Work hard; play hard!

Work hard; play hard!
Consulting in Maui!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Magnetic Hand Pointers

Magnetic Hand Pointers 

You can find them elsewhere too; I found them on Amazon. 
These are great tools for your white board or magnet board in your classroom. You can use them to emphasize something on the board or have the students use them to identify an answer on the board, etc. The bright colors allow you to identify what you are looking for on your board. 

Here you see I am using it to emphasize our social skills 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Multiple Meaning and Antonym Battle Speech Game

I have used these sheets a variety of ways. I have paired kids up and they each get two sheets; one of the sheets they mark their ships out and the other one they keep track of their guesses against their partners. The other way I have done it is playing it as a large group. Then the kids get a point for each hit they make. I have included a sheet that we did this on. They get one point for a hit and two points for a sink. The person in charge of the game marks the initials of the kids' hits and points. See above example. Then the one with the most point in the end wins the game. You could make these games with a variety of sounds so that a group can work on it, or you could have them produce sentences with their sounds in it if your groups are at that level. I have used them with antonyms, synonyms, irregular past tense, irregular plurals, and vocabulary words also. As you see they outline their ships before the game starts. Then they mark the misses with 0's and the hits with X's. I am sure you can figure out other ways to do it also. My students tend to like the one leader everyone plays method because the games go faster. I find it easier to keep track of data this way also.

Click here for a completed Battle Speech Game- Antonyms and Multiple Meaning words.
Click here for a blank Battle Speech Game that you can print your own words on.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Apraxia and Vowel Work

I find that many times my students, who struggle significantly with apraxia, also need to work on the vowels. Frequently, I find that they do not have a clear production of their vowels and/or they do not hold the vowel long enough to give their listeners a clear vowel unit (the glue of the word). These sheets are an easy practice for differentiating between the long vowel sounds. I usually have the student hold onto the vowel for a count of five. You will notice I also kept the final consonant consistent so that they can focus on holding onto the vowel unit instead of moving to the consonant. I chose the (t) because the student I created these for is successful with the production of the (t).

I also LOVE BANANAGRAMS! It can be used in so many ways!

Here we are using them to spell the words in the TPT unit I mentioned above. This way we work on reading and speech at the same time. As you see I also put the vowel sound under the word that he put together. On this day we played CONNECT FOUR on the grid that was included on the free TPT unit (see above).
**Please note in this picture that this is one of the sheets in the TPT connection,
created by Michelle Scotese.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Vocabulary- definitions and description

VOCABULARY- This is an exercise that works on increasing a student’s
ability to define or describe.
Come up with a list of ten words that are four letters in length. You will only change ONE letter in
each word to arrive at the new word. There are a few ways to play this game with your kids. Below
you will find some of the variations I have used in class.
• Give one in the group the list of ten words and have the leader come up with the definitions
of all of the words to lead the group to the final word.
• Have the ten words cut up and in order. The first student gives the definition of the first
word (You can also just provide the first word since it is so important that they get this one
correct.) Then you hand the next student the next word or definition and they provide a
definition or read the one you game them so the students come up with the next word. This
goes on until you get to the 10th word.
• Have only the first word and ten definitions written on a sheet of paper to see if the students
can figure out all ten words.
• Have the list of ten words written on the sheet and have the students write in meanings for
each of the words.
• You can give them all different sheets and have them do the last two options and then have
them see if the class can figure out their list after they have done so.
• You can have them look up meanings also and paraphrase the definitions.
• After you have done a few, the students will be able to come up with both their own words
and definitions and have the others in their group complete their challenge.
• You could also have the students come up with sentences that this word might appear in such
as, “The horse was pulling the _________.”
• You could also come up with one that gives or uses idioms or figurative language.
• You can target certain sounds if you are working with articulation.
• A couple of notes:
o Check the students’ spelling because the entire game depends upon the correct spelling.
o As you can imagine, this activity can be differentiated in many ways. I have even
printed up worksheets with the words and definitions before and then even remove the
letter that will need to be changed.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prefixes and Suffixes

For this lesson, I just printed out a variety of prefixes and suffixes and laminated them on cards. Then each student took a turn and did the following: said the prefix/suffix, indicated whether it was a prefix or suffix, gave a word that the prefix/suffix could be used on, told the group how that changed the word, and gave a sentence with their example. Once they did this they turned the card over to the other side. Once all of the cards were turned over the activity was over. Today they earned a Halloween treat because after all it is HALLOWEEN! Then the others from the group took turns to see if they could think of other words that the card could be used with.

