Size of your Feelings with Disney Pixar’s Inside Out movie characters

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Size of Feelings cover cropped

I saw the movie, Inside Out last week and was practically jumping out of my seat with exhilaration thinking about all of the teaching opportunities this movie brings forth.  I think my teenage sons were a bit embarrassed by me ;)  I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I purchased some Inside Out clip art, and was excited to make something with it… well, here is the next resource!

You can use these visuals to teach students to:

  • expand emotional vocabulary and understand gradations of feelings
  • identify what “size” of a feeling a child is having in the moment, talk about “body” clues that led up to the escalation of a feeling
  • describe a fictional character’s emotions and emotional change from a text or video clip
  • understand mental state emotions such as frustration, feeling ashamed, guilty, disappointed – with overlapping feelings

Get the visuals here and enjoy!  Sizes of Feelings with Disney Pixar’s Inside Out movie characters

Sizes of Feelings Mad

Size of Feelings  more

Size of Feelings Overlapping

Rubric to Measure Auditory Text Comprehension

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Comprehension rubric

Guiding Quesitons Comp Rubric

Hello fellow SLPs!

If you are like me working in the school setting, much of your work with students centers around literacy and language.  Many of our students have receptive language IEP goals related to comprehension of language and texts read aloud to them.  As I learn more about the SLP’s role in supporting literacy through the lens of the Common Core and State-based learning standards, I find myself seeking new ways to measure comprehension goals that align more with classroom instruction.  Historically, my common method to measure comprehension was to write objectives to “answer WH questions” (with or without visual cues, or during the story presentation  vs. following a latency).  I would also write objectives to answer inferential questions, breaking down question types  in terms of inferring about the setting, character emotions/intentions, problem/solution, etc.

In the past year, I have been trying out some different service models of pushing into classrooms rather than working with “pull-out” groups.  I have found success in particular instances, and likewise, there are certainly some areas where I need to revise my approach for the upcoming school year.

However, as I have spent more time in the classroom, I have had the opportunity to be exposed to some inspiring interactive read-aloud techniques from the general education teachers I work with.  (I especially would like to thank “Mrs. “L” in 2nd grade! :)   While I have always relied on using children’s literature as the foundation for my speech-language work – my time spent in the general education setting has really inspired me to look beyond my status quo practices.

Over the past year, my personal staff development has centered on the Language and Literacy framework outlined by Fountas and Pinnell (http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/).   Mid-way through the past school year, I created a rubric for myself to measure comprehension in a different way with my students.  It is based on Fountas and Pinnell’s notion that comprehension should be a dynamic conversation between teachers and students  rather than a Q & A session.  Through that conversation context, students can demonstrate comprehension of literal knowledge (within the text), inferential comprehension including making connections (beyond the text) and higher level synthesis and critique about the text structure, vocabulary, author’s point of view, and overall the craft behind writing and illustration (about the text).  

I found this rubric to be the most helpful when I used texts that my students had already heard read aloud in their classrooms as my materials.  I found it to be an efficient use of time to use the texts that the students had already heard, when I needed to collect more formal comprehension data for progress reports or an upcoming IEP meeting.  I could use this rubric 3-4 times across a trimester for a student (equating to 9-12 scheduled measurement probes a year) to measure progress.  Yes, I continued to read texts to my students myself during sessions, when the target of our session related to teaching specific vocabulary and comprehension elements, but I found that using texts from the classroom was an effective way to gather data using this rubric for  me.

I wanted to share two documents with the readers… the first document is the Comprehension Rubric, and the second document contains specific question prompts that correspond with each category of the rubric to organize your “comprehending conversation.”  Please know… these tools are certainly far from being perfect.  Over the past school year I changed them continually.  I still see some changes ahead and I use the tools more and more this upcoming school year.  But, I finally feel like they are in a place where I can share them and hope that other people find them useful.  Perhaps they will be useful for you as you plan for your upcoming school year.  If I make changes as I roll along with the 2015-2016 school year as my own experience and professional development deepens, I will post revisions.

With that…. remember…. it’s only July!  Enjoy more of your summer everyone!  Jill

Here are the documents:

Comprehension Rubric Primary Grades K-2 – J.Kuzma

Guiding Questions for Comprehension Rubric Primary grades K-2 J. Kuzma

Minion Memory Mission – Working Memory Group Activity

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Minion Memory Mission cover

It is a wonder what a little summer cognitive rest can do for a person’s creativity.  I cruised through June with very little motivation to do anything that required cognitive effort.  Early July brought forth worries that I would never have another creative idea.  Now, as I face mid-July, I feel like I am getting back into my groove.  :)  The result = another FREE working memory activity for folks!

