Now That's Inferencing!

Friday, November 23, 2012
Inferencing can be a hard concept for some kids. Here is a game that targets inferencing skills!
 This activity includes 4 game boards. The original thought for this game was to play like Bingo. When I use this game with my students, each student has a game board. Students take turns reading a card out loud to the group (or I do, depending on the ages and ability level) Once students figure out what object is being described, they place a chip or marker (or candy!) on top of the correct space. My kids had a great time playing this game!
 Sample game board
Sample inferencing cards. 

Story Builder App Review and Giveaway!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for everyone I have met through blogging in the past year, how much I have learned, and how technology has allowed me to work with my students on new levels. I am very thankful for Kyle and The Mobile Education Store because they have yet to disappoint me with their apps! Have you used the Story Builder app? The goal of this app is to help improve paragraph formation, improve integration of ideas, and improve levels of inference. In addition to those goals, many of the goals you work on with your speech and language students can also be addressed with this app.
When you open Story Builder, you are brought to the settings page. Here you can select the Level of Play, Question Reinforcement, Color Code Reinforcement, and Story Introduction Reinforcement. Here is a screen shot of the settings page. Like all Mobile Education Store apps, it allows you to create individual student profiles to save data and recordings (great for those artic kids!)

Here is a screen shot of one of the story prompts. With the settings I have chosen, a question is presented to the student along with a sentence prompt. The student is able to record their answer before prompted with another question about the story. The recordings are saved and then put together to create a story after all of the questions have been answered!
Here's how the levels are broken down:
 Level 1: 
4 questions are asked about the picture. These questions can be answered by simply looking at the picture. 
Level 2: 
7 questions are asked about the picture. The complexity level is stepped up a bit here. Students are asked what may have happened before or what will happen after.
Level 3: 
No questions are asked. The student is free to make up any story about the picture. 
Below is a picture of a Level 3 picture prompt. The audio with this picture says, "Make a story about the picture. Be sure to use complete sentences."
As I was playing this, all of the student that would benefit and enjoy this app kept popping in my head...and they are all working on different goals! I love that there is such a wide range of goals that can be addressed with this app. Here are just a few that popped in my head while playing:
1. Answering WH-questions
2. Inferencing
3. Articulation
4. Grammar (pronouns, tenses, etc)
5. Adjectives/ descriptive words
6. Story grammar
7. Story retelling
8. Sequencing

Story Builder sells for $7.99 in the iTunes store. Try to win a copy below!

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When Life Hands You Pronouns... Make Lemonade!

So many of my students are working on pronouns this year. I wanted to come up with a fun activity that would give them some good pronoun practice. Here is what I came up with:
This is a sorting activity. To play, print out all of the pronoun pitchers and the sentence lemons. You can decide how many pronoun pitchers you want to use depending on the goals for each student. The game comes with 8 pitchers: he, she, him, her, his hers, they, and them. 

You or the students take turns reading outloud the sentence on each lemon. The students then decide which pitcher the lemon goes in. 
I also included blank lemons so you could create your own sentences!

Holly Jolly Articulation Cards!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
It is never too early to start preparing for holiday activities! I created Holly Jolly Articulation Cards that will get you in the holiday spirit! Here is a sample of what you will see:

This pack includes /k/ and /g/ words in the initial, medial, and final position.

This pack includes /r/ and vocalic /r/ words in all positions

This pack includes /s/, /z/, and /s/-cluster words in all positions
 Here are some ideas to use with them:
1. skill and drill flashcards
2. print 2 copies and play Go Fish!
3. Print 2 copies and play concentration (or memory, whatever you call it!)
4. Put the cards in Ned's Head! Have kids practice the word or make a sentence for the word when it is pulled out. 
5. Hide the cards around the room. Practice the words as they are found. 

This Week In Speech... Thanksgiving Edition!

Friday, November 16, 2012
I am hours away from Thanksgiving Break!! I can feel it and I know the kids can too. I was so bummed at the start of the week. I could not find my favorite Thanksgiving book that I use every year, The Great Turkey Race. I had activities all planned out. I was ready for my first group. And then the book disappeared. It still is yet to return.

