A Little Kindness


Carla at Comprehension Connection is hosting a linky on such an important topic! Thematic Thursday is all about the true gifts we give each other! Thank you, Carla, for the chance to join you!


Kindness (and the other positive qualities we try to instill in children) are such a necessary part of getting along with others. As educators, we can teach no matter how quickly or slowly our students learn, but we feel blessed in the years when most of our students are kind.

I think we all realize how important it is to have good qualities, but did you know that children as young as 2 1/2 may act mean and threaten to withdraw friendship? (Wall Street JournalThe good news is that we can teach children to be kind. A study done at the University of British Columbia and at University of California, Riverside showed that students who were asked by their teachers to perform acts of kindness not only felt more connected to their classmates, but reported being happier!


So, keep on asking your students to be kind and perform kind acts! But, what about the kids who need a little more help? Some students seem to be very self focused and others may not even realize the impact that their words have on others. Other students just need more practice in thinking of others’ points of view. They may not even know that there are multiple ways to verbally offer kindness.

Conversational Follow-Ups gives students practice in thinking about what was said and then responding to others using these skills:
* ask for clarification
* share a similar feeling or event
* empathize and show the other person you understand how they feel
* find out more information
* offer help, support or a suggestion
* make a positive, enthusiastic or complimentary comment

The game includes a card template for you to personalize so that students can get practice with the problems your students are having!  

Bring a little kindness to your room for the New Year!

Simple Therapy Ideas for Last Minute Planning!

As much as we love the holidays, this can be a stressful time of year, especially for overworked moms and dads. Don’t you agree? It’s not like we already didn’t have too much to do. Enjoying the holidays can be easier if we try not to overdo in the name of the holiday spirit. A few family traditions and a happy family are all we really need to make the season bright!


Quick, free and easy holiday ideas from Looks Like Language!



Sometimes simple is better in therapy, too! Young children really like playing easy games, without winners. Variations on a theme, or the exact same thing, suit them just fine. Do you have a book that you’ve read so many bedtimes that you feel you could do it in your sleep?


Simplicity is why I loved being in a school with Ellison cutters and have saved the shapes for years, even though I am not currently working with preschoolers.  If your school doesn’t have an Ellison cutter, don’t worry. You can use this idea by finding simple shapes online and cutting them out with scissors and construction paper. 

Quick, free and easy holiday ideas from Looks Like Language!


Once you have your shapes cut out, laminate them and then you can attach any pictures to them using tape or fun tac. (Make sure your students don’t mouth items if using fun-tac, and don’t let them think that it is gum, either!)
For the pictured activity, your students need a blank tree to decorate. After saying their target sound or language goal, they pick a tree shape, turn it over, take off the decoration that is on the back of the small tree and put it on their larger tree to decorate it. 


Need a little movement?  Place the large tree on your wall or cabinet. After saying the work and picking a shape, the students get to stand up and take the decoration to put on the shared tree. Kids love this activity!

When it is time to clean up, students can follow directions to find the decoration you labeled or described and go get it off the tree!

Quick, fun and easy ideas for last minute therapy!
If you’d like a game for decorating the tree that has most of the work already done for you, check out my Christmas Category Activities.

Now that we have solved your therapy problems this week, you’ll have more time for all of your holiday preparations!

Whatever holiday you celebrate,  I hope it will be a happy one this year! 

Cookies? YUM!!

Cookies? Did someone say cookies?  The smell of cookies baking, followed by eating the cookies (of course!) is one of my most favorite memories of the holidays growing up.

So, when Annie at Doyle Speech Works decided to host a cookie swap linky, it was a no-brainer that I had to join. My favorite cookie is an old standby, but tasty nonetheless. I’ve linked up the full sized recipe as a freebie, so you can just print it out and be ready to go! Click on the photo to get the full sized version.


For more cookie recipes, head over to Doyle Speech Works  and find out who has linked up! Thanks so much, Annie, for such a yummy idea!
I hope there is something good cooking at your house for the holidays!

The Sunday Scoop! 12-6-15

Busy, busy, busy, but a visual says it all, so quickly! They look... like language! I'm happy to join up with Teaching Trio!

I hope your to-do lists are getting done! Enjoy Sunday!

Speechless SLP Moments that Keep Us Going!

