Using Chickens in Your Next Push-In Lesson

During the spring months, I love using specific themes to cover speech and language goals. Bugs, farm life, and spring vocabulary are part of my March and April themes. I also love incorporating chickens into my small group and push-in therapy because many kindergarten teachers are talking about newborn animals. Some teachers even raise eggs to hatch into baby chicks! If you are in search of chicken speech therapy activities for your K-2 students, you came to the right blog post.

Small and Whole Class Lesson Support

For my Special Day Classrooms, I do some form of whole class or co-teaching service delivery model. When I plan lessons for my whole class lessons, I definitely re-use those materials for my small group instruction as well. Today, I will be talking about how to implement the chicken speech therapy activities in a push-in format. But, if you don’t currently do a push-in model, you can still use these ideas in small groups. That’s the beauty of planning effective whole class lessons, because they work for small groups too (lesson planning made easy). If you are looking for information about how I set up my push-in lessons, check out this blog post HERE.

How to Structure Your Push-In Lesson

I usually plan a 15-20-minute lesson that I do with the whole class. During that time, I ask that the teacher and aides help support the behavior in the class. One day, I hope to train some of the staff to take data while I teach. #slpgoals

We start the lesson introducing the theme and reviewing behavioral expectations. Then, the teachers and myself run three different stations that last for 10 minutes each.

Behavior Management Tips for Work Stations

When I run push-in lessons, I try to follow the classroom rules and expectations. I also add in visual supports to help my students navigate what they should be doing during each station. I visually break it down into “What my body can do,” “What I do during the activity,” and “How to use my words.”

When it is time to transition to a new station, I set off a timer and use visuals to help remind students when they have to wait/go to the next station. You can read more about teaching behavior expectations HERE.

Chicken Books to Use with Your Speech Therapy Activities

After the stations, I read a book. During this time, I call on students with wh-question goals, emphasize key vocabulary, and try to get my students working on verb concepts to share about what they see in the pictures.

Here are some of my fave chicken books (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski

Interrupting Chickens by David Ezra Stein

The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley

Whole Class Lesson Ideas for Using Chickens

After I read the book, we do a Google Slide presentation about the theme.

Other activities you can do:

You can do an Anchor chart describing everything about chickens. You can include chickens “can” (i.e. Chickens can run.), “have” (i.e. Chickens have feathers.), chickens “are” (i.e. Chickens are animals.).

We play “Who has the egg?” I print out eggs or baskets and hide the eggs in the students’ hands while everyone has their eyes closed. Then, they open their eyes and students get to initiate a “who” question to a peer or staff member. We play this until all the eggs are found.

I will also put a chicken or an egg on a popsicle stick and work on the basic concept of the week. So, if I choose “above,” I will put the egg above students’ heads and items in the classroom. The students have to say “where” the egg is located.

Station #1 (10 minutes in length): Easter Egg Craft

Use an ice cube tray and put different colored paints in the tray. Attach pom pom balls to clothespins. Students can dip the pom pom balls in the paint to make different designs on the egg. You can work on initiating requests, waiting/sharing, asking friends to pass the paint, and talking about the colors. After the students create their craft, they can talk about what they did first, next, last.

Station #2 (10 minutes in length): Chicken Inferencing

Put the picture stimulus items in plastic eggs. I number the eggs with permanent marker, so I know what items are in which eggs. Use my inferencing cheat sheet to give students clues about “what” is in the egg. You can simultaneously work on taking turns, describing the noun by attributes and the concepts “open/close.”

Station #3 (10 minutes in length): Chicken Crossed the Road

Your students can work on making sentences with correct grammar using these mats. If you have students working on noun-functions or categories, the mats have food, school supplies, and transportation. Sentence frames are included to help your friends have greater success with more complex sentences.

Additional Chicken Speech Therapy Activities

I love using Dinky Doodads to work on skills. They are the perfect size for eggs. Check out how to use trinkets with plastic eggs HERE. You can also make a baby chick sensory bin to work on language skills. Check out the blog post for how to make it HERE (free printables included).

When I use a theme, I try to use the theme for at least two weeks. So, I will interchange some of the activities. At a station, I will bring in toys or games that can work on social skills and functional language.

