Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Happening in My Classroom?

Well, it's Summer School time, which means a longer day for students in my class, but less kids. So, we have more time to give the students the attention they need and more time to do FUN stuff!!

The vocabulary theme (remember--one of the best ways to teach vocabulary is within vocabulary units to help them categorize new words they use as they put the words in their little "filing cabinets!") for the next few weeks is: Ocean Life!!

What's the best game to play with my preschoolers?

It's ABSeas!!

For starters, AB Seas is a fantastic way to help your little one learn the alphabet. As they go fishing, they catch sea creatures who have upper case letters written on them. They can say the name of the letter and then match it to their game board. Make it a bit more challenging and have your child match the upper case letter to the lower case letter.

And! There's a bonus!! The fishing poles are magnetic which lead to an awesome science experiment! My students had fun going around the room seeing what items the magnet stuck to (the chair leg! the white board! the filing cabinet!) as well as what it did not stick to (the cardboard box, the pocket chart, the water table). It was pretty fun watching them get so excited.

Now, how can AB Seas be used to teach speech and language skills?...
Vocabulary development: As they fish for letters, they will be encountering several sea creatures, including fish, sea horses, octopus and sharks. The box is also decorated with ocean items, like sea weed, coral, water, shells and bubbles. All of these are great for developing labels and descriptive language.

Basic concepts: While your child is playing, they are taking the sea creatures out and putting them on their game board.

Turn Taking: Often, students with speech ang language difficulties have problems with pragmatic language (that's the social use of language; how people interact with others). One key area of pragmatics is turn taking. A sneaky way to work on turn taking is through game playing--especially when you are super sneaky and only give the kids ONE fishing pole!! They need to know that each kid gets a turn and they can use phrases like "it's my turn," or "I want the fishing pole."

More pragmatic language!: Encourage your kids to ask each other "Do you have the letter B" to see if they can play together to find all of the letters.

My speech and language preschoolers are having a lot of fun with AB Seas! I hope you do, too! It's available here on my website!

Happy fishing!


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