Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Menorah Therapy Activities

It’s that time of year! Hope you’re looking forward to the Holidays! A few of my students celebrate Hanukkah so when Heidi over at PediaStaff asked me to create some speech or language activities that incorporated the Jewish holiday I didn’t hesitate.

What I came up with is so flexible that I used it with EVERY group I saw yesterday! You can’t beat that!!

You start by letting your student draw the menorah on your white board. This is great for skills like problem solving, multi-step directions, sequencing, initiating and social communication. My students got a lot of experience negotiating with their speech buddies!

There are a few versions of this activity. The first one is generic! It just has candles that are blank. I suggest printing a few sets, laminating them, and then writing on them with dry erase markers, so you can just erase and write new targets with each group that you see throughout the day. I used them with articulation targets, vocabulary, pronouns, categories and basic concepts. 

This picture shows how I used it for spatial concepts. The kids had to use my magnets to show the meaning of the concepts. The student wrote ‘between’ on the flame and then showed the meaning of between using the magnets!

Another version of this activity contains coordinating conjunctions on the flames. One of my groups has been working on creating complex sentences. Some students just created sentences orally. Some needed more structure so I wrote two independent clauses on the board and they added the correct conjunction.

The last version includes articulation targets for the /l/ phoneme. To make any other articulation target, just grab a copy of the blank flames and add words with a marker. Or better yet have the students generate words with their targets!

Grab your copies here:

Hope you get some use out of this activity! Check back later this week for a Christmas activity! 

Please ignore the weird spacing on this post. Blogger is being stubborn!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Using Comics for Inferences

Several of my 4th and 5th graders are working on inferences. We started with this inferencing poster. We talked all about how we use inferences in everyday life. We role played some skits to work on social inferencing and now we've moved on to using comics!

These comics are great because they are short. They deal with a lot of pictures and they engage the kids. I'm finding them to be a good step before actually working on inferencing from paragraphs or book (which give don't provide the visuals). Although we're explicitly working on inferencing, these activities also work on cause/effect, prediction, sequencing and figurative language. We also throw in some explanations of the humor for my students on the autism spectrum in the group.

To use the comics, I start by modeling the steps several times. I model my thinking for each step. Even with modeling, it's a pretty difficult skill for language disordered kiddos.

The comics in your download are displayed twice. On one comic strip, a speech bubble is blocked off. Print both copies and glue them back to back before laminating. Instruct your student to  read the comic  and make an inference (using context clues and their schema) about what the comic could say. After they take a guess and the group discusses, flip the comic over to see the full original version.

Pick up your copy HERE.

If you use this activity, pass is along to a colleague, become a follower and leave a comment.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homemade Thumball

Have you seen the Thumball's? They are a great idea for working on language while getting the kids up and moving. I really wanted one, but already spent my therapy dollars for the year, so I made one! There are many types of Thumballs, but I made a categories ball and an articulation ball. Students pass the ball to each other, catch the ball, and then name members of the category for the circle where their thumb landed.

category100.jpgThumballs are available here.abc100.jpg

Luckily they are easy to re-create. I started with a trip into Goodwill. I got 2 small soccer balls for a dollar. On my first ball I wrote categories (weather, vehicles, states, sports, etc.) 

I also wanted to make a more generic ball that I could use for articulation. On this ball I wrote letters of the alphabet.

When students catch the ball they read the letter where their thumb lands. Then they look at the Activity Sheet (available on the Thumball website HERE). I have several sheets made for every sound target, so the students get their own sheet.

The students find the letter their thumb landed on and say the words listed, and then use the words in a sentence. 

For the older kids, when the novelty has worn off, I give them bingo chips and they cover the letter  on the sheet as they land on it. The student who gets them all covered first wins. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Snowflake Synonyms

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Wanted to share a quick idea with you today to get you in the mood for winter! This is a quick synonym or antonym activity.

I used foam snowflakes from the craft dept. Just cut them in half and write synonyms or antonyms on each half. You can make the colors match or not to up the difficulty.

I added magnets to the back of mine and this was a good way to get the kids up and moving. One student worked on matching snowflakes while I spent some direct instruction time with another student. Then they switched!

If you use it, leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trunk or Tail

Posting a new free download today. It's called Trunk or Tail. I made it last year and we pull it out every few months to play it!

