Saturday, November 2, 2013

Because I've been on a DIY kick lately....

Craft sticks are really a gift from heaven (or whatever wonderful place you believe in). They hold endless possibilities as a tool for speech therapy. You can make Popsicle puppet people to work on following directions, turn them into a pick-up-sticks game, write vocabulary/parts of speech/articulation words on them, etc.....I love them even though some of my articulation students confuse them for the flavored tongue depressors we use to produce sounds in isolation correctly. (Many of my articulation students swear they taste exactly like suckers.)  

The jumbo colored ones are probably my favorite craft sticks of all. It's hard to find them so I recommend buying several packs. (Something I learned the hard way.) The bright colors are quite eye-catching and a great way to distinguish different targets. I decided to create an activity for my higher level articulation groups (loaded phrases/sentences). Students get to select a card to complete the sentences.

I broke the colors into minimal pair sets with 4 initial, 2 medial, and 4 final sound sticks for each sound. I wrote on both sides to get an extra bang for my buck.

This project can also be used to target carryover practice. The student(s) can develop their own story or conversation using the phrase as a topic starter. It's a fun way to let them use their creativity and inadvertently work on some language skills too.

 You could also use paint sticks if you have large handwriting.
I plan to store my stick collection in empty soup cans. I figure I'll have plenty of those sitting around once cold weather hits.

You can also make some general phrase sticks for open-ended practice. I took some smaller craft sticks from the Dollar Tree and wrote many of the phrases I use for 1 target phrase practice, such as "Do you see the...." and "Buy a new....". Again, the basic sticks can be used for activities that go beyond just articulation practice.

Recently, I purchased the Funny Flips books that were part of Super Duper's clearance sale to add in more amp up my advanced articulation groups' sessions.

I'm still a bit on the fence about these guys. My students love all of the goofy picture combinations and new word targets (2 years of the same artic decks can be a little boring). The boy's head with a girl's dress gets them every time. However, the names picked for some of the faces in the /k/ book are horrible! We've ended up inventing new names that are a bit more age appropriate for my younger students. The /sh/ book has a few names that are tough for my older students, but for the most part I just need to model those once. The Turn and Talk book is nice in terms of its format. I can just set it up to the right position and let my students tell me the words that they see. Some of the target words are a little odd, but it's a nice way to add variety to drills. It's also much easier than the constant card shuffle.

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