Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Round-Up!

Mittens, packing peanuts, a children's game, and styrofoam balls. What do these things all have in common? Well, they are great therapy materials and games! Allow me to present to you my winter round-up!

Winter Round-Up Activity #1: Mittens in the Snow

This is one of my favorite activities to use with my students because it's so versatile! Start by getting a large container, then gather some packing peanuts, and find a few mittens. Put anything you'd like into the mittens (actual objects for younger students, artic/phonology pictures, note cards with words to define, etc) and bury them in the "snow" (aka, packing peanuts). Then, have students take turns searching for a mitten! This gets kids up and moving, plus it's just a fun winter activity! I purchased four different colors/patterns of mittens at the dollar store so that if I have a group of students that are all working on different goals, I can assign them a color/pattern of mitten to find in the snow. We did this activity last year and a few of my students actually requested it again this year, so I hope it will be a hit with your students as well!

Winter Round-Up Activity #2: Don't Break the Ice

This may seem like an obvious choice, but I've changed up the game, Don't Break the Ice, a bit to suit my needs as well as support students academically. This activity is geared more for artic sessions and/or language sessions with targets that can be rapidly reviewed. As students knock down the ice cubes, they not only score as many points as are on the cubes, but they also must say that many artic words and/or go through that many language targets. We used this game in the majority of my artic sessions last week and it allowed for tons of repetitions without the students even really noticing how much work they were doing! My 2nd - 6th graders also had to add up and/or multiply their points (think addition as well as multiplication, here!) and had to decide who had the most/least points and who was in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and/or 4th place.

Winter Round-Up Activity #3: Snowball Fight Match-Up

You'll never look at a styrofoam ball the same again when you realize that they are the makings of a great language snowball fight! Last week, I used these for a synonym and antonym match-up game in an inclusive activity that I did with a classroom teacher. Although we had a synonym and antonym snowball fight, you could have any type of snowball fight you'd like with pair-ups: associations, an item and its function, present tense verbs with past tense verbs, singular nouns with plural nouns, etc. First, pass out all of the target cards to the students, have them spread the cards out on their desk/in their area, and pick one student to begin. That student is given a "snowball" and then reads the word on his/her card. Next, the person who has the antonym match, synonym match, associated word, etc. stands up and reads their word. If the match is correct, the "snowball" is thrown to the person with the match and he/she reads another one of their cards. If you're really adventurous, you could get more than one snowball going to make it a real "fight". This activity was really engaging for our students, so I hope your students will like it just as much!

With the thought of this last activity in mind, I created a Winter Match-Ups FREEBIE for you! This activity includes: 24 antonym cards, 24 synonym cards, and 24 irregular plural noun cards. Take a look!

Antonym pairs

Synonym pairs

Irregular plural noun and singular noun pairs

You can access this activity at my TpT store here!! You can also follow my blog or "like" my Facebook page in order to stay up-to-date with new products and freebies!

I hope that you find these activities useful and that they save you a little bit of time as far as planning and preparing are concerned! Thanks for reading!

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