Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starting the New Year out in Bejeweled style

There are few things more enticing to children (and most women) than sparkly objects. I learned this lesson during my first year when I set up a scavenger hunt for pirate treasure. It didn't really matter that no one liked the tons of fake rings I put in my prize box when my students saw them presented as "buried" treasure. They wanted them and it was a great lesson to CFY me. It really isn't so much about what you use in therapy, but the way you decide to present it to your clients. It is a lesson that my new students remind me of with every year that passes. You have to shake things up because nothing will ever work the same way twice.
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 So for 2014, I am bringing a little bit of glitz and glamour into my room through two new games. I broke down and bought Ring Bling during Super Duper's 40% off game sale. Mostly, I bought it for the hands. I have plenty of Dollar Tree rings still laying around and the reviews on the stimulus cards dissuaded me from buying it before. It really looks like something you can make for yourself with the exception of the hands. My pitiful attempts with old pizza boxes was a lesson learned. I plan on using the hands & rings as a reinforcer to activities rather than sticking to the original purpose.
 The second game is a treasure from the Salvation Army for 1.99. The game was virtually brand new. It looked like someone opened it up just for the digital game code before donating it. If you aren't familiar with facebook, Bejeweled is one of many puzzle games that you can play for free on the social networking site. You try to match 3 or more gemstones to get points. However, that is not the case in my speech room. I bought the game to work on following direction goals and am sure it will have uses for other things in time. 
The easiest way for me to adapt this game into a therapy specific material was to create a game companion. The cards serve as a key to setting up each task as well as already providing me with the directions. This eliminates any potential problems of forgetting what to say when my students try to distract me (and some of them try their best). On days when I don't have time to pull out the game, I can just have my students point to the pictures on the cards. You can grab a copy of the Crowning Jewels of Following Directions here.

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