The. BEST. Year. Ever.

It's SALE time! While we never want the summer to end, there's still some of that excitement we have had from when we were little about starting a new year. We have a chance to actually get organized, help change the world a student at a time, and, of course, get ourselves something new!

While I admit to buying myself a new outfit or two, the real excitement now is checking out all of the wonderful sale prices for SLPs in the back to school sale on TpT. My whole store is 20% off, including bundles, and TpT is offering an additional 8% off when you use the code BestYear. This year truly can be the best year ever! There are so many SLPs on TpT making terrific materials now that are student tested, how do you even begin?

Jenna from Speech Room News has a solution for that! Thanks, Jenna! Click to go to her linky and see what is new, or best loved, for this year!

File Folder Sentence Activities for Autism- Trips to the Apple and Pumpkin Farms
Over at Looks-Like-Language, I have been busy getting some visually supported expressive language materials made in an easy file folder format for those kids who need some extra visual supports to communicate, whether verbally or using AAC.

I just posted my newest one- File Folder Sentence Activities for Autism- Apples and Pumpkins- to help out with fall trips. Check it out here! It has sentence activities, games, worksheets and a social sequence story for going on a trip, too!

Speech and Language Fall Fun Open Ended Activities by Looks-Like-Language
At the beginning of the year, we all need open ended games and activities to be able to assess student needs and work with new groups.  The craftivity, games and hands on activities in Speech and Language Fall Fun may be just what you need! With the theme of squirrels and acorns, you can use it all fall!

Fall Inference Picture Vocabulary Bingo Game by Looks-Like-Language
Do you have students at a higher level who are having problems learning to make inferences? Using pictures helps, and this Fall Inference Picture Vocabulary Bingo Game is fun, as well! You can use it for teaching vocabulary at first and work your way up to being able to infer which picture is being described.

What's in my cart? I'm checking out these:

Secret Messages for Main Idea from Teach Speech 365

Interactive Inference Riddles from Speech2U

Idiom Games Cards from Ashley Rossi

Whatever you add to your wishlist, you know you won't go wrong shopping with the SLPs on TpT! You'll find lots of great ideas to help you out this year on the linky at Speech Room News! Have the BEST. YEAR. EVER!

4 Favorite, Terrific Books for Applying Emotion Vocabulary

Need some help working on emotions and social skills with your students? In my last posts, I shared some tips and some amazing links for free information to use with a slant toward older or more skilled students. For me, that happened to be my emotionally disturbed students, who lack the emotion vocabulary needed for interactions with their peers, especially in terms of conflicts and problem solving.

This week I am sharing some of my favorite books and resources for younger or more limited students. In my case, this is my students who are on the autism spectrum. Unlike the students I discussed last week, who initiate interactions with their peers, but then misinterpret social cues and get into conflicts, this week’s post is geared more towards students who have limited interactions with their peers or who interact without ever realizing that everyone else does not have the same interests that they do.

I still start with emotion vocabulary. See my last post here if you’d like some great links for the vocabulary resources. I choose targets to expand their language ability for thinking about and expressing their feelings, with activities based on the students’ ages and cognitive skills, and keeping in mind what problems they are showing in their school interactions.  After my students can use the new words expressively and identify the basic emotion group, I like to start using stories. First, practicing language skills in literacy activities is good practice, especially for my caseload of limited readers. Second, good stories can provide contexts for understanding emotions and situations that elicit them in a way that no amount of typical vocabulary exercises can. But perhaps most important of all, applying the new vocabulary in discussion of story plots begins to get my students to understand that people have different perspectives. What made the story character feel angry may make my student feel sad.
4 Go To Books for Emotion Vocabulary- Looks-Like-Language
While there are lots of picture books available for young kids, I am constantly searching for good books to use with older kids who are functioning at lower levels. I’ll share my favorites here, but please comment if you have another book for me to try! I’d be ever so grateful!

Books for Teaching Emotion Vocabulary
These links are ones I am looking into this summer to expand my selection of books to use:
The website has both a book list and teaching resource guides!

This link has the names of books sorted by the emotion it teaches, especially useful for targeting specific vocabulary.

This PDF gives ideas for how to use books to teach about emotions.

My go to resource presently for stories about emotions is one I purchased from Attainment Company: Focus on Feelings.  The stories feature older people, focus on specific vocabulary targets and review them in later stories. The stories have real photos and are short enough to maintain my students attention!  

