Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky Spider Web Fun

Here is a quick activity I did this week for all groups that I thought I would share since tomorrow is the "After Halloween Store Clearance" day!  (I love to see posts about activities before these days so I can get the items at a clearance price since the holiday it is for just happened). 

I got a cute stuffed spider at Barnes and Noble (if you know me, you know me calling ANY type of spider cute is ironic since I am TERRIFIED of them), a black spider web from Michaels (using my 40% off coupon, of course), and printed clipart of flies from my Microsoft Publisher program that I increased in size to be 3" X 3" and printed on white cardstock and cut out.  I just placed the web on the floor, placed flies randomly on the web, and had kids stand behind a certian line to toss the spider onto juicy flies.

If the spider lands on the fly, or if any part of the spider lands near it (ex. a leg touching), then they get to grab that fly.  The student with the most flies at the end of the game wins.  This game works for all ages and all goals.  Gotta love that!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Language Apps Linky Party

Jenna at Speech Room News has another great linky party happening right now for favorite language apps (
Here are the three I use the most in my speech room:
1. Language Forest by Synapse apps at

It has decks for:
Associations - guess my job, words that go together
Categories - animal habitats, animal types, food groups, transportation, “name the category”
Describing - Texture
Guess The Word
If...Then Statements
Naming - colors, shapes, transportation
Root Words
Wh Questions - who, what, when, where, why, and how

And, you can add your own decks, too!

2. The Bag Game

It addresses: Categorization, verbal description skills, question-asking skills, deductive reasoning skills, other early reasoning skills; such as, same/different and salience by using the graphics alone, and short term auditory memory skills .
3. Question Sleuth app

Played like the game Secret Square which is out of print.  You can chose pictures that belong in categories and hide a star under one picture in a group of anywhere from 6 to 42 pictures.  Great for using attributes to describe the pictures, comparing pictures, categorizing, etc.

Have you used any of these apps in your therapy sessions?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin App Sale Oct. 19th

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin app is only .99 cents today, Saturday, Oct. 19th!  Check it out here in iTunes:

Great book to share with students this month!

Quick and Fun Halloween Activities

It is getting closer-  Halloween!  Unfortunately, that means progress report time is close as well, so quick games that can be played while kids get lots of practice on each goal is important.  This week, we have been using some of these games.  Check them out!

First is a fun game called spooky eyes.  I read about this on, of course, Pinterest!  Here is the original link:
I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but the dice is a soft big dice from Lakeshore.  I copied the eyes into Publisher and made them bigger so I could slip them into the cube to make rolling it more fun (and quieter).   First student to collect all of the different colors of spooky eyes wins!

The other thing we have been doing is playing an old school box game on the SmartBoard (using pumpkins for the dots) to draw boxes.
Each student chose a pen color to make their lines and eventually their initial inside to claim a box once they place the final line that makes a square.  No SmartBoard?  No, problem!  This can be done on paper the same way.  Practice your goal, add a line!  Easy and simple.  Not to mention a great way to keep others in a group busy while you collect data one-on-one with a student.  
Grab your copy of the pumpkin connect-a-dot sheet:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stepping In To Good Speech

So I have this lovely cinderblock back wall that is full of screws and old hanging hooks from previous occupants.  It has been an eye sore for over a year, and I just didn't know what to with it.  Of course Pinterest always seems to inspire me, and I found a really cut display some one made of a girl stepping on steps made from Bloom's Taxonomy.  Light bulb moment!  I instantly knew I could modify this idea and make it the steps for articulation proficiency and cover my hideous bland back wall at the same time!

Viola-  my latest creation:

Oh, how I adore Pinterest!  I just printed the words on white paper and glued to red cardstock to frame the step.  The black lines are black electrical tape.  The boy was copied from a Google image of  "clipart of climbing steps" that I projected on to my SmartBoard and then traced on white paper and colored in-  making sure to write in some of the common sounds we work on in my room. 
How have you been inspired by Pinterest?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Going Batty in Speech

We are continuing to gear up for Halloween, and this week we are feeling a little batty! 
I am loving the book Bats at the Beach I found at a local Ollie’s (discount store). 

It is available in most bookstores, and my kids kindergarten through third grade have enjoyed the rhyme and detailed pictures in this book.  Each page has lots of opportunities for conversation and to practice speech and language goals.  I have been surprised by how much of a hit this book has been this week.  But the paper and pencil game I found on-line under math games has been an even bigger hit!

