The Pin: 

                                             Source: via Laura on Pinterest
How cute is this city?!? After 19 years, I don't send home much speech homework. It's just not effective. BUT I do send home communication so that parents know what their child is working on, and I try to do that every other week. I thought this city would be perfect for my K-5th graders.

The Process: The theme in speech for the this unit is from Super Duper, Year-Round Literature for Artic and Language. I'm not sure of the year of publication, but I've used this book for a while, at least since 1999. I only use the books for K-2, but 3-5 are working within the same theme just because it's easier for me. The books in the Our Town unit are really good ones, too: Secret Place by Eve Bunting, City Green by Dyanne DeSalvo, and Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney.

I looked for a bunch of city ideas because I don't do my own templates. There are a lot of beautiful landscapes, but that wouldn't allow for the labeling I wanted. Then, I stumbled onto this city by Made by Joel. (Bonus: he has other patterns that are free, too!) At the beginning of the session, we talked about which building would be in our cities. The students really liked making their own cities. Here's a list of buildings different groups came up with:

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for speech sounds. Artic students had to use their speech sounds in naming each building, and language students had to say a sentence for each building.

The Good: Students loved this activity. Personalizing cities brought out a lot of language and speech sounds AND motivation. The cities fit on 1/2 of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, so I can be prudent with materials.

The Bad: The folding was difficult for even my 4th- and 5th-graders. I ended up folding everyone's cities, and I'm spatially challenged, so it was not automatic for me. I had to rush through a couple of my 30-minute sessions, so this activity might be better over 2 sessions for some groups.

Summary: Two parents said "thank you" for the cities the FOLLOWING week. That rarely happens. Or maybe never happens. I would definitely do this activity again.

Here are the cities from two of my kindergarteners. In the first picture, you can see how the folding adds some texture and dimension. I wanted this project to stick out from the worksheets in the backpacks.
Here is the back of the project with a note to the parents about what we did with the cities. Both of these students are working on /s/ and stopping and using /s/ blends. And lest you think I work with /r/ with kindergarteners,  the focus here is on blend reduction. 

The Result:
The Pinspiration:

                                                                          Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Yes, very different, I know. R is attending a celebration for 8th-grade girls at church tonight, and I'm taking cookies. I found this very cute spiral cookie with sprinkles. But when I went to HEB, I found these beautiful blue sugar pearls from Wilton and thought they might be more appropriate. I was imagining a vanilla/chocolate swirl cookie with the pretty pearls instead of sprinkles on the outside.

But the pearls melt in the oven, so I had to find a Plan B. It involved a cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour, a chocolate cookie glaze from (the appropriately named) Laura's Sweet Spot, and the sugar pearls.

The Good: I love the cookie recipe. It's not very sweet, but it's a good base and very easy to work with in rolling it out and cutting out the cookies. I used a simple scalloped round cutter. The chocolate glaze was easy to make and use. I used a condiment bottle to squeeze out the glaze (tip here). I also used tweezers to place the sugar pearls. I couldn't find decorating tweezers at my HEB+, so yes, I bought a NEW cheap pair of cosmetic tweezers, washed them off and used them. Very helpful and easy.

The Bad: The chocolate glaze is difficult to clean out of the condiment bottle. That's it. I loved the recipe, the taste, and look.

Summary: I would use the cookie recipe and chocolate glaze recipe again. I have baked MANY cookies over the years, but these are the first ones I've decorated. At least since a few Christmas cookies here and there. 
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