End Of The Week SLP Blues- Pre-school Language Edition

So my new job here in Chicago is at a speech and language pre-school.  So far it's been crazy busy, but I'm realizing everyday that it's a really great fit for me.  I've always loved working with the little guys and if you can imagine I actually have time built in my schedule for lesson planning (I know, right?!?) Needless to say the lesson planning block is one of the major highlights of my day.  I feel like I can really contribute some great ideas during that time.  I was perusing Pinterest the other day and saw some really fun activities that I'd love to incorporate into some of my classes.  Here are some ideas that I've been anxious to make.

Take different fabrics, products, household items and make a sensory board.  I think it would be really fun to do one for every season.  Have items that you use during each time of year and create a picture out of them.  Winter could have parts of mittens, socks, something shiny.  Then you're targeting lots of language that they might hear throughout the season. 
I've set up some major race tracks in my day, but I want a giant cardboard tube so bad now.  Click on the link to read the ideas behind this tube.

Another great activity that you could incorporate into any theme.  Place items that target the vocabulary you are trying to elicit in a bottle and add sand, beans, rice etc.  The children can shake the bottles and label all the items. It would be fun if you had a song to go with your theme because the bottles would double as shakers. 

Create functional play scenarios with a cardboard box.  If you can't afford to buy the plastic versions of grocery stores or kitchens, use a refrigerator box or something large enough for your idea and create your own.  Have the kids help you make it (think how much language would be happening!).  Recently, our school went on a field trip to the nature museum.  In our social language class we had the students create a nature museum out of a cardboard box.  They found animals around the room and used markers to create windows and exhibits that they had seen.  Such a fun activity!

I just thought this was a cute craft project.  You could have a camping theme and the kids could make s'mores and pretend to sit around the campfire and tell stories or sing songs.  Also, this justifies my hoarding of toilet paper/paper towel rolls. 

So, I feel like I must apologize for my lack of posting. I'm sure all of you know how stressful it is to start a new job, and I come home and am completely exhausted.  So while I may have been having some happy hours, the "Appy Hour" was too much for me to wrap my brain around.  I will get those rolling again here soon.  Thanks for understanding and I'm excited to get really settled- in, in the next couple months and create tons of ideas for you all.  The population I work with has decreased in age, but I'll try to make sure to incorporate activities for older elementary when I can.  On that note, if you all ever have any requests for activities leave a comment and I will try my best to incorporate that idea into a post.  Also, I know you all out there have some great ideas.  Send them to me because I would love, love, love to see them and possibly put them up on the site.

Behavior Management

Stop Light

This may look familiar.  I talked about using this in my transportation post for final consonant deletion.  I love multi-purpose therapy tools! I use this for a visual reminder for my students (mostly my preschool and kindergarten kids).  I print out their names, add velcro and the goal is to stay on green the whole time.  If they move to yellow then they can still earn their way back up to green, but if they get on red that means no sticker and I report back to their teacher/parents.  Usually just getting on yellow puts them in check and they are ready to work after just that warning.  You can also use terms like green choices (good choices) or red choices (bad choices). 

Thought Pails

My friend Angela uses this with her groups and it does wonders.  Blue or Purple sticks means she's having "good" thoughts about the student.  Red or yellow sticks mean she's having "weird" thoughts about the student and they need to fix the issue.  These visual reminders really seem to help. 

Token Boards

I found this great resource along with many other visuals off elearning.autism.net.  Some kids need a constant visual reminder of what they are working towards.  These token boards are great with that.  I will often use them with my younger kids working on articulation that just don't have the attention to task that is required to complete the drill practice.  

Here is another great visual from Live Speak Love

I'm a big believer in positive reinforcement.  When I see a student sitting quietly and doing what they are asked to do I try and make sure I tell them, " I like that Johnny is sitting with his hands in his lap."   This usually encourages the other students to do what's being asked as well. 

What do you all do to promote making good choices? Leave a comment below so everyone can see!