Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Sweet" Activities for Speech and Language

Valentine's Day always falls around the week of parent/teacher conferences in my district, so I don't typically get to do much therapy around the theme of this holiday.  The week leading up to Valentine's Day only has one full day of therapy for prek, with the second day including the classroom Valentine's party for the last hour of each half day session.  We then have parent/teacher conferences and inservices all day Wednesday/Thursday, so I essentially only have a day and a half of therapy to squeeze in Valentine activities.  We did manage to squeeze in a couple fun activities, though, so I wanted to share them with you!

First up is an articulation activity we used to target blends.  We used the conversation hearts and "STacked" them to practice ST blends.


The kids would say "stack a blue" or "stack a green" etc.. with whatever color they were adding to the tower.  I have quite a few phono kids working on marking /l,r/ blends, as well, so "green" and "blue" were great target words, too!  You could also target /k, g/ sounds with "stack" "pink" and "green."  Another fun way to target /g/ would be to have a little competition where the student(s) working on /g/ say "GO" and you see who can stack the most hearts in 1 minute.  


Seasonal erasers are the best! I bought these at Target in the $1 bin, and they have so many uses! I typically use them for Bingo or for roll & cover pages (Mindy at The Speech Bucket has great freebie packs of seasonal roll & cover/color page- click here for the Valentine edition, and Meredith at Peachie Speechie also has fun seasonal roll and cover/color "100" challenge pages that you can use these with- click here for her Valentine edition.


For my in-class small group rotations, I did a science experiment called "Dancing Hearts" that uses the conversation candy hearts.   I followed instructions from Playdough to Plato's post, using a glass, candy hearts, alka seltzer, and sparkling water.  The combination of Alka Seltzer and sparkling water creates gas bubbles that make the hearts float up and then sink back down when the gas bubbles pop.  The bubbles are constantly forming and popping, so it looks like the hearts are "dancing" as they move up and down.  

Before we started, we made a graph of our predictions re: which color hearts would stay at the bottom and which would float and move to the top.  Afterwards, we got started with the experiment.  I brought the crushed alka seltzer tablets to the classroom in a baggie and the kids each took turns pouring some of it in.  They each picked a color heart to put in, and then each poured a little bit of sparkling water into the glass.  It takes a minute for the hearts to start moving, but the fizzing up of the glass keeps them entertained enough and talking in the meantime ;-) 


I had various results with this experiment in each classroom (though the pink ones consistently floated!), but the kids ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it regardless of how many candies actually moved. When you pour the sparkling water in, it fizzes up and the glass is FULL of bubbles, which got them SO excited about the experiment! One of my kids turned around and was shouting at his friends across the room at a different table because he was beside himself with excitement! Haha.

TIP: I would suggest crushing up the alka seltzer tablets ahead of time at home (putting them in a plastic baggie and crushing with a hammer would probably be easiest).  My para and I crushed them at school and it looked like an episode of "Breaking Bad"  all over my therapy table in my room when we were done! Ha ha.  

What fun activities did/do you use for Valentine's-themed therapy?