You will notice that this site has the meanings of the suffix/prefix cards also so you could play a matching game with the cards. You could also come up with root words and match it up three ways. 


I have also taped up the prefixes and sufixes on the board or around the room and shut off the lights. Then I give each of the students a flashlight and turn off the lights. After that I say a root word. They have to shine their light on either a prefix or a suffix that would work with that word. Then they have to explain why or use it in a sentence.

Writeable Verb Cards

Here is another way you can use material from (Click here for a direct connection to the website.) This week we were working on present progressive sentence patterns (pronoun+is/are+verbing). So I printed up some of Thera's verb words, made cards out of them and laminated them. This way I could write the part that the individual student was struggling with right on the cards and erase them as they progressed. I think one of my best investments in my office is a $25 laminator from Target! This gives you a strong laminated card that is easy to write on with white board markers and easy to wipe off again for the next student. Who needs to go and buy materials when you can just create them from TheraSimplicity!? This way I choose the specific verbs for the students in my group.
Okay, I have to tell you that I have worked for TheraSimplicity so there is a bit of self-promotion going on here. I really do find the website useful though for creating materials specific to my needs of the week!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

IPADS gone mad! Articulation Therapy

Last week one of my students and I had three IPADS going at once. The first ipad had the GREAT app "Speech Tutor" that he likes so much. This APP goes through the motor act of each sound so he can see the motions of the mouth and hear it at the same time. The second one had THERASIMPLICITY.COM on it running through cards with the (n) sounds in them. The last one was him recording himself and watching to make sure he said it right. Then afterwards he went through the video tape of himself and wrote down the data of how he did. It was a great use of technology!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Angry Birds- Prepositions and Following Directions

Angry Birds- Great Target Find!

 I found these great pencil toppers at my favorite store, TARGET! Again, I may be partial because it is a Minnesota company, but who doesn't LOVE Target!?!? The cubes make it perfect for learning PREPOSITIONS and giving/receiving directions. You can start with teaching the prepositions, move on to following one-step direction with prepositions and then move on to multiple-step directions. Then I even let them set up towers at the end and try and knock them down.



Angry Birds- Multiple Step Directions

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Speech Dice

I love these dice! I use them for a variety of things. Today I used them with one of my students who works on two word phrases. I placed cards from one of my many Memory games in there. Then we took turns rolling the die and making sentences or imitating sentences. For my higher level students, I put in their articulation words, words that they have to give two adjectives for, prepositional phrases, or we sometimes even will put rewards on them that they get to roll and earn. Sometimes they have a ZONKER or two on them.
Here you see I am using them for (th) articulation.

