Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Day It Rained Hearts… In Speech!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.
There is something about Valentine's Day that just makes me smile. Maybe it's the colors or maybe it's because it's a holiday abut love. But either way, it's definitely a holiday that doesn't get ignored in or out of the speech room! For the last 2 weeks we have been using the book, Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
This is an adorable story about a little girl that catches hearts in a rain storm and turns them into special valentines cards for her friends. Bonus- This book is loaded with /r/ words! It was incredible practice for one of my older students to read this out loud. The kids love this book. It's a great way to kick off the holiday celebration. I don't know about you, but I like to celebrate Valentine's Day for a few weeks. 
What's a holiday themed book without a holiday themed craft or two?!
 I found these adorable foam hearts and stickers at Target's Dollar Spot. So after we read the story, I gave each student their own heart (that I caught for them in the rain storm!) to decorate for a special friend or family member. This activity allowed me to target speech and language goals as well as allow the kids to get creative. My articulation kids had to practice 3 targets for each sticker they placed on their heart. My younger kids practiced requesting, prepositions, and colors while decorating their hearts. This is also a great way to tie in following directions. 
Like I said earlier, one week is just not enough with this adorable book. So we spread it out through two weeks. I also created an umbrella craftivity to go along with this story! Click on the picture below to download this freebie. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In My APPinion: How Do You Know?

Appy Wednesday! We have made it half way through the week and I have another app review to share with you. A few weeks ago, Lynn Epstein contacted me about reviewing her app, How Do You Know? I was more than willing to check it out because I have not found many apps or materials that go beyond basic WH questions. Inferencing is a skill that many of my students struggle with and this app targets just that. Check it out!
When you first open the app, you are brought to a screen that looks like the one above. From here you are able to view student reports, change the settings (see picture below) or start the program. 
If you select start, you are prompted to choose a category. 
Your student is first prompted with a picture and a question that relates to the picture. 
After they answer the question, they are then promoted to answer "How do you know"that that is the answer.  There are multiple choice options available for students. 
After your student finishes the set number of questions, he/she is presented with their score. From here, you can choose a new category or choose to be finished with the session. 
Students' scores and test results are stored for future reference and record keeping. 
This app is very easy to navigate. Like I said before, I love that this app goes beyond basic WH-questions and has students answer, "How do you know?" Critical thinking is something that many of our students struggle with. Letting them work on this skill while using the iPad is motivating for them. I also love that this app stores data that can be easily accessed when needed. Lynn did a great job with this app. I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.
You can download a copy of this app in the iTunes store here!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In My APPinion: Factory of Categories by VSC

Appy Thursday! Who's ready for another app review? I was very excited when the wonderful people over at Virtual Speech Center contact me about reviewing, Factory of Categories. because I am kind of a dork and really enjoy working on category goals. Using manipulatives and hands on activates are great for this goal, but show me one student that wouldn't choose to work on a goal on the iPad over a paper activity. So let me show you how this app works!
VSC did provide me with a copy of this app, however, all opinions expressed in this review are mine. 
When you first open the app, you will see the screen above. This is where you can manage the app settings, view student reports, and get some general info on the app. To begin working, click START.
Here is where you choose the students that you will be working with. I love any app that allows for multiple students to work at the same time. This is ideal for school based therapists or anyone that holds group sessions. In fact, this is a great feature for moms with more than one child that want to do some work at home. 
After you select the students, you are able to to choose what area to work on. This app comes with 4 different categories of categories (ha!) You can choose as many as you would like from:
Where does it belong?
Name this category.
Which does not belong?
Add one more that goes with the rest.
Each of these has an easy, moderate, or difficult level.
If you choose, Where does it belong? you will see prompts like the one pictured above. Students must drag the pictures at the top of the screen into the correct boxes below. 
If you choose, Name this category, you will see prompts like the one above. Students give verbal responses for this one and you reward them with a check or X based on their answer. 
If you choose, Which does not belong? you will see prompts like the one above. Students are to drag the picture that does not belong into the brown bin at the bottom of the screen. 
If you choose, Add one more that goes with the rest, you will see prompts like the one above. Students are to drag one picture from the top that is in the same category as the pictures at the bottom. 
When you are all finished, you can view a report to see and share student data. I love the option to email these reports. It's a great way to keep open communication with teachers and parents regarding student progress. 
This is a great app for targeting categories. I love that VSC included multiple ways to target this goal. This is a fun alternative way to practice and teach the concept of categories. No need to carry around decks of cards, everything you need is on this app. You can download a copy of this app in the iTunes store, here. This app is currently on sale for $5.99, which is incredibly reasonable for all that it includes. 
What do you think, is this an app you would use with students on your caseload?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thematic Pronoun Sorting Mats! {With a Giveaway!}

