Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Duck

We just had a massive snowstorm here on the east coast so all my remaining Christmas ideas may go unused! This book is new to me this year and contains a treasure trove of great WH questions. I'll list them below, basically following the sequence of the story. Naturally this is only appropriate for kids on your caseload who celebrate Christmas.

1. Does a duck come down your chimney? (if it's not a tough crowd, they laugh)

2. If there is one day left, what day is xmas? What does Nicholas usually get for xmas?

3. Who gave him the hat and coat? Did he like it? How do you know?

4. What do you think a chicken would want for xmas? (I cover the text for all the animal pages if I have a reader; also I accept any good associative word - even eggs). What do all the things the chicken wants mean/have in common? So what does the chicken want to do for xmas?

5. What do you think a cat would want for xmas? What does 'bonkers' mean? Why does Nicholas think all the animals are bonkers? What does the cat want to do with the things on his list? Also I review the meaning of canary and trout.

6.What would a turtle want? (I'll take almost anything..pond, friend, shell) Why does the turtle want something fast?

7. What would a squirrel want? (review almonds, walnuts) Why does he want a shovel?

8. What would a rabbit want? Does he want a big cake or a small cake? What's another word for 'frosting'?

9. For higher level students, we discuss what happened when the hat fell off? Did he forget? What did he realize? Why did he want to get rid of the hat? What does 'phew' mean? What do you think will happen to the cow now?

10. What would a cow want? Why does he want an XL hat?

11. Which animal is Nicholas' brother? How do you know?

12. What do you think Nicholas wants? Will he get it even though he didn't tell Santa his list?

13. Who wrote the note? What does Santa mean when he says "May I count on you next year?"

14. On the last page: I just review what everyone got and talk about it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Can you use Powerpoint?

Our school is very into using technology and each staff member has a tech cart. I shine this on the wall, but any ole' computer would work. It's just a new lil way to do carryover for /F/ - or any other sound. Email me if you want a PPT guessing game with a different phoneme. Glad to oblige ya!

Click here for F Game

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Self Monitor with a Cool Bead Abacus

One of our wonderful SEIAs made these Sports Abacuses (Abaci?) for use with our kids who work for rewards. I managed to procure one to try with my artic kids who are able to self monitor. They can move a bead for every correct production and they love to move the beads up and down (and, frankly, so do I - take one of these to your next boring conference or meeting). The 2 minute video shows Chris making a 5 bead abacus, but 10 or even 15 work just as well. I use the 10'er pictured in the opening photo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Toymaker

Today I'd like to share a link to a very generous toymaker. I'm sure all you creative SLP's out there can think of thousands of uses for these enchanting and FREE paper toys. They are delightful. I've posted a screen shot of the "holiday" portion of her website. You'll need a color printer, some cardstock and a PDF reader. Have fun at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fruits and Veggies

Here at my school we have a "Category of the Week" and this week's is 'vegetable'. I'm always surprised at how many of my students don't know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. By the way, I don't even touch the whole tomato controversy. So, I made this game to go with a cut-n-paste fruit/veggie sort that I made and I also read one of the many veggie books out there - like David Wiesner's June 29, 1999

The game has a spinner and some produce cards the kids have to 'harvest'. Just click on the image to enlarge - the game is pretty self-evident as far as how to play. We make sentences, etc. I just pinched images from Google.

Down the picture and text file HERE.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Face Bottle Cap Game

We all have a TON of October/Fall activities don't we? I gottamillion of 'em and maybe I'll post them someday. It just so happens that I made this bottle cap activity today so I was motivated to pic-n-post. Here are the materials:

And here are the finished pumpkins:

I got the idea from The Mailbox (I think). They had you painting the bottle caps with glue and paint...but since I have an organized husband who uses multi colors of duct tape to color code tools, I just cut the tape and stuck it on. Bits of black plastic electrical tape were used for the face parts. is how you play, but of course the rules are open to variations. Before each turn,say your sound, answer a question, whatever. Then, throw the 5 lil pumpkins onto the floor (or table) and get a point for each one who lands face up. Alternatively you could use a sharpie and put numbers on the underside and use those for points, number of responses, etc.

Yes, Bass is my favorite beer!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Harry the Dirty Dog

And now for another special ed preK lesson, this time featuring Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. What a classic.

I have lots of activities with this one, again featuring the Hands-on Reading literature books by Mayer-Johnson.

I start by reading the book and asking questions along the way. I adapted the last page so the kids can put Harry on his pillow...sort of.

Next we match the Clean and Dirty Harrys (the teachers all exchange smirks over that phrase). This was adapted from a scan at the end of the book.

Next we actually scrub and dry "Harry". I searched for a white and black plastic dog and was considering resorting to plush. In the end, I opted for this completely unHarry-like German Shepherd. The kids didn't seem to mind and there is NOTHING so fun as playing in soapy water.

Here are 2 more activities I prepared but didn't really have time for. The first is a 'wh' sheet from the MJ books - I cut them into strips and make booklets so there is a reduced amount of visual information at a time. The other is a Harry sequence - again from Hands-on Reading, but I used re-sized photocopies from the actually Harry book.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maisy Makes Lemonade...and so can you!

