Friday, June 29, 2012

4th of July Game! [freebie!]

Since my favorite holiday is next week (and I had a request on my facebook page!), I decided to create a 4th of July game! This is a synonym and antonym card game. Print out the pages on card stock and laminate. Then, play a concentration style (or memory) game. I hope you enjoy!
As always, if you download a copy, leave a comment and let me know what you think! Keep the material requests coming!

Oral Motor Tools From ARK Therapeutic!

I was super excited when I received my package from ARK Therapeutic Services, Inc. in the mail yesterday! I had recently been chatting with Rebecca Lowsky from ARK about my caseload and some therapy tools. I told her about one of my private clients that I currently work on some feeding and drinking skills with. Rebecca sent me a package of tools I can use with her and share with you all how they work! I can't wait to try them out....
Click HERE to learn more about ARK Therapeutic Services, Inc. and their products! Has anyone else used tools like this with their students or clients?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ABC Gestures!

Learning letter names and sounds is super important for successful reading, writing, and spelling. Research has shown that when you add another element into learning (sound, touch, etc) students have more success. The last few years I have been incorporating gestures into my therapy sessions when working on letter sounds. Last school year, I did my inquiry project on using gestures to teach letter names and sounds, and it proved to really work! I now use these gestures all the time. They are great to use when singing the Jack Hartman song I posted a few days ago. The original list of gestures was created by a kindergarten teacher at my school. The gestures in the link at the bottom of this post is a combination of her gestures and mine.
Here are some photos of my students practicing the gestures....
 Gesture for Aa... aaaaachoo!!
 Gesture for Gg
Gesture for Qq
Click HERE to get a copy of all the gestures! If you download this, please leave me a comment to tell me how you plan to use this with your kids! I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book of the Week [plus freebie!]

Book Title: Quick as a Cricket
Author: Audrey Wood
Goals: similes, descriptive words

Whenever I do a unit on similes I always use this book. I also create a class book to go along with this unit. Each student writes a simile about themselves, for example:"I am as funny as a clown" or "I am as pretty like a butterfly." Unfortunately, my class books are in my classroom so I can't show you an example. The students have a lot of fun with this activity and it really helps them understand what a simile is. I have included a template for you to create your own book!

Yes or No Fun Deck [app review.]

Appy Wednesday everyone! I recently received a code for the Yes or No Fun Deck app by Super Duper Publications. As I have stated before, I am a huge fan of Super Duper. All of their products are fun and easy to use. This app was no exception. I was really excited about this app because there aren't a lot of apps that target YES or NO questions. The students that have goals that address answering yes or no questions are usually very young. This app allows little ones to have a fun app that will give us some great data points (win, win!!) Super Duper was kind enough to provide me with a code in order to complete the review, but the opinions below are mine.

This app was user friendly and easy to figure out without having to watch a tutorial, although they do provide one under the 'More...' option on the main page. To use this app, you first have to create a player list. This is where you enter the names of students you will use this app with. This app keeps record of students' correct or incorrect responses. I love that this app allows you to go paperless with your data collection! After you create a player list, you can select 'Start New Game' or 'Continue Game.' If you select a new game, you are brought to this screen:
Here you select from a list of 52 Yes or No questions to use with your students. Some examples are: Can a telephone ring? Do you put pepper on your ice cream? Can a cow bark? After you have chosen the questions you would like to use, simply hit 'Play' at the top of the screen. From there, you are brought to colorful pictures that are presented one at a time. Below are some examples:
If  you tap the picture, the app will read the question to the student then highlights the "yes" and "no" buttons to differentiate between the two. That is a great feature for little ones who cannot read yet. 

Pros for this app:
  • student friendly and easy to use
  • colorful pictures grab the student's attention
  • built in data collection with option to email (great for teachers and parents!)
  • app reads questions out loud for students (allows them to be independent!)
Cons for this app: 
  • I don't have any!
Overall, this was a great app and I would recommend it to anyone working on making predictions with their students. Yes or No Fun Deck sells for $1.99 at the iTunes store. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Talk To Me Tuesday!!

Happy Tuesday!! I hope you all are enjoying your summer and having better weather than I am here in Florida!

Like always, on Tuesdays I want to hear from you. Leave me a comment with questions, materials request, suggestions for posts... anything! I'd love to hear from you! Like I always do, I'll start out with a question for you: 
What advice would you give to a new SLP graduate?
In August a new batch of SLPs will enter the world and many of them are followers of this blog. Email me or post a comment with your advice and I will compile a list for them! That actually leads me to a second question... 
Future graduates, any questions for us working in the field?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shaving Cream in Speech?

