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Weaving a Web of Words {A Halloween Activity for Larger Group Instruction}

Do you partake in a push-in therapy model in your school?   In addition to pull-out therapy, I provide this service on a weekly  basis as part of  my student’s IEP’s.   Several of my speech/language students are in each of the three classes that I spend time in.   I love the functionality of the push-in model.  Seeing students in the classroom setting and observing how they respond and interact in a class full of peers provides one more opportunity to address their IEP goals in a meaningful and practical way.

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I was looking through some old pictures from my time in an elementary school setting and found this fun activity I used on Halloween.   If you work in a classroom with a teacher who is open to suggestions and  likes when you share creative ideas, then I have an activity for you!  You will be addressing language goals for categorizing and naming tasks with your language kiddos while engaging the entire class in a fun and functional activity.  The only thing they will be focusing on is all the fun they are having weaving their spider web, while you get to observe and make note of their language skills.

To weave your web of words, you will need a group of students sitting in a circle and one ball of white yarn.   If you have more than 15-20  students in the class, divide them into two equal groups and each group can create their own web.

The first student loosely wraps the yarn once around their waist so that the yarn stays in place.

Pick a category or topic that you would like students to generate answers for.  The student with the ball of yarn must give a response to the category.  Then they need to call out another student’s name and toss the ball of yarn to them.  That student wraps the yarn once around their back, gives an answer and then tosses it to someone else.  Continue until you wish to change topics/categories.  Your yarn should start to take on the resemblance of a ”spider web.”

You can also play this activity as a memory game.  For example, play “I went trick or treating…..  and I got—-name a candy   The next player must remember all the previous responses and then add one of their own before tossing the yarn ball to the next person.

Need some Halloween themed ideas for playing this game as a categorization task?  Here are just a few.  Name…..

  • things that are orange
  • things that are black
  • synonyms for “scary”
  • Halloween costumes
  • things you do at a Halloween party
  • fall activities
  • things you eat made from apples

Wondering how to get your kiddos out of the tangled web after they have had fun creating it?  They can lift the section of web that formed around them over their head or an adult can cut them free by snipping their section with a pair of scissors. (Please use caution.  It would be a good idea for them remain seated while doing this part!)

Do you use a push-in model in your speech/language therapy program?    This might be a fun way to work on some language skills while equally including everyone!

 

Language Apps for Middle/High School Students {Love It and List It Linky Party}

It’s time for another Linky Party!  Jenna at Speech Room News chose the theme “Language Apps” for this month’s link up.   I have three of my favorite language apps to share with you and they are all geared toward your big kids since that’s the primary population that I work with.   We all know how much kids love technology and interactive learning–educational apps bring the best of both worlds together.  When using apps in therapy, I stand by my mottos—”All things in moderation.” and “The app is only as good as the therapist using it.”  I utilize them as a supplement to a skill I am teaching, as a reward to fill the last few minutes of a session and for my kiddos who need a hands-on interactive activity to get them motivated and focused.  So here are three language apps that I enjoy using with my big kiddos!

 

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1–Language Adventures Quiz Game Show By Lakeshore Learning Materials

I LOVE this app!  And at $1.99 in the iTunes store, you can’t beat it!    This app targets the 4-6 grade population, however, depending on the skill/ability level of your students, it could definitely be used with 7th,8th and 9th grade students as well!

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Choose four categories from the following areas: punctuation, story elements, vocabulary, sentence structure, word analysis, study and research, parts of speech, grammar and usage, reading comprehension, spelling, forms of writing.  There are so many great language goals that can be addressed–I love the variety!   Additionally, you can play with a 1,2,3,or 4 teams—definitely a lot of flexibility depending on your group size.   But what makes this interactive learning tool really exciting is the fun game show host and catchy background music.  Reminds me of the game shows I use to watch as a kid in the 70′s and 80′s.    Teams must respond before the timer runs out and will get points for correct responses.  For incorrect responses, the next team gets an opportunity to respond.   Hope you enjoy this motivating language app as much as my students do!

