Showing posts with label Vocabulary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vocabulary. Show all posts

Putting Mixed Group Tips to Work: You Can Do It!

 5 tips to make mixed groups work! Looks Like Language
Mixed groups can be challenging until you get the hang of it! You can do it with these tips!  How do you actually put all of these tips for mixed groups to use? Last post, I shared my ideas while highlighting a packet that includes multiple skills. This week I will show you a different approach, along with some ideas for how to modify materials to meet more needs.

If you are new to this series, you can start here.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Have fun activities!
Once you know the kinds of activities that the students in your groups like, you can come up with a multitude of variations that will get you through the year. 

* Game boards are a Must Have Around!

* Spinners are great with game boards, but many (like the pictured one) can be used as stand alone activities.

* Use dice and the game cards. Just write numbers on the backs of the cards and let them roll to find their card.

TIP: Do a bit of planning!
With some creative thinking and a bit of planning, you can incorporate different goals into the fun activity you have planned for the majority of the group. 

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
*Articulation: Use the target sounds in the responses. I believe that placing language demands along with the articulation effort really helps students along the way to carryover! You can make a list of words or let higher level students figure out one on their own.

* Grammar: Tell a sentence using the target to tell about each picture. 

* Ask and Answer Questions: Have the students interact verbally, by asking and answering questions with each other about the situations before their turn ends. Fostering interaction skills is so important!

* Vocabulary: Incorporate one of the words they have already learned into their responses, or add a new word, such as rue!

* Describing- Add # descriptive words in their sentences.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Organize it!
Finding great organizers makes it so much easer to extend the activities and see if your students have really learned the concept. For the pictured organizers, applying the skills to short YouTube clips and books is a great way to do this. They work well for for including more goals, too! 

* Speech/Language: Apply all of the 'Adapt it' goals to use with the organizer. 

* Social Language: Cause-effect is a vital skill for social situations! Can your students predict what will happen as an effect or consequence of their words and actions?

* Social Language: Thinking of multiple causes and multiple effects in social situations is a great way to expand perspective taking and thinking more flexibly!

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Adapt materials to add another goal!

Use the templates to add more goals to the sets.

* Students draw or write their own card sets as an activity after teaching to consolidate skills. 

* Students make their own card sets before playing the game to get baseline data.

* Send the templates home for students to fill in for homework. To get started, fill in part of the organizer together in school so there is one completed example. This also lets you write quick notes on the worksheet to explain anything your student found confusing.

* Take away the pictures and words after you have completed the activities to see if students can use the visual to help them organize their own thoughts independently.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Find materials with multiple levels in one goal area.

While this is perfect for starting one student at the lowest skill level and building abilities to a higher level, it also allows students at different levels in this skill to interact with each other. 

Letting one student explain something to another student, like playing teacher, can be a great way to consolidate skills for the one student while letting the other student hear the perspective that made it click for his peer.

Having a variety of materials in one set makes your job easier, too. One student can sequence 2 pictures to play the game, another can work on sentences, while others read the passage silently while waiting and tell the answer when it is their turn.

Working with mixed groups is quite possible. I hope my tips help! If you'd like to try out my Explaining Cause-Effect Activities packet and put these tips to quick use, get it here! Enjoy!

10 Fantastic Free Resources for Customizing Vocabulary Work

Links to useful free vocabulary resources from Looks-Like-Language
If your caseload is anything like mine, you need to have lots of resources to teach and maintain new skills, including vocabulary! While I use picture task cards, games and activities to teach new vocabulary, I like to have other resources on hand for homework and reviewing skills throughout the year. I explain and expose my students to any new vocabulary we encounter in the course of discussions, stories and activities during the year to ensure comprehension, but I like to target specific, functional words for vocabulary goals.

When choosing the vocabulary to target for students each year, there are some factors I usually consider.

Preschool students always need to increase vocabulary in basic categories and seasonal events.

For life skill students, I try to find out if there are themes being addressed by the special education teacher that year or if the students will have work programs related to specific job skills.

For my older, low functioning students who are still being tested academically, I like to pick either of these: vocabulary that can be addressed all year long and applied to varied stories and academic work or specific vocabulary that relates to the other speech/language goals for the year. For example, vocabulary for reading comprehension, such as cause-effect, problem-solution, and fact-opinion usually ties in to both reading skills and language goals, making it easy to apply the vocabulary all year long.

Because I target specific words, I especially like to find sites that let you customize your word lists, but I am providing some fun general vocabulary sites, too!

Free Picture Vocabulary Card Downloads

http://bogglesworldesl.com/cards.htm




Free Games and Power Points to Customize






There are so many good vocabulary resources available on line. Did I miss your favorite? Please share in the comments! I hope you find these resources useful!

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?

Practical Tips for Emotion Vocabulary and Social Language Skills

Work? Who, me?

If you have a student population who is, shall we say defiant, then you'd probably be happy to get the polite rejection of the student in the photo.

After working with students who fit in the mainstream, switching to students with social/emotional disorders who need occasional hospital visits can be quite a change. Especially when they are middle schoolers, a trying time for all of us when we were there!

I'm not making any claims about perfection, but I certainly learned a few helpful tips.

1. Give your students some control over the content or the activities they are being asked to learn. 


2. This opens the door for  practicing language for negotiating and compromising, as well.

3. Take care of your students' needs first. They probably have a lot going on in their heads that they have to work through, anyway, before they can begin to focus.

