Happy Fall !!!! Leaves have not started turning here, but the days and nights definitely are starting to have a chill in the air. I love it.
Here's a quick fall preposition bingo game. As many of you know, I already have many similar printables, but none for this season. Kids can practice using prepositions--over, beside, between, on, and in---as well as some common fall vocabulary words. I use Chipper Chat disks and the magnet wands---but other tokens, pennies, or disks will work. This works in color or black/white printers. Low budget therapy---that's what North Carolina is all about!
1. Create Google forms for each student. Google forms can have specific questions geared to your students' IEPs. I also have a place on each form for a synopsis of the therapy session. Tutorial for this is here.
3. Then dictate your notes! When you open the form, touch a cell. The keyboard will open, and you will see a microphone icon in the bottom row. Touch that, and talk......slowly.
Play with it, and find the lingo that Siri will recognize (although I'm totally amazed at how well Siri recognizes what I say). Complicated names are hard, so you will want to proofread and edit a bit. It's faster than handwriting, and looks great on a spreadsheet. I use it a lot....with my door closed. When people walk by my room, they may think I've lost it when they see I'm talking to my iPad.
Perhaps it seems like a lot of work frontloaded? I find that this saves so much time in the long run that the time is well spent.
I want to thank my Chapel Hill colleagues who enlightened me about Siri and voice-to-text dictation.
I'm sure there is something similar for Android devices. This will be a later blog topic.
I realize that my readers probably have no use for a book translated into Indonesian; however, did you realize that 1 out of every 30 people in the world live in Indonesia? It's the 4th most populous country in the world.
When we visited there this past summer, we stumbled upon a school in Bali for handicapped children. Keep in mind that public schools in Indonesia do not offer special education---so this school is private, and seems to be funded by kind folks who are Dutch. I totally loved the school, and the short visit. Kids are kids--same everywhere in most ways, and I saw my American kid friends in the faces of these Indonesian children.
On the subject of inclusion, sometimes I feel, unfortunately, that our state/school system/school backpedals.
With every new testing mandate, or demand for teacher/school accountability, rumblings occur that possibly some children shouldn't be included in regular education classrooms. (The thinking is the school/class test scores go down, teachers can't meet all the needs, and kids with disabilities can't complete the work the same as typical children.) It doesn't seem to matter to some that research points to improvements in literacy, behavior, social skills and communication skills when children with disabilities are included with typical peer role models. The thought at the moment seems to focus on class proficiency, test scores, mClass, Common Core, reading groups, 'showing your thinking', writing personal narratives, and myriad other typical tasks that fill a day. The child with a disability is pointed out, and blamed, at least in thought, for the cause of a classroom/school problem. I say this is total nonsense---and antiquated thinking.
I will continue to be a staunch advocate leaning towards the side of inclusion each and every day. Inclusion is win-win. A child with a disability wins, and the typical peers win. I can't even begin to describe how my own children were influenced in a positive way by being a part of inclusive classrooms, joining lunch bunches, being in cooperative learning groups, and playing at recess with children of all abilities. Out of school, they joined play dates, birthday parties, and girl scout events---ability was not a factor. All of my own children are now involved in public service. I want to think that being raised in an inclusive environment helped guide them in this direction.
How has everyone's school year been so far? Several long trips and granddaughter babysitting has taken its toll on my blog postings! Sorry!
I have a delightful young man this year on my caseload. He's funny, and shares freely all of his knowledge about baseball. Apparently his dad is a high school coach who he also played for the minor leagues at one point. My student appears to be athletically inclined as well. His one problem is a lisp which is a bit distracting to the listener. I told him when he's a pro, he will definitely want to have good speech for his television interviews!
I feel kids need to know their goals (this student and I have read his IEP together), and need to have a system to monitor progress. I've devised an interactive way for kids to see where they are and where they are going in terms of speech sound production. You'll need velcro, a file folder, and little pictures or words in a hierarchy---isolated sounds at the bottom, conversation at the top (or parent/teacher report). You will also need something to easily represent the sound targets. Each student has his own interactive chart as pictured below.
If you want something even more simple, you can use a system like the one pictured below. This image was lifted from a nice blog, The Communication Window. Apparently, this therapist uses clothespins---each student has a clothespin with his name and moves it up as he progresses. I guess if a student has more than one sound in error, he might have several clothespins. Several students can share the same visual, which is nice if you don't have time or space to make a chart for everyone.
Hopefully, you all have some way for students to track progress, especially if sound errors are simple, and more traditional articulation therapy is being implemented. Let me know your ideas!