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


Fairy dust and wishes

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on March 29, 2012
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Fairy Dogmother (alias Miki at Halloween)

Some of my kids made Fairy Traps the week before our Spring Break. We hung them from the speech room ceiling in hopes that fairies would be there when we returned. I hoped the glitter would have been vacuumed up by then!

Here’s what I usedmost items were found at the dollar store, my school supply room or my house.

  • Small clear containers (dollar store)
  • glitter & glue (school)
  • small glittery pompoms (dollar store)
  • glittery pipe-cleaners (dollar store)
  • glass jewels (dollar store)
  • small buttons (my house) I don’t think the picture below shows the buttons
  • gold rings & ribbon (dollar store- wedding section)
  • flowers (dollar store, my house)
  • clip butterflies (dollar store)

How we did it:

1. First I used scissors to punch a hole through the container lid.  I wrote each student’s name on the lid. We talked about fairies needing air to breath and a spot to enter the trap.

2.  I put some glue around the sides and bottom of the container. The kids chose the glitter color and I put some in and capped the container. They shook it up and oooed and ahhed.

3.  They chose what to put into the containers. (The glitter pipe-cleaners were cut into fairy sizes.) We talked about how much room they should leave for the fairy to be comfortable.

4. I used scissors to push the yarn through the lid’s hole and tied a knot on the inside. I tied a loop on the other end to hang the trap.

5. The students came up with the idea to add the butterflies, flowers and glitter pipe-cleaners to the yarn. We talked about how this might help attract the fairies.

6. I hung them from the ceiling and now we are waiting and waiting and waiting until we get back from spring break in April!   I even changed my door for this adventure!  Click here for a copy of my door sign. One of the first graders asked his teacher if the wings on my door were “real fairy wings.”

              

We also made a larger Fairy Trap

I used a Voss Glass Water bottle that I found left in a closet at home. The kids helped design what should go into this.  We added moss (dollar store), birch bark (the woods) and the same items that were in the tiny fairy traps. Before we left for spring break we took the cap off and added a sugar cube (fairy food).

The Plan…

Notes from the fairies will be tied to each fairy trap.  I found these at Michael’s in their dollar section. I think they will be perfect. They measure 2.5 x 2.5 inches- just right for a fairy to write on and not too small for the kids to read them.

The fairies did not forget  those on my caseload who did not get to make fairy traps. They will leave the same note and a jewel (glass stones we used in the traps).

This is the note that will be inside the cards. I typed them using Katy Berry font and then cut them out with a decorative edging scissors and glued them into the cards. Of course the fairies also glued a little glitter! These will be tied to their fairy traps. If you would like to use this same note here is a PDF copy.  Inside our big fairy  trap I wrapped the sugar cube in a gauzy fabric (not shown in the photo above) and tied it with a ribbon so it hangs like the ring in the picture.  When the kids return I will have another gauzy fabric wrapped around a battery tea-light  to be the fairy. If the tea-light is too big then I will use one of the small fairy trap containers and put a glow stick goo inside (see below for directions). I’m thinking this may need to be the option.  This too will be tied with a ribbon so I can change it out if our fairy starts to fade. I will have her stay long enough for the kids to give her a name. She too will leave a note (& fairy dust) thanking them for protecting her.


     

 

 

UPDATE- I just found these LED lights at Michaels- 1.99 for a pack of 2 white blinking lights. There are also packs of 10 for 19.99. I already had the colored finger lights that we use to spot cards and objects in the speech room. I decided to but another pack of 3 for 2.00 (also at Michaels). Now the fairy will be able to change colors before she leaves us! Sweet! I will use an artificial flower instead of the gauzy material and place the light inside. The flower will be closed up and the fairy light will shine through. 

Other options you may want to try:

1. There are solar-powered fairy jars. While these are pretty they are also expensive – check them out at Amazon.

3. You could copy the idea above by using a recycled jar and battery lights. Just paint the outside of the jar with translucent paint or glass paint- you could even put it on the inside and shake it around. OR you could tear tissue paper and glue it around the jar. Then pop in your battery powered light and a fairy is born.

2. A fun way to make an inexpensive fairy in a jar- DIRECTIONS: A. Cut a glow stick and shake the contents into a jar. Add diamond glitter (if you wish) B. Seal the top with a lid. C. Shake- this will last as long as the goo from the glow stick glows. You can mix glow stick colors too.  There are numerous posts online about these so take a look.

I do believe in fairies because…  I lost an earring and did not notice it until I had gotten home. It had been a Christmas gift from one of my sons so I was feeling sad. I came to work the next day and it was on my table. I thanked our custodian for finding it before it had disappeared into his vacuum cleaner. He said he had not been the one to find it. So I am sure the fairies really did leave it for me! The kids were very excited about this story and wanted details on what the fairy looked like. We can only imagine!

 If you missed my last post that started this fairy theme check it out here.

