Friday, March 30, 2012

Speech4Good App Review

Ready for another app review? Today I'm reviewing Speech4Good from Balbus Speech. They provided me with a copy of their app, but as always, the thoughts are all mine! Let's check it out!

The Dashboard has 4 icons that lead the user to the different tools. The Speech Center is the heart of the app. The Library and Sharing icons do just what they sound like! They store saved files and allow you to share files via email and social networks.

This is a view of the Speech Center page. My students were totally engaged with watching their own voices on the digital feedback graph! The option for Delayed Auditory Feedback really sets the app apart. It's adjustable on the right hand side. You can record speech samples up to 10 minutes in length. I used the DAF for fluency students.  The voice recording works for kids with articulation and expressive language treatment as well! The interface is sleek and easy to use. 

The ability to email files is wonderful and easily accomplished within the app. The app has the capability to access social networks. This is something I would rather have left out of apps to be used in therapy. My older elementary students were navigating the apps with me sitting next to them. That easy access to social networking like Facebook and Twitter is not something I want available to them.  The good news is that when you select those social network buttons, you are prompted to sign in. The program doesn't automatically sign in using your other networking apps. The other concern is privacy and confidentiality. Clinician's should be cautioned to guard client's privacy at all times. 

The option to save the speech session is a great feature for any student on your caseload. You can add notes as well about each session. It's a great tool to show growth in skills over time. Clinicians even need reminders about how far their student's have progressed!

No doubt this app is a great for direct therapy. Now, let's think about taking it one step outside the speech room. Upper elementary and secondary students can easily be trained to use the Speech4Good app to use in homework and carryover. Students can download the app on their iphones  or ipads (or their parent's devices!) They can complete and record activities for homework, save it in the library and  email it to you for feedback. Using technology to inspire carryover fits perfectly with our technology driven students.

The app is currently available for $19.99.

Have you tried this app? Was it useful?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More tips from the Easter Bunny

The old Easter Bunny has been visiting The Speech Room and wanted me to share these ideas with you!

I used these foam eggs to write positional concepts. The kids had to find the matches and then use them to demonstrate the concept.

I used these eggs that I got last year after easter for 25 cents. Who can pass up that deal.

In the past, I have stuffed them with boardmaker pictures for grammar and other goals. This year, I just couldn't get into putting that much work into these eggs in between groups. So I found these little Easter erasers at Target. There are bunnies, eggs, and carrots. I put them in about 8 of the eggs and I let the kids pull eggs. The kiddo with the most mini items at the end was the 'winner.'

Ok next up - I had to upgrade my puny Boardmaker symbols for 'There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick" when I saw Katie's amazing printables. I ditched my boring pictures and used hers! Aren't they great? Go visit her site and then come right back!

I used the pieces with my Granny during circle time, but then I wanted to make some type of follow up game. I used library pockets (got mine from Lakeshore), with each piece of the story on the front. You can laminate them and then re-cut them open with a knife.

For most of my kids, we talked about vocab and then did some following directions activities. I hid these little jumping bunnies inside and we listened for clues (identifying functions!) to decide which bunny they could pull (ie: What can you eat?). Then we played with our hopping bunny describing who went near/far, under/over and fast/slow!

Just another little Easter Bonus from a SRN follower: Emily Meagher. Thanks for sending in your ideas Emily!

You can grab this Easter Egg game for irregular plurals and an Easter basket. It's based off of my 'Pocket Monster" Games.

Emily also found these cute Easter Character Cups. They would be easy to work in for many of your groups! She already came up with some great comprehension question that you can grab here! 

Oh and P.S. - I added a 'Donate' button to my side bar after a suggestion from a follower! Creating free printables and blogging about therapy ideas is really something I enjoy doing! That being said - it really does take a lot of work to take the time to blog it for you all, so if you want to donate a little something that would be great (and help me pay for the clipart!) I'm so thankful for all of you being followers! You rock!

What are you doing for Easter?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

8 Easter Apps for the Speech Room

This month several people asked me for apps for St. Patrick's Day. I didn't have a single one to give them! But good news - there are a lot of free Easter apps and some are GREAT for our kids with speech or language impairments.

When I started looking for apps I found dozens. I download them all and picked through the best 8 that will work for a variety of treatment objectives and ages. Ready? Pull out your ipads and let's get to it!

Let's get started with this Easter Egg Hunt app (the free version). To find the eggs in this hunt - you have to answer a riddle. A really good skill for our language delayed kids! What I like best is that there are two levels of clues. The harder version is shown above, but the beginner version gives simple clues (ex: Find something that purrs.) The visual supports built in provide one level of scaffolding that can be enhanced with clinician verbal cues.

 The next great app is a throw back to 6th grade study hall. Did you ever play MASH with your friends? Well if you weren't a child of the 90's you can check out a description of it here. This is an Easter MASH game that I did with some kids. It's a great way to work on naming category members.

The next app is the only app I actually purchased! At 99 cents, Clicky Sticky Easter is a wonderful app and worth the buck! With this app you can target following directions, concepts, vocabulary, adjectives, verbs and sentence generation! (Just to name a few!) You can decorate eggs, fill Easter baskets and more!

