Summer Rhyming Fun- 3- A Freebie

A free rhyming game from Looks Like Language!
Playing rhyming and word games is so important for little ones to be able to develop the skills they need for reading. This is why I am so happy to be able to help out a little, for free!

If you have a little one in your life, be sure to click here and get your free download! Come back every week to get the whole set.

If you missed some of the downloads, start here.

Parent Tip:
When you have played the game for a while, turn it into a 'play anywhere' game. Find something you can easily see where you are and give a clue. "I see something that rhymes with ___." Can your little one find it? 

Happy rhyming!

Change is in the Air!

Change is in the Air at Looks Like Language!
Are you finished the school year yet? This week is my last week in the public school system after 38 years, so you know that change is in the air for me!

Don't you love this quote? While this destination looks lovely, happiness is the true plan.

If you are like me, you take some time off in the summer to relax, recharge and do what makes you happy.  Doing a bit more relaxing is in my plans, too!

So, this summer I will be updating my helpful links posts for when you are ready to start thinking about work again, but I will be posting every other week. My freebies for a fun Friday will post on Thursdays, as usual.

I'd like to use the extra time to make my posts even better for you. Some work on photography skills this summer will help to get better photos of tips in action. Wish me luck- it is not my forte!

Another plan is to develop some new helpful materials to get you off to a great start in the fall! I'd love some input to be able to develop a freebie that is very useful to you. To help out, please leave a comment about the biggest problem you have getting started again in therapy in the fall. However.....

Remember, there are no magic wands here!

I'd love to be able to
* raise your salary
* reduce your paperwork
* get you that perfect office space
* make all of your coworkers realize how hard you work
* get you a smaller caseload size
* (fill in the blank!)

Unfortunately, I just haven't figured out how to do that magic yet! But if you have something I could help you with, be sure to leave a comment!

Summer Rhyming Fun- 2- A Freebie

Have fun rhyming with this FREE game from Looks Like Language!
Welcome back! I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

This week you get to download the second part of my rhyming game freebie! 

Parents, I know that you have heard that you need to make sure that your children know their colors, numbers, shapes and alphabet to be ready for school. That is helpful, but you will be doing them an even better turn if you read to them and play word and sound games with them!

When children get exposed to rhymes and word games, they start learning about sounds and how they go together into words. This is such an important skill for reading!

So, download this free game now and have fun!

Trash to Treasure- Junk to Save Your Session

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language
Turning work into play is a great way to get through the end of the year, sometimes even for older students! It works, especially well when you combine elements of all of the goals from the year to see how well they can use the skills.

What is needed? Junk!  In the photo, you can see some of my life saving junk from this year. The empty egg cartons and ravioli trays are from my house. The foam cubes, colored dice, pompoms, mini erasers and plastic colored discs are from varied dollar place outings. 

Spinners are very easy to make and can be personalized or changed out easily by taping something new on top of the laminated clear spinner. Tape on some words or pictures and get out the organizers your students have used during the year to play a wide variety of language games. Then, just mix and match!

Here's how to create your own.

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language

THINK
1.  Determine which skills the majority of your students have worked on this year.
2. Think about what vocabulary or skills for using new words that your students have learned this year.
3. What skills can tie this all together?  Ideas include questions, grammatical forms, sentence structures, and articulation targets or carrier phrases.

Trash to treasure: Ideas for using junk in therapy from Looks Like Language

CREATE 
1.  How long are each of these lists? Place the information that your students have in common on the container or spinner that will fit it best.
2. Get some type of easy to toss item, like mini erasers, pompoms, plastic chips, or packing peanuts, if you have a container.
3. Make a spinner, adapt a cube, or use dice. Dice are fun and easy to use by making a grid with different skills for each number, or by numbering 6 pictures to talk about.
4. Personalize the activities by using an organizer, vocabulary list, or some specific skill for each student.
5. The more of these items you combine in an activity, the longer or more complicated the responses will be. The benefit is that it will require your students to combine multiple skills, demonstrating mastery and making them think. The drawback can be the time required, so I have my students spin, roll, toss, etc. while the other students are responding. An additional benefit for my ADHD kids is that this helps them wait for their turn without getting in trouble!

PLAY
Try all different kinds of combinations! You will find out which activities your students love and how your goals fit best with your junk! On days when I know that I'm not going to get any 'work' responses from my upset students, I pull out one of these activities to save the day.

How do you save the day?

Summer Rhyming Fun- 1- A Freebie

Have some free rhyming fun this summer! Looks Like Language
Rhymes are a great way to get started with pre-reading skills for little ones!

Curl up together with great book- Dr. Seuss is the gold standard for fun rhyming! After the book becomes familiar, try pausing before reading the rhyme and see if your child fills it in!

On a rainy day, when you are stuck inside, you can also play a game! Download this freebie and have fun!


Endings and Beginnings- Time for a Change!

Exciting news at Looks Like Language!
Exciting news, my friends! After 38 years in public schools, I'll be retiring this month. Change is bittersweet! 

After a summer off to relax and rejuvenate, I plan to spend more time on my store and work privately part time.  While I am busy packing up and preparing to move on, I thought I'd share a few random thoughts and tips with you today.









On Students:
The student who, 5 minutes before had been shouting, "NO! NO! I won't come!" found out I was retiring. Now his tune has changed. "You won't be my speech teacher next year? I'm going to miss you." He can't wait to come.

Take away:
Sometimes you are having more of an impact than you realize. Try not to take students' attitudes personally (especially if they are middle schoolers!) They may be struggling with an internal problem, having difficulty transitioning, or may have problems with affect and nonverbal communication skills. Keep reassuring yourself!

Organizing makes packing up easier- Looks Like Language

Organizing:
I have found out that my organization strategy really works for making packing easier! I keep multiple originals in a page protector and store them in a binder, organized by skill or theme. (Read more about it here.)

So to pack up, I've just been recycling any extra copies I made this year and putting the binders in a carry bag. Every day I carry a few out to my car. I have to say, I've had to move a lot in my career and this has been the easiest one by far! Try it out for yourself!


Games and organizers make FUNctional bulletin boards! Looks Like Language

Bulletin Boards:
Since I've never taken pictures of my room before, I thought I'd share this tip with you.

Placing the strategy pages and organizers in page protectors and hanging them on the board made a functional bulletin board. It is easy to grab the one I need for each group. Since my students face that board, an added bonus is that partway through the year, I can leave them up and watch to see who can do the work independently and who is still looking up at the strategy as needed for help.

I also have a some games up there, too. This helps me find out more about what my students are interested in at the beginning of the year. It provides natural opportunities for students to comment, ask questions and request. Plus, some of the TpT materials are so pretty, it makes a functional way to decorate for the holidays and seasons!

I'm counting down to summer!


FREE Social Skills Problem Solving Unit!

Hi interest, low language problem solving and social language skills FREEBIE from Looks Like Language!
Do you have problems finding appropriate materials for solving problems with your older special needs students? If the level is right, the problems may be too young. If the problem is is right, there isn't enough support for the language skills. 

The story in this freebie is about a girl whose 'friend' picks a fight in the middle of the cafeteria one day. It is short and sweet, but allows you to address a lot of problem solving and social language skills. Try it out! 

If you download it and love it, please consider kind feedback as a thank you!
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