We are surrounded this summer with Minion Mania – this new movie will be all our elementary friends will be talking about in September.  So, after a search to purchase some Minion clip art (Thank you to DigitalSurvey on Etsy), I created another Working Memory activity.

It is called, Minion Memory Mission!  In this activity, students choose a mission and a “mission material” (object) for each of the three main characters, Stuart, Kevin and Bob.  The missions and objects are all silly and mis-matched, so this might be a great opportunity to work on the expressive language skill of explaining absurdities.  :)   Students create mission statements for each minion, sharing them among the group.  Group members need to focus and attend to remember all of the details, to later recall the Minion Missions.

You can download the PDF activity materials here:  Minions Memory Mission – Game for Working Memory Skills

Here is a photo of the activity instructions…..

Minion Memory Mission Directions

Minion

I also purchased Clip Art of Etsy today for the Inside Out movie characters and Minions dressed as Marvel SuperHeros.  If my creative streak continues, I may dabble a bit with these characters.  Happy Summer!  – Jill

Game for Working Memory Skills – Suitcase Send Off

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Suitcase Send off cover picSuitcase Send-Off game iinstructions

Happy Summer everyone!  I created a game that you can use to help students/clients work on improving their working memory skills.   The game will require a small amount of cutting/laminating on your part to put it together, and you will need to get 4 large size Altoid tins.

Players work on retaining and recalling information of up to 4 parts while using both visual and verbal prompts for recall.  The goal of the game is to pack 4 suitcases with an outfit for each season of the year.  Players need to remember which items have already been placed in each suitcase as the game progresses.   The game is best suited for 2-4 players between the ages of 6-12. Instructions and photos of the game set-up are included in the PDF file below.

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Download the materials FREE here:  Suitcase Send Off Working Memory Game

Enjoy!  Jill

Website for Sharpening Brain Skills – Cranium Crunches

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Craninium Crunches homepage

I found a great website for teens and adults to improve their BRAIN HEALTH!  Cranium Crunches  is a website that promotes brain health by offering games that improve processing speed, that can hone your attention to visual detail, and help you practice executive function skills.

The games have a higher level of difficulty, so I think they are best suited for teens or adults.  Here are a few of the games I tried out:

Find It! –  This game works on memory, attention to detail, and searching strategies.  In this game, players find hidden objects in a variety of pictures.

Cranium Crunches Find it

One of These Things is Not Like the Others….   This game works on processing speed and focus/attention skills.  In this game, players try to find a very subtle difference in one of nine pictures

Cranium Crunches What is Different

Find the Difference  – This game works on attention to detail, focus/attention and visual scanning.  There are 3 levels of play for this game, players needs to find anywhere from 3 – 9 changes between 2 pictures.

Cranium Crunches Spot the Difference

Match – This game works on processing speed, visual memory, and adaptability.  An image appears on the screen, and is then quickly replaced with a second image.  Players need to quickly determine if the image matches the previous one by clicking a thumbs up, or thumbs down.

Cranium Crunches Match

Check out this site!  And, be sure to click on their Brain Page link to learn more about brain health and executive function skills.  They also have a fabulous list of Resource Links to organizations that support cognitive development and brain health.

“Tier 1 Collaborative Learning Lessons” and Whole Body Listening Larry!

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WBL SchoolWBL Home

The books, Whole Body Listening Larry at School, and Whole Body Listening Larry at Home, have become invaluable resources for my new venture at school this year.  Authors, Kristen Wilson MS-CCC, and Elizabeth Sautter MA-CCC have provided educators an engaging children’s storybook that teaches learners that “listening” is more than just hearing with your ears.  Listening is a holistic process – engaging multiple senses and self-regulating behaviors to help focus your brain and body to be engaged in learning.  These books are fittingly published by Think Social Publishing, Inc – (https://www.socialthinking.com/books-products/products-by-age-range/preschool/whole-body-listening-larry-at-school-detail) – these books align perfectly with the goal of teaching early childhood and young elementary age learners about all the components and social behaviors of good listening skills.

