When I started this blog in the spring, I didn't really expect to have many followers. I  mostly shared with classmates and occasionally when commenting on other sites, so I am always surprised to get comments from new people. Thank you! My goal when I started this was to have a virtual materials cabinet of sorts. If any of my materials or ideas help you, that's just a great added bonus!

This year, I am going to focus a lot on language lessons and the materials that go along with the books I use. I use books a LOT. I don't have an iPad (although I dream and drool about one, sometimes) and I like to tie my language lessons to the reading curriculum.

We do a lot of shared storybook reading. We talk about almost everything there is to talk about. Where's the title? Where is the cover? Who are the characters? Why did they do that? What do you think will happen next? If you're an SLP too, I am sure you do all of this naturally. I know sometimes those not in the teaching profession do not think to ask these things while reading with their children. My big goal with a lot of the take-home activities is that parents interact a little more with their kids on a different level, rather than simply reading the story and turning the lights out.

One of the  first primary grade units I encounter during the school year is the animal unit. I actually love starting the year off on the animal unit because most of the time, because I can build on what prior knowledge the kids have. 
I really enjoy reading "Inside A Barn In the Country" by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. The story is a pretty simple read-along, with a lot of chain reaction/cause & effect sort of things going on. I love that animal noises are a big part of the story, as well.

While reading the story, we practice retelling what has already happened and make predictions about what animals will come next.
After we finish the book, we use our farm animals to work on sorting small, medium, and large for the kiddos working on basic concepts. We work on placing the animals inside the barn and outside the barn (even on top of the barn), etc.
I love this magnetic farm book. Often times, when we work on this, the kids "earn" their magnets by answering "wh" questions about farm animals. Then, they get to place their magnet wherever they would like on the page. When they're done, I ask them to, with words, tell me where they placed the magnet and voila, they just did a little speech without knowing it.

For my kiddos working on following directions in sequence, I always love working a treat in as budget and allergies allow. I usually use Boardmaker to visually sequence the steps and ingredients involved in the recipe. For this story, Haystack cookies (no-bake) are a good start!

Finally, I send home a copy of my at-home language lesson ideas, so that parents will hopefully reinforce the skills practiced at home.
It's been a while since I've sent a freebie your way. I am trying a redesign, but please let me know what you think. Should we go back to the old style or what? 

At the bottom of this post is a downloadable PDF link. Feel free click save, but first say hi, tell me about some of your favorite farm activities, or share what you do with the little ones while learning about animals! 

Happy speeching and welcome back to a new school year! I hope your paperwork stacks are short and your pay increases are large! :]

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12/08/2012 5:19am

Hi!!! I love this newsletter u made and I too love to work on animals!!! There's a book I use that u press the button and u VRAM hear the animals sooo cute gosh I gotta get the name...it's about a rooster on the farm that forgot to wake the animals up...
How hard was it to make the newsletter. Any tips ...would love to to do something like this in my private practice!!!! I'm in a preschool all day..love to work according to themes and LOVE LOVE LOVE incorporating cooking in the mix!!!!!!'

12/14/2012 2:58pm

I use Mac Pages to make all of my materials. I do not find it difficult, but I did some page layout and design in a former life :]. You can use Microsoft Publisher too, but their templates are kind of ugly. You can always start from scratch, as well!

Great ideas! I totally agree with cooking. Food, how reinforcing is that?! :]

07/31/2013 3:05am

Lovely sharing and I am sure that the kids will love it so much. Landing on your page has taught me some creative ideas about designing and developing some of the most useful arts and artifacts and I have bookmarked your page for more future reads.

07/31/2013 6:55pm

Love the structure of the lesson, the snack creation, the home page. I have been working in the schools for 15 years, and reading this is giving me lots of great ideas of ways to spice up my therapy in the fall. . for me and the kids. Thank you so much!


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