FYI- You can sign up to have my posts magically delivered to your e-mail! Also be sure to check out all links for websites, materials listed on the right side of my posts. Lots of fun stuff out there!

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I’m fairy sure I have goblins and leprechauns in my gnome! Be sure to look for the Rainbow at the end of this post!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on March 18, 2012

These are my room decorations that  I put up for the theme unit.

Since it was close to St. Patrick’s Day I decided to start my fairy, gnome and goblin unit (with a  wee leprechaun thrown in too.)  This summer I posted about my fairy door, gnomes and gnome home. (See here and here and more  here)

So here are a few activities to try:

Activity 1: Fairy Fun Secret Square Game

This is a game similar to Secret Square (this link has variations you can use). Use these pages to set up your own fairy/gnome/goblin/leprechaun game:  Characters ; cover ups I have this set up on the outside of my speech door. It allows the classes that line up outside my door for gym something to look at and explore too. My students take turns hiding the characters and then giving one clue at time. For example: “It is under something that grows.” So we talk about what pictures we can eliminate and what ones are left. The next clue might be ” It is green.” etc. I want them to give at least two clues before we narrow it down to the picture we believe is hiding the fairy, gnome, goblin or leprechaun.

Activity 2: Book for St. Patrick’s Day

I bought fun book called The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day. This is a short book that can easily be used in a 20-30 minute therapy session. It follows the same pattern as The Night Before Christmas. On most pages there is a leprechaun hiding so I asked the kids to find it “with their words and not their fingers.”  This worked on concepts like: next to, under, behind, etc.  There is always vocabulary to learn-shamrock, bagpipes, trap, trick, and more.  I  am going to have the kids make traps for fairies, gnomes or goblins after St. Patrick’s Day but the ideas in this book will be great visuals to use.  Check out Playing With Words 365 on how Katie used this same book.

Activity 3: Gnome Bowling

 

I found this cute gnome bowling set on clearance. Now I know you probably won’t find this but here is an option. Use any toy bowling set, plastic cups, small milk cartons, small juice bottles, yogurt cartons etc. and add a gnome face.  I plan to use mine to work on articulation and language skills and fluency.  If 2 gnomes/pins are knocked over than 2 target words will be practiced and so on. Here is a sheet you can use to make your own gnome bowling game: gnome cut outs

Activity 4: Little Creature I Spy Hunt

I bought these silly fun glasses at the Target Dollar section. They came two in a pack for 1.00! We wear them when we are looking for little creatures- leprechauns, fairies, gnomes or yikes even goblins. Sometimes we just look around the speech room or we get brave and walk around the school. This is when I tape a few pictures up in the hallways for the kids to “spy.”   I have little clipboards that they carry to mark what they “spy.”   I also take my iPhone or iPad with so we can take a picture and talk about “where” we found it when we get back to the speech room.  Here is the I Spy sheet.   Shhhh….We do not disturb or capture these creatures we are on a quiet safari. We know that if we make any sudden moves they will disappear!

Activity 5: Finding out facts

   

There are lots of books and internet sources to learn about these little creatures. This is a sheet that we made: Goblin Gnome Fairy facts.  We compared similarities and differences between the creatures and ourselves.  Were we taller, shorter, eat the same things, etc. Here is a Venn diagram  to use with this activity. I used the complete Venn diagram to write the comparisons. Since I am at a K-3rd grade school I soon realized that pictures would be better. So I created these picture facts to glue on a larger Venn diagram. I used the  Custom Boards app to create the picture facts. I had each student also use the app to create pictures that showed their characteristics.  Here are the picture facts sheets: fairy picture facts   gnome picture facts  goblin picture facts

I have more planned but what is in my “plan” may change when I have the kids actually try it out! So I will say that for a later post if we come up with some more fun activities.

Oh yes there are apps for this theme: Here are a few- lots of fairy ones in the app store if you want to search for more

Fairy Apps: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue ; Fairy Princess Dress-up ; Penelope Rose-HD ; Faerie Switch ; A Quest for Good Manners ; Tinker bell and Friends ; Disney Fairies FlyThe Fairies ; Fairies Activity cards ; Peter Pan ; Avatar Peter Pan

Gnome Apps:Gnome Stack ;  Gnome it! ; Gnome with me ; Paper Gliders vs. Gnomes

Smurf/Elves Apps: iTalk Smurf ; Smurfs Movie Storybook ; Smurfs Classic Series ; Elves and Shoemaker

Goblin like- not a lot (most are shooting games) Freakatars Creature Creator

Thumbelina app: Thumbelina HD ; Thumbelina Interactive

Fun Websites for this theme: Twig the Fairy ; Fairy Houses ; Goblins ; Printable Goblins ; Gnome Craft ; Gnome Catapult

Now for the promised RAINBOW. I’m talking about Rainbow Sentences from Mobile Education Store.