As you review the Common Core Learning Standards under the ELA category of Speaking and Listening for kindergarten and 1st grade learners, you will find standards that directly relate to specifically developing good listening skills in the classroom.  Consider the following standards:

  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  (CCSS.ELA-Literacy SL 1.1)
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). (CCSS. ELA-Literacy SL 1.1A)
  • Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. (CCSS ELA-Literacy SL 1.1.B)
Wilson and Sautter’s books, Whole Body Listening Larry at Home, and Whole Body Listening Larry at School are the precise tools an educator needs to explicitly teach the skills discussed in these standards.    These books would be at the top of the list of “anchor read aloud texts” for preschool, kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade classroom teachers, speech-language pathologists, parents, special educators, social workers/school counselors, etc.    Through the experiences of two sibling characters, Leah and Luka – children learn what “paying attention” means, as originated by the work of Susanne Poulette Truesdale and Nita Everly (More information about the original work here: https://www.socialthinking.com/images/stories/WBLL%20Crediting%20SP%20Truesdale%20-%20Final%20for%20ST%20website.pdf
 WBL Senses

Tier 1 – Collaborative Learning Lessons

This year, I have been thinking about how I can bring some of my social skill resources and lessons into general education classrooms.  At my elementary building, we are continuing to reflect and adjust our teaching based on student data and growth – all the while using an Rti framework, implementing proactive positive behavior practices school-wide, and aligning instruction to the Common Core.  This year, I have committed to trying to weave some of my social/emotional strategies into 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade general education classrooms.  I am calling my efforts,Tier 1 – Collaborative Learning Lessons.   “Tier 1” = core instruction for all.  “Collaborative learning” = over the past few years, I have personally noted classroom activities are much more constructivist, interactive, and utilize social communication skills more than ever.  My intention this year is to go into each 1st/2nd/3rd grade classroom once per month and lead the students and teacher through a lesson that promotes positive social interaction necessary for learning in small groups and in the collaborative manner we are moving toward in education.  Stay tuned… I will take you on this journey and see how it pans out.
This month (October) is my first month of lessons.  It was without any hesitation that I chose to use the resources from Wilson and Sautter’s Whole Body Listening Larry series for this first round of lessons.  Each target grade level has learning standards related to active listening – I am finding that teachers are thrilled to find this resource to have in their classrooms to refer to throughout the day, and use the specific language to give feedback to students, “I need you to listen with your eyes”, or “I am noticing that everyone at table group 2 is doing a great job listening with their mouths!”
WBL Poster
   I look forward to adding this resource to my primary classrooms!  Check out this poster available from Think Social Publishing as well!
   Stay tuned for more posts about my venture with Tier 1 Collaborative Learning Lessons!  – Jill

App Review: “Let’s Be Social” by EveryDay Speech

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Lets Be Social icon

A couple of months ago, a great new social skills app, Let’s Be Social,  was released by the folks at Everyday Speech.  SLP,  Brittany Lehane, has a growing presence on the web through her blog, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube  and Twitter pages – and the crew at EveryDay Speech launched this fabulous social skills app in January 2014.

Let’s Be Social is an interactive app in a story-question format with 5 categories of social skill learning:  Personal Interactions, Navigating the Community, Social Behavior, Handling Change, and Social Relationships.  Within each of these categories, there are sub-categories focusing on a specific skill area such as:  conversation skills, joining a group, eating at a restaurant, respecting teachers, dealing with disappointment, hurting a friend’s feelings, and understanding jokes – just to name a few.  In all – there are 25 lessons for common social skill learning topics.

My FAVORITE part of the app is the ability to create customized lessons with your own text, stories, images and questions for the user.    You can add a lesson to one of the existing five skill sets listed previously, or you can create a new skill set.  You can add your own images, your own text, and questions for the user to work through.  EveryDay Speech had made is VERY easy to create your own lessons and content.  It truly only takes about 10-15 minutes to create the lesson within the app.   There is even a text-to-speech support for your lessons for students who struggle with reading.   Here is a link to a YouTube demonstration of how easy it is to add your own content:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fy-2NGCO54

Over the past few months, I have used this app in a couple of different ways with my elementary students.  I have used the pre-designed lessons with my kindergarten – 2nd grade learners in social skill groups.  I have specifically liked the lessons in the Social Behavior and Handling Change categories.  I have also been using the customize feature.  This has been my favorite application for the app.   I have created specific lessons relevant to my older elementary students on the topic of:  taking a joke to far, lying,  good sportsmanship during a track-meet at school, and to teach what “rolling your eyes” means.