Since the book takes up about twenty minutes, I was left with seven or eight minutes to fill in.  I found this really cute game called “Fat Bat” that I have played with my second and third graders and they really get in to it: 
 The game is played in three rounds, and basically before we start a round, we do a quick sound drill or skill drill first.  Then I roll a dice and they record the numbers I roll in the appropriate column (see specific directions with the activity attached).  If I roll a one, and they have not decided their bat was fat enough before I roll that dreaded number (by drawing a line under the last number they want to stop at), then they end with zero points for that round.  If they stopped before I rolled a one, they add the points they got and put it in the column.  Highest number wins the round.  After three rounds, you total the columns and highest number wins the game.  (Takes less than a minute to play a round!)  They asked to flip their papers over and do it again on the back.  Wow-  nothing like an easy prep quick game to get them motivated to practice.  Here is what one of the sheets looked like after we played-  this sweet guy was the winner in his group.
For my younger students, we made bat pictures.  I precut by hand some yellow circles for a moon and a bat silhouette out of black construction paper and we glued them to gray construction paper I had cut in half.  After they practiced their speech, I gave them a few star stickers to add to their picture.  This what it looks like when it is done.

The second activity of the week was playing the game Acrobats (after practicing speech goals you get a turn to roll a die and see what color bat you have to add to the magnetic top bat without causing the chain of bats to fall).  This game is hard to find, but check local thrift stores and ebay.  It is a fun one that goes fast and allows for lots of speech practice! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy Hallowiener (Plus Freebies)

Last year I discovered the book The Hallowiener about an adorable pup named Oscar whose mom gets him a hot dog costume for Halloween.
Of course this leads to lots of teasing, but by the end of the story, Oscar saves the day! It is a story my students love with plenty of speech and language opportunities built in, especially when paired with these freebies:

This link contains sheets for l and l-blends; s, z, and s-blends; f and v; ch, sh, and th, r and r-blends; categories, and a blank sheet for you to write in words or language goals. Students can use bingo markers to color in the pumpkins as they practice words from the book or they can use crayons. This can also be given to a small group to look through the book together for words with their sounds while you work one-on-one with another student. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Glad Monster, Sad Monster

One of my favorite Halloween books is Glad Monster, Sad Monster.  This book is always a hit with the kids, especially because they get the chance to wear one of the masks attached in the book.   The book talks about different feelings (which is why there are masks for the children to wear-  there is a mask for each feeling), and what causes the monsters to feel that way.

I like to read the book by first having a volunteer wear one of the masks, and ask the other kids to guess what the monster is feeling.  This is a great way to talk about how you can tell how a person is feeling for your social language kids, as well as good general artic and language practice (what is the opposite of happy? sad-  hello antonyms;  what is another word for happy?  glad-  hello synonyms).  Then I read why the monsters feel that way, and ask them what makes them feel the feeling we just read.  This, again, opens up great opportunities to share and gain practice at the same time. 
After we read the book, we make a Halloween mask using paper plates (I cut eye holes in them before the students come) and craft supplies such as glitter glue, foam sticky shapes, markers, and pipe cleaners.  I punch a hole on opposite ends of the plate and we attach string at each end so they can wear their masks.  They love to describe their masks to each other (more language practice).
I also like to play the game “Go away, monster” with my kindergarten and first grade students found here at Amazon: .
This is a cute game where each child gets their own bedroom to set up and they must pick an item their room needs (i.e teddy bear, lamp) from a bag (included in the game) without picking a  monster.  If they get a monster, they put it back in the bag and tell it to “Go away”.  The first person to get all of their pieces for their room first wins.  Fun activities for a fun time of year!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ghost Bowling

Halloween will be fast approaching, and excited kids will fill the speech room looking for fun activities.  Any activity that gets them up and moving always seems to be a big hit, and ghost bowling is one that my students ask to play all throughout the year (but I only bring it out at Halloween)!
This game is so simple to make!  Take any toy bowling set-  you can find these everywhere-  Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon-  and an old white sheet (or your husband’s old white dress shirts like I did) and cut squares large enough to cover the pins in the set.

Wrap a rubber band around the neck of the pin to hold the cloth square on, and use a sharpie to give your ghost some eyes and a mouth.  

Viola- you have ghost bowling!  Just make sure the cloth around the pin isn’t too long, because you want the pins to stand up and not tip over.

You can put artic cards or language cards underneath the pins and the ones that get knocked over are the cards that get practiced.  Or you can do rounds like I do where we each practice our goals, and then we get a turn to bowl.  The kids who are waiting for their turn get to collect the pins and reset them for the next student so we keep it going fast and minimize down time! 
Happy Ghost Bowling!