Showing posts with label social language skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social language skills. Show all posts

AWESOME Resource Links for Social Skills: Emotions and Younger Students

Have you ever looked at the pile of materials you own and realize that you still don't have exactly what your student needs? I know that I often did!

Between differences in how they learn, what activities they enjoy, and how much practice is needed, I know that looking for resources can seem never-ending.

That is why I love to look for free help. And, of course, I want to share these resources with you!


Need some help finding free resources for teaching emotions? Check out this blog post!
Check out some FREE awesome resources!

I found a treasure trove of online ideas and activities for working on emotions and nonverbal language skills. 

This post features some of the fun, free online games I've found for young kids.

But, don't worry! If you work with older kids, there are some links for you, too. Just click here for some amazing free resources.




1. http://www.autismgames.com.au/game_eyecontact.html

Help kids realize that eye contact is important in this cute game.

If you don't make eye contact, learning to read nonverbal signals for emotions is going to much harder, if not impossible. So you can start here to help kids understand why it is important.








2. https://symbolworld.org/archive/Bits%2Bbobs/games/faces/index.htm

Hover over the faces to see the facial expression change.

This basic game has been archived, but it still works! Kids can hover over the faces to see the facial expression change.











3. http://www.autismgames.com.au/game_memotion.html

Match faces with the same emotions or listen to the story with emotion vocabulary in context.

This game shows faces for basic emotions and has students find matching faces. Simple practice is given for young children to respond in different ways: matching, dragging and memory. The emotions are used in a story context about Robbie the Robot. Love the Aussie accent!








4. https://do2learn.com/games/feelingsgame/index.htm

Find the person who feels the given emotion.

In this game, students find the photo of the face that matches the given emotion. Players can choose which person to use or mix up all three.











5. http://www.scholastic.com/earlylearner/parentandchild/feelings/feelinggame.htm
Match emoticons to the emotions.

Match the emoticons to the emotions in this cute, basic game for young kids. Someone needs to be able to read the emotions to them, however.










6. BOOM Teletherapy Cards- Social Skills for Emotions

Of course, I had to offer you a freebie of mine, too! It is great to have a quick and easy, no prep activity to review or end the session with.

You'll need to set up a Boom account to play this, but it is free! Your students will love the facial expressions on the cute monster faces, and you can make it a therapy activity by discussing each page first:

How does it feel?
How did you figure that out?
Did you ever have a time that you felt this way? What happened?

And if you work with older students, don't worry since I have some resources for you, too! Check out this post.

Enjoy!

Problem Solving Freebie- Turning Homework In

Do your students have get into situations that they can't handle? Are their responses limited to "It's NOT fair!" or explaining why they were right over and over again? 
Pull social skills together with this free uit from Looks Like Language.

While this is a normal stage of development for young children, at some point between 8 to 12 years, according to Robert Selman's work on the ability to take another's perspective, this skill should develop when students are exposed to it culturally, socially or educationally. There's an interesting, easy to read article about this here.

Just like every other language skills, our language impaired students are likely to need more direct teaching and more practice to be able to attain this skill. If your students need some work in this area, you might be interested in trying out one of my newest freebies! 

The Getting Work Done unit from the Perspective Taking and Problem Solving series can get your students thinking about and discussing the common problem of being organized. What happens when you don't get your homework turned in? Talk about it, and complete the problem solving worksheets, from different perspectives. Try it out! It is FREE! Just click here.

Enjoy! Linda

Change Can Be Hard! 7 Tips for Students


Teach 'CHANGE' in a non-emotional context- Tips from Looks-Like-Language
Change can truly be hard, even as capable adults, so it is not surprising that it is even more difficult for kids. Add on some communication difficulties, sensory problems, and a struggle that is already in place to make sense of a world with rules that are not understood, and it is no wonder that some of our kids have meltdowns when there is a change. 

In the northeast, spring can be a time of very visible change. In therapy, I like to make use of this to help my students understand what the word 'change' means in a non threatening context. It helps them to see that some changes can be positive, and handled, to help them make a bridge to coping with less welcomed changes. 


I'm sharing some photos of activities that are well loved and well used to let you see an example. The bottom left photo is an activity from a very old Sesame Street magazine. My students just loved it and learned that change can be fun! If you know about current places to get these types of activities, please comment with your resource. If they aren't available, I might give a try at making some because they work so well for eliciting this language!


A GOOD BOOK

I always try to start with a good book. One I love is White Rabbit Color Change by Alan Baker, which can be found as a read aloud on YouTube. Mine has been adapted and models the vocabulary 'change.'


Hands on fun to talk about change! Looks-like-Language
HANDS ON 
Next you need a good hands on activity! If you have a small caterpillar and a butterfly stuffed animal set, follow the picture directions to make a fun hands on activity! You just need a paper towel tube, scissors and tape to make it.
Here are the steps: 
1. Cut the paper towel tube in half lengthwise.
2. Cut the tube in half across the width.
3. Tape the pieces back together to make a cocoon.
4. Hide the butterfly inside.
5. Push the caterpillar into the cocoon and watch the change!

