Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Introducing the EET (Expanding Expression Tool)

I'm guessing that you've heard of the EET before (Expanding Expression Tool). I first saw the EET described in a catalog from Northern Speech Services and thought "This looks cool!"  I couldn't imagine that it would be appropriate for my caseload that is largely (maybe 90%!) preschool.  Still, I kept coming back to it...reading reviews from other bloggers, checking out materials developed by other bloggers to use with the EET, and checking out the EET website itself.

If you haven't done this yet, head over to the EET website and watch some of the videos. I couldn't believe the four year old little girl! I thought, if she can do it, my kids can do it!  I finally broke down and bought my own kit.

I was so excited to get the EET, you'd think I was a kid on Christmas! I ended up ordering the kit, some small student strands, and the EETCHY steppers.

I started using the EET in therapy this week (yes, with preschoolers!) and I wanted to share with you.  I "introduced" my students to the large EET strand and drew their attention to the different parts of the strand.  We paid particular attention to the head, which is green. The manual and poster will tell you that GREEN=GROUP.  Many of my kids weren't sure how to define "group," but they were able to make groups!  I gathered some items and put them in a "mystery bag."  (I recently bought some new sheets and they came in a bag that is made of the sheet material and has a flap with velcro closure at the top. We used that).  Then I gave them baskets and I placed an item into each basket and told them they would make groups.  Some of the kids needed some supports and assistance, but most were able to sort the objects into groups:

We had the food group, the crayon group (aka the "colors" group), the animal group, the block group, and the dishes group.  I know some of these aren't "real" groups, but the activity helped the kids understand the concept!

My plan is to introduce the strand one ball at a time.  As we go, I'm going to create a caterpillar on the wall.  This pin was my inspiration, but I don't think I'm going to get that fancy.

Overall, the kids seemed to enjoy the activity and the "caterpillar"!  I'm hoping they will continue to have fun with this and expand their language at the same time!  If you're looking for more EET ideas, I've started an EET board on Pinterest.

I would love to know...I've heard people call the EET strand a caterpillar and a worm, but do you have a special NAME for it?

Update: Since writing this post, I've added a product to my TPT store that targets the first three beads of the strand. You can find that HERE.
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