Sunday, October 12, 2014

Free TPT Halloween Games

I can't express how appreciative I am of the many talented, dedicated individuals who make products for TPT.  I have spent a small fortune buying products to print, cut, and laminate.  Part of my daily ritual is to check what is new each day for speech therapy, as well as to check the most recent free downloads.  I found several free games for SmartBoards that could also be played on your computer or iPad if you have the app that lets you run PowerPoint games.

Sounds Like Fun has posted this cute reinforcer game you can find here.
As soon as a student does their skill practice, they roll the dice on the board and get to add the number of ghosts rolled to the haunted house that is theirs.  You could pair this with a book and have students answer questions from it in order to earn ghosts to haunt their house.  I love to use books in therapy, but sometimes there ends up being a few minutes left and this reinforcer helps provide fun practice.

The second game is a generic Halloween themed board game that can stand on its own or be paired with a book and can be found here.  It can be played on the SmartBoard or printed out to play.
Tech n Talk also has a SUPER cute board, too:

Just love that these can be opened on my iPad or SmartBoard and I don't have to print or prep anything for my session.

The fourth game is another interactive game for the SmartBoard or PowerPoint programs from 123 teach:

The shot is fuzzy, but there are twenty-five pumpkins you can record words to be said, or skills to be practiced or just put different amounts of points under each and after the student practices his/her skill using a card deck, they can click a pumpkin (or even better-  throw a stuffed soft pumpkin at the board to hit one of the pumpkins for the points underneath).  The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The last game is from Sweet Integrations.
Sorry for another fuzzy shot, but students pick a number and once they click on it, a question you want them to answer pops up:
I also inserted a text box and typed in some points and turned it into a game where we keep up with who gets the most points.  I am thinking of adding clip art of candy corn and when they find a question with candy corn on it they get candy corn.  I have created two different sets of questions to go with the book Creepy Carrots I wrote about in my last post.
A big thank you to those who share their creative talents and hard work with all of us as we work together to help our students succeed!  :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Creepy Carrots

Last Halloween, I fell in love with the book Room on the Broom.  This Halloween, I am in love with carrots-  Creepy Carrots!

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds is one of those hardcover picture books that is worth paying hardcover prices for!

First, the illustrations are gorgeous (reminds me of my post about the book the Magic Rabbit-  read about this book here).  The illustrations are in black and white with strategic use of color-  in this case-  a lovely carroty orange to highlight important items:

Great illustrations can really encourage discussion in a picture book-  which is what we always want when working with students on their articulation and language goals.  I mean come on-  let's talk about the picture above as an example- we can target prepositions-  what is between the duck and towel?  What items are on top of the side of the tub?  The carrots are hiding where?-  behind the shower curtain.  We can target categories-  use the pictures to name three things you find in a bathroom.  Associations-  what goes with toothbrush?  Soap and ...?  Antonyms- the opposite of scared is ....?  Grammar-  The bunny is ..... his teeth?  Yesterday, he ______ his teeth.  One carrot, lots of _____?  Oh, the possibilities from just this one page spread!

Second, this story is downright adorable!  Essentially, Jasper Rabbit loves to eat carrots from Crackenhopper Field.  But he starts to feel like the carrots are out to get him.  Just when he thinks he sees creepy carrots, he discovers they are actually ordinary objects you would see anywhere (what an opportunity to do object function goals for every object that Jasper discovers when he really looks-  what do you use clippers for like in the picture below?  What do you do with shampoo in the picture above?):
This is also a great book for predicting.  Is Jasper paranoid, or are the carrots really following him?  When he thinks he sees them lurking, what do you predict will happen?   After the reader discovers the first time that the carrots are really ordinary objects, what do you predict he will think the carrots are the next time he thinks he sees the carrots-  use the location to make a good prediction-  i.e. if the objects are in the shed, what kind of things could they be based on what is kept in a shed?

There are also opportunities for students to narrate part of the story in the section where Jasper hatches a plan (and yes, I use that saying in the story to discuss what that lovely example of figurative language means-  and there are more in there along with words to practice using context clues, too!):

The illustrations above are the perfect way for students to also practice sequencing (after you have them predict first what Jasper is building!).  Wh-  questions are easy to practice with this book, as is summarizing and story retell.  Take photos of the pages with your phone and print them out for students to order and use as visual cues as they retell the story.

I don't want to spoil the surprise of how the story ends, so check it out for yourself and see why this book is such a gem for your therapy room.  Few books really give me an opportunity to hit so many language goals in one session like this one does, and it is truly entertaining to boot.  I have had this book sitting on a plate display right by the door to leave the therapy room all of last week, and over half of my kids have asked when we are going to read that cool looking book!  Already hooked, and they haven't even read it yet! 

What is your favorite Halloween book this year?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Target Finds

If you are like me, you can spend hours in Target!  It is just so easy to find lots of little things for every aspect of your life at pretty decent prices.  I was in the Halloween section looking for crazy hair for one of our spirit days next week (can you guess what day?  Yep-  crazy hair day), and I found two cute games that are perfect for the weeks before Halloween.  No printing, no laminating, and they can be used with any book or goal practice.

I absolutely LOVE the book Room on the Broom, and this witches' hat ring toss game is perfect for kids to play after reading the book while you ask them questions from the book:
Sorry it is on the blurry side-  my daughter was holding it and my coffee at the same time (Starbucks in Target equals one broke SLP).  I did not get this game because it is ten dollars right now and it will be half off the day after Halloween when I will send my hubby out to snag one 50% off, but definitely something to grab this year to play next year!

I did buy this cute Tic-Tac-Toe set for $5:
Love, love, love things that can be used all day for all groups to fill those last few minutes after reading one of our favorite books in therapy.  Be sure to look through the posts from last year in October to see what I have done in the past for Halloween therapy themes if you are new to the site, and stay tuned.....I will be showing some of my activities for this year in the next week.