Everyday Speech Social Skills Videos Review

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Happy Wednesday!! I am really excited to share this product review with you all today because I know we all could use some new, fun ways to target social skills. I was recently contacted by Cal, the co-founder of Everyday Speech. You may already own one of their apps, Let's Be Social, Let's Learn Emotions, or Let's Use Language. In addition to the apps, Everyday Speech also has prepared to launch an entire collection of videos to address common social skills such as: eye contact, voice volume, personal space, and apologizing- just to name a few. 
These videos were created specifically for students that require some extra help with social skills. The videos include real people, not cartoons, in everyday social situations. The videos also include text and video thought bubbles to help the student truly understand the social situation and what the characters in the video are thinking. 

Each video is approximately 2 minutes long. This is a pretty ideal length for young students with a short attention span. These videos would be ideal for social skills groups. They would be great to show, then have a discussion about. 
Identification of emotions

Text descriptions

Thought bubbles

Here are a few things that I love about these videos:
-The videos are short, engaging, and to the point.
-The videos include narration, text, and thought bubbles.
-Real actors (age 12-18) are used in these videos. 
-The videos depict real life situations that your students probably encounter on a daily basis.
-The videos can be viewed on PC, Mac, Smartphone, iPad, or Android tablets.
-The videos provide another great option for targeting social skills. 
-These videos are great for individual therapy or group discussions.
These videos are coming May 4th! If you are interested, sign up on the wait list now.
Those on the waiting list will get:
-A guaranteed 50% off promo code, with no limits on purchase size
-A chance to win a free video package
-The blog/site that gets the most waiting list sign ups: everyone that signed up from that site will get a free video package.
-Sign up using my link below so we can all earn a free package!!!!

****Disclaimer: These videos were provided to me at no cost in exchange for a review, however, all opinions expressed in this review are mine. 

It's a Birthday Celebration Sale!

Sunday, April 26, 2015
Happy Sunday everyone! Today is a very special day for our family. Today our little girl turned 3 years old! We had a fun birthday celebration this morning with donuts, a movie, and lots of presents! Since you can't be here to celebrate with us, why not a TpT sale to celebrate? 
Today and tomorrow (April 26-27) my entire Simply Speech store will be 20% off!
Check out some my my newest products in the store!
Thank you all for all of your support with my store! Happy shopping!!


WH-Question PlayDoh Smash Mats! {Giveaway}

Thursday, April 23, 2015
If you are ever having a dull therapy session, bust out a few cans of PlayDoh and the day will be saved! I have recently been incorporating PlayDoh into my sessions that target WH-questions. I noticed that the boys love making things they can knock down, crash, or smash. Why not target some therapy goals while smashing some PlayDoh? I would like to introduce to you…. WH-Question Smash Mats!
I created these mats for my students that are working on answering WH-questions (what, who, where, and when) 
To use these mats, print and laminate them. Each mat comes with 10 questions that correlate with a picture. Ask the student(s) or have them read a question from the mat (depending on ability level or age.) Then, have them find the picture that answers the question and smash a ball of PlayDoh on it!
These mats have been a ton of fun in therapy. I love when I create an activity that the kids actually request to use multiple times!
You can download your own copy of these activity mats in my TpT store here!
I am also giving away some of these mats so make sure you enter the giveaway below.
Have a great Thursday!!