Favorite Vocabulary Sites

This site has four different levels of vocabulary words with pictures BASIC, EASY, MEDIUM and HARD. You can print them and there are also ones that you can order. You can do Vocabulary of the Week with these and many other things. I use them for both my language kids and my articulation. The power in vocabulary development is always good!
This week I decided to take all of the "A" words for a couple of my groups. We played an easy game, which I didn't know how it would go over. This is from the EASY vocabulary set. I didn't tell my 7th grade group this; instead I told them I was bringing their vocabulary expectations up a bit since they were 7th graders! That way they thought that if they got stuck on words it was because I had increased the level instead. So I laid out all of the "A" words. Then I read the words out loud to them. Then they each took a turn and attempted to put the word they chose into a sentence. After that, they turned over the card and indicated to the group whether or not they had used the word correctly. They read the definition and showed the picture to the group. If they got it correct that was the end of their turn. If they did not, they had to create another sentence that WOULD make sense with their new found knowledge of this word. They actually enjoyed the challenge. The pictures did help them remember the words. Who knows??? Maybe in November we can move on to the "B" words? :-)
As you see I printed them off in color, glued the picture to the one side (along with the definition) and had the word written on the other side. That is a whole lot of printing, gluing and laminating I know! Luckily, I had parent volunteers complete this project for me. It is one though that you could bring home and have your spouse, kids and/or friends and neighbors help you out with! I find it fascinating what can be done in front of the television at night! 
These cards from the site listed above are a fabulous FREEBIE! Thanks to the people who created this site for us wordies!
They also make the claim that they are perfect for studying for all of those national exams! 
I tell the students that I don't know all of the words they provide.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

IPAD- My daily tool as a speechie!

I use my IPAD almost every session in my speech groups. One of my favorite ways to use it is to have my students record themselves in their articulation groups saying their words and/or their sentences. We reverse the screen so they can see it as they are producing it. This provides them a great visual during their productions. Who needs the old fashioned speech mirror when you have an IPAD!?!!? Then we also play it back and they keep track of their own data. I also have sent home snipits of the movies to their parents so they know what and how we are working on their sounds. Frequently, I use another IPAD with the ArtikPik app providing them with words specific to their goals. It also has sentences already created for them. I have three IPADS, thanks to the generosity of a family I worked with in the past, that I would HATE TO LIVE WITHOUT!

Card Tricks In Therapy-

Last week my students had to research card tricks on the internet. After they found one that they could complete they had to give step-by-step directions to the other students in the group. Then the other students followed along to complete the magic trick. I used this with all of the students in my groups.
  • Fluency- worked on reading the directions for the trick using their slow, easy onset of speech. They also had to use their fluent speech while asking for clarification.
  • Language- giving and following 1-2 step directions, asking for clarification, repairing information they had given, answering questions.
  • Articulation- working on their sounds as they give the directions for the card trick.
  • Social Language- asking follow up questions, knowing when to repair communication, handling frustration of other not understanding you or you not understanding others, handling it when the card trick did not work out, giving directions which are clear and concise.
It was challenging, but it really did work on all areas of goals/objectives. Plus, the kids all went home knowing some card tricks to teach to their parents! 

I have a book of card tricks that I bought at Barnes and Noble that was relatively cheap! There are also tons of sites out there for easy card tricks.

The Game of Things- Speech and Language Game

The Game of Things is a great game for both language and articulation. It contains 300 topic cards! What could be better!!? An example might be "Things you should never say to a police officer." 
There are many ways to play it and work on your speech/language goals and objectives.
  • You could have one student pick a topic card, read it out loud, and have everyone in the group write a response and hand it to the leader. This person then reads the answers aloud and either chooses which one they think is the best or funniest answer or you could have them read all of the out loud and have someone in the group try to guess who wrote each of the answers. This way you get everyone using their sounds while they try to guess the authors of the responses.
  • You could have one read the topic card and give the group a certain amount of time to come up with the most responses. Then you could have them get a point for everyone that they had and no one else had or you could just give everyone a point for each answer they had that the group voted on making sense. 
  • You could just have everyone read their own answers and use it for articulation carryover. You don't keep track of points; you just enjoy everyone's answers. My groups tend to not like this approach; there is something about competing and middle schoolers. 
  • It is also good for your language kids AND your social language kids. Here you could have the explain their answers and why you would or wouldn't want to do a specific THING.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Poppin' good time in speech!

