Two New March File Folder Activities

Can you believe tomorrow is March already?!  I love using file folder games for a quick way to create a sorting game.  I created two March themed games.

Lion/Lamb Adjectives Sort:

We always teach the students that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.  But do our students understand why?!  Can they use descriptive words to describe how it is different?  I created a file folder sorting activity to introduce or review the describing vocabulary.  The students can learn to associate the different describing words with the animals.  Each day in March, you can remind the students to use their new describing words to talk about the weather.  I also included a sentence strip to encourage expanded utterances.

Shamrock Sequencing:
I created a similar activity back during Halloween season that was a hit with my students working on retelling stories in appropriate sequences.  I took a shamrock and made numbers to represent a three step sequence.  Then I provided three picture/sentence cards for the students to work together as a group to figure out the appropriate sequence.  Then they had to tell the story.  The prep is extremely quick and easy.  I used Velcro so the students can place the pictures on the shamrock.  They had so much fun!  You can also choose to tell the story and have the students rearrange the picture to retell the story.  So many ways to use this activity to address goals.

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Pinterest Inspired Articulation Ideas

So I have seen various ideas on Pinterest and wondered "how can I use this?!"  Well....I found some ways!!!   The first is the famous clothespin activity.  I know I have seen many ways to use with spelling and reading but I found a way to use it for articulation targets.  I took each of my students' articulation targets and wrote them on clothespins.  I color coded each sound with a different marker color.  Then I wrote a variety of CVC and multi syllabic words on index cards.  I used the target in the initial, medial, and final positions.  I made a ____ where the target sound would go in the word.  I chose to use the same color marker on the clothespin on the index card to help my students (and me to grab and go!).  Feel free to email me if you would like a list of some of the words I used.  Take a look and see!  The hardest part was getting to Michael's to get some clothespins!  Such an easy DIY idea to help work on sounds, while indirectly practicing spelling.  Plus, when I showed my building's Occupational Therapist she loved it too because it addresses fine motor and visual perception skills.   

My next idea I like to call, Sound Skiball!  My students love going to Chuck E. Cheese and playing all their games.  Now I can bring it into my therapy room!  I took 4 different colored construction paper.  I folded it in half and cut along the fold.  I taped the pieces together to make them longer.  Then I glued the numbered circled in the middle.  I laminated my 4 strips to make them more durable and last longer.  Then I rolled each one to make a circle by connecting the ends.  The smallest point value is the longest circle, or the full piece.  Then for each remaining circles, I made each one slightly smaller.  I taped them all together at the top.  I got fun buttons since they are lightweight and cheap to use for tossing.  My students were able to toss the button to see which circle they land in.  For that number, they must say their target sound, say a word with a sound, or sentence depending on the levels are they are up to in order to attain that point value.  We kept score on my dry erase board.  It was such a fun way to play and practice at the same time!  You can also use this to practice vocab or any other target.  Just would remove the use of the number to determine how many times they would say the sound.  Can use as a reward for correct responses.  I have provided the numbers that I used.  Grab it here!
I hope you enjoyed my fun ways to use some Pinterest finds.  I will keep my eyes pealed for some more ways to use these great ideas during speech sessions!

Dr. Seuss Singular vs Plural Sort

Do you like green eggs and ham?  How about fox in socks?  I love Dr. Seuss!  To celebrate Dr. Seuss I have created a sorting activity using theme vocabulary.  You can print and laminate as is or use as a file folder game.  As you read your Dr. Seuss books you can go through and find more nouns and sort them!  You can even use this as a bulletin board activity and have students find, draw and sort the nouns!  Feel free to take pictures and send if you use this activity in a new and creative way!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Compare and Contrast Community Helpers

I was going through some of my old materials and found an activity I created ages ago.  Don't you LOVE when that happens!  These are cards you can cut and mount on either index cards or construction paper.  I use these with any game of choice: Jenga, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, etc.  Students must say how they are the same and different before they can take a turn in a game.  Just a simple and easy way to work on comparing/contrasting goals with community helpers curriculum vocabulary.  You can go over in beginning different topics to consider when thinking of the answers: cars they drive, where they work, who they help, tools they use, what they wear, etc.  This can help with word finding difficulties and as a guide for students unable to figure it out on their own.

