

8.  A few years ago myself and another SLP received a grant to create story bags. One that we made fit perfectly with this theme- PJ Funnybunny Camps Out. We created the activities to be used with students and their families to use at home but now I use them mostly within my therapy sessions. I am sharing this one with all of you!

Pages 1-6 were laminated and placed into a binder: pg_1_Parent_letter PJ campingpg_2_Inventory_List_for PJ campingpg_3_Suggestions_for PJ campingpg_4_activities_PJ campingpg_5_vocabulary_PJ campingpg_6_artic_ideas_for_home PJ camping

The labels were taped onto plastic bags that hold the cards. labels for PJ Camps Out, Backpack page to color/outline, cut a slit to slide cards into and laminate: Backpack with slit, Cards to use for sequencing story:PJ Camping sequencing cards

The game board template- color or outline, laminate and tape two sides together: Game board 1Game Board 2     Ideas for camping snacks: Snack recipes

Vocabulary picture cards and definitions- cut apart and laminate for matching games: vocab matching 1 definitions; vocab matching 1 pictures – We used two sets of the picture cards for a matching activitiy and one set of the picture cards and definintion cards for another activity.

We tried out some apps and found a few that we liked the best:

Chipper apps: Let’s Go Chipper, Chipper Matching Game, Sally the Salmon, Chipper in the Parks, Bruce the Slug

Books: When the lights go out,  Dandelions e-book,  Backyard at Twilight,   Milly and Molly Go Camping, Buffy and the Butterfly

Exploring: Fotopedia National Parks, Project Noah

Games: Bugs and Buttons, Bug Builder, Bugfest, Boogie Bugs Mobile, Bye Bugs, Butterflies iBlower

Just fun!! Butterflying


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