Work hard; play hard!

Work hard; play hard!
Consulting in Maui!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Stuck Sticks......helping unstick students when they get stuck

Sometimes it is just an easy tool that we need to move students forward. 
This week I made these STUCK STICKS. 
I gave one to each of my students and then I went into shut down mode or stayed stuck and did not ask for help. When I did that, the students were told they should give me a STUCK STICK. Then when I was ready to problem solve, ask for help, or move on, I turned my STUCK STICK over to the READY side and handed it back to them. They, of course, loved to call me on my STUCKNESS!
Then we eased into the part where I got to give it to them. I had them pretend to be stuck first.
I don't do any negative tones with this or appear to be judging them. I just use it as a physical reminder to them that they might be "stuck" and might want to try something to pull themselves back into being "ready" to be a learner in the group.
Currently, I am using it with the students who are in the developmental cognitive disability classrooms, but it could certainly be used for other students who sometimes appear stuck in their learning. 
I haven't brought them to staff meetings yet, but there are times when I see a possible need for them. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teacher Free Zone- Teaching Independence

As the year is flying by quickly, we noticed that the students are still needing a lot of adult attention in order to keep moving in a task or throughout the day. So we decided that we would have a Teacher Free Zone Time Zone. We made tents for their desks that have "Teacher Free Zone" on one side and "I can do it on my own" on the other side. This reminds both the students and the adults in the room that they are trying to work on their own and not need attention from the adults, in order to continue with their work. We started with a role playing situation so show them what this looks and doesn't look like. Then we had them do it for two minutes to practice. It was probably harder on our paras, who LOVE to help and make situations easier for the students. So now....we practice and continue to grow in our independence! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring brings the bugs out! Blurting and Whining....

Our students made Blurting Bugs and Whiny Worms this week. As you can imagine, this is not a good thing. The kids had fun making the bugs though. We use them though as a visual reminder to the students when they are blurting or whining. The closer it gets to spring the more humor we all need. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MLU Racers- Encouraging more complex sentences

MLU Race Cars!
I have one student who continues to talk in 1-2 word sentences…because he can. :-) It serves his purposes. People have gotten used to it and therefore don't expect more from him. He is capable of creating sentences that are more complex, but it does take more effort for him. He is also a student who LOVES competition. So one day I said his sentences were like a racecar, and he needed to get to the end of the race. He could get there faster if he made more complex sentences. He needed to race to the MLU finish. So the next day I created this chart to give him a more visual race to the finish. You can put a dot in the box marking the MLU and then draw the line through to the next dot so that he can see how far each sentence brought him along the race. This way you can use it for a data sheet also. 

Click here to get a copy of the MLU race car sheet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bounce Off- With a different bounce!

My students have always loved the game of Bounce Off. This fall, quite by accident, I discovered another way to play the game. I have a complete set of poker chips with my articulation and language words on them. The green chips may be focused on the R sounds, the red might be focused on the TH sounds, the black may be the MULTIPLE MEANING WORDS, etc. 
For this game the students have their color of choice or color of chip that matches their IEP objectives. They have to give two definitions of the word or produce a word/sentence with their sound in it. Then they get to bounce the poker chip into the Bounce Off grid. The first person or team that gets four in a row either diagonally, horizontally or vertically is the winner. The other person or team can block them or even bounce in and cover one of their chips stealing that space. 
My students have really enjoyed the new game and it has started the year out with a bang or a bounce! :-). 
I have to give credit where credit is due. My new student DASH was the one who accidentally bounced one of the chips into the grid. There it was.....a new game waiting to happen! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Smash Mats- Expanding Sentences

Now I clearly did not invent this or come up with this idea, but when I saw it I HAD to make my own! I work with a student that seeks sensory stimulation out by pounding the table AND he likes to talk in one word sentences. 
Guess what? It worked! 
I made a variety of sheets. 
He is _______________________.
She is ________________________.
They are _______________________.
The _________ is _________________.
What ____________________________?
Who ____________________________?
Why ____________________________?

Most of the smash sheets I saw had pictures on them. I decided to leave mine blank so I could use the tons of cards a speechie loves to collect in her career. I put the sheets into protective cover sheets and slip the pictures right in them. That way the playdough doesn't ruin them either. 
So thank you fellow speechies for this SMASHING idea! 
We love crushing the playdough and making better sentences. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Present Progressive Sentences- Verbs

What does one do with extra cups that they have in their office? Make present progressive sentence cups, of course! I just cut a slit down the center of the bottom of the cup so I could slide the verb picture cards in them. Then the students got to ask for what color they wanted to have turned around. Then they made the sentences. This was a fun little twist on the present progressive sentence patterns. The kids enjoyed choosing the cup and having it turned around to see what picture they chose. 
I know....simple idea, but I still thought it was worth a share! :-)