Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Frogs!

Spring has definitely sprung here! The tulips are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the grass is green again. With that, my students are also getting a little more restless. They want to be MOVING and OUTSIDE! I don't blame them - I want to be outside too! Anyway, to help get some wiggles out, I thought we could do some fun games that let the kids move around a little more. And that's how Frog Hop was born.

First, I picked up a package of these colorful frogs.

I found them at Target Dollar Spot. There were 8 in a package - 2 of each color.  You can push down on the little tab and when you release it, they jump! You could use any kind of jumping toy though - the ants from the Ants in the Pants game would work perfectly, too! 

Then, I made a large target with some craft paper we had here at school and some random circle shaped items (for tracing).

I colored my rings in with a red marker because we were out of red paper. But you could definitely just trace the circles on red and white paper and layer them to save you some time and your red markers! :) 

Each ring of the target has a number in it. The students have to "launch" their frog from the "launch pads" and see where it lands. If they land on the number 5 ring, they have to say 5 target words. The number 3 ring, they say three words, and so on. I laminated my target and added the numbers later with dry erase maker. This makes it a little more customizable for my kiddos. I also used the marker to draw the "launch pads" based on where the kids were sitting around the target.

The kids were up and moving, which made them happy. And I was having NO problem getting language and speech sounds out of them - which made me happy. I call that a win-win!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Break!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I was very happy to spend some time with family. Anyway, this week is my Spring Break from school. I definitely needed a break and I'm very lucky that my school offers us a 10 day break (counting two weekends). But I am spending some time preparing resources that I'll need to get through the rest of the school year! :)

First, I decided to cut apart another set of my Spanish Articulation Cards so that I could keep a set at each school that I service. This set has 463 cards in it and I like to print out 2 sets so we can play games with them (Go Fish, Memory, etc) just like regular articulation card sets. That means I did A LOT of cutting...
Thank Goodness for my paper cutter...
Of course, I've also been finishing up my Spring Articulation Packet.

You can check it out here in my teacherspayteachers store!
 I think between that packet and the Summer Articulation Packet that I've been dreaming up, I should have all my articulation kiddos covered for the rest of the year! These packets are perfect for mixed groups, quick practice, and homework. I absolutely love them and can't believe I didn't start making them sooner!

What is you favorite Spring therapy activity?!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Petting Zoo Fun!

This week, my Pre-Kindergarteners took a field trip to a local petting zoo. The high school students involved in FFA were hosting a petting zoo at the local high school. Knowing that the kiddos would be getting up close a personal with various farm animals, I decided to create some fun farm animal activities. I got a list of the animals that would be at the petting zoo ahead of time. Then I created this book, which is available in my teacherspayteachers store, to help familiarize the students with the animals we would be seeing. 

While the book was designed for our petting zoo field trip, it would be PERFECT to accompany your farm animals unit. There is no reference made to the petting zoo in the book. Each page included a description of an animal. The students could guess the animal based on the description and velcro that animal symbol onto the barn. Once they made their guess, they could flip the page (which revealed the correct answer) to check their work. I loved the self-checking component!

The book was great for expanding their vocabulary. Many of the kids could guess the horse, cow, chicken, etc. But many of them were unfamiliar with animals like the mouse, goat, donkey, turkey, etc. This book was a great way to introduce those animals. We also targeted inferring, descriptive concepts, and overall language expansion.

After we were done reading the book, we did a quick activity. The students told me what animal they were hoping to see and why. The students told me their answers as I filled in the blanks on the worksheets. Then they drew a picture of themselves with that animal on the bottom. This activity elicited language quite easily. It was a great day to reinforce the vocabulary and animal characteristics they had just learned in the book. It could also be used to work on future tense verbs.

Some of my favorites were:
"I hope to see a unicorn horse at the petting zoo because I've never seen one before. If I see the unicorn horse, I want to take it's unicorn."

"I hope to see a cat at the petting zoo because I have one at home. If I see the cat, I will take it home with me."

"I hope to see a cow at the petting zoo because they have milk. If I see the cow, I want to milk it."

Kids are great! :)

Parents were encouraged to attend the field trip with their pre-kindergartener. So for my students who had parents there with them, I gave them an animal "checklist" to fill out and gave some quick strategies to the parents to help elicit language from their little ones during the trip. I grabbed a couple kids that did not have parents with them and accompanied them through the petting zoo. 

Clipboards made our "checklists" much easier and the students loved being "animal detectives." I was really surprised with how much ownership they took over their checklists. Each time they found an animal, we talked about that animal and described it. We discussed animal specific characteristics (ex. chickens lay eggs, etc).

Once we returned to school, I helped the kids fill out the following worksheets about what they saw at the petting zoo. 
Again, I was surprised at how much language these worksheets were able to elicit from my kids. They were still so excited from just returning from the petting zoo and LOVED telling me all the things they saw. I sent these home with the kids so their parents had some conversation points to work with them at home. I also told the kids to color the animals to look like the ones they saw at the petting zoo. We were able to work on grammar, sentence construction, descriptive concepts, animal characteristics, among other things.

There is also a petting zoo packet of worksheets available in my teacherspayteachers store. This packet includes other worksheets that we weren't able to do due to time constraints, as well as the interactive book (If you just want the book, you can get it here). If you have a trip to a petting zoo coming up - check them out! These worksheets would also work great with your farm animals unit!

What fun field trips do you have coming up?
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Fun!

We've been doing a lot of fun Easter activities this week in therapy. I've been using my Easter NO PREP Articulation Packet like crazy! 

I stole Speech Room News's idea of using chalkboard Easter Eggs for the kids to decorate. The kids LOVED this idea. And it was so cheap! An activity I can use with nearly every group for less than $2?! I'll take it! You can get the eggs at Walmart and they even come with chalk!

We've also been using my Easter Egg Hunt Quick Drill Activity. It has been so much fun for my mixed speech and language groups because they have all been able to participate in the same activity while still working on their individual goals. 

Are there any fun Easter activities you like to use? Hope you have a fantastic Easter!