The lovely owner from THERASIMPLICITY.COM gave me my first animal popper. It was the penguin popper. Since then I have had to go out and buy 6 more. Geesh! I BLAME HER! We use them all the time in therapy now. I give a present tense (pop it) and the person who catches it has to shout out the past tense BEFORE they catch the pop. I give a multiple meaning word (pop it) and the one who catches the popper has to give me a sentence containing two of the meanings or give me both meanings. I give one to each student and they monitor each other's articulation. They get to pop it at someone on an error. I have a group that works for 20 minutes straight and reach their daily speech goal, the group gets to have popper wars for the next 2 minutes. My kids from the 6th to the 8th grade levels ALL LOVE MY POPPERS! I have a funny feeling that my purchasing days of poppers are not quite done yet. There are more out there. I only wish there was a DUCK! I NEED A DUCK!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Multiple Meaning T-Shirt Designs

This lovely t-shirt, bought from my favorite MN store TARGET, was the jumping off board for our latest project in the speech room! I had the students develop their own multiple meaning word t-shirts. We did not make them into shirts, but you certainly could do so! We talked about how these multiple meaning words are often used for humor and how you could market it just like TARGET did with their t-shirts.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jenga Bowling

You really can't go wrong with Jenga as a Speech and Language Pathologist! Last week we went Jenga Bowling. I have two sets of Jenga blocks. On this set I have (R) words on one side, (S) words on another, multiple meaning words on the third side and antonyms on the last one. This way I can use it in most of my groups. 
For Jenga bowling we set up the ten Jenga pins and used a steel ball to knock down the pins. They have to either produce the word or sentence of each pin they knock down. For my language kids, they give me the opposite (antonym) of the word in a sentence or provide me with a sentence using both meanings (multiple meaning words) in the sentence. 
We kept score just like a regular game of bowling. It was an easy activity to pull out, and the kids enjoyed it. 
So many games; so little time. :-)

Monday, September 23, 2013


JENGA BOOM- If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I love using games in therapy! This is my newest purchase...JENGA BOOM!
Of course, I had to write words all over the blocks for my articulation and language kids. I actually put early developed words on these blocks (nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives). I have the kids either say the word, label the parts of grammar or make a sentence with the chosen word as they build the BOOM TOWER. Now if I am using the time while they are building, they just have to say the word on the block. This is good for reading and articulation since the time constraint of it offers a higher expectation. 
After they have build the tower, we play the game as the rules state. It is pretty much like the other JENGA game except they start the timer before and after their turn. After they turn off the timer they have to produce the word or put it in a sentence. This is where the therapy work and data gets done. It doesn't take long before the JENGA pile goes BOOM, thus the name. :-) It went over well with 6th, 7th and 8th graders today. The noise was a bit much for my sensory kids, but they got used to the collapse of the tower after a few times.
Can I just say, it feels great to be back! I am glad that you have stuck with me during my hiatus.
 I am back from my lovely Maui, and school is back in session! 
For family medical issues, I left without notice last spring and did not get to finish out my school year. I would not have changed any of that, but I did miss the closure with my students! I was thrilled this last Friday when four of my girls from 8th grade came back to see me in all of their GLITTERED UP GLAM of HOMECOMING! They, apparently, missed the closure as much as I did. They understood when they found out the reason. We all hugged and of course took a group picture with everyones' phones. I wish I could place that shot up here because they are so darned ADORABLE! Confidentiality limits me on that though. You will just have to believe me on their cuteness!

With the new year comes new students, challenges and rewards! I welcome them all. This year I have put myself in charge of staff morale. So far, I am enjoying every moment of it. The theme I chose is, "Everything is DUCKY at CMS!" For now, the staff is tolerating my "quackiness".  That being said, I am hoping to be up and running with my blog and its entries. It may not be as often as last year, but only time will tell. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adjective- Descriptive Sentences

I keep forgetting about the most perfect game to work on adjectives 
and increasing descriptive language...FUNGLISH!!!

Old School....conjunction...junction!