If you’d like to download a great free sample of their style, try ‘Good Day, Bad Day.’

Favorite Books for Emotions and Perspectives- Looks-Like-Language
For picture books that you can purchase or sign out from your library, my personal favorites, which I have tried out, are No, David, A Bad Case of Stripes and Dear Mrs. LaRue. While these do not directly teach specific emotions, they are superb stories that do more than just allow you to discuss how the characters are feeling about the plot events. They provide multiple opportunities to compare how the different characters are feeling, their varied perspectives, and which one your students can relate to. A Bad Case of Stripes and Dear Mrs. LaRue also show how feelings and characters can change over time.

If you have a favorite of your own, please share in the comments! I’d love to have some recommendations!

Free Themed Token Boards for Autism- Cars

I certainly feel like this summer is racing away! I wish I could do something to help that, but it did get me making a car themed token board. 

Get this free autism resource from Looks Like Language!
TIP: Have you ever used token boards on a time basis? If you have students who can do short amounts of work, but then stop attending, you can set a timer for when they receive a token. Say, for example, they can attend for about a minute. Set the timer for irregular amounts of time, from a little below one minute to your goal of 2 minutes. If the student is attending and working when the timer goes off, they get a token. Make sure they can’t see the timer!

Students with more language skills can be told their goal of how long you want them to work consistently and only be given a token if they have worked steadily during the time period. Using irregular amounts of time is still probably the best, though.

Working orally? Get a count of how many response they can usually give before their attention starts to wander. Give tokens at irregular numbers of responses between the number where they are and the number you are aiming for. 

Get free autism resources in one easy download from Looks Like Language!

My fourth token board freebie has a car theme!  You can get it, along with my other thematic token boards, plus a surprise freebie, in my guide. Don't miss this helpful resource!
Get Started with Autism! Free guide at Looks Like Language

I have organized all of my useful FREE resources for autism into one easy download. You can find the Getting Started with Autism Guide here!

I hope you love it! Enjoy!

How to Apply Emotion Vocabulary- Tips and Links for Free Resources

Vocabulary for emotions is so important to teach all children! It helps them to be able to think about and deal with the emotions they are feeling, as well as talk about it. In the last post I shared some tips and resources for teaching this vocabulary and extending it to solving problems. To really be able to solve social problems, though, students need to be able to see another person's point of view.

Applying Emotion Vocabulary in Activities for Real Life Skills- Looks-Like-Language

Use problem scenarios to apply the vocabulary your students just learned. Let them identify the feelings and take the perspectives of other people in varied situations, explaining the points of view on what events in the situation cause them to feel that way. 

This activity is great for groups, as students may have different takes or opinions on how the characters in the scenario might feel, and often want to convince their friends of their own perspective. Coming up with alternative ways to solve the problem situation and practicing what to say (and how to say it!) are important skills, too.

Taking Perspectives Tips and Links- Looks-Like-Language
Perspective Taking Worksheets and Activity Ideas:

If you haven’t seen Jill Kuzma’s website yet, you should definitely go there first! It is one of the best resources I have found!
This site includes free downloads of pictures and activities that can be used in a classroom or adapted for therapy use.

This free download gives teaching hints for using interpreting faces in photos to figure out the person’s perspective. It includes actual photos to use, also!

Once my students can discuss these situations, it is time to get them using them in a more realistic time frame. Real life doesn't let us stop, think, discuss it with an adult and then respond!

Bubble Talk is one of my favorite games! The pictures are hilarious and students need to interpret facial expressions and nonverbal cues to figure out what the people could be saying.

Other games and ideas can be found at:
This free download gives lots of ideas for group games to play.

This free download has activities for teens.

Role playing links include:
This free download has good suggestions for how to set up and use role plays as a teaching strategy, as well as some scenarios to role play.

Scholastic provides a lesson plan, 10 role play scenarios to download and a poster.

You have to sign up for a free account here, but new materials are uploaded weekly by ESL teachers.

Just in case you are looking for additional help, these links are worth checking out, too!

Normative information

Research on adolescents  and social skills

Great resource for varied topics related to learning disabilities:

I hope you find that these links and my teaching tips are helpful! Next week, I will be giving more resource links and some tips for students on the autism spectrum. See you then!
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