Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birthday Sale!

My birthday is Tuesday June 25th, and as usual, I am overly excited.  Since we can't all have cupcakes together, I invite you to check out my TPT Store and enjoy 15% off all items on Monday June 24th and Tuesday the 25th!  So clear out your wishlists and have a great summer!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Asking and Answering Questions Cupcakes

I'm a big fan of using visuals with my students, it lets them start to feel independent and start to figure out things on their own.  There are so many great answering questions units with charts out there,  but not as many for asking questions.  This unit has identical but opposite charts for asking and answering questions to help students make connections between the two.

Asking questions
-          Question word chart formatted from answers to questions
-          How many questions card
-          Keep track of how many questions a student can ask about a topic using dry erase markers or tokens
-          4 and 6 Star Options so you can adjust the level of difficulty
-          Simple sentences for students to ask questions about
-          Some of the sentences might not be true for you, A blank sheet is included so you can add and remove as you need to!

Answering Questions
-          Question word chart formatted from questions to answers
-          Questions for students to answer
-          105 question cards!

Both asking questions and answering questions cards are shown.

Check it out on TPT!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Amelia Bedelia

I have been neglecting my blog lately with all the business that goes with the end of the school year.  I am looking forward to summer, but will be working with a few kids for ESY.  I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but everything else seems to have gotten in the way.  If you follow my blog at all, you probably know that I LOVE using books in therapy, and I also love sharing my favorites with you.  This year, I've been working on getting my collection organized by target language skill to help me plan lessons based on IEP goals.
These are just some of the books I have in the series.  There are tons of them!  You'll have to pick which ones are most practical for the skills you are trying to teach.
 Amelia Bedelia books are some of my favorites for working with multiple meaning words and idioms.  They are a great way to explore your students thinking when you start working on them.  I've had students who recognize that she's doing silly things, but can figure out the right thing to do.  Other students insist that she is doing exactly what is asked, and even though they can identify that some of the things are silly, they can't figure out why other people would get mad a her.  Still more kids can't define the words or idioms and realize that it's funny and why.  I like this peek into my students thinking because it helps me identify where I need to start teaching idioms and multiple meaning words.  Does my student just need to memorize the meanings and practice the words?  Or do we need to add the step of critical thinking to help the student understand that not everything is literal.

When first reading the books, I ask some of the following questions:
Is Amelia Bedelia following directions? Why or why not?
What else could she do when given that direction?
Does that make sense?
What would you do?
Is that funny?
Why is that funny?
Does that seem like something you should do?
Can you think of something that would make more sense?

After we've already done one book, I have students keep track of the words/phrases that Amelia Bedelia is getting wrong.  Depending on the level, my students keep their own list or we keep a list as a group.  Because many of the books were written years and years ago, I will chose some of the words to focus on for practice based on current use of words and practicality in their lives.

I have found that individual books in the series focus more on idioms and others on multiple meaning words.

The original Amelia Bedelia focuses more on multiple meaning words.

The book, Amelia Bedelia Bakes off has a lot baking related idioms, along with some multiple meaning words.

I do the Amelia Bedelia books with my 4th through 6th graders this year.  The reading level makes it easy to access for even my struggling readers.  There are even lower levels than the traditional books that have been written more recently.  These feature Amelia Bedelia as a kid.  I'm planning on doing these with one of my students who is going into 3rd grade next year.

Do you use these books in therapy?  What do you do?