Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another post from the wonderful world of manipulatives

I feel like many of my posts are a reflection of how I am building up my "tool box" so why not just show the world the literal one. 
I absolutely love these 3 drawer containers. It was only $3 at Salvation Army and I have another one for paperwork from Goodwill. I taped construction paper to the  inside to hide the contents from little distracted  eyes. The kids NEVER notice it until I pull out a drawer.

These are the figurines that I use for associations. I try to keep the drawers based on their purpose so I don't have to search for specific things. The middle drawer contains items that are too large to fit into my phonics drawers. The top drawer currently houses Christmas stuff. I'll eventually have to use it for extra phonics pieces too.  

Phonics box from an old shop organizer. It's made of out some kind of really heavy metal so it doesn't tip over easily. 
I do actually have a reason for showing you all of these pictures. The figurines are useful in a TON of ways and I got the idea from a category box that the district purchased for one of the previous therapists. I noticed last year that they loved just holding the little objects and it made those items more concrete. The articulation decks and giant Webber book are great, but most of those items are things that my students cannot connect to on a personal basis. I want them to have something solid to connect words to. I started this project last year and it has really grown over the past 3 months. I buy most of my figurines from the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Party City, Paper Factory, Dollar Tree, and Dollar General. I recently picked up three things from Target too. 

Recently, I discovered a new use for my figurines (outside of articulation, categorization, wh- questions, describing activities, and utterance expansions). I am teaching regular and irregular plurals to a bunch of very unimpressed kids. *insert McKayla Maroney faces here*  I could probably try teaching plurals while hanging upside down from a trapeze without success. The only they enjoyed was writing with expo markers which I learned from my plurals activity. I accidentally left the figurines out on my table this week and they wanted to look at them. Well, they aren't going to get to look at them without doing something so I grabbed an Expo and quickly started a sorting activity. They had to tell me whether the item's plural form was a "quiet" s, "noisy" es, or other. I also had them write out the new word. They were laughing and commenting on how many of the items ended up in the -s column by the end of the session. 

A sample of my most recent purchases from Dollar Tree and Target. 

I love random moments of quick inspiration. 

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