Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts

Phonological Awareness Freebie 3

Before reading happens, children are learning a lot about the sound system of their language. Being able to hear the sounds and know where in the words they are happening, and connecting the sounds with the way they feel in their mouths when producing them is a vital pre-reading skill. That is why the sound and word games we play with  preschoolers are so important!

Listen for sounds in this fun printable game from Looks Like Language!
I'm so glad you are back for the last set of free phonological awareness cards! Even though these are quicker to make than my usual materials that are packed with strategies and visuals, these freebies still take a few hours to make.

So, I am happy when they are being downloaded and used!

Get this week's cards here.  You can put them to use getting your students to say and listen for sounds in words. 

You can play memory and go fish, or just have the students match the cards independently. 


If you missed some, click here to go to the first set!

Enjoy! Linda

Phonological Awareness Freebie 2

Welcome back for the second part of the phonological awareness freebie for beginning and ending sounds! I know many of you are starting to count down the days left in school. 

Help your kids' pre-reading skills with this free download from Looks Like Language!
Games are always a fun way to keep kids learning, and this one helps them listen or say sounds in words. Kids need to have this skill in order for their reading and spelling to flourish!

The cards in this set have pictured, familiar words for your students to say and identify matching beginning and ending sounds. The cards can be used in simple games, like matching and go fish, or as an activity in learning centers.


Download it here

If you missed the first part, just click here

Have fun! Enjoy- Linda

Scrounging for Therapy- Tips for Inexpensive Therapy Materials

Scrounging for therapy? Absolutely!

Preschoolers need to play, so that means you need a variety of materials to match your themes. Yes, it is extra work in the beginning, but the lovely thing about it is that once you have accumulated enough treasures, you can work on a wide variety of goals in your groups since the theme ties it all together!

Scrounging for Therapy- Tips for Adapting Inexpensive Materials
There are many inexpensive books, activities and other materials made for entertaining preschoolers that can easily be adapted for therapy. Surprisingly enough, you won't always find these at the Target Dollar Spot or the Dollar Store.

Keep your eyes open for sweet finds at pharmacies, grocery stores and other places where kids can get antsy!

Besides books, preschoolers often need props for everything to learn to play. Gather up as many theme related 3D items as you can at yard sales, supplement them with boxes, containers and assorted junk, and fill in the rest with paper pictures.

Scrounging for therapy- inexpensive ideas from Looks Like Language!
You know by now that I love page protectors. When I opened up the ones in my playground binder, these are the goodies that I found. 

The Playground Game is an open ended picture game from an old Sesame Street magazine. Remember that I recommended you look out for them at garage sales in my last post? This is a good example of why you should! You can easily make your own version, though with a great photo from a children's book or from a Google search. Just laminate it and cut it into large, simple shapes.

Scrounging for therapy- inexpensive ideas from Looks Like Language!
Check out this Sesame Street playground picture that got turned into a File Folder Sentence Activity! This is how the whole set got started.

This one was made for a student of mine who loved The Wiggles. It worked so well, I tried to figure out a way to use it for my more concrete kids at play level and developed File Folder Activities.


Scrounging for therapy- inexpensive ideas from Looks Like Language!
To the right is a plastic cling activity – heaven knows where I found it, but I sure wish I could draw like that! These activities are fun for giving directions and describing. Tell the student which kid to find by describing them. Then give directions for where exactly to place it in the picture.

Scrounging for therapy- inexpensive ideas from Looks Like Language!
Next comes a simple adapted book for the playground. It works well because there is one playground item per page with simple drawings to elicit the action as well as the label. If you work in a school, the Scholastic flyers the classrooms send out can be a great source for inexpensive books. 

Scrounging for therapy- inexpensive ideas from Looks Like Language!
Next is an example of a work sheet from a very old workbook that was modified to use an open ended group game. After providing a response, the students took a child and figured out where to put the picture based on how the child was moving. 

