Showing posts with label Freebie Alert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freebie Alert. Show all posts

3 Easy End of the School Year Tips- Plus a FREE Summer Homework Calendar for Autism!


The end of the school year is upon us! 
Great tips and freebies for the end of the year and summer carryover!


Whether you are finishing up next week or in June, you are probably noticing that your students are getting a bit antsy with the change in weather. Nice weather makes us all want to be outside!

Recently I read somewhere that nowadays, with teachers getting antsy themselves and starting end of the year countdowns, we are just magnifying the problem. Could that be the case in your school? I’ve been part of the education system for a very long time, and I must say that countdowns didn’t use to happen at one time.

Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover!
Tip 1: Minimize showing your own desire for summer to your students.

We all look forward to the summer! But instead of counting down, when testing is over, try to consider this an opportunity! (I know, it is hard!)

Tip 2: Use this time of year to do all of the functional, fun application activities that you used to have more time to do!
Pick a theme and brainstorm how many different skills you can work into activities related to that theme. These are great for summer homework, too!

Literacy activities are basics! Have your students retell the story to check for comprehension  or see how well they are independently using the  sentence structures and speech sounds you have worked on. Have them ask each other questions for a change of pace with WH questions.

Cooking activities are great for following directions, eliciting verbs and spatial concepts, turn taking skills and just plain fun!

Play activities with toys related to the theme are a great way to get language samples and articulation use to check for generalization of skills learned this year.

Word games can be incorporated to elicit category, vocabulary, describing and phonemic or articulation skills. Play I Spy with My Little Eye using a busy picture related to your theme, or play I’m going to __ and I need something that starts with (sound).

Movie or song based activities are great for older students, especially if you let them choose their favorites! Just about any skill you can elicit with literacy activities will also work when using movie clips or song lyrics.

Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover!
Tip 3: Change it up!

Whatever your usual working style, step out of your comfort zone and try a change of pace! The end of the school year is a great time for you to explore new ways of working with your students. Not only will it add to your skill base, but your students may like doing something different, especially if you are including activities that require computer technology skills. 

Did you see this post which has links to great websites to explore?

If you are concerned about how to take data with less structured activities think about these ideas:

• The real world is not as structured as a therapy session, so you need to find out if your students can use any of the skills independently. Compare how many times the student used the skill independently during the session now versus what they were able to do at the beginning of the year. Use a rubric to let you ball park the data.
• Many students with a limited skill base are able to produce the desired response largely because of the environmental cues you have unknowingly structured for them. Try going to a different location or even just change how you are sitting in your room. Are they still able to use the skills?
• Think about using the overall information you’ve gained about each each student as baseline data for decision making about next year’s IEP goals.

Whatever you try, have some fun with it! Your students will thank you!

SUMMER TIME HELP!
Tips and freebies for the end of the school year and summer carryover from The Frenzied SLPs!
We don't want our kids to backslide over the summer, and neither do parents. 
Thanks to The Frenzied SLPS for organizing this Summer Speech Carryover to give a variety of great tips to help us all out!

I know that while I was working, I could find plenty of help for my students working closer to grade level, but 
what about our students who are on the autism spectrum and communicating minimally

We certainly don't want them to backslide! The added difficulty for coming up with a summer plan for these students is the uniqueness of their skills and needs.

My free download for maintaining communication and keeping routines at home over the summer can be downloaded here. I hope it is a helpful guideline for parents this summer. It certainly is something I wanted to have but never had the time to create!

Be sure to click here to get more useful tips to help you out this summer from The Frenzied SLPS!

Tips for Getting Started with Autism Effectively

Talking about ways to help our children with autism on Carrie Clark's The Speechie Show was a blast! If you didn't catch me live, you can watch the replay on her blog. I show you some of my most favorite visuals and when I would use each!

So, if you are new to my site, welcome! And if you've been here for a while, I'm thrilled that you are reading my blog as a regular!
Free visuals and tips for effective use! Looks Like Language on the Speechie Show!

I hope that you signed up for my Getting Started with Autism Free Guide. If you lost the link, just click here
Once you've signed up with your email, you will have immediate access. I promise to keep your email private!

As a special bonus, I've added a free download of a choice board to add to your set of visuals!  It will come in my next newsletter for all of you who have joined me. 



Get started with Autism free guide from Looks Like Language
Since I truly believe in visuals, I wanted to provide you with a blog post that summarizes the main tips I have for how to use them. See, we all need visuals! 

Tip: If you haven't read my post on questions to ask yourself to start problem solving behaviors, you might want to start here.


