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!