After 8 long years of talking about it, my college friend and I finally booked a girls’ trip to the Big Apple! We are leaving our children to have a fun weekend with Daddy and taking in a little shopping, food, and theater together…a well deserved break! A few days after we booked the tickets she broke her foot! And then, yesterday it started to snow! As I was watching the Nightly News last night I heard the upcoming snow and ice being described as “potentially catastrophic”, “historic”, “crippling”, and “a major disruption to air travel”. Argh! Wasn’t 8 years long enough to wait to have a little bit of good luck for our trip?!?!
Around 10:30 am yesterday, this is what my view looked like from work… apparently this was just “snow flurries” and the “real” snow begins today. Perfect! I live just north enough to get snow during the winter, but south enough for it to be a big disruption to everyday life. So, with each snowflake that falls I am kindly asking for it to melt by Thursday afternoon 🙂 It was really precious though to see the excitement in the children’s eyes as they enjoyed the snowfall at school!
We have been crazy busy this week and last. I have been loving the Data Check set I bought from Jenn at Crazy Speech World. I can’t wait for her to release other seasons. This has been so versatile…I have used it with intervention groups, as a check-up for some language kiddos, and as part of a dynamic assessment. I also have been able to use it with a few kindergarten students that teachers have been unsure about. This has really helped us look at the child from a direct language viewpoint. It is quick and simple and targets common language areas. Thanks Jenn!
In a few groups, we revisited “The Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow”. I actually finished this story two weeks ago. A few of my students were unable to do the category sort due our first set of snow days, so we worked on that this week. Understanding descriptive characteristics and the concept of categories is a toughie! I made sure we had four distinct colors to make a four-square page. The kids then cut the pictures out (with a little help from their impatient SLP!) and we grabbed one from the pile. I then pointed to each square as I asked “Is a hat short, long, clothing we wear, or food we eat?”. Each square had the category on it from the question to add to the visual sort. We built up to this four category sort by doing just two categories “Is it brown or black?”. Can you guess what color the squares were?
Looking ahead to the upcoming snow, I knew I had (at best) a day and a half this week to get in my Valentine’s Day activities. Many of my pragmatic language, expressive language, and articulation groups worked with the Would You Rather: Valentine’s Day cards. This set is a fun FREEBIE! We worked on expanding sentence structure, providing a reason, making choices, peer interaction, and conversation level articulation skills.
I was inspired by a craft I saw on Pinterest (is that surprising?!?!) My daughter put this together for her 100 day project. Let me tell you, 100 hearts fills up the page quite quickly!(This picture is obviously towards the early stages). It was a great project that allowed for choice making, creativity, and vocabulary about size and color. Also, there is no cutting involved (love that!) and the stickers are easy to peel. Plus, only $1 at the dollar store (I’m sure you can find these at Target also). So back to the store I went to get more materials for some therapy fun!
I read the Little Critters book for an introduction to Valentine’s Day. When I left work Friday I had complete intentions to create a choice board using adorable clip art and cute font. However, standing in carpool Monday morning, I realized that I was 15 minutes away from therapy and hadn’t given a second thought to making the choice board. So, I do what SLPs and teachers do so well…improvised!
I just used the materials to make the choice board. Once students picked the size I had them narrow it down to the color. I used a lot of playful sabotage…if they requested a big red heart I handed over a big white heart, or a little red heart. This allowed us to work on specific requests, negation, and a little humor.
I am always looking for ways to share our therapy actions with parents. For this project, we covered so many goals. I just turned the tree over and jotted down the targets we covered. This gives parents a more narrow focus for carryover discussion when the child shares their artwork.
I also used some articulation cards from my Cupid’s Sweet Shop set. We played dominoes and a little roll-the-dice. I also have hopping frogs that are Valentine’s colors…one of my groups will do ANYTHING for a chance at a round of hopping frogs! So we said and wrote many of their sounds and they earned frogs for a lightening round competition before heading back to class.
One way or another it looks like I’m going to have a snowy Valentine’s Day. I would love for it to involve Central Park instead of my backyard! Only time will tell, right?