4. Make sure to build a connection with every student that you can, even if they aren't on your caseload. Next year, they might be!

5. Don't bother trying to find just that right materials that will excite them into learning. Your relationship with them may help them be able to start the learning process.

Are You Jumping Hurdles?

If every session feels like they are making you jump hurdles, then maybe try incorporating their speech/language goals into activities that allow them to reflect on the issues that are filling up their thoughts.



How about vocabulary for identifying and expressing the intensity of the emotion they are experiencing at that moment? This blog article has a great Emotions Wheel with tons of words to choose from!

Use Some Hands-On Activities


Your students can do some hands on activities for learning the chosen vocabulary.


* Make a personalized dictionary.
* Play games with photos of different facial expressions or situations.
* Find images to make a picture dictionary.
* Look up synonyms using a great online student dictionary.

Do Some Social Problem Solving

‘How big is your problem?’  


Students who explode over every small incident need lots of varied vocabulary for angry emotions to be able to think about the severity of the problem. 

Explaining their reasoning for their answers helps them internalize the language and thinking skills for their own future use. Fortunately, there are resources out there to help you get started!


This website has a wealth of information on problem solving, including problem solving steps, a video of this in action (with a lovely Aussie accent), scenarios and some downloads.

This is an animated YouTube video about the steps to problem solving. The voice is a bit mechanical, but students may like the animation. 

http://www.epasd.org/Page/4178
This site has an easy to use chart for the size of the problem as well as videos with students.

https://tp053.k12.sd.us/social_situations_theater.htm - 
more problem scenarios

Check out the Problem Solving section of my store for more help! 

         

Awesome Links for Social Skills: Emotions and Older Students

The longer I have worked with moderately-severely involved students, both those on the spectrum and those with emotional disabilities, the more I realize how important a role that weak social language/pragmatic skills play in their inability to function in a mainstream environment.  


It is hard to find resources for older kids, much less free ones!
While these skills are important for both disabilities, I have observed that the way that they impact my students differs. 

My emotionally disturbed students tend to flare up easily.  They misunderstand idiomatic language and inferences their peers are making, misread body language cues, facial expressions, and gestures, interpreting situations as more negative toward themselves than they may actually be.  

Another situation that occurs is that they are correct in reading the social situation as being negative, but then don’t have the language skills to work out compromises and negotiate solutions peaceably. They often understand the basic emotions but lack the nuances and vocabulary for sophisticated emotions to be able to regulate their emotions using language. 


For example, if you can only think about angry and furious, how do you think/talk it out that what happened is aggravating and not worth getting in more trouble over? Of course, in reality, it is not this simple, but the language for emotions does play a role in the big picture.


Research is starting to show that the majority of students with emotional disorders have social language difficulties that were not able to be identified due to behaviors and noncompliance that masked the problems. Food for thought.

Students on the spectrum may not even realize that non-verbal communication exists. They often have poor eye contact, so they spend less time looking at facial expressions, to begin with. 

Between interpreting the language they understand very literally, and misunderstanding the facial expressions, gestures and body language people use to communicate, it is not surprising that many students would rather live in their comfortable space with their preferred topics. So much of what goes on around them is so confusing!


Despite the impacts of these deficits displaying themselves in different ways in these populations, the materials that I use for building vocabulary for emotions are the same. The differentiation occurs in choosing the materials and vocabulary level based on the cognitive skills/maturity of the students, and then in how the vocabulary is elicited in application activities afterward.

I have found these resources to be so helpful that I have been spending time yearly to make sure that the links are working, and adding any new sites that I've found. So be sure to check back, and let your friends know about this post!

This post features links that could be appropriate for older students (middle/high) depending on their level. For fun stuff for younger kids, check out this post.

Free Resource Links

Check it out: https://www.senteacher.org/printables/social/
1. http://www.senteacher.org/print/social/

I found that my older students responded really well to these types of facial expressions and there are so many to choose from, as well as different types of printables.




Check it out: https://www.senteacher.org/printables/social/
2. http://www.mes-english.com/flashcards/feelings.php


Mark, the force behind this website, is amazingly prolific in the number of materials he shares for free. (Although donations are gladly accepted.)

Be sure to check out his game website, too!
https://www.mes-games.com/









These resources are great for teaching nuances of emotions, how we can feel combinations of emotions, and that they vary in intensity. Find more free resources on this site!










4. http://www.cccoe.net/social/skillslist.htm

This website was made for middle school level but is appropriate for many special needs high school students, too.

There are a variety of lesson plans and online activities here.












5. http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

Comic strips are a great therapy tool for older kids. There are many goals that can be worked on, making them useful for mixed groups, too.

This site is my favorite for creating comics since it is easy to use and has lots of options. Let your students decide on the problem, choose the appropriate character to show the emotion, and use their vocabulary in the speech bubble dialogues.

Other sites you might like are:
http://www.toondoo.com/
http://stripgenerator.com/strip/create/



6. Teen Social Inferences and Problem Solving Free Unit 

This puts many of the skills our students are lacking to use in real life problem scenarios. This free unit is helpful whether you are in a classroom or running social skills groups, so click now to download it for free! 

If you love it, kind feedback is always appreciated as a thank you!




For links to use with younger students, check out this post.
If I missed any great resources, I’d love it if you would share your faves in the comments!

Enjoy!
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