Thursday, July 16, 2015

Developmental Speech and Language Training- Letter Sounds Practice- Little Green Frog

I used the Little Green Frog Song to help a student articulate letter sounds and also blend some sounds together.  This can be effective with students who have apraxia as well.  

I have recently changed this activity so that the students can place the letter they are working on, on a lily pad at the end of the song. This also gives them the opportunity to choose the correct letter from a few choices. Another way to do this file folder is to have them put the frog on the lily pad with the correct letter.

Travel and World Geography Fun

This summer we decided to have a themed week where we studied different concepts about world travel.  My children love to look at maps, as I did as a child. I think many children do.  It is part of building spacial awareness. 

I am definitely interested in other cultures.  Part of that comes from my experience living over seas when I was a child.  We moved to the UAE when I was 6 and stayed until I was 12. We took many school field trips were to learn about the culture. I wish my children could experience the markets, architecture, and just way of life. I hope to expose them to other cultures in various ways at home.

There seemed to be a plethora of activities we could have done this week. Lots of great ideas on Pinterest! Being in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy, I tried to pick activities that were fun, but simple!  Here are some of the things we did. 

Learning About Passports

We made our own passports and took trips to many countries around the world! I used picture cards of famous places to visit around the world to choose our destination.

Our airplane was very simple.  We put a few chairs together and then brought a small bag for luggage along with our home made passports.  One of us sat at the desk while the other waited in line to have their passport stamped. We pulled out my stamps and ink pads. The kids now understand that they cannot get into another country without it. 

Adelyn going through customs and getting her passport stamped by Zachary.

Zachary stamping passports. 

I am being approved by Adelyn.

Play Doh Structures

We took out our Play Doh and chose a structure from the cards to make.

Zac made the Alamo. I cannot get it to upload correctly.

Adelyn making her pyramid.

Flying to Bed

Each night my husband likes to fly the kids to their beds. This week they expanded their process by waiting for Scott at the "airport," selecting a few places to go from our map, and then having Scott fly them to those places on their way to bed. Sometimes they pick other countries, US cities, planets, or fictional places.  This week they chose countries!

Zachary is going to Italy

Scott is confirming a location chosen by one of the kids and showing them where it is on the map.

Learning the 7 Continents Song

Check out our movement activity for learning the 7 continents in song here!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Song for Counting to 100

The above song I recommend to use to help with counting up to 100.  There are a few reasons I recommend this song which you can learn about below!

When working in the school districts as a music therapist, it is very common to have a student who is working on an counting objective.  There are hundreds and hundreds of songs and activities for counting to 10 or 20.  The selection of songs to work on counting past that is much fewer and many of the songs that exist out there are just too FAST.  

Most of the students I see have autism.  All of them are quite different, but some of them take longer to process auditory information.  In a post in my speech/language section, I talk about the steps our auditory system takes to take in and process sounds.  Just a review, to process one sound like the sound of letter "b," our brain has to:

1. Catch the sound
2. Learn the sound and how to recreate it
3. Sequence the sound(s) in the order heard
4. store it in memory
5. Tell muscles how to move and in what order to recreate it. 

This is all just to process one sound. Can you imagine what our brains go through to sequence all of the sounds in one word, let alone a sentence? 

Some children take much longer to process auditory information.  Perhaps their brain has a difficult time with one of these steps.  Music however, is wonderful because we can stretch out sounds and put emphasis on what the brain needs to learn better.  Music therapists often write songs to fit these needs. 

It is important for those writing songs to help children learn academic concepts to remember this information.  It is much better to write songs that are slower so that kids can hear all of the sounds in a word clearly and also write songs that have repetitive lyrics to help with memory. 

This song above by AJ Jenkins, is one of the slowest counting songs that goes all the way to 100 that I have found. It also does a little bit of place value at the end.  I recommend this song to help with counting concepts. 

Greg and Steve have a counting song from back when I was growing up, that goes to 20.  What is great about it, is that is has an echo for the kids to practice only a few numbers at a time.  They only have to memorize a few sounds at once instead of the whole song. 

As the music therapy community grows and learns about these needs, there will be more song options out there to help with these needs!