Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Don't Break The Ice!

"Is it wine-thirty yet?" was one of the things I heard early this morning from a coworker.  I think while most of us are excited to see the kids again and hear all about their break, the transition back after 1.5-2 weeks off, especially after a busy holiday season, can be a little rough and often times, a bit hectic (unless you’re a super planner and had this week's therapy all planned and ready to go before you left for break-- in which case, you’re a rock star and I wish I had your talents).  I have what feels like 5,000 IEPs in January that I’m trying to finish data collection for, in addition to the progress reports that needed to be completed, so I’ve needed 1-2 simple activities this week that I could adapt for every student/group I had to see since I haven’t had much time to plan beyond that!

One of the games I’ve been able to adapt for almost every single kiddo is my “Don’t Break The Ice” game I picked up at Goodwill last year for $1 or $2.  With this game, I’ve used Busy Bee Speech’s articulation cards that go along with this game (Grab them HERE at her TPT store!)

I believe I snagged this activity during a flash freebie last winter, but if I didn’t have it, I’d purchase it in a heartbeat-- I’ve been using it with ev-er-y-one!!  Here’s how I’ve adapted it to fit various groups:

Articulation- self explanatory.. I’ve just used the stimulus pictures as is.  They pick a block they want to break, and they have to say the word X amount of times before hitting it.  

I also used this in a mixed artic/language group. I had 3 prek boys, all with different goals… One was artic, one was working on ‘be’ verbs, and one was working on giving features of an item (I am introducing the basic concept of EET to a couple older, kindergarten-bound kiddos this year!).  The stimulus pictures I used for this group were for the specific sounds I wanted my artic kid to practice (i.e. all the /f/ cards), but when it came time for the other two kids’ turns, they had to a) make up a sentence using “is” or “are” about the picture on the block, or b) describe two features of the item pictured.

Vocabulary: Many of my students need basic vocabulary exposure.  I just mix and match the artic pictures to have a variety of different items to do simple picture naming practice! You can easily incorporate object functions with this, too, by having them name what you do with the item pictured on the block.  Need something a little lower?  Have them perform the task receptively, where they find the block that “has something you throw” or “something you use to eat your food” etc…  

Categories:  State the category of the item on the block they want to knock out, or give them the category and let them knock out an item that belongs in that category.  Want an added challenge? Have the student name 2-3 additional items belonging to that category, as well!

The only downside to this game is that clean up/setting back up is definitely NOT quick.. However.. I have the kids do their speech/language tasks as we set up again, too! (They would play this game all day long if they could!)  They can pick a block to hand me and have to practice their speech word/label the function/label the category/make a sentence about it, etc… so precious time isn’t wasted trying to set the game up again.

Don't Break The Ice and this accompanying activity have been a lifesaver for therapy activities in a pinch! I put little Velcro pieces on all the ice blocks and on the back of each laminated picture card from the packet, so that I could switch out pictures quickly and easily for different needs (like different artic kids!)

Do you use this game? Do you have any unique twists on how to play the game in therapy? My kids would play this game every therapy session if I'd let them, so I'd love to hear new ideas!!

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