Monday, December 17, 2012

The Snowy Day for Speech and Language Therapy

I know that many of you are planning your lessons for January. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic book about a young boy who goes outside to play in the snow. This wonderful winter book can be used for making predictions, inferring, teaching vocabulary, comparing, asking and responding to questions, sequencing, and retelling. You could create your own thematic unit and teach this book for the entire month.  Internet resources for this book are endless!

I used The Snowy Day in Early Childhood Special Education classrooms, but is appropriate for primary grades as well. The Snowy Day is easily found in libraries and can be read on-line. 

One on-line version of this book can be found at the Official Website of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. I like this animated version of The Snowy Day as, unlike YouTube versions, you can easily stop to talk about each page of the story. Look at the real-life version of The Snowy Day, on the Activities page. 

Activities and Links:

Label objects and actions found in The Snowy Day - click here to download object and action pictures from BoardmakerShare. Also included are five visuals for print awareness. 

At Teaching, you will find questions to ask students and some suggested vocabulary. This page could be helpful when planning your therapy sessions. 

Talk about clothes that you wear in the winter. Take pictures of students wearing mittens, a coat with a hood, hats, boots, etc. Make a books with carrier phrases such as She is wearing a scarf. or Diana is wearing boots. to work on pronouns, classmates names and/or present progressive tense. Use PowerPoint's Photo Album feature to make these books. If you don't have time to make these for individual classes, use pictures of people or cartoon characters found on the web to practices sentences such as The girl is wearing boots., Santa has mittens., or He has a coat. 

Teach the concepts long and short using scarves. Purchase some dollar store or thrift shop scarves and cut some to make them very short. Put them in a box leaving one end of each scarf hanging outside the box. Students will pull the desired scarf and classify it as long or short before putting it around his or her neck. 

Download The Snowy Day Adventure Pack at Reading Rockets to find activities for parents as well as many that you could adapt for therapy. 

Download The Snowy Day Printables at Home School Creations to find phonemic awareness activities and a winter/summer clothing picture sort.

Throw big and/or little snowballs (pom-poms or Styrofoam balls) over the snow fort. Stand behindin back of or in front of the snow fort. Our snow fort was a small table covered with a white sheet. I also found great language activities at Cochlear Implant's On-line Snowball Fight!

Retell the story or sequence story pictures. Find story pictures, lesson plans and more at Webbing Into Literacy's A Book a Week: Classroom Instruction (scroll down to see The Snowy Day). also has a nice set of sequence cards in the free The Snowy Day Lapbook and PrintablesKinderGals' retelling activity is a little more involved, but excellent. You could simplify the activity for therapy by using only a silhouette for Peter and put together materials prior to the lessons. 

Teach the concepts hot and cold.  Use cold packs to demonstrate cold and a heating pad for hot (not too hot). Sort pictures of hot and cold items. 

At Hooked on Teaching, students wrote an additional ending to the story to tell what Peter and his friend did on the second snow day.

Discover the World of Ezra Jack Keats, at, contains activity suggestions for The Snowy Day and many of Keat's other books. 

Last, but not least, when I searched Teachers pay Teachers for "snowy day," Check out these three freebies:

This will be my last post until after the holidays. In January, visit my blog for two great app giveaways. 

I hope that all of you relax and enjoy time away from work!


© 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Managing Your Apps in iOS6

Just a few more tips and tricks:

Update Your Apps
  • Go to the App Store. Find the tool bar at the bottom of the screen. 
  • Tap on Updates and then go to the top left corner and tap Update All
  • If you have a large amount of apps to update, you may have to update them a few at a time or individually.

How Large are Your Apps?
  • To see how much memory each app (and other content) are using, go to Settings then General then Usage and look under Storage.
  • It may take a few seconds for the list to appear.  Once a short list appears, click on Show all Apps to see all of your apps.
  • Apps will appear from the largest to the smallest. If you have movies in the Videos app, they will appear first and usually take up the most space.
  • At the top, directly under Storage, look to see how much available space you have on your iPad. You will see the number of GB available and the number used. This is the storage space that you have on your physical iPad. This has nothing to do with the iCloud which is where your data, notes, and photos are saved.