So anyways  I had to come up with some other activities to do this week with my kiddos. I wanted to share with you what we did. A colleague found these cute turkeys on Super Teacher Worksheets.  I decided to use them differently with each group. For articulation groups, they wrote target words on the feathers, language kiddos wrote what they were thankful for, and my kindergarten students worked on letters in their name. Here is a picture of some of my kindergarten turkeys:

Another activity I like to do with my language kids is writing holiday poems. I found a template on Speaking of Speech. Before they write their poems, we brainstorm ideas together and write them on chart paper. This poem related the 5 senses to Thanksgiving. Here is a sample from one of my first grade groups:
After we were done brainstorming, I gave the students their own poem template. Then, they independently completed the poem. They were so proud! I took them around to visit other teachers and specialists so they could read their poem to others! Here is what the Thanksgiving Poem template from Speaking of Speech  looks like:
What did you do this week?

Guest Post: Signs a Child May Need Speech Therapy

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Good evening!! Today I have a guest post from Ken Myers. This post has a lot of great information for therapists, teachers, and especially parents! Happy reading!

Signs a Child May Need Speech Therapy
A child’s first words are a proud moment for any parent or caregiver as it is a sign that their child is experiencing normal development. However, speech and language are very complicated skills to learn that can be influenced by many factors. Learning a new language, developmental delays and a child’s physical attributes can all contribute to a delay in their speech acquisition. Additionally, speech delays are becoming increasingly common as better diagnostic tools are being developed. Generally, the earlier that a delay is diagnosed, then the better a child will do in their therapy sessions. Therefore, the following signs of a speech delay are described in order to help parents, teachers and therapists to quickly identify a possible speech problem so that therapy can be begun as soon as possible.

1. No speech at all-By the time that a child is only a few months old, they should be able to string sounds together to convey emotion. They will continue to build upon this skill throughout their early childhood years by adding new words and simple sentences. By the time that a child enters elementary school, they should have a fairly large vocabulary. If they do not speak at all, this is a definite sign for concern.

2. Does not follow directions-A speech delay does not always mean that a child cannot speak. Sometimes, their expressive speech may be developed while their receptive speech is behind. If a child does not follow instructions well, then it is possible that they may lack the ability to understand the speech that is directed at them.

3. Drooling or messy eating-When a child lacks the muscle strength or flexibility to speak, then they will also experience other problems with their oral abilities. Often, this makes it difficult for them to swallow their saliva or to chew their food. Many times, a child’s eating habits will become less messy as their speech begins to improve.

4. Hard to understand-A child who may need speech therapy will often be hard to understand by other children and adults. While this is fairly common in the early years, by elementary school, a child should be understandable to others. Parents and teachers may notice signs such as rapid speech, stuttering or left out vowels and consonants.

5. Behavior problems-A child who has trouble speaking will often exhibit frustration and anger when their needs are not understood. They may also hit, bite or scratch out of the inability to explain their needs to other children and adults.

Language and speech development is a slow and continuous process that takes place over several years. For this reason, it is important to be able to identify a potential speech problem as soon as possible so that the child will not continue to have their progress hindered. By recognizing the signs of a speech delay, such as stammering, silence or frustration, adults can help to identify children who will benefit from speech therapy.

Author Byline:
Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of “”.  You can get in touch with him at

A First Attempt at Speech Centers!

Friday, November 9, 2012
I have been wanting to try speech centers ever since I saw a video about Artic Lab from Super Duper. This year I finally got the guts to try them. I found a blog post from the Dynamic Duo that gave me some serious motivation. This is still a work in progress, but I'd say the first week went well!

I decided on 4 centers
1. Listening Centers
2. iPad Center
3. Activity Center
4. Table Talk

For the time being, I created labels for each center that I have taped on my whiteboard. I wrote the students names under what center they were assigned to. I used my cell phone to set a timer for each session. For the first week, we rotated after 5 minutes. I wanted to have time to explain each center and then chat with the kids after we were all done to get their feedback. One major tip: make sure the kids are familiar with the app or activity before you assign that as a center. That way they don't interrupt your table talk time. 

Center 1: Listening Center!
For the listening center, I have the students listen with headphones to a powerpoint presentation I created. The presentation has 65 slides of words that contain their sound in all positions. I had no clue you could record your own voice onto a powerpoint slide! 

Center 2: iPad Center
With this center, the students will use an app that is decided by me. This is not a free play time. If they are caught not using the correct app, they will not get their name in the fishbowl (our reward system!) This week I had the students do some oral motor exercises with the SmallTalk Oral Motor Exercises app by Lingraphica.