St. Patrick's Color By Category

Well my V-day coloring activity was such a hit!  I don't know about  you but my students get so excited when I take out my crayons (and if its marker OH BOY!).  I made this one a little different, if you choose to print it out in color it gives the students directives about what color to use.  What I will probably do, is print 1 in color and laminate it.  This way it saves on color ink and easy to photo copy.  Students must follow directions on top of naming category items before coloring.  Another way to use this as a game is put all colors in a cup or bag and have the students pick a color to determine which category they have to name from.  This way it is random and if you have a group no one feels like they are "stuck" with the harder ones!  Also, no one is claiming colors (my students get very possessive over their favorite colors!)  Grab it here!
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Go For The Gold

So I have been loving all the games like my "Ants In Our Pants" I posted previously.  I love it when the request more educational games!  I decided to create a game to use with two different targets.  Introducing..."Go for the gold!"  I placed all the coins into a bag or cup and students take turns picking a gold coin.  If they answer correctly they can put the coin on their "pot."  But watch out for those sneaky leprechauns!  If they pick one they must put all the coins back and start over!

I made this game in two versions - Adjectives and Wh- Questions

Go for the Gold - Adjectives:  When students pick the coin, they must name something that can be described using that adjective.

Go for the Gold - Wh Questions: When students pick the coin, they must answer the questions correctly in order to "keep" the coin.

This is a fun and motivating way to work on these difficult target concepts while using St. Patrick's Day vocabulary.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

The Wind Blew

I love using this book in my speech sessions!!  So many targets:
  • This story allows a fun and exciting way to recall sequences of details.
  • The title alone is in the past tense.  You can review your verb tenses and regular vs irregular verbs with this story.  "Now the wind is blowing."  "The wind blew."  You can do a KWL chart on what other irregular verbs they can think of to assess prior knowledge before reading the story. 
  • You can practice predicting skills.  What do you think will happen next? 
  • Other questioning: How would you feel if you saw all these things fly away?  Is this story real or make believe?

For my dedicated readers, I have included my visuals made with Boardmaker, a sentence strip, and a writing follow up activity.  You can even take a fan and make the visuals "fly away!"

Top 10 Prizes

I am always trying to find prizes that are cheap and can motivate most if not all of my students.  Whether you have a sticker chart for good behavior, or rewards for students completing home practice, I think it is important to promote positive behavior.  It can be challenging to motivate all students, especially when in speech we aren't giving grades to students.  We are also working on skills that are difficult for these students.  After trying out various toys/reinforcers...I have gathered a list of the prizes my students enjoy MOST.  I usually order all of my prizes off of - they sell bulk and always send me coupons (refuse to order full price!)  Remember this is what my students enjoy, I always try to see what my students are interested in at the beginning of the year before I purchase anything!  These prizes worked with students kindergarten through 6th grade.

In no particular order:

1. Butterfly necklaces

2. Frogs with Putty Eyes - my students LOVE these!! they come in all animals and types!
3. Monster pop ups - these also come in different animals and types.  I like these because my students have to request assistance to learn how to use it!
4. Penguin spiral notebooks - shocking right?!  My students love notebooks to draw and practice writing sentences.  And they just love penguins!
5. Skateboard erasers - makes school supplies fun and entertaining!
6. Spinning Top erasers - again my students have to ask how to use this but these are so fun!  The round part is an eraser and the middle part is plastic.  They do have to put it together themselves (or you can do it for them).

7. Sport ball key chains - even my younger students that do not have keys love them.  They usually attach them to their backpacks. 
8. Sport bracelets - these come in different themes and colors.  The sports theme has been the fan favorite in my speech room.
9. Stackable snowman pencils - these come in different themes as well.  For students that love these, extra motivation to earn more so they can stack!
10. Superhero rubber duckies - again these also come in different themes.  I try to change it up year after year especially for students that love collecting them!  keeps them on their toes what they could earn!

I hope you enjoyed my list this week!  Feel free to send suggestions on things you would like to see in the future!  I love suggestions!!!

Shrek Opposites

Like I have said before, I LOVE incorporating movies and TV into my therapy sessions when appropriate.  Another movie that has so many elements you can use is Shrek.  Yes, I know there are multiple Shrek movies, I have seen them all!  Whether it's the first, when Shrek saves the princess, or the last when Shrek is fighting with Prince Charming, you can demonstrate use of vocabulary and/or story elements by discussing the movie.  I have developed Shrek and Donkey opposite cards to review vocabulary.  You can use with a memory or go fish game.  Once the students find a match, they can describe how they go together.  They can practice producing complex sentences by using Shrek and Donkey in their sentences and describe them using the opposites.  You can also use them to compare/contrast the characters.  You can generate a Venn Diagram as you play and create lists for the two characters.  Then once complete, you can discuss how they are the same based on their knowledge of the movies. 

