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July 27, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

I don't know about you, but I have caught Olympic Fever!  I can't wait for the opening ceremonies to begin!

Today I borrowed an idea from Pinterest, using an Olympic Rings printout, which you can find right here.  I used this handout for a categorization/word association activity.

I wrote different category names in each circle, and got my dot paints out.  I instructed the child to name  eight items in a category, and to paint a dot after naming each one.  To make it a little more difficult, I used my stopwatch to see if she could name all eight in less than one minute.  Easy!

I used this same idea earlier in the week as an articulation activity, too.  We just glued pictures of the target words in the center of each ring, and said each word eight times.

One of the things I like to do each summer is make "Camp Journals" for each of my kiddos.  I plan my summer around Summer Camp Mini-Themes, and the kids collect "merit badges" for completing tasks centered around each theme.

I make the covers out of foam, and add five blank pages to each.  You can download my template for the pages here.   The kids decorate their journal covers with the letters of their names and other fun foam stickers.

I make the badges ahead of time, using my Cricut paper cutter, which can make just about any shape you can dream of.  I cut tons of two inch circles for my badges, and then shapes to match my mini-themes.  Here are some of my badges:

They include Forest Animal Expert, Sports Fanatic, Camping Pro and Olympic Champion.  I'm not sure what I'll name the one with the marshmallows on the stick yet, but I know we'll be making s'mores one of these days with my indoor s'mores maker!  We've got to earn a badge for that, right?

Each week, I write a list of goals on a blank page of each journal, and write the name of the badge at the top of each page.  For example, to earn the Forest Animal Expert badge, the child must name at least 5 different animals that live in the forest, name at least three important features of each, and tell me at least one interesting fact about each one.

I also make special badges for kids who are working on the R sound, and those who are working on establishing correct tongue positioning at rest.  My vocalic R pages look like this:

The symbol on the badge matches the vowel set:  a bear for AIR words, a star for AR words, a fire for IRE, and a deer for EER.  Sometimes I write the target words on each page, and sometimes the kids do it themselves.

The child above was working on vocalic R in single words, specifically the OR words.  He earned his badge because he was able to say the entire list correctly, which was the goal.

The kids enjoy earning the badges and are proud to fill their journal.  I keep them with me until they are complete, but the kids review each earned badge with their parents after each session, and then take them home at the end of summer.

If you're interested about what tasks I'll have my kids complete to earn their badges, let me know and I will post sample pages from their journals.  Next week we are working on our Olympic Champion badges so...

...let the games begin!!!



  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I never thought of using my Cricut to make badges. What a great idea!

  2. I find that you made excellent resolution the moment when you picked out this subject of this article of yours here. Do you usually compose your articles alone or you work with a writing partner or an assistant?