Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do you struggle to get 100 trials in Speech?

Is it hard to keep your students engaged while they practice?  I have found that by using games and activities my students enjoy therapist directed drill play.  It can be a lot of fun and the therapist can obtain 100 trials of the targeted sound or process.  I have found that their are so many commercial games and activities available that easily lend themselves to therapist directed drill play.  For all of these games and activities I like to select 3-5 pictures that will be targeted during the session.  The number I select depends on how often the student needs to engage in play and stay motivated.

Yeti In My Spaghetti :  Every time my students practice their pictures I give them a piece of spaghetti to place over the bowl.  When the game is assembled we play the game.

Kerplunk:  As my students practice they put a stick through the tube.  When all the sticks are in we practice the pictures as we add the marbles to the tube.  When it is all ready we have fun playing the game.

Mr Potato Head:  I set up a variety of parts that the student can select.  We practice the pictures and them add a part to the potato.  After a few potatoes are assembled we play with them.

100 Trial sheets:  I like to use crayons, markers and stamps with 100 trials sheets.  The child marks a picture after each production.  This freebie includes six Spring 100 trials articulation sheets and 2 data collections sheet.  The data collection sheets can be used with any of these activities.


Progress monitor your entire group easily
Legos:  I like to have my students practice their pictures and then I give them 2-3 legos to put together.  They build and practice at the same time.

Ned's Head:  I put multiple copies of the students pictures inside the head.  I place a sticker on one of the cards.  We take turns pulling a card out of Ned's Head.  The student who finds the card with the sticker shouts "I win!" This game is quick and can be played multiple times.

Cariboo:  I cover the original cards with Holiday or a theme.  After each child practices their targeted words they open  one box.  It they find the ball they get to put it in the treasure chest.  We play until the treasure box opens.

Chipper Chat:  Practice the pictures and them put a chip on the card.  When the card is full use the magic wand to clean up the card.  Take time to play with the chips and magnets at the end.

Jenga:  The students practice their pictures and then place a Jenga block on the tower.  When the tower is built we play the game.

Fishing game:  I like to have my students say their words and them put a fish in the "pond".  When the game is complete we play it.  I have also created a game companion that can also be used.  The students practice again as they place them in the fishing net.

Articulation Game Companion
Connect Four:  Each time a student puts a chip in the frame they say their pictures.  We play until their is a winner.

Using these games in therapist directed drill play is a fun and easy way to get your students to practice 100 articulation targets in a therapy session. If you are struggling to keep your students engaged think about trying some of these games. I hope your students enjoy them as much as my students do.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to develop you student's language skills using toys.

Do you have limited space in your Speech room? Do you still want to engage your students with toys? I love being able to use a kitchen center when I am in the classroom, but I don't have the space in my therapy room. I solved that problem by creating a stove out of a box.  I later use that box to store all my kitchen toys. It is a quick and easy way to develop a kitchen center.

To create this center the first thing I did was gather the toys that I needed. I had a shopping basket full of play food, plates, cups, silverware, pots, a griddle, and a Play-Doh stove. I also add some paper plates, cups, notepads and markers. To make a stove I covered a box with yellow paper and made four burners.  To finish it off I added contact paper, so it would be more durable.

I like to target sentence expansion, vocabulary skills, asking and answering questions and syntax skills when I use my kitchen center.  As I bring out the food we focus on naming the food and cooking equipment. One vocabulary unit I like to focus on is Fruit vocabulary. 

Click here to download the fruit vocabulary cards and progress monitoring sheet.
I have my students label the fruit, sort them by color and match them up to a set of pictures. I like to model how to take and order food in a restaurant. We use notepads to write down the order and then we cook the food. Throughout the play we focus on expanding our sentences.  If a student reponds "I want apples" I might expand it to "I want two red apples".

It is amazing to watch how with repeated use of the same toys my students begin to expand their language.  When I first introduce the kitchen center my students typically use unspecific vocabulary and short, choppy sentences.  The more we use the same toys they begin to learn the vocabulary and expand on their play themes.  By the end they are able to pretend they are waitresses, waitors, bus boys and chefs.  They are labeling the food and the utensils.  I love to watch their language grow the more we use the kitchen center.