I have also created a review crossword puzzle.  I did not include a word bank but you can always provide one for your students.  I did include some new opposite pairs to assess whether my students have grasped the concept and can carry it over to new words.  Depending on the students/groups, I may use this as homework practice or at the end of the session to assess understanding.  I also may use this to assess memory of the skill at the beginning of the next session.  Grab it here!

Adventures of Lucky the Leprechaun

I love quick and easy sequencing and listening/reading comprehension activities.  So many fun ways to incorporate St. Patty's day vocabulary!  So, I created the Adventure of Lucky the Leprechaun activity.  You can either read it to your students or have them read it themselves.  You can use the visuals while you read and then have them retell the story using the visuals.  You can also just cut the pictures apart and  have the students rearrange  them and glue them onto a sentence strip or paper to demonstrate understanding of the events of the story.  My students love manipulatives and showing what they know in a hands on activity.  You can also put velcro on the back of the pieces and use with a felt board.  The ways you can use this activity is endless!  You can also ask various higher level questions such as "Why do you think the gold was the end of the rainbow?"  or "How do you think Lucky's friends will feel when they get gold?"  or "How would you feel if you lost your pot of gold like Lucky?"  You can use this to introduce or review St. Patrick's Day vocabulary.  You can do a follow up arts and craft activity when you make a pot of gold with vocabulary/articulation words on each piece of "gold."

St. Patty's Day Wh - Question Board Game

Since my Groundhog's Day wh- question board game was such a hit, I created a board game for the St. Patrick's Day theme.  Help the leprechaun get to the pot of gold!  Way to incorporate theme vocab while targeting wh- questions.  I plan on laminating the board onto a file folder and have my wh-visuals on the top to help them remember the different types.  I also use the POQ (part of question) strategy to help students use expanded utterances to respond.  So many targets with one activity!

RTI Update

Oh those lovely letters...RTI!  You are either smiling or rolling your eyes!  Well, for those not aware, RTI is a GENERAL EDUCATION initiative to help at risk students "catch up" without having to be placed in special education.  There are 3 tiers:
-Tier 1: the general education teacher will try to implement strategies provided by special educators in their classroom.  This could be change of seat, modifying presentation of directives, giving manipulatives to help with math, etc.
-Tier 2: a student will receive a GEN ED pull out or remedial support such as reading or math groups.  This will allow extra attention in the areas of concern.
-Tier 3: the student will support from a special educator (who depends on area of concern).  This should only be for a "trial" period to see if they can "catch up."

Did you notice the stress on the gen ed?? As a special educator, I find in my schools that I have been in, we are the ones "running" RTI.  Anyway, it is what it is, until more get used to the new regulations. 

I am always trying to find new and helpful tools to teach the gen ed teachers in my building what I am doing with their student and how it is working.  There is NEVER enough time in the day for appropriate collaboration.  I created a "Speech RTI Update" form that I can complete and provide to the teachers.  I find it helpful and useful.  You can probably alter it and use it as well to update for all of the students on your caseload.  I uploaded the form as a word document in case you are like me and prefer to type then write memos at work.  Let me know what you think!!!!  I LOVE feedback and will continue to post helpful RTI materials and resources.

Finding Nemo Homophones

So, one of my favorite movies for kids is Finding Nemo.  My students know it too! I try to incorporate it into my sessions as much as possible!  So, introducing, the Finding Nemo Homophone Practice cards.  I use them to review the homophone pairs.  Once I feel my students are ready to demonstate mastery, and can remove visuals, I use these cards to play memory or Go Fish.  Once you have a pair, you must verbally explain the meanings of each word.  So fun! 
Which is your favorite movie or show?  Are you trying to think of ways to bring it into your sessions?! 

