Communication Graffiti

It's better speech and hearing month! Whoo hoo! I love nerding out this month. A few of the things I tried this year include: vocal hygiene presentation for staff, all school BHSM newsletter, staff email blast with Identify the Signs webiste, and Communication Graffiti (pictured above).

I got the idea for a graffiti wall from Jenna Rayburn over at Speech Room News. Because I have such a teeny tiny room, I actually had my students color on the paper after it was taped to the wall. This got such a great reaction from my kiddos and even from other students. I had students who have no services come up and ask to draw on the wall. That made my kiddos feel pretty good about coming to speech. 

Here is the finished product, with my slanted writing for the "I can" statements we used to guide our lessons. Ta Da! (or Da Ta as I used to say).

As you can see, I have some pretty good artists in my speech/language groups.

With my wide range of kiddos all the way from K-8, the wall had a variety of activities on it by the end. On the left you can see a word list for /s/ and /z/ from a student, a category circle, some drawings of vocalic /r/ words, a 3 part story, and some facts about stuttering. Below are some additional stuttering facts, and an idiom.  
A few of the other things we did on the graffiti wall were drawing some Unthinkables, using the EET to describe different things, and draw actions. Overall, this is a wonderful activity and really gets the kids to think about why they are in speech/language sessions. I plan to do this next year and with a new classroom, I should have more space (I'll even have windows)!

This graffiti is truly a work of HEART!

Repurpose! Reuse!

Repurpose! Reuse! Recycle! I remember those words from recycling initiatives when I was younger along with those, "How can we save the Earth?" topics. My family didn't grow up with much money and we used old milk crates and ice cream buckets to store toys. Thanks to my mom, I have found some really creative ways to store things within my speech/language space. I thought I would share some of the ways I reuse and repurpose containers for storage. Re- a prefix meaning back or again! (Love those prefixes for my middle schoolers).

Here's a bunch of my repurposed containers.

One of my favorites is an old parmesan cheese container that I use to store chipper chat chips (and there's alliteration!). This is by far my favorite repurposed container. I can shake out the chipper chat chips super easily from the "pour" side and putting them back in is as easy as unscrewing the lid.

Another of my favorites is an old animal cracker container covered in paper. Wow is this thing versatile. I use it similarly to Ned's Head or play "what's in the box" when working on describing or making inferences. The only problem is that you need to eat tons of animal crackers!
I typically use stamp cards within my room to earn prizes. For 2 of my students with ASD, this wasn't rewarding. So, I thought like Superflex! I knew they liked Pokemon and found some beading crafts. Now, they earn a bead for following directions, coming with me the first time I ask, etc. This is very motivating because when they are finished, we make the craft (plus there are about 60 beads per craft so it takes a long time). I use old spice containers because they are clear and small.

Last year, I got married and we received some brand new kitchen storage containers. Happily, I took the old ones to school and I now use them to store various game pieces (Candy Town from Speech Room News pictured here).
Because of our lowered printing budget, I like to print many of my things on colored card stock. Sometimes I get around to laminating them, but most of the time I don't. I put packing tape on the back of cards I will hang on my wall so that my blue sticky tack doesn't leave a stain or so that any masking tape doesn't tear off part of the paper. 

Other Items

  • Pringles Can = Weekly PBIS ticket drawing bucket
  • Hot chocolate mix containers = bins to draw cards, craft supply storage
  • Ice cream bucket = bean bucket (it needed a lid!)
  • Crayon Tin from the dollar store = pencil holder
  • Tea tin = colored pencil holder
  • Zibloc bags = the mother of all containers
What containers have you repurposed?