Last Friday's SpEd PreK show was all about lemonade. First we read "Maisy Makes Lemonade" by Lucy Cousins. Maisy books are some of my favorites for basic language stuff.

After the book, the kiddies answered 'wh' questions using the TechTalk. Love that thing. Here is a scan of the template I used. It is significantly doctored up so no Boardmaker file for ya to download.

I do have BM files of the icons I used for a sequence activity and wh/pasting activity (in B&W and color),and a big Natural Aided Language Board (NALB). You will need Boardmaker - an expensive, but highly useful bit of software - in order to open these files. Here is the Word doc that goes with the cut-n-paste. Basically, for this activity, you ask things like "Today we made..?" and they choose a picture of "lemonade" or "coffee" (for example). Please let me know if any of these clickable downloads don't work for you.

Then we mosey on over to the table to whip up a batch of lemonade. First we examine and talk about the lemon. If I have a large group, we use bottled lemon juice, but for just a coupla kids we can actually squeeze the actual lemon. Then, using a handy-dandy child safety knife, we all take a few hacks at the lemon until it is open. Then, get your cameras ready, the bravest among them have a taste of the lemon juice. I quickly teach the word 'sour'. Then they all have a taste of sugar. This sometimes backfires as the tasters are occasionally afraid to drink the lemonade they made, fearing a repeat of the 'sour' experience. I have a tiny whisk for stirring. Sometimes I bring some red food coloring so we can make pink lemonade.

I also do this activity with my older students. It's a nice break from drill drill drill.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Head to Toe

This week's theme in Special Ed PreK was "All about Me" with the focus on body parts. Same for your school? Well, I decided to do a lesson featuring Eric Carle's "Head to Toe". The book pictured is from our school library, but I ordered my own from Paperback Swap and when it comes I'll velcro the laminated scans into the book. Yes I scanned every one of those animals and prettied them up. Click HERE to download them from a zip file. All images copyright Eric Carle, natch.

After we read the book, talked about and matched the animals, I used some lessons adapted from MJ's Hands-on Reading book. I made my own "match what we wear on head and feet" activity with pictures (I'd rather have had real objects but I was pulling it together too last minute!)

I also used a 4 question 'wh' worksheet from that book (not pictured here). We also played "Simon Says" using the Techtalk. I used the version from "Hands-on" but I'll be making my own with my spare time hehe. Well, this was quick-n-sloppy post. Hope it gives some good ideas anyway.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rice Box

I've been using this one for several years and I tell ya, they never get tired of it! It works with all kinds of artic/language kids. Sometimes I use a verbal or visual carrier phrase (I see a _____, I found a _____).

I had a 3yo using a Springboard communication device and he matched plastic animals to the device as he found them. Right now - in the very uninspiring pictures - it is set up for category sorting. I've also hidden holiday themed items, magnets (that then get sorted on my whiteboard), and paper pictures for cut-paste activities.

I have to state here that I am usually emphatically against the use of food as a craft or toy item. I'm not in the mood to articulate exactly why - not even sure I could - but this rice has been in continuous use for 4 years. I store it ziplock bags over the summer. The longevity of this white rice makes me feel better about it (and it's also a lesson in why white rice is not good for you.)

Again, sorry for the dull photos - there really IS a lot of cool stuff under that rice!

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Special Education PreK Lesson of the Year

Let me start off by stating that I am not employed by Mayer-Johnson nor do I benefit from any sales of their products (unless you buy through my Amazon link, but they are often out of stock of MJ stuff). I do love many of the MJ items, especially Boardmaker; I'll be blogging about that in future posts.

Today I brought 2 activities into my special ed prek class for our Back to School opening lesson. First we read the MJ book "Let's get Ready for School" which is sung more than read (try singing "Now it's time to put on our socks and shoes" to the tune of "This is the way we wash our clothes"!). Each page has a velcro item to manipulate. I love velcro as you will see. As we go through the book, I ask questions (depending on each child's level) such as "What is a bed for?" or "Where do we brush our teeth?". Each child gets a turn to groom the little fellow and they especially love it when I use the brush, etc, on them!

After the bus comes and takes the guy to school, I bring out my closed backpack and we begin to talk about what's inside. They are completely fascinated by this. I talk about how in my backpack are some silly things that we don't bring to school, and some things that ARE for school. Of course, all the things, logically, could be part of a school day at some point, especially in preK, but I tactfully evade this point. They absolutely love to reach in a pull things out, and of course the first to come out are the fun, non-school ones. We talk a lot about each one and pass them around...the rock is heavy, the spatula is used in the kitchen (each child's hand is a pretend pancake which I then "flip"), the big sock goes on your feet, etc. I use lots of questions about function and location. I also ask a lot of yes/no questions, which are great for the non-verbal kids (Does the sock go on your hand??) as well as for getting a laugh. And naturally, any kids working on artic repeat sounds, words, and/or sentences. Then we make a big deal of putting all the items back IN the backpack. This takes about 30 mins and if there is a little time leftover we sing a song (Like "Open Shut Them").