Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Little Interaction Makes a Fun Vocab Lesson

Merriam-Webster is known for documenting the changing words of our language. Their Time Traveler website (accessible in any browser) will allow you to look up any recent year and see a list of words that had their "First Known Use" in that year.

Click on any site to see a definition; you may have to provide "kid-friendly" definitions. This site would be great if you want to incorporate engaging material or current events content, which often has many contexts for teaching narrative and expository text.

Many of the words featured are nouns. For a strategic focus you can teach semantic structures with a tool such as the Expanding Expression Tool. 

Escape Room (2012)
Green/Group: A recreational place
Blue/Do: It simulates a locked room according to a theme, you have to get out
?/What does it look like?: Room or series of rooms
What is it made of/Parts: Puzzles, codes, hints, themes
White/Where: Often in a mall or amusement center
What else do I know? I once did one that was a fallout shelter

Buy one, or the kit, but did you know you could make a template for classroom instruction, or use mine at this link? (please DO NOT request access, rather, you can click File> Make a Copy to copy to your Drive).

Friday, October 11, 2019

ASHA Voices Podcast

A few weeks ago I recorded a segment on ASHA's new podcast, ASHA Voices, with its host J.D. Gray. It came out this week. The episode and others that are available (through this link or Apple's Podcasts App) are worth a listen. In this one, Kim Murza discusses the need for creativity and "wearing many hats" as a school-based SLP, offering great tips. In my segment, we talked about visual tools such as Google Earth, "Fail" videos, Pic Collage and Book Creator (this was edited for time: note, search for "AFV fail videos"- family-friendly- when looking on YouTube). I hope you will give it a listen!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Make Different Versions of a Conversation with Pixton

Pixton is an online comic creator that I have loved for years. One thing I love about it is that you can create visuals that demonstrate communication behaviors or conversational moves that spark discussion and analysis (and practice) very quickly. Play around and make one strip (I use the classic free Pixton and screenshot my creations) and then note from your library you can make a copy of your strip like you do with Google Docs, and change the language or communicative move used. Voila! Another version! Consider handing one to each person in your group and having them explain what they see.

Pixton also is a great contextual tool- see all these settings? I haven't forgotten my previous topic run on context, and will return to it. Each of these offers many specific backgrounds within it to incorporate narrative language.

Create a simple two character comic and you can create examples of different WH questions to use in conversation, and their results:

You can contrast these with yes/no questions, which tend not to bear as much fruit:

And comments, and so forth. Create a lot of engaging visual supports for older students in a short period of time.

So again, 3 tips:
-Make sure your browser runs Flash (I had no problem with this using Chrome)
-Screenshot to save/print your strips (you could also put them on Google Slides, like I did here if you have trouble seeing the comics above, with instructional tips)

This post inspired by a lot of conversational work I have been doing with groups, and this post I thoroughly agree with by SLP Rebecca Reinking.

Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.