This is an app that I use a lot. Kyle Tomson has created another  great app that follow along in the same style as his previous ones. This app allows you not only to keep data on student progress but you can adjust the level of difficulty. I love that you can even adapt within each level by turning on or off color coding and word grouping. This makes each of the three complexity levels actually have 9 options . ..if I did my math right!  Click here to read more and watch the video tutorial.

I am using it as it was designed  with some students being able to construct grammatical sentences. I am using it with other students who are less verbal. Right now they are on the first level with all the coding turned on. We are working on color matching the two word groups- blue words to the blue line and red words to the red line. We listen to the sentence when the matching is completed. Then comes the gold at the end of the rainbow…. recording the sentence! This has proven to be very successful with my  students who are not very verbal. They might not be saying the sentence correctly but they are TALKING and saying WORDS. So if the sentence is The boy is throwing I may hear “boy throw.”  It’s truly magically delicious!!!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on March 8, 2012

I had to share this with you all. I had so much fun with this spontaneous activity. I never know what the kids will teach me.

I started with a group of 1st graders who asked about the button on the wall in my speech room. It quickly turned into our lesson that day.  As we brainstormed ideas one student keep sneaking over to “push the button.”  Two of the kids got a little hysterical and were yelling “NO!!!”  I guess our imagination got away from some of us and turned into a reality. I think my next lesson may need to be about imaginary and real!

The next group were 2nd graders. While one was very imaginative the other needed a little more guidance but no one “freaked” out!

Enjoy our stories…. (please excuse any grammar errors …we are working on that)

The button 1

The button 2

Maybe you too can lead some minds down an imaginary road.  Here are a few ideas that you could write and talk about:

1.  With St. Patrick’s Day coming place a rainbow in your room and write about what could be at the end.

2.  Put a sealed box (wrapped or not) and write about what could be in the box?  Will you let them lift it or only look?  Will it be on a table or hanging from your ceiling? Think about putting in something that rattles or is heavy. Will you open at the end….maybe only in your imagination!

3.  Bring a suitcase (any size) and write about where you are going and what you would bring.

4.  Put footprints on your wall, door, chair or whatever and write about what left them, what they looked like, what they were looking for and where they went. The footprints could be any human, animal or alien!

5. Post a picture of a window covered by a curtain and write about what you might see if you opened the curtain.

What other ideas do you have? Leave a comment for all to view!

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.  Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.  ~Theodore Geisel

Get your move on!

Transportation Scene on my door

Last week I posted about a unit on racing.  We had a lot of fun and  even had several Meester 500 races.  This week I decided to move into a transportation unit. In my transportation theme box I have many things I’ve gathered from my boys, thrift stores and other places. I have puzzles, toy cars, plastic road maps for the cars to drive on, tracks, books, etc.  So look around and I’m sure you will find items that fit together for this unit and would love to be boxed up together.

Activity 1

This is a Transportation Bingo type game. There are five cards of different transportation vehicles. Print 2 of each card and use one set as the calling cards.  To play the game you can give clues for each vehicle such as; This vehicle comes visits your home to collect things you don’t want. (garbage truck)  I can ride 5  I can ride 4    I can ride 3   I can ride 2   I can ride 1

Activity 2

This is a great time to use the book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems and create your own book. What will your pigeon want to drive? There is an app called Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App! It costs 6.99 and you can create your own Pigeon stories. I have not purchased this app so check out the reviews and see if it fits your needs.

You can find the app here:

 Activity 3

Transportation Dominos: Print out 1-2 copies of each page,  turn over and print the backs on the cards,  laminate and play.  domino doubles, domino 1, domino 2, domino backs

Activity 4 – Dollar Store finds

I bought two sets of transportation erasers. These can used for compare/contrast, or put them into the fun water beads for hide and seeking that I also have found at the dollar store. This is a fun sensory activity. Water beads are used in place of water in vases. I bought the transportation shapes which I have laminated so I can write articulation sounds, words or things like say your word 5x etc. This is an easy activity to use with all my students and I can write different tasks to meet a variety of IEP goals and wipe it off for the next group.

   

Activity 5

Jenna Rayburn has a blog with lots of wonderful ideas so be sure to check it out. One of her posts fits the transporation theme: Cars Articulation and Language Activities

Apps for transportation: These are a few that I have on my iPad Transportation folder. (Many of these I got when they were free or discounted)

Earthmovers .99

Doodle Truck 1.99 one of my kids favorites

Jelly Car .99 this one another favorite too

Let’s Fly Chipper .99

Helicopter Taxi 1.99

I’m in! Traveling- lite free version

Cars in a Sandbox 1.99

Lettermen go in a Plane .99

Vehicle Puzzle free

Vehicle flashcards- free

Tire Mountain 1.99

Milly Molly & the Bike Ride- 1.99  the iPad version is 2.99

The Little Engine that Could – 3.99

Build a Train 1.99  and  Build a Train – lite-free