Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Spread the Joy of Christmas by Playing Pass the Present This Year

Pass the Present

The last week before vacation is always full of special activities in our school.  Classrooms are making crafts, celebrating and having parties.  Teachers are doing Secret Santa, we have sing-a-longs and Christmas movies planned.  It is always a fun week for the students and staff.

An activity that I am planning to do this year is pass the present.  I purchased small gifts, candy and one larger gift to give out to my students.  I put the small gift and candy in a small gift bag.  I wrap the larger gift first.  Then I place a gift bag on the outside and wrap it again.  I do this until all the gifts are wrapped alternating the color of the paper I use. This year I am making 2 of them.  One I am using when I push into Kindergarten and the other with my students who I see in my office.  The present I am using for my office is going to be filled with small rewards (erasers, stickers, piece of candy) and not a gift bag.

When I go into Kindergarten we are going to play pass the present.  We are going to form a large circle on the floor.  I am going to review left and right with the class, then I am going to set a timer for 15-30 seconds.  We are going to pass the present to the left or the right until the timer goes off.  Whoever is holding the present when the timer goes off is going to open the outside layer of the present.  We do this until everyone gets a present.  If someone is absent I plan to take a layer off before we start.

In my small groups I will be using it for the last five days before vacation as a reward at the end of the session. I am going to write numbers on Popsicle sticks.  Each student selects a stick and we are going to open the present from the smallest number to the largest. I am having students unwrap all week until the final gift is selected. Each student will get to open the present more than one time, which is why I am using small rewards. 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that 2015 has been a year filled with joy and happiness.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Feed the Reindeer

Feed the Reindeer

I am a big advocate for interactive therapy activities.  I like my students to be doing something.  I created Feed the Reindeer activities to accomplish that.  This year I am pushing into a Kindergarten classroom and wanted fun phonemic awareness activities. 

Reindeer and carrots for initial /k/ sound

I glued reindeer onto small gift bags.  I cut out a hole for the mouth that the students could feed small pictures through.  I spread the pictures in the center of the table.  Each student selects card and tells the group what it is.  They then tap the word into individual phonemes.  If they select cat, it becomes c-a-t.  They count out how many phonemes and feed it to the correct reindeer.  I like to add a picture of Santa as a wild card.  The student who finds Santa wins.  To keep the game going I mix Santa back in with the cards and we continue playing.  It is always fun to have multiple winners.  This activity is always a hit with my Kindergarteners.  This year I decided to expand it to my articulation students.  They are going to feed the reindeer pictures with their target sounds.  I plan to send the reindeer and pictures as practice.

Until next week, Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Activities at Last (FREEBIE included)

Christmas Activities at Last  (FREEBIE included)

I wait for this week all through November, the week where I can start using holiday activities.  This week I plan to focus on Christmas vocabulary skills.  I like to do this through children’s literature.  There are so many great children’s books available. 

 The thing I love about using children’s literature is that it allows you to address the needs of children at various levels in the same group.  I have students who need to focus on naming common holiday objects in groups with students who are ready for Tier 2 vocabulary words.  One of my favorite books is If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff. Common objects that I will be targeting are mouse, snowman, fort, overalls, wreath, fireplace and ornaments.  There are also opportunities for Tier 2 vocabulary words:  decide, cozy, neighbor, remind and curl up.  The varied vocabulary levels of my students make this book a good choice for my groups.

This week I will also be targeting vocabulary with a Christmas Bingo game as well.  I created a game that uses 27 different Christmas objects. It is available free at my tpt store, Speech Gems.

I cut up red squares of construction paper to use as Bingo chips.  We talk about what five in a row looks like.  Each student takes turns selecting a card and labeling the picture.  Everyone covers the picture on their card.  When they get five in a row they yell “Christmas Bingo!”  It can also be used to target 4 corners and center.  I have the students cover every space with a red square of paper.  Then we take off the one in the center and the corners.  The winner is the student who gets four corners and the center. 

