Thursday, January 31, 2013

Superbowl Sale!

I'm participating in the TPT sale on Superbowl Sunday.  Enter the promo code "super" for an extra 8% off from TPT for a total of 28% off!  Get your wishlists ready for the awesome sale!

Check out my TPT store! 

Bonus item pictures:  I've been using the Synonyms, Antonyms and Homonyms monsters a lot lately with my sixth graders.   They are studying synonyms and antonyms in class and have happily been pairing the words for entire speech sessions.  We then practice the "harder pairs" with a game of go fish or a match game in the last 7 or so minutes of the session.  Even my EBD kids are working through the whole session!

Antonyms Level 1

I Love to Read Month

February is I love to Read Month and my school is doing a month long reading celebration.  As a part of it at my school, students and teachers are trying to keep track of how many pages they read during the month.  We have a goal of reading 1 million pages!

Many of my students are struggling readings, so I'm trying to get them into it in the speech room.  I put "We Love to Read on the back of my door, and I'm having the students fill out hearts with their names and the name of a favorite/liked/recently read book or series of books.  For some students I do some research ahead of time on what books they like to have choices during their speech time.  I didn't have one for one of my students on the spectrum,. so his heart says "Valentine Candy" because once he make a choice he couldn't be guided otherwise.  A few students have labeled the most recent book we've read in speech.

I'll post another picture later when we get all the hearts up.  Today was the "pep fests" to get kids excited about reading, so we just started putting them up.   I share my room with another speech therapist so we will probably have 80+ hearts on and around the door, depending on if we're adding the students who cannot transition to our room.

I printed "We Love to Read, cut it out and backed it.  A right-size heart for this activity does exist on the die-cut machine, unfortunately my school doesn't have it, so I cut them out by hand this time around.

Is anyone else celebrating I love to Read month?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sports Language Packets

I found this clip art and fell in love.  I have many students who absolutely love sports and I'm always looking for ways to engage them in therapy sessions.  I created three sports packets with a sports theme!  Everything in the packets (with a few exceptions) is completely in a sports theme.  All the stories for comprehension and problem solving as well as the sentences are sports related.

You can check out all three in my TPT store!
Sports Language for Pragmatics
Sports Language Set
Sports Activities for Grammar

The first set is the Pragmatics Set!

All parts of the pragmatics set are in a sports theme.

There are 20 inferences cards with bonus game cards.

24 problem solving paragraphs with game cards included.
18 joke cards to use to work on joke telling and social skills!  These are also great to use with articulation and fluency generalization.
18 idioms with a sports origin are discussed with meanings and sentence examples!
16 conversation cards with bonus game cards round out the pragmatic activities.  All conversation cards have a sports related topic.  These would also be great to use with articulation and fluency students for generalization skills.

All of my sports sets include a bonus Cariboo topper.

Check out the Sports Language for Pragmatics in my TPT store and have fun!

Next up is my Sports Set for Language!
Sports Language Set
Similarities and differences and following directions are not completely in a sports theme.

Comprehension questions have a short paragraph followed by three questions.  All stories are sports related!  Game cards are included.  24 story cards.

One and two step following directions.  This is the sports set, so you will need some kind of ball to follow the directions.  I'm planning on using a soft ball like a thumbball when working on the directions.

Students need to label one way items are similar and different for each card.  Game cards are included.

Fact and opinion cards are all in a sports theme.  The second, not picture page, has fill in the blank cards for local sports teams.  "The _______ are the best football team."    This is to allow for variation in all the different places we live, and for kids to explore fan-opinions.

The Sports Language Set also includes the Cariboo top, pictured above.

Grab the Sports Language Set in my TPT store!

Last is the Sports Grammar Set
The Sports Activities for Grammar set is the biggest of the three sets.  I kept thinking of different activities for grammar that I wanted to work on!

 The pronouns set works on She/Her/Hers, He/His/Him and They/Their pronouns.  Cards for each pronoun are included.

18 regular plurals cards, 9 paired plural nouns.  All plurals have a sports theme!

18 irregular plural cards, 9 paired plural nouns.  These don't have a sports them, since there aren't enough irregular plural nouns for that!

Regular past tense verbs cards, words and sentences with a sports theme! 
Irregular past tense verbs, in words and sentences with a sports theme!
Finally third person singular verbs!  Fill in the blank sentences with a sports theme.

Cariboo cards, pictured above are also included with this unit.

Grab the Sports Activities for Grammar in my TPT store!


Friday, January 18, 2013

AAC Bliss

When I was in the car with my dad today, he shared a RadioLab podcast with me that indirectly talks about the history of AAC.  It's called Bliss and is currently free on iTunes.  

It's about Charles Bliss and a Symbol language he invented.  It was largely ignored until a nurse in Canada started using it with her patients who had cerebral palsy and couldn't speak.  Bliss didn't like how they were changing his language and his lawsuits are why only a few use the symbols today.

The part about the symbol language is on the first half of the postcast and is worth a listen.

I've got three new sports theme sets up in my TPT store.  Check them out and I'll have a nice long post with pictures soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Big Chickens - Predicting Books

 I recently found my two great books for working on making simple predictions.  Big Chickens and Big Chickens Fly the Coop.  There is a third book in the series, Big Chickens Go to Town, but I haven't gotten it yet. 

About half the pages in these books end with the word "Until....." It is a perfect set up for making predictions.  The book big chickens have the chickens running away from a wolf at the chicken coop and into the woods.  The find many things in the woods they are afraid of and bumble their way into.  At the end of the books the chickens aren't so chicken any more and are feeling much better about themselves, which gives us a chance to talk about character change.