Make Folders to Save Space

My iPad2 has eleven pages for apps. I can save space and add more apps if I make folders.
  • To move an app, hold down one app until all apps wiggle and move it to the desired page or folder.
  • Drag one app on top of another to make a new folder and rename the folder to suit your needs.
  • To stop the wiggle, push the Home button.
Move seldom and never used apps (the ones that can’t be deleted such as Game Center) to a folder label Seldom Used Apps.

Deleting Apps
  • Touch and hold the app icon until the apps wiggle. 
  • Tap the X  to delete the app from your iPad.
  • This will not delete the app from your iTunes account. You can always go Purchased, at the bottom of the screen in the App Store, to see or install apps that were previously deleted.

Access All Running Apps
  • Double-clicking the Home button shows all of the apps that are running on the iPad along the bottom of the screen.
  • To switch to a running app just tap on it.
  • Swipe the screen downwards to remove this bar.

Closing Apps
  • Double-click the Home button to see all of the apps that are running along the bottom of the screen. 
  • Touch and hold an app icon until all of the apps wiggle. 
  • Tap the  -  to close the apps. 
  • This will not delete the apps from your iPad.

Make an Icon as a Shortcut to Your Favorite Websites
  • First, find the website.
  • Tap on the send icon at the top of the page  
  • Add to Home Screen.
  • Name your icon and press Add.
  • The icon will appear on your iPad screen.

Guided Access
  • Go to Settings and tap General and then Accessibility
  • Turn on Guided Access
  • Set a Passcode
  • Open an app of your choice
  • Quickly press the Home button three times.
  • Tap Start, in the right corner, to begin Guided Access
  • Quickly press the Home button three times.
  • Put in your Passcode.
  • Press End to cancel Guided Access. 

If you haven’t used Guided Access, check out How toUse and Set up Guided Access on iOS 6.0  at ASHAsphere. With Guided Access you can lock students into the app of your choice, draw a shape over an area that you want to disable, and turn off motion and touch as needed.  

Use Your Dock to Quickly Access Your Most Used Apps
  • By default the dock contains four items, but your iPad can hold up to six apps or folders on the dock. 
  • Just tap any app until they all wiggle. 
  • Drag the apps that you don’t want on the dock to the screen and move the desired apps or folders to your dock.  


© 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Taking the Mouse to the Movies: Why Questions, Pronouns, and More

My last post, Taking the Mouse to the Movies, had a variety of speech and language activities to use with the holiday book If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff. Here are just a few more. 

At Speaking of, Donna Williams submitted a companion activity,  IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES Activity, to elicit the pronoun he. I used it with a few of my students and decided that it would make a great why question activity. I created the mini-book, pictured below, that can be found at During therapy sessions, we read and discussed the book and students were given the opportunity to independently read one of the printed books. I was always happy to hear non-readers asking and answering the questions (data!). This book was also used with students who needed help with sentence structure and the phonemes /s/ and /g/. 

For those without Boardmaker, you could create a similar activity using the IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES Activity at Speaking of I cannot distribute the below document as a PDF due to Boardmaker's copyright policy

Here's More!

  • Take pictures of a toy mouse (or maybe The Elf on the Shelf) in various places in your school or community (similar to the above Boardmaker activty) to continue to practice asking and answering why questions. 

  • Take pictures of your students (or other boys, girls, men, women) in various places in your school or community to elicit he and she - Why is he in the library?, Why is she at the grocery store?, etc.

  • I always had at least one student that struggled with the pronouns I and you. Take or obtain pictures of that student in various places in their school, home, or community. Present these in a mini-book, flashcard, or digital form. Some students needed simple questions such as Who is on the bus? or Where are you? Others, who could answer more complex questions, were asked those such as Why are you on the bus? or Why are you in the cafeteria? Provide visual supports for appropriate responses as needed. 


© 2012