For my regular readers, I do apologize for not posting on Monday like usual. The end of April and beginning of May is a crazy time this year. I have three weeks worth of kindergarten screenings (because we go to one school each week for either 1-2 days), EC meetings, IEPs (almost done with all of them!), and the state conference. I may look like a train wreck on May 12th, but my life will calm down considerably as the End of Grade testing fever picks up for everyone else.
The 2015 NCSHLA Spring Convention was another really good professional development experience. I love that it offers a good variety of topics without the overwhelming feeling that the national conferences can create. This year, I felt like the conference was much more geared towards the medical side to make up for last year being more school-centric.
So I'm going to focus more on a few of the neat things I happened to see in the exhibit hall. (Please note that I am not being paid or otherwise compensated to talk about any of these things. I just thought they were cool.)
1) The Dolores One: Medical Speech-Language Pathologists will want to pay attention to this one. It's basically a machine that helps amplify a client's voice by being placed on the patient's neck near the vocal folds. This means that it doesn't interfere with respiratory care equipment. Yet, it still allows you to hear what the patient is saying. The demonstration with CPAP mask was really incredible. I love to see how technology and ingenuity can come together to solve very distressing problems.
According to the vendor, these books have recently returned to print after a several year hiatus. I absolutely love the idea of letting students pick the direction of the story. It can be as silly or as normal as they want. Plus, the graphics just pop.
The only thing I didn't love about these books were the price tag. $19 was a little steep for something that I can see being damaged in overzealous argument between two or three competitive students. These are going on my "watch" list.
3) Super Duper's Pirates and Pals Preposition card deck: I have the biggest weakness for pirate stuff. I have no idea why. I ran up to the display copy of these cards the minute I saw them. They would be really motivating for young pirate fans.
4) Literacy Speaks!: I think I must have been living under a rock or in graduate school when this program came out. My favorite part of the kits are the little books that you can print out from the CD. However, it is one of the more pricey items I saw. I know that the cost of materials continues to grow problematic as more districts are having to cut funds. This one is probably just going into the "dream" files as I cannot imagine my district buying this over our testing materials.
And my secret to not ending up broke after visiting the booths at convention:
The warmer weather has me thinking of tropical places and the Disney version of the "Day-O" song. My students are all focusing on plant and environmental themes this six weeks in science so I thought I would make a game-based activity that featured a fun animal.
The layout of this game is pretty simple. Students pull out cards from the pile that will either have a word, a monkey (lose a turn or take another turn), or a banana (word challenge). Whoever has the biggest pile at the end of the game wins.
When students get a banana card, they complete the pyramid chart for one of the words in their pile. I like to let my students pick the words unless their is a specific word that I know they need some additional practice with. They complete the pyramid by writing the two different meanings and drawing a picture for each. My older students (4-5th) also get to write a sentence for one of the meanings on the bottom of the paper.
Here is an example of what it might look like completed:
What do you do when you have students who get tired of your articulation drills?
Turn it into something that resembles a game! In this case, I had to really sit down and ponder how to re-vamp the good old "S" slide (as we call it). The idea of using Chutes and Ladders didn't hit me until I pulled out my board game one day after school. I modified it to include some of the reminders that I use during my sessions as well as giving ample practice with our sound slide.
So far, it has helped to break up the routine.
Grab your copy of Slides and Ladders for Lateral /s/ here.