Tips for Determining Symbol Level

* Visuals are a great asset, but they need to be taught. They are not an automatic cure. Start with basics and expand from there.

* When teaching a visual system, that is the new skill. Whatever you are having the child do during this instruction should be something that is easy and already learned.

* You need to be sure that you are using the level of symbols that your student understands: objects, photos, icons or words.

* Doing a trial of matching the symbol to the object is one way to start assessing the student's comprehension of the symbol level.

* For students who use pointing boards, AAC or PECs exchanges, you can try having alternative symbol levels available and see which type they use to request. It is usually safe to assume that children will choose what they understand and are comfortable with.

* Another way is to let them request and tell them "Take it." Did the symbol they used to request match the item they took? You know that they took what wanted!

Where to Start

Shoebox play skills for autism- tips from Looks Like Language!
1. If your low functioning students are new to visuals, the best place to start is with an activity that has 'all done' built in, so that the way to do the task and how to know it is completed is built right into the task.

One idea is to use work tasks, like puzzles, sorting or placing clips on cards. Students see what to do and know the job is done when all the pieces are used up. The task disappears and some type of reinforcement is given.

But how to add language based skills into this?
I used a variety of play tasks with a shoebox to help my students develop realistic play using common objects, with symbols to support the language. You can see more about this one in this post.

Using token boards- Getting Started with Autism at Looks Like Language

2. Using token boards, like those you got in the Getting Started with Autism Guide, is the next step for showing students how much work is expected and when they will be done. Students need to have some symbolic communication skills for token boards, since they request what they want to work for, and the tokens symbolize a piece of the task that they are completing.

If your students have limited attending skills, only use the number of tokens that they can handle successfully. Really! Even if it only one token. (Just place all but one of them in the picture, leaving the last token in the lower right hand bottom corner for them to finish before getting their request.) And don't forget to make the activity a simple one, even an enjoyable one! Keep it positive and work on increasing the amount of work they can complete at one time. 


How to use a First-Then board- Getting Started with Autism at Looks Like Language

3. A First-Then board is useful when students can do a complete activity. First, they do the work you are requesting of them, then they get their choice. Again, when first using a new visual, keep the requested work short and easy so that they can experience what the new visual means in a positive way.

Even when students are capable of using longer schedules, a First-Then board can be useful to help a student get through some hard work. We are all willing to put in more effort on a difficult task if we know that it is for a short time, followed by a rewarding break. Coffee, anyone?


Using visual schedules in speech therapy- Getting Started with Autism

4.  Visual Schedules help students see what is coming next, reducing anxiety and showing them what they need to do to get their break.  When students can use first/then boards with two activities in the 'First' section, you can start with a visual schedule. 

There are generic symbol cards in the free download, but you may do better introducing a visual schedule with photos of familiar activities that you student knows how to do. For example, the schedule might show: puzzle, bubbles, students' request, book, play dough, student's request. To learn the schedule, the activities are easy and the breaks are frequent.

I love having the all done pocket on a schedule so that students can check their schedule and place the completed activity in the pocket.  Done= out of sight! Read more in this post.

If you just place a schedule on the wall and don't teach its meaning, it is just a bunch of paper on the wall! The same goes for all of the visual supports that can be so helpful, so be sure to take the time to make them meaningful for your students!

I hoped this helped you to be able to start effectively using your free Getting Started with Autism Guide! Any questions? Comment here, or email me at lookslikelanguage@gmail.com, and I will do my best to help you out!

Enjoy!

Exciting News at Looks Like Language!

Do you ever feel like the list of things you need to do is unmanageable? And then, how happy and relieved do you feel when you accomplish something on that list?

Then, celebrate with me!

First, I am so excited to have my Speech and Language Activities: Roll It, Say It, Write It! featured in the TpT newsletter! You can get it here.







Check out the new Boom Cards internet no prep, no print activities at Looks Like Language!
Next, I have been thinking for a long time about how I could make some no prep, no print materials that  are interactive, fun and easy to use (and also did not require me to jump through hoops to learn a complicated technology.)

I’m thrilled to have found a solution!  I am starting to incorporate quick and easy Boom Learning card sets into my printable sets, so you can have the best of both worlds! I just hope that you are as excited as I am when you try out my free and preview sets. My sets let your students drag the right answers on the page, and give them another chance if they make a mistake. So fun!

Give BOOM Cards a try!

