Monday, November 28, 2011

Rudolph and Joint Action Routines

A long time ago, I went to ASHA (I think 1983?) and learned all about 'Joint Action Routines'.  The term stuck with me, and I often use that as one of my guiding principles when planning for my sessions with children who have limited language skills.  Basically, the adult in charge sets up an interaction---it could be a craft activity, a snack activity, or a story book.  The child is given several opportunities to interact in the same routine.  For example, the snack routine might be the same for a week---same language, same communication board, same items.  The child should improve in his or her interactions and language skills within the context of this routine because it is predictable, repetitive, and logical.  The following week, then, rather than tossing out the routine, the adult changes it a little,   maybe by adding a different snack item, or a drink.  Maybe the new snack needs a spoon to go with it.  The child can then build on pre-existing language skills and add in new language.

Rabbits, cats, turkeys, bears, and mice!
In my therapy sessions, the kids and I have our routines.  We develop a simple schedule together, and I usually do similar routines from day to day.  I do like crafts and so lately, our routine is centered around paper bag puppets.  I had no idea that there was such variety!   The concept of different paper bag puppets follows along with joint action routines, because some items in the craft remain constant.  You always use a bag.  The creature always has a face.  The differences are small--the name of the animal, the color of the nose, the shape of the ears, the sound it makes at the end.  During the process, the kids learn to request the tools needed (scissors, glue), follow directions, comment, answer questions, take turns, and ask for more.

Today, we started a new paper bag puppet craft to go along with the holidays---Rudolph!!!  Lessons learned----kids can't cut out complicated antlers, so do this in advance.     Another lesson---a fire drill in the middle of the craft hinders completion of the craft in one session. For a complete step-by-step for this project, click HERE
Boardmaker topic board
sample to show the kids
Right before the unexpected fire drill

For this activity, I went back to one of my favorite apps on the iPad---Pictello.  They have now upgraded this so that pdfs can be emailed---I emailed this to the teacher of these kids so they can make more reindeer!   (see Joint Action Routine)  Repetition is good! 

Below are some screenshots from Pictello.  Kids love it because they hear the 'text to speech', and can turn the pages on the iPad.  They chose different colored antlers, by the way, rather than the red ones pictured.  I thought that was cute! 

screenshot from Pictello

another screenshot from Pictello

final Pictello screenshot
I hope you all enjoy this blog.  I got the reindeer pattern from Enchanted Learning----20 dollar subscription but it has tons and tons of ideas (including a whole bunch of paper bag puppet ideas!!)


  1. I LOVE this reindeer puppet! I'm also loving the the iPad apps! I haven't gotten one yet, but I told my husband when I return to work he might need to buy me one! ;) Thanks so much for linking up at Thrifty Thursday! I am SO happy to have another fellow SLP linking up. I hope to "see" you next week too!!

  2. OH and I am supposed to be gluten I've GOT to check out your recipes!!

  3. Love your blog! I guess there must be quite a few of us SLPs who also go gluten free or have a gluten free loved one! Best wishes for continued blogging in the new year!