Friday, 27 April 2018

Social Skills

Social Skills are an important topic. If we are working with kids who have delayed language skills, it is important that they have good social skills. They can help carry them through some sticky situations and they will help them when their language skills are lacking.

If you've ever been here before you know I love Tara West! Her products never disappoint and her prices are amazing for the amount you get! I recently purchased her Kinder Social Skills Curriculum. It, of course, didn't disappoint! I am going to use it with my elementary aged kids. You can take a look at how she describes it here:

What is the structure of KinderSocialSkills? KinderSocialSkills consists of 75 two-day lesson plans. Day one is an introduction of the skill and a social story. Day two is a review of the skill and a hands-on approach to applying the skill. On the second day the students are also asked to deeply think and apply the skill to their own lives. On both days the students will interact with their peers through verbal discussions. The teacher will lead the initial conversation and then turn it over to the students for their opportunity to have collaborative peer discussion. KinderSocialSkills also includes a follow-up independent writing sheet for each skill. This is a way for the students to put the skill on paper and for parents to be connected with the skill of the day. There is a note at the bottom of each paper so parents can track the social skill and hopefully continue the discussion of that skill at home.

What is included in KinderSocialSkills?

- 150 social skill lessons (75 skills spanning over 2 days each) *day one is a social story and day two is follow-up)
- 75 follow-up student sheets (2 differentiated versions included for non-writers and writers)
- paper clip art cat "puppets"
- notebook labels
- journal covers

What does the RESEARCH say about KinderSocialSkills?

Research shows us social skills are at times a bigger indicator for future success in life than academics (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2015). That statement is profound. A longitudinal study regarding kindergarten students and social skills was conducted by Drs. Damon Jones and Mark Greenberg, both professors at Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Max Crowley, a professor from Duke University. The kindergarten students were tracked over a 20 year period and the results were astonishing. The predictions made in kindergarten based upon their social skills had a direct correlation with outcomes met in mid-adulthood and later adulthood. The study showed that utilizing social emotional health programs at a young age can help to improve these social skills. Furthermore, when students are given an opportunity to learn social skills, educators and parents are given the ability to notice those lacking these social skills and then set up immediate and intense interventions to correct this disconnect. The researchers believed that social skills are just as vital in the kindergarten classroom as academics. 

 KinderSocialSkills: Kindergarten Social Skill Curriculum

She has 75 stories and then follows up activities to all of the important topics kids deal with. My favorites are tattling and interrupting.
Plus its a good bang for your buck at $15!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

OT Ideas in Speech and the Clasroom

Here are some great ideas that teachers can use in the classroom for wiggly kids
or for in your next speech therapy session!~

 Interest-Based Learning. Use your student's interests to introduce academic concepts. 
If they are engaged in an activity, 
they are much more likely to focus and find success. 
These activities could be presented at Centre Time. 

These are examples below using Lego:
  •  Creating Letters. First, make the letter with the Lego pieces, trace it with your finger, 
  •  Patterns. Lego is terrific to use for patterns. Introduce A/B patterns with different colors of
·         Lego. Build towers with Lego using patterns. Build on this activity by adding in turn-taking to build the towers in a pattern. 
  • Counting. Work together to build a house but give him the dimensions. Ex: Tell the student the 
house must be ten pieces long and seven pieces wide. This is also a great way to target concepts and following directions. 

Remaining Seated. Many students have a difficult time remaining seated throughout the
 day, and many students need more movement in their daily routines. Frequently by purposefully adding movement, we find students are more attentive and ready to learn. 

Some ideas for home and school are below:
Dynamic Seating. 
Trial an air-filled cushion or wobble stool in the classroom with students. 
Theraband. By tying a piece of elastic band to either the front legs of the desk or
between the legs of the chair it allows the students to wiggle and fidget their feet without distracting the class.
Work Positions. We often have students learn while seated at a desk or table. 
Vary work positions. Ex: Looking at a book while sitting cross-legged on the floor, 
coloring while standing with a paper taped to the wall, counting jumping jacks or
while bouncing a ball rather than working with manipulatives.

 Making letters with sticks in the sand rather than pencil and paper. Add hands-on learning whenever possible.
Movement Breaks. If there is an activity that requires sitting for long periods of time offer movement breaks to students. Some ideas have been previously provided.
 Heavy Work.
 Heavy work activities engage the big muscles in our body and provide
 proprioceptive (body in space) and vestibular (movement) feedback for the student. 
By purposefully engaging these senses through heavy work we find students become more organized and have better attention following these activities. 

Some examples of heavy work activities are below:
 Home: help unload groceries from the vehicle outdoor chores - help shovel the walkways, sweep, rake the leaves or carry a bucket to water the flowers. Carry the laundry basket, vacuum, wash floors. 
Home/School: Participate in sports and active games. 
Ride a bike. 
School: help carry a stack of books to the library or restock the photocopier with a
package of paper. 
push the lunch cart to the classroom. 
outside play monkey bars, rock walls, push someone on a swing. 
Putting away and taking out gym mats and equipment.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

How to make learning Verbs fun!

Working on verbs are a big thing in grammar and for speech therapy. I want to make it fun so I came up with a couple ideas.

Use videos:

Here are some of my favourite verb products:

 Say, Write & Wipe- Verb Tenses!          
 NO Prep-Making Verbs FUN!   

Everything You Need for Verbs

Hands-On Grammar Bundle

Lyndsey Kuster has some really great, unique and fun ideas in this bundle! I highly recommend!
She has some technology ideas as well as some hands on (act out the verb) ideas!