Trash to Treasure – Junk to Save Your Session
Turning work into play is a great way to get through the end of the year, sometimes even for older students! It works, especially well when you combine elements of all of the goals from the year to see how well they can use the skills.
What is needed? Junk! In the photo, you can see some of my life-saving junk from this year. The empty egg cartons and ravioli trays are from my house. The foam cubes, colored dice, pompoms, mini erasers, and plastic colored discs are from varied dollar place outings.
Spinners are very easy to make and can be personalized or changed out easily by taping something new on top of the laminated clear spinner. Tape on some words or pictures and get out the organizers your students have used during the year to play a wide variety of language games. Then, just mix and match!
Create Your Own
Here’s how to create your own.
- Determine which skills the majority of your students have worked on this year.
- Think about what vocabulary or skills for using new words that your students have learned this year.
- What skills can tie this all together? Ideas include questions, grammatical forms, sentence structures, and articulation targets or carrier phrases.
- How long are each of these lists? Place the information that your students have in common on the container or spinner that will fit it best.
- Get some type of easy to toss item, like mini erasers, pompoms, plastic chips, or packing peanuts, if you have a container.
- Make a spinner, adapt a cube, or use dice. Dice are fun and easy to use by making a grid with different skills for each number, or by numbering 6 pictures to talk about.
- Personalize the activities by using an organizer, vocabulary list, or some specific skill for each student.
- The more of these items you combine in an activity, the longer or more complicated the responses will be. The benefit is that it will require your students to combine multiple skills, demonstrating mastery and making them think. The drawback can be the time required, so I have my students spin, roll, toss, etc. while the other students are responding. An additional benefit for my ADHD kids is that this helps them wait for their turn without getting in trouble!
Try all different kinds of combinations! You will find out which activities your students love and how your goals fit best with your junk! On days when I know that I’m not going to get any ‘work’ responses from my upset students, I pull out one of these activities to save the day.
How do you save the day?