ADAPT A WORKSHEET
How about turning a worksheet into an activity? I love this one adapted from a Frank Schaffer worksheet where they can change a picture scene of winter to one of spring by placing the new scenery on top. To play this game, the students need to request which picture they want to change! Requesting a change may be a new experience for some of our kids, but it is functional for them to use when they don't like something that is going on. 

A LITTLE SABOTAGE

A follow up activity is to have them color the picture afterwards, but sabotage the situation by giving them the wrong color or the kind of marker/crayon/colored pencil they prefer the least. Prompt use of the word 'change.' "Oh, you didn't want blue? You want to change the color?" 

SILLY PICTURES

For older kids, it is fun to use silly pictures. After they identify what is wrong in the picture, have them explain how it should be changed to make it better. 

CARD GAMES

How about a card game? Matching games with pictures of natural changes also work. Changing caterpillars to cocoons to butterflies and solid (snowman) to liquid (water) are common examples.

SOME REAL LIFE

These games can also lead to a discussion of changes kids like versus changes they don't like. Start with the less personal examples, like cold weather versus warm weather, and then move to examples from during the school day. Think about bringing in possible negative changes:
* schedule changes
* teachers being absent
* fire drills
* disappointments over trips being cancelled
* lunch menu suddenly changing to the least favorite food
* no recess
* anything you know could be difficult for your students

Be sure to include positive changes:

* teacher deciding 'no homework'
* a birthday party
* a fun special, like a performance
* the lunch menu suddenly changing to your favorite food
* getting an award or prize
* anything special that happens at your school

When students have the language to think and talk about change in positive as well as negative ways,  it is a necessary stepping stone to having more flexible thinking and problem solving skills to help them cope when changes occur.


What are your favorite ways to teach about change?

Let's Make It a #kindnessnation! Valentines Day Freebie 3

FREE Valentines Candy Hearts fun at Looks-Like-Language!
Looking for a free Valentines Day activity that covers a range of ages? Try out Conversation Hearts! This game can be played as a color matching open ended game to work on any skill or discuss those cute sayings on Valentine hearts candy.

Have older kids? Use the roll a die social language game to practice ways to think about and say kind things!

Working on getting group needs met at Looks Like Language! Let's be a #kindnessnation!

Happy Valentines Day!

3 Fun Fall Books From Interactive to Social!

Books are the best therapy tool! Beside the fact that our kids need more exposure to reading, a book provides a great way to work on a variety of goals with a central activity to tie a group together.

When I worked in preschool, I often used simple repetitive books. Children love that they can ‘read’ by repeating the refrain, and truly, it is a way to teach children to begin to read.

3 Fun Fall Books for Speech-Language Therapy- Looks-Like-Language
There are many reasons that I love repetitive books:
*to reinforce the speech or language skill you just worked on in a very functional activity
*a wonderful way to help students with apraxia or motor speech disorders to build their skills in connected speech
*typical speech skills student will get lots of practice with a repetitive refrain that incorporates their target sounds!
*easy to make these books interactive! (Thank goodness for laminate and Velcro!)


Mostly, I love them because I love books! What a wonderful gift we are giving to students if we help them learn to love books, too! The pictured interactive book can be found here.

Since I’ve been working with older, lower level students, I am always on the lookout for picture books that are not too babyish. My favorite finds allow me to work on inferring skills, problem solving and have multiple characters and perspectives to work on social skills, too!

I wish I could tell you that I have found the perfect book for Thanksgiving, but I am still on a search. However, I have 2 great books for fall that I successfully used this year.

I started the year off with “The Stranger” by Chris Van Allsburg. This is a great book for making inferences, and I love the illustrations. While the book is simple enough to use with my lower level older students, the illustrations keep it from looking babyish. I think it is important to use actual books, when possible, to get students looking back at the text to find the important details, whether they are answering factual questions or making inferences.

After reading the book, though, I loved using this YouTube video as a follow up. It is a well acted movie version of the book that gave my students practice in interpreting facial expressions and body language. It also let me elicit language for comparing and contrasting the video version with the book, and my students love almost anything when it is on a computer!

Since I was encouraged by this success, I moved on to another Chris Van Allsburg book: The Widow’s Broom. I loved using this book for some different reasons. My students who are working on narrative skills got practice retelling the beginning of the book from two different character’s points of view. I had them retell the story as if they were telling a friend abut what happened, getting them to take the perspective of each character. 

Even better, it is great for working on theory of mind. Will your students realize that the widow has no idea about the witch’s activities that night since she was sound asleep? The book continues with opportunities to discuss the varied point of view about the broom. Is it wonderful or evil? I’m sorry to say that I did not find a video production for it, however, but it is a great book! Try them out!

Wishing you and your family a warm, wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for!

Therapy on the Fly!

Ok, I have to admit that I am a little, shall we say...jealous...of SLPs who blog about all the fun they are having during the day in speech. I'm all for fun, don't get me wrong. It's just that I'm not always having it, especially at the beginning of the year when there is just SO much to do! Too much paperwork, too many students, too many sessions, not enough time! We’ve all been there and the reasons are numerous.

