The cold weather has definitely made my mind wonder to the joyous thoughts of summer (when I will probably complain about the heat wave). It also makes me realize that the school year is rapidly coming to a close with lots of IEP meetings until the bitter end. I am switching over to "survival-mode" mindset and activities that can be pulled out for quick reviews.
One of my biggest targets this entire year is wh- question words and how to answer these questions. It's a goal that goes from kindergarten to 5th grade with lots of variety. However, I stress the importance of my students knowing the specific meaning of those wh- words. We use my story recall rope to review the meaning of every wh- word at least once a week. We practice with expo markers, dice, flower spinner, etc....The only thing I haven't really done is use actual paper materials for this goal. I decided to make a quick sorting activity for these words that uses either pictures or actual word cards. I also made an alphabet letter hunt for my kindergarten students to search for around my room. You can get your copy of the activities here.
In terms of colorful semantics, I am using a set of three Mad-Lib type activity books that I picked up at Walmart recently. I like that each story requires the student to think of words to use before they see the story. We reviewed the parts of speech as they picked out words to use. (The Zany Tale books also do wonderful in the copier which can be trickier than you'd think.) The best part is that my students get to laugh at how strange the stories turn out and we can talk about ways to make them sound more realistic.
In other news, I get to go to Beckman Oral Motor training in two weeks! I've heard great things about the program and am really looking forward to learning the techniques. I think I may need to keep a list of skills that I really want to focus on for the CEU requirements. It's rather overwhelming when you look at ASHA's website (although that could be just me). I'm worried about going to another training that ends up feeling like a huge infomercial. One experience with that through Letterland was enough. At the top of my list are: Hanen Program, something for the phonological cycles approach, and auditory-verbal techniques.