Showing posts with label Seasonal Fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seasonal Fun. Show all posts

5 Tips for Sensory Issues and Summer Fireworks

Going to a fireworks display in the summer can be a great family outing! 

That is unless a member of the family has sensory processing issues and sensitivity to noises. While commonly found in children with autism spectrum disorders, other kids may have this problem, too. 


If your child covers their ears when a fire alarm goes off, or a loud vehicle drives by, going to see fireworks may not be the happy event you were hoping for.


July free download from Looks Like Language
There's a new social rules story, quick to print, staple and read, that I've made to help you out. Just click here.

No guarantee that this will make your fireworks event problem free, but knowing what to expect, having a coping method ready, and having the language to discuss any issues that arise are strategies that help over time.


If you are intrigued by the craft and games that are not part of this free download, be sure to sign up for my special 2019 free growing games bundle offer here!





July free download from Looks Like Language
Having back up plans as parents can be helpful, too. Some ideas that could be helpful include:

* watching your child with sensory issues for the beginning signs of sensory overload. Intervening early is often more successful than waiting for full-blown overload.


* having a signal your child can give you to tell you that they have had enough.

* getting seating that is toward the back of the crowd. This may not only somewhat decrease the noise level from the fireworks, but can also reduce the overcrowdedness that can also be a problem for some children.

* having a larger blanket than you need so that your child has a place to sit with boundaries that keep crowds further away.

* coming with 2 cars so one parent can leave earlier if needed, or having a plan for one parent to remove the sensory child before overload occurs to the car. Have calming toys, blankets, headphones, or whatever works for your child to use during the wait.

If your child regularly has problems with sensory processing issues, get an appointment for an evaluation with an occupational therapist who is knowledgeable about the problem. That is where most of my knowledge comes from!

I also found this book to be extremely helpful when I read it many years ago. It is written in a way that is helpful to parents and educators.

I hope that some of these ideas help to make your 4th of July fun and calm!

3 Fun Activities for Mixed Group Therapy

You are working with a group of kids with articulation goals, but they all have different sounds at different levels form words to carryover.

You are working with a language group, but you have to do a makeup session for a student with articulation goals, too, during that time slot.

You have 3 kids in the same class whose needs and goals are very different, but they have to be grouped together as they have limited times they can come to speech. But how do you address their needs?

Do these scenarios sound at all familiar?  The benefit of open-ended games is that you can accommodate kids needs using them. They aren't your only option, but when you are doing a makeup session or figuring out how to combine multiple goals in one activity, they can be a lifesaver!

Join the free 2019 Growing Games Bundle now! Only at Looks Like Language!
This month, my complete set for people who have joined the FREE Growing Games Bundle mailing list (sign up on the pop-up) includes an open-ended therapy game that doubles as a Mother's Day card!

The free mini-set includes 3 different activities for the month of May from that bundle. You can download it here, but why haven't you signed up for the complete free set yet? If you'd like to get the monthly freebies, just click here.

Take a peek at the activities to meet varied group needs in my store, also! After many years of winging it, I have the time now to put together materials that were made for skill building and addressing multiple needs.

Put my years of experience to use and make your life easier! Enjoy!

Spring Open Ended Game Board Freebie!

Spring is a wonderful time of year! After a bleak winter, the world comes alive again and it seems that our lives do, also. After hunkering down in winter, there are always so many things to do outside in spring, even if you aren't a gardener.

Open ended, free printable board games from Looks Like Language!
Some colorful, open-ended, printable spring game boards can make your speech therapy sessions a bit brighter. 

You can also send them home as homework. Just print the lower ink version, write your target words on the page and make as many photocopies as you need. Kids would much rather see a game than a list of words and this also makes it easier for the parents to include siblings.

Parents, you can use these, too! 

* Play a game to practice your child's spelling words or multiplication tables.

* Reinforce your rules at home by asking questions such as: 
What do we do if there is a fire?  
Name 1 way to be polite at the table. 
What do we say when we get a gift we don't like?
What will happen if we don't take a bath? brush our teeth?