One of my favorite fair games is Whack-A-Mole. This free app called Easter Eggstavaganza is full of fun games like this "Whack-An-Egg." This one will get your clients working hard during drill for a chance to play!  My articulation clients all loved it! Other games like matching and 'catch the egg' are also included in this app.

The next app is an Easter Spot the Difference activity. This is a great skill for visual discrimination and scanning, but for my students it was a great for getting the kids talking. After they found all 4 differences, I had them describe the differences and locations to me using positional concepts. (ie: Under the green rooster, the first picture has a flower but the second doesn't.) It's a great app for working on comparing and contrasting.

This app, called Dress Eggy HD, is an egg decorating app. I used it for following directions to decorate the egg, followed by students using adjectives to describe their fancy eggs.

The Color Me Easter! app is just what it sounds like! Color several Easter scenes. This app works great for preschoolers. I had them complete several language questions before they colored each portion.

The last free app I wanted to share with you is Bunny Fun: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes. This app features a cute little bunny singing a favorite song! Great for learning those early skills like body parts!
*Edit: The Bunny Fun app is now 99 cents - I must have grabbed it before the price increase!

What other apps have you seen that might target other objectives?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Funniest Home Videos App

Pull out the ipads! I have a fun app for you to incorporate into your therapy room this week!

During a rough week, I love a good you-tube video or a rerun of America's Funniest Home Videos on my DVR. Laughing makes life so much fun, so let's add some of that humor into the speech room!

This week I came across the free app version of AFHV! It's got a list of featured videos as well as several 'channels.'

So how can we use it in therapy? I made these story re-telling strips to use while we watch a clip. The students watch the clip and then retell the story. My students need a lot of support to retell all the important parts, so using these strips really helps!

We glued them into blank paper. I forgot to grab a picture of the kids' version, but here was my example!

Grab the app for free here in the itunes store.
Grab the download here for free!

What do you think? How else can we use this free app to target speech or language?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Speech-ster Egg Hunt

With just a few weeks until Easter, the shelves are filled with chicks, ducks and Easter grass! My friend Tiffany Smith, MA CCC-SLP is sharing a fun activity with us today! Tiffany is fellow Ohio University Bobcat (you might have seen us in the Sweet 16!) and now lives in Charleston, WV. 

Since spring break and Easter are approaching quickly, we are having Speech-ster Egg Hunts during therapy. The goal for the students is to find the eggs with their targets on them and make up words that correspond with their target sounds or language goals.

 I created Easter eggs that have articulation and language targets on them. The labels listed initial, medial, and final [target sound] as well as past, present, future; antonym, synonym; and rhymes with. I color coded the labels so that my students who recognize their target letters can determine the sound placement even if they cannot read the words initial, medial, and final. I put stickers in the eggs as well as a reward for participating.

I hid the eggs around my room and gave the students several minutes to find them. I varied the time based upon the grade level and number of students. Students collected eggs with their targets in baskets and brought them to the table. Each student was given a printable and a pencil (or for the younger students, I wrote their answer). They took turns thinking of spring-related target words with their target sounds or language goals. If they could not think of one, we brainstormed as a group. Next they put each word into an Easter or spring related sentence. After they completed a sentence, the students were able to open up an egg to see if there was a prize inside. After we completed the worksheet, the students re-hid their eggs so they were ready for the next group and put the worksheet in their speech folder.

Such a great idea to use labels Tiffany! I know the kids will enjoy getting up and moving while their working on their skills with this activity! Thanks for sharing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dollar Challenge

Todays post is a little challenge for all you fabulous SLP's! I obviously like to make therapy fun. If it takes a little extra prep from me to keep them engaged each week, that's fine with me! Even though we're having a blast in The Speech Room, we're getting a lot done too.  I challenge myself to get many trials each day and now I'm challenging my students as well. That's how I came up with the idea for the Dollar Challenge for students working on articulation goals.

This is the Dollar Challenge! I had these giant money posters that I took from the 'give away pile' at school. They inspired me to create something new for the kids! To beat the dollar challenge, the students must complete 100 repetitions of their target sound (in words) in one therapy session! 100 pennies equals a dollar and 100 speech sounds does too!

This is the printable I made to go along with the challenge. Some days when we're working on teaching strategies, oral placement and development of the sounds - we might only get 20 actual words said! On Dollar Challenge days, we're working strictly on drill. At the beginning of the session I tell the kids it's a dollar day and they know what they need to get done. It's funny how fast their side conversations and stalling tactics fall away! They 'sush' each other so they can get more words done and don't hesitate to remind me that they are in a hurry if it takes me too long to write data. I use my sound packets in the pocket chart for this activity, so the kids have plenty of words on hand and can independently chose targets to say.

If they meet the dollar challenge, the students get to place their name on a dollar and place it onto the board. Once a week I am doing a drawing from those names. The winner gets to visit the prize box.

Grab that download here!

Can you beat the challenge twice in one session for 200?! How else do you motivate your students to complete large numbers of repetition? Stay tuned for my language idea that uses a similar strategy!