Center 3: Activity Center
This week I used "Say and Do" Artic game board for my activity center. We have played this game before, so the kids knew exactly what to do in this center. 

Center 4: Table Talk
During Table Talk Center, I work one on one with a student. This gives me time to work specifically on their goals and take my data points. 

I also created a Speech Sound Counter worksheet for the kids to take with them to each center. They set a goal and write in tally marks each time they practice their target. At table time, I tally for them so they have less distractions. (This week, only 2 centers had speech production to tally. The students do not practice their sounds at the listening center and the iPad Center was oral motor exercises)

Overall, I think it went over very well. The kids told me "That was fun!" (yay!) and they got to try new things! I would recommend trying them in your room (if you have the space!) Any ideas or suggestions? I'll be posting new activities as we do them in our centers!

Book of the Week: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie!

Thursday, November 8, 2012
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.
The countdown to Thanksgiving is on! Since the "Little Old Lady" is very popular in my speech room, I could not pass on 
If you google the title of the book or look on Pinterest you will find 100 activities to do with this book. Check out what we did! These activities were done with PreK and Kindergarten students.

This activity went over great! Here is what I used:
1. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
2. Felt Board (I made it by gluing felt pieces onto a bulletin board)
3. A big old lady face (I used our school poster maker to make her)
4. Pictures of objects from the story made with LessonPix

As we read the story, I had the students take turns placing the objects in her mouth (receptive vocabulary!) Some of the students used the old lady and the objects to retell the story. 

I did not use this with any of my groups this year, but I also made a venn diagram you could use to compare and contrast any "Old Lady" books. Download it here!

What did you do this week?

Sentence Builder Teen App Review & Giveaway!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
I am back with another fabulous app review and giveaway from The Mobile Education Store! I am really excited about this one for 2 reasons. Number 1, I love using Mobile Ed apps in therapy and number 2, this app is geared towards teens. Most of the apps I have review and materials I create are targeted towards elementary age kiddos. All you middle and high school speechies, this one is for you!!
Sentence Builder Teen's goal is to help students learn to create grammatically correct sentences.
There are different setting options available based on student need. Here is a screen shot of the settings page:

Once you select "play" you are brought to a screen with a photo and a sentence wheel. The student has to create a grammatically correct sentence about the picture. Depending on the level chosen will depend on the complexity of the sentence. Here is a screenshot of a level 1 prompt:

Here is a screenshot of  a level 2 prompt:

Here is a screenshot of a level 3 prompt:

One thing I really like about this app is that it really targets teens and their interests. Some of the pictures include a prom picture, a teen couple hanging out, a girl listening to music, teens at the beach, etc. On the settings page you can choose to use pictures that are specifically for  teen girls or teen boys. Most apps have pictures that are very cartoonish and child friendly. I love that this one will not make the older students feel like they are using an app for little kids.

Sentence Builder Teen sells for $5.99 in the iTunes store.
Enter to win a copy of Sentence Builder Teen below:

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Jack Hartman!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Do you know Jack Hartman? If not, you definitely should! If you aren't familiar with Jack, you may know Dr. Jean. Jack Hartman is like our local Dr. Jean and his music is a favorite in our classrooms. Today I went on a field trip with PreK to see him perform. The kids (and the teachers) had a blast.  His songs, cheese as some may be, are very catchy and will get you dancing. Good luck getting them out of your head!
Me and Jack Hartman after the show

Lots of his songs are on YouTube. 
Here are a few favorites:

Learning Letter Sounds
(check out ABC Disco, too!)

The Penguin Dance (my favorite!)

Five Little Fish

The Gingerbread Man (great to use with the story)

Does Jack make any appearances in your therapy sessions/ classrooms? Who is your favorite?

Tip of the Day....Glow Draw!

Thursday, November 1, 2012
This post is going to be shot and sweet... I just had to share this!
Have any of you used the Glow Draw app? I heard about it on the Sublime Speech blog recently. I am so glad I did! Simply put, glow draw lets you write or draw whatever you would like on the black screen. This would be great for following directions. You can also upload a photo to the program and draw on the photo. Here comes the brilliant idea.....

Take a photo of a worksheet you want your kids to complete!! I guarantee you will not hear groaning and complaining! Best part, this app is FREE! 

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