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

Weather or not I am hoping that groundhog was right!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 25, 2013
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marching in


I plan on working on weather vocabulary with students this last week in February. It can lead to learning new vocabulary but also:

  • figurative language- In Like a Lamb Out Like a Lion, under the weather, feeling blue, on cloud 9, raining cats and dogs, head in the clouds, in a fog, etc.
  • comparing/ contrasting
  • sequencing – 1st clouds then raindrops/snow etc.
  • making predictions
  • revisiting the Groundhog prediction

First we made a large circle map about the weather. I used the  Custom Boards app to create the describing pictures. Each group thought of words that were related to weather and we came up with a few to add to our circle map.

weather circle map

We made some bubble maps to describe a lion and a lamb.


We made double bubble maps to compare and contrast.

double bubble weather

We are in the process of making weather predictions for Friday March 1st. Will it be like a lion or a lamb?  We are using this chart and making tally marks. This is the chart we used: I predict March will come in like a

i predict

I am also having the students use the weather words and place them under the Lion or Lamb from the I predict page. It makes for some interesting discussion. Does hot go under lion or lamb? It’s often all about perspective taking.

Here are the weather words we used. weather pictures

Weather idiom sites:

More materials for this theme:

Here’s hoping you are not under the weather and you are feeling right as rain!


You make my <3 flip

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 7, 2013
Tags: , , , ,

I use a 3:1 model at school. This means I work with students three weeks and the fourth week is my indirect week. I use this in many ways- consult with teachers, observe students in classes, testing, due process paper work and I do still continue to work with some students. My favorite part of this week is doing lessons within the special education site based classrooms.  This week I tried a fun activity orginally posted on Aunt Peaches.


I  follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. I enjoy her humor, whimsy and crazy style.  She recently posted a project for making yarn hearts. So I decided it would be a fun messy project to bring into a classroom of students with sensory issues.

The directions for the project can be found here: Yarn Hearts. I used the pictures from this site as a visual map for my students. My interpretation is shown below.

Gather your supplies: (check out your school supply room and use what’s there)

 art 2

I only bought the Mod Podge. ( I knew I had some in our basement but I wasn’t digging through all those moving boxes!)  The rest came from my house or the supply room at school.  I got the gloves (for myself to wear)  from the wonderful kitchen staff at my school. I knew I was going to be the one removing the excess goo from the yarn.


I taped the hearts on to cardboard before going into the classrooms.

The kids helped me measure the Mod Podge by counting how many times I filled and dumped (3) and one for water.  They took turns stirring the mixture and we worked on remembering to hold the spoon as we passed it to our neighbor. If they forgot… whoops wet spoon and that was a real life cause/effect lesson. What can we do now? (ask for help) What do you need? (paper towel)

I used string and yarn and cut it in who knows how long of lengths.  I had the kids chose their own yarn or string by requesting the color and if they wanted the thin (string) or think/fat (yarn). After each had a chance to put on one length I had them pick a second color and add that too. Now the interesting twist every one of students touched and manipulated the goo covered yarn/string.  This was a big step since these sweethearts with autism.

Lots of fun vocabulary with this lesson: Valentine, squiggle, goo, mushy, squishy, thin, fat, long, wet, dry, inside, next, first, squash it (pushing the string down)…..

How lucky am I to find a roll of sequins in the supply room! Some kids even chose to add it to their creation. I mean who doesn’t like a little sparkle!  We  also used these to hang our creations.


I created these back in my room (without gloves) to use up the extra goo. I even smushed some into the heart ice-cube try to see how it would work (these took longer to dry). Note to self: Next time wash your hands before you start conversing with your co-worker.  I had lovely shiny plastic looking hands and it took a while to wash it off.  And by the way the hearts the kids made look flashy hanging from the  ceilings in their classrooms!

image     photo 5

The hearts from the ice-cube tray found a home in the trees and in a baby monkey’s lap. Ahh..kind looks like a pink diaper! The monkeys are from Walgreens  after Chritmas clearance this year. I’m sure they will be doing more than just hanging out in the trees in my therapy sessions! And yes that is a blue glitter lamp!


My door theme is about keeping it simple but fun:

I taped up hearts and found some Valentine jokes. I found mine here but a google search will give you lots of options. The question is on the front and when you flip-up the heart to see the answer.  Oh yes now you see the connection with the blog title!

This is the You make my heart flip printout in : Word Format  or PDF

art 1

photo 3  photo 4

I used this app to create all the borders and picture effects: Photo Captions from Sprite Labs.

Now get out there and add your own twists!

Cindy (who wishes she had chosen a snazzy name like Aunt Peaches)

Cranky time of the year

Here in MN we are used to snow and cold but it can make us cranky if we are in subzero temps with subzero windchill. So with a few inside recess days I knew it was time to crank up the fun in my speech room.

I found this last week at Target on clearance for  under 7.00 dollars. It comes with only one character so of course I will be adding lots of fun twists.  The first group to try this all wanted to be first so we put names on slips of paper and put them inside. I used the claw to pick names. The name slips were lined up on the white board marker tray.  Then we loaded items into the toy claw and we had to decide if each item was too big, too small or the “just right” size.  After each turn the student placed their item on the marker tray in front of their name. Then I gave clues describing an item and they guessed and were able to play with the item.  Of course we worked on sharing…I would say “Freeze Pass” and they passed their item to the person next to them until they had a chance to play with all items.

I will be adding cards into the toy claw from my materials to “crank” out too. What a fun twist on drill and practice of speech sounds, vocabulary, following directions and more!


Out came the zappers and articulation cards with another group. I gave clues and the first person to zap the card got to add it o their pile but only if they could say it correctly in a sentence.  I kept adding cards to fill in the zapped cards.  I used zappers from the Great Face Race game. They have suction cups which grip the cards. You could make your own using rulers or paint sticks and add  small suction cups with duct tape.  Or if you like power tools then drill a hole and push the end through and secure with duct tape.  It would be a fun twist to wind the duct tape around the sticks to decorate them.

I will close this post with our twist on Groundhog Day Thinking Maps creations using the Custom Boards app app.