Get your free no print, no prep internet activity set for mixed groups at Looks Like Language now!
Kids are sure to have fun with this interactive car themed activity that incorporates words with ’R’ sounds for articulation practice, WH questions and categories. Get the answer right to power up your car!

Download it here.



You can also try out free trials of paid activities to see if they are right for you.

Get your free trial and spread a little kindness! Looks Like Language!
How about spreading some kindness? There are two levels that coordinate with my matching printable set.

Acts of kindness is a picture level set for students to find the kind action and drag it to their kindness plate to fill it up with some yummy cupcakes.



Get a free trial of interactive learning for emotions vocabulary at Looks Like Language!
Working on vocabulary for emotions and character traits to help your students discuss kind and unkind actions? Try the free trial of Vocabulary for Acts of Kindness (requires some reading.)



After you’ve given them a try, I’d love for you to provide feedback at my store as a thank you!

Enjoy! Linda

Giveaway! Last Week to Enter

Giveaway fun at Looks Like Language! Last week!
It has been so fun deciding what to include in my binders each week as a little surprise, I may do this again sometime! Read on to find out another reason why.

Congratulations to this week's winners, Jenna and Elizabeth!

I don't have a long post this week because I am visiting friends around Lake Champlain, but I thought I'd share a photo with you so you could enjoy a little of the beauty vicariously.

I also thought you might have a laugh at my math skills as I was figuring out this contest. 5 Fridays in September @ 2 winners each week = 10 winners, right?

Slight problem, though. The first Friday I only announced the contest! So, the moral of this story is to trust my therapy advice but not my math! Two more binders to give away, and I may do this again, but hopefully with better counting skills!

Have a peaceful week!

A peaceful break at Lake Champlain! Looks Like Language

The Give Away Continues! Love FREE?

I'm thrilled to announce this week's winners! Amanda and Becky, congratulations!

And congratulations to me, too! I feel like a winner when I get to talk to one of my blog readers. Getting to know you better helps me help you!

Give away time at Looks Like Language!
So, I told you that I have a pile of stuff I've brought home and decided to do a give away. The photo only shows a piece of it (unfortunately!) Interested in a chance to win one of my binders, with page protectors, data sheets and a surprise?

Just sign up at the top of my blog for a chance to win! Need more details? Check out this post.

Good luck!

Back to School Giveaway! Plus a Surprise!

Back to school time is so hectic! This is my first year that I'm not gearing up for school, but believe me, I understand!

I was looking at the mess I made of my quilting room when I brought tons of stuff home from school last June, and trying to figure out what I was going to do about it all. You see, I don't like to throw serviceable stuff into the garbage. I usually donate things, but this was stuff you might be able to use! 

So, I decided to do a GIVEAWAY!

September 2017 Giveaway at Looks Like Language!
I have 10 binders in good shape with 25 page protectors, so there will be 10 lucky winners by the end of September! 

If you want to see why I love page protectors so much, check out this post.

Now, what good is an empty binder? It needs to have something in it! So, I am sharing my newsletter exclusive data sheet set. Want to see a great post with lots of links to FREE data sheets? Click here.

Do you like surprises? I know I do! So, every binder will have a surprise for you! Something loved that you might be able to use- think garage sale for free!

What's the hitch? All you need to do is sign up and hope you are one of the lucky ones! Use the bar at the top of the page to join this contest. The winners will be chosen every Friday in September with first names listed in my post. I will contact the winners by email to see where I can send your prize.

Good luck!

Are You Dragging? Time for Some Appreciation!


$10 TpT gift card contest at Look-Like-Language!
We have our winners! Congratulations! Andre Guzman, please contact me at lookslikelanguage@gmail.com to claim your prize!
A. Glenn, head on over to Susan's blog! Woohoo!

At this time of year there's so much to do, but time seems to drag! I do, too! After all of the effort we've put in the whole year through, it can be difficult to stay motivated when the end of the year is in sight! Time to change it up!

To help you stay motivated, Susan Berkowitz and I are pairing up to offer two lucky winners a $10 TpT gift card each. Buy something new and see if it helps you liven up your therapy for the end of the year!

Entry is easy!

Go to Susan's store and find something that you would appreciate being able to use in your therapy room or classroom. Then visit Susan's blog here and comment with what you like!

Visit my store here and find something that you would appreciate to liven up your therapy or classroom for the end of the year. Come back and comment here!

Two winners will be chosen who have commented on both blogs. We will announce the winners on Tuesday night at 9:00 EST on both blogs, so you will have plenty of time to shop during the sale if you are one of the lucky ones!

