Target Antonyms

January sure has gone fast.  Here we are a week away from February.  We are coming to the end of a grading period so I am busy writing progress reports.  I am a bit behind because of other meetings.   I am sure you can all relate to that.  We have a new software program which makes it a little harder.   The paper work has been a bit of a challenge this year.

It is getting  harder  to be creative with the bulletin board lately.  I stayed with my theme of antonyms for February.  I looked in my cupboard and  noticed that I have a large supply of straws on hand.  Valentines Day brings out the cupid in all of us so I decided to make arrows.  It helped that we have die cuts for hearts available. The die cut makes a heart as an outline and a smaller heart to be pushed out of the center.  We used the smaller hearts to make the point of the arrow and used a folded rectangle for the feathered end.  The students wrote a word on the arrow head and the opposite word on the white paper to match.  It doesn’t look like the words are visible in the picture. This is the beginning of our project.  I will post updates as we go.  The students are making directions as usual.  However, we are regulated for voices as well as visual images so I can not post my story kit  directions until we are done and I can remove the child audio.  This is what it is looking like.  Here is the Storykit link to the directions: arrow directions

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Don’t Fall Through the Ice

This is our first week back from the holiday break. Some of us are in the grips of winter.  Baby its cold out there!  It seemed appropriate to go with a winter theme  and cold things.  I dug into my archives and brought out my version of “Don’t Fall Through the Ice”.  This activity has been in the vocabulary section and there are written instructions that can be printed out  under the link.  I didn’t include pictures so some of you may have missed it.  As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. The activity is really very simple and made from recycled materials.  I get a lot of use from my coffee cans.  All you need is a wide mouthed container like a coffee container, a large rubber band, paper towels, marbles, and a spinner made from a plastic lid.  The spinner has the words, one, couple, few, and several.  The marbles are placed in a container of water.  The paper towel is stretched across the mouth of the container and held by the rubber band.  Students take turns spinning the spinner, taking the corresponding amount of marbles from the water, and placing them on top of the paper towel.  Eventually the water will weaken the paper towel and the marbles will fall through.   I used this activity as a reinforcement for  students during therapy or as a group activity to work on the concepts of amount.  I have table groups play and then compare the number of marbles they put on top before they fall through.  In addition to the spinner words you can talk about the concepts of wet/dry, weak/strong, and most/ least.

Ice game

Pop the Pig Game Adaptation

IMG313 (1)This is the time of year when a lot of games are selling for good prices and you may be wondering which ones are good for therapy.   I have adapted Pop the Pig recently.  It really only needed a communication board to add the structure I need.   I use it with students who are working on making basic comments such as I have ______, and I want______.  It is also possible to work on descriptive vocabulary such as size, colors and amounts.   We also work on turn taking and becoming aware of another student’s turn and when they are finished.  The game is really pretty simple.  Students roll the die to choose a colored hamburger.  The student then looks at the bottom to  see how many times they press the pig’s head so it will munch on the hamburger placed in the mouth.  Pressing on the head inflates the rubber tummy until the belt pops open.  It isn’t as dramatic as the advertisement indicates.   However my students seem to enjoy this game and it provides a lot of repetition.  I have them make comments for every turn they take.  It is also good game for general reinforcement.  If you find one at a good price, pick it up.

Candy Cane House Bulletin Board

December goes so fast before the break  there isn’t much time to get a bulletin board together.  Our school has decided to decorate a winter wonderland that will be left up for the beginning of January.  I try to remain culturally sensitive so decided a gingerbread house would do.  We are still working on adding more candy canes.  I thought you might also enjoy this project so I posted it.    I came across these candy canes on pinterest that are the perfect thing for quick decorating and can remain up after the break.  I also had all the materials on hand. They only took about 15 minutes and all of my students enjoyed making them from the youngest to my 5th graders.  The stripes seem to appear like magic.  The directions provide opportunities to practice  words such as center,  corner, straight, edge, center, square, and tube.  The older students formulated the directions and recorded them for the younger ones. My articulation students practiced using their clear speech.  It is amazing how many goals  can be worked on with such a simple project.