You can play it with the articulation version or language version. Just print and then add your artic or language cards. The instruction are included! I also use my elephant mini trashcan from the Target dollar spot (a few years back) to store our points cards.

Hope you can use it. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Introduction to the light box!

Today's post is an introduction to the light box! Have you seen these ideas floating around the web? I thought it would be an easy multi-sensory way to engage the preschool speech and language population!

I started by making a light box . I already had everything I needed except a plastic container so it was cheap! I used the tutorial HERE at Testy yet Trying.

My light box turned out great! This week I used it with some preschool friends. They are working on the /k/ sound. We are still working on auditory discrimination between /k/ and /t/ so we got out the box of translucent letters and searched for the K's and T's. We worked on saying /k/ and /t/ in isolation.

It was a fun activity to start using the light box! I'm sure you'll be seeing more activities using it soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Angry Birds Invade the Speech Room

Part of engaging the little guys we work with everyday, is finding things they are interested in. Most of my students love to play angry birds, so we had angry birds week in The Speech Room!

It looked a little something like this...

It went a little something like this...

Angry Birds War

This game is played just like the card game war. Students split the cards and flip them one at a time. The more powerful Angry Bird wins the hand and the cards. Students use the 'winning hand' cheat sheet.

We used this activity for articulation and language students after each turn, and as a quick 3 minute reward game at the end of our speech time for older kids.


We have played lots of Angry Birds Space!

Angry Birds with the EET. (If you don't have the EET - Find out about it here... I would highly recommend it!)

The students selected one angry bird to complete the EET about. We then turned it into a narrative or persuasive writing activity.

Adjective Angry Birds

Because the birds can't always be angry! 

After we talked about adjectives and generated a list on the board, we each picked an adjective for our bird. We then worked on writing sentences, describing the bird or whatever else they need individually. In this example, the student needs to work on sequencing and using transition words, so we told how the bird went from angry to stinky!

Yesterday my bird...

Many of my students are working on verb tenses. We wrote sentences about what the birds might have done yesterday today and tomorrow. Then the kids highlighted the verbs.

DOWNLOAD these writing sheets HERE.

Sticker Stories

One last writing activity involved a package of Angry Birds stickers (mine are from Wal-Mart).

I let the kids pick a few stickers and develop a story about them. This was my example. You can make it work for basically any goal !!

Building Angry Birds

Just for fun we decided to make the speech room into  the real life angry birds game!

We used some green cups to represent the pigs! The kids earned the cups throughout their session and then we spend the last 3 minutes stacking them and knocking them over with my little angry bird. The most exciting thing about him is he makes noise! The red angry bird is from Wal-Mart (don't tell the kids I got it in the pets dept!)

This was SUCH a fun week, and I have a feeling the kids will be asking for more angry birds days :)

Other SRN Angry Bird download include Conversation Starters and Angry Birds Executive Functioning!

If you read this post - send it to a colleague. Become a follower. Leave me a comment. And have fun with it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turkey Categories

Just a week or so until Thanksgiving. Here's a free printable for you. This  receptive language activity is great because it works for non-readers! We've been playing with it in preschool - 2nd grade!

First your students can sort turkey feathers onto the correct category bird.  Next, I have them use the word in a sentence too! 

Have fun! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

$2 Therapy Find!

Just a quick note about a quick therapy find. I was in Michael's craft store this week and saw Buzz Word Junior is a mini pack. For $2 when I used a 40% off coupon!

The actual game is much smaller than this one pictured above, but it works perfect for therapy! This mini games just includes a timer and the cards. It doesn't have the score keeping card. Students are given one word (ie: GIFT) and are given clues to name words that contain the buzz word (gift card, gifted, gift shop, etc!)

$2, how awesome is that! It was in the kids section.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Falling Leaves WH questions

Just a quick idea for getting your students up and moving. Many of my students are working on WH inferencing questions. In the craft store last week, I found these foam leaves for cheap. I wrote the answers to the WH questions on the leaves, and added magnets to the back of them.

The Speech Room looked colorful with the language activity. My students love anything that doesn't include sitting at a desk doing paper/pencil work!

Hope this gets you thinking about getting your students up from the desk! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Articulation Eye Spy Bags

Hi friends. I'm sharing a project with you today that I made over the summer. It's a quick and easy tutorial for a speech therapy activity.

