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

“Sticking” to pumpkins …

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on October 24, 2013
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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

4. glue

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

marker painting

  • 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!


Cloudy with a Chance of fun…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on October 15, 2013
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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.

photo 5 photo 4  photo 3photo 2 photo 1

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.

bags bag

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.

photo 1

We had an APPitite for these:

More Toast, Sandwich Maker, Cookie Maker, Cloudy, Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, Let’s Eat!, Grillmeister  and others for pizza, pie, donuts, potato head, icee, and more.

We popped words, colors and other goal areas with ice cream cone shooters.

ice cream

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!


You’re Unbelievable

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on October 4, 2013
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A quick idea coming your way…

I received a Mother’s day card from my oldest son. It was huge and he felt the bigger the card the better the son… ha ha. It was also a musical card. I saved it and knew I would use it at school one day. The day has arrived.  The card plays some of the lyrics from the song You’re Unbelievable by EMF. Luckily it only plays the words You’re Unbelievable and not the rest of the lyrics.

The  card started out looking like this…

card 4 card

This is where I initally had the card in my room.


This is what  happens when you get an idea…..

card 3  card g

But then it changes to this….

otto 2 otto

I bought two of these ottomans at Target on clearance for 5.98 each.

I taped the front of the card and the music guts under the seat. Now when I am sitting on it I can reach under the seat, push and the music plays.  So when one of my students does something wonderfully fantastic I can just push and play…You’re Unbelievalbe. Voila!

Now go add your own twist and leave a comment on what you did!