Gingerbread house

The directions for the candy canes are in Storykit as usual.

http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=hkqfjvaeaipxy3n2z7lw

More Fun With Angry Turkeys

Last year at about this time I made turkey bean bags and used them in a toss game.   I brought them out again for another round of Angry Turkeys.  This  game is made from toilet paper rolls and coffee can lids.  I simply covered the toilet paper rolls to give them color.   I improved it a bit by making the  green pigs from paper rolls cut in half.  I just printed  clip art of a pig and taped it to the paper roll.  This is what it looked like.photo

For the activity at school, I used Sounding board.  It is a free app by Ablenet  that allows you to make a communication board with pictures.  I wasn’t able to  share it  so  used the same pictures and converted it to Storykit.  Here is the Storykit version.  http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=nma32raqfbftw6v5g23r

The directions for the Turkey Bean bags are here.

The students placed the pigs in the proper spots while reading the story.  They then all tossed a turkey on the count of 3. They always want to do it again. I love  activities that are self reinforcing. photo (1)

Leaf Turkey Bulletin Board

November is a really short month for me.  After the Veteran’s Day holiday we have conferences.  We then have Thanksgiving  break.  I usually don’t have time to do an elaborate bulletin board  but after seeing the leaf turkeys on Pinterest I couldn’t pass them up.  I happen to have a huge supply of maple leaves from a tree in my yard, and I already had the other supplies.  The pear die from the homonym tree came in handy because I used it for the turkey body.  It was an easy project that could be completed in one session and was good for concept vocabulary development (1st, second, finally, behind, in front, above, below, and together).

This was my model turkey:

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The directions are on StoryKit as usual. http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=ojqxie225jb35gi7lvxz

This is what the bulletin board looked like.  We added the signs for a little humor and to talk about irony and double meanings with the older students.  The signs say ‘Eat Ham”IMG302.

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Goodwill is such a good place to  find cheap games to adapt for therapy.  This was a recent find.

Monkey on the bed

This  type of games works  well for my  students in the Life Skills program.  It keeps them  engaged,  promotes turn taking, and teaches  language with repetition.  Many of my students are working on making comments using sentence frames such as I want,I have, and I need.  They are also working on using descriptive words such as colors, amount and basic prepositions.  I make a communication board available for my verbally challenged students.  I use the visual cues to prompt sentences.  The students I worked with last year are now using the communication boards independently to form 3 word sentences.  Children with autism often get stuck in an echo pattern where they answer questions by repeating the question.  The communication board helps break up that pattern.

This  game also gives opportunity to practice verb + ing sentences.  Students pick a circle card depicting a monkey getting ready for bed and use verbs such as brushing teeth, taking a bath and putting pajamas on.  After describing the picture, the students put a monkey on top of the bed and then spin the spinner.  The student then pushes the button on the bed post the number of times the spinner indicates.  At some point the bed will spring  and the monkeys will fall off. There is a game board that also comes with the game, but my students had fun using it at this basic level and I felt I had control over the pieces.  I found this game had a lot of possibilities for students at different levels.  I’ve thought of making more round disks to add to the variety of verbs that could be picked.

A Very Simple Spider Web

The school year is in full swing.  I had a bit of a shaky start and that is why it seemed like I disappeared.  We have a lot of new staff to include a new principal, new psycholgist,  and Learning Resource teacher.    The new Learning Resource teacher just started a week ago and a substitute teachers took her place until then.  As  if that weren’t  enough, rooms had changed over the summer and the resource room  was a newly emptied room.  That doesn’t work very well for a substitute teacher and many of you may relate to when chairs, tables and desks are not in rooms they are up for grabs.   I was left with the duty of getting things found and organized so a teacher could use the room with students.  In the spirit of “Good Thing”  and “Bad Thing”; new  procedures can be put into place because there is no one  left to remember the old ways except me, but I am also the only one that  is familiar with the history of  the special education files and students.  I felt like I had to wear many hats.  We also have a new program to complete our special education paperwork.  This  is really challenging my ability to be flexible and learn something new .  It is making me go through the procedures we tell the students to do; deep breaths, count to ten.  It is not OK to scream.