I found the chicken books perfect for my students who are on the autism spectrum.   These books may have animals as characters instead of people, but the illustrator has done a fantastic job with the expressions of the animals in the books. My students and I also spend a lot of time discussing how the chickens (and other animals) were feeling at different points in the book and how we could tell.  We also discussed how people call each other "chickens" when they are acting afraid.

Having a done a few days of making predictions, it's been really interesting how my students are afraid to make predictions at the fear of being wrong.  Many of my kids simply answered "I don't know" and I had to do a lot of choice offering.  Such as "are the chickens going to go into the cave or not?"  One of my boys refused to make predictions or prediction choices at all.  We did a little discussion about what else the chickens did in the book, the chickens end up accidentally doing everything they say they are afraid of (specific to the book Big Chickens), and still he refused.  So more work here we come!  Situations like this make me happy I'm still finding such great things to use in therapy.

I used the books with 2nd through 6th grade.  They worked best with the second and third graders, and an individual ASD fifth grader particularly enjoyed it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Camping with Pronouns!

I have wanted to do a pronoun unit for a long time. I have several students who have so much difficulty telling the difference between she-her-hers and he-him-his. I even have one second grader who is currently using "him" for all pronouns. When I saw this adorable camping clip art I knew just what I wanted to do and have been so excited about it!

The camping trip is introduced by a short story about the camping trip.  It ends by saying let's look at some cards to find out what else happened!  I wanted to get students excited to look at the pronouns cards.  A few of my pronoun students are a little leery of any activity that isn't a game, but I want the story format to engage them and hope they get excited about what happens next!

Check it out on TPT now!

The names of the kids who go camping are consistent throughout the story and the pronoun cards.  I included an extra sheet with the kids names on it to help all of us who are still keeping our caseloads straight.

Pronouns addressed in the are: He/His/Him, She/Her/Hers, and They/Their/Them.  Pronouns are fill in the blank in sentences on the card. All cards have a child picture with the appropriate gender to help make the gender connection to each pronouns. The They/Their/Them cards have pictures of several children on them.   Each addressed pronoun has a large "sorting" card that students can match their answers to.  The female pronouns are red tents, the male pronouns are blue tents and they/their/them is a picture of a campfire.  Also included is a blank with each of the pictures to indulge your creativity!

Each pronoun has eight cards/sentences for practice.  All the sentences are part of the same story.

Present the card and ask the student to choose if they need she/her/hers, he/him/his or they/their/them and then read the card either with a blank or with all three choices and have the student choose which word best fits.
 I also added a blank page of each type of sentence cards so you can add your own sentences or discuss camping as it's appropriate to your region.  At the end of the unit there's a page of comprehension questions that you can use to work on other goals with the same unit!

Grab your copy on TPT!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Joke Telling Unit

This year I've noticed a few of my students have really started to get interested in telling jokes.  Unfortunately, this interest doesn't coincide with an understanding of how jokes work.  A few of my students have started telling simple one line "jokes" that are a basic lie about something that happened and following it up with "I joke you" or "I kid you."  As this isn't just happening with me, and has been happening throughout the day, and as a result I ended up with several joke telling goals and objectives.  With this, I needed to make some materials as a place to start with for these students. 

So here is my joke telling unit!
Grab it on TPT!

-Help kids understand how to tell jokes
-Help kids understand why jokes are funny.
-Have kids memorize a few jokes they can tell.
-Teach kids why people tell jokes.

-Includes a social story about telling jokes and a description about different kinds of jokes.
-Includes knock-knock and riddle cards for kids to use to tell jokes in speech therapy sessions.
- 24 Knock, Knock joke cards and 36 riddle cards. 6 joke cards for each kind of joke include why this is funny cards because many students who struggle with telling jokes also struggle with figurative and other non-literal language. Once you’ve used the cards to explain why some of the jokes are funny let your students figure out the rest of the jokes.

-Cut and laminate all materials.
-Read the social stories on telling jokes and kinds of jokes with your students. Let your students pick the
kind of joke they want to start with riddles or knock-knock jokes.
-Read the social story for the kind of joke they want to start with.
-Do the first 6 jokes together. Read the why the jokes are funny cards. Do the students agree? Why are why
-Go through the rest of the kind of jokes. What jokes do each student like and why? Have each student
memorize their favorite joke and tell a friend or teacher outside of the speech room.

I'm so excited for my kids to be able to tell even a few memorized jokes.  Hopefully, they'll generalize some
of the skills, but I'm most looking forward to a better understanding of telling jokes in general.

Check it out on TPT and get your kids laughing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Frog Game Find!

I was browsing the Target game sales over the holidays and found a great new game to use in therapy!  The best part is that it was only $5.  It's also available on Amazon, but it's a little more expensive there, so I'd check the Target store first (and its not up on 

The basic premise that you jump the frogs and try to get them to land on the lily pads.  The blue part at the bottom is work 10 points and the point totals increase to 50 in the flower at the top.  It has been so much fun to use!  My kids love jumping the frogs, and absolutely anything to do with getting points.  It's such a simple game, and I can work in an element of suspense by making my students wait for all the frogs to jump to count their points.  There are four colors of frogs so up to four can play!

As a note of warning you may get a frog in your hair and several on the floor, but it seems to add to the fun.  

My little bonus is working on other needs areas in therapy:
Fine motor: pushing down to jump frogs and trying to aim them.
Basic math: this really is only motivating for some of my kids when trying to find out how many points they have.

One great thing about this game is the challenge to jumping the frogs means that kids want to play it more than 1-2 times before they want to find out whats next.  I have lots of games and stuff to do for students but my few who want constant NEW games make things challenging.