Highlighting Highlights®

– a post by Elissa

So my daughter is in kindergarten. For the last 2 years she has been receiving Highlights® High Five™Magazine each month. I remember how much I LOVED looking at these magazines in waiting rooms when I was a kid. And wow, what a goldmine. School-based SLPs look at how ANYTHING we see, touch, experience can be used in therapy, right?? And lucky for me, my slightly type-A daughter doesn’t like to do anything but read her copies – she doesn’t pull any pages apart, color or draw in it – she keeps them looking pristine. Score for mom. Because I can create a multitude of lesson plans out of these babies!!!

A little background in case you’re not familiar with these gems:

Highlights® has magazines for 2 different age groups. There is the High Five™ Magazine for ages 2-6 and the Highlights™ Magazine for ages 6-12.

Both have a variety of activities including recipes, crafts, Hidden Pictures® scenes, puzzles, games and short stories. Many of the stories incorporate the same characters from month to month and include themes related to the season or upcoming holidays/events. The older version even includes science experiments and nature topics. There are silly pictures to find ͚what͛s wrong͛, 2 picture scenes to discuss similarities and differences, riddles and jokes and matching games. Is your head spinning yet with all of the skills you can target and goals you can address?

Look at some of this fun stuff…

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There is always something to discuss using the front cover-describing, predicting, something silly…

 

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Spot makes an appearance each month. Sequencing pictures? Done! A little inferencing. Describe characteristics of fall. Talk about feelings. Always an adventure with Spot!
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The title alone, right???  These twins always have a social obstacle to overcome. And cute, short stories allow for wh-questions and so much more!

 

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Articulation anyone? I think I see a few verbs in there too…
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So much comparing and contrasting!
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Wrap it all up with a recipe or a craft…step by step instructions for sequencing and following directions. Throw in some fine motor activities at the same time!

Are you drooling yet? There is so much more I could share!!!

Don’t have access to a subscription? Have you checked your school or county library?

No worries…check out Highlights Kids for even more – did I mention it is FREE.

Find Hidden Pictures® Puzzles, art activities, games and jokes in the Play It section. Looking for some short stories to work on comprehension? They have that covered in the Read It section. Stories can be read aloud – and some are even animated. How about poetry and articles as well as The Timbertoes: Comic Creator. Why not have the students create their own dialogue describing the pictures, talking about sequencing, constructing sentences…

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The Make It section has crafts and recipes plus science experiments!

There is even a Share It section where kids can read what other kids have asked and even ask their own questions!

So basically I have a stockpile of 2 years’ worth of High Five™ Magazine and pretty soon I͛ll be adding Highlights™ Magazine to it…so many preschool and elementary school lessons DONE!

Have you ever used Highlights® in therapy? Comment below and tell us about it!

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Planning to co-teach?

In the previous post, we discussed getting out of the speech room and into the classroom. We touched on the various models of co-teaching (descriptions found in this printable) and encouraged school-based SLPs to give it a try!

In this post, we’d like to provide some suggestions on how to PLAN for this service delivery model. So keep reading for some tips and your free printable lesson plan template.

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But first, let’s talk about the benefit of this model for students with AND WITHOUT disabilities…

For students with disabilities, this model can effectively increase participation in class, achievement and test scores, social skills and self-esteem. It can increase teacher expectations and generalization of skills. And of course, it helps reduce the missing of class activities.

For students without disabilities, this model can provide exposure to varied instructional strategies and activities. It can also provide additional help to those at-risk with specific skills. It definitely helps increase tolerance of differences. And it absolutely DOES NOT impede their achievement.

So we know the models (or check out the free printable in our last post for a refresher), we know why it’s a good idea (for some, not all students), we’ve found a teaching partner to take it on with us…now how do we plan for it?

First, pick a time to plan together and decide what you will need to accomplish during this time.

Always have a back-up plan in case meeting face-to-face it is out of the question…because it will happen!

Some suggestions – a daily or weekly face-to-face check in and debriefing; a planning notebook; email; post-it notes; phone calls.

Any other thoughts or systems that have worked for you? Comment below!

During the planning session, SLP and teacher will want discuss the following:

Teacher’s role

  • discuss the curriculum content and objectives for the lesson including topics, concepts, activities, outcomes, and methods of instruction
  • discuss common problems in the content

SLP’s role

  • discuss accommodations/modifications, strategies needed for instruction, materials, and activities
  • discuss the specific IEP objectives to be targeted

Together you want to be sure to discuss the co-teaching approach you plan to use; keeping in mind that more than one may be used in any given lesson. Room arrangement is also very important including where your speech-language students will be for each part of the lesson.

Since student assessment is important to both the teacher and SLP, you will want to be sure to talk about how this will take place for the lesson along with the specific supports needed for any given students.

Based on the lesson you’ve planned, don’t forget to outline the tasks you each will need to accomplish before, during and after the lesson. This includes material preparation, who will teach what, and who will assess what.

We have included a free 2-page lesson plan template that can help guide your planning session.

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Download it here

 

 

 

What are your go-to resources for planning for your co-teaching lessons?