Monday, April 1, 2013

Dr. Seuss Week

Dr. Seuss' birthday was March 2nd and is now a national holiday; therefore, it is defiantly a reason to celebrate with a theme week!!

I don't know if I have expressed how much I love Pinterest recently, but it is AMAZING for planning theme weeks! I found a game called What's in the Cat's Hat that I thought was super cute to use, but being the (I don't want to say "cheapskate" so I'll go with...) spendthrift that I am, I decided to make my own hats and use them for several different activities instead. I took some old plastic Lakeshore Learning tubs (at one time they had manipulatives in them but when I moved into my new classroom I inherited four empty tubs that I kept for a random tub emergency.  Well friends, a tub emergency came up and so now I have two Cat in the Hat hats to use!!!) and added red and white felt strips to create the stripes of the hat.  I then took a piece of hard white felt to create the rim of the hat.

Bean Bag/Hat Reinforcer:
My intern made bean bags out of balloons and flour to use with the hats that I made.  We made a starting line with tape of the floor and had them toss the "bean bags" into the hats as a type of reinforcer for my articulation, voice, and fluency groups.  We even made different distance lines to make the activity harder once the kids accomplished getting the bags in the hats from the first distance.

The librarian at my school is WONDERFUL and has the best stuff in her office.  She found out I was going to do a Dr. Seuss week and brought down a stuffed Cat in the Hat and Thing 1/Thing 2.  I used them with the hats to work on prepositions: put the Cat in the hat, in front of the hat, between the hats, etc.  We then used the 2 things to work on following multistep directions and directions using temporal concepts (e.g., "Before you put the Cat in front of the hat, put Thing 1 next to the hat").

What's in the Cat's Hat:

I put the cards from SuperDuper's Vocab BINGO into the Hat and then pulled each card out and had the kids guess what was in the Cat's hat based on the description read.  You can do this a few different ways depending on the amount of cuing your children require.  You can give the kids their own BINGO board and only put one card deck into the hat so they will know exactly what words to choose from, you can pick a few cards from each card deck and have the kids guess what you are describing without the visual BINGO board cues, you can put items in the hats for them to guess by your description (or describe themselves), or you can create your own pictures to describe.  (Don't forget, if you do not want to make your own hats and just want to buy the game, you can get it on Amazon here

The Cat in the Hat:
I found a YouTube video of Justin Bieber reading The Cat in the Hat with a video of the book behind him on a screen.  Now sadly, I am not a fan of the Biebs but my kids seem to love him so I did this activity for them.  (All Biebs fans, forgive me) I used this video in two ways:

1) Instead of reading the book to my kids, I let Justin Bieber read it and we answered comprehension questions, talked about main idea, and created a summary after the video.

2) The Cat and his friends Thing 1 and Thing 2 do A TON of unexpected things!!! We created mini hats out of red Solo cups and used this video in conjunction with Michelle Garcia Winner's Think Social Lesson 12: Good Thoughts verses Weird Thoughts.  We gave our kids red and blue pieces of paper (red representing weird thoughts and blue representing good thoughts) and they put them in their cups when they noticed a character in the story giving them good or weird thoughts.  In Michelle's lesson the teacher is meant to give the kids the colored paper for their actions, but I find it easier to start with them having good/weird thoughts about another person so they can understand what they are thinking before seeing how their behavior affects me.

Synonyms and Antonyms:
I found some cute I Have, Who Has Synonym and Antonym activities by Carolynn Ruark on Teachers Pay Teachers for FREE and used those with my kids who are working on synonyms and antonyms.  You can go directly to her TPT store here.

Mad Libs:
I LOVE using Mad Libs in speech to work on I ask my articulation kids to try to find words with their sounds in them to complete the Mad Libs and then read it.  It is a great way to work on saying their sounds in connected speech.  I found this Seuss-Inspired Mad Lib on Teachers Pay Teachers for FREE.  You can pick it up at K. Ratliff's TPT store here.

Following Directions:
To work on following directions I created a some following directions cards with Dr. Seuss letters.  I have been focusing on "before" and "after" rules so most of the cards have directions that relate to those rules.  The kids drew a card and completed the direction to earn bean bags.  After they had earned three bean bags, they were able to try to get them in the Cat's hat.

Get your Following Directions Cards here!!

Bartholomew and the Oobleck:
This book is great to work on predicting (size of Oobleck on each page, how it will affect the community, how Bartholomew might be able to stop what is going on, etc.).  To be honest, this book is kind of long so I rewrote it to make it shorter for my time limit.  We then retold it, talked about actions versus consequences, and finished the activity be making our own Oobleck using a recipe I found on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It was really gooey so I would add less water next time but the kids had loads of fun with it. Get the recipe from Gladys Daniels' TPT store here.
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