Monday, August 31, 2015

Classroom Decor!

This year, I decided to make my classroom decor as functional as possible to help my students meet their goals as quickly as possible. Of course, I want a cute therapy room. But I have small room and wall space is limited. So I did my best to make sure I was putting the most useful items on the wall. What is going to help my kids the most?

First of all, my school uses PBIS school wide. My district as 4 quadrants: Respect Self, Respect Others, Respect Property, and Be There, Be Ready. My classroom procedures are aligned with these four quadrants.

I also have Rules for Using the Ipad in English & Spanish hanging on the wall. I thought it was important to have some clear guidelines to protect that expensive technology!
I have an Awesome Work wall where each child has a sticker chart they can hang up. I like for each child to have an individual chart so that it isn't so easy to compare themselves to other children. The students earn stickers for following the rules, participating in therapy, and meeting goals. I also award extra stickers when I see a student doing something extra - like encouraging a classmate or practicing independently. When their chart is full, they can get a prize. This works well for my elementary kiddos. My Pre-K kids and lower functioning students have more individualized reward systems to meet their specific needs.
It's looking kind of sad right now since therapy isn't in full swing yet. But imagine the wall with 50 sticker charts on it! :)

This year I also decided to try something new. I downloaded these Goodbye Rhymes from Cara Carroll's Tpt Store. They're a freebie! I hung them by my door.
When the kids leave, I will choose a rhyme that has the articulation sound they are working on in it. They will have to repeat the rhyme to me before they leave the room. Just one more quick, fun way to get in some therapy targets. They would also be great ways to target rhyming words, beginning & ending sounds, etc. And they are super cute!

I also added this chart to my room this year.
I'm hoping that it will help students understand what they are working towards in speech. I'm trying my best to encourage students to be invested in their learning this year - which is an area I've struggled with in the past. As they master a sound at a particular level, they can move their clip to the next level. (And yes, I do have my own bathroom in my office. And yes, it is amazing. Haha)

And check out this cute rug people!

It totally warmed up the whole space, which was feeling a little like a yellow jail cell. haha :)

Now it's looking like this:
What's your favorite classroom decorating trick?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kings & Queens of Speech Therapy: Do-A-Dot Articulation Crowns

My little Pre-K kiddos have FINALLY returned to school! I LOVE the pre-k age group because they are so fun and imaginative. Anyway, I'll start therapy with them next week - and we'll be starting with a fairy tale unit focusing on kings, queens, castles, etc. We'll be reading some fairy tales, playing with a Little People Castle Set, and focusing on fairy tale vocabulary using this fun freebie from Jenna Rayburn at Speech Room News. And we'll also be doing my favorite activity of all - making crowns! 

Last year, I developed this Do-A-Dot Crown Activity. My kids LOVED it. And I loved that I could use it with nearly every kid on my caseload. 
The Phonology skills targeted include: weak syllable deletion, stridency deletion, fronting, final consonant deletion, and cluster reduction. Articulation sounds include: /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /s/, /s/ blends, /f/, /v/, /l/, /l/ blends, /m/, /n/, /sh/, prevocalic /r/, vocalic /r/, and /r/ blends. Language skills targeted include: categories (2), pronouns, verbs, object functions, spatial concepts, wh questions, and rhyming words. 

And... it was SO SIMPLE! This is seriously a NO PREP activity. Just print out the templates you need and do the rest during therapy. The kids use do-a-dot markers to stamp each picture after they have said the word or answered the question. The dots act as the crowns "jewels." When the kids are done, cut them out and add a band so they can wear it. The kids LOVED being kings & queens! 

You can check them out here. What activities do you do with your fairy tale unit?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back to Speech! :)

If you're anything like me, the first day of therapy can be a little awkward with your new kiddos. We spend some time going over the rules. I have some general classroom rules that align with our school's PBIS quadrants. I also have some rules for using the iPad (those things are crazy expensive, so I make sure my kids know how important is to keep them safe) - you can download those here

Many of the kids I have from year to year, but there are some that are newbies. I usually don't know much about these kids - and I wanted a way to get to know them better in less time. And not just what their favorite things are (although that's always nice to know), but also what makes them happy and sad. What are they good at? What do they want to work on? So I decided to make up a little Back to Speech Get to Know You Activity. You can pick it up for free here in my teachers pay teachers store. 

I also have versions of these for Occupational therapists and Physical therapists. 

I hope these will help your first speech session go smoothly while learning some valuable information about your students! :)