Pronouns. This seems to be a skill that I am constantly trying to come up with new activities to target. We have used Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, action figures, flash cards, iPad activities, books, etc. I wanted to give my students something that they could have fun with and take home, so I created pronoun sorting mats. I love using themes in therapy, so I created a bunch of them… with 11 different themes. Check them out!
Included in this packet is 1 mat and 11 themed picture pages in both color and black & white. I like to laminate a copy of the mat along with the colored pictures to use multiple times with different students and groups. The black and white pictures were created with the student (and your printer ink!) in mind. Print out a copy of the mat and a black and white thematic picture page for each student. Have the kids color, cut, then glue them onto the mat in the correct column.

      
The themes included in this packet are:
Space, Birthday, Christmas, Halloween, School, Western, Easter, St. Patricks Day, Military, Superhero, and Pirates. 
There is something for everyone and each time of year!
You can download a copy of this packet in my store here!
For the next 24 hours, this will be 20% off!
You can also try to win a copy below. Good luck!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Makeover: Say What? A Comprehension Activity

Happy Monday!! I want to start out by thanking all of you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support with my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store. Creating materials is something that I truly love to do. Your feedback and kind words have been what has motivated me to continue to create over the last 2 years. With that being said, some of my products are over 2 years old- and it's starting to show! While I was browsing TpT this weekend, I realized that some of my products were in need of a makeover. So while Kenzie was napping on Saturday, I gave one of my oldest and most popular downloads a well deserved facelift. Check it out, I am loving this clipart! 
Reading and listening comprehension is a skills that so many of our kids need practice with. I had a pretty heavy caseload the year I made this activity so I wanted to tie this skill into a fun game. Students absorb more information and pay more attention when they are having fun and enjoying the activity- so Say What? was born! 
This activity includes 5 posters and 24 story cards. The posters are great visuals to help students remember key words: Characters, Predicting, Setting, Problem, and Solution. When I had my classroom, I had these posted on the white board by my therapy table. Now that I travel, I have them shrunk down and on a key ring to keep handy. 
Also included in this packet is 24 short stories and comprehension cards. I have used these cards so many ways over the years. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
-Print them out and have them in a stack. Students must read/listen to the story and answer a question(s) before taking a turn in a board game.
-Divide your therapy group into teams. Read the story/questions to each team and have them participate in some friendly competition with answering the questions!
-Use these cards as "Exit Slips." Students have to read a story and answer the questions on a card before they can leave the speech room. 
You can download a copy of this packet in my TpT store here! 
Today only (1/12/15) this product is 20% off to celebrate the new look! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In My APPinion: Sequencing by Can Do Apps

Appy Saturday!! Who's ready for another app review? 
I was pretty excited when the sweet people from Can Do Apps contacted me about reviewing their app, Sequencing, because it is always difficult to find good pictures and activities to use to target this goal. Can Do Apps did provide me with a copy of this app, however, the opinions expressed in this review are mine. 
This app is very easy to navigate. When you open the app, you are brought to the screen shown below. This allows you to choose the specific target you want to use with your student(s). 
If you choose option #1, Identify the picture that occurs first or last, your student will be given prompts that look like the one below. Students are given a mix of 10 first and last picture prompts. The student simply touches the picture that answers the question.
If you choose option #2, Identify the picture that occurs next, your student will be given 10 prompts that look like the one below. 
If you choose option #3, Touch the two pictures in the correct order, your student will be given 10 prompts that look like the one below. The have to first touch the picture that comes first, then touch the one that comes next. 
If you choose option #4, Put three pictures in the correct order, your student will be given prompts that look like the one below. Students will need to drag the pictures into the correct sequence. 
Last but not least, if you choose option #5, Number the steps to make the correct sequence, your student will be given prompts that look like the one below. He/she will be given number 1-4 at the top of the screen. He/she will then place the numbers next to the step in the correct sequence order. 
At the end of each section, you are prompted with a score sheet to let you and your student know how he/she did on these tasks.
I love that this app has so many different levels of sequencing. This is a simple app that is easy to use, yet is very complete and well worth the price. The pictures are clear, colorful, and engaging for students. I have used this app as both a teaching and assessment tool. The only suggestions I would make for this app are:
-Have the option to store student data.
-Have the option to combine sequencing tasks.
You can learn more and download this app in the iTunes store, here!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Top 10 Apps in 2014

