Hello again! It’s been a while…I bet you were worried I forgot my password to this blog! I have had good intentions since leaving for the winter break, but life sometimes takes you in other directions. Like enjoying Christmas with my kids, battling a touch of the flu, and getting our house prepped and ready to put on the market. Yikes!
In the therapy room, we have jumped right in to 2015. Even though the weather is not always desirable this time of year, I really do enjoy the themes, topics, and stories for Winter. We began with goals and inspirations for 2015…I loved hearing what is important in the lives of my students (not bumping into others in line, speaking louder in class, not tattling on siblings)! We also read “The Jacket I Wear in the Snow” which is so well written to address many language targets! I love the repeated story lines for vocabulary and predicting. If you need story and song boards for this time of year, check out the January Functional Communication Boards or the Winter Bundle Functional Communication Boards (December, January, and February).
This past week we started some lessons using The Mitten by Jan Brett (along with probably every other therapist and elementary teacher!). One reason I enjoy this story so much is that the content and text allow me to address goals from every student’s IEP plus incorporate many of their classroom literacy goals. Jan Brett’s illustrations are beautiful and so very detailed. I love how she puts a little sneak peak of what’s to come on the edge of each page. We used this to make predictions. I push in to a third grade literacy class and we have been focusing on this exact skill…using text, pictures, and prior knowledge to make predictions. Thank you Jan Brett for giving us such amazing illustrations with which to practice this skill!
I actually have the hardcover and board book. The original hardcover is fantastic for many of my students. However, I like using the board book when I am targeting functional communication skills…it is sturdier, has more direct sentences, and expects a more realistic attention span. I use the story board along with it to teach choice making, story sequence, turn taking, vocabulary ID and labeling, as well as requesting. The story board makes it interactive which increases engagement to the lesson.
For my students working on sound production that are readers, we are reading the story attacking their specific sounds. I love using the literacy connection because you can address sounds at the word, sentence, reading, and also conversation levels…what ever meets your data needs. We then made a flip book about “Animals of the Ukraine”. This was a fun extension of the characters. They identified their target sounds, read aloud to me, and then had something to take home for carryover practice.
My younger articulation students enjoyed playing dominoes as we read the story. This allowed me to focus on teaching placement at the word level. These groups are still learning about placement strategies, so we concentrate on what the sound looks like in the word, how it feels as we produce it, and how it sounds when we hear it. You can see a few more pictures from my unit, “The Mitten: Articulation” on this previous post.
Last year I bought an adorable and very functional story retell activity from Chit Chat and Small Talk. We created the story strip as we retold the story. It then folds up into the mitten. There are not too many pieces and she has directions printed on the strips of where to attach…this is super helpful for me but also a tool to use for students working on following directions. Using a page protector with one of my story/choice boards, we brainstormed sequence and connecting words. We wrote these words on their mitten story strip because I wanted them focusing on this vocabulary as they retold the story at home.
Speaking of mittens, I better find mine! I start morning carpool duty this week. I am a Floridian living in NC, which means that I pretty much feel like an ice cube all day after 30 minutes of the morning cold! I hope you are staying warm!