What’s Yours Like?

Recently, during a class meeting with second grade students, we introduced a spin-off game of What’s Yours Like?.
We played a child friendly version available here on TpT (shameless plug). what's yours like?We played with a second grade class, who was able to play successfully but I wouldn’t recommend playing with students any younger. During the game, there is a “Guess Word” which can be anything from a backpack, to a bike to hair. One student asks the others students “what’s yours like?” in an effort to try to guess the “Guess Word”. Students are to answer truthfully but cleverly. The object of the game is to try to guess the “Guess Word” with the fewest clues possible. For example, if the “Guess Word” was closet, students might describe their closet as “messy”, “cluttered”, “organized”, “empty”, etc. If one were to answer “where I hang my clothes”, the clue would be too obvious and the guesser would be able to easily guess the guess word. The game seems simple enough, but it was definitely a shift for some of the students. Students were used to giving clues so others could make a guess, not offer clues so others wouldn’t be able to guess.

You might think it would be the children with the language difficulties who had the most trouble with this game, but not so. It really was the children with social language challenges. We had been playing several games such as reverse charades and spring taboo (shameless plug number 2), where the students were to give clues so that others could make a guess as to what they were describing. This game requires students give truthful clues while hoping the guesser doesn’t guess correctly. Students with social language difficulties had a hard time demonstrating this flexibility in thinking.

To give an example, one of the target words was shoes. Several of the students described theirs as “worn out”, “broken”, “glittery”, etc. One very bright boy, with social language challenges, described his as “white on the bottom”. He then sat with his feet sticking out (children were in a circle on the carpet) towards the guesser waving his feet at her, hoping that he would provide the clue that elicited the correct answer. Why is this important?

This is important for several reasons. One for those students, who are perceived as bright and achieving well academically, performing in such a manner during this game can look like behavior. It may look a little like a student trying to be the class clown, when in fact, he/she doesn’t understand the game expectations. Two, the other students can become frustrated. As a whole, the class doesn’t want the “guesser” to guess the “guess word” so when it appears that someone is trying to give it away or deliberately provide a clue, the others in the group become annoyed with that student. This can result in the student who is giving the deliberate clue to be hurt and confused. So, what can you do?

For those students who have social language difficulties and may have trouble understanding the concept of giving clues but not wanting someone to guess correctly, you can pre-teach the game and practice in a smaller group setting, time permitting. You may also want to provide a sheet of descriptive words for students to use (included in my What’s Yours Like? game -shameless plug number 3) to help students make accurate yet not obvious descriptions.

So much emphasis is placed on academics and number of instructional minutes in the classroom these days. There seems to be less and less time to “play games” and “have fun” when in fact these types of games (Taboo and What’s Yours LIke? – last shameless plug)  promote problem solving, inferencing, descriptive language, social language, team building and a sense of class community. I think it is important to try and build time into the day, even if only for a few minutes per week to target some of these important skills.

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What’s Happening in April

I’ve been wanting to share some of the daily happenings that occur in the speech room. I love that fellow blogger ChelseaSLP posts her weekly lesson plans. I thought I might try to post a general preview at the beginning of each month. These are general ideas and not all children will participate in each.

WHAT WE ARE READINGThere Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog, Leap Back Home to Me, Growing Vegetable Soup and Three Stretchy Frogs

april books

Language therapy in my speech room is almost always literacy based.  I would like to devote more time to that in another post so I will leave it at that for now.

WHAT WE ARE PLAYING: We are using lots of games during articulation sessions. Let’s face it, drill work can be a little dry ( I might liken it to learning to conjugate verbs when first learning a foreign language). This is where we use a little trickery. We mask the dryness of drills with fun games, crafts and activities. This month we are playing Fill the Farm Stand Game. We are also using Roll and Cover Game boards found here on TpT. Students also like using the spring themed boards for Seasonal Chipper Chat. 

farmstand game

During class meetings in some first and second grade classes we have been playing a Spring Themed Taboo Game. Why are we playing? It targets describing, explaining, listening, drawing conclusions and participating in social interactions.  Oh, and it’s fun. We are hoping to play a What’s Yours Like Game, in an adapted, child friendly version. This is still in the works.

To target some structural goals we are using Pronouns and Prepositions for Spring. The students love acquiring new seasonally related items for their boards and describing what they have. Many of the students can identify spatial concepts and follow directions involving them, but when asked to describe a location the response is often “it’s right here”. Not in my speech room! We will also be using spring themed barrier games (still in development). I am a huge fan of barrier games and I will probably devote a post specifically to that at another time.

WHAT WE ARE DOING: Hopefully we’ll get to some fun crafts like this cute garden picture.  (Notice some similar themes between some books, games and crafts??)

bunny craft

Why are we doing crafts? Crafts provide a fun and meaningful context to target sequencing, following directions, concepts, vocabulary, and it’s just fun to do. It also provides students with a hands on experience that can be talked about at a later time (relaying past events).

Hopefully, we will get a chance to re-pot some of our plants. Why are we doing this? Three reasons. One, the re-potting provides the same opportunities as when doing a craft. Two, we use the plants as a daily “job” for some students. Three, they’re not going to make it much longer if they’re not re-potted. Can’t have a watering job with no plants.

JUST FOR FUN: The second grade boys who come for articulation therapy have really been into sticker charts. I decided to try to make my own and take their requests. I’ve only done a few and they’re nothing fancy but the kids don’t seem to mind. Help yourself here.

Spring vacation is the week of April 19th. Every year we think it will be the last year with a break in February and a break in April. Best to enjoy, in case it’s our last April break.

 

Hopefully these are just some of the activities we get to this month.

Renee