With this cooperative game Count Your Chickens Game, you can target turn-taking, counting more/less/most, and describing the animals. I love Peaceable Kingdom games because there isn’t a winner or a loser. Perfect for our friends that like to win all of the time!

What Chicken Speech Therapy Activities Do You Plan?

I would love to know how you plan for therapy! If you have some fun chicken activities, share in the comments or tag me at @thedabblingspeechie.

What I love about planning my push-in lesson is that I can re-use the activities in my small group instruction. It feels so nice to have effective therapy plans that I can use across many groups.

Spring Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

Some struggles that I have had in the therapy room are how to keep my students engaged and ways to target multiple goals in a session.

For my younger crowd sensory bins have helped solve this problem. If you are a sensory bin making SLP, then this post is for you! Today, I am going to share Spring Sensory Bins for speech therapy that will pair well with this season.

Just FYI…this post is a little longer because I think having the pictures of what your next Spring sensory bin can look like gives ya that inspiration to make it! I have an Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide for my newsletter subscribers that has insect printables and Easter egg themed printables that you can grab by going to my Sensory Bin page (The guide includes a LOT more printables). Now, let’s get inspired and see what kind of sensory bins you can make for Spring!

 

Spring Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

#1. Make a sensory bin inspired by the In The Tall Tall Grass book. Use your plastic insects to create a fun bug bin. Toobs on Amazon are great (Amazon affiliate link included). You can read more about this bin on my blog post HERE.

I like using green shredded paper, dyed green pasta, cut up Easter grass or green tissue paper as my grass. What do you like to use?

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You can also make an insect bin or a bin inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. You can read this blog post to see more ideas on how to use this book. Search through your play food to find the items that the caterpillar eats, throw it in a bin and you can work on story telling. 

Flower Sensory Bins For The Spring Season

 

For all those SLPs in the elementary setting trying to rock those mixed groups, this flower garden sensory bin companion will help you target goals for articulation and language.

Spring Sensory bin for speech therapyYou can also go to the Dollar Store and buy fake flowers and mini planting pots to create a flower planting sensory bin! SLPs can target sequencing for “How to plant a flower?”, and practice describing flowers and garden tools by attributes. This is a great pretend play activity to work on language and social pragmatics with your younger students.

Spring Sensory Bins for speech therapy

Can You Find it? Sensory Bin with Spring Vocabulary

Many of my students are working on describing nouns by attributes or learning to explain a noun’s function. I like to use themed vocabulary to work on those skills. You can add mini items that would go in a spring category or put in different spring vocabulary printable items. I love using green shredded present packaging paper for grass and use dried black beans as dirt. 

Then, I have students go on a “Can You Find It Hunt?” You can add in a magnifying glass to make it more engaging. Can you find something that you wear? Can you find something that you blow? Can you find something that you sit on? For some of my other students, we also work on the verbs “hide” and “found”. We can hide items in the grass and work on generating complete sentences with sentence frames. Want to learn more about sentence frames? Here is a blog post I wrote all about them. This sensory bin is part of my spring-themd push-in language lesson plan guides if you need activities for your small and whole class instruction.

Spring Sensory Bins To Teach Vocabulary & Grammar

I created a Spring Sensory Bin Companion that comes with printables to work on verbs, basic concepts, vocabulary and more! There are reinforcer sensory bin activities as well as an articulation themed bin. In my companion, I also include articulation and language cheat sheets to help you with implementing therapy without having to think of words in the spring season!

If you love doing seasonal therapy and using sensory bins, then you may want to invest in getting my seasonal sensory bin bundle HERE.

I love sharing other sensory bins from SLPs because it helps us with planning therapy. Better to have more inspiring therapy ideas to pull from, right!?

Need More Sensory Bin Inspiration?

For all of my SLPs out there that LOVE sensory bins, hop on over to my sensory bin pinterest board for more inspiration. On my Sensory Bin page, you can find lots of resources for making your next sensory bin, including my Sensory Bin Webinar that you can watch the replay on youtube.

Join My 5 Day Sensory Bin Email Series

If you are super busy and struggle with completing DIY therapy projects, then come join my 5 day Sensory bin email challenge! Each day, I give you a small “to do” to complete to get your next sensory bin up and running.

