Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't forget the big kids

Boy, I have been M.I.A. from my blog.  My apologies.  Life gets a little crazy sometimes and this is one of those things that have to fall by the wayside.  

The response to my previous blog posts (when I posed the question about what kinds of activities you would like to see) were overwhelmingly this….. don't forget the big kids.  

Time and time again I get requests for products older students- upper elementary, middle and high school.  Well, I try really hard not to make my blog into an advertisement for my products, but I wanted to do a short post here about what kinds of things I do make (and use) with my older students. I work with ages three through 5th grade and I actually work mostly with 4th graders.  
These are perfect for that age AND much older. 

Wanna see ? 

I USE TEXT MESSAGES AND CELL PHONES as much as possible in therapy.  Want students to be interested and invested?  Speak their language! Cater to their interests. Cross over to their world.

Here's a few products that do just that while addressing lots of language skills (and even carryover of articulation and fluency skills) 

My Reading and Responding, Interpreting Language and Much More packet uses actual text message conversations to work on reading for details, drawing conclusions, using context clues, making predictions and inferences, reading emotions and mood, and comparing/contrasting.  This one could easily be used all the way through high school with our language impaired students. 

Not to mention, it's a great way to discuss text message etiquette and appropriate conversations, etc.  

My Making Inferences/ Drawing Conclusions Role Play activity freebie as well as Making Inferences/ Drawing Conclusions Role Play Activity PART 2 are both easy activities that involve YOU having strategic but FAKE conversations on your cell phone to teach language skills. It's a great intro activity to the skills of making inferences/ drawing conclusions. Upper elementary and older students are required to read and making inferences but our students often need practice with skills solely in the verbal realm. Just whip out your smart phone and have at it- I promise your students will love it and beg for more making inferences!! 

Now….more text messages!! Now that you've introduced making inferences and drawing conclusions orally (and practiced the skill), it's time to move on to reading.  Ahhh the dreaded reading passages.  Kids hate 'em- especially our struggling readers.  
What they don't hate is reading text messages.  For real. 

Text messages are short enough that they don't get frustrated trudging through them and they are relatable to our kids.  They are relevant to them which makes them interested.  Let the teachers dole out the passages; I are keeping it real in the speech room.  This Making Inferences/Drawing Conclusions with Text Messages is one of my favorite activities for that. 

When we do have to get down to the nitty gritty and READ, I like to use short, high-interest passages.  Short but fun passages keep frustrations down, motivation up and allow us to get lots of reading done in our short therapy sessions.                                                                When I couldn't find the types of passages I wanted, I started writing my own. I have many reading and responding packets in my TPT Store.  Two that are perfect for his time of year are my Easter Around the World packet and Mardi Gras Reading & Responding packet.  They both contain 22 short non-fiction passages with strategic questions to require recalling information, comparing/contrasting, reading for details, sequencing, context clues, inferencing, predicting, main idea, and the list could go on forever. 

Oh, and the packets have a few lagniappe activities as well (for grammar, writing or just plain fun).    Lagniappe is just another word for bonus / extra  here in Cajun country, y'all.                                        
I actually have these reading and responding language packets for almost every holiday.  These are great for inclusion/ push-in therapy also.  

Do not despair- I will continue to think about the big kids when making activities! 
I'd love to hear what you do with the "big kids" in your speech room!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using text messages, I will definitely have to try this! Although it doesn't relate to the "older crowd" post - I have your Tackling Apraxia activity in my cart for the upcoming TpT sale and I'm really looking forward to using it! :-)


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