Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Story about Gratitude (and some freebies!)

Soooooo... I have spent much of the day procrastinating starting preparations for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  I'm mostly putting it off because my kitchen is so wonderfully clean and I really want it to stay that way just a tad longer.  Since I'm avoiding food prep,  I decided it was the perfect time I link up with my friends, the Frenzied SLPs to yap about holiday goodies. 

At the very end of the this post, you can click on their logos to read about more holiday goodies- everything from holiday lessons, craftivities, therapy ideas and recipes! 

I always say November is good for the soul.  I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my blessings, prioritizing spending my time with people instead of things and telling those that mean so much to me exactly how grateful I am to have them in my life.  You should know I'm grateful for you, too.  Yes, you, you reading this :) 

One of the things I'm thankful for these days is my sweet and talented graduate student who has spent this semester with me.  The week after Thanksgiving is her last week, and the students and I will miss her so much.  I'm so impressed with her and feel sure she will make a great SLP.  Before we left for Thanksgiving break, I broke out every Christmas goody I had in my arsenal and let her have at it. 

By the way, in the bucket below you'll spy:  1) Christmas sticker scenes from Oriental trading, which I love for the little ones 2) some snowflake foam beads great for making winter necklaces and reinforcing any skill 3)  Gingerbread themed board games for articulation perfect for your Gingerbread Man units 4) Reindeer games for articulation 5) and Christmas themed lists of word for drill by phoneme which come with my Christmas quick drill games

She planned for her last week of therapy and I planned for the dreaded next week when I will be back in the trenches without her.  Here are some things we have on tap: Santa's Naughty and Nice Lists for articulation.  I love these list so much because nothing all year long makes my kids giggle like these do.  Here are the Naughty and Nice Artic Lists below along with my Suit Up Santa open ended game (also sure to produce giggles). 

My grad student zoned in on these Christmas Barrier Games for my kids with receptive language goals, 

I love having my students with expressive goals tell us where to place the objects for the barrier game as well! 

I even use these for my articulation students who need to address carryover of sound productions into conversational speech. 

After Christmas, the barrier games continue ... The Winter barrier games are ready to go! 

My students with language goals will also be listening and following directions with this Listen and Color page from my Christmas Fun Pack.  It's not as easy as they all think it will be! 

We will also be using EETchy to write about all sorts of Christmas topics (also from my Christmas Fun Pack - which really has enough activites to last all of December!)

 My older students and I will be reading about Christmas Traditions Around the World (and so will my entire inclusion class, actually).  These are so fascinating!! I learned as much making them as my students do reading them!  Did you know that in Japan, it's tradition to eat Fried Chicken on Christmas- especially KFC!?!  They take orders in advance!! 

I have student who is working on learning "emotion words" and interpreting facial expressions, and this will be a fun addition to his therapy one day I think :) 

By the way, this is a FREEBIE in my TpT store! It's a fun way to address emotions and  articulation and fluency in connected speech as well because the packet includes lots of questions the students have to answer about Santa's mood or what may have happened to the Gingerbread Man so make him feel this way.  

Celebrating Hanukkah?  I wouldn't leave you out!! 
My Happy Hanukkah Quick Drill game just makes me smile! 

My articulation students will also be making some cut and paste Speech Snowglobes. After I hang them up and show them off for a couple of days, they'll also be taking them home as the dreaded homework.  Do your kids complain about speech homework, too? 
I mean, come on, it only takes a few minutes! 

We will also be doing some Snowglobe Quick Drill (and the varieties of Christmas quick drills in my TpT store!)  I love that sometimes my students want to "trade" cards after we play.  
They're very protective of their favorites. 

With my little bitty ones, we always decorate Christmas trees.  You can use tree template or cut out along with sequins or these great peel and stick gems that I buy on Amazon, LakeShore Learning or Oriental Trading. I use them as reinforcers for any skill.  After students perform a skill, I let them stick a gem or two.  As you can see below, we also always make reindeer food for Rudolph and his hungry deer friends, too!

Hot off the press (just yesterday) I finally finished and posted my Christmas Dot Art for  ALL Sounds- mostly because these are on our plans for next week!! Previously I only had /r/, vocalic r and /s/ dot art pages for Christmas.  Now I have the whole shabang - 69 pages in all!! There's a Christmas tree scene, a Santa scene as shown below, and a Christmas stocking.  OH, and it includes open ended pages, too, which is what is shown here.  Since my little guy was just learning /s/ in isolation in this day, I just wrote a simple "s" on each circle and he dotted them as he said them correctly.  Then he filled in the whole page to make Santa's suit complete. This Santa was rocking the green sleeves and britches. LOL 

You can grab a sample of the Christmas Dot Art featuring Vocalic R only HERE.  Hooray! 

My kids will also be doing some scratch art which is an ideal way to keep groups busy while rotating old fashioned artic drill with students.  I buy mine at Oriental Trading. They double as ornaments! 

Do you want some real goodies this Christmastime? Last year, we made both of these goodies in my speech room: 

Oreo Reindeer Snacks 
All you need is one big, broken pretzel for antlers, 1 oreo taken apart and put back together,  2 mini M&M eyes, and 1 big red Rudolph nose M&M. It makes for a great sequencing activity! 

Snowman Cookies!

I give each student a sugar cookie and have them spread white icing on it (no licking the plastic knife!). Then they add Twizzler strips for the ear muff headband and smile, mini M&Ms for his eyes, and an orange TicTac for his nose.  Finally, the kids cover those hypothetical snowman ears with 2 big Lifesaver Gummy ear muffs!! This is a fun activity for following directions, discussing winter and winter gear, chatting about building snowmen, sequencing, emotions (we can make frowns, too) or just discussing the irony of a snowman wearing ear muffs!! It's a tasty follow up activity for any snowman book, too :) 

I guess it's time for me to stop procrastinating and go chop veggies for tomorrow's stuffing (here in Louisiana we call it dressing).  I can't wait to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while I get my cooking on in the morning!! If you're so inclined, say a prayer for everyone gathered there in Manhattan tomorrow for that big event.  With Paris on my mind, we must keep praying that kindness and peace may permeate the hearts of those who hate and for the safety of our fellowman. 

After lunch, it's tree trimming time!! My family is already complaining. YIKES.  
Happy Holidays from Louisiana!" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up


  1. I want to come hang out in YOUR speech room! What fun activities you are using for your students, they are a lucky bunch! Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Mia! I love reading your posts. You are such a joyful person! Thank you!


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