I always keep shaving cream on hand in speech. Yes, this is a strange item to keep in my toolbox, but the kids always get excited when they see the can! Every now and then when the kids need a brain break (and so do I) I get out the shaving cream and spray it all over the table! The kids and I practice writing out letters, sight words, speech words, etc. They think  we are just playing when I am actually collecting a lot of anecdotal data. Another bonus, your room will smell so fresh and so clean when you are done!

This is also a great and easy way for your kids to practice letter names and sounds, spelling words, sight words, and speech words at home over the summer!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Following Directions with Jack the Giraffe! [freebie!]

I hope you all are having fun mastering the Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten checklist. One item that was on the check list was following one and two step directions. I have created a cute little following directions game you can use with your little one at home! Click on the links below to download the game.
Some Ideas for how to use these cards:
1. Put cards in a bucket and have students take turns choosing a card. You read the direction to the student that picked the card and see if he/she can follow!
2. Write points on the back of each card. If the student can follow the direction, they get that many points.
3. Jack Says! Use these cards with a group and play like you would Simon Says. If they cannot follow the direction, or do it without hearing “Jack Says,” they are out of the game.
**There are blank cards at the end for you to create your own directions.


 If you download this activity or find another fun way to use these cards, please leave me a comment!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Facebook Feeds

Have you had trouble seeing my Facebook posts lately? Make sure you have "Show in News Feed" selected on my page to get updates and information on freebies!

Alphabet Soup!

I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's musical post! Today I wanted to share another fun, cheap(!), and easy activity to help you little one learn the ABC's. In my classroom, this is called Alphabet Soup. With this activity, students dig through a box of rice and beans to find plastic letters. (This is great for sensory kids, too!) Unfortunately, my personal activity is locked away in my classroom for the summer, but I found this picture on Google Image to give you an idea:

Materials:

  • 1 container (I used a plastic storage box)
  • 10lb bag of rice/beans (I found one at Big Lots that was really cheap)
  • Plastic or foam letters (you can find these at the dollar store)
Activity Ideas:
1. Simply have your child use their hands to dig out one letter at a time. Have them tell you what the letter is, what sound it makes, a word that has the sound in it, etc.
2. Have your child dig out one letter at a time and find the match! I have written letters on a sentence strip or wrote them on the white board for the students to find the matching letter. 
3. Hide all of the lowercase letters in the box and have your child find the uppercase match.
4. Have your child use this activity with a friend, great for practicing turn taking!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning Letters and Sounds!

The other night, I posted a Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten check list. Over the summer, I will be posting activities to help you and your child master the items on that list. One very important skill to know when entering kindergarten is basic knowledge of letter names and sounds. Learning letter names and sounds can be a tedious process for little ones. It is important to make it fun so they want to learn. I have learned that music is a good  FANTASTIC way to help kids learn. The YouTube video below is a song that helps children learn letter names and sounds by the fabulous (yet, slightly cheesy!) Jack Hartman. If you have not heard of him, he will soon  become your best friend. Jack Hartman has many CD's out that teach learning fundamentals through music. I use this particular song with my students and they all LOVE it. 
I have also created a set of flash cards to go along with this song. Download these flashcards by clicking on the links below.
FlashCards
Aa-Dd
Ee-Hh
Ii-Ll
Mm-Pp
Qq-Tt
Uu-Xx
Yy-Zz
**Ideas for these flashcards**
1. Choose a letter of the week to use as a theme with your child. Have them keep that flash card with them when you go out. Through the week, find as many objects/words you can that have the target letter in them.
2. Print 2 copies of the cards and play a concentration matching game.
3. Print them out and hide them around your house. As your child finds them, she/she tells you the letter and sound.
4. Print out 2 copies of the cards and play Go Fish.
5. Put 4 cards out in front of your child. Have your child close his/her eyes while you take one away. Your child tells you what card is missing!
[Please note: Simply Speech created these flash cards, however, all images were found on Google Image. Simply Speech does not take credit for the images.]


If you download these flashcards or find another fun way to use them, please leave me a comment!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book of the Week!

How exciting... I have reached 99 followers! Who will be 100?!

Book of the Week....
Title: Corduroy
Author: Don Freeman
About the Book: Corduroy is a bear that lives in a department store. One day he loses a button on his overalls and goes on a search to find it!
Goals/ Targets: initial /k/
Find this book on Amazon.com HERE

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who's Ready for Kindergarten?!