Work on expressive skills when the activity is done using a clean up game. Students love to be the teacher, so have them take turns telling about one of the pieces. If they used their target correctly, they picked up that piece. Count to see who got the most, and then everyone puts their picture back in the bag. Language and putting away help all at the same time!

But, what about the kids who don’t even know how to play? Come back next week to get some tips!

Enjoy!

Phonological Awareness Freebie 1

Phonological awareness is such an important pre-reading skill that I decided to make some free activities to make it easier to build children's skills in this area, whether you are a parent, an educator or an SLP.


Help your children develop pre-reading skills with this free, fun game from Looks Like Language!
Are you new to my blog? If so, I think you will like that you get a complete FREE packet if you follow along each week and download. 

My newsletter followers get the complete set, and some extra freebies, too, delivered to their inboxes each month. 

If you'd like to join me, it is as easy as providing your email address. No spam, no sharing email addresses, just a hello from me once or twice a month! Plus, you get a free Getting Started with Autism Guide when you sign up for my newsletter.
This month's freebie is a cute little phonological awareness game. You can get the first part here.

Enjoy! Linda

7 Creative Tips for Using Dice in Speech/Language Therapy

How do you make 'work' more fun for middle school students? It can be quite the challenge! My middle school students function at an elementary school level in many areas, but as they've gotten older, they aren't as interested in board games as they once were. 


Being creative with dice to motivate your students!

Using dice has come to my rescue on more than one occasion when dealing with disinterested middle schoolers! Of course, elementary school students will love these games, too!


BASIC OPEN ENDED GAME

The basic, open ended game can be used for almost any goal. It is so easy to keep around and pull out when students are refusing to work. All you have to do is divide a sheet of paper into 6 sections and number each box.


Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language

The students can even do this themselves, choosing their color paper and deciding which of their targets will go in each box. 


Besides the fact that giving students choices can make them more willing to participate, the act of deciding gets them thinking and talking about what they have been learning in speech. 




Each student can be giving different types of responses and still play the same game! In the photo below, the student on the left is practicing /r/ in the final position. To get even more productions, have the student say the word the number of times that is rolled! The student on the right is using pronouns to tell about the pictures 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Game-110-Picture-Cards-for-R-Speech-Therapy-1869077
STOP & GO GAME

How about using dice to get 100 productions of a target sound? This game makes it easier!

Cover a die with red and green paper on the sides and put tape over it. Students roll the die and keep producing words with their sounds until they make a mistake or roll a stop. Then it is the next student's turn. 

While they are waiting, they can place checks in the boxes, color or dot them if you keep track of how many productions they did. The first student to get 100 correct productions wins!

I made this into a freebie for you! Get it here.


Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
DICE BINGO
Did you ever play Bingo with dice?  If you use two different colors to number the boxes, students can roll to see which box to answer about and cover.

This is a great visual way to build math skills for co-ordinates and quadrants and your students won't even realize it! 


Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
DICE CONNECT 3

Connect 3 is a fun game that can easily be played with dice and a page with boxes!  I like to use different colored boxes to match my dice. Then I hide the dice in a bag and let the student take one out to roll.

After responding about the target in the matching box, they write their initials in the box. Any time that they fill in an adjacent box, they connect them. The person who connects three, or has the most pairs, is the winner.

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
DICE NARRATIVES

Narratives are such an important skill, which so many of my students lack. I bought some sets of soft foam math cubes at the Dollar Store and covered them with the stickers from my Story Grammar Marker set. I covered them with tape and I was ready to go!

Use any pictures that contain some story elements to get your students started. Students roll the dice and tell the information they want to add to their story. 

I have done this orally to help my students practice formulating correct sentence structures, but you could have students write their answers and form a written narrative, too. When they have figured out all of the elements, it is time to tell the story!


Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
DICE VOCABULARY REVIEW

For a quick vocabulary review game, have each student write 6 of their target words on an index card. They roll the die to see which word to define and use in a sentence correctly to earn a point. I give them 7-10 rolls each and see which student got the most points when I need it to be quick!





Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
SPINNERS & DICE

To change things up a bit, sometimes I combine spinners and dice! My students need lots of practice formulating ideas into sentences, so sometimes I have them spin to get one idea to use and roll to get the other idea, then combine them in a concise, correct sentence.

The photo shows this idea using action photos  along with a question spinner, found in some of my sets. Students roll to get the picture to use and then spin the spinner to ask or answer using that question word about their picture.

My students often need thinking time before responding, so I like to do one round where everyone rolls  and another round where they take turns giving their answers. It may take a little more time, but I have found that the added co-operativeness and willingness to do the activity for longer compensate for the extra time! 

How do you use dice in therapy?

Enjoy! Linda

Practical Tips for Treating Echolalia

Echolalia in autism is a unique disorder to treat, and one that can be frustrating to work on. It definitely helps to have some basic information!

Basic Types of Echolalia


- Immediate echolalia is when a child with autism answers your question by repeating the question or echoes whatever you just said. 

- Delayed echolalia happens when a child with autism repeats something that was said earlier in time, often a statement that has been heard frequently or even sections of a favorite TV show or movie

Echolalic statements may or may not have communicative functions.

Helpful Resource Links

It is no wonder that echolalia can be confusing to the treating SLP!  You might find it helpful to read the research by Dr. Barry Prizant, which indicates that echolalia can occur for a variety of communicative, interactive and non-communicative functions. If you prefer to read his original research, click here for a free download.

If you’d like a more reader-friendly version, there’s a great condensed version at Indiana University Bloomington.

If you are looking for a parent-friendly version of echolalia and what can be done, this WikiHow article is excellent.


My Success Story


Get some practical tips for treating echolalia from Looks-Like-Language!

Using visuals is the best strategy I have found in working with students on the autism spectrum. Did you figure out the statement in my picture, courtesy of Smarty Symbols? A picture is worth a 1,000 words!

I have had success personally in treating young children who demonstrated immediate, communicative echolalia. Instead of answering questions, the only strategy these children had was to echo the question. 

This seemed to be a positive event that indicated that the children actually understood that they were being asked a question since the echolalia did not occur when they were given a simple direction that was understood or asked a question that they knew the answer to.

Because of this, my feeling was that the echolalia meant they couldn’t process the question they were being asked and formulate a response, but they understood that a response was required.

Activity Tips

Visual supports are an important part of the strategies that work. 

* Make sure the child is looking a directly at what is happening (joint attention) and then use simple language that tells about what is being done.

* Make sure that the language literally and directly relates to the ongoing activity.

* Model the language multiple times, pointing at the visual support, before ever asking for a verbal response.

* Repeat one action, providing a model yet again, and then ask a question to elicit the response, immediately modeling the response verbally and visually by pointing at the words or word symbols.

* If the child still echoes the question, model the language with a little more emphasis and stop the action.

* Don’t start the action again until the child gives the desired response. Use the visual to help the child point at the pictured words in the response if you don't get a verbal non-echolalic answer.

* Repeat the question and the response as the action begins again, with more emphasis on the answer than on the response.

* Repeat as needed! Practice, practice, practice!

Literacy Tips

Literacy tips for autism and echolalia from Looks Like Language.
Using pictures in a literacy activity, where the pictures show exactly what the words being used meant, is very helpful since pictures last for processing time.

* Find a book with repetitive text that models the same language you are using in your activity.

* Make your own, if needed, using a set of pictures that show variations of the activity while the language remains the same. It is great to include photos of the child doing that activity!

* Don’t downplay the importance of written text and/or visual symbols even for young non-verbal students. Children with autism who are nonverbal can be hyperlexic and may make sense of the written words first, using that as their cue to understanding the oral language.

Involve Parents!

I made a personal book for a student I had who could answer “What is it?” by labeling nouns, but had no other functional language and immediate echolalia.  Every day, therapy culminated in gluing a picture related to the day’s activity in his book.  