Now, for some appreciation of you!
After working with many SLPs over the years, I appreciate:
* The drive we have to help students improve their communication skills even when the process of getting there is tough.
* The skill level and effort it takes on our parts to figure out what each child is trying to actually communicate so that we can get them there!
* The willingness we have to learn from and reach out to each other so our students' skills can grow.
* That by visiting my blog and my store, you are letting me reach out to help more children than I ever dreamed was possible. Thank you!

Good luck in the contest! What item did I make that you are appreciative of?

A Quick Little Contest to Spark Up the New Year!

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy New Year full of wonderful times with your loved ones!

To get the new year started with a spark of fun, I decided to run a little contest here on my blog. Comment below with the answer to one of my questions to help me get my posts off to a great start in 2017. 

Up to five lucky readers will win a product of their choice ($5 or under) from my store if their comment is chosen!

So, here are my questions:
1- What is it about the blogs that you really like that keeps you reading?

2- What areas of working as an SLP or special educator would you love to see more blog posts about?

3-What is the biggest problem you face regularly as an SLP or special educator?


Comment below with an answer to one of these questions! Then check back in on Monday evening, January 2, 2017 to see if you are one of the lucky ones! If you want to be sure to be a lucky one, search #spednewyear today to get some great dollar deals on TpT!  Good luck and Happy New Year!

Fun and Simple Holiday Games to Make Therapy So Easy!

Life can be complicated, but therapy doesn’t always have to be that way! As a matter of fact, it is just when your life is getting complicated that you really need those quick and easy therapy ideas! Last year, I posted some ideas for decorating a tree as a quick, fun therapy activity. If you missed that post, check it out here!

Quick and easy holiday therapy ideas from Looks Like Language!
Here’s another way to use simple shapes for open-ended holiday fun. Cut out shapes in different colors, like I did in the picture, but use as many different holiday items as you have available. 

Mix and match holidays and add core vocabulary items, too. I always combined holiday items (for fun!) with teaching toy labels and associated vocabulary, taking data on that rather than the fun stuff I added in. 

Kids have their minds on presents and toys this month, so the topic is self-motivating and great for home carryover!

To play, the students can request the color item that they like. If you need to elicit longer utterances, try adding the same shapes in different sizes.  

Or, instead of placing them in a pile, lay them out like a memory game and have your students request the orange ornament that is below the blue dreidel!  Tape pictures of their target words on the back and have them say it correctly to keep the shape or put pictures of holiday activities on the back to elicit grammatical structures.

Besides simplicity, one of the things that I like best about these activities is that it lets you incorporate seasonal vocabulary with your students, yet not make it the main focus of your therapy session. Teachers, moms, and dads will be using those seasonal words with them, too, so don’t lose track of the special skills we have to offer and what we can work on that the students aren’t getting help with anywhere else!


The versatility of these open-ended games makes it easy to use from year to year as well. So, last year you worked on beginning sounds and this year you have a lot of final consonant deletions? No problem! Just pull off the pictures from last year and tape a new picture on!

Quick and easy holiday therapy ideas from Looks Like Language!
Having a super busy year? Are you looking for a versatile game where someone else did the work for you? I’ve got that covered, too! Check this freebie out!

Easy peasy activities that provide perfectly fun, adaptable ideas for this time of year!

Enjoy!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences FREE Activity-4

Build Thanksgiving sentences with pictured words! Free from Looks-Like-Language
If your school is like mine, you have a few days to get through before Thanksgiving! Why these short weeks before a holiday sometimes seem the longest is beyond me!

To say Happy Thanksgiving to my loyal followers, I'm getting this last section of my Thanksgiving out to you ahead of time. I really hope it makes your planning a little easier this week.

Download it here, and have a wonderful holiday!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences FREE Activity- 3

Build Thanksgiving sentences with pictured words! Free from Looks-Like-Language
I just love using visuals! They really help any students with processing or learning problems, they support at risk learners, and pictures just make it more fun for kids! I do tend to forget how much more easily most students will write than mine will, but don't be concerned. Your students who learn at a faster rate will have fun with the pictures and then can go write their own sentences after!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences has picture supports at two levels- supporting comprehension using color coded WH questions and noun-verb-noun sorting for higher level students. Fun for everyone!

This week you get the action/ verb pictures for making sentences. Download it here!

Summer Rhyme Time Freebie Part 4

Rhyming helps reading skills! Looks Like Language!
Rhyming is an important skill for reading, so I am delighted to be helping some children out there with this!

