During this time of year, I find that I have all these ideas for activities but no time to create them. As evaluations and IEP meetings flood my calendar, I tend to go back to my go-to activities (bingo, Uno, Sorry, etc.) The other day I was driving to work and thought of a great activity but knew it would take hours that I didn’t have to make it. I would have to find different color construction paper, cut out different shapes, write on each shape, laminate each shape and then cut out the laminated shapes. Then it dawned on me….handwriting and cutting are skills that the OT targets with her students! Why don’t I ask my amazing OT if she could make this activity with her students? So, I asked my OT when I got to work and she said that she of course, that would fit in to some of her students OT goals. She was able to have the pieces I needed by the end of the week! All I had to do is laminate and cut out the laminated pieces which took significantly less time. I wasn’t expecting how much the students loved playing a game that was made by other students!
Why didn’t I think of this before!
See the game below:
Speaking with Expression
- Session 1: For a few days I asked each of my students/groups to generate a list of expressions as a warm-up activity (This was easy to target for all my groups: articulation-think of an expression that has your target sound in. Social skills- what are expressions, when do we use them, tone of voice and body language to convey meaning.) My kids loved doing this and laughed for the whole warm-up activity!
- Give the list to the OT so that he/she could have the students practice cutting and/or writing when making the game board. (My OT said that she used this as a warm-up activity. Some students cut out shapes and other students wrote the expression and some did both.)
Session 2: Organize the game board.
- The first player rolls the die (I used these from the Dollar Store).
- That student moves the number on the die and has to say the word accurately (for example: “Leave me alone!” has to be expressed with anger not happiness). *for some students (depending on their age and abilities) I had them give a follow up sentence. For example, “Leave me alone! I will tell a teacher if you don’t stop!” For other students we discussed when you would say these expressions.
- If the student doesn’t convey the right emotion, they have to go back the number of spots on the die.
- The student that makes it to the end first wins.
**For some of my groups I videotaped their expressions and during the next session (session 3) we reviewed it. This was great for students who need support with nonverbal language (body language, facial expression, tone of voice). I found that the students were able to understand better why they were incorrect when they could watch themselves. For one group, we put a PowerPoint Presentation together which contained both the correct and the incorrect way to convey an expression (session 4). I was able to get four sessions out of this activity for some groups which was perfect because in March, it seemed, that all my planning time was taken up by meetings or evaluations.
In our monthly SL meetings we talk a lot about co-treating with the OT and the benefits. I think this blog speaks to a different way of working closely with your OT. I am lucky to have such an amazing OT who is open to working together. This is another example of working smarter not harder!
***Picture of dice (April 2015) from The Dollar Store is from : Meet Miss Parker blog