Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We are PARTYING in the speech room!!

We do it every year, and every year it is bonkers and beyond. 
Yet we do it again.  Every year.  

One of my students recently transferred to a nearby school and days later I got an email from the SLP..... "Uh..Kane wants to know when the first party is.  Speech parties?  Are you trying to make the rest of us look bad?"

No, we are just trying to infuse some fun and natural peer interaction into speech therapy!!

Every holiday, the 3 of us SLPs at my school cram all of our students during each session into one room - mine - and throw a party full of holiday fun and communication.  It's exhausting and exasperating and wonderful (and eye opening!) all at the same time. 

I just had to share the fun - maybe you would want to try it for the next big holiday! 

With the younger kids (prek, kindergarten and first grade) we played "Hot Pumpkin."  Think "hot potato" but insert pumpkin.  With the older kids we played Halloween Trivia.  
We do this for every holiday.  It's just fun questions about the holiday, but we split the students in half, making 2 teams.  

They come up with wacky team names and then we line them up and have them come up to "the bells" one at a time to compete for a point for their team.  
{OMG if you don't have service bells, you must hunt some down...
even though I temporarily wanted to throw them out the window today.}

This offers the chance to...

1) address how to be on a team and be a good team player (oooh this is a toughie) 

2) practice fluency and articulation strategies while under time pressure (oh boy, we learned which of our little stutterers coped well under time pressure and which did not).  

3) see firsthand how our students with social issues are coping with losing/winning, etc. 

4) witness how well our language students can formulate answers under pressure in real-life settings. 

{I also used this in my inclusion classrooms to practice answering questions by restating the question.}

There were great surprises and moments that broke our hearts.  
The students rarely cared about their shortcomings because they were having too much fun.  
{let's not talk about the 2 kids that cried. They're fine now:) }

Besides, everyone in the room (a dozen or more kids) had their own flavor of communication struggles. 

Even playing field.  Safe Place.

Here the "ravens" and "frankensteins" battled it out.  

Below the Witches (the girl team) went head to head with the Saints (the boys who love the New Orleans Saints).  The witches prevailed by 1 point!   
Whew!  Close one! 

Next up??? SNACKS!! 
It's not a party without FOOD!! SWEETS!! TREATS!!!

My fellow SLP found this easy and festive treat on Pinterest...

We melted almond bark (mixed with orange food coloring) and the kiddos dipped small pretzels in it.  Then they topped it off with an M&M stem!

This is perfect for following directions and/or sequencing.       

    Let me tell you, they were delish!!

Messy, too, but that's okay.  

It's a party!

Nope, we are not done. 
We also threw sticky, gooey spiders at a web.  This was trickier than expected! 
We kept track of points.  
A couple of kids actually hit 100!!

Then we threw rings at a spider (that looked like an octopus, but I digress). The legs had point values so we even did a little math in speech {gasp!}

Hurry- I bet you can still get BOTH of these fun and inexpensive activities at TARGET, and Friday they'll both probably be on sale!

Every one left with a treat.  I left tired with a hint of a headache - but happy that we had {hopefully} made some great school memories for our kids and had given them a huge communicative and social experience.  Some of them communicated too much and too loudly, but what better place than in the speech room??? 

What's going on in your speech room this Halloween?  I really want to know!! 
I need ideas for the next party!! 
May you all have a chaotic, hooting, hollering and happy Halloween! 


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget