April 24, 2014

DIY: Articulation Connect Four

One of my favorite games growing up was Connect 4. To this day, I enjoy playing this game. And did you know that this game can be adapted into a cheap, awesome, and fun articulation activity? 

You will need the following items:

* Connect 4 game (check for used copies at Goodwill, I found several there for $1.99)
* round Avery labels (3/4" diameter) - check Walmart
* pen
* a list with target words

First, write your target words onto your labels. Then, stick the labels onto the game chips. There should be 21 tokens of each red and black in a complete Connect 4 set, so if you stick a label on both sides, you can have 28 labels for a sound in each initial, medial, and final position. In my example, I highlighted the target sound by making it a different color. 
Put a label on each side of the play tokens.
As soon as all of the labels are attached, you are ready to play!
Articulation Connect 4!
Tip#1: Make sure your label size doesn't exceed the 3/4" diameter, otherwise the chip's color will be covered up.
Tip#2: If you want to make multiple sets for different sounds, but only have one game: basic checkers chips are the same size, too.
Tip#3: You can re-create this activity for a checkers game.
Tip#4: This works for other educational targets, like sight words.

I hope you like this as much as I do!

April 22, 2014

Game Review: Bunny Hop

Available here.
I recently stumbled across a really fun game that my students have enjoyed immensely: Bunny Hop by Educational Insights. I got lucky and found a copy of this game at Goodwill, complete save the instructions (which where downloadable online). Fortunately this game is pretty affordable on amazon, as well.

What I like about this game is that the turns are quick and that there is an educational component as well, as students have to memorize information and strategize their next move. 

The premise is simple: the farmers' carrot field has been invaded by rabbits. The rabbits come in four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. Some of the rabbits have the capability to hop, others do not. On their turn, players roll the multi-colored die, choose a matching rabbit, and push down on it. Then they push on one of the farmers (doesn't matter which one). If the bunny jumps out, players get to keep that bunny. Whoever gets a rabbit of each color first, is the winner. 
           The game board.         The yellow rabbit was a jumper!
The die also has some special moves: the rainbow side lets you pick a bunny of any color (you can just take it, regardless of whether it is a jumper), and the arrow side makes you trade one of your bunnies with another player. This requires that players use some critical thinking and strategizing. A fun little addition to any speech room, especially around Easter!

April 5, 2014

Easter Egg Inferencing Activity

One more week until Spring break, which means that it is almost time for Easter! Having the break so late this year is really difficult - I've been counting down the days. And if I am this burnt out, I can only imagine how my kiddos are feeling! In order to make the wait until the break a little bit less painful for my students, I created an Easter-themed inferencing activity. A number of my students have logic-building, inferencing type goals to improve on their critical thinking skills, and this is a great way to work on these goals.

This activity consists of 54 cards: the front contains an Easter egg with three clues about a mystery item, and the back of the cards (if you choose to print them double-sided) has a picture of the answer. This activity would be fun for preschool or Kindergarten classrooms or Speech groups. The difficulty level is fairly easy, so this is best for younger audiences. You can adapt this activity in several ways:
Easter egg inferencing - get it here!

• Simply read clues and have students guess what the item is.
• Place all the picture cards on the table, then read clues and have students find a picture.
• Give students points based on how many clues they needed (e.g., one clue = 3 points, two clues = 2 points, three clues = 1 point).
• Show students the picture card first, then have them come up with possible clues that might be on the card.

I also included 9 blank cards so you can add your own clues! If this sounds like something that fits your students' needs, please come visit my TPT store!


April 2, 2014

No Plan Articulation Activity: Hot & Cold

I haven't updated in a while (completely swamped with triennial and initial evaluations!). If your life is any bit like mine, it is unlikely that there is much time for planning a therapy session (not that there is a lot of time for that anyway). I know that my articulation students are tired of mindless drill, so I thought I should give a brief update with a quick, cheap, easy, and functional therapy activity that my mentor showed me during my school-based internship. All you need for this game is a deck of Super Duper articulation cards (or any other deck that has the cards in pairs). First, separate the deck so that you end up with two identical decks. 
Make sure there is one of each card in each deck.
Next, take one of the decks and line up the cards in your therapy area, so that they are arranged in a rectangle. The order of the cards does not matter.
Set up the cards like this.
You are the "keeper" of the second card deck. To begin the game, shuffle the cards and look at the card on the top. Make sure your students can't see it! Only you know what the picture on the top card is. 
Only you get to know the secret picture.
On their turn, students have to guess the secret picture by figuring out its surrounding pictures. So they ask questions like, "Is the word around a ___?" I purposely used this carrier phrase for my /r/ group, but you can modify it to suit your needs. You will then say "hot" or cold" depending on whether the secret card is surrounding the card they guessed. So for example, if the target word is "four" and students ask, "Is the word around a bear?", you would say "Hot". Students then keep asking until they have enough clues to guess what the word is.
The Four is surrounding the Bear.
This activity takes no prep -- the hardest part is separating the card decks and spreading them out. And kids think they're playing a game. Does it get any easier?