Appy new year!! This is my first official post in 2015. Do you follow Yapp Guru? If you don't and you use apps with your students, you should definitely check them out. Yapp Guru is a group of SLPs (yours truly included) that rate and review apps. I decided to link up with the Yapp Guru blog to share my Top 10 Apps for 2014! Click on the icon below to check out the original post and read about more apps that SLPs loved to use this past year. 
Below is my list of apps that I used the most in therapy this year. This past year I worked mainly with kids ages 2-10, so the apps listed will reflect that. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Apps of 2014!
First up is Articulation Station Pro. I know that at first glance the prince may seem a bit steep, but imagine all if your articulation card decks in one app. This app includes 22 different speech sounds in the word, sentence, and story level (rumor has it they will be adding phrases, too!) In addition to flash cards, there is also a matching/memory game included for each sound. The pictures and graphics within this app are very clear, clean, and inviting to students. I love to use this app along with a board game and have the students practice some targets before taking a turn in a game. 

This app is so much fun. Who am I kidding? All Toca Boca apps are! In this app, students choose a monster to prepare food for. They choose a food from the refrigerator (mushrooms, tomatoes, steak, hotdogs, broccoli, etc.) then cook it up! They can cut it, blend it, boil it, microwave it, or put it in a skillet. After they cooked the food, they feed it to the monster! I have loved using this app with my food aversion students and picky eaters! Just another way to show them how to have fun with food!
Speech stickers is a great app to motivate the little ones to practice speech sounds. This is ideal to use with apraxia students because it focuses on individual phonemes and syllables (CV & VC combinations) After the child imitates the sound, they get to put a virtual sticker sticker on the board. The adorable little stickers have their mouths positioned to make the correct speech sound. You can check out my full review on this app here!
Need a break from regular skill and drill articulation practice? Articulation Scenes lets your students have fun playing games while they practice their speech sounds. This app is often requested by my students- they love the movie theme! You can check out my full review on this app here!
I love this app! These not-so-scary monsters play hide and seek with your students in different scenes. The app changes up their hiding place so it's not so predictable. I love using this app to engage the kids in expressive language- especially prepositions (the monster was IN the washing machine!) They get so excited when they find the monster!
This is a very fun app for following directions. Each pizza has a list of ingredients that the student has to include on the pizza. The list includes both pictures and words, so it's even great for non-readers. After the student finishes making the pizza, he/she bakes it then serves it to Igor (a monster.) If the student followed directions, Igor is happy and eats the pizza. If the pizza was not made correctly- watch out- Igor will throw the pizza!
This is another very fun app that breaks up the dull skill and drill routine. Students are prompted to practice articulation targets (in the word, phrase, or sentence level) before they get to play some fun carnival games! 
You can check out my full app review here!

I just realized I posted a lot of articulation apps in this post. But I really enjoy apps and games that can get kids excited about their goals. Erik's apps are no exception to this. All of his apps put a fun twist on practicing articulation targets. I love this one because it reminds me of the game, Simon!
This is a great app to use during a farm thematic unit. Kids get to create their own farm by adding animals, food, tractors, and more. This has been a fun way to work on following directions, prepositions, and teaching new vocabulary. 
BeBop Blox- $1.99
Last but not least, BeBop Blox! Even the little intro song on this app is catchy. I mainly use this as a fun, end of the session reinforcer. In this app, kids can build (elephants, dump trucks, trains, whales, etc.) with cute blocks that have these adorable creatures inside of them that sing and play. Seriously, one of the cutest apps I have seen in a while! 

There are SO many great apps out there, but these were the ones I used the most in 2014. I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for the app world! Appy New Year!!