Spring birds and the language of time

Posted by Emily Richardson in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This year I have increased my use of crafts within therapy.  They have an incredible therapeutic value.  We can address communication skills across all goals and skill levels.  Crafts also tend to be very engaging for students.  Previously, there were many times that crafts would turn into a “WHAT was I thinking” moment.  I have become smarter this year as I get craftier 🙂  When I push into self contained classrooms, I reduce the amount of finished products we are working on at one time.  If there are three adults at the table, we work on three products and have three sets of visual cues and choice boards.  This, and avoiding all things glitter, have kept me sane while increasing my use of crafts for communication targets.

Adapted Bird Craftivity from Speechy Musings

Adapted Bird Craftivity from Speechy Musings

A few weeks ago I bought a craftivity from Speechy Musings. Her Adapted Bird Craftivity is much more than just a template for an adorable bird craft.  She has everything you need…sequencing cards, writing templates for various goals, choice boards, and a book with photographs to follow directions for the craft.  This is very thorough and well organized.  I have been able to use this for meaningful therapy for K-3 students and all of my students in self contained classrooms.  {I think it is worth pointing out that I do not know Shannon at all, I just found her product incredibly useful!}

An example of how repetition helps

An example of how repetition helps

For some groups we have just done the one craft and then moved on.  Others, though, have been able to repeat the craft to target various goals.  For students working on sequence, it helped them to make the bird in two different sessions, to get more familiar with the process.  In the picture above, the bird on the left was completed by a student independently on his first attempt.  He had full support of the visual sequence cards, a prototype, and the photographs in the “How To” book.  He still had many difficulties in the motor planning to complete the project.  However, the bird on the right is the same child’s from day two.  I truly did not expect simple repetition to have such an impact, but it did!  I talk about repetition all the time, and this was a real life example for me!

Language of Time Bulletin Board

Language of Time Bulletin Board

I also used her birds to update my “Language of Time” anchor chart/bulletin board.  I reference the concepts of time in every single session every single day!  Sometimes I think I should tattoo the visuals onto my forehead!  This board is right behind my chair, so I just reach behind me (usually without even looking!) and reference the “language of time”.  I intentionally grew from the days of the week on the left, to the months of the year in the middle, to the four seasons on the right.

Days of the week visual cues

Days of the week visual cues

The days of the week have visual cues to help my students master the names of each day.  We incorporate the “today is, yesterday was, tomorrow will be” routine into our sessions too.

Months of the year - grouped by seasons

Months of the year – grouped by seasons

You’ll notice that I grouped the birds by seasons.  I wanted to be able to talk about them as a group or individually.  They are also placed somewhat in order, to make it easier to talk about sequentially.

Pictures of the four seasons

Pictures of the four seasons

With the four seasons, I brought back the photographs.  This was missing on my winter board, and my kiddos really need it.  I make them reference the board when they are having difficulty answering seasonal questions.

Concepts of time

Concepts of time

I also have many concepts of time written for reference.  Anytime one of these words is mentioned in conversation, I will reference the board to remind my students about the concept of time.

This is just a little peek into my therapy room this week.  I’m hoping that the weather warms up soon so that it actually FEELS like Spring around here!

emily purple

One Response to Spring birds and the language of time

  1. Robert Vanover says:

    Very Creative!

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