Am I the only one who doesn’t necessarily look forward to St. Patrick’s Day? For our students with learning differences, it is undeniably, absolutely, positively one of the most confusing days of the year. All year long they learn to keep their hands to themselves. Rainbows are related to weather. Gold is a color that only those who have the luxury of owning a 64 piece coloring box will have. Our vocabulary goes from Elf on the Shelf to Cupid to Leprechaun before any of those words are actually stored in their lexicon.
….and then comes St. Patrick’s Day…
As a SLP we review Social Stories, we HIGHLY encourage students to wear something green days ahead of time, we warn teachers and administrators, we role play, run scripts, review vocabulary related to the day AHEAD of time, and sometimes even BRIBE students NOT to touch “our kids”. (Don’t deny it).
Then the night before St. Patrick’s Day arrives. We plan our outfit, search Pinterest for that last minute cute craft, go by the grocery store to grab a box of Lucky Charms and at some point rest our heads and drift off to sleep….or toss and turn all night dreaming of horrible “WHAT IFs” that could occur if one of our kids with sensory or personal space issues gets…..pinched.
In Ms Gardenia’s Speech Room, we started preparing the week before St Patrick’s Day with the favored book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover.
I found this fabulous Sequencing printable by Gwyn Rollins at Preschool Printables and used it with my PreK and kinder students as well as my older life skills classes. She has so many different ways to work on the same activity that I was able to give each student a different manipulative to use while listening to and answering questions about the story.
I also used Jenna’s book companion from Speech Room News.
I LOVE Jenna’s comprehension questions with multiple choice picture answers. Even my non-verbal kids were able to participate and showed amazing understanding of the text.
The yes/no questions that check for comprehension of text were perfect for my non-verbal kiddos in Life skills:
She includes a game for following two step directions as well as questions that expand language and vocabulary from the book into conversation starters:
For articulation, sequencing and following directions we made articulation rainbows.
I went to the work room and scored the scraps from the paper cutter. There was a drawer full of strips! To whichever one of my fellow teachers who thought it a good idea to save all of those edges—PROPS! You saved me SO much time.
I gave the kids their sound deck and told them to pick out six words they KNEW they could say correctly. These were PreK & Kinder kiddos, so you can imagine their intense study and practice of the entire deck until they found at least 6 words they could say correctly!
To save time and prevent frustration…for all of us…I wrote their words as they said them. If they were able to say them well, we made phrases and sentences. We reviewed it so many times, they pretty much had their words memorized by color of the rainbow. They were THRILLED to take them home. Of course I hope they reviewed their sounds once they were home with their parents.