Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Word Associations

Last week, the weather here in Atlanta finally began to cool off a little bit. In the mornings, the temperature has been in the 50's or 60's and then warms up to 70's and 80's. I am sure for those of you that live more in the north the weather is much cooler than that. Anyhow, the leaves are already beginning to change around here and the colors are anticipated to be the most beautiful in late October to the beginning of November. 

My students and I look forward to the change of seasons because it also means a new theme in my speech language therapy classroom!! Yeah!! I have already displayed a few of my fall themed books such as:

Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril    Grades Pre K - 1

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro   Grades K-3

A is for Autumn by Robert Maas   Grades K-2

Home-Field Advantage by Justin Tuck (great football/family theme as well) Grades K-3

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson  Grades Pre K- 3

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser       Grades K-3

I often like to start my seasonal themed units with a word associations activity to get my students thinking about related vocabulary words. I love this activity because it allows my students to freely think of words they associate with the season of Fall. I always let them know that it is okay that everyone does not have the same answers. In fact, I encourage them to think of different answers than those shared by their classmates. 

Here is a preview of my Fall Word Associations activity with photographs that I took. The pictures on the cover page are from my back yard about 2 years ago! I love photographs because they capture so many memories. I hope your students enjoy this activity to jump start the season!

This product is available for purchase in my TPT online store. Check out the link: 

Thanks for reading my blog today! 
~Tamara Anderson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Linking Up to Share Vocabulary Resources

Jenna over at Speech Room News blog is hosting a "Love it and List it! Linky Party" for speech-language pathologists to share their frequently used vocabulary resources. 

Direct vocabulary instruction is a major part of my language therapy sessions with my elementary school aged students. I am not a fan of using worksheets to address language skills with my students. It is more effective to use quick learning games that maintain their attention during their 30 minute sessions. When I do use worksheets it is to collect baseline (pre-intervention) data, to monitor progress, or for homework. 

There are so many activities that I use to work on this skill. Here is a picture of some of my frequently used materials to target increasing the vocabulary skills of my students. 

I enjoy using these materials because I am able to readily differentiate the content of my group language therapy lessons by tailoring my students' language practice to their individual learning needs. So basically, each student can work on different skills during a 30 minute group. 

Last year, I started using a series of photocards called Double Dice Deck. Students spread the cards on the table and roll the dice. It is called double dice because the outer dice has shapes and the inner dice has numbers that correspond with the questions on each card. I have my students select a card by the shape only and then verbally define the item.  I love using the Define and Describe Double Dice Deck to provide guided/independent practice opportunities for my students to define vocabulary by attributes. I pair this with a graphic organizer that lists the attributes they can use to explain their word.  

This series has a deck to target naming synonyms and antonyms. Students select what set they will work on based on their IEP objectives. I like these cards because it provides sentences with a highlighted word in red or blue that the student has to read and replace with the correct synonym or antonym. 

Here's the Compare and Contrast Double Dice Deck:
I typically just have them name either 1 or 2 similarities or differences based on their IEP objectives. 

I also provide direct instruction of multiple meanings vocabulary: homophones and homographs on a regular basis. My students love the photos in my Beach Themed Multiple Meanings activity and enjoy verbally describing the definitions of the terms. We also play a memory game to help reinforce identifying the terms. 

In order to facilitate the use of more critical thinking skills, I frequently use Nicole Allison's TPT  Context Clues product. I like this because there are questions targeted for Grades 1-3 and then 4-8. My students enjoy pretending to be word detectives as they look for clues to figure out the meanings of the underlined word. I am quite pleased at the progress that my students with learning disabilities and autism have made using this resource. 

Let's not forget about the Common Core Standards. I use task cards I created for my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students that address a variety of skills from story elements vocabulary, parts of speech vocabulary, figurative language vocabulary, prefixes, suffixes, etc. 

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Thanks for reading my blog! I'll see you next time. 

Tamara Anderson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School Activities in Speech Language Therapy

It has been almost one month since school has started in the school district where I work. I have gotten to know my new students, heard summer stories from my returning students, and managed to take baseline data on many of their IEP goals. 

The majority of my caseload are students who have receptive and expressive language disorders. I used a variety of resources and activities to collect beginning of the year or baseline assessment data on specific skills related to their IEP objectives. 

For example,  I used my Back to School-Synonyms & Antonyms, Back to School- Irregular Plural Nouns & Irregular Past Tense Verbs, and my Back to School Word Associations activity packets to gather information on vocabulary and grammar language targets. 

I also used my Beach Themed Monster Truck Activity- Synonyms & Antonyms, Beach Themed Multiple Meanings Memory Activity, and Basic Concepts Baseline Data & Progress Check Activity to gather information from other students as well. 

These activities are all available in my online store here:

Other favorite resources that I used were the Quick Take Along Mini-book Series by Super Duper to elicit students' knowledge of vocabulary and grammar concepts. You can get more info on these resources here:

I hope you are having a great start to the school year! Add these resources to your inventory list and use them to foster speech-language success in your students!!

Tamara Anderson, M.S. CCC-SLP