This  school year.  I have pretty much the same population as last year;  2  Life skills classrooms, general education K-5th, and a charter school K-6th.  I am doing push in for two Kindergarten classes and the 2  Life skills classrooms.  The need for social pragmatics groups continues to grow.    I am team teaching  3 social pragmatic groups  with the help of the school counselor. We are implementing material from 2nd Steps, Michelle Winner’s materials, and other things we find.

So getting on  to the topic,   We have been completing spider related activities.  Many of you may be familiar with the Spider Web Activity where students form a circle and toss a ball of yarn across while continuing to hang on to the yarn with one hand.  This creates a spider web in the center of the circle.  I have used it in the past for concepts such as across, left hand, right hand, over, and under.  It also works for teaching the  social pragmatic groups  the importance of working with a group.  If a student doesn’t keep their mind and eyes with the group, they drop the yarn and the web becomes messed up.  We have been talking about how you need to keep your eyes, your ears,  your brain, your body, and your heart with the group so everyone can learn and work together.

I came across this spider and decided it would make a good bulletin board project.   http://momitforward.com/craft-toilet-paper-spider .    It met my requirements for materials that are easy to find and cheap.  I found the eyes at the dollar store and already had the paper rolls and pipe cleaners.  I bought a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart  for a total cost of $3.

I made a spider web out of yarn. and just stapled it to the bulletin board.  It is looking like this.  I added my pom pom spider from last year.

Spider web 1

The students will make spiders that look like this and add them to the web.  I added the crumpled paper on the back for some color.

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I like  my bulletin board activities to cover as many therapy objectives as possible. I use the  free app Story Kit to make pictured directions that my older students can record.  The younger students will practice following  directions and understanding the sequence.  The spiders also provide opportunity for problem solving and telling directions.  It is easy to see how they are made by just looking at them because the parts are all visible.  The Story Kit directions are in the process of being made so the audio is not all available yet. Story Kit formulates a storyboard that can be shared.    http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=rpdpipex66oskuofy2ua      The app formulates a  book with pages on your device.

last web

3 Sentence Sequence Task Cards

I decided to update the 3 Sentence Sequence Cards that are in the Expressive Language Section.    This activity is for students who are able to make complex sentences from 2 given sentences and are ready for a little more difficult  task.   It requires the student to hold the meaning and sequence  of  3 sentences in their memory and condense it into one complex sentence.  This is a prerequisite skill  for getting the main idea and useful for  taking notes in class.  I have used the task cards  mainly with 5th and 6th graders  so I tried to make pictures  less childish.   I also added a backside to the cards that provide example sentences.  However, One of the sentences is not correct so students  will need to  decide which one it  is and correct it.   If your students  are motivated by technology you can  use the QR codes that are provided to check their answer.  You can  read a QR code with an app you down load on one of your electronic devices.   There is an answer sheet if you are unable to do this.  I’ve also thought of using my pen with the invisible ink to highlight the wrong answer.    Because I appreciate the feedback I get from my blog readers, I am putting 8 free double-sided cards here so you may try them out.

free 3 sentence sequence cards

3 setence sequence example

If  they work well for your students and you would like more,  there are an additional 12 pages for a total of 32 double-sided cards at the TPT store.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/3-Sentence-Sequencing-Task-Cards-829935

Welcome Back to School Bulletin Board

It is August and the back to school sales are beginning.  It is time to get ready for another school year.  I will be returning to the same room which has a bulletin board outside my door.  I won’t have time for students to decorate it before the Back to School Night  so I usually keep this one pretty simple.  I will probably have students add to it later on.  This is not the most original idea but I like the sentiment for starting a new year, “Welcome Back to the School”

Here are places for the fish origami directions.

http://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami-fish.shtml  video directions for this fish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcyIz4E1wJw

http://www.origamiway.com/origami-fish.shtml

http://www.clickacraft.com/origami/animals/origami-angelfish-folding-instructions

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-fish.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-goldfish.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-dolphin.html

http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-angelfish.html

fish bulletin

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