I am always excited when I start Christmas activities.  I hope that your Christmas season is off to a great start.  Enjoy your week!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cyber Monday Sale Linky Party

I love sales of any kind.  Next Monday is the Cyber Monday sale on teachers pay teachers.  Jenna from Speech Room News has created a Linky Party to share what SLPs have in their carts. This will be my first site wide sale as a seller.  I recently started a store on teachers pay teachers called Speech Gems.  I have been a customer for a long time, but when I looked into my current cart it is full of clip art for the first time.  I love the work of Educlip.  There must be 10 of her items in there.

I am very excited to be a seller.  I love everything about Christmas.  It has been exciting to make Christmas items.  One of my favorite activities is Feed the Reindeer.  I use this with articulation groups and phonemic awareness groups. My kids love it, so I usually send it home for them to keep.


I try to create interactive products that my students will love. Pronoun Gingerbread Sort lets my students work on pronouns while they play.

One activity that I use with my students who need visual cues to answer questions is interactive books.  I created An Adapted Christmas Book for Who and What Questions. I can target vocabulary, sentence formation and answering who and what questions at the same time.

Of course I still love shopping.  In addition to all the clip art in my with list, there are two items I want for my therapy sessions. Jenna Rayburn has created a new item Elf Training: North Pole Category Game.
                                           Elf Training: North Pole Category Game

I can't wait to download and prepare this for my students.  I think will be a  great addition to my annual Christmas scavenger hunt that I do around the building.  I think this year I am going to turn the whole thing into an elf training instead of a scavenger hunt.  I love Jenna's idea of elf training.  After the students complete a task I am going to give them a clue to where the next task is located.  I think this is going to be a great addition to my holiday activities.

The final item in my shopping cart is for a new book that I plan to use this winter. Marla Almiron created a book companion for Ten on a Sled that I think will be perfect for my therapy sessions

                                                Ten on the Sled mini-book and activities based on the book

I am always anxious for the holiday season to begin.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday start the season off for me.  Happy shopping!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday!

Black Friday! A day that I have always loved.  What could be better than shopping all day when everything is on sale?  This year I finally purchased Pop the Pig!  I saw it in the sale flyer on Wednesday night and knew I had to get it.  I have been borrowing another therapist's and now I have my own.  I have wanted the game for quite a while now.                                                  

Pop the Pig! is a game that comes with a giant pig, 16 little hamburgers and a colored die.  The official rules call for each player to roll the die and then feed the pig the colored hamburger they rolled.  The number under the hamburger is the number of times you pump the pig.  The winner is the player who makes the pig pop.

One way I adapt board games is to use articulation decks with the game.  The player selects a card and produces the word 5 times.  The player can also say the word each time they pump on the pig.  They can also make sentences with their words.

Another way I like to adapt games with colored dice is to create spinners to use in place of the dice.  I have created spinners for Pop the Pig that address initial articulation sounds, plurals, past tense verbs and pronouns.  I attach a paper clip to a fastener to make the spinner. These spinners are used in place of the die that comes with the game.  It eliminates the need for multiple decks of cards.  My kids love using spinners. 


Spinner for Initial /r/ sound on tpt

Spinner for regular plurals

I can’t wait to use my own Pop the Pig! 


Sunday, November 22, 2015

I am a blogger!

I graduated from college in 1983, with a degree in Speech Pathology.  There were no computers, Pinterest, Facebook or teacher pay teacher stores to help new therapists.  If you worked in a school you were on your own with limited resources. As a result most of us were forced to learn how to create our own materials. I have a basement full of ideas, games, toys and activities that I have modified to meet the needs of my students over the years.  I am constantly amazed at how technology has made doing my job easier.  If you want to do a fun Christmas activity there are ideas all over the web.  Even if you are the only therapist in your school district another therapist is just a click away. It has made connecting and sharing so easy to do.  I have made materials my entire career and love doing it.  I hope to be able to use this blog to share my ideas and materials with other therapists.  I hope that you will find useful ideas as you read this blog. As I end this, I can now add blogger to the list of things I do. I am a blogger!