The related question was on the left-hand side of the page, with the pictured activity and a phrase or sentence written under it on the right side of the page. This book became his bedtime story every night. The parents used my modeling technique at first, but by the end of the year, my hyperlexic two year old read the entire book himself and used that language functionally.

Use Visuals and Scripts

* Use the list of possible functions for echolalia from Dr. Prizant to make a hypothesis about what the child is using the echolalia for. This will help you determine a more appropriate way of communication to model.

* Make your modeling visual as well as verbal! Use pictures that SHOW the language.

* Use scripted words, phrases or sentences with symbols and/or written words.  Scripted basically means a functional, communicative phrase or sentence that is visual and modeled/practiced in a communicative context until the child can use it to communicate independently.

* If the words are being used for non-interactive and non-communicative functions, using procedures to extinguish this behavior during interactions and activities may be the way to go, while also working on expanding communicative and interactive skills.

* If there is a communicative function in the way the child is using the echolalic utterances, do the same thing we do for all of our students with language needs!
Set up the situation, model the desired response, pause, model again and wait for a response. Just be sure to provide a visual way to respond using pictures, symbols and written words to match the verbal words you are modeling. 

* Pointing to the visual while modeling the auditory often helps students with autism make sense of the words. It also gives you a way to physically prompt the modeled response, with assisted pointing, before the student becomes too frustrated.


Get Started with Autism with this free download from Looks Like Language!
Did you get the FREE Getting Started with Autism Guide yet? Check it out by clicking here

By supplying your email, you are agreeing to receive the Looks Like Language newsletter (No spam- I promise!)

Don't miss this helpful freebie! 

Enjoy!

Putting Mixed Group Tips to Work: You Can Do It!

 5 tips to make mixed groups work! Looks Like Language
Mixed groups can be challenging until you get the hang of it! You can do it with these tips!  How do you actually put all of these tips for mixed groups to use? Last post, I shared my ideas while highlighting a packet that includes multiple skills. This week I will show you a different approach, along with some ideas for how to modify materials to meet more needs.

If you are new to this series, you can start here.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Have fun activities!
Once you know the kinds of activities that the students in your groups like, you can come up with a multitude of variations that will get you through the year. 

* Game boards are a Must Have Around!

* Spinners are great with game boards, but many (like the pictured one) can be used as stand alone activities.

* Use dice and the game cards. Just write numbers on the backs of the cards and let them roll to find their card.

TIP: Do a bit of planning!
With some creative thinking and a bit of planning, you can incorporate different goals into the fun activity you have planned for the majority of the group. 

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
*Articulation: Use the target sounds in the responses. I believe that placing language demands along with the articulation effort really helps students along the way to carryover! You can make a list of words or let higher level students figure out one on their own.

* Grammar: Tell a sentence using the target to tell about each picture. 

* Ask and Answer Questions: Have the students interact verbally, by asking and answering questions with each other about the situations before their turn ends. Fostering interaction skills is so important!

* Vocabulary: Incorporate one of the words they have already learned into their responses, or add a new word, such as rue!

* Describing- Add # descriptive words in their sentences.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Organize it!
Finding great organizers makes it so much easer to extend the activities and see if your students have really learned the concept. For the pictured organizers, applying the skills to short YouTube clips and books is a great way to do this. They work well for for including more goals, too! 

* Speech/Language: Apply all of the 'Adapt it' goals to use with the organizer. 

* Social Language: Cause-effect is a vital skill for social situations! Can your students predict what will happen as an effect or consequence of their words and actions?

* Social Language: Thinking of multiple causes and multiple effects in social situations is a great way to expand perspective taking and thinking more flexibly!

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Adapt materials to add another goal!

Use the templates to add more goals to the sets.

* Students draw or write their own card sets as an activity after teaching to consolidate skills. 

* Students make their own card sets before playing the game to get baseline data.

* Send the templates home for students to fill in for homework. To get started, fill in part of the organizer together in school so there is one completed example. This also lets you write quick notes on the worksheet to explain anything your student found confusing.

