Saturday, May 18, 2013

National Geographic Easy Readers

I'm always looking for ways to connect my classroom to things that are going on in the general education classroom.   As every speech therapist knows, this can be extremely challenging - multiple grade levels, multiple needs/IEP goals, and different teachers doing different things at the same time within the same grade.   My school is also an IB world school, so there are themed units that build on each other from grade to grade as the kids progress through elementary school.

My latest find for connecting to the curriculum is National Geographic Easy Reader books.  I've been using the animal books to get the big ideas of habitat, predator and prey across to my second graders for the past few weeks.  There are also other non-fiction titles that would connect well to other units.  I've been using the books with my second graders, and lower third graders.  I don't have any first graders right now, but would also use the books with that grade level.

I love these books.  My kids are very interested in the different animal pictures (and they are great ones) and learning about non-fiction in general.  I also can get some great non-fiction comprehension questions as well as practice working on inference skills throughout the books.  One of my biggest inference areas is when the author talks about what certain animals like, we make inferences about what they don't like.  The books also have great vocabulary for targeted areas.  My second graders are learning about animals right now and some of their key words are habitat, predator and prey.  The key vocabulary words are highlighted in the text with a pop out word + definition, and then reviewed at the end of the book.  I really like this, since as we all know, our students need so many more times hearing and seeing a word to learn it. 

I've found that both levels 1 and 2 are great for single speech session lessons, while level 3 books usually take 2 days with some review time on the second day.  I also don't read the books word for word, after a few trips through, I'm paraphrasing.  I skip over some parts and spend lots of extra time on other parts.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Summer Sun Negation Unit

It is now the 5th, and May 3 in Minnesota and it involved Snow, Rain and Sleet and Rain again in that order.  So clearly I had to take the time to finish and blog about my negation unit with summer fun pictures!   I was going to post this on Friday, but internet shenanigans and being sick means it has taken until Sunday to get it done.

This one comes from having discovered that several of my kids don't understand using negation, and needing more materials!  This huge unit has a total of 358 therapy cards, plus additional blank cards so you can add your own sentences.  Check it out in my TPT store.

This unit has both negative words and negative contractions.  Both units have two kinds of cue cards to use when working on the the unit.  An explanation of negatives and a negative word cue sheet.

The Negative words part of the unit has 2 Levels, and there are 40 therapy cards at each level.
Level One: Multiple Choice fill in the blank sentences
Level Two: Fill in the blank sentences (pictured)

Game cards are provided too!

You can start working on negative contractions by playing a match game!

The negative contractions included throughout this unit are:

Can’t, Won’t, Don’t, Doesn’t, Haven’t, Hasn’t, Isn’t, Couldn’t, Wouldn’t, Aren’t, Didn’t, Wasn’t, Weren’t,  Shouldn’t, Hadn’t

The Negative Contractions in sentences part of the unit also has 2 Levels, and there are 80 therapy cards at each level.
Level One: Multiple Choice fill in the blank sentences (pictured)
Level Two: Fill in the blank sentences

There is also an expressive language section for the negation unit!  Students are asked to tell about something they don't/can't/won't (ect) do.  Contractions included in this part of the unit are:

Don’t (8), Can’t (8), *Aren’t [am not] (8), Didn’t (8) Won’t (8), Hasn’t (4) Doesn’t (4), Haven’t (8), Isn’t (8), Shouldn’t (8), Couldn’t (8) and Wouldn’t (8)
*some of the responses to the Aren’t questions go to “I am not” and it is noted on the cards with a hint

Game cards are also included for the sentence creation cards.

At the end of everything, I made a 2 page board game you can print and use with your students while they are working on all levels of negatives!

So if this looks like something you can use - head over to TPT and check it out!

Friday, May 3, 2013

More on Kleenex Boxes

Many of you probably saw this post about the cute little Kleenex boxes that target has and how I use them for following directions with manipulative activities.  I am happy to report that the cute little farm animal boxes are back!  I got a new piggy since mine has been so horribly abused and a new cute little rabbit box!  (I didn't see the sheep this time around, but the cow and chick were there)

So if you wanted them you need to follow the directions:
 go forth
find a big red bulls-eye
look for paper products
select cute animal boxes
blow your nose vigorously, and frequently
and have fun!

If I could I would invite you over to catch my spring cold or to my parents since my mom has the flu... but both kind of suck so hopefully your students can get through the kleenex fast enough for your taste!