 

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2–Vocab Rootology By PrepInteractive

If you are teaching prefixes, suffixes and root words related to Greek and Latin origin to your older kiddos, this is the app for you–especially with a price tag of $0.99 in the iTunes store—this is yet another app worth it’s weight in gold.  No bells and whistles here, but a great way to drill  some important vocabulary-building  concepts.   The interactive features of this app will keep your older students interested and engaged–a nice substitute or supplement to flashcards or worksheets that you may be using to teach the same skill.

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Choose the category you would like to target and let the drilling begin!

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Tap on the index card and it will reveal the meaning of the prefix, suffix or root.

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Then choose a quiz tab to take the timed test and see how much you have retained.  A progress report will keep track of your progress throughout the game.

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This app is great for use with middle and high school students.  Teaching prefixes, suffices and root words is a great strategy for helping students find clues that will help determine word meanings.  Hope you find it  useful in your therapy sessions!

 

3–Word Wit By Ballpoint Inc.

I like this app for upper middle and high school students (grades 7-12) needing to strengthen tier 2 vocabulary.    It’s not cartoonish or juvenile so the older kids will be receptive to using it without feeling like you’re playing a ”babyish”  game.    Word Wit targets commonly confused word pairs–ones that sound the same (sight/cite) or are closely related (adopt/adapt)—by providing an explanation for each word in the pair, using the words in a quote or sentence example and then providing a quiz to reinforce the newly learned vocabulary.   Word Wit is $0.99 in the iTunes store.

 

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The player spins the wheel on the ipad (by making a circular motion on the pad with their finger).  Several words pairs will appear as you continue to “spin the wheel.”  Tap on one of the pairs to learn more about the words.

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I love how the app calls the other word pair word it’s “evil twin.”    It explains the meaning of both words and then presents the word in a sentence or situation example.

 

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So that’s my list of language apps.  I have a bunch more stored on my ipad that I use (from some of the big name companies) but I thought it would be a nice change of pace to mention some of the lesser known apps that are fun, helpful and reasonably priced.   What are your favorites?  I’d love to know if you have any of the ones I listed.  Check out the linky party for more app favorites from other SLP’s. 

 

SpeechSnacks Halloween Round Up!

 

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If you are in the mood for some sweet treats to liven up your autumn and Halloween menus as well as some speech treats to add to your therapy “menus”, then you’re in luck!   I’m sharing a few speechsnacks from “Halloween Past.”   I’ve done a little tweaking to the materials that accompany each post and everything is FREE. (although I’d love to hear back from you with a comment on two .  Let me know how you liked these goodies!) 

Click on the links to go to each of the posts:

 

First up, a recipe for Witches Brew!  One that you can actually stir up in the classroom…..

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……and one you can download and play!   “I Have, Who Has”  (a listening skills activity!)

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Enjoy this spooky snack at your own risk!  Witches brew is known to turn kids into creepy creatures, parents into paranormal spirits and teachers into Transylvanian blood suckers!  Find this post and FREEBIE HERE!!

 

Next in the line up,  a delicious Pumpkin Parfait.

 

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….and Pick A Pumpkin Word Game created with my amazing Custom Boards app by Smarty Ears!  Get your treat and FREEBIE here!!

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Finally, for the sweet tooth…Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Bark!  A dark chocolate treat that is packed full of antioxidants and other good stuff!

 

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And /ch / game cards to  address the /ch/sound for articulation OR language goals–also created with my Custom Boards App.

1–/ch/ cholcolate-themed cards

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2–/ch/ food-themed cards…view this post and the FREE game cards HERE!!

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“Mum’s The Word!” It’s A Spooky Fun Facebook Frenzy! {and a mummy-licious speechsnack}

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Some of your favorite SLP’s got together to throw a Facebook Frenzy!  Not sure what this is??  Just make your way from one Facebook page, to the next and unlock the freebie each of us has made.

Look for this tab on their Facebook page:

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When you click on the tab and LIKE the page, you will be able to download the FREEBIE.

You can access mine HERE!  Everything is themed for Halloween and we are sharing some pretty awesome, spooky and spine tingling speech materials!

Already a fan of our pages?  Then you are one step closer to opening 20 fantastic freebies to use with your speech and language kiddos!  Hope you have a spooktacular time and thanks for joining in!

