Hello there! It's wrapping up to be the end of the school year, and my body feels every ache of that. Just because I'm working from the luxury of my own home does not mean that I get to kick back and relax. It's just as draining as if I would be working in the school, because technically, I am.
IEP and progress notes have been sent out, but we hit a snag last week that my progress notes (30 of them) were mailed out to my brick-and-mortar schools, but were never received. Oh, and my March progress notes weren't, either. Luckily my virtually schools do not require a mailed progress note (for obvious reasons...).
Today I wanted to dive into more activities I may do in sessions with students. Last time, I went through some articulation and language activities for my students, but today I want to give some examples of early-language based activities. These are activities that I use with my kindergarten students all the way up through my high-schoolers and my cognitively-impaired students.
Spatial Concepts and Prepositions
I found this YouTube channel a few months ago and it was exactly what I needed! I had a lot of evaluations this year for students working on spatial concepts, and I loved targeting these through song. We started with Where is it? #1, then progressed through #2, and #3. When we practiced those songs several times, we would pause at the screens to identify "which is under?", "what is on the book?", etc. in the interest of mixing it up. We also enjoyed watching On In Under and In Front Of, Behind, Between.
One of the best ways to find new and interesting activities for my students is simply by asking! I have found that especially as a "school-based" therapist, you have to constantly be asking the students what is interesting to them, or what they like. Sometimes, your data is narrative because your session was unplanned, but I'm all about student-driven therapy (within reason). One of my students mentioned the website ABCYa.com that his virtual teacher used, and I love it! On the site, I love to use the creation games to target spatial concepts. My favorites, and my students favorites, are consistently Make a Robot, Make a Pizza, Make a Face, and Make a Cookie.
About halfway through the year, I started using a site called Education.com. I found the worksheets and games were perfect to implement in tele-therapy, and it held my students' attention much longer and better than using my paper-based materials with my document camera. The site blocks a user after so many free items are accessed, but I used them so frequently, I paid for a membership. I find the activities valuable and because they are sorted by grade-level, they are organized well. I have downloaded many of the worksheets so I don't have to find them again, but I am always finding new materials on the site.
Several of my students were working on categories and category sorting, which I wanted to reinforce using games. I found a sorting objects by materials game, sorting people and animals at the zoo game, cocoa color sorting game, and several "what don't belong games" here, and here.
Synonyms and Antonyms
I utilize lots of Teachers Pay Teachers stores for many of my language concepts, and I specifically like Antonyms Match-up and It's Raining Antonyms. The great thing about tele-therapy is no printing! You can either open up a blank screen in front of the answers, or make the window small enough to only see one of the pairs.
For antonyms, I enjoy using the Hopposite bunny game on PBS Kids, which also helps build vocabulary! For a shorter reinforcer, we use Match the Opposites on Education.com.
MLU and increasing utterances
One of my students was working on increasing her verbal utterances, specifically with automatic sequences and two-word phrases. We used everything from storybooks to games to stickers that she brought to the session one day. We targeted putting stickers ON her mom, ON her arm, ON her shirt, and ON her nose. She loved that I chose her favorite calming activity to address speech goals!
When using books, I like to choose ones with repetitive phrases and short sentences like Beach Day and Doggone Dogs. These are great to talk about vocabulary and repeat phrases.
Grammar and Figurative Language
I know I posted about using it here, but I can't say enough good things about The Language Intervention Survival Kit. It's on sale right now, so go pick up a copy if you think it would suit your needs!
For my middle- and high-schoolers working on figurative language, I use a lot of Education.com worksheets to start, but as a wrap-up and knowledge check, I found this quiz.
I also CONSTANTLY use the digital copy of No Glamour Grammar that I have. I don't think I've gone one day without it for my students this year. This book is so helpful to target those grammar goals when you're just learning a skill and as a "post-test" to check comprehension and mastery. Plus, I can type right on the copy and it erases when the session is over.
Always something I need to target! I love "find the evidence" packets that make my students use different colors for different readings. It keeps the lessons fun, but also gives them the visual cues they need. On sale now here.
I never get more than 3 students a time who are working on fluency, but I love using this Interactive Binder for those students. I saved the file my different students to type his answers and draw his pictures onto, which he loved.
For my early language learners, I love to use themes so they can be exposed to vocabulary grouped around a central idea. I got my mileage out of my library card, using my document camera to display the pages on our shared computer screen. It's super-expensive right now, but I got my for $99 around the Christmas holiday last year.
We also love online interactive books, like the one here. Also, songs are a great way to engage and share our silly singing voices while working on our goals. This counting song was great to pair beach vocabulary with familiar counting to answer my questions "how many shells?" and "how many crabs?" by expanding the number into "5 shells" and "7 crabs".
When targeting rhyming, I really like this activity, but it doesn't work well with tele-therapy... There's just something so rewarding to students about turning that flap on the paper strip! Luckily, I found this matching game to help me out.
What technology do you like to use with your language targets? Do you use technology at all, or do you prefer hard-copies of materials?