* Take away the pictures and words after you have completed the activities to see if students can use the visual to help them organize their own thoughts independently.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Find materials with multiple levels in one goal area.

While this is perfect for starting one student at the lowest skill level and building abilities to a higher level, it also allows students at different levels in this skill to interact with each other. 

Letting one student explain something to another student, like playing teacher, can be a great way to consolidate skills for the one student while letting the other student hear the perspective that made it click for his peer.

Having a variety of materials in one set makes your job easier, too. One student can sequence 2 pictures to play the game, another can work on sentences, while others read the passage silently while waiting and tell the answer when it is their turn.

Working with mixed groups is quite possible. I hope my tips help! If you'd like to try out my Explaining Cause-Effect Activities packet and put these tips to quick use, get it here! Enjoy!

3 Easy Ideas for Last Minute Therapy Planning for Christmas

Want a little help with planning at this busy time of year?  Then be sure to catch this open-ended freebie that can be used to review any work! 

Quick and easy last minute therapy ideas from Looks Like Language!

Boom cards provide students with interactive fun while they provide you with No PREP No Print planning! Click here to access it and set up a free Fast Play account!













Quick, easy and fun therapy ideas to make your life easier!


Do your students need some help with sentences?

Click here to try out a free preview play of a NO PREP, NO PRINT Christmas Sentence Building activity.

Kids move the sentence symbols into the sentence script in an interactive set that has photos of family Christmas activities. Fun and functional!



Or maybe you are looking for a free, fun way to work on social skills? Then try We Say, "Thank you!" Click here to download it at my store.

Hope your holiday preparations are going well!


Enjoy!


3 Easy Tips for Spicing Up Your Games with Mixed Groups

Games! Yes, SLPs love to play games with their students, but there is a good reason for this. Students who come to speech/language therapy walk in the door with a very mixed set of skill strengths and weaknesses, learning problems and strengths, as well as IEP goals, all of which need to be remediated in a minimal amount of time each week.

3 easy game tips for speech/language therapy
There is no curriculum to be taught that ties the group together, unlike their classroom, so a variety of activities are needed that lets each student be part of a group and get enough practice to learn at their own rate. Games, crafts and other activities fit the bill perfectly.

Beyond the planning needs of the SLP is the need to have the students use their newly attained speech and language skills in as natural an environment as possible.  

When students are able to use their skills in a structured activity with lots of feedback, the SLP checks to see if they can continue to use the skill when they aren’t focusing specifically on their speech and language. 

If they maintain it during a fun activity, chances are the teacher and parents may see the skill being used as well.


How to do this? For a new SLP, this often feels like juggling practice. It helps at first to have a group data sheet so you aren’t juggling paperwork while modeling and eliciting speech/language skills, as well as monitoring behaviors in the group.  

If you haven’t found a group data sheet that works well for you, check out this blog post. There’s a freebie download as well as links to other free data sheets on TpT. If you'd like some ideas for monitoring the bigger picture, check out this blog post.

3 easy game tips for speech/language therapy
Board games aren’t the only way to bring a group together and address all of these variables. Kids love games of all types! Some of my most successful games have been ones that I have put together from varied household items and junk that was lying around.

Tic-Tac-Toe!

Plastic egg cartons make great open-ended tic-tac-toe tossing games! Pick up some themed erasers, puffballs, or any type of lightweight item to throw. After each response, students get to toss one in, trying to get three in a row!

Construction!

Go to a yard sale to find some inexpensive building toys. Pictured is a monster set I found. Students get another piece to add on after each correct response. This motivates and keeps little hands busy while waiting for a turn!

Tossing Games!

Packing peanuts are fun to toss because they are surprisingly unpredictable yet won’t hurt anyone. I combined them with a toy hoop and a box to contain the game. Kids love it!

Look around your house and see what you can turn into a game! What is your favorite 'junk' to use?
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