Yes, I pulled out the Conjunction...Junction song this week! We even did a Conjunction Junction Dance! I started the sentence and then lifted up the conjunction word they had to use to connect another thought with the beginning sentence. The kids did well with this task!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Speech Battleship (r) and (s/z) sounds- Articulation

I have used these sheets a variety of ways. I have paired kids up and they each get two sheets; one of the sheets they mark their ships out and the other one they keep track of their guesses against their partners. The other way I have done it is playing it as a large group. Then the kids get a point for each hit they make. I have included a sheet that we did this on. They get one point for a hit and two points for a sink. The person in charge of the game marks the initials of the kids' hits and points. See above example. Then the one with the most point in the end wins the game. You could make these games with a variety of sounds so that a group can work on it, or you could have them produce sentences with their sounds in it if your groups are at that level. I have used them with antonyms, synonyms, irregular past tense, irregular plurals, and vocabulary words also. As you see they outline their ships before the game starts. Then they mark the misses with 0's and the hits with X's. I am sure you can figure out other ways to do it also. My students tend to like the one leader everyone plays method because the games go faster. I find it easier to keep track of data this way also.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Conversational Hogs- Pragmatic Skills

Two principals ago I had a principal who LOVED pigs. I, on the other hand, loved motorcycles! Before she left me and went into retirement she gave me this pig on a motorcycle. I keep it as a memory of Janell. One day during social skills class I had one of those sessions when it seemed that all of my lessons I had taught had been forgotten. So I took out this guy and plopped him right in the middle of the group without saying anything. That got the group to be quiet. Then I asked them to try and figure out, from the context clues of what was going on in the group, what this HOG could be representing. Finally, we figured it out as a group (with a LOT of hints from me) :-). What can I say...when in doubt...use humor with middle school students! The rest of the week we talked about beign "CONVERSATIONAL HOGS" and what that meant for the rest of the group. We talked about what others think and feel when you "HOG" a conversation. This resonated with the students. In fact, some days they would pull the hog off of the shelf when they felt someone in the group was "hogging" to provide the visual. I hate to tell you, but a couple of them would even give up a "snort" when they felt like they were being "hogged" upon. So I made up "conversational hog" cards for reminders for our group.

Click here for the conversational hog cards.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Phonological Processing- Minimal Pair- (f) and (th)

THink (TH).....
Way back in the YONDER YEARS, I actually was a teacher's assistant for Dr. Guru of Apraxia. I ended up writing my thesis on this subject. 
I haven't worked with elementary students for awhile so when I get a phonological or apraxic case again I am usually scrambling to create materials. Now if you want materials for middle school students my office is LOADED!
This is nothing fancy about this minimal pair , but the whole purpose of this blog was to not have to recreate the wheel so I am sharing it just in case someone else is looking for a minimal pair worksheet for a student. 

Lesson Pix also has a minimal pair generator that you may find useful.

Tracking Countries......

Here are some of the countries who have checked out my BLOG:

Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Germany, Columbia, Poland, Singapore, Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, France, Belgium, South Africa, US, United Emirates, Croatia, New Zealand, India, Northern Mariana Islands, Brazil, China, Ireland, Curacao, Argentina, Ecuador, Pakistan, Namibia, Portugal, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Vietnam, Lebanon, Jordan...
I know I have missed some. Let's keep it coming! I have yet to see Norway, which is my heritage! Come on Norway! 

Soon I will be able to announce the 10,000 view of my blog that was started in August, 2012! That is exciting to me!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peachy Speechie Makes It Into Publication!

I am thrilled to see that my Blog and Pinterest Page for speech/language pathologists have made it into the newest TheraSimplicity Better Speech and Hearing Newsletter! 
Coming Soon To TheraSimplicity.....check this site out.

Speech Pyramid- articulation and language game

I have printed these as individual sheets for each students, but the game tends to go on a bit too long for some of my students. So this year I printed them as posters and the groups are all playing on them together. I made the original ones up as a Word Document so you can make your own also. I have included a PDF one with the link. This has both articulation (r, s and misc. sounds) and language (antonyms and irregular past tense). 

