Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Monster Week

This is quite possibly my favorite week so far.  The funny thing, is I had scheduled to do a chocolate week for this week because I found some random chocolate holiday to celebrate, but I purchased some great monster activities from Teachers Pay Teachers and I wanted to use them.  Monster week was planned and the rest is history.

Before getting to the activities, I need to tell you about my monsters.  I found this cute "tattle monster" idea on Pinterest and decided to make some for myself.  I sent an email out to the teachers at my school asking for empty tissue boxes and egg cartons, and the response was great!!  I had enough to make four monsters for me and four for my intern.  If you can't find these guys anywhere and want to know how to make them, let me just give you the directions now...

1) Paint tissue boxes your desired color.  Once dry, use the bottom of a large paintbrush to dip in paint and create your dots.  (** You can use spray paint but I didn't have spray paint and didn't want to buy it, so I used white paint to paint a base coat on the boxes and then painted over it with my desired color.)
2) Seal paint using decoupage.  The paint will chip off of the boxes if you do not seal it.  I decoupaged the boxes and it worked well.
3) Cut the mouth hole a little bigger to give your kids enough space for the teeth and their hands.
4) Cut teeth out of white foam paper and attach to the inside of the mouth using a hot glue gun.
5) Cut egg carton into individual egg holders, attach googly eyes, and glue to the top of the monster.

I used my monsters in a variety of ways...

I told my kids that my monsters were very hungry but they only ate candy.  I gave them chipper chat pieces to feed the monsters (that I had placed throughout my speech room) and the kids got to feed their monster of choice as a reinforcer.
(**extra fun hint: I told my kid that although my monsters liked candy, if they put their hands in the monsters' mouths, they would be eaten.  I gave them my "magic wand" to collect the chipper chat candy from the monsters' mouths at the end of the speech session.  They loved using the magnet to collect the "candy" pieces.)

Categorizing/Comparing and Contrasting:
 Although each monster was a different color, I only used four colors for the dots.   They kids could categorize the monsters by dot color, size of box (there were three sizes), number of eyes, type of mouth, or type of teeth (curly, spiky, two layers, etc.).  They could then compare and contrast the monsters based on their characteristics. 

Like I said earlier, I found some great therapy materials from Teachers Pay Teachers to use this week.  Here are the links to the monster materials I used:

Social Candy Monsters were used with my social skills/spectrum kids.  (that is where I got the idea to feed my monsters candy) You can find the blog about them at Crazy Speech World or you can buy them from Jenn's TPT store.

Another cute monster activity that Jenn at Crazy Speech World made (and this one is FREE) is Conversation Starters.  (These cute pictures might not be monsters but that is what I called them so I could use them this week, so use them however you want.)  I used these with my kids working on anything at the conversational level.  Get them from Jenn's TPT store for free!!

The Monster Question Pack was great to use with any of my kids that were working on asking or answering questions.  It also came with cute monster mouths that I cut out and attached to sticks as a form of a mask (I used them as ways to "buzz in" to answer a question and just as a mask for my kids to use while answering; they loved this!!)  You can find the blog about them at Live Long Speech (but it is by the author of Sublime Speech) or you can buy them from Daniele's TPT store.

Back Pocket Monsters is an oldie but a goodie.  These two games were created by Jenna over at Speech Room News and my kids LOVE them every time we play them.  You can find the blog about them at Speech Room News where I think she is still giving them away for FREE!!

My sweet intern found this story/activity to teach expected and unexpected behaviors in the classroom: Monster Fun! Teaching Manners and Expectations.  It comes with two stories: one about listening with your different body parts (e.g., listening with your hands) and a story about a monster who shows up to school and uses unexpected behaviors.  We read both stories and then discussed what school rules the monster broke and how he could change his behaviors to become expected.  You can get it at the Growing Kinders TPT store for FREE!!

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley is a great book to work on sequencing skills.  I made a felt version of the monster and had the kids add the parts and then remove them when the story told them to.  We then used picture versions of the book to sequence when each part was added and removed and then retold the story using first, then , next, and last. 
 Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda was used in conjunction with Michelle Garcia Winner's Think Social! Lesson #7: Using Our Brains to Think About Others.  We read the book and then talked about how each monster felt and what might have caused them to feel that way.  The kids then picked feelings to portray and used the monster masks in the books to portray them.

Substitute Creature by Chris Gall is a great story to work on predicting and drawing inferences.  It is a story about a substitute teacher who teaches the students of a misbehaving class "cases" about children who do certain unexpected things (e.g., doodling, playing tricks, stealing things, etc.) and their consequences.  My kids loved this story because of its great illustrations and they liked to predict what the case would be. 

I hope you enjoy monster week!! We had a BLAST in my room!!
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