Sunday, September 28, 2014

Print and Go Articulation Homework

Homework, homework, homework! Between tests and homework our kiddos have little time to do anything other than school and school work! This is one of the many reasons I’m not real big on sending home speech homework. If it is requested, great, I’ll send it, but so many of the parents and kids just don’t do it. This year, I have had a few parents request homework. What kind of homework should I send? In the past, I have copied a few pages from an artic book and sent them home...boring...I don’t want to do that this year. I want my kids to have fun with their homework! I started searching teacherspayteachers to find just the right homework packet...but I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so...I made my own! I started with “th”, “sh” and “ch” because those are target sounds for a student requesting homework. I’m working on some other targets too. Those will be coming out as I finish working on them. 

Here is what I came up with... (Click on the graphic to go see it in my TPT store.)
  Each sound is further divided into specific work for the initial positions, medial position and final position. There are also pages with directions for practice at the word level and practice at the sentence level. 

There are 4 main activities in the packet...
1) Say and Color: The student either says each word 5 times or creates sentences about the target words. After they say the target word or sentence they get to color the graphics. 
2) Can you crack the code?: The student has to unscramble the words using the letters provided and a clue to crack the code and find out their secret target word. (word and sentence level)
3) Searching for clues: The student and their parents can search the house and community for words containing their target sound. (word and sentence level)
4) Word search: The students complete the word search by finding and circling the provided target words. (word and sentence level)

Keep an eye out ... there will be more homework packets coming out! 

See you in the store!
The Speech Owl

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tests and Success!

Tests, tests, tests!!!!! Everything is so test driven these days! I get this really what’s best for our students with language impairments or academic delays?!?!?! Some people may not like my answer to that question, but I say NO! NO, it is not what is best for some of our students! This year, I have seen more of my children break down crying because they feel like they are drowning and they feel like everyone thinks they are “stupid”. Not of my kids told me he thinks all the kids in his class think that he is stupid! That absolutely BROKE my heart! Don’t get me wrong, our teachers and special education teachers are amazing! They are doing everything they can to make sure all of our kids are as successful as possible. 

This got me thinking...What can I do to make sure even if my students are struggling, they feel like they are accomplishing something? 

Some of my students are required to take AR tests on books they have read. Before they are allowed to take the AR test they have to write a summary of the book. My first thought was, AR points may make them feel more successful. If they are able to keep up with the amount of points others are getting maybe they will feel like they are on a level playing field. I have one student who figured this out on his own. He reads short, simple books, takes a lot of tests and has the most AR points in his class every week. 

This is where my journey has begun...

Here are some initial observations (I doubt they surprise you)...
  1. Even though we spend tons of time working on main ideas and important details, my kids can’t write summaries (at least not very well). 
  2. My kids have extreme difficulty taking notes from a book.
  3. The questions aren’t always the same “type” of comprehension questions we ask in therapy sessions. 
  4. One test had a questions that wasn’t even in the book! Good thing my kid guessed correctly because my guess was wrong!
  5. Some of my kids are trying to read books that are too high for them so they “look” like their peers. Unfortunately, this is also why they have no to few AR points...they can’t pass the tests. (I think we’ve solved this problem.)
Here is how I am trying to improve this problem (I'm going to use these tests to my advantage!)...
  1. I talked to all of the teachers and we came up with a plan...When I see the students I will work on one specific book for 2 weeks (every kid hears the book at least 2-4 times, unless they are absent). During these sessions we work on comprehension and inferential questions, as well as other skills related to their goals. All the goals are somehow related to the book we are reading...I make sure of it. If they are working on defining words, the words come from the book. If they are working on synonyms and antonyms the words all come from the book.
  2. At the end of the second week we sit down as a group and discuss the sequence of events and important information from the book. The students all contribute sentences to write a summary. I write the summary and then they copy the summary in their notebooks. For my higher group, they write the summary on their own and I check to make sure it includes the appropriate information.
  3. While students are writing the summary we start a group rotation. One student will come to me and take the AR test. I read the AR test aloud to all of the students in a one on one situation. When that student finishes the test they return to continue writing the summary and send the next student over. 
  4. When the student has finished the AR test and finished writing the summary there is another skill center set up. 
Somehow, we have managed to fit all of it neatly into our 30 minute session and I can get data every single day! And guess what....All but one kid made a 100% on the test and earned 0.5 AR points. One student made an 80%, but still...up to that point the student had 0.0 AR points. They were ALL so proud of themselves!!! One of the kids has even started to take his own “real” notes on his nonfiction texts! If the kids catch me before the day starts or at the end of the day before they leave (if I’ve finished seeing kids) we will sit down with a new book, read it, write our summary then take another test. My kids beg me to take AR tests now! 