Ideas for tough days in speech/language therapy- Looks-Like-Language
You see, I'm working now with mostly adolescent boys who have tough lives and lots of mood swings. So, on the days that they walk in to my room with hoods up and their frowns on, I scramble to come up with any way that I can engage them. Some Most days this requires some inventiveness.


On one of those days, I went to grab one of my conversation/ sequencing language spinners, hoping to to get some interaction, when I realized that I had forgotten to put the spinners on. However, I did have a bag of bottle caps that I was collecting to use for one of my preschool games, so I grabbed them, too, and started a tossing competition. 


If a student got one of the bottle caps mostly on one of the topic spaces and could name 5 ideas or sequences related to the topic, they got to keep their cap on the space.  ?/5 named answers over 4 turns= DATA!! Since I always combine all of my students' goals with social skills (they are so needy in this area!) the students had to respond to the prior answers before taking their own turn.


Combining sentences for text structures and conversation! Looks-Like-Language
The best part of the session was actually when the boys started interacting with each other naturally during the game. The hoods came down and I even caught a smile! Success! 


So, if you ever get something from my store and the directions aren't clear (I hate writing directions!) or they don't work for you, just ask a question at my store before rating the packet. It's a great way to interact with the TpT sellers! I've used every material in multiple ways and could have a suggestion that would help you out! 

By the way, if you want to give it a try, these spinner activities for using compound and complex sentences for text structures are here.


How has therapy on the fly worked for you?

After All These Years, I Still Need Help! Freebies, please!

You'd think, after all of these years, that getting into the swing of a new year would get easier. Nope! That's why freebies are such a great help! 


Communicate! Free Game by Looks-Like-Language
This one, from my store, is great for the beginning of the year and for the rest of the year, too! Listen to these comments:

Kelly said, "I love the game board and the included questions. I also like that there is a template/page for adding additional questions! Will definitely use this with my clients who are working on conversation skills!"


Frannie wrote, "Thanks for sharing such a creative and useful get-to-know-you game, which will also be great for basic conversation skill practice with many of my students. Very creative and user friendly. Thanks!"


Joy commented, "Nice Activity - I'm not just going to use it as a beginning of the year activity but also as a social skills activity for perspective taking and having the students listen to each other and answer questions about themselves and others! Thank you!"


Wasn't it nice of them to let me know that it was worth my time and effort?


The best part of all is that it is free! Get it at my store!

I hope you have a smooth start to your school year!

My 3 Favorite, Fantastic Books For Emotions and Perspective Taking

Need some help working on emotions and social skills with your students? My last posts 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 is for 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 from 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.

Vocabulary- The Basics
Still start with emotion vocabulary. See the last post here if you’d like some great links for the vocabulary resources. Choose your vocabulary 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.  Make sure they can use more than the 4 basic emotions and that they express degrees of emotion!

3 fantastic Go-To books for students with autism!
Literacy- Apply the Vocabulary with Skill Practice

After students can use the new words expressively and identify the basic emotion group, try using stories! Using literacy activities is good practice, especially for a caseload of limited readers, and good stories provide a context for understanding emotions and situations in a way that vocabulary drills won't. 

Perhaps most important of all, applying the new vocabulary in discussion of story plots helps students to understand that people have different perspectives. What made the story character feel angry may make your student feel sad.

No, David, NO! by David Shannon is an all time favorite for young children. David's antics are always getting him into trouble while he is just trying to have fun.

The simple plot and pictures are great for eliciting sentences in a story retell while the situations lend themselves to discussing cause-effect and why mom does not see things the way that David does.



A Bad Case of Stripes, also by David Shannon, is another one of my go - to books.  On the surface, the plot is seemingly a straight forward story abut a girl who has back to school nerves. The pictures in the books can engender a lot of discussion about facial expressions as Camilla develops a bad case of stripes after deciding to avoid her favorite food, lima beans. The underlying perspectives behind the plot about what motivated Camilla in her decision making were difficult for my upper elementary and lower middle school students to understand.

Dear Mrs. LaRue, by Mark Teague, is another elementary level paperback that worked well for these grades. I have to admit that the first time I read it, I wasn't sure that a letter style book could keep my students interested, but I was proven wrong! The illustrations in black and white versus color were of great interest, helping my students to compare the perspectives of Ike the dog to his owner, Mrs. LaRue. The vocabulary used and length of the letters were great for expanding the language and listening skills for the students in the group without social goals. Even better, there are so many free activities to be found online!

More Books for Teaching Emotion Vocabulary
You can get more ideas for books to use at these links:

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.

One of my favorite purchased resources for stories that directly teach emotion vocabulary is Focus on Feelings from Attainment Company. The stories feature older people, focus on specific vocabulary targets and review them in later stories, use real photos and are short enough to maintain my students attention!  

Do you have a favorite that I missed?

So Many Tips and Links for Free Resources on Emotion Vocabulary and Problem Solving!


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.


PROBLEM SOLVING


Free links for emotions and problem solving from 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 type of 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.



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!

http://www.creducation.org/resources/perception_checking/classroom_activities_on_perspective_taking.html

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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