Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Word Bank and Writing Strategy

This summer I have been working with a group of kindergarten through third grade students who have autism. Several of the students have writing goals that need to be addressed and all of them have expressive language goals that need to be addressed. If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I am a big fan of digital photos to build play skills, critical thinking skills and oral language skills.

Since I find the digital photos so beneficial, I decided to pair that strategy with a manipulative word bank in the hopes of having my students build sentences that they would copy to create a simple paragraph. My goal was that they would build one topic sentence and two detail sentences. We started with modeling and a lot of physical prompts, but I'm hoping the level of prompting will decrease.

Here's what we did:

1) I printed several photos featuring sea life from www.flickr.com.

2) Each student chose a picture that we glued to a large sheet of construction paper.

3) The students were given a file folder with a word bank targeting words that made sense with their picture. (I met with their SLP and we color coded the post its to correspond with the colors and word categories that they already use on their manual communication boards based on Gail Van Tatenhove's system.)

4) Then the students built a sentence by moving the post its to a sentence strip (the sentence strip is just length of file folder cut down).

5) Next the students copied their sentence on a pre-cut piece of paper. (I did this to to visually define the space of the sentence for them. This way the letter spacing and formation is confined to an area that already "looks" like a sentence. )

6) Then they glued the sentence to the piece of construction paper to which we had previously glued their photo choice.

7) We cleared off the sentence strip and started to build another sentence and repeated the steps.

Here's what our first writing samples look like:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Water and Sea Life Printable Books

I've been going through my links, looking for materials for our water and sea life theme for summer school. I've found the following free books that can be printed.

Sink or Float Printable Emergent Reader

Pirate Number Word Printable Emergent Reader

I Love to Go to the Beach Printable Emergent Reader

At the Beach with the Bears Printable Emergent Reader

Red Crab, Red Crab What Do You See Printable Emergent Reader

Under the Sea free Interactive Book

Friday, June 19, 2009

Scatman Video about Stuttering

Another video that my husband found and forwarded to me.......

Here are some other links and information about John Scatman.

Wikipedia Information

Lyrics posted on the Stuttering Forum

Interview script

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Water and Sea Life...Bloom's Box

A few years ago I was in a class that focused on differentiation and levels of knowledge. One fo the strategies the instructor shared was to create a "Bloom's Box" for assignments related to an organizing theme.

A Bloom's Box helps the teacher ensure that s/he is providing instruction at both the lower levels of understanding and at the higher levels of thinking. Essentially, a table is created labeled with each level of Bloom's taxonomy and assignments are sorted into appropriate categories. It helps the teacher make sure there is a balanced experience for all learners.

I'm going to use my Bloom's Box this summer for our Water and Sea Life Unit I have planned.

You can download my Bloom's Box here.

The following is just a list of the activities included in my Bloom's Box.


Students will name pictures of different bodies of water. (river, lake, pond, ocean, waterfall).

Students will name pictures of actions people can do with water (wash your hands, brush your teeth, take a bath, swim, play at the water table, drink, water plants, wash cars, ski, snorkel, boating).

Students will name pictures of sea life (sea star, shark, fish, stingray, jellyfish, manatee, urchin, sea anenome, dolphin, crab, lobster).


Alive/Not Alive Chart
Students will sort pictures of various familiar objects, people, animals and plants on a t-chart according whether the picture is something that is alive or not alive.

Comprehension questions
Students will answer “wh” about familiar stories and classroom activities.

Wants/Needs Action Chart:
Students will sort pictures of previously learned action words into categories of actions we need and actions we want to do.


Class Aquarium
After reading the no-fiction trade book, “What’s It Like to be a Fish?” using Boardmaker icons and pictures, students will create a list of items needed to create a classroom aquarium.

Class Hermit Crab Habitat

After reading the book “A House for Hermit Crab,” using Boardmaker icons and pictures, students will create a list of items needed to create a hermit crab habitat.


Compare and Contrast
Students will compare and contrast the homes of a sea creature of their choice with their home using Boardmaker icons, pictures and a pre-made Venn Diagram.

Compare and Contrast

Students will compare and contrast what we used to make our fish aquarium and what we used to make our hermit crab habitat using Boardmaker icons, pictures and a pre-made Venn Diagram.


Class Aquarium
Students will use supplies generated from their lists to assemble our class aquarium.

Class Hermit Crab Habitat

Students will use supplies generated from their lists to assemble our class hermit crab habitat


If I could be…
Students will draw a picture of any sea creature they would want to be. They will dictate which animal they chose and why they chose it.

Water Hole
Before reading the ending to the story, students will predict what will happen to the animals and the plants if it never rains again.

Personal Needs:

Students will predict and dictate responses of what would happen if we didn’t have water to wash our hands or brush our teeth.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Interactive Games Sea Life and Water

Olivia of the Deep (skill: visual motor, visual perceptual)

Diego's Underwater Adventure (skill, sea life vocabulary, visual motor, multiple steps)

Diego's Tuga the Sea Turtle (skill: visual motor, classifying food/not food)

Dora's Mermaid Adventure (skill: visual motor)

Dora's Treasure Hunt (skill: visual motor)

Blue's Clues Sink or Float (skill: concept of sink or float)

Wubbzy's Underwater Adventure (skill: visual motor, harder keyboard controls)

Wonder Pets Save the Penguin or Dolphin (skill visual motor)

Wonder Pets Save the Sea Creatures (skill: visual motor)

Backyardigan's Pirate Adventure (skill: visual motor, visual perception)

Doodle Pad Explore the Seashore (skill: creativity)

Ebb and Flo Hide and Seek (skill: mouse clicks and exploration)

Ebb and Flo Spot the Differences (skill: visual perception)

Build A Fish (skill: fish habitats, creativity)

Fish Counting up to 10 (skill: number concepts)

Clifford Slide (skill: Matching colors)

Seashore Concentration (skill: visual memory)

Build A Habitat (skill: creativity and fine motor)

Barney Submarine Race (skill: visual motor)

Donald Duck Fishing (skill: color recognition and visual motor)

Little Einstein's Orchastra Ocean (skill: instrument sound recognition and matching)

CyberChase Can You Fill It (skill: exploring liquid volume)

Curious George Day at the Beach (skill: multiple steps, visual perception)

Bunnytown Pirates (skill: number order, positional concepts, visual motor)