Top Ten Websites for Materials

It's that time again, Miss Speechie's weekly top 10 list!  I listened to your request and compiled a list of websites that I use most often to find materials for my speech and language sessions.  Since I work with a variety of ages and levels, my list will be for a variety as well.  I use these websites for inspiration, ideas, graphics, or for reinforcing activities.  I do have my own copy of the Boardmaker CD which is how I make MOST of my hand-made materials. no particular order:

1. - if you do have Boardmaker, this website is for you.  You can upload some of your materials to share or just browse those that is already available.  You can sort by topic or concept or just use their search feature to find what you are looking for.  You can access the website directly here!
2. Boggles World - Yes, this is a website for ESL but hey we teach the same concepts and skills.  They have flashcards and worksheets for various language arts concepts and themes.  My students particularly liked using the synonyms and antonyms materials.  Check it out here!
3. Child Care Land - this website is great for working with preschool or those types of concept levels.  They have a large variety of free printables and ideas for fingerplays and file folder games.  I use this to get graphics to make memory games related to seasonal/holiday themes.  Go here!
4. Do2Learn - This website has tons of materials that targets those with disabilities.  They have picture cards, songs & games, schedule maker, and more.  I have not used this website in a while but felt it was extremely useful in the past.  check it out

5. Edhelper - Need academically related materials?  Need printable books?  Need graphic organizers?  Need bulletin board ideas?  Although this website requires a membership (I find it is reasonable and most school districts has a subscription) it has SO much for us to use I cannot live without it.  I find reading comprehensions that are related to the academic curriculum most useful.  They also have stories related to "social situations" which are great for those with pragmatic goals.  I often find fun puzzles related to themes that I use as reinforcer activities. learn more

6. Enchanted Learning - Printable books?  Following directions worksheets? Word wheels?  Synonyms and cloze sentences related to themes?  Crafts related to themes you can use as a following directions activity or reinforcer??  Again, this website requires a paid subscription but I know my district has this one.  check it out

7. ESLPrintables - Yes, I LOVE the ESL websites!  This is a free website, however you need to get "points" for having people download your materials before you can download others.  I didn't find it took that long for that to happen.  They have powerpoint games, online interactives, and worksheets to download.  They also have pictionary games and flashcards as well.  I really like the grammar materials. here ya go!

8. Making learning fun - Such a great website!!!  They have activities, worksheets, printable books, and circle time materials for so many themes.  They even provide children's books that go with those themes as well as activities to go along with it!  You can spend hours looking through everything.  They are also updating this website often so keep checking back for more materials! check it out

9. Speaking of speech - I know this may be an obvious one for more but I had to list it.  If you do not have boardmaker and wished you did, this website is for you.  When you visit it, click "materials exchange" to find everything sorted by area: articulation, language, theme materials, life skills, literacy, and more.  You can also click "What's new on SOS" to get a quick check to see if there are new materials added.  i heart speech

10. ABC Teach - This website has free materials as well as those for a paid subscription.  Again, I did not pay, my district did, so I cannot complain.  I use this website often for a quick reading comprehension, clip art, word search, or worksheet for home practice of various language targets.  I use this website often for a "oh I wish I had that right now" moments.  I think I did about 3 times today alone!!  I grabbed quick reading paragraphs and made my own sequencing and higher level questions activities.  love it!

SOOO there you have it!! Another top 10!  I hope you found this one helpful!  Thanks again for the suggestion and keep them coming!!  I love to help out my fellow speechies!!  I am always trying to find and create new and motivating materials to use in my speech groups and I am sure you are too!
Happy belated Valentine's Day <3

Valentine's Day Wh- Questions Picture Book

As I sit here trying to process that the weekend is over and I have to get ready for the full week ahead, I decided to create one more Valentine's Day themed activity.  I have been working on wh- questions with several of speech kiddies.  For most, we are at the phase where we need to learn how to answer a variety and recognize the different types.  With the help of google images, my laminator, and my binding machine, I developed the Valentine's Day Wh- Questions Picture Book.  I laminated the questions on the flip side of the picture on the previous page.  This way when we "read" the book, the questions are in view.  I tried to include each type of question form for each picture.  If you have students that are beyond the basic wh- question level, you can use these pictures for inferring questions or cause and effect (I unfortunately did not include examples).  Grab it here!
I cannot believe Valentine's Day is on Tuesday already!!  Where has this year gone?!  Any fun things going on in your speech rooms or classrooms on Tuesday?!?!  I have so many ideas I cannot decide!!  I have seen so many cute food crafts on Pinterest that I may have to try one out!  xoxo

Valentine's Day - teaching"on" "or" concepts

I have so many students that do not know how to respond or use "or".  I created an activity that can be used to work on several concepts and skills.  Students can respond to the questions that have "or", they also will work on the spatial concept "on", and they even can verbally express categories since each card has two picture from a category.  So many goals in one activity!  You can cut up the cards and use with a board game or other reinforcing activity.  As a follow up, the students can draw their own pictures placing a heart on them.  They can ask each other the same questions to practice using "or".