SUMMER LANGUAGE TIP FOR PARENTS:

+ Play a hot potato rhyming game! Use any soft toy, such as a stuffed animal, or even take one of those unmatched socks we all have lying around. Roll it up in a ball to be the hot potato. 

+ The first person says a short word and tosses the potato to the next person. Don’t be caught holding a hot potato for too long! Say a rhyming word quickly and pass the potato on to the next person. The person who can’t think of another rhyming word, just holding the hot potato, loses the game. 
+ You can play this with 2 or more people. If you have a group, the person who lost can sit out, with the game continuing until one person is left. If you are playing with just you and your child, see how many rhymes your child can do in a row. Watch it improve with practice!


Be sure to get this week’s game cards here. See you next week!

9 Tips for Teaching Choices to Special Needs Children

Choices: The Most Important Strategy has been my theme this month. I've posted tips for learning to make appropriate choices at varied ages. Don't miss my tips for toddlers and for preschoolers! 

Students with special needs need to go through these steps, too, although often they need more support and can take longer at each step along the way.  That is just their learning pattern. To help yourself out, find a way to snapshot what your child/student is like at intervals, whether it is parental journaling or the extensive record keeping of a special needs teacher or SLP.
Free resources for autism at Looks Like Language!

For parents, think about when you take videos. Usually when we do this, we are trying to catch our kids at their cutest! I’m talking about having some reminder of when they are at their worst. Maybe a family member who doesn't see your child daily will notice the change for you!

Because when they are at their worst sometime in the future, that is when you will find support from seeing that they actually have made changes. When change happens incrementally, it is so hard to see and even harder to keep persevering! 



While our special needs kids also have to learn to make good choices, they can benefit from some additional supports along the way. 

Visuals!  So many students with special needs, especially those with auditory processing problems and those who are on the spectrum, have so much difficulty with oral language. 

Pairing oral language with a visual support provides something with meaning to attach to the words, building comprehension skills whether your student speaks or is nonverbal.

3 Tips for Making Choices with Visuals

My free resource Getting Started with Autism Guide has been updated! Click here to get it!


Teaching Requesting

Hold actual objects in each arm, separated in space, to see which one is looked at, and then:
*Pair the words with the choice. 
*Say the name of the object the child is looking at. *Pause a second to see if the child will verbalize first, but don’t let the child get frustrated. 

For children who don’t vocalize often, pair a pictured symbol with the object.  The easiest way is to cut the logo or photo from the  box, place it in front of the objects and help the child point at it or hand it to you to make a request.

www.lookslikelanguage.com

First/Then Boards

You determine the first activity that needs to be done, but the child gets to choose the follow-up activity.

For students who are still learning picture representations, I have found it helpful to place the photo/symbol on the board anyway, with the real object next to it, out of reach, with a wait sign covering easy access to it. You may need to start with one trial before allowing access, building up from there, to let the child see the sequence and come to understand that he will get the desired object after the work is done.

www.lookslikelanguage.com

Visual Schedules

When the student understands choice boards and that events occur in a sequence, it is time for visual schedules. 

With a First-Then Board, the student has learned to work through one complete activity before getting a choice. 


You can lengthen the amount slowly by using a visual schedule, showing the sequence of events during a therapy session. I like to use symbols that show the type of activity since they can be re-used, like those in this picture.


I included my ready-to-work attending cues on the top. I would say, "Your hands, feet and mouth need to be quiet so your eyes can look, your ears can listen and your brain can think!" After teaching this, my students often just needed a point cue at the pictures to remind them to get back on track.


3 Tips for Higher Level Students with Special Needs


TIP: When an inappropriate choice is being made, try to keep your emotions out of the picture.  Calmly point out the negative consequence of that choice and ask the student to reconsider their decision. Then give some time and space for thinking, letting it appear that they have come to a better decision independently.

TIP: When the child makes a bad decision, try not to have the “I told you so!” attitude. Comments such as, “We all learn from our mistakes”  can show understanding without assigning blame. It lets you follow up later, when emotions have calmed, with a discussion of how to make reparation and how a similar situation could be handled differently next time.

TIP: When your student has an anxiety component, making choices can be incredibly stressful and lead to more problem behaviors, at times, than just expecting them to follow directions might.  This doesn’t mean that we should not be teaching these students to make choices, just that we need to handle this important growing up skill with kid gloves and collaborate with our teams.

Providing choices so that students can learn to make responsible choices is extremely important!  Do you agree?

Thanks to Educlips for the cute free chalkboards and to Ashley Hughes for the adorable free pockets! 
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