I know, I know... it's only June! But I have had many anxious parents wanting to use this summer to prepare their preschool graduate for kindergarten! Children that have attended preschool have (hopefully) been blessed with important knowledge and experiences before they step foot into their kindergarten classroom. Unfortinately for many, they do not attend any schooling until they begin kindergarten. I have complied a list of important things to know before the first day of school. This list is not a formal list of core standards, it is what I have learned over the past few years working with both preschool and kindergarteners. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting activities that you can do with your child to help them master this list!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's Predict Fun Deck [app review.]

Appy Tuesday everyone! I recently received a code for the Let's Predict Fun Deck app by Super Duper Publications. As I have stated before, I am a huge fan of Super Duper. All of their products are fun and easy to use. This app was no exception. Super Duper was kind enough to provide me with a code in order to complete the review, but the opinions below are mine.
This app was user friendly and easy to figure out without having to watch a tutorial, although they do provide one under the 'More...' option on the main page. To use this app, you first have to create a player list. This is where you enter the names of students you will use this app with. This app keeps record of students' correct or incorrect responses. I love that this app allows you to go paperless with your data collection! After you create a player list, you can select 'Start New Game' or 'Continue Game.' If you select a new game, you are brought to this screen:
Here you select from a list of 56 scenarios to use with your students. Some examples are: a girl holding a present, a mouse with a hunk of cheese, a child sick in bed, a giraffe on roller skates, and a girl outside in the rain. Some scenarios are silly and some are real life experiences kids will encounter (except for the one about a snowman, since I live in Florida!) With the option to chose what is presented to your student, you can decide to only use real life experiences if that is what you are targeting in your goals. After you have chosen the scenarios you would like to use, simply hit 'Play' at the top of the screen. From there, you are brought to colorful pictures that are presented one at a time. Below are some examples:


Pros for this app are:
  • student friendly and easy to use
  • colorful pictures grab the student's attention
  • built in data collection with option to email (great for teachers and parents!)
Cons for this app:
  • I don't have any!
Overall, this was a great app and I would recommend it to anyone working on making predictions with their students. Let's Predict Fun Deck sells for $1.99 at the iTunes store.


Talk to Me Tuesday!

It's Tuesday again, which means I want to hear from you! Please post questions, comments, requests for materials, etc.
This week I am going to start with a question for you:
 What freebies would you like to see more of?
Articulation, summer themes, organization templates (case load, data), language, etc?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Summer Freebie!

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day Weekend! I created a conversation starter freebie. Click on the link below, print and cut out the separate conversation starters (I would print on card stock or laminate if possible). This activity would be fun to use on a family road trip. Put them all in a paper bag and have the kids take turns pulling out a question. You could also re-use those left over Easter eggs and put one conversation starter in each egg. Have fun hiding the eggs and have the kids find them before they answer the questions!



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book of the Week!

This week I decided to feature Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. This book has been a favorite of mine and all the students I have used it with. If you have not used this book in therapy yet, you are missing out! This is such a catchy way to teach kids letter names and sounds.There are tons of activities you can find for this book as well by just googling the title!

This week's book is:

Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Author: Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
Goals/ Targets: Phonemic awareness, rhyming, sequencing

There is a YouTube video of the story you can check out as well. Get ready to have this song stuck in your head all day!


Monday, June 11, 2012

App Review ["WH" Questions at School Fun Deck]

Appy Monday everyone! I recently received a code for the "WH" Questions at School Fun Deck app by Super Duper Publications. I was very excited to try this one out because I am a huge fan of Super Duper. All of their products are fun and easy to use. This app was no exception. Super Duper  was kind enough to provide me with a code in order to complete the review, but the opinions below are mine.

This app was user friendly and easy to figure out without having to watch a tutorial, although they do provide one under the 'More...' option on the main page. To use this app, you first have to create a player list. This is where you enter the names of students you will use this app with. This app keeps record of students correct or incorrect answers and ability to answer questions. I love that this app allows you to go paperless with your data collection! After you create a player list, you can select 'Start New Game' or 'Continue Game.' If you select a new game, you are brought to this screen:

Here you select from a list of over 50 questions you want to use with your students. What I really like about this option is that you can choose specific questions according to your goals. For example, if you are only working on "who" questions with your student, you have the option to only select the "who" questions. After you have chosen the questions you would like to use, simply hit 'Play' at the top of the screen. From there, you are brought to colorful pictures and questions that are presented one at a time. Below is an example of one:

Pros for this app are:
  • student/ user friendly
  • engaging pictures
  • data collection  (with option to email results)
  • great to use for progress monitoring of IEP goals
  • fun game to play with students as a reinforcement
Cons for this app:
  • the only thing I would change with this app is maybe add the option to create your own questions.
Overall, this was a great app and I would recommend it to anyone working on WH questions with their students. "WH" Questions at School sells for $1.99 at the iTunes store.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Freebie Friday! [summer edition.]