6 Ways To Use Playdough in Speech Therapy

6 Ways To Use Playdough in Speech Therapy

f you are a speech pathologist working with younger students, you probably have playdough in your room already! Playdough is a staple in my speech therapy room. My students love materials that they can touch and feel. I think this is why slime, kinetic sand, and playdough are fan favorites amongst kids.

Today, I wanted to share 6 ways you can use playdough in speech therapy. There are a lot of ways you can adapt playdough to make therapy engaging. Plus, you can use playdough to build many language skills.

Where To Get Playdough For Your Speech Room

The easiest way to snag some playdough is on Amazon. I have this 24-can set (Amazon affiliate link) and love that I can re-use the cans if I decide to make homemade playdough. You can also get playdough from Lakeshore Learning that comes in bulk tubs. And if you have all the ingredients at home, you can make a LOT of playdough for an affordable price. I love adding in peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oils to make the playdough smell fun. There are so many easy playdough recipes that you can find on Pinterest. Here is one that I use often.

#1: Use Playdough in Speech Therapy For Behavior Management

Use playdough with a student’s “working for” chart. Each time the student exhibits a positive behavior, you can squish a playdough ball on the student’s “working for” chart. This will show when the student will earn his/her next reinforcer activity or item. This “working for” chart is part of my AAC Starter Kit.

I also like using playdough to help kids know when an activity will be over. It helps keep students engaged and working on the activity. Cover each item on the mat with playdough. When all the items are covered, the activity is completed.

You can also use a playdough mat reinforcer sheet with your whole group. As a group, the students can earn game time or free choice activity time.

You can roll out 10 balls of dough and have the students squish the dough for each articulation production. I love using my Visual Stimulus items with my sentence strips for my articulation students.

#2: Use Playdough in Speech Therapy To Work On Sequencing & Answering Wh-Questions

You can make playdough with your students! Kristine Lamb from Live Love Speech has amazing visual recipes that you can use to support functional communication, vocabulary, and sequencing steps.

She has two free recipes for making playdough. I love the Green Apple Dough Visual Recipe for fall, the Koolaid Dough Visual Recipe for any season, and the Peppermint Dough Visual Recipe for winter. These are all FREE printables in her store.

#3: Use Playdough in Speech Therapy For Teaching CORE Vocabulary

Playdough is great for our students that need to build those different CORE vocabulary functions! You can work on so many different functions of communication.

If you need a CORE board with fringe vocabulary to work on playdough, this one is part of my AAC Starter Kit in my TPT store. It saves me so much time and I always have visuals for my students to communicate with me. Plus, I have noticed an increase in functional communication and functions beyond just “requesting” items using these boards with students. You can try the bubbles fringe and CORE board HERE.

CORE words to target with playdough:

  • Go/Stop for rolling, squishing, or pulling the playdough. You can also get some great initiation and joint attention if you wait for the student to ask for “Go/Stop.”
  • More/Want to request wanting more playdough. Don’t just hand over the whole can of playdough to the student. Give them a little playdough at a time. They can request “more” and “want” to get more playdough.
  • My Turn/Your Turn to work on sharing the playdough.
  • See/Look to talk about what the other person/student is creating. For example, you can model or have students use their words with their CORE board or device, “I see_____.” or “Look at my _____!”.

What other CORE vocabulary would you target? Share in the comments.

#4: Use Playdough in Speech Therapy To Teach Basic Concepts and Following Directions

You can work on teaching basic concepts using playdough. Make mini playdough balls and gather items around your room. Have students follow directions with the playdough balls and items. For example, “Put the playdough in the cup,” or, “Put the playdough behind the bucket.”

You can also use playdough mats or picture scenes to work on basic concepts such as above, below, between, in front, next to, etc.

#5: Use Playdough As A Visual Support

Make a snail or snake to help demonstrate slow speech for a student working on fluency strategies.

A bunny can be used to show how our speech can get bouncy.

For articulation, you can have students form the sound he/she is working on, to help them remember to use the correct sound. I loved this idea from Natalie Snyders for teaching the R.

Playdough can also help with phonological awareness activities for inserting or deleting sounds, counting syllables in words, or identifying beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words.