In My APPinion: I Can Have Conversations With You

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Disclaimer: A copy of this app was provided to me by the creator, however, all opinions expressed in this review are mine. 
Appy Wednesday! Technology has become a huge part of our therapy lives. There are apps out there to help us work on almost every kid of skill with our students from grammar to math! I was recently contacted by Karen, creator of the app, I Can Have Conversations With You.  This app was created specifically for those with autism, PDD, and Asperger's syndrome who are 6 years or older, can read, and are talking in sentences. The goal of this app is to help these students become independent communicators. As Karen's website states, this is "much more than just an app." Boy is she right! This app is very comprehensive and really digs deep into conversations, interactions, what others are thinking, and how others feel while communicating. 
The lessons begin as soon as the app is opened. Instructions are given along the way, so students can use this app independently. This app is ideal to use with one student at a time. In fact, it would be perfect to load onto an iPad that belongs to a student so he/she could work with this app frequently, both at school and at home. The app is easy to follow and will remember where the student stopped so he/she can pick back up right where they left off.
The app includes many videos of conversational partners interacting. 
Above is a screen shot of one of the videos included. 
After the video is over, the student is prompted with a variety of questions to help him/her truly understand what happened and how to hold a conversation about experiences. For example, in one video, a little girl visits her grandfather for the day. After the video is over, the student was taken through a conversation between the little girl and her father about her day. The student identifies conversational partners, relationships, how they feel, and what the partners want to say.
This app targets feelings, correct/incorrect responses, on/off topic responses, and more. In addition, the student is also able to record themselves as if they were part of the conversation. 
After each question, the child is reinforced with "that was a good try" for an incorrect response, or a stimulating picture and music for a correct response. 
As you can see below, Karen is also very encouraging along the way!
When the modules are completed, the student is rewarded with a certificate. An evaluation of the student's progress is also provided along with recommendations for future modules to add on to the app. 
As stated before, this app is very comprehensive and includes a great one on one experience for students to dive deep into conversations. I love that this app does not require adult instruction. Students can jump right into the app and start working because it is guided along the way. This app wouldn't necessarily work with group therapy because it keeps track of the student's responses to create an individual report at the end. It would be a great purchase for families or private therapists to make for their child/student. Conversations are a part of our daily lives no matter if we are at school, work, walking down the grocery isle, or talking to a grandparent on the phone. The skill of communicating with a partner can be difficult to teach. Thank you Karen for creating this in depth app to help our students that struggle with social communication!
To learn more about this app or to download a copy of the app, visit the iTunes store here!


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog! {Giveaway}

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Spring is in the air! Time to break out all of those fun and colorful books about flowers blooming, birds chipping, and old ladies swallowing frogs! Yep, you heard right. Our beloved Lucille Colandro has done it again and created another Old Lady book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog
 So naturally I had to order it and create a speech and language story companion to go along with it. Check it out and enter to win a copy at the end of this post!
This packet was created with my students in mind so of course it is loaded with speech and language activities. This packet targets vocabulary, story sequencing, following directions, articulation, story retelling, and compare/contrasting. In addition, there are a few open ended activities included that you can use to target any goal you are working on.
The picture above is of the Old Lady mat with story picture cards. Your students can take turns "feeding" the old lady as she swallows the items in the story. 
Story sequencing is something that many of my students struggle with. I created this cut, glue, color activity to work on this skill as well as story retelling. Numbers and words are included so students can work on this activity independently. I made this one in black and white to both save on some ink as well as let my students get creative!
Working on following directions? Me too!

I love these open ended dots pages because I can address just about any goal with them while still keeping the Old Lady theme going. Have your students practice a target goal (articulation, answer a question, produce a grammatically correct sentence, use good social skills, etc) before he/she covers a dot. I like to use bingo markers, chips, small erasers, or candy if I am in a really good mood :)

To check out everything that is included in this packet, check it out in my TpT store here! You can also enter to win a copy of this pack below! Happy Spring and happy reading!!


#AprilSLPMustHave Sale!

Monday, April 6, 2015
Happy April!! With the school year quickly coming to an end, tomorrow, April 7th will be our final #slpmusthave sale (for a while at least) So make sure you are on the hunt for some great speech & language products discounted at 50% off tomorrow only. I will have my Articulation Game Show Bundle discounted. This product is valued at $14 but listed at a bundle discount for $11. TOMORROW ONLY you can get this bundle for only $5.50! 
This game is definitely a favorite for many of my students. I love it because I can elicit so many speech targets and the kids get excited about some friendly competition. It's a fun way to see how well they are carrying over their speech sounds because they aren't thinking of this as a drill activity. Another reason I love this game is that I get to target some language goals as well (answering questions, sentence formation, rhyming, inferencing, etc!)