* Use the games as a countdown to a treat for following the rules, doing chores, completing homework, etc. Every day that your child does what is expected, draw a star or let them write their names on the game section. When they get to the finish line, they have earned the reward you wrote on the finish line.

Be creative! Please comment if you have found a fun way to use these!
Download the freebie here.

Are you curious about what you would get if you sign up for my newsletter? This picture shows the filled in sets.

Join the Free Growing Games Bundle at Looks Like Language!
And if you love these freebies, be sure to pin this picture to let your friends know about it!

Enjoy!


Print and Go Games for St. Patrick's Day!

Once I was working with a young boy (let's call him "M") who communicated using PECS, and after much practice, I was so happy that he was making some progress with his symbol discrimination skills. FINALLY!

The next session with him, I had a student observer and sat at the table in a different position relative to him. With me in a different seat, we were back to ground zero. It was like he had never done the activity before in his life! 

That was a learning moment for me. Once an ASD student learns a skill in one context, keep applying that skill in as many different ways as possible and review, review, review!

Easy ways to keep reviewing skills are to use different types of activities and take advantage of holiday themes to review a variety of targets learned during the year. Why teach just the vocabulary for that day, which is used once a year, when you can have fun with the theme and review more functional language?

Get free print and go activities each month from Looks Like Language!
For this reason, I have an open-ended FREE St. Patrick's Day game set for you!
You can download it here.

And if you'd like to have access to the longer, free monthly sets for 2019, just sign up for my email list on the pop-up!












If you work with students using AAC, you will want to check out my friend Susan's new book: Making the Connection: A Practical Guide to Parents and Practitioners for Teaching the Nonverbal Child to Communicate with AAC.

One of the many useful tips I learned when reading this book was that research shows that successful AAC users depend upon having frequently used words remain in the same position so they can access them more quickly to get their message across.



It made me reflect back on when I was working with students like "M", who displayed problems with spatial perceptual skills, and wonder what could have happened if I had worked on expanding communication without moving symbols around.

I'll never know, but you could be more effective with your AAC students after reading the book! I certainly wish I had an easy to read book with so much information available to me then! Just click here if you'd like to check it out. And it is free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Disclaimer: Susan is my friend, but I get no compensation for writing this and certainly wouldn't mention the book to you if I didn't know it could be very helpful!

Enjoy!

Teaching Kindness in February- A Free Print & Go Game Download

It is unbelievably important for educators to teach kindness skills and respect for different viewpoints and ways of life! I have some help for you with my free download.

To my way of thinking, having people be kind and respectful to each other makes the world a better place.

Join the Looks Like Language Newsletter!
Since the world seems to be both growing smaller, in terms of having access to information about anywhere in the world, yet growing more divided, let's do what we can to help promote peaceful interactions and acceptance of differences in hopes that our young people may make our world better.

A free print and go kindness board game from Looks Like Language!
Download the free kindness game board here.

If you'd like more options for mixed groups, have you signed up for my growing bundle of open-ended print and go games? Free for 2019 only, so don't wait! Click here or sign up on the pop-up!

Model kindness and help our kids be kind!

Dream BIG with Martin Luther King, Jr & a free download!

Happy 2019!

I hope that this year will be a happy, healthy and productive year for you! Happy and healthy are up to you, but I can help out with productive!

Since I love helping out SLPs and SPED folks, I have started a new freebie set for older students this year. We can never have enough materials, can we?

There will a new, open-ended print and go game for you to use each month. More often if life events permit! 

Get a year's worth of free open ended games growing bundle at Looks Like Language!
This month, I have a free open-ended printable game board for incorporating a Martin Luther King, Jr. theme with therapy skills. Just print, go, be creative and have fun! Download it here.














I also have a special offer for this year only!
Every month, my newsletter subscribers will have access to an expanded version of the Friday Freebie!

Get a year's worth of free open ended games growing bundle at Looks Like Language!
You know that I love making materials with visuals that accommodate mixed levels/skills groups. The expanded freebies will help with exactly that!

All you have to do is sign up on the dreaded pop-up. Maybe not so dreaded this year?

