Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting crafty

I love my job. I enjoy working with children and getting to introduce them to the many wonderful things that language holds. Every job, however, has it's negative sides and most SLPs will tell you that paperwork is the biggest source of complaint. I am no exception to this rule. I loathe billing medicaid and writing IEPs when I barely know the student. (2 weeks of hearing screening= Miss Thrifty using the Labor Day holiday to figure out she has two re-evaluations to set up this week. The good news is that I do know 1 out of the 2 students.) 

There are days when I get so stressed out that I just want to sleep, eat (which is probably why I gained so much weight last year), or craft. It's my goal to turn this potentially destructive energy into something useful with a little help from Pinterest.

Here she is in all of her glory!

Pink Pig Project
I saw this wonderful little idea from a post on Speech Room News. I LOVED it and immediately went search of materials. My biggest trouble with this craft is getting the darn label of the whisk bottle. I gave up and used red duck tape to cover it up. It's probably not the most glamorous looking pig with all that tape, but  at least it has character. (Plus, the tape covers any rough edges that could hurt little hands.)
Supplies I used: 3 red pipe cleaners, red duck tape, 1 empty whisk bottle, two large googly eyes, 2 foam flowers (easy eyelashes), and two foam swirls (nose). It's not the easiest project, but I think it is still good for people who are not the crafty type.

I have also seen/heard about thumballs from my coworkers and pinterest. These are a great tool for therapy as it incorporates movement. Students get tired from sitting at their desks all day with pencils or markers. They need movement whether it's something big that requires the playground or something small enough to do on a table-top. My room is big enough that I do let students throw balls in a basketball hoop or play catch. The thumball is great for playing catch. Whatever their thumb happens to land on is what they need to do or answer.
The source of my inspiration.
I purchased my two thumballs from Lowes Food as part of their 75% off summer toys clearance. They were both $1 a piece. My larger green ball (same type of ball as in the picture) is for starting conversations. The purpose of this ball is two-fold: 1) social skills in therapy and 2) social skills in our new breakfast club. That's right, the EC department at my school is starting a social skills breakfast club and I can't wait. It's such a great way to connect students to each other across the grade levels (3rd-5th) and classes. They can have a support system in the other members when they can't find us. We are so lucky to have such an amazing Principle & Vice Principle to support our ideas. :)

The second thumball is a smaller yellow and red soccer-ball type thing. It is for categories with the red being for the harder groupings.

Color Changing Artic
The next thumball project is for articulation and reading comprehension. I managed to snag color changing balls at my local dollar store. The kids are going to go crazy for them. 

Blending Board
When I was at Orton-Gillingham training, the trainer showed us a blending board that she had made using a 3-ring binder. I had seen similar ideas on pinterest using spiral bound notecards cut in three rows as well as modified molding. This was something I needed to try. The Salvation Army typically sells binders for .49 cents and I managed to find a decent looking 1inch binder without a problem. I proceeded to fold the pocket part on each side in *roughly* halves. You want one side to be slightly longer than the other so that it will stand up on its own and the rings aren't directly in the middle where you can't change the cards. (Think isosceles triangle) 

 Once it looks roughly like this shape, I used duct tape to make sure the flaps were going to stay put. I added the monster blending cards from laternfish and called it a day. 

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