Our first week back was a strange one without the routine and structure that I crave. Due to the frigid 8 degree morning temperatures we had a few 2 hour delay school days. Yes, you read that correctly…no snow, no ice, no threatening blizzard…just amazingly cold temperatures for this area. Probably only my dad in FL thinks that makes sense, seeing that he turns on his fireplace if the temperature dips below 68. There was good reasoning that went into the decision (for one, our buses aren’t prepped the same way as northern states). The kids loved the extra time to sleep in, however it really disrupted my group schedule! The little bit f time I did get to spend with my groups this week was jam packed with reviewing our goals for the rest of the school year. We learned how to apply vocabulary such as goal, wish, reflect, predict, and resolution.
To talk about goal setting, I used the freebie from Mr.Hughes to help the kids brainstorm ideas. Instead of making it as a mobile, I altered it in several ways depending on each group’s interests, attention span, and abilities. Some of my students made it as a lift-the flap book. One of the second grade classrooms at school made these mobiles and they are darling. However, I have a fraction of the time to accomplish anything. One thing that drives me crazy is spending a lopsided amount of time having the kids (or myself!) cutting and prepping materials. So for several of my groups we drew a large outline of 2014 on the board and they wrote their responses in that frame. This was a win-win because I lost no time prepping materials and they got to use the board that they love so much. We turned this into much more than just an art project and it was a great way to ease back into our (not-so-normal) routine!
I have had “The Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow” displayed in my winter book nook and my kids have been asking for it. They have to show a bit more patience, but it is coming soon! I have a little bit of everything ready to go in this packet. It is such a great feeling when I sit down to plan because I have something to address multiple goals. I also like being able to have one unit to focus on across groups (reduces my own confusion-ha!) but with different activities (reduces my own boredom!!). These speech and language activities coordinate with Lucille Colandro’s story “There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow” as well as targeting some general winter concepts.
Depending on the needs of the group, we will be targeting: articulation, describing, comparing, contrasting,idioms, categories, WH- questions, rhyming, vocabulary, and following directions. It’s important to me that my kids have multiple ways to practice (drawing, reading, writing, acting, moving) and that they are exposed to the strategies they need. We don’t just learn a word, we learn HOW to learn the word. We don’t just sort categories, we learn WHAT a category actually is. I find the area of language development so fascinating (guess I picked a good career!) and its fun when students learn and apply a strategy that is helpful for them.
I’d love to hear how 2014 started in your therapy room!