Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fluency Cadavers

I currently have four students with a stuttering disorder on my caseload. One is in first grade, and the others are in second and third. They each have speech on their own this year. One-on-one therapy, for all four! All of the kids are in different classes, and that is just how the schedule worked out. It is really nice having 30minutes every week for each of them, plus I think they like having the undivided attention. 

The older three have been working on a project for a few weeks to learn about speech helpers. The idea is that when they can name and understand what part of their body is affected by a stuttering moment, it aides in teaching them how to use fluency enhancing strategies. This is our first unit of the year, and we will move onto strategies next week.

As described in previous posts, Halloween crafts during therapy is in full swing in the speech room. My fluency kids made a cadaver to add to the scary decorations. The cadaver, of course, was a means to an end to teach about speech helpers. I combined a lot of ideas from a lot of sources. I have a few documents to share with you as well through Google Docs. Here are the steps to the project!

We started with the mouth. I found this version here. I enlarged it to show the detail and allow room for the marshmallow teeth and balloon tongue. 

I bought pink balloons and the students filled them with marshmallows for the tongue. The marshmallows gave it a soft and squishy texture, sorta like a real tongue. Next, after the student cut out the mouth, I cut a slit in the paper to attach the tongue with tape on the back.

Next, marshmallow teeth were added, and a few eaten. I mean really, I couldn't expect them to just glue them! This is where I saw this idea, although there are many different versions on Pinterest.

An old lipstick was used to enhance the lips. This lipstick will never touch my lips again and forever live with my fluency supplies!

With the inside of the mouth done, it was time to make a side-view of the cadaver. I found this paper version here. More lipstick and marshmallows, as well as a pink balloon, were used for the additional body parts. The nose is made a plastic pencil sharpener that I had in my prize box. I think I got them from Target.

The students cut out the lungs, that I found here, and glued them to the chart. Bubble wrap was added next, to represent the alveoli, which were painted pink with watercolors. Here is where I got that idea. I was surprised that the watercolors stayed on so well. I attached the bubble wrap with a stapler.

Rolled up pink paper was used for the trachea and bronchi. The vocal folds/cords is a dry tortellini glued to the top of the airway. 


Now for brains! They are ramen noodles painted pink, and then hot-glued onto the page. Easy and realistic.

The final step was adding labels to each speech helper, as well as the description of how we speak. I got help with this from here and here. I have a copy of my version of the labels and "How we Speak" statement for you: here and here.

Here is the cadaver in all of it's gross glory!

This was a lot of work, both for me and the students. I spent a lot of time collecting items, formulating my ideas, trouble shooting, and creating parts of the project. But, it was worth it! I am so proud of these kiddos.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Halloween Fun!

Not only have my students been participating in all the fun Halloween activities posted about previously on this blog, many have done the following as well. Here is a sampling of the fun we have been having. 

This Halloween Feelings worksheet was perfect for my students working on pragmatics. We have been nearing the end of a feelings unit, so this was a great activity for them. It is  free from Lita Lita on TPT.

Another fun activity for my social language kids is the Funny Bones joke book. I found it here from Activity Tailor.

Q-tip skeletons are all over Pinterest, like here. While practicing articulation targets, students made these little guys. After each turn (saying a sentence, a word 10x, etc.) they were given a "bone" to glue onto the paper body. The last piece was a skull sticker. Cute and scary!

This Haunted House from Lingua-Systems (circa 1995) has been a staple in my therapy bag for about 10 years. I don't even know what book I took it from, or how it came into my possession. The student colors the haunted house and we slip a paper strip through the window. The pictures in the window target /g/ phonemes. A great activity for kindergartners. 

I have done this spider web activity for a few years. It is a great articulation worksheet that even includes spiders to print onto stickers. The student practices a word, and then puts a spider on that target word. You can get your copy here

To add some excitement and fright to the haunted house bulletin board in my class, we did a synonym and antonym sticker activity. The board was already covered with ghosts from this day in therapy. This time, I wrote little words on each sticker. The student gave a synonym and/or antonym for that word, and then could stick the Halloween sticker anywhere on the haunted house.

Sticker scenes from Oriental Trading Company are something I use for almost all speech/language therapy. They aren't too expensive. I use PTA funding to purchase them. Here are some that I have purchased: link, link, link. I often grab a card deck that targets articulation, concepts, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, or any other speech/language objective. After completing a predetermined amount of cards, the student is given a sticker to add to the scene. 

I found this activity from The Speech Space to use with some pumpkin coasters I have been storing for a few years. She also provides a blank pumpkin template. Students decorate their pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face and Halloween stickers. We then describe our own and each-others pumpkins using phrases such as, "My pumpkin has a bat sticker," "Your pumpkin has six stickers," or "Our pumpkins have owl stickers." Great for syntax! 

We are having a lot of fun around here!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fluency Activity to Describe a Stutter

Let's take a break from holiday activities to talk about stuttering therapy. I do have a Halloween activity for my fluency kids, but I will blog about that later. 

Here is a clue:


Gross, right?

Anyway, when students begin therapy with me for stuttering, one of the first things we do is describe what stuttering is and how they stutter. Part of that is describing types of stutters. For my students in kindergarten through second grade we talk a lot about smooth, bumpy, and blocked speech. There are a variety of activities that we do to really make this concept concrete. But, this one is a favorite!

First we make roads with basic supplies: index cards, crayons, paper, glue. The roads are either in a  straight line for smooth speech, a bumpy road for bumpy speech, and a road block in the middle of the road for blocked speech. The students then choose three cars (I got these are the dollar store). We drive the cars on the roads and say words, phrases, and sentences with the type of speech on the little paper street. For example, we say, "This road is smooth for my car," "This this this this is a bumpy road for my car," and "My_______ car hit a road block." All while moving the cars along the roads. 

When we are done driving, I hot glue the cars to their page. The kids think this part is pretty cool. Plus, they love taking this project home to show their parents!


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