Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snowman Slam! Game

My kids and I had so much fun with Santa's Cookie Slam! Game that I made a snowman version with a twist.  This game has the basic same idea as the Santa version, where players race to slap cards that match an instruction card.  The difference is that in the snowman version, each player collects their cards on a game board.

This is one of four different game boards, each with a unique snowman to build.

Players must collect the six pieces that match the ones displayed on their game board.  The game is designed for 2-4 players.  If you only have 2 players, the players take turns turning over an instruction card so both players can see it at the same time.  If you have 3-4 players, one player is selected to play the role of the reader and he or she reads the cards to the other players.  The reader must make sure to keep the card hidden  from the other players' view so the instructions are auditory instead of visual. This player does not collect cards.

Here is an example of the instruction cards:



...and the pieces to slam and the instructions.



Snowman Slam can be used to target a wide variety of goals, including:
     * Following auditory instructions
     * Auditory and visual processing skills
     * Articulation 
     * Language skills:  use of descriptors, colors, winter vocabulary, auxiliary verbs, plurals
     * Early Literacy:  instruction cards include colors and pictures, making it easy for even pre-readers to "read" them
     *Social skills:  turn-taking, winning and losing

This game includes 4 game boards, 24 matching cards, 24 instruction cards and instructions for play.   Here's what it looks like when it's all set up:  



You can download this game here.

Have fun!

Pam



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snowman Articulation for /R/ and /S/

Those /r/ and /s/ blend kids of mine just keep progressing and needing harder stuff to practice, so I created these:


and...


Here's what they look like:


Each card features target words in single words, phrases and sentences.  The /r/ set contains 13 pages of snowman cards with 8 snowmen on each.  Targets include initial /r/, medial /r/, final /r/ (OR, AR, AIR, EAR, ARE, EER, ER and IRE) and /r/ blends.


The /s/ set contains 10 pages of snowman cards.  Targets include initial /s/, medial /s/, final /s/ and /s/ blends /sk/, /st/, /sn/, /sp/, /sm/ and /sl/.  Each set contains a sheet of blank snowmen for you to customize.



They've been working great for me during treatment and the kids really seem to like them.  I also print off a set for them to take home for homework and send them home a page or two at a time.

You can find these snowmen here on my new TpT site.  I know, I went over to the "Dark Side" and joined TpT!  I promise I'll still offer plenty of freebies here, but I needed to find some way to offset the cost of all my graphics purchases and the time I spend creating all these materials.  Not to mention that my son just got engaged and I foresee wedding expenses in the future!  So please be kind, and visit me there.

Enjoy!

Pam


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Favorite Snow Books

I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow, which fuels excitement like none other here in the Portland Metro area.  What is it about snow?  Is it the fresh, clean newness of everything it covers?  Is it the novelty?  Is it the promise (or hope!)  of a day of play followed by a mug of steaming hot chocolate in front of a fire?  Whatever it is, it is just plain wonderful!

Guess what else it does?  It makes me want to pull out all my favorite books about snow.

Here is my All Time Favorite:  First Snow by Emily McCully.






This is a fantastic picture book that tells a story about a family of mice that go sledding on the day of the first snow.  The beautiful pictures do most of the storytelling, with just a little text on each page leading the way, making it a perfect book for targeting language skills and inferencing.  Many of my kids identify with Bitty, the smallest mouse who is scared at first to go down the snowy hill on her sled, but then wants to go again and again and again.  It is a delight every time I read it.

Another of my favorites is Snow Bugs by David Carter.




This interactive Pop-Up book is always a hit with the kids!  It features many wintery activities such as skating, having snowball fights, sledding and even snowboarding.  It's great for working on those /S/ Blends and a whole variety of language skills.  I can use it with practically every child on my caseload.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner is another great one.  It tells the story of what snowmen might do at night, which includes snowball fights, skating, making snow angels and drinking cold cocoa.



 CC over at If I Only Had Super Powers made a wonderful unit as a companion to this book.  You can check it out here.

What are YOUR favorite books about snow?  I'd love to add them to my collection.

Let it snow!!!


Pam

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I See My Snowman Emergent Reader


Today I'm sharing a little book I wrote for my emergent readers working on /S/-Blends.  It's an 8-page book that you can quickly print, cut and use in a matter of minutes.








You can head on over to my TpT site and download it for free here. The snowman graphics are from Scrappin Doodles and the snowflakes are KPM Doodles.

Enjoy!

Pam


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saving Time: Repurposing What I Already Have

Who has time to put together one more elaborate activity before the Holidays?  Not me!  I'm going to show you how you can repurpose something you probably already have and make a useful activity that can be used with multiple kids.  Let me introduce Lift-the-Flap Presents!



I had a few extra present cards left from making Clothespin Christmas Surprises and found a great way to turn them into  something fun and useful.



First, I printed off a page of picture cards.  This one happens to target the /k/ sound.  I put it in a plastic page protector.





Starting at the bottom of the page, I taped a present to the page protector, positioning it over the top of one of the squares from the picture card set.  I put tape along the upper edge only, so the present card becomes a flap to lift.



I continued to tape the presents over each square, filling the rows from bottom to top.  That's it!  It's ready to be used!



Here's the great thing:  you can store multiple pages of picture cards in the same page protector.  You just need to make sure that the one you need is on the top of the stack!  So, since the presents are taped to the page protector and not the actual page of picture cards, you can use this activity with a child working on /k/ in one session, and then quickly change it to work for a child working on /s/.  Just find the page you need and slip it in!  Easy, huh?

