Basic Concept Christmas Trees

Last week, my mod-severe autism groups and I started making Christmas Trees.  Most of those students have goals to do with basic concepts of size (short/long and big/little).  When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect!

I started by buying some packs of cute Christmas scrapbook paper.  I found 8.5×11 size sheets in packs of about 25 sheets for only $5 at Michael’s, so I bought 3 different kinds.  I cut a couple of each type of sheet into strips that are a couple cm wide.  Then, I took a handful of them and cut them 7in, 6in, 5in, and 4in long.  I left some the length they were (8 in – because that’s how wide the paper started out).  I kept the other halves of the 7/6/5 inch pieces and that gave me my shorter strips. 

So, I started out with strips about 2-3 cm wide, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 in. long.  I’m so glad I bought myself a paper cutter at the beginning of the school year!  It was only $25 at BJ’s!

I recommend putting each length in a separate bag or clipping them together some how.  The above mess was a pain to sort through when I first started.

Each student got a green piece of construction paper.

As I went around the table, I placed a field of 3 strips in front of each student: 1 short piece and 2 long or 1 long piece and 2 short. I used this as a receptive task to identify “short” vs “long”.   

To assemble the trees, we began placing the longer strips were on the bottom of the paper and they gradually got shorter as we went up. 

a field of 3 with the prompt “Give me long.”

I did a couple repeated trials of receptive identification of short vs long for each student.

For students who were not working on short vs long, I showed them a few strips in the size that they needed and had them describe to me which paper they wanted.  This targeted adjective+noun phrases, “I want…” sentences, and descriptions, depending on the level of the student.

Because I have about 4 students in a group, and I did many trials of receptive identification for each student, we only got as far as finishing the tree itself. 

I also used my Cricut machine (“Joys of the season” cartridge) and cut ornaments (of varying sizes), stars (in different patterned papers), and presents (of varying sizes).  We will add these elements this week, while discussing concepts of size and location (i.e. “under the tree”, “on top of the tree” & “on the tree”).  We will also add a trunk! 

I will update this post with a picture of some of our completely finished trees at the end of the week, but I wanted to write it in time for you to use it in your speech rooms! 

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!  (Only 5 more days til Winter Break!  Woo hoo!)

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Turtle Power!

My latest download is actually a series, so I figured I’d show you all that it has to offer.

The first products focus on articulation.  There are two versions: one for early sounds and one for late sounds.

Here are the sounds contained in each pack:

Early sounds
Late sounds

Here’s some examples of what the pages look like:

Initial /w/
Final /ch/

Find the early sound pack here and the late sounds pack at this address.

Next up is language.  It includes both receptive and expressive tasks.

Here’s a list of what’s included in this download:

Some examples of the receptive pages:

There are a variety of following directions tasks.

Next are some visuals for describing attributes, along with cards to help.  They can be sorted onto the pictures or used as visual cues.  There are 4 attributes per picture/noun.

 Next there are prepositions of location.  Below is the page with words, but there is also a page without words.

 Next, students must put the steps of a familiar sequence in the correct order.

The last receptive area is answering questions.  It includes all 5 Wh- questions, but below are just a few.

Next come the expressive tasks.
The first expressive area is compare & contrast.  Visuals are used!

Then comes sequences, where students must independently describe the order of events for the tasks listed.

The next areas are synonyms and antonyms.  I tried to pick words that are not the typical, simple ones you always see.

The last few pages work on categories in a variety of ways.  This is a huge area of need for my first graders, so I just had to include it!  (They’re the ones that I specifically made this pack for.  Last week one said, “This game is so fun.  Thank you for making it for us!”  So sweet!)

Students must list items in the given category.

Students must decide which item in the list does not belong.  My students are pros at this when visuals are involved, but have much more difficulty when just words are used.

The category names required are both concrete and abstract, simple and more advanced.
The last packet is grammar.  It targets a bunch of areas for preschoolers through early elementary.

A detailed description of what’s included
a few subject pronouns

some object pronouns

a couple of the possessive pronoun sentences

Some of my preschoolers need I vs me help!

One of the sorting mats.  Cut them along the horizontal lines.  There is also a set of mats that includes visuals for each word!

The regular past tense sentences, with visuals.  The present tense of the verb is discretely written in a script font on the sewer lids, in case you need a little help prompting 🙂

Sooooooooo many of my kids need third person singular -s help!

Have students formulate a sentence with present progressive verbs using the picture given.

Sorting mats for the is/are, have/has, do/does cards.  Cut along the vertical lines!

A, The, or An: a sorting mat/anchor chart is included for these, as well!

Put the words in order to formulate a grammatically correct question – a real struggle for many!
Now, if you really want a deal, I’ve bundled all of these products together! So, you get 4 products for the price of 3!  It’s a 25% savings!  Find the bundle here.
Here’s you chance to win your choice of one of the above downloads (not the bundle).  Enter using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope your kids love these turtles (and packets) as much as mine do!

Holiday lights craft

Last week with my Intellectual Disabilities classrooms (where I co-treat with OT) we made thumb print holiday lights.  I’m sure you’ve seen the idea on Pinterest.  Here’s the pin I went off of.

We used one large piece of white construction paper to make a poster per class.  Instead of an ink pad, we used a tray of water color paints (because it’s what we had access to from our art teacher).  I put a couple drops of water on each color and placed the tray in the lid from a cardboard box (from printer paper) so that any drips would be caught in there.

Clearly the box was a good idea.  Not all of that mess is from this project, but that clump in the middle is!

We had students use the photo magnets below to make a choice of what color they’d like to print.  Depending on the student, we gave them a field of between 2-6.  These can be placed on a magnetic whiteboard or on the table, making them easily accessible for a variety of students.  They came from the dollar store, so they’re a cheap, low tech way to make choice-making accessible to a variety of students!

We gave them each 3 chances to do prints.  We used directions like “put finger in (color)”, “put finger on paper”, and some students were even asked to put their finger next to/under/between/above etc. certain colors.  It made for a great following directions activity.  Here is our finished product!

These look SO cute hanging in the halls!  My co-SLP and I also did this activity with our preschoolers.  Their directions were a little more complex and we had them verbalize in phrases/sentences what they were going to do next.  Because they can get antsy, we gave them each a coloring page to do when it was not their turn.  Here’s the one we used.  The site has a bunch of great coloring pages, that could also be used as templates for something.  Here are all of their Christmas options!

The kids really liked this activity and they came out so cute!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!  How many more days til Winter Break?!