Every month, you will get early access to my growing bundle of open-ended print and go game boards. The link will only be active for the current month, but you will get a new access link at the beginning of each month once you sign up.

It will only be free in 2019, so take advantage of the offer and sign up now!

Enjoy!

More Holiday Fun!

As life gets busier preparing for holidays, just remember that you have to take care of yourself too! When you reach a point that you say to yourself, "Oh, good! I still have time to .....," maybe it is time to cross something off your list and take some time to relax or do something nice for yourself! You deserve it!


Give yourself some extra time this week! Download 3 free resources from Looks Like Language!
I love the interactive, no print & no prep fun of Boom cards, so if you haven't checked them out- well, you should! The account is free, and so is this fun Christmas activity. Plus, it gives you back some time you would have spent planning this week since your kids will love it!

Give yourself some extra time this week! Download 3 free resources from Looks Like Language!

Are you more comfortable with printable fun? This free Christmas Fun mini set from my store lets you address skills for categories with a trim-the-tree activity. You can also work on producing sentences or comparing and contrasting with the fun bows and presents game! 





Give yourself some extra time this week! Download 3 free resources from Looks Like Language!
And you know that I have my weekly printable activity. This week you get the last part of my Holiday Match game. If you missed the first part, just click here.







Three freebies! I hope you feel appreciated! I'm taking a little break (we all deserve one!) but I'll be back in the New Year with an all-new idea for freebies!
Happy end of 2018!  

Enjoy!

2 Free Resources for Fun Holiday Help!

Do you get so busy preparing for the holidays that you just can't wait for vacation to arrive? I think our students may pick up on this, as well as feeling like they just can't wait to celebrate!

Click to download the free printable Holiday Matching Game.
Whatever the reason, sticking to the regular routines seems to get harder the closer the holiday gets. A little change in the 'work' level, while still teaching and reviewing skills, may be just what is needed this holiday season.

If you prefer to have printable materials that can be used in any location, you will want to download the updated version of my Open Ended Holiday Matching Game. Just click here to download the first set.

If you get my newsletter, you are in for a treat with double the amount of cards for additional ways to play! So be sure to open your email this week.

Have fun decorating for Christmas with this free interactive game for iPads.
For busy SLPs and parents, using the iPad may be the way to go! If so, you will want to check out the free Christmas Time interactive game for iPads and phones at my TpT store. Kids can play independently to decorate the house for Christmas or turn it into a more structured activity for teletherapy by reviewing work each turn.

Either way, I have you covered! Be sure to stop back weekly for more fun!

Building Sentences about Thanksgiving Freebie

The only thing better than talking about food is eating it! Help your students build sentences to communicate about food activities this Thanksgiving with this easy to use free download.

Since I love to help you out with mixed groups, this free download has two versions so that students at different levels can do the same activity.


Build Thanksgiving Sentences in mixed groups with this free download.
This week's download is the lower level part of the set. The parts of speech for the sentences have color coded borders that coordinate with Proloquo and many other AAC systems. There is color coding on the game cards, as well, to make sequencing the words in the sentences easier.

Not only that, but you can choose whether students need to complete 1, 2, or 3 sentences during the activity, according to their ability levels. 

We all like to talk about foods! It is great also for providing visual supports for after the holiday to help students communicate about what they did at home.

Get your free download here, and be sure to come back next week for the other set!

Enjoy!

Last Minute Halloween Printable for SLPs

Do you ever have nightmares where you are at school and realize that you never finished planning for the week? And your students are getting noisier and starting to move around the room loudly while you are trying to remember what you meant to do? 

And then there's a knock on the door and the principal shows up for a surprise observation?


Monster Describing Free Activity Download!
Phew! Thank goodness it was just a bad dream!
But, seriously, working in a school takes a lot of planning. 

If you are doing some last minute planning for Halloween, I invite you to click here to check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas that will make your life easier! Crafts, books, food ideas, freebies- lots of fun stuff there!

More Halloween fun can be found by visiting my store here.

How about a quick and easy freebie for last minute planning? I have you covered! Just click here. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

Enjoy!

