Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Grumpy Cat is back!

My grumpy category activity was such a big hit with my language students that I had to make a packet for my articulation groups too. I decided to go with initial phrases as I have so many new students working at the phrase level right now. 

The only big change I made with these cards are the clear circles. This way the cards can still be used with a hole puncher or can be laminated for use with dry erase markers. I will be doing the latter of the two choices this go round since I don't want to kill a bunch of trees every year. 

Who will be buying more binder rings this weekend? *points to self*

Grab your copy of the initial phrase packet (for /r, s, l, b, and k) here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Summer Homework Search....

Summer is a little under a month away for me. This is the time when I start to finally relax after the mad rush of kindergarten screenings. We are still swamped with referrals, but I can finally see the end goal. I like to use these last few weeks to gather materials to send home for the summer. I'm not really sure if any of my students actually complete the summer packets that I send, but it makes me feel like I put forth the effort to give them a few activities.

The freebie pickings on Teachers Pay Teachers are a bit slimmer this year than they have been in the past. I suppose if I was more ambitious, I could have made my own thing this year instead of using the freebies. Luckily, a few people have still taken pity on us freebie hunters. (Thank you!!!) I typically add a few coloring sheets with sight words or crossword puzzles with summer vocabulary to round out the activities.

Summer Speech Homework Calendar

Speech & Language Homework Calendars 
Summer Language Bingo
2014 Specific Homework and Spanish version
Talking Owl's Summer Homework Packet (Link is to one of several)

The best thing about this year is getting to send Teddy Folders home with my younger students. He has been a huge motivator for many of them. Hopefully they will beg their parents to help them continue to practice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Are you feeling a little grumpy?

The end of the school year seems to stress most people out. The students are all worried about passing their EOGs (or at least surviving the long test periods). The teachers are consumed by all the last minute preparations and final assessments they have to cram in. The specialists are all struggling to find their students. It's all just one big ball of stress.... 

So when I saw this clip art, I knew it was exactly what I needed to get excited in the final month of the school year. There are some things that can be universally appreciated at any age. 

Grumpy categories is a really simple activity. It's way too late in the year to be messing around with anything complicated. The cards give the category and students are expected to identify five items for each card. Every item earns a punch or X on the black circles. The student who earns the most punched cards wins the game.
 I ran out of space on my camera card so please forgive me for the poorly scanned examples. I like to put the cards on jump rings for each student or each group. This makes it harder for me to lose track of the cards in between their sessions. (Yes, I am known for losing things.)

I print the cards out in black and white since I let my students use the hole punch to mark their correct answers. If you are going to use markers, I would print them out in color on heavy card stock. You can laminate them and keep them on a jump ring for easy storage.

Grab your copy of Grumpy Categories here!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Who doesn't love monsters?

I know that monster stuff is generally more appropriate during Halloween, but I have a few students that want monsters all the time. I decided to give them an extra treat here at the end of the year by using a monster theme to review a few goals. There's nothing wrong with a little additional motivation after all.

The premise behind Monster Synonym and Antonym Review is simple. The student will pull a card out from the pile (I'm using my Pokemon card holders) and provide either a synonym or an antonym. My older students get to write the word on the card to add in some multi-sensory elements. They have to try to "collect" as many cards as they can. The cards can then be put inside a paper bag monster that they create using either the boy or girl monster at the end of the pack.

You could even use these for vocabulary. Grab your copy of the file here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo....let's celebrate bilingualism!

Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo today? My students and I had a blast with the topic today. We watched Brain Pop Jr.'s video clip on Mexico and then broke out our Venn Diagram charts.

Yes, folks, I tried using the Expanding Expression Tool for a comparison and contrast activity! I thought it was going to be a stretch, which is why I didn't want to blog about my plans over this past weekend. The EET never ceases to amaze me though. It was such a tremendous help at motivating my students to try even though a few of them groaned at the start. We compared Mexico and the USA after watching the Brain Pop clip. The majority of my students pointed out our language differences first. I wasn't greatly surprised by this as we've had an influx of parents upset over their children losing their Spanish. Most of the students act really embarrassed about being bilingual so my goal for this last month is to encourage them to embrace it. I asked them to tell me what Annie said in the clip and how to say several other simple things in Spanish. They LOVED teaching me and laughing at how badly I butchered the words. My hope is that this will encourage them to learn more Spanish at home over the summer. For my monolingual students, I hope this will motivate them to learn about other cultures.

The second topic that fascinated them were the differences and similarities of our flags. As an adult, I take the American flag for granted. It's just a small piece of life that I have embedded in my brain. My students totally called me out for not having a flag in my room. So we looked at pictures of the flags.

We ended up talking about a ton of useful social studies vocabulary (the difference between countries & states, food, presidents, etc). My kindergarten students even stumped me by asking if people in Mexico eat watermelon. According to my internet researching binge, the answer is a yes though there are differences in the way we serve it.

Sometimes it really pays to keep things simple. 

This little girl gets to go to the specialists tomorrow. I hope she's going to do "smash"ingly well.