The directions to the game are as follows:

Speech Pyramid
Materials Needed: two dice and a sheet with words for each player.
Object of the Game: Be the first to color in your rectangles.
Player 1 rolls the dice and colors in either the added amount OR the 2 numbers separately. Player 2 will then roll the dice and decide which ones they would like to color in also. If they shake doubles, they will roll again.
Both numbers must be blank to color if you choose to color in the separate numbers. IF the added total is not available and only one of the two separate numbers is free, you are done with your turn and do not color anything in.
Example: If you roll a 2 and a 5, you may color in a 7 or the 5 and the 2. If the 7’s are all colored in and you only have a 5 open and not the 2, you are done with your turn and you do not get to color any numbers. If you roll doubles and this happens, you still are done with your turn.
Speech Component of the Game: Have the students say the words or make a sentence or question with each of the words in the boxes that they color.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Using Switches As Carrier Phrases

Click here for a direct connection to the product- Talk Point Switches

Today I used the Talk Point Switches from Learning Resources to model carrier phrases for a student. Each of the difference colors had a different carrier phrase such as "I want a...", "I need a...", "I see a...", etc. Then we used the Red Button for applause and "GOOD JOB SEAN!"
You can use them for a variety of other purposes also. 
For my higher functioning classes, I have used them as a therapy choice surprise. So I put five options for therapy that day and choose one student to push the button. Whatever the button says is the therapy activity of the day. 
I have also used them as a prize rewarder. So if they have completed a contest they get to push the buttons to see what reward they earn. Sometimes I even put a ZONKER prize.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Perspective Taking

I got some flexible, magnet characters and now the students have fun changing up the messages with the positions they are placed in for the week! This is just an easy, fun way to get middle school students to think outside of themselves. I am going in search of more magnet bendable characters because the kids are LOVING THIS! This is an activity they can do if they arrive to speech early. For some reason, most of my kids do show up (sneaking out of lunch) early. Idle hands.......are now busy along with busy brains and their humor skills!

Small things often are the biggest rewards in teaching!

I had my students working on analogies for over two months to earn a cup of hot chocolate and a bag of Annie's Cheddar Bunnies. While I was working on minimal "r" pairs with another student, one of my students was working with the Bananagrams. He wouldn't let me see what he was working on, but finally he asked me to look over. This is the WONDERFUL message I saw! It made my heart warm in this perpetual MN winter we seem to be having in APRIL! You will notice the delightful faces he even formed out of the bananagram letters! By the way, did I mention...this was an 8th grade boy who took the time to make my day with this kind gesture!?! I do LOVE my job and my students! 
Thanks E. B. You made my day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hedbanz- language skills game

We had a rousing game of Hedbanz last week! We played it three different ways to work on both expressive and receptive language skills. The first way we played it was that a student described to the person on their left what was the secret word on the band around their head. They gave clues until the person was able to guess what was on their card. The next way we played it was the person wearing the head band and card had to ask yes/no questions or wh-questions in order to figure out what was on their card. Then finally we played it that the person to the right of them gave them clues and the person wearing the card had to ask a follow up question to the clue in order to get more information. This was a fun activity and a great way to practice some language skills.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pronouns and Helping Verbs

All of you probably work on present progressive sentence patterns at one time or another. This is an easy activity that takes little planning time. I use the free app Action Words with the students all of the time. Here is one way I use it. I pull up the app and it states the target word you want the student to find on the screen. For instance it will say, "leaning". Then I have the student find the picture that represents the word "leaning" and then tell me the sentence that matches the picture. For this one it could be, "She is leaning on the rail." Then they get to cross out the matching "pronoun + helping verb" on the white board (she is). After that they get to click on the picture and see if they chose the correct picture that matches the verb. The app gives them verbal praise for picking the correct one, and we move on to the next screen of four verbs. When they are all done with the white board we are done with the task. Sometimes we have to do some of our own actions because the pictures don't cover "I am..." and "We are...". This is fine because this points out that we personally have to be involved in these pronouns. If you don't have the app Action Words you can use any verb+ing pictures to do this.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Transition Words....