Creating a kitchen center can be quick and easy.  When we are done everything goes back in the box until the next time we play with it.  This has turned into one of my students favorite activities.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Have more FUN when you TEACH WITH PLAY DOH

I love to use Play-Doh and so do my students.  In Speech there are so many skills that can be targeted with a new can of Play-Doh.  This month I have been working on vocabulary skills, basic concepts, articulation, rhyming and letter sounds all with Play-Doh.  I presented my students with cans of white Play-Doh, wiggly eyes, small animals, tongue depressors, beads and alphabet cookies.

As we were using the Play-Doh I suggested making a snowman.  We made snowballs in three sizes, added pairs of eyes and arms, buttons that were the same or different.  We used the cans of Play-Doh and the tongue depressors to make a bridge.  The snowmen and animals went over, under and across the bridge.  We added water so other animals could go in and under the water.  Later we made an igloo and a polar bear.  Our animals went on top of the igloo, next to it, inside and outside.  We all had a great time and I was able to targeted multiple basic concepts (small, medium, large, biggest, smallest, shortest, tallest, pair, same, different, next to, over, under, inside, outside and across) all while having a lot of FUN!

Another group made objects that rhymed with our animal figures.  We made rhymes for cat, bear, dog and pig.  Everyone loved trying to make wigs, frogs, stairs and at the end we made them all go splat (rhyming with cat).

The alphabet cookies were great for both articulation skills and reinforcing letters and sounds.  We found our sound cookie and made items that started or ended with our sounds.  My kids made cars, ladders, sharks, snails and more snowmen. As we made objects we created silly rhymes and tapped out the phonemes in the words.  My kids rhymed ladder with kadder, snadder,  and shadder,

We had so much fun learning and playing at the same time. Open a fresh can of Play-Doh and have some fun.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Do you struggle to find fun and exciting games for your older students?  Does the academic nature of their goals make it harder?  Introducing quiz games can tackle academic goals and still be a lot of fun.

One of my students favorite activity is a Quiz Game  that
uses a pocket chart, index cards and cut up classroom worksheets. I start by collecting worksheets from the classroom teachers that address vocabulary, morphology and syntax.  I cut up the worksheets and store them in a container.  Then I write the point values (100, 200, 300, 400, and 500) on index cards.  I put the questions in the pocket chart and cover them with the index cards.  My students take turns selecting a point value and answering the questions.  At the end, we add up the points to see who our winner is.  This game can also be played in teams.  I have used  commercial articulation and language decks instead of worksheet questions.  For some of my mixed groups I put articulation cards and language questions behind the point values.  The kids love it.  They get to go to the chart, make their selection and they have a lot of fun.

Quiz Game

If you like this quiz game click HERE to see other quiz games you could use that target vocabulary and language processing skills.

Another twist on this game is to play Three in a Row.  I start by drawing a grid with 25 squares on my white board.  Then I tack up the questions or commercial cards.  The students are trying to get as many three in a row combinations as possible.  They select a question, answer it, remove it from the board and then write their name in the square.  When they get three in a row they circle it.  At the end the student or group with the most three in a row combinations is the grand winner. They love use the white board and it can be used with almost any articulation or language target.

One final quiz game that my students beg to play is KABOOM!  On tongue depressors I write vocabulary words, idioms, sentence combining questions, categories and articulation words.  Any questions can be written on them.  I have color coded them, so I can use them when students have different goals.  The students know what color they can select.   I like to put the sticks in a container of beans and macaroni (so no one can see what is on the stick) and then I set a timer for 5-7 minutes.  Each student takes a turn selecting a stick.  If it has a question they answer it and keep the stick.  If they pull a KABOOM stick they put all their sticks back in the container and play continues.  When the timer goes off we count the sticks and whoever has the most is the winner.  Then we play again.  The timer lets their be multiple winners and adds a level of excitement to the game.

These quiz games turn academic tasks into a fun and exciting session.  When my older students walk in the room and see them set up I can see the excitement on their faces.  What do you do to engage your older student?

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