Of course it helps if you use sets of picture cards that all come from the same source so the grids are the same size.  I use the ones I created on lessonpix.com.  If you don't know about LessonPix, you should.  You can create your own sets of picture cards and other materials in minutes.  You choose the targets based on the sound and position in words, click a button, and then download your materials directly to your computer to save and use whenever you need them.  So easy and SO COOL!

I'll be using this for articulation for sure, but I'll probably find other ways to use it, too.  How about for irregular plurals or other grammar targets?  How about for following directions? "Open the green gift in the bottom row."  Or, "After you open a red gift, open a pink one."  How about visual memory?  Have them open one row of gifts, name them, cover them back up and then see if they can tell you what the three gifts were.  Oooh, I like that idea.  I might do this with Christmas vocabulary!  I know, I'll use the sheet of cookies from Santa's Cookie Slam! Game!!!



Wow, THAT was easy!  Especially since I used the same grid template to create both the presents and the cookies.  No resizing necessary!  I actually tried this with a fourth grader and it worked great.  This is what we did.  First, I had her open one vertical row of three presents, name them, close them, and then say the names of the three presents.  We repeated the sequence for the remaining three rows.  To make it more difficult, I added a 5 second delay between the time she closed the flaps and telling the names of the gifts.  After two rounds of opening vertical rows, we moved on to opening horizontal rows.

I'll bet you could come up with some ways to use this idea, too.  Will you please share?




Friday, December 7, 2012

/S/ Loaded Paragraphs for Winter and Christmas

I've been using my /R/ Loaded Paragraphs all week long and have been really pleased with the results.  They are jam-packed with /r/ words to practice, and are perfect for practicing auditory memory skills.  One of my readers suggested that I make a set to target /s/, so I did!  Here they are, four more little stories, two about Christmas and two about winter.




Each story includes targets in the initial, medial and final positions of words, and an open-ended question for expanded discussion and opportunity for carryover.  The worksheet includes four questions for comprehension about each story.  I have used this worksheet in two ways:  one, for my own data collecting purposes, and the other as an assist to the students who need the questions in written format to aid in comprehension.

I'm sharing these as freebies for now, but they'll be heading to my Teachers Pay Teachers site near the end of the month.  You can grab them here.  The graphics are from KPM Doodles and couldn't be cuter!


Enjoy!


Pam

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Idea from Pinterest Turned into Multi-purpose Fun!

A couple of weeks ago I pinned this cute  What's in the Stocking activity from Pinterest:



It comes from a blog called Little Wonders Days and is such a great idea that I just had to try it!

Of course, everything I make or plan depends on the needs of my current caseload, so this one started as an activity to do with my s-blend kids.

I found 22 different objects whose names started with an s-blend and put them in a Christmas stocking. The kids removed them one at a time and used the carrier phrase, "I found the _______ in my stocking," giving them the opportunity to say two s-blend words in one sentence.



The kids enjoyed this activity, and I could have just left it at that, but I had to change it up a little.  I put all 22 objects in a mayo jar and filled the jar with rice.  I made a list of everything in the jar and gave it to the child with the instructions to find each item on the list by rolling, turning and shaking the jar.  The one firm rule was that they could NOT remove the lid.




This has been quite the hit, I have to tell you!  EVERY kid on my caseload is completely enthralled with it, and it's use has expanded way beyond /s/ blend articulation!  Yesterday I used it for the following purposes:

        *  /r/ sound carryover:  "I'm looking for ....", "It's right there.", "Here is the ....."

        *  Categorization:  How many things are Christmas Things, Winter Things or Other?

        *  A distraction activity for a girl with tongue thrust to practice her resting posture for 5 minute
             segments

        *  Improving processing time/speed of task completion:  I have a couple of kids on the spectrum who take a lot of time to execute the steps necessary to complete a task.  We used a stopwatch and raced to see how many objects we could find in 3 minute segments.

        *  Following steps of a process:  I used the list worksheet and added category boxes.  We found an  item on the list, crossed it off, and then recorded it in the category box.  Sounds easy, right?  It wasn't for this particular second grader.  He needed to be reminded to complete the last step in almost half of the opportunities.

        *  My littles liked it too.  We worked on action words like shake, roll, and tip.  We just named things that we saw.

These are the worksheets that I made to go with the jar.  The first one is the list...




...and the second one is the list with the category boxes.  I'd share them with you, but your list will be different then mine.


These activities were actually very easy to put together.  Finding all the objects was the hardest part!  I hope you'll try it.  If  you do, please share with me how you used it.


Pam

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

/R/ Loaded Paragraphs for Christmas

Today I'm sharing my /R/ Loaded Paragraphs for Christmas with you.  I have several kids working on their carryover skills and couldn't find any /r/ packed paragraphs to send home for practice, so I made some!  This download has four paragraphs for you to cut out and use individually or as a set.  Each one describes an event that commonly occurs at Christmas, and finishes with an opportunity for conversation about the event.  I don't know about you, but I find making that leap from saying the /r/ sound correctly while reading to using it correctly in spontaneous conversation is very difficult for many of my kids.  I'm hoping giving them a structured topic will help.

I am also planning to use these paragraphs with my kids who are improving their auditory memory skills.  Each one describes a sequence and is packed with details to remember.  I can think of several who, what, where and when questions to ask about each one!  *Update:  I've added a worksheet for details/sequencing to the download.  I plan to use this worksheet for data collection.


What do you think?  Would you find these useful, too?  You can download a copy here.  Graphics credit goes to KPM Doodles for this one :-)