Roll out different colored playdough balls to help build longer sentences. You can use blue for nouns, green for verbs, red for adjectives, and orange for prepositional phrases. Get these FREE playdough mats by click the image below.

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#6: Use Playdough To Work on Pretend Play and Conversation

There are so many fun playdough sets that children can use to pretend. For example, I have the Playdoh Pie Set (Amazon affiliate) that you can use to work on conversation. Students can take each other’s orders, practice serving the pie to each other, and pretend to pay for the pie at a restaurant.

The Playdoh Frozen Treats and Playdoh Pasta Maker are fun, too! I remember as a kid, I had the Playdoh hair styling set. It was super fun.

Another fun pretend play activity is to make chocolate playdough that actually smells like real chocolate! Here is the recipe I used. You can have students create little chocolates to put in a candy box. They can decorate their chocolates with small beads or plastic trinkets. Or they can make hot chocolate for each other! Make sure you check to see if the recipe is editable, so that your kids don’t try and eat it.

How do You Use Playdough in Speech Therapy?

Playdough is a material that has helped me keep therapy engaging and functional. I have seen so many students make progress with all sorts of speech and language skills with incorporating playdough into my speech therapy sessions. So, I always want to know MORE ways I can use playdough. Please share your best therapy ideas or tips in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com. Of course, you can always share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thedabblingspeechie.

Real Talk SLP episode 8

Today on the Real Talk SLP podcast, I wanted to talk about the ups and downs of finding relevant, engaging and practical professional development for the busy SLP.

As SLPs we are pulled very thin between conducting therapy, assessing, and all that fun paperwork.

In particular, school-based SLPs have to be knowledgeable about so many different areas because we treat a lot of disorders, and ages.

I decided to bring on my SLP blogger besties to have some real talk about professional development. Each one shares about the current struggles with finding good PD as well as recommending some resources that have helped them to feel confident about their clinical decisions.

Professional Development Resources for Busy SLPs

The Informed SLP is a resource we all have memberships and use regularly.

We all agreed that attending the ASHA Convention has lots of great presentations and so many options to chose from; however, it is expensive and difficult to take that time off of work. ASHA’s evidence maps can be a helpful place to start when looking for information on a certain topic.

A great alternative is to use Speech Pathology.com or Speech Therapy PD.

Natalie recommended The Impact of Unilateral Hearing Loss and Single Sided Defness for the Pediatric Population from SpeechPathology.com

Marueen recommended Intervention for Selective Mutism: The Nuts and Bolts of Behavioral Treatment

Hallie recommended Evidence Based Practice Treatment Approaches for Improving Vocabulary in Children with Language Disorders

I recommended any courses or presentations by Char Boshart who has a lot of courses on Speech Therapy PD. If you are interested in Speech Therapy PD (Use code: SLPROCKSTAR” to get $10 off either subscription).

I also just presented with Rehab Seminars and they had a lot of practical presenters that were very helpful including Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP and William Van Cleave, MA, Educational Consultant

We are all fans of FREE PD, right!? The SLP Summit is a free online webinar training that goes on twice a year during winter and summer. There are a ton of different topics and you can learn while sitting by the pool or your couch. 

We also discuss how the four of us SLPs came up with the idea for the Speech Retreat. It is a one day Professional Development that is packed with practical therapy ideas you can use tomorrow. Plus, we wanted to celebrate SLPs, so we include swag bags and LOTS of raffle prizes. Check it out at Speech Retreat and sign up for the April 13th Speech Retreat in Raleigh, NC.

What is your favorite PD or conference you attended?

I would love to know what relevant PD you have attended to help spread the word to other SLPs. Share in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com

Using File Folders in Speech Therapy

One of the best ways to create materials for your speech room is to use file folders. File folders are easy to store, are readily available and can be transported easily in your therapy bag. Today, I am going to share how SLPs can use file folders in speech therapy to have materials for their students.

Most SLPs use file folders to help keep them organized with confidential student information such as assessment reports and IEPs. They are great for that purpose! But, I also love using file folders in speech therapy to make visuals and activities.

