Monday, October 16, 2017

I'm a materials geek!

This school has probably had the most unusual start of any that I've had so far in my career. We had a tremendous amount of problems scheduling as an Exceptional Children's team. It only took four weeks to figure out. (Yikes!) I am not sure what is so different about this year from the previous ones, but I hope this won't happen again for quite some time.

Through all of that excitement, I got to use several new materials that I want to share my thoughts on. I have posted about Teddy Talker many times. I always love to incorporate Teddy into my younger groups. Teddy Talker's Phoneme Friends is no exception. I have been using this great addition since the spring. I really like to use Teddy's newest edition with Mia McDaniel's wonderful Articulation Cans. This way my students have the Teddy visuals for shaping their mouths, the letter cues at the bottom for spelling, and the target picture. It's really helped get those final consonants!

I am also using Teddy with Speech Corner's Articulation Rolling Cubes. My school district recently purchased this set for me over the summer. It's quickly becoming a second favorite when I can't use my articulation cans. My students get to help Teddy sort out the cubes that have his sound and we talk about how to spell the word. I have pulled out my Teddy puppet to use with the action dice. My students like this because it's funny to make Teddy practice his sounds while clapping his paws or stomping our feet.

My older students have not been left out of the fun this year. My district also purchased two great educational games for context clues and inferencing.

The first one, Context Clues: Riddle of the Ruins, is from Lakeshore Learning. I really like this game because their are two levels of cards. The first one is a multiple choice for the word meaning. The second type are fill in the blanks with the best word. I used this with my middle school students and asked them for their thoughts on the game at the end of their sessions. They were all in agreement that it was a fun game even though a few of them got caught by the traps. They really liked the secret decoder. That was probably the highlight of this one. Sadly, Lakeshore has discontinued the game.

The second game, Treasure Trove, is from Speech Corner. It has an optional add-on set that my district also purchased that really makes this game a versatile tool. I can target synonyms, antonyms, homophones, inferencing, context clues, multiple meaning words. I decided to test this out with my middle school groups so I could get honest opinions. The level of difficulty is a bit harder than the previous game, but they never once complained about the cards being too hard. If anything, I think they enjoyed a good challenge. It is a great way to indirectly work on social skills too. I lost track of how many times they had to "steal" coins and gems from each other. It was pretty funny to watch their reactions. Some of them only wanted the coins or only wanted gems.  

Wishing all of you a happy October!