What concepts are tricky for your speech students?!?!

More Valentine's Day Articulation Coin Toss

Back by popular demand...I have added 2 new articulation coin toss downloads.  Your feedback and requests are appreciated.  Keep them coming!  View my previous post for more details on this activity. 

Valentine's Day Color by Synonym or Opposite

I was working with a group today reviewing Valentine's Day vocabulary and it hit me!  I have a great idea to address this theme with synonyms and opposites.  My students LOVE it when I take out the crayons, instant motivator!  So....I created with the help of google images, Color by Synonym and Color by Opposites.  You can use this as a review of concepts being taught.  Have students verbally express or choose from a selection before being able to color that part of the picture.  If you want to include a following directions piece, you can write on dry erase board the matching word in a particular color which will let them know what color to use.  Depending on groups/students I may just let them color any color as long as they verbally expressed pair first.

Adventures of Mr. Cupid

Hearts, chocolate, cards, love, red, pink, and so much more vocabulary to have fun with for Valentine's Day.  Well I created a short story to work on auditory comprehension and recalling details.  Depending on each student's levels will depend on how I present it.  For some, I will read the story and show them the pictures as I read.  For others, I will read the story and hide the pictures.  Another option, I will read the story and have the students draw what they hear using my mini dry erase boards.  Regardless on how I plan on presenting the story, to assess whether or not the students comprehending and can recall, I will give them pictures to either glue onto construction paper or just rearrange on the table.  Students can also work on expressing sequences by retelling the story using the pictures.  Happy Valentine's Day!
Grab your copy here!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Top 10 Tools for my Speech Toolbag

It's that time again!  For my weekly top 10!  I was organizing my desk today and realized how many things I cannot live without!  In no particular order...

1. File Folders: Well DUH!  Not only are they used for storing students' files, but I have file folder games for every topic and skill.  Either print from a website that has ready made ones or draw some lines to make a sorting activity, they are so easy and fun!  Below you can view a file folder game I created to work on adjectives and the different senses that you need to use for each.

2. Binder Rings: Such an easy way to group vocabulary or make a mini book.  I buy a bulk at like Staples for cheap!  Below you can see how I used a word book from Enchanted Learning to make a quick matching vocabulary book by theme.

3. Game Pawns: I have SO many of these floating around in all shapes and sizes.  I love making or finding printable board games.  After taking the game pieces out of games and forgetting to put them back, I invested in a stash!

4. Index cards:  Ever need a quick artic card?  Or drilling activity?  Or need to give students a quick visual?  I always have index cards on my desk ready to go!  I also love using index cards to make "memory" or "go fish" games out of any concept or target.  Below you can see my memory game using winter synonyms.
5. Library Pockets: So cheap, colorful, and comes in a bulk!  I use these for storing reinforcers, sorting activities, or for students to store their answers quietly.  You can find these in any teaching supplies store or Staples.

6. Velcro: Was this another obvious one?!  I go through SO much!!  Kids love it, I love it!  Easy way to make an adaptable book, sequencing activity, sorting, or matching.  Below see how I used velcro to make an easy sorting activity that can be used over and over!

7. Paper fasteners:  A necesity to make concept wheels or related activity.  You can also attach a paper clip to make a spinner!  See below some concept wheels I made recently.

8. Magnets: easy way to teach spatial concepts in a hands on way!  Or I use to make visuals stick to my board or cabinets!
9. Plastic cups: easy way to sort, have a penny toss, or have students store "chips" or other reinforcer.
10. Envelopes:  Can't live without!!   Easy storage and organization!  I buy from the dollar store envelopes in all shapes and sizes.  I store all my games and activities together in a large one. 

Well, I cannot live without these!  How about you??!  Feel free to leave comments about materials or supplies that you cannot live without!! Or do you have another creative use for any of these??  Stay tuned for next week's top 10!

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