A Sweet Halloween Treat for You! Part 3

So, let's be honest with each other, now. How many of the sweet treats you bought for the trick or treaters have gotten past your lips? I can't buy chocolate candies at Halloween for just that reason. Thank goodness I can resist some candy!

Well, this treat has no calories because it consists of free, printable Halloween worksheets for basic skills. This week completes the set unless you have subscribed to my newsletter. My followers got an extra goodie!

You can sign up, too! Just fill in your information on the dreaded pop-up!

Enjoy Halloween!


A Sweet Halloween Treat for You! Part 2

You know the thing about sweets? If you have one treat, you just want another? Well, it's a good thing that I have another Halloween treat for you!
Conplete your free set with the newest download at Looks Like Language!

This packet has basic skills Halloween worksheets that you can download weekly to get a free set. 

When you have one of those days when you are always behind, just have one of these handy to send home as a quick themed review!

Download it here.

You don't work with little ones? Click here to check out the detailed preview for Halloween Costume Picture Activities for Mixed Level Groups. 

See if it is right for you!

Enjoy!

A Sweet Halloween Treat for You!

Halloween is a sweet time of the year in both meanings of the word! And why not get a treat for yourself?


A free little treat to make your life easier this Halloween at Looks Like Language!
If you work with (or have your own) preK kids, then you might like to download these free basic skills worksheets. 

Come back weekly to get the whole set, or sign up for my newsletter to get access to the complete packet in one download!



Are you looking for something more interactive? Click here to check the detailed preview for a no print, no prep activity for Halloween routines!

Enjoy!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game! Week 2

I know that the baseball season lasts quite a while, but it seemed like a new free set to start off the new school year would be fun!

Have a little open ended  baseball fun with this free download from Looks Like Language!
Open ended activities are so useful for mixed groups, where each student has a different goal to work on.

This baseball game is great no matter who you root for- there are players with uniforms of every color when you collect the whole packet.

So, enjoy the game!

Beginning or Ending Sounds- A Free Phonological Awareness Activity Week 3

You might be saying to yourself, "What is phonological awareness, anyway? What happened to phonics instruction?" 

Well, phonics instruction still exists, but your kids will be a lot better prepared for it if you have fun with sounds in play before they get to school age!
Help your child with pre-reading skills! Find out more at Looks Like Language!

FUN FACT 1:
Phonemes are the sounds, not the letters of the alphabet, that make up a language.

FUN FACT 2:
Children need a lot of practice listening to and playing with the sounds of our language before they are ready to attach them to the alphabet and written language.

FUN FACT 3:
If your child has difficulty pronouncing a sound, playing games to build skills for listening and identifying the sound can be helpful in learning to say the sound more clearly!

So, what are you waiting for? Download the free Beginning and Ending Sounds Activity and get started! If you missed the prior weeks, get started with the first download here.

If this got you curious, you can read more about the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics at my friend Sarah's blog, Speech is Beautiful! 

Enjoy! Linda

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!

Spring Fun Freebie 4

I'm excited to tell you that the last section of my updated Spring Fun Freebie has a new printable worksheet for sorting what belongs in spring time. You can download it here.

Grab this open ended, free printable game and worksheet set from Looks Like Language!
Every month you can get a complete, free packet for basic skills by stopping here for Freebie Friday.

My newsletter followers get the complete set in one download to make their lives easier!


Going to the playground definitely belongs in spring!

Learn playground labels, actions and rules with the activity packed At the Playground! set.
This activity packed literacy set build vocabulary for playground equipment and actions, spatial concepts to answer Where questions, and a variety of worksheets to make your mixed groups easier!

Check out At the Playground at my store.

Enjoy! Linda

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 speech/language therapy.

5 benefits of combining books and play in therapy:


1. Kids who are engaged are more willing to learn.

2.  Using play and the language for play also helps improve their symbolic thinking skills.

3. Using adapted books helps them understand and engage with books, improving their literacy skills.

4. Using therapy methods and materials that are part of their environment helps to promote generalization or carry-over.

5. 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 free cloud shapes here and do some old fashioned tracing and cutting on construction paper instead.

Cloud faces with 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-tack 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 are 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!
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