The app is priced at $14.99 as of this date at the iTunes App store.   This  is a good value – especially given the ability to create customized lessons.  There are other apps out there to create a customized a “social story” or “video model” that might be useful to teach some of the same concepts.  But  – what makes the Let’s Be Social app unique is  the added value of creating a story with images and also being able to create questions about the story for the user to interact with.   I would highly recommend this app to SLPs, but also to special education teachers, and parents.   I can even see general education teachers in the primary grades using this app at the beginning of the school year to teach some basic social skills and expectations in a fun-interactive way with their class to set the tone for the school year.  In future updates for this app, I would love to see lessons specifically related to handling anger, anxiety, and being excessively silly.  Perhaps a new skill-set about Handling Feelings would be a nice addition.  I would also love to see a feature to upload your own short video in the stories, in place of still images.

So…. be sure to put the Let’s Be Social app on your purchase list for your personal iOS devices, or if you are like me – write it on the post-it note hanging on your computer monitor at school that is titled, “Apps to buy with 2014-2015 SLP budget.”  :)

Also – EveryDay Speech will be releasing a new app soon – Let’s Use Language.  This interactive app will feature 40 lessons targeting skills in Vocabulary, Sequencing, Categorizing and Opposites.  I’ll have to put this one on my “post-it app shopping list” for next school year too.  :)  Visit the EveryDay Speech website to enter your email to receive a message when this app is released at http://www.myeverydayspeech.com/lets-use-language/

One last thing – you can find some great blog posts by SLP, Brittany Lehane at:  http://www.myeverydayspeech.com/blog/   She has some great information for SLPs on using Assistive Technology and other “Therapy Thoughts” and ideas for SLPs. :)

 

 

EveryDay Speech icon

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  The folks at EveryDay Speech gave me a promotional code to try this app.  So, technically…I did not pay for it out of my pocketbook.  But – I would.  It’s that good – definitely worth $14.99 for all the features you get.  I would not have posted a review if I didn’t think so.  :)  Put it on your shopping list  and check out their website.  Good value for the price :) 

Student Log to get baseline of time management needs after school

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After school time log

Quick post as a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the Time Management powerpoint for kids….   Here is a log that I have used with students to get an idea of how they are currently managing their time after school….  It’s nothing fancy that you couldn’t quickly create yourself….but why make more work for yourself?

Get it here:  Weekly After School Time Log

– Jill :)

Time Management PowerPoint for Kids

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Time Management PPt slides screenshot

Hello all – I wanted to share a short PowerPoint I put together to introduce kids to the concept of “Time Management”.   You might use this as an introduction to a unit about executive function skills, perhaps in a study skills class, or even in a life skills class for middle/early high school age kids.  There are 10 slides in PowerPoint.   Slides 1-5 are the presentation slides defining time management at school and home, and slides 6-10 are meant to be printed off in a full-page format, stapled together and presented to the students as a tool to take “notes” on as you go through the initial slides.

Download the tool here:  Time Management ppt for Kids

Enjoy! – Jill

Perspective Taking Skills…with Tacky the Penguin

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Tacky and the Emperor book jacket       Have you read the “Tacky the Penguin” books with your students?  Author, Helen Lester and illustrator, Lynn Munsinger have created this endearing little penguin character who, frankly…..has some challenges reading social cues.    I have been working through the Tacky the Penguin books with my students over the past couple of weeks, working on various language skills such as comprehension, comparing/contrasting (with the character, Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister), story structure/narrative work, and vocabulary.

      One of the books, “Tacky and the Emperor”  particularly lends itself for some opportunities to work on Theory of Mind/perspective taking skills.  I created a guide for you to use with this book when targeting 1st order and 2nd order “false-belief” types of perspective taking questions.  “First-order false belief” tasks refer to understanding what one person might believe/know/think about a another person.  An example from this book might be, “Do Tacky’s companions know that the visiting Emperor is really Tacky?”  “Second-order false belief tasks” refer to one’s ability to infer what one person believes/knows/thinks that another person believes/knows/thinks.”  This adds another layer to the social understanding.  An example of a second-order false belief question from the book might be, “Does the Emperor know that the Penguins found out that Tacky stole the Emperor’s fancy clothes?”  Perspective-taking questions with a socially-ladden theme can be a great way to work on higher level inferential comprehension in text, as well as “theory of mind” skills in learners with social cognitive needs.

Check out the book from your library, and download the question guide here…Try it with your students this week!

Tacky and the Emperor Perspective Taking Questions

Here is a small screen shot of the question guide:

Tacky PT questions