Where To Get File Folders for Your Speech Room

As a budget friendly SLP, I try to get access to file folders through my school. When I had a $100-200 budget, I allotted funds to stock up on file folders. If you like having color coded file folders, Amazon has a good set HERE (amazon affiliate links). They can be helpful for color coding therapy groups or forms. 

#1: Use File Folders for Behavior Management & Visual Supports

Use file folders in speech therapy to visually re-inforce expected versus unexpected behaviors during a lesson. I just opened a file folder and then folded each side into the middle. Then, I glued color paper on each side, so it could help students differientiate the side their names were on. Then, I just used post-it notes, so I could re-use the file folder for a different purpose or group.

Use file folders to create visual supports and behavior management charts. I have several students with behavior charts, so I put all the visuals I need in one place. If you need these FREE printables, just click the button below. It comes with black and white, color and a blank version that is an editable PDF, so you can customize for your students. I wanted to laminate and use with a dry erase marker, so I used my 12 inch laminator that I got from Swingline on Amazon. You can also laminate on your school’s large laminator. If you need laminating sheets, I love stocking up from Amazon. 

#2: Use File Folders to Create Re-Useable Therapy Activities

I love using no prep worksheets into re-useable file folder activities. They take a minute to prep, but then you have them available any time you need them. File folder activities can be used as independent work or as station activities. You can even make for the classroom teachers or parents to try and get some additional practice outside the speech room. 

With some of my themed no prep activities to work on noun-verb agreement with “is” and “has”, I printed out these spring worksheets, cut them out and then glued the pictures to the file folder. I then, laminated the folder. Next, I laminated the images, cut them out and attached with velcro dots. This is now an interactive language activity, I will never have to photocopy again lol. Want to make your own noun-verb agreement file folders? These sheets are in all of my seasonal no prep resources you can find HERE.

If you haven’t started using velcro dots, I highly recommend them! Amazon is my go-to for these. 

Here is another example of turning a cut n’ glue no prep worksheet into a re-useable file folder activity. Just glue the worksheet on the folder, laminate, and then attache velcro for the interactive pieces. This activity is part of my No Prep Categories Worksheets.

Use File Folders in Speech Therapy for Vocabulary

There is a lot of research that teaching tier II vocabulary is very helpful for reading comprehension and building vocabulary skills. When you incorporate antonyms, synonyms and understanding prefixes/suffixes and root words, it can help students build stronger vocabularies. I put different colored construction paper on the file folder. I folded the two sides into the middle to create the three sides. Then, I got based words and prefixes that could go with the base words with post-its.

#3: Use File Folders in Speech Therapy to Make Homework Folders

Some of my students are working on their speech sounds at home as well. To help parents with giving their child feedback, I used this visual self reflection sheet from Speechy Musings (it’s free if you are on her newsletter list). I stapled the visual on one side.

Then, I printed up words using my Any Craft Companion and stapled those to the other side. With a paperclip, I slipped on the homework accountability sheet from Kiwi Speech (it’s free too).

Use File Folders in Speech Therapy for Visual Supports

Visual sentence frames helps students when they are learning a new skill. It reduces the cognitive demands, so they can process and practice the new skill until it is mastered. Check out my post HERE if you need more ideas and info about sentence frames. I have a lot of students that are working on inferencing for language and for social skills.  When we can make smart guesses about what the person is thinking or feeling based on their body language, it can help use with understanding the character’s motives in a story, carry on a better conversation or know what to say in a social situation.

 I just glued these visual inferencing sentence frames to a file folder and can use with any activity, video, or photo. I like that it is portable and could even be given to a student to have at his/her desk. Get the sentence frames and 10 FREE real photo task cards in my TPT store. Need real photos to work on social inferencing? These photos are from my social skill breask curriculum that you can access HERE

You can also glue or staple together two file folders to create a trifold. Then, you can add visual supports students may need for language skills such as parts of speech, attributes, adjectives, or antonyms/synonyms like the Student Language Helper I made for my students. 

How Do You Use File Folders in Speech Therapy?

Since I have file folders readily on hand, I am always looking for easy ways to use them in therapy for students. That means I want to know what you are doing with them! Please share your best therapy ideas or tips in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com. Of course, you can always share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thedabblingspeechie.