Happy Friday! Today I celebrated the end of the school year with my coworkers. With summer upon us, I wanted to share some fun summer activities to keep those brains working. Every Friday I will post a download. These activities would be fun for parents to use with the kids or therapists to use with their students. This week, I am sharing a scavenger hunt activity for the little ones. This activity targets vocabulary, categories, and descriptive words. I hope you enjoy! Click the link below:
 Summer Scavenger Hunt!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book of the Week!

This week's book is another one of my favorites! I remember reading this book when I was in elementary school. This is always a popular book with my students.

This week's book is:
Book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Author: Judith Viorst
Goals/ Targets: Categories. One popular category activity I have done with my students is categorizing events as "good" or "bad" day events. I give the students activities written on index cards and they take turns coming up to the board to categorize these activities. Then, the students create their own list! You can also use this activity to discuss how something can be considered a bad day for one person, but not the next!

Talk to Me Tues....Oops!




So between Summer break and taking care of a newborn, I completly lost track of the days! However, I still want to hear from you. Use this post to leave me questions, comments, or requests!

As always, I will start with a question for you:
What is your favorite iPad app to use in therapy?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

App Review! [Preposition Builder]

I was very excited when Kyle at Mobile Education Store contacted me to do an app review on the Preposition Builder app! Preposition Builder includes 28 prepositions organized into groups of 3 (i.e. in, on, under), 300 colorful animated pictures, and fill-in-the-blank sentences used to describe the pictures. It also includes a data tracker and student reinforcement for correct answers! Since I have so many students that have goals on their IEP addressing preopsitions and the iPad is such a hit in therapy, I couldn't wait to try this one out. The Mobile Education Store was kind enough to provide me with a code in order to complete the review, but the opinions below are mine.
When you open Preposition Builder, you are taken to a setting page. Here you will first add a student's name to begin. There are 3 different settings that you can set individually for each student: Audio Instructions, Correct Answer Reinforcement, and Record Correct Answer.
  • If you select Audio Instructions to be 'ON' the student will hear the instructions, "Drag the correct preposition to the sentence." You can also choose this option to  be 'OFF' so you can instruct the students yourself. This would be ideal if you were going to have the students describe the picture or answer other questions about the picture before completed the sentence.
  • The Correct Answer Reinforcement option allows the student to hear the correct completed sentence after they have chosen the right answer (for example, "The cereal is in the bowl.")
  • The Record Correct Answer option allows the student to record the correct sentence themselves! My students love recording themselves and listening back. I love this feature because it is a great learning reinforcer for the students. They can see the completed sentence, hear the sentence, and say the sentence which exposes them to all those senses important to learning!
This app includes 9 modules for the students to complete. You can set which prepositions to target for each student. I love how they are separated and not all included together. My preK students may be working on in and under, while my older studnets are working on across and over. This is a great setting that is helpful for targeting specific IEP goals.


Once you select "Play" at the bottom of the screen, you are brought to a series of sentences that are presented one at a time. The pictures are very colorful and student friendly. The students are instructed to drag the correct answer to the sentence. The students only need to get the word close to the sentence for it to be accepted (bonus for those little fingers!)

Here is my favorite part of this app: If the student choses the wrong answer, the illustration changes to show them why it is wrong and what that would look like. For the sentence presented above, I chose "on" instead of "under" and the illustration changed to this! The wrong answers are often silly picture, which the students love. This is a great option to use as a teaching tool.



I love when apps have a data tracker (especially since my goal for next year is to go as paperless as possible!) When you go to the "Stats" option at the bottom of the page, you will be taken to a screen that looks like the one above. This app tracks correct answers on the first, second, and third attempt. This feature is very helpful when determining how close a student is to fully understanding a concept and reaching a goal. This page also has an option that allows you to email the stats. This is a great tool when communicating progress with teachers and parents.

Also on the stats page, you see a  "Show my animations" option. This is a reinforcement tool for the students based on their correct answers. After they answer 21/21sentences correct on the first try, they unlock an animation!


I really enjoyed using this app. and cannot wait to try out more apps from Mobile Education Store if they are anything like this one. It is easy to use and engaging for the students. While using this app, I thought it would be a great app to use on a regular basis or as a progress monitoring tool. I would absolutely recommend this app and will keep it handy for my students working on prepositions as IEP goals.

Preposition Builder is $7.99 at the iTunes store. Check out the video tutorial here first for more information about this great app!