How to Cure Spring Fever

Will Spring Break Ever Get Here?

    Today I sat in group after group of wiggly, giggly kiddos who weren't even remotely interested in therapy. Honestly, I wasn't that enthused either. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we wanted to go outside. So, we did. And I am so glad!

   This was an abrupt change in plan but a necessary one. We really needed to get the zoomies out. The quickest solution was speech hopscotch.  I grabbed our artic cards and told one of the students to grab a rock as we headed for a bright spot on the sidewalk.  

Pro Tip: 
Use 1 rock. Multiple rocks+ Multiple students = Bad things.

How was this going to work?

Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I enjoy the challenge of mixed group therapy. So this activity had to work for each of my students. 

This group had one student working on 's', another on 'r' and a language student working on subject/verb agreement and pronoun use. There was also one Tier 3 student working on stuttering. 

It went like this

The session typically went like this:

1. Students were responsible for arranging the cards in the traditional hopscotch pattern. No chalk required. They also had to practice the word on each card they placed. No wasted opportunities here! 

2. Each student took a turn tossing the rock on a target card. When they reached the rock, they had to practice the corresponding card at their target level (isolated sound, word, sentence...)

Pro Tip:
Use dice or spinner instead of a rock. This gives an element of surprise to the game and can indicate how many responses are required. 

3. Game play continued for each student per hopscotch rules. 

How to target language goals using articulation cards

Because I didn't grab the language cards for the first group, I had to make the articulation cards work for my language kiddos too. So, instead of having them pronounce the target picture word, they:

1. used the picture card in a sentence using subject/verb agreement
2. described the item in the picture 
3. used a given pronoun in a sentence about the picture 
4. named the category of the pictured item or named items within that category
5. Several of these cards had multiple-meaning words which were great for vocabulary targets.

Fluency was easy to incorporate because this particular student was working at the sentence level with strategies. 

Endless Variations

There are numerous ways to modify this simple game to meet your needs.

If you're thinking ahead, unlike me, you can use your preferred language cards for a second hopscotch grid for your language students. 

You can draw the traditional hopscotch grid with numbers and then pull the cards you want students to use. (That's easier on your cards as well!)

Make it a memory game by turning cards face down on the hopscotch grid.

Play music to signify when students jump and where they must stop to pick up a card. 

Don't forget middle school!

I've used this game with middle school boys and girls. They are NOT too old for this. The key is to incorporate things they like. My boys loved the competition and my girls enjoyed showing off special jumping skills. 

I  added some fun stipulations for middle school groups. Some of the more popular ones include: 
  • show your favorite selfie pose if you roll  X.
  • spell your name backward if you roll  X.
  • sing a line from your favorite song if you roll  X.
  • impersonate one of your teachers if you roll  X.
  • do your best dance move if you roll  X.

What was our MEANINGFUL OUTCOME of the day?

We achieved a minimum number of required responses for best practice while incorporating movement and play. Everyone's goals were addressed and we had FUN!

Related research: