Behavior Management Amazingness!

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Goodbye fishbowl, I am officially in a committed relationship with a new behavior management system. I am beyond thrilled that I learned about ClassDojo! A few weeks ago our behavior coach sent the link out to our entire staff and I just got a chance to really check it out this week. ClassDojo is a program that you can use from your iPad or laptop to motivate and monitor behavior. The program allows you to share the information with teachers, administrators, and parents. Your entire school can actually be signed up and share data. Then parents can log on and see how their child is doing in class.
Now I have not officially started this program with my kids yet, although other teachers at my school have and love it. I have set up my ClassDojo and am pumped it start it with my kids after Spring Break.
Instead of creating one giant class, I divided them up into grade level. I only created classes for my pull out kids at this point. After you create a class, you add the students into your class. They each get assigned a super cute little monster! 

The screenshot above is what the program looks like once you go into one of your classes. This is my First Grade Speech class. In addition to creating your own class, you also get to determine what behaviors you want to monitor. The positive behaviors I chose to use are: teamwork, homework, helping others, participation, hard work, and on task. The negative behaviors include: disrespectful, no homework, off task, unprepared, and out of seat (that seems to be a frequent behavior lately so I made sure to add that one!) You can choose different behaviors to monitor for each class. For example, my PreK behaviors are a little different than my 2nd grade behaviors. The students get +1 point for each positive behavior and -1 point for each negative behavior they demonstrate. (Can you see, I have 5 points!) All you have to do is touch the student's name then touch the behavior and ClassDojo adds or subtracts points. Oh yeah, did I mention that it's FREE?!

I am sure I will make some changes as I begin implementing this system with my students, but I am thinking maybe offering a treat once the students earn 50 points. For some kids, points alone are enough of a motivator. What do you think about this program? Stay tuned in the next few weeks to see how it is working for me!

In My APPinion [Auditory Processing Studio]

Appy Thursday! I am happy to share another fabulous app from Virtual Speech Center! I am always amazed by how creative and interactive app creators are. This app is no exception.
 This app was created by a fellow SLP (so you know it's got to be fabulous!) for adults and children who exhibit Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Processing Studio is filled with auditory discrimination, auditory closure, and phonological awareness activities.  Below is a screen shot of some of the activities available. 
Some examples of activities are: 
-same vs. different consonant minimal pairs
-save vs. different vowel minimal pairs
-picture identification
-identifying presence of a sound
-identifying nonsense words in sentences
-identifying and/or generating rhymes
-blending syllables/ phonemes 
-syllable/phoneme addition and deletion
-generating missing words in sentences
-generating missing phonemes
....just to name a few!
To get started, you first enter your students' names. This allows for data collection. Then you choose from the list of activities, which activities you want to target for the individual student.
After you are all set up, the students are presented with auditory activities. The screen shot below is of an auditory discrimination task. The student listens to a word and decided if a target phoneme is present in the word. The student chooses Yes or No. If they choose correctly, they earn a drum. 
After the student earns 5 drums.... the student is able to play the instruments! My oh my, this part is definitely a favorite of my younger students! The kiddos are free for a jam session!
Another bonus is that this app allows students to record their responses. This way you can incorporate articulation goals into these auditory tasks. 
Try to win a copy below!

Grammar Boot Camp!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I have noticed a big change in my language impaired students over the year. Their expressive language has greatly improved but their written language skills are severely suffering. I am proud that my kiddos can correctly answer questions verbally, but when they go to write out their answer, it does not transfer. I have been studying the new common core skills and L.2 was a red flag for most of my kiddos. So I created a 43 page packet, Common Core Grammar Boot Camp, as a way to work on these skills. 
I went through each L.2 standard for kindergarten-5th grade and pulled out target skills to work on in this pack. Below are some examples of what is included.
-capitalization of the first word in a sentence
-capitalizing the pronoun I
-recognizing and naming end punctuation

First Grade:
-capitalizing dates and names
-using end punctuation
-using commas in dates

Second Grade:
-capitalizing holidays, product names, and geographic names
-using apostrophes to form contractions and possessions

Third Grade:
-capitalizing appropriate words in titles
-commas in quotation marks in dialogue
-form and use possessions

Fourth Grade:
-correct capitalization
-correct usage of commas

Fifth Grade:
-commas to separate items in a series
-use underlining, quotation marks, or italicize
The first thing included in this packet is a list of 50 sentences for your use. I call these 2 pages my "Teacher List." This list can be used however you would like. The way that I use this is that I put a sentence or 2 on the board at the beginning of each session. I let the students take turns finding the errors and correcting them. Below is an example. I wrote out the sentence with some errors and she made the corrections in a different color. 
The next type of activity I have included in the packet is Say It. Fix It. Draw It. This is an interactive activity for the students to complete together as a class or complete independently. They should read the sentence out loud,  find the errors, write the sentences correctly in the "Fix It" section, then illustrate the sentence.
I also included a board game, because frankly, who doesn't love games? This is another way to practice grammar skills while having a little fun!
The game includes a game board, 30 question cards, and 6 bonus cards. Some examples of questions are:
-what needs to be capitalized in a sentence?
-name 3 punctuation marks
-do you capitalize pronouns?
-what punctuation mark should come at the end of this sentence.....
-fill in the blank with the correct pronoun
-which word needs to be capitalized?
-which word does NOT need to be capitalized?
I also included 6 blank cards so you can create your own game cards based on student need!

Enter to win one of 3 copies below! 

In My APPinion: Word Retrieval

Monday, March 11, 2013
Appy Tuesday! A few weeks ago, Virtual Speech Center contacted me about reviewing their app, Word Retrieval. Word Retrieval was created by a certified speech and language pathologist for children and adults with word-finding difficulties. In fact, this app was created specifically for individuals with Aphasia, Specific Language Disorder, learning disorders, cognitive deficits, Autism, and Central Auditory Processing disorders.  I was pretty pumped because there was a specific student that I was working on word retrieval skills with. As I was using the app with her, I realized that pretty much all of my language kids could benefit from this app. Check out the app and some screen shots below.
This app has two options, flashcards or a game. The flashcards would be great for skill drill or one on one practice. The game would be really fun to use with a group. I have also used it with just a single student and he still has fun using this option. 

Once you choose your playing option and students to play, you choose the type of questions/ goals for the students to work on. One awesome feature of this app is you get to choose for each student. 
The picture above is a shot of the Jeopardy style game. The student chooses a category and point value. After they choose, a question pops up on the screen. The photos below are examples from each category. 
Name This Picture
Sentence Completion
Divergent Meaning
Convergent Meaning

Word Retrieval sells for $9.99 in the iTunes store! To purchase this app or learn more, click here!

New Speech Center Ideas... with a GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Good afternoon everyone! I know a lot of you have been interested in my application of speech centers in my therapy sessions lately. I have a new speech center activity set that I wanted to share with you all. Lauren LaCour from Busy Bee Speech created this activity and it is amazing! If you needed some motivation to get started with speech centers, here it is!

This is a 21 page packet that includes word lists and activities for 5 different centers:
1. Movement Center
2. Word Center
3. Voice Center
4. Doodle Center
5. Game Center
 Below is an example of an /s/ word list. She includes word lists for /s, r, l, th, sh, ch/.

Below is an example of a page from her Movement Center. I love the idea of this center especially since I have mostly young little movers in my room all day!  

Next up is the Words Center. Lauren included different tasks to use with target speech words. For example, "Say it and spell it" or "Say your word with 2 rhyming words." This is great for tying academics into your articulation centers!

The Voices Center is always a hit with students. This is where they are allowed to get a little silly.  The activity cards in this center prompt the kids to say their target word or sentence in a scary voice, a dinosaur voice, a duck voice, a whisper voice, etc. 

The 4th center is the Doodle Center. Here kids get to do some multitasking (and tie in some OT skills!) Some examples of the tasks in this center are: say it while drawing a flower, say it while drawing a face, say it while drawing a sun. 

Last but not least, Lauren has created a Game Center. Here students are to roll a dice and move around the race track. They have to say a target word for each space they move. 

This articulation center pack is a perfect addition to my speech center bag of tricks! The cool thing about this pack is that you don't necessarily have to use these cards only for centers. Have your students use the silly voice cards before they take a turn in Candy Land or have them doodle a picture as they practice a word they pull out of Ned's Head! You can download a copy from Lauren's TpT store for $3.50 (totally worth it!) here or try to win a copy below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site!

Monday, March 4, 2013
We were in the Construction Zone in PreK last week. I wanted to share a great story activity that was a hit with my 3-5 year olds. I did this activity with PreK and  kindergarten students.
During whole group, we read the story Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Litchenheld. This book is great for teaching kids about the trucks you see on the construction site (dump truck, excavator, crane truck, etc).

In small group, we did a following directions with numbers activity that I found here. This activity pack is filled with great construction themed activities for PreK and kindergarten students. 
Here is the activity that we did:
 I had each student take a turn choosing a number from the pile. The student then had to put that number of "rocks" in the dump truck. You could also throw in some prepositions by having the child put 3 rocks under the truck, in front of the truck, behind the truck, etc. 

There are a ton of other great activities in this construction themed packet. Below are some screen shots of a few of the other activities included. 
This is a matching game that teaches construction vocabulary.
You can also use this for teaching same/ different concept. 
This is a page from en emergent reader color book. Great for vocabulary and following directions!

Each year I have found it hard to find books and units that fit the construction week theme. I will definitely be using this in the years to come! 

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