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My Speech Universe: April 2013

20 April 2013

A Summer of Speech and Language: Calendars

****Updated for 2014!!!****

Summer is coming!!!  I cannot be more excited!!!!

Every year, I stress out about how I am going to get all of my packets together for students to practice over the summer.  My first few years, I would copy pages specifically for each student.  This was really time consuming, and I found that students were really not completing the work.  My packets started getting smaller and smaller, and I didn't really feel like I was sending home things that were interesting or engaging.  I decided that if I could get my students to at least think about their speech or language for a few minutes every day, it would be better than the practice I was getting from them in previous years.  A few minutes a day over the course of the whole summer, could add up to a bunch of time focusing on speech or language! 

So, I started to create some summer calendars for both speech and language and passing them out at the end of the year.  In the fall, parents started to approach me, saying how much they enjoyed the activities.   None of them took very long, and they were engaging.  I have used these calendars for two years now, and throughout the year, I still have parents comment on how much they liked them during the summer months!

Here is what I am going to pass out to my students this year.  A Summer of Speech and Language: Calendars.  I have both an articulation and a language version specific to 2014.  I created all of the calendar pages in both color and black and white because sometimes color ink is at a premium.  Students can either cross off days as they complete tasks, or color in an icon that is in the corner of each day.  I also created a parent letter that goes home with the packet.


This year, for my older articulation students, I may also send home pages from my No Frills Articulation packets.  These are also a quick way for students to practice.  This is more of my older way of doing summer practice, but for some students it still works.  I will probably only do this for the parents that actually request extra work.

You can get my calendars here: A Summer of Speech and Language: Calendars

****Please note**** If you have purchased my Year of Speech and Language Calendars, you already own these summer calendars!!!!  Also, when you purchase these calendars, you are also purchasing future years calendars too.  I will update these every year so that you can have a current years calendar instead of a generic weekly calendar.

I am so excited for summer on so many different levels!  I am looking forward to a summer of fun with my two boys.  I will also be confident in knowing that for a least a few minutes a day, my students will be thinking about their speech or language.

I hope you have a great summer too!  (Some of you lucky ducks start your summer in a couple of weeks!)


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18 April 2013

Mr. Potato Head

I love finding fun ways to get my students with ASD to communicate, comment, and request.  Mr. Potato Head is a great activity that lends itself to lots of requesting for multiple items.  Plus, it works on body parts too.

There are so many different sets of Mr. Potato Head out there right now.  One of the ASD teachers that I work with had an industrial size bin from Costco that had two potatoes, lots of hats, eyes, ears, lips, teeth,etc., and even some hair!  I asked to borrow this jumbo bin today and had fun with students who were able to use sentence strips to request the parts that they wanted to put on the potato.  Here is the little guy we created:

I used a huge board that I purchased from Pyramid Educational Consultants as a place for all of my icons and a sentence strip.  Students placed their icons on the sentence strip and requested each piece.  I made it simple and only had one choice for each piece (i.e., one nose, one mouth, etc.).  If you want to add attributes to request, you can use color icons also.  Students then ask for the "red nose" or the "yellow feet" instead of just "feet."

Here are the cards I used for this activity:

You can find these cards as a FREEBIE here: Requesting Parts for a Potato Friend

Have fun creating silly potato friends!


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11 April 2013

A Day With a Cookie Sheet!

Cookie sheet that says using a cookie sheet in speech therapy written with marker

Today, I brought out the really high tech stuff!  A cookie sheet and a marker!!!!  I found the cookie sheet at the dollar store, and use it for some magnetic activities.  I found these great markers with the erasers on the ends at Office Max.  The kids LOVE using these.  I was able to use these two very simple items in some very different ways. 

The first student who used these items comes to speech in a one-on-one session.  We are working on both articulation and language skills.  The first objective we targeted was using /th/ in CV combinations.  I wrote "th" on one side of the cookie sheet and 5 vowels on the other side of the sheet.  Then, I drew a line from the th to each of the vowels.  The student was then told to say /th/ while erasing the line and then ending with the vowel sound that it connected to.  She loved doing this, and it really helped her to draw out the /th/ and combine it with the vowel sound.

The next objective we targeted was naming items in categories.  I pulled out my trusty "Let's Name Things" cards by Super Duper.  I also pulled out a visual "spinner" from a board game that I have.  The student pressed the spinner to see how many items she needed to name from the categories on the cards.  We wanted to get to 20 items.  Every time she named an item correctly from a card, we drew a tally mark.  She really loved counting all of the tally marks and keeping track of how many she had completed.  She also loved erasing everything when we were done!



The next group I had was an articulation group working on their sounds at the sentence level. We again used the spinner to see how many sentences they had to make on their turn.  The goal was to get everyone to 20 sentences.  They got a tally mark for every sentece they created.  The students loved keeping track on the cookie sheet!  They thought it was so cool to write on it!

The last activity that I did with these materials was to target the prepositions above and below.  I did this activity with a kindergarten student.  I drew a "squiggly diggly" line down the middle of the cookie sheet.  Then I wrote the words 'over' and 'under' for reference.  I was then able to draw a variety of shapes and different pictures over and under the line.  I used this both expressively and receptively.  He was asked to point to pictures that were above or below the line and also asked to make sentences about the pictures.  E.G. "The square is over the squiggly diggly line."  My student was completely cracking up about the "squiggly diggly" line!  He thought it sounded so funny, and really motivated him.  He was also really motivated by erasing the pictures when I was going to draw new ones.

Overall, I had a fun day with students using a few really simple items!