Saturday, October 29, 2016

One-Sided Gerald--Using a Political Advertisement Video in a Social Skills Group

Happy Fall Everyone, and Happy Election Season!

The airwaves are full of political ads.  Most I tune out, but I came across one that has been passed around on Facebook which is very funny.  As I watched it, I was reminded of a previous blog post about using videos to teach students the difference between one-sided monologues and two-way conversations.  The video, "Please Re-Elect Gerald" is perfect for this lesson in teaching this concept.

Watch for yourself.

With your students, you can use these questions as talking points:

1.  Which style of talking is Gerald using?  (talking at or talking with)
      Explain why you think this.

2.  Look at the body language and facial expressions of the people around him.
     What do you think they are thinking?

3.  Why does Gerald's wife want him re-elected?

4.  What could Gerald do differently to bring his listeners into the conversation?

5.  How do you choose topics to talk about with people?  Do you think that everyone is interested in Gerald's conversation topics?  What else could he talk about?

I'm sure there are many other talking points in this video.  If you want to get creative, you can take screen shots of this at crucial intervals, project on a Smart Board and draw in thought bubbles. Students could then write the thoughts of the bored family members.

Have fun with this!   I'm rooting for Gerald!  This was an awesome ad.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Halloween Night---book by Shannon Moore Fitzgerald; Free Companion Materials

Hello, Here in North Carolina today, we have been trapped in the Hurricane Matthew spiral.  Luckily, Chapel Hill has escaped most of the wrath, but for me personally, it has meant that the beautiful Hilton Head wedding for my daughter was scrapped.  Very sad for her and for all of us who wanted to celebrate this joy.   Maybe a redo in April?  I'll keep you posted.

picture taken of the wedding site before evacuating

I want to highlight a new Halloween book for those of you who work with younger kids.  It's entitled "Halloween Night" written by Shannon Moore Fitzgerald.  I had previously reviewed a Thanksgiving book by this same author, but this book is just as good with great artwork and simple language.

From Amazon:  A rollicking romp through Halloween! Kids of all ages will recognize the sights, sounds, and wonder of Halloween. With a rhyming pattern that is fun and catching, interesting vocabulary, and fun sound words, children will want to read or hear this book over and over. Appropriate for Preschool through upper elementary school audiences. Written and illustrated by Hillsborough, North Carolina author/artist, Shannon Moore Fitzgerald, this book is a rocking good time! Besides the fun text and clever illustrations drawing the reader or listener in, there are lesson resources in the back of the book for teachers, parents, grandparents, homeschoolers, or care givers to springboard children’s learning and creativity. When you wrap learning in fun kids are hooked! Halloween is a magical time, so take advantage of it.

I have taken the liberty of providing some visuals to go with this book. These visuals are from Smarty Symbols and are copyrighted. Please use only with this book.  I liked this book for use with my more challenged children because of the simple language and concepts. If I worked with regular education school aged children, the lessons provided in the back of the book are great for extending thinking and creativity.

Icons for your more challenged learners

Also included in the link below is a visual step by step for making a fun little lollipop ghost.

Pretty awesome book for Halloween.  Order from Amazon, download these visuals and you have a fun little unit!

Click HERE to download visuals free.

disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this book to review but otherwise, gain nothing financially.  This blog contains a link to Amazon.  


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Frozen's Elsa and her Difficulties with Self-Regulation

I don't know about other speech-language pathologists, but I'm finding typical guided reading books a tad boring.  I apologize to whoever wrote all the level F books, but four of my students (third and fourth grade) have been stuck at that level for a while and are getting nowhere fast.
Level F books have riveting titles such as "Cleaning My Room", and "Farm Friends" that would make any third or fourth grader stuck there collapse in boredom while the vocabulary in such books is not enriching to say the least.

Since I'm really not a reading interventionist, and all of my students have IEP goals related to language comprehension (more global than just reading), I've taken a different route for a little while.  All of my kids love Disney, so we searched the Chapel Hill Library website to find books they would like.  The most recent one was Frozen.

Why did I chose such a book?  Simple---the students were familiar with the plot. This became a shared language experience, and they used prior knowledge of the plot to learn new vocabulary and write about the story elements.  They were also extremely interested in this and attentive. (I like the attentive aspect.)

Language lesson aside, what I really wanted to share today was one student's spontaneous observation about Elsa---he described her as first being in the yellow zone, and then the red zone.  He obviously remembered the  Zones of Regulation classes and materials he had been exposed to.  The pictures (and the plot which he had memorized from the movie) helped him to make this connection.

Elsa attempts a strategy to avoid Red. She stays in Yellow a long time.

Red!!!!  (Trigger was jealously over Anna and Hans)
 It's a great thing when you can use a student's experience and knowledge about something such as a movie to connect to such a concept as self-regulation.  I think this worked since students sometimes watch the same movies daily, putting the plot and characters into long term memory.  The student then doesn't have to struggle with story comprehension AND learning new skills at the same time.  If your social skills groups are working with the Zones, try this book!   You don't need to even read the whole thing.  Elsa progresses up the zones in the first few pages.  Read the kids part of the book, and let them peruse the rest on their own after your zones lesson especially if you are like me and operate in 30 minute scheduled sessions.

always seems green to me!

On a personal level, some of you may remember my daughter who had been in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.  This weekend is her wedding!   We're thrilled.  (The wedding is in Hilton Head, however, and Hurricane Matthew is coming north.  We're hoping for no major event!