Saturday, March 4, 2017

Green Eggs and Ham Companion Pack

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr Seuss is a pretty awesome poem.  It builds as it goes, and my students memorized the lines. It's only written with 50 words, many of them core vocabulary.  When I don't have a clear idea of what to do (as in, I am tired, busy, overwhelmed), I can grab a book such as this, and work on myriad goals with an eager student.  I'm sure all of you school SLPs have had moments where planning awesome lessons doesn't happen.  Green Eggs and Ham is on my backup shelf!

This book can also be on your 'awesome lesson' shelf!  To help you with this, I've created some materials to go with it.  This companion pack is for your extra special learners---those students who really can't access the regular education curriculum, and need help putting words together, and understanding what literacy is all about.  If you are thinking thematically, 'green' goes with St. Patrick's Day, while 'eggs' go with Easter.  Green Eggs and Ham, though, is one that works anytime of the year.  For the record, while I have described a companion pack here, you will need to have your own copy of the book, Green Eggs and Ham (easily found in stores and libraries).

Here's the description:

This is a language/literacy pack as a companion for Green Eggs and Ham. This pack meant for the more linguistically challenged students and is perfect for  speech/special ed collaboration. This is nice for integrating literacy and hands-on activities. You are purchasing two interactive books, rhyming word bingo, and a food choice activity with visuals. Icons to match to the actual book, Green Eggs and Ham, are also included. Clipart is by Smarty Symbols copyright 2017. AAC core vocabulary words of ‘like’, ‘see’, ‘here’, and ‘I’ are emphasized.  This is also a great packet for using adjective + noun combinations, and for the pragmatic functions of stating preferences.
Interactive visuals for the book Green Eggs and Ham (Pages 3-4)
•“All Kinds of Eggs” real photo interactive book with manipulative icons and sentence frames (5-16)
“Rhyming Words Bingo”(pages 17-21)
•“Eating Green” real photo interactive book with manipulative icons and sentence frames . (pages 22-33)

Let’s Eat  Fun activity where the kids choose their favorite foods to go on a plate. This comes with food visuals, sentence frames, and place setting visuals.             (pages 34-37)

You can check this out over at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Price is modest, and as usual, if you are a starving CF, email me privately at for a complimentary packet.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Test Day, Team Player"---Book for Alleviating High Stakes Test Anxiety; Helpful to use with a Social Skills Group

A while ago, I reviewed two books by a local author, Shannon Fitzgerald (Halloween Night and Thanksgiving Weekend).

She has now provided me with a third book, perhaps her best, different in scope, intended audience  and artwork from her first two, but great for teachers in late elementary school on up to middle school.
The title is Test Day, Team Player.

The setting of this story is a regular education classroom before the End-of-Grade testing begins.  Some of the students are experiencing anxiety, and the teacher in the book leads a group effort to conquer their fears. In this case, the group plan was to wear a class color (all the students wore blue shirts) while the teacher nurtured a group mindset of support for one another while they individually tried their best on the tests.  The author is a former classroom teacher who successfully used this method to help her students get through this annual event. Stakes are high in NC and sadly kids feel it.

One reviewer on Amazon wrote: "End of year testing causes real anxiety for young children, and this book tackles it head on. Rarely does one see the words testing and teamwork together, but the combination works. This book finds a positive message in overcoming challenges and fears together through companionship."

Our local paper summed this book up, along with the illustrations with this article.

In other words,Test Day, Team Player is an awesome resource for a regular education teacher.


From a special education perspective, I would highly recommend this book to supplement Social Thinking with a social skills group.  Even though the author is unfamiliar with this curriculum, she is using the testing situation to teach 'being part of a group' rather than 'just me'. I was amazed at how Ms. Fitzgerald intuitively figured out this social skills concept.  I guess she was a natural teacher!
The 'just me' approach to a testing situation creates unnecessary anxiety, whereas a team approach helps to facilitate students supporting each other and more of a feeling of 'being in it together'.  This would be a nice tool to use to collaborate with a regular classroom teacher while trying to help the more anxious students in the group.

At the end of the book, the auther gives suggestions for how to make this happen in a classroom.

One final note here is that the illustrations were beautifully done by an East Chapel Hill High School Student, Danielle Losos.  Even her front cover illustration meshes well with Social Thinking--complete with thought bubbles, facial expressions, and body language for students in a class or social skills group to interpret.  ('What are thoughts vs feelings?' is another component of Social Thinking).

Here is an article about this talented high school artist.

I have really enjoyed all of Shannon Fitzgerald's books.  This one is perfect for getting ready for the dreaded testing season.  Since I'm now officially retired, I get to miss it this year :)
  The kids won't get to skip it though, and this book will help them get through the tests, feeling supported by their classmates while they each try their best.