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My Speech Universe: May 2013

30 May 2013

Simple, but FUN!

One of the most popular activities in my speech room always surprises me.  It is a simple "feed the animals" game produced by Super Duper Inc.  The game is called Animal Buddies- Open Ended Motivational Box with Tokens.

There are days when I ask my older students which game they would like to play while doing their articulation words.  I am always shocked when my fourth or fifth grade students ask for this game!  They love it!  All I do is make them say as many words as I choose (or sentences) and then they get to pick a couple of food items to feed to the animals.

I recently came across a freebie by Lauren LaCour of busybeespeech.blogspot.com  called Hungry Hippos Artic.  This is a fun game that you can use as an articulation game or an open-ended motivational game.  I took all four hippos that are included in the packet and glued them onto an old tissue box.  Then, I bribed the art teacher for an exacto knife and cut out all of the mouths on the hippos.  I laminated the blank fruits that are included in the packet and placed them on a sheet of foam that had a sticky side.  I did this so that my students could have an easier time picking the small pieces up off the table. 

This simple activity has turned into a new favorite of many students!  They love the hungry hippos!
You can find the Hungry Hippos Artic game HERE for free.


27 May 2013

Going on a Picnic! A WH Question Activity

My kids love to go on picnics.  In the summer, we'll pack up a basket for lunch and walk down to our favorite park.  My kids love the change of eating outside, and those regular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just taste a little bit better.  When I saw a set of cute picnic clipart from MareeTruelove, I knew I had to get it and create something with it.  We have started working on some more WH type question with my ASD groups, and I thought this might be a perfect match.  So, I created:

Going on a Picnic! A WH Question Activity

In this packet, you will get 90 different question cards.  18 cards for each of 5 question types (who, what, where, when, why).  Each card is labeled at the bottom with the type of question asked for easier organization.

There is a fun "picnic basket" mat to collect all of the different items.  Students answer a question, and if they get it correct, they can keep the picnic item card.  The student who collects all of the 6 different items first, wins!

Watch out though, you could get ants in your basket and lose a card.
I also included 5 divider cards for organization.

You can get this activity packet HERE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The weather here is nicer this week.  I think I'll take my students outside to our picnic tables at school to play this game this week!

***Update: 5/28/2013- We had rain today all day, but I was able to play with students inside!  We'll see what the rest of the week brings...


14 May 2013

Sheep in a Jeep: A Phonemic Awareness Book Companion

One of my favorite books to read with students is Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw.  This book is a great way to work on rhyming words.  The sentences in the story are really simple, and have mainly one syllable rhyming words.  I wanted to make a phonemic awareness book companion to use with this awesome book.

Sheep in a Jeep: A Phonemic Awareness Book Companion is a 20 page packet that focuses on the phonemic awareness skills of rhyme, blending, and segmenting.

The packet starts out with a rhyme awareness activity:

Next is a rhyme generation activity:

The next activity focuses on sound blending (onset-rime):

Last is a segmentation activity:

All of the words in these activities come right from the book.  Students are highly engaged when activities are geared toward such a fun book!

You can get this packet of activities at my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.

Hope you and your students enjoy these activities!


13 May 2013

Protecting Kids Hearing

This weekend, I got to attend a music festival called Bottlerock in Napa, CA.  It was a four day concert series full of incredible bands.  It was of course beautiful weather the entire weekend, and the bands were awesome!  I really only got to see two days- that little thing called "work" kind of got in the way!

While I was there listening to the music and not really being able to talk to my friends unless I was yelling, I started looking around.  What I saw kind of surprised me.  There were lots of little kids.  Then, I noticed that a majority of parents had their little ones ears covered with headphones!  I thought, WAY TO GO PARENTS!!!!  It was so loud there, and the exposure was literally hours upon hours of very loud noise.  You could hear music from the main stage probably about 1/2 mile to a mile away.  I wish I would have thought to use my decibel app on my phone to see what the reading was!

Here are examples of the headphones that I saw kids wearing.  Both sets report noise reduction of 22 decibels.  These are available on Amazon.com.  I must say, all of the kids looked adorable in their little headphones.

