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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