This facebook frenzy will run from Friday, October 18 th to Monday, October 21st  (and keep reading for a special mummy-licious snack)

In case you were wondering…here’s a sneak peak at what you will find when you head over to my page….something for the older kiddos:

 

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Here is a simple, fun and delicious Halloween snack, fit for any ghost or goblin on your caseload or the one’s waiting for you at home! (Always check food policies in your school–find out if food is permitted in your therapy sessions and be aware of all allergy issues!)

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1—Split English muffin apart and lay flat.

2–Spread on a thin layer of tomato sauce.

3–Cut a slice of cheese into thin strips.

4–Randomly criss-cross cheese strips onto muffin.

5–Arrange black olive slices and red pepper pieces onto muffin to form the mummy’s eyes and mouth.

6– This snack can be eaten as is, or placed into a microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese and enjoy warm!

  • Use this activity to target sequencing and direction following.
  • Address categorization by naming types of cheese, foods that are round, black foods, salty foods, foods made from tomatoes, and red foods.
  • Ask students to think of crazy combinations for pizza toppings or make up a grotesque Halloween pizza with all sorts of ghoulish toppings!

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Dollar Store Dash {Linky Party!} Making Speech Fun (& Gross) for Halloween!

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I love when fellow-SLP’s host linky parties!  It’s such a great opportunity for the rest of us SLP bloggers to think outside the box and share some creative ideas or maybe some tried and true materials, therapy techniques and organizational methods that we use everyday.  Teach Speech 365′s linky party is no exception. I had so much fun perusing the aisles of the dollar store conjuring up some fun new ways to use cheap and simple items in my therapy sessions.  So here’s what I came up with—I kept it themed to all things Halloween.  I hope you can find some of these same items in your local dollar store too and your kiddos are sure to have a blast in your therapy sessions this Halloween season!

 

 

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One bag of skeleton plastic rings= $1.00

One severed, bloody plastic hand= $1.00.   

My middle-school kiddos are going to love this fun and gory-looking activity–especially the boys!!  You can use this activity for keeping track of correct responses for any goal you are targeting: articulation, vocabulary building,  comprehension questions, etc.  Each student in the group claims rights to one finger.  When a correct response is given, the player gets to slip a ring onto the finger.   Whoever has the most rings piled onto their finger first is the winner!   (I cut  the rings at the back to make them easier to slip onto the fingers if necessary).

 

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One foam pumpkin=$1.00

One bag of scary face pieces= $1.00

I love foam carving pumpkins—no slimy seeds to deal with!  And all the scary pumpkin face decorations were hanging next to the foam pumpkins so I knew I just had to grab these for my dollar dash idea.    The pieces easily press right into the foam pumpkin and stay put.  I would use them to address direction following, spatial concepts, If/then statements, as positive reinforcement for any targeted goal.  For example:  ”Put the left ear next to the stem and the eyes below the stem.”   OR “If bats sleep in caves, then put the nose on the pumpkin, if they don’t, add the left ear.”   You can make the task as easy or complex as needed to meet the ability levels of your students.

 

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One bag of plastic bloody eyeballs=$1.00

Gotta love these bloodshot eyeballs!  Twelve plastic pieces came in a pack.  They are about the size of ping pong balls and bounce pretty well so I know my  kiddos are going to try and bounce them around the room, but I have different plans.   Number your eyeballs with a permanent marker.  For my purposes, I used numbers 1-4 on eight of the balls, but on the back of three them I put an “x” (you could also use a scary Halloween sticker).  Students get to reach into a container and pick out an eyeball after responding to a questions for the area you are targeting.  Keep a tally of the points earned, however if they pick the X or scary sticker, they must put all eyeballs back in the box!!    Lots of suspenseful ups and downs in this eye-popping game idea!!

 

So there you have it….

Cheap Halloween therapy ideas=$5.oo  

Motivated, engaged students having fun while learning=Priceless!!! 

Don’t forget to check out the other “dollar dash” ideas Teach Speech 365 is sharing over on her blog!!

 

 

 

 

 

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