Showing posts with label Literacy and Narratives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Literacy and Narratives. Show all posts

5 Important Reasons to Combine Books & Play in Therapy


Books and play are my two favorite therapy methods, so what could be better than combining the two? Sometimes people think that all SLPs do is play, so how hard could that be? They’d be surprised if they tried to accomplish specific goals in maybe an hour or so a week!

5 benefits to combining books and play in therapy:

Kids who are engaged are more willing to learn
Using play and the language for play also helps improve their symbolic thinking skills.
Using adapted books helps them understand and engage with books, improving their literacy skills.
Using therapy methods and materials that are part of their environment helps to promote generalization, or carry-over.
They are both so much fun!

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
Spring is a fun time for incorporating a cloud/rain theme to go along with the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” My favorite book to use for that theme?  It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.

Adapting the book
Did you know that there is a great website from the Baltimore City School system that has Boardmaker symbols for books all ready to download? For FREE! What a huge timesaver if you have Boardmaker already installed!
Get the list of all of the adapted books here. Or you can start with the downloadable zip files, starting with the letter A here.
Unfortunately, It looked like Spilt Milk used to be available, but no longer is. Maybe I should make that freebie for my newsletter members- what do you think?

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
Games & Skills


Since VISUAL DISCRIMINATION SKILLS are a must for any students using a symbol system to communicate, the shape matching nature of this book makes it a great choice to use with students who are developing literacy skills. Additional shape matching activities can be found in the book companion at my store.

You know that I loved using Ellison cutters when I was in the schools (free), and now many people are buying home versions like Sizzix or Cricut machines. (expensive)
No worries, though, as you can just download the cloud shapes here and do some old fashioned tracing and cutting on construction paper instead.

Cloud faces with the basic EMOTIONS are always cute to use!
Make a pile face down, elicit a target from your student and then let them choose from the pile. If you have 4 emotions, you can have 4 winners!
Instead of picking randomly from a pile, stack each emotion in a deck and students can take turns requesting the emotion card they want.

Clouds with different colors, sizes and shapes add DESCRIPTIVE WORDS to their language!

Mixed groups?
Try using tape or fun-tak to attach other pictures to the back of the cloud shapes. In the picture, I have pieces to a Sesame Street puzzle attached to use as a puzzle token board. The student knew that when the puzzle was completed, the task was done.
Give each student a set of their own clouds with their specific targets. Place the free cloud page that you downloaded in a page protector so students have to cover all of the shapes.

SPEECH SKILLS- Tape pictures with the target sounds on the back or write the word using a dry erase marker on the clouds if they are laminated. Easy!

LANGUAGE SKILLS- It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just cut out the pictures from a worksheet that you can give for homework and tape them on the back to practice first!

Have fun with Spilt Milk at Looks Like Language! Freebie, too!
There are so many more fun activities in my book companion. Besides giving little ones an easy way to start using the strategy of looking back in the text to recall story details, there’s a cute open ended game board, and rhyming and phonology activities, too. 

But I think my favorite is the cloud shape matching boards! Check it out here!

Enjoy!

Spring Fun Freebie

Have some open ended printable spring fun- free from Looks Like Language!
Spring is such a welcomed season after a long winter! When everything starts to grow, bunnies, chicks and eggs are a natural theme. 

Download this open ended free set and have some fun! Just click here.


Have some spring literacy fun with this adapted book activity set from Looks Like Language!
For more spring fun, build some literacy skills with this cute repetitive text adapted book at my store.

There are lots of activities built in to make your mixed level groups easier!

Enjoy!

9 Great Tips for Adapting Materials You Already Own!

9 Tips: Adapt Materials for Therapy that You Already Own!

Therapy doesn’t always have to be expensive, if you use materials you already have around the house creatively! It also helps if you have garage sales in your neighborhood or if you know people that have kids. Don’t be afraid to ask them to let you go through their kids’ toys and books before they get rid of them!

Adapting items you have takes a little time, but building up a supply of activities around a theme makes working with mixed level groups much easier! Being able to mix and match the materials for different groups’ needs also keeps you from having to do the exact same activity all day long. These examples have a pet theme; so fun to do in the spring.

Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
Tip 1: ORGANIZE AND KEEP COLLECTING!
Buy some inexpensive boxes to keep the toys and books you’ve found for each theme all in one place. Add to the theme as you find inexpensive items.


Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
Tip 2: GET SOME PUZZLES!
If you have students with low level skills or minimal language, puzzles that have separate pieces of whole items are worth spending some money for.
Students can:
• Request the pet they want to place. (labeling)
• Find the pet that makes the sound. (auditory skills)
• Find the pet who swims, flies, etc.  (action vocabulary)
• Find the pet who eats carrots, wears a collar, etc.  (word association skills)
• Request a black pet, a flying pet, etc. (describing)

Tip 3: BOOKS! MUST HAVE BOOKS!
Find varied books on that theme with different levels and great pictures. This will let you build literacy skills while choosing the book that is easiest to elicit the specific language each groups is working on.

Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
Tip 4: ADAPT


Taping symbols over the book text to adapt it to be a simple repetitive book is simple to do. Just adapt the size of the symbols so that the original text is covered and use a wide roll of clear tape that extends past the paper to hold it firmly in place. The book in the photo is still in good shape after 20 years. Don’t use school tape, though, as it will yellow and peel.

Tip 5: USE BOOKS TO BUILD SYMBOLIC PLAY!
This book has repetitive text for what the pets eat. Use craft glue to put small pieces of the foods in the bottom of empty, clean plastic fruit cups. It dried clear, keeping the pieces from falling out and kids from trying to eat them. After each page, the students could put the toy animal in the matching food cup to ‘feed’ them.

Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
Tip 6: MIX & MATCH!

Having many items in the same theme to mix and match is so useful!
• Therapy stays interesting
• There’s lots of opportunities to label and use or expand language skills.
• Combining items in different ways aids generalization.
• Building skills with different play combinations helps students to develop symbolic play.

Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
   Tip 7: SAVE YOUR SHOEBOXES
(Honestly, I am not a shoe shopaholic but little kids grow into new sizes quickly!)
Admittedly, it can be a pain to cut through shoeboxes, but they offer such inexpensive ways to incorporate hands on fun and lots of language!

After warming up by labeling the pets with the puzzle, you can have some pretend play!
"The animals are inside, but they are hungry. Let’s take them out."
 "Who wants to eat first?"
"I think I hear “meow.” What is it? Let's open a door!"

You can emphasize concepts, sentence structure, question words, auditory skills, you name it!
Students who are minimally verbal can respond using the pet symbols you made by taking photos of the puzzle pieces, or the puzzle pieces themselves.


Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
Tip 8: TURN WORKSHEETS INTO PLAY!
Worksheets with pictures are great to turn into hands on activities.
In the photo, you can see examples of:
• Sticker activities that are laminated and turned into a pet shop game. One set is an enlarged version so that the students had to specify the big/little pet.
• Shape matching pages turned into a game.
• Hidden picture pages put into a page protector to make a matching activity using pet symbols. The pictures of the hidden animal were colored in this set for a student who was just beginning to visually discriminate.
• A trading card plastic page that was adapted with symbols for students to match the associated pet and say the sentence.

Check out these 9 easy to implement tips for adapting materials you already own for therapy!
   Tip 9: USE ANY SUPPLIES YOUR SCHOOL OFFERS!
My school had Ellison cutters and construction paper available. Adding pet photos on the back before laminating made a simple game. Students requested the color cat or dog and then turned it over. 

The visual support helped the minimally verbal students form a sentence while the more verbal students used correct grammar in their productions.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Adapted-Books-for-Autism-and-Speech-PETS-Themed-Activities-3121563
As always, TpT can save you so much time with high quality materials! 

Check out my Adapted Books: PETS Themed Activities and add your own toys for some interactive fun!


Enjoy!

5 Reasons to Assess Narrative Skills

Are books a vital part of your planning? I can't imagine doing without them, personally, but teaching your students internet literacy is just as important. If you teach students from disadvantaged homes, they may not have the same level of access to computers, so they especially need it included in every aspect of school life to gain digital skills.