You’ve likely seen ‘Eye Spy’ activities floating around.  They’re available here on Amazon. I thought they would be a good quiet activity for articulation kids. In small groups they keep on student  busy when I’m spending a few minutes of 1-1 time with another student. They are also something I use to occupy the kids for a second if I need to jot something down in their treatment notes, if I have to answer a call to take a msg. or if I need to talk to another teacher.   I made my own eye spy bags for the /k/ and /f/ sound.

There are some nice tutorials out there in blog land, so google it if you want yours fancier! I wanted mine cheap, fast and easy so here is what I came up with.

Articulation Eye Spy Bags.

1 bag poly-pellets (I got mine at Michael’s Craft Store) – 1 bag of this will make 2 eye spy bags
1 pencil case with a clear front (From WalMart for 50 cents!)
10 Trinkets with target sounds (gathered from misc. places. You could order a bag of them from etsy if needed)
10 Trinkets WITHOUT target sound.
Hot Glue

Lay out only your target sound trinkets. Take a picture of them. Print and laminate the picture. Place half a bag of pellets into the pencil case. Add trinkets with target sounds. Pick about 10 other trinkets that don’t include the target sound. Close the pencil case, check to make sure the filling seems like the right amount. It shouldn’t be so stuffed you can’t search for your items! Hot glue over your pencil case zipper to prevent a terrible pellet spill! Use a ribbon to tie the picture of the target sounds to your pencil case. That’s it! It just took me about 5 minutes to assemble them once I had all the materials.

This bag has /f/ items such as butterfly, fish, and leaf. It's been a great activity for preschoolers!

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Resonance Feedback

One of my new students this year is working on resonance issues. He has a nasal emission in place of strident sounds. He's been checked out and cleared by the ENT of any structural or anatomical defects. We've been working on producing strident sounds and are making some good progress. He can produce sounds in isolation and we're working on sounds in words. A fellow SLP in my district gave me a heads up about a few applications to use to give my little guy some bio-feedback. I thought maybe you could use them too!

The Audacity program is a free download. It's easy to use. You just open it, press the red record button, and go! In this example below you can see the difference between 'snack' and 'nack'. We use it by comparing my good recording to his recording. He tried to make his word long like mine (we exaggerate the /s/.)

Download the program at

You can also use the 'Garage Band' application that comes on Macs. I have tried both, but find the sounds are easier to compare on Audacity because they are easier to view.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Contact Paper Collage

Happy Tuesday Everybody!! This is a quick activity that I did today. My little ones (think age 3-5) LOVED it. For the older preschoolers it went a little too fast but we still had fun! We read a book about fall and then we made this collage. I taped a strip of contact paper to the cabinet, sticky side out. Then we added objects. (YES - I did get this idea from pinterest - but I can't find my link!)

 We used fall shapes (turkey, apples, pumpkins, leaves), small foam leaves and a box of confetti I had laying around!

We had lots to work on. Some friends said articulation words to earn confetti. Others working on following multistep directions, positional concepts, vocab, etc!  They thought it was especially funny to be told to put leaves on top of the turkey's head! For nonverbal preschoolers we worked on requesting items with signs and initial consonants of words. It was highly motivating! Hope it gives you a little inspiration!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Straw Planes Receptive Language Activity

Hey friends. Just posting this quick activity I did last week with some kids. I saw these cute planes at They're a little different than the same old paper airplane activity

Target 1 & 2 step directions while you build a straw plane. You can then work on just about any goals while you race your planes and discuss them. Verb tenses, comparatives/superlatives, retelling/sequencing and sentence expansion - Just to name a few! I also did this with my kiddo's working on /s/ and /s/ blends! Lots of opportunity for carryover into conversation!

Download it for free HERE.

If you use it leave a comment and become a follower!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cars Roll & Remove Reinforcer

So many of my speech groups contain very diverse groups of kids. I love this quick game because the kids can manage it themselves, it's fast and it works for those diverse groups where no 2 kids are working on similar goals. Although it's titled as a articulation reinforcer... it works for anything.

Students just cover their game card with bingo chips. They roll the dice and then remove the chip on the number they roll. Quick and Easy!

Download Roll & Remove HERE.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Phineas & Ferb Make Inferences

Phineas & Ferb have been busy in my speech room. As far as speech and language therapy materials go, they're pretty cute! This free speech and language resource helps students decide which inference makes sense!

Download these guys for free HERE!!!

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