Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toca Tea Party App for Social Skills

Part of my job as a speech therapist is to teach kids what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. We've all
been in those awkward moments with people that lack social skills. This is an area that so many kiddos
struggle with and so is a huge part of my job (and also, one of my favorite parts). There are so many social activities you can do with kids and they love it. I have yet to meet a student that does not love social group. This past year, I had the pleasure of forming 3 social groups: 1st grade, 4th grade and a high school level one. We would meet once a week for social activities. These often included role-playing and problem-solving activities. I choose 2-3 students struggling with social skills and 2-3 students with teacher recommendations that have great social skills. My goal: kids with social skills will rub-off on those that don't.
iPad Screenshot 1One of my favorite apps to use during these groups is Toca Tea Party App. Once played, the kids always request it and at the end of the year, we have a real tea party!
I tell the kids that this is a very formal event and we talk about our (pretend) formal outfits. Because this is a formal event, we have to use "formal talk." This means we say "Please pass the tea" or "May I please have another cookie?" I'm a stickler to this. If a student says "I want a cookie," quite simply; he or she will get ignored.  They figure out what "formal talk" is pretty quickly. At the end, all kids must ask "Can I help clean up." The app is 5 stars in my book and only costs $1.99! Grab it here and let me know how you teach social skills!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fluency Tracker

Hello there! Here is a chart I thought I'd share with you that I use with my kiddos with fluency goals. Often, my students start to feel comfortable relying on me to tell them if they are doing a good job. I wanted to make them take more responsibility for their speech and so developed this to encourage them to start tracking their stuttering. Have you developed ways for students to monitor their own speech? Let me hear about it!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Angry Birds for Vocabulary *Free Game!

Kids around the world love Angry Birds. I don't know what it is about this grouchy little birds that kids like so much. Personally, I think the pigs are cuter! Anyways, I jump on anything that will grab my kiddos' attention.  I've played this game even with 4th/5th graders and they love it. It is designed for a group of 3 or less. Goal: Students identify word pairs as being Synonyms, Antonyms, or Homophones.
1. Give each player a bird card (the categories are "Synonyms, Antonyms, Homophones).
2. Read the two words on a "pig card"
3. Students name which category the word pair is in.
4. The student with the most pigs wins.
This game is usually fast paced-when I have an extra 5 minutes of therapy time at the end. Have fun!
Grab the vocabulary game HERE!

Oh, and the top picture is just something simple and quick I made using green cut-out cubes and materials I had in my classroom (i.e. erasers, tongue depressor-haha). At the end, I give students a chance to throw a red or yellow "bird" to knock down the pigs.

Do you use Angry Birds in your classroom? Let me know about it!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Using "The Lorax" to teach Pronouns *Free Download

Who doesn't love "The Lorax?" All that cute, furry, "orange-nis" makes any child (or adult) smile. It's so much easier to engage a student when they are already familiar with the characters. I started could I incorporate The Lorax into therapy? A lot of my little kiddos have trouble with subject pronouns (he, she, they, it). Instead, they will say "Her is swimming." I created this activity using this movie favorite to work on these skills.
Cut out the pictures and sentence strips.
Students match the corresponding pronouns to the pictures.
Fold down the top of the pronouns to cover the picture

Surprise! The picture can then be used as a "visual prompt" for those who need reminded that he = 1 boy

Grab the materials HERE for free! Have you used The Lorax in your classroom?
Post, comment, or email me and share your ideas!


Quick Artic Card *Free Download

Those words are like music to my ears. Today, I thought I'd share something from my *new teacherspayteachers website! -for free! I call this my "quick artic card." It's my go-to when I need something quick to check a student's speech sounds. Print it on cardstock, laminate, use dry-erase markers to fill in the percentages, and then wipe clean. Ahhh...I love simple. I'm offering this quick card for free to my blog reader.  Download it HERE.

Check out my other "Quick Cards" on my TPT store HERE.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Cariboo Island

Why am starting this blog? As the lone speech therapist in a district, there are no "speechies" down the hallway that I can run an idea by or ask for help when one of my little ones won't come out from under the table (yes, this happens). I've been so touched and blessed by other bloggers sharing their ideas that I thought "This is the summer I am going to finally do it-I'm going to start my own blog!" One of my favorites is I saw her post this idea that I've been doing since my student teaching and thought I'd share the new version. It involves the game Cariboo Island but making your own picture inserts. You can use this game for little ones and adapt to almost any goal! She has a great upload for the old version but I have the new Cariboo Island so I thought I would share my upload. You can grab it here for WH questionsidentifying letters/l/ articulation and /th/ articulation!


Functional Following Directions

During our sessions, I do a lot of following directions activities. As adults, we give and follow directions every day.

I wanted to make it more practical for my kiddos though so I downloaded an actual map of our small town from and made symbols to place in various locations. The kids think it's neat to follow some of the roads they may have heard of. This activity can be challenging to many of my students so I typically start off with a close-up version of a map with only a few streets on it.

Print off multiple copies of it and hand one to each student. I then place 2-3 cut-out community pictures and have them follow my directions (receptive language) or communicate to me how to get to a place (expressive language). See mine HERE


Friday, June 1, 2012

First.....and Last

Ironic, isn't it? I'm posting my first blog on the last day of school. The last day always creates mixed emotions: excitement for summer but also concern for my students. I work in a very mobile district and I'm never sure the next year who will still be here and who moved. I've attached some precious artwork from my students given to me. Hmmm.....I am going to miss these kids!
This little girl says she wants to be a
"speech teacher" just like me!
On the last day of speech some students asked
if they could write on the board.

During the last week of speech, students create their summer speech books. Yeah, it's sort of a big deal around here. It's a stack of worksheets and fun activities addressing their goals sandwiched in-between two pieces of beautifully decorated colored paper (aka colored construction paper). It's so exciting I rarely hear kids complaining of doing work over summer, especially when they hear there is prize for those completing it and bringing it back in the fall.

Summer Speech Book