The other bonus for us is that we can try out books online to see if our students engage with them, purchasing the book only if we decide it is one of our favorites to use over and over again!

One of my students introduced me to this YouTube video last year, and it has become one of my new favorites! Although I love the paperback version of Don't Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin, the song version is a great way to introduce it.  At back to school time, as students are getting to know each other, it is a natural time to find out about their likes, dislikes, and characteristics and incorporate a theme of acceptance of our differences. Give this one a try!

5 reasons to assess literacy skills plus links to free online resources! Looks Like Language
Checking students' narrative skills is on the top of my list for back to school assessments. Whether you do this orally or in a written format, there is so much information you can gain to help your students make progress over the year!

Beside the fact that this is an essential basic skill for conversations, discussion and writing, you can see how well they
* retrieve and organize information while staying on topic
* if there are word finding issues
* the level of sentence complexity
* grammatical errors
* how well they carried over skills from the previous year, including articulation skills.

There are so many fun, free websites at all levels of skill that can help you do this with little planning! Check out this post to get a comprehensive list! I double checked- all of the links still work.

What is your favorite book or website for literacy?


Literacy for SLPs- 15 Resources You Should Know About!

Are literacy skills the backbone of all that you do in therapy? I know that my students always need help with literacy skills, so no matter what their IEP goals may be, I’m always trying to get some fun books in my activities somewhere! If you’d like some tips on how you can use books in mixed groups, click here.

Building literacy skills with free internet resources by Looks Like Language!
But this post is not directly about books. There are many websites that you can use in therapy to increase literacy skills while working on IEP goals. One way is to use comic sites- check out this post

You can also elicit a lot of language both reading and creating stories online. Let me save you some time and check out these links! They are all working as of the post date so try them out soon.

Listen to Audio Stories
I like to do this sometimes for a change of pace and to hear a different voice than my own. Since many stories have no pictures, students really have to rely on their auditory processing skills to understand. They provide a great opportunity for drawing pictures to practice visualizing, or for listening and taking notes on a graphic organizer about the important details.

This website has weekly audio stories, both retellings of old classics and original stories. It also has an app to download on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-podcast-free-kids/id948976028?mt=2

Informational Text Online

If you have curious students, or students who don’t like to read but have specific interests, this may be for you! Wonderopolis has a factual Wonder of the Day, based on questions from kids. Read the informative text (including questions like ‘Why do we burp?’) and do your own follow-up activities.

Listen to Stories with Pictures
Use this website while the grant is still being funded! Popular story books by famous authors are narrated by actors while the illustrations are being shown. I was so excited to see that it includes Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco!

This website has original stories for children from ages 3 to 10. It links directly to YouTube, where you can listen to the author’s narration and see the illustrations.

This website has a variety of original stories to read, audio fairy tales plus animated video fairy tales.

Read Original Stories Online
This website has loads of original stories online, in varied genres and for all ages.

Story Site with Varied Languages
This site is dedicated to bringing books to the children of the world. It shows each page of the books.


Turn the pages of the books online to read the varied choices for free. Students can also write stories for free, with a fee if you want a printable version. They can be translated to Spanish, Chinese, French and more with one click.

Make Your Own Story Websites
Use this site while the grant is still active! Make your own story with picture choices and text. You can choose the story grammar elements, emotions to change the characters’ facial expressions and the actions.

This website gives lots of control over every part of the story for students who are capable of completely making a story, including drawing. It could be useful for targeting specific language goals, such as facial expressions, sentence structure, organizing and telling a sequence of events for creative students.

Make Your Own Story Websites with a Theme
Read, write, think has a lot of interactive options, including this one for making your own fractured fairy tale.

Make a Dr. Seuss story with beginning, middle and end. Students fill in the text boxes and choose the music, characters and setting, with all of the elements pulled together and played at the end.


For your lego crazy kids! They can choose their own settings, characters and write text for each slide of the story.

Story Sites for Special Needs
This website lets students make their own stories or read the large selection of stories that students have already made on varied topics. It is speech enabled and can be accessed by multiple AAC interfaces.

This website has stories of all types available to download and play for free. Use their help page to access the stories from devices.


Are you ready to give one of these a try in your therapy sessions this year?


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