Thursday, May 2, 2019

Getting Data from Flashcards Beyond Plus and Minus

Like many SLPs I use flashcards, especially in my social skills group. One of the problems I have always had with flashcards is how to get permanent product data, especially when working with a large group. I've used data sheets and Post-Its but what I really wanted to track how my kids were doing over time. This led me to create worksheets to go with my Flashcards such as this Handling Difficult Situations deck from Super Duper.

The worksheets have worked well for the kids too. It gives them a place to organize their thoughts and make sure they have all the components for a complete answer.

One of my co-teacher uses a note card approach by having the kids write their answers on a note card. This can work well too.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Increasing Access for Students with Motor & Visual Impairment

This week my SLP roommate and I targeted the Unique Learning Standard for March (Middle School band) which is energy. I had created this PowerPoint lesson using Boardmaker back in July.

We have a couple of students with cortical visual impairment and we are always trying to think of ways to make our lessons be more inclusive. My SLP roommate had the great idea of hooking a PowerLink up to a switch adapted disco ball. 

The result was magic. Students loved hitting the switch to make the disco ball "go" (spin and light up). The switch access aspect is a great way to include students with mobility impairments and increase participation of all students.

Another way to improve access and participation for students with visual impairments is high contrast and tactile books. You can make your own or do a quick search of Amazon which will bring up a variety of options for younger students and some for older students as long as you stick to nonfiction topics such as animals. This one is from Melissa & Doug is great because it is manipulative, washable, and comes in its own carrying case.

There are also some "off the shelf" options that just happen to be high contrast such as "Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert. This book is nonfiction and can be used with older students who have intellectual disabilities.

The entire book is high contrast.  It's beautifully written with simple text.

This ensures the lesson is differentiated for all learners so that each of my students can participate in the way that is most functional for them. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

"Flying" into Spring

It all started with a sentence strip. This sentence strip make with PCS symbols from Boardmaker.

About 5 years ago the SLP who worked with me at my school (who was a CF at the time) discovered that the animation feature in PowerPoint could be used to insert sentence strips into slides which could also be printed and use as scaffolded support during speech lessons such as this one on the water cycle.

Fast forward to last month when I suddenly remembered this feature.

The kids get a kick out of seeing which sentences will appear. It has also helps them to slow down, take their time, and really absorb the information. One of the things my SLP roommate started doing is asking the kids a question before we "fly in" the sentence strip. The kids answer the question by forming sentences on their devices and then check to see if they are right when the sentence "pops" up. They get so excited to check their answers plus they think seeing the sentence strips appear is hilarious.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Biomes of the World Deserts

Our last week of biomes last week focused on deserts. 

There was so much to talk about 

The lesson ended with the creation of a foldable just like the general Ed peers make 

Biomes of the World Rainforests

A couple weeks ago my intern delivered this lesson on rainforests in group speech.

The lesson was paired with a BrainPop video on rainforests 

And included a rainforest snack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Biomes of the World Grasslands

Week 3 of Biomes was Grasslands. I created the lesson but it was my SLP roommate's turn to run it. 

We talked about how dry the climate is.

The animals that live in the grasslands 

and how they stay safe

The kids answered questions 

Practiced making sentences 

And made an edible grasslands biome complete with yellow "dry" grass

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Biomes of the World Oceans

Here is what we did for 2 of biomes in group speech with our ID classes. While I create most of the lessons all the SLPs at my school including whoever my intern is at the time take turns delivering the lesson. This happened to be my week to deliver the lesson.

Our topic was Oceans

We talked about the different animals that live in the ocean biome including what they do and what they eat. All the kids get really excited when sentence strips are included and they can find the sentences on their communication devices.

We watched a video from BrainPop Jr. about biome zones in the ocean and then completed a worksheet created using Boardmaker.

Finally we decorated ocean biome cookies using sugar cookies, blue frosting, and fruit snacks shaped like ocean animals. 

It was the favorite part of the lesson of course!