This is why I do what I do! I love seeing the excitement in their eyes when they know they just did something AMAZING!!!

The Speech Owl

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

There was an old Lady..Book talk Tuesday and Wild About Books Wednesday

What better way to bring in fall than with “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves” by Lucille Colandro?! Well....actually...I can think of a few better ways (like some good ol’ football), but we are going to settle for this fantastic book! Today I am linking up with Mrs. Jump’s class for “Book Talk Tuesday” and with Scarlett over at Speech Is Sweet for “Wild about books Wednesday”! 

“There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves” is a great way to work on a ton  of language concepts! 
In this book, the old lady swallows some crazy things...leaves, shirts, pumpkins, poles and a whole lot more! 
Can you guess what she is going to sneeze out at the end of the book? Yup... great inferencing skills... you’re right... It's a... SCARECROW!!!!!
Each page is chock full of “why” questions, labeling basic vocabulary and rhyming words!

How are we going to use this book in therapy this week? (Just click on any of the images below to head over to my TPT store and grab the book companion.)
1) We are going to receptively identify basic vocabulary for my non-verbal/limited verbal students, use our AAC devices to label basic vocabulary and/or expressively label basic vocabulary for my verbal students. 
2) We are going to sequence  and retell the story after we finish reading it.
3) We are going to answer yes/no questions.
4) We are going to answer “why” question.
5) We are going to identify and/or produce rhyming words.
6) We are going to decide “what does not belong” and determine why it doesn’t belong with the others. 
7) AND...We are going to work on adding plural -s to nouns.
I think we have a full week ahead of us! I Can’t wait for my students to see what the old lady creates from all of the silly things she eats! We may even have to make our very own scarecrows! 

How are you celebrating the start to fall?!

The  Speech Owl

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday and Wild about Books Wednesday: "How I Became A Pirate"

ARRRGH...I have been MIA lately! Sorry about that! I started the new school year at the beginning of August and I’ve been racing to stay caught up ever since. I am finally starting to get a break from the influx of IEP meetings, so hopefully my blog won’t feel neglected for much longer! Now...down to business...

Today I am linking up with Mrs’ Jump’s Class for Book Talk Tuesday and with Speech is sweet for Wild about books Wednesday! Since “Talk like a pirate” day is Friday, September 19th, we are focusing on “How I Became A Pirate” by Melinda Long. 
In this exciting pirate tale, Jeremy Jacob, befriends Braid Beard and his crew and they embark on an exciting journey! 
Jeremy loves all of the things that pirate’s don’t have to do, like eat spinach and carrots, take baths, brush their teeth or even change into pajamas! 
But when Braid Beard won’t tuck him in or read him a story he starts to change his mind! Maybe being a pirate isn’t so great after all! 
But, shiver me timbers, Jeremy Jacob saves the day! After a rather scary storm, he helps the pirates bury their treasure in his backyard! 
Will Jeremy Jacob run the jolly roger up yonder pole? 

I love all of the articulation, and expressive/receptive language skills that can be addressed using this book! I am using my new book companion, “A Book Companion For...How I Became A Pirate”, to address a ton of different skills! Look at everything included in this book companion!!! Some of the things we are working on include; story elements, comprehension questions, yes/no questions, object functions, synonyms, antonyms, plural nouns, past tense verbs, describing, compare/contrasting and of course /r/ sounds! Click the link below and sail over to my TPT store so you can lay claim to some booty!

See you in the store!

The Speech Owl