 To use:
Print out the points value page and the question page for the target sound you want to play with.
Suggestion: put the points value page in a page protector or laminate it and mark off the squares as they are used with a dry erase marker. 
After the student chooses a point value and category, the game show host (you or another student) asks the student the question. If they answer correctly, they earn the points. If they answer incorrectly, the question could/should be asked to the next player or team.

Here are some pictures of ways this game has been used. Above, Jenn from Crazy Speech World had her students color in boxes for each question they answered. They also had to do a little math and calculate their own scores!
In the picture below, I tied in an after school snack with our game show! There are so many ways to have fun with this activity!

You can download this activity in my TpT store here! Happy shopping! And as always, thank you SO much for supporting my store!


10 Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas!

Saturday, April 4, 2015
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience.
Only 1 more day till that adorable bunny comes to visit! Are you a last minute shopper like me? I had my parents watch Kenzie last night so I could go snag her some Easter basket goodies. My girl loves Target as much as I do. Actually, she just loves shopping. She asks me daily to go to Target or TJ Maxx. No lie.  I was pretty proud of myself this year because I managed to make her a candy-free basket! That's right, not one jelly bean, not one Reese's peanut butter egg (those are my weakness), not one pastel M&M. This year I stuffed her basket with: a bathing suit, sunglasses, The Princess & The Frog movie, Max & Ruby Easter book, a paint set, and one of the only Magic Clip Princess dolls she doesn't have. Is your daughter or any of your students as obsessed with these Magic Clip dolls as Kenzie is? 
While on the drive home and feeling pretty good about not purchasing any candy, it got me thinking about how many other amazing, educational items I could stuff into an Easter basket over candy. 
So, I thought I would share a few of my ideas here!
1. Books
This one should come as no surprise. I absolutely love books. I look forward to our nightly bedtime story each night. There are just so many learning experiences and opportunities attached to each story. Not to mention, the special bonding time books bring. Kenzie's bed time favorites lately have been: 
2. Art Supplies
Arts and craft activities have unlimited opportunities for social skills, language, and motor skills practice. Plus, most kids absolutely love getting crafty and creative. I know a lot of moms and dads are hesitant to do artsy activities because of the mess. I found a TON of no-mess paint activities on Amazon. Some of my favorites are the water color books that only require water and a paintbrush! 
3. iTunes Gift Card
Educational apps are often our saving grace when going out to dinner, grocery shopping, or getting an oil change. I don't often give my daughter my phone or iPad, but sometimes you just need to. There are so many great, educational apps out there right now, so why not gift them?
4. Bubbles
What kid doesn't love bubbles?! Besides being fun, bubbles are a great motivator for speech and language productions as well as oral motor exercise!
5. PlayDoh
My daughter's imagination runs wild when she is playing with PlayDoh! 
6. Sidewalk Chalk
I love using sidewalk chalk both at home and during therapy. Some of my most fun sessions have been outdoors. Drawing pictures, letters, hopscotch boards, etc. It's a great way to practice any skill as well as get some creative time in. 
Lately, Kenzie and I have been loving the Easter egg shaped chalk.
7. Bunny Ears
Because who doesn't love a cute pair of bunny ears?!
8. Mad Libs
For some of the older kids, Mad Libs are a great Easter basket stuffer! 
Mad Libs are a really fun way to practice grammar while being silly!
9. Puzzles
puzzles are a great way to work on motor skills, vocabulary, requesting, and social skills all at the same time. 
Some of the Melissa & Doug puzzles are my favorite!
10. Stickers
I don't know many kids that don't like stickers. Stickers are an inexpensive, fun reward for kids in the speech room. 
Why not stuff some in an Easter basket, too?

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