What’s the SLP Materials Club? I’m glad you asked! It’s a fantastic facebook page where a new SLP posts ideas, giveaways and freebies each week, so a win-win for everyone right? Head over and like the page to get notifications each week and never miss some great speechie materials, a newsletter and ideas from tons of creative SLPs (and did I mention FREE???). I’ll be posting some fun giveaways, a freebie for using our B.R.A.I.N.S. (we SLPs love our acronyms, don’t we?!) and lots of opportunities to share some great ideas for social language. See you there…
Growth Mindset has been a big buzzword in the school community lately, so I started to read a little more about it to educate myself. It is an idea originating from Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. She proposes that in a fixed mindset, people believe their best qualities, such as intelligence, are fixed, and that talent is enough to bring success in life, regardless of effort. However, with a shift towards a growth mindset, it’s the evolving qualities of a love of learning and resilience that brings true success in life. This sounds an awful lot like advice my mom gave me when I was growing up- work hard, love what you do and never stop learning.
As I continued to research, the google rabbit trail also landed me on related Youtube videos for Class Dojo. Our school has been using this system for a few years and the kids LOVE earning dojo points for expected behaviors and bonus, it aligns with our PBIS goals. A light went on in my head, like in the last few moments of the movie “The Sixth Sense” when all the puzzle pieces click together, and it became clear! I may be simplifying it, but these concepts are all related to social language concepts. Flexibility, resilience, emotional IQ, understanding hidden and spoken rules, working in groups, whole body listening, it’s all there (even if it’s called something else).
A complementary piece of this Growth Mindset curriculum would be Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen’s approach to working on executive function skills. Their guided map of starting with a solution and working the steps backwards rather than handing students a checklist, allows the students to problem solve and learn the tools to become resilient learners in the classroom (and beyond)! Zones of Regulation would also be a nice fit into this process as well, allowing our students to integrate self regulation and emotional resilience into their toolbox of life skills. Can you imagine a classroom that embedded all of these strategies into the day? Wow, I sure would want to learn in an environment like that!
What is your school using to support your student’s learning and positive behavior?
I don’t know about you, but with two weeks of school left, we are all a bit squirrelly! You can feel the end is near and it’s making everyone a bit crazy and cranky, kids and adults alike. Recess is a saving grace and the promise of EXTRA recess will motivate even the most active kids to focus and work a little harder. I sit in a LOT of IEP meetings throughout the year, and recess comes up often for my friends with social language issues. Unstructured times, like recess, are often the wild west of hidden rules for these kiddos. You will either see them walking the perimeter of the playground on their own or trying to join in, but in unexpected and unwelcome ways.
I found several videos on Youtube that explain the rules of recess, from the teacher and student point of view. You can find them on my Youtube channel under social play modeling or on my social videos Pinterest board. Many schools have adopted PBIS (positive behavior intervention and supports) to address the “rules of the schools”. PBIS often addresses recess and playground behavior specifically, so how great would it be to make your own school video or school posters to talk about the rules of recess? You could brainstorm with your students about the rules (both spoken and hidden rules) of recess and then have them teach their peers through a video. Talk with your administration and media specialist about sharing the videos at school; we have morning announcements that show on TVs in all the classrooms. Bonus: it’s a great way to work on tone of voice, volume, orienting your body towards to camera, thinking with your eyes and more social concepts that your student may be working on, as you film them! Don’t forget to get parent permission first!
To further this concept, what about making videos to show how to join into games, ask other kids to play or even how to play certain games, like rock, paper, scissors ? Remember, our kids are not incidental learners, so breaking down the steps to play may seem too basic, but it’s often where we need to start! We also know there are students that could benefit from this visual support that don’t have IEPs , but still struggle socially at recess. I bet you could get a LOT of buy in from your counselor, other special education teachers and therapists in your school for a great project! Think about tapping into Donor’s Choose to apply for funds for a great video camera and editing software too.
How do you support your students at recess? Share here!
One of my new and very creative SLPs in my county, Marjie, showed a Rolling Safari video in a group lesson last week. Apart from being hilarious, they are the perfect videos to work on lots of social language concepts. I have pinned a bunch of them to my Youtube channel as well as my Pinterest Social Video board, so please feel free to take a look and pin away!!
The Rolling Safari videos were actually developed for a short animation contest but their social language application is so much fun! The concept is to take animals that you would see on safari and enlarge their shapes until they look more like balloons in the Macy’s Day parade (or me after eating a burrito). The students in the speech group I observed kept laughing at how odd the animals looked and moved in the videos. This absurdity lends itself to a great way to work on talking about social language concepts including:
Cause/Effect (great for how and why questions for older students)
Making a smart guess/inferences
What the other animals might be thinking, feeling or saying
Imagining/Wondering (what if…)
It might be fun to extend the concepts with a motor piece and have the students lay on top of a big therapy ball to move across a mat. You could set up plastic safari animals on the mat to make their own Rolling Safari! This movement can give language and experience to what the animals in the videos are feeling in their unexpected shape and size! You can work in turn taking, imagination and self regulation skills into this activity for a fun way to spend the day on a rolling speech social language safari!
Hello friends, this week I am super excited to be guest blogging over at Teach Speech 365! Please come visit me there and check out her great site for tons of therapy ideas for SLPs, the “peek at my week” ahead therapy plans that she posts are life savers!
It’s almost the end of the school year and TPT is having a BIG sale as a treat May 3rd-4th! I wanted to share a few goodies from my store as well as my wish list items that will be added to my own cart!! Don’t forget to use the code CELEBRATE at checkout for additional savings! Happy shopping. I am linking up with SLPRunner and The Frenzied SLPs for a sale linky, so make sure you click through for more great product suggestions!
You might want to snap up a few things from my store like my Lucky Duck! Social Skills game on winning and losing and a few for the start of the year, like my That’s Sick social skills unit on germs and hygiene (game, story, puzzles and a flip book are included). My Social Skills Squish Bundle is seven different play doh mats, scenarios and extension ideas to practice social language concepts (and a great value)!!
Now what I am super excited to pick up from my fellow SLPeeps this week? Take a peek …
I love to make up new games to play with my students (or have them come up with their own rules and ideas!) and this game board clipart from Peachie Speechie is perfect! I can use these games with some of her fun activity sets like these Social Skills Deck cards. Print and Go FUN for these crazy weeks!!
Full disclosure: I already own and LOVE this product! However, it’s on my wishlist for one of my CFs (shhhhh). Speech Paths has done it again with this engaging social language activity pack that is a fun way to work on hard social concepts with my elementary students.
Speech Time Fun saves the day with a print and go social skills gold mine for my older students! I am looking forward to trying it out this summer and then recommending it to my middle school CFs in the Fall!
Space themed AND social skills fun? Done, done and done! I am excited to grab this fun social language game from Jenn Alcorn. My boys will LOVE it!
Anyone have blurters out there? ME TOO! I can’t wait to try this activity from Badger State Speechy to help my friends work on not interrupting using stories, activities and visual supports, SCORE!
What’s in YOUR cart???