My friend  Kim, at Activity Tailor, has the most wonderful ideas! This week she is reflecting on moments that make an SLP speechless, and I thought I'd join in. 

It is easy for any of us to concentrate on all the difficulties we have in our jobs, and I am so grateful to Kim for her idea that got me thinking about the wonderful moments in my (long) career.

People in education and healthcare fields go into this work because they want to make a positive impact on people's lives. For all of the frustration that I feel, at times, when I can't help this student make progress a little faster, or I can't get that student to focus at all one day, or I just can't stand all the paperwork one more minute!!, I also have those moments over the years when I know that I have had an impact. These warm feelings are what keep me coping when I wish I had just stayed home that day!

My sweet memories include:
*the mom who was so grateful that my Elmo book helped her 12 year old to finally start using the toilet at night 
* the four year old who could  say her name understandably and whose grandparent could understand her for the first time ever
* the 18 month nonverbal toddlers who got in a pushing contest
 to be able to come to speech with me first
*the teacher who said that many SLPs had helped her kids, but I was the one who helped her learn how to make her students understand

We may not get bonuses, or conferences in interesting places, and we barely get lunch some days, but we have the knowledge that we helped someone's loved one. Maybe yours!

Staying warm with speechless moments~

Happy Holidays from Looks Like Language!



Happy December! I have a surprise for you!  I will be making a freebie a week (for as long as I can manage it!) What better place to make the link to the freebie available than here with my readers?

The posts will be short and sweet, but I hope that you will think the freebies are awesome!  Share the love- thank me by pinning or posting the links. 


When it comes to freebies, the more the merrier!
Just click here to get the updated December freebie!



Saying Thank You! Shoebox Therapy for Autism!


Can you envision your student opening a present at the holidays and saying, “But this isn’t what I wanted!” If so, this activity is for you!

Shoebox Play for Autism- A fun way to learn to say thank you from Looks Like Language!
Shoeboxes can be a fun, functional way to teach play and language skills. What better activity this time of year than to work on language for opening presents and saying “thank you?”  Children need to practice language in routines a lot before it becomes routine for them to use. They will love to keep practicing with this!

All you need is:

* An old shoebox
* Some small toys that will fit inside- start with only toys that your student will like. Later, add some disliked toys to practice saying ‘thank you’ when you really want something different! 
* 4 pictures of gifts to fit the size of the openings.
* Paper to decorate the shoebox, if you wish. I used this without ever decorating it and my students couldn’t care less. They had a great time anyway!






To make the play box:

1. Cut a file folder in strips that are as wide as the box is tall to use as a separator.
2. Cut one strip to the length of the box. Tape it on both sides inside the center of the box.
3. Fold the additional strips in half, place them inside the box and tape them together like crazy until you have dividers that will stay stiff and make the inside of the box in 4 sections.

I promise you, the kids won’t care what it looks like inside as long as you have something fun for them to play with! You just need four compartments with a divider that is sturdy.

Shoebox Play for Autism- A fun way to learn to say thank you from Looks Like Language!

To make the box top:

1. Draw 4 squares on the top of the box. Leave enough space in between that the top has some support while the little ones are opening and closing the presents. I  left about 1.5-2 inches between mine. 
2. Decide which way is the top, then cut out three sides of each square, being consistent. Razor cutters are great for this, but you can use scissors. Just punch a hole with one of the blades first to get you started.
3. Glue a different gift picture on each flap.
4. Glue on symbols for the language you will be modeling. Make the ‘thank you’ symbol removable if you have nonverbal children using picture exchange.

Have fun!

Students can request to open the color present, respond with ‘thank you’ after receiving the toy inside, and have fun playing! This was such a fun activity for my students, we played it almost every session all December long!

You can use this activity for the holidays and for your students’ birthdays, too! They just love the excitement of opening up the box and seeing what is inside.

I taught it as a language activity at the beginning of the month, then kept it available for requesting to play for the rest of December, changing the toys inside every week to keep it fresh. Then, pull it out for a quick review on someone's birthday!

If you have students in your group who already say thank you, just find small holiday figures or toys to work on labeling, requesting or play skills.

Do you want even more ways to reinforce this functional language? Check out this interactive book!

I say, "Thank you for stopping by!"
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