I mentioned that I saw the majority of kids with headphones on.  They were playing and dancing, and having a great time.  I also saw several little ones without hearing protection.  Many of those kiddos were not so enthusiastic about being there.  Many of them were crying.  I'm not sure if they were just bored, or if possibly, their ears hurt.  This all got me thinking about hearing protection.  How much is too much noise?  How can we better protect our own hearing as well as our children's?

I found a great website called "It's a Noisy Planet".  This website is put together by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).  This website is full of amazing tips for parents on protecting and educating about hearing, noise, and hearing loss.

From this website, I learned that:
  • a rock concert probably has a decibel level of 110 dB
  • the smallest detectable sound that the human ear can hear is 0 dB
  • normal conversation is about 60 dB
  • a power mower is about 90 dB
  • a jet taking off is about 140dB
  • regular exposure of greater than one minute at or above 110 dB risks permanent hearing loss.

They also had a great chart that spelled out how your ears can tell you that something is too loud:
  • You have to raise your voice to be understood by someone standing nearby.
  • The noise hurts your ears.
  • You develop a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears, even if it is only temporary.
  • You don't hear as well as you normall do until several hours after your exposure to the noise.
They advise that there are three things you can do when exposed to noise:
  1. block the noise (headphones, ear plugs)
  2. avoid the noise (walk away)
  3. turn down the sound.
Please check out their website- it really is an awesome resource.  It's a Noisy Planet

Now, you may ask, "Did you have headphones on at this concert?"  Unfortunately, the answer is, "no".  I did not have any headphones or earplugs with me.  I did, however, try to remove myself from the loud music at times by going to other areas of the venue, and sitting pretty far back from the speakers.  Looking back, I know I should have brought something with me, and practiced what I preach.  I know now, that next time, I will try to set a better example and take proactive steps to protect my own hearing!

What do you do to protect your, or your children's hearing?


08 May 2013

Playground Scavenger Hunt

Speech Therapy Playground Scavenger Hunt

Are you looking to take your speech therapy sessions outside? Try a scavenger hunt on your playground! During our social language group, the school social worker and I took our students out for a playground scavenger hunt and we had so much fun!

First, we made a scavenger hunt schedule for each student.  They needed to find each piece of playground equipment on the playground and check it off their list.

Speech Therapy Playground Scavenger Hunt

We encouraged the students to play with each other and wait for friends at the end of each piece of equipment. After the students completed the scavenger hunt, we went back inside and worked on our conversation skills.  The students asked each other, "What was your favorite piece of playground equipment?"  This is a skill we have been focusing on for months now, and the students are getting MUCH better at directing questions to each other and orienting themselves toward each other.  They are even getting better and asking and answering questions without visual supports!

You can grab this copy of the playground scavenger hunt and use it or edit it and make it your own!
Hope you have fun!



04 May 2013

Roll it, Say it, Keep it Articulation

This winter, one of the kindergarten teachers at my school showed me a fun game called Roll Say Keep.  The game focused on reading sight words.  I thought it was such a cute idea, and instantly thought I could turn it into an articulation game.  I looked on Teachers Pay Teachers to figure out who to credit for the idea for this game, but there were many, many versions out there.  If you search Roll Say Keep on TpT you can find some fabulous sight word games (maybe to share with teachers at your school).

I created Roll it, Say it, Keep it: Articulation for the following sounds: F, V, S, Z, K, G, and Th.

Roll it, Say it, Keep it is a simple dice game that uses a game mat and item cards.  You can laminate the game board and cards.  Cut out all cards (there are divider cards included for easier organization).  Students place a card on each spot on the mat and then roll the dice.  What ever number they roll is the number of the card that they say.  In my articulation version, I have the students say the word the number of times that they rolled on the die.  You could also have the student put the word in a sentence.

Here is what the game looks like while you are playing...
I also printed out my entire bundle and put it in a three ring binder for an easy grab page of articulation words!

You can get the bundle Roll it, Say it, Keep it: Articulation HERE and save 25% off of the price of each set purchased individually.

You can also get each set individually:
F and V
S and Z
K and G

Have fun!