Today we worked on using TRANSITION words with our 6 part sequence cards. After then we came up with our 6 part sequence to building a peanut butter and jelly using these same transition words. Then they cut out construction paper to represent the different steps. Last we talked about how we liked to cut our sandwiches....vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Of course, next we will have "real" bread, peanut butter and jelly!


We "MUSTACHE" questions!

Today we practiced answering and asking questions of each other! The kids did love the mustaches!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Way to check in SCANDINAVIA!

Scandinavia has finally checked out my blog! Thank you Sweden! My heritage Norway hasn't yet, but I now have HOPE!

QR we go!

I want to try using QR Codes in speech now! I think the kids will have a BLAST with it! Here is one to find the answer to, "Where is my favorite place to hang out?"

Click here to find the QR code generator.
Click here to find how to do it.

I can see doing inferences, comprehension questions, analogies, word puzzles, secret clues and following directions and many other fun activities for this!!! Let the games begin!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Artik Stick

Easy grab activity for the day....I bought a few of these sticks from my favorite teacher store. Then I used my handy dandy label maker to create words for them. I made them especially for my (r) and (s) groups so I put an (r) word on the one side and an (s) word on the other side. The apples one came in later because a (th) kid infiltrated the group. I used one shape for initial sounds, one for medial and one for final sounds. To make it interesting I choose a word for each game that is the MAGIC word and write it down on a small white board. The student who pulls this stick wins a COOKIE CARD! Now frequently I don't have purist groups so for my language students they have to define it, or I create an analogy for that stick they pulled, or they have to figure our 3 adjectives for the word and use two of them in a sentence or they have to use it in a sentence and add a conjunction to increase the complexity of their sentence. Sometimes I will just have them compete for MLU points.

Now you could use tongue depressor sticks too, which sometimes my school nurse allows me to "steal".

Sometimes you just need a quick activity...this is a good bucket to keep around for those days. It is a great way to warm up the group!

I just got PINNED!!!

Thanks to all of you for checking out my blog! I am excited to report that I will be reaching 6000 views this week and over 25 countries checking in! I don't know what is happening with my Norway though! Come on...I am 3/4 Norwegian! Norway, Sweden and Finland have not checked in! I would expect that of Greenland, but I still have relatives in Norway! Thanks again! What started out as a way to keep my ideas available for my memory, so I don't wonder every year what I did with the students the year before, has taken off!

Musical Chairs (cards) Activity

Over the holidays I made (I am kind of the ALPHA female in my family...go figure!)...anyway...I made all of my family play musical chairs with holiday music. Of course, I had gift cards as prizes so the motivation was already built in. We had so much fun watching nephews take down their girlfriends for a $5 gift card that this may become an annual tradition.

Well this reminded me that I used to LOVE playing musical cards with my therapy session when I worked in the elementary school. My principal would go by and just shake his head as he heard OPERA, CLASSICAL, JAZZ, playing from my office. I figure I may as well expose them to a variety of musical genres as I was doing therapy also!

Here is how I would do it....I printed up rather large cards of either pictures or words (depending upon the level and skill we were working on) and laminated them. So if I was working on the present progressive sentence pattern I printed up pictures of people DOING (verbing). We started off with many cards! Sometimes we would have them weave in and out around the entire room! Back then I had a LARGE therapy room. Today I would have to take them out in the back hallway. Then I would start the music. When I stopped the music each of the students would make a sentence with their card that they landed on. Now these cards would be pulled away from the game. Then eventually only students who were lucky enough to land on a card and not an empty space would win the game. Now you can play it the traditional way also, but you get less stimulus cards for sentence production. I have also done this with social skills where they have to tell how the person is feeling in the picture and predict why they might be feeling that way. For articulation students you just use cards with their sounds in them.

Back to the basics....grab yourself some music and let the kids move during these long winter months. You people in CA or HI might not understand the need for movement due to WINTER BLAHS! This is what my friends in CA and HI remind me of frequently!

PS....the kids love to run the music also and have you participate!