Another Quick Tip **Smart Apps for kids is a website I use to find great apps for our speech/language students. They are giving away 4 ipads right now. Go check it out!  If you still haven't joined the craze this could be your chance!

Friday, March 16, 2012

ARK Therapy Giveaway

It's a giveaway day! A few weeks ago the SLP's over at ARK Therapeutic Services, Inc, contacted me about reviewing some of their products and doing a giveaway. I browsed their catalog and found some resources I think will be perfect for those of us working with the preschool and school aged population. I picked out two products and I think you're going to love them!  ARK was founded in 2000 by Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP who saw a need in the market for materials to use with her clients. Check out the website and see all the great therapy resources available. ARK provided me with these materials but the opinions are all mine! 
First up are the line of chew tools, anchored by the GrabbersAs a mouthing tool, the Grabber is perfect for the mouth to play through jaw movement, tongue movement, and oral exploration. The material is chewy and resilient. They're made to help with oral defensiveness and food aversions by de-sensitizing the mouth. 
ARK also makes a Y-Chew that is really similar.  It's made to assist in oral exploration and to increase movement in the cheek, tongue, lips, and jaw. SLP's can use it to develop biting and chewing skills and decrease oral sensitivities to textures. I used these two items with one of my little preschoolers. We are working on chewing, swallowing and cup drinking. They are kid tested! And easily washed in the dishwasher!  The Grabbers will be the first part of the giveaway! Have anyone on your caseload that this will work for?

Now lets get to my new favorite tool! The DnZ-Vibe is a small tool about the size of a pen. It vibrates with a twist of the end cap and can be used for articulation and oral motor work. For my caseload, I've used it like I usually use a tongue depressor, with the added bonus of vibration. The DnZ Vibe has a ton of different tips to make it work for a variety of clients. It's a great use of tactile input to teach individuals how to lateralize their tongue, elevate their tongue tip, make a tongue bowl, close their lips, learn a rotary chew, position the articulators for sound production, and various other skills. ARK has a multitude of different tips to go along with it.
The Cat-n-Mouse Tip Set  was a big hit with the preschool crowd. The critters provided lots of opportunities for mouthing, sound production, and feeding. Both tips are designed with a variety of textures to generate different sensations within the oral cavity and around the lips and face. The reverse sides have many additional textures and "pockets" for the tongue to explore. 

One of my preschoolers and I used this cute little dog tip to work on some bilabial sounds. I paired it with this book, so we could work on our /b/ sound for 'bug.' She loved the sensory input and we played on our lips a lot. I used another tip separately to model! 

Sometimes getting their interest is half the battle and she was into it! 

When she signed 'more' I had to give it back to her! The vibratory function was great for this client and the animals made it inviting and 'toy' like. 

ARK's  Popette Tip is designed to add vibration to the use of Toothettes and suckers in therapy. Just press the stem of the sucker into the Popette Tip, and you're ready to go. This is where I'm sure I will get the most use with my DnZ Vibe. It is taking my usual routine with the tongue depressor and sucker to the next level. My students working on /r/ this week were working on lingual placements with it and even volunteered to stay 5 minutes extra in speech to finish working! 

So let's review what the giveaway options are!

1st giveaway:  4 different chew tools of your choice from the website

2nd giveaway: DnZ-Vibe plus an assortment of grab-bag tips

I'm trying out using Rafflecopter for this giveaway. Let me know how you think it goes! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARK is also offering a coupon to all the Speech Room News followers! You can use the promo code: SpeechRoom15 for 15% off all orders through the end of March! 

You've got 5 days to enter! Goodluck!  This Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winners!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Craft

Are you having tons of fun with St. Patrick's Day this week? I think the SLP bloggers have outdone themselves! My Pinterest boards are overflowing with St. Patrick's Day materials! I saw my friend Kaitlyn Stevenson this week. Kait is an SLP in northern Ohio.  Check out this cute craft she did with her kids!

She had her students make a pot of gold with their speech words! I love that they picked a word in the initial, medial and final positions.

This is her hallway! I think they turned out so cute and when she put them all together they look even better! You rock Kait! Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Preschool Pirates

Ahoy! It's pirate week for my preschoolers! Here's a peek at some speech and language ideas for preschoolers! 

The book I read at circle was How I became a Pirate, which is a cute book about a boy who becomes a pirate. That is until he finds out you don't get goodnight stories and tuck-ins when you're a scurvy dog! 

I also read Ahoy, Pirate Pete with a lot of my students during individual speech sessions. It's a 'you choose the story' book! The kids think it's really fun. I love the simple words and the extra practice we got naming all the story choices. I let the student read through and pick one story piece to add to each page, before we retold it a few times. 

To target following directions, spatial concepts and temporal concepts, I created a treasure map activity. You can grab the download here. I laminated the map and them took a post-it note and added an X for the treasure. Students took turns telling each other where to hide the treasure (ie: under the island.)

This Captain Hook Ring toss was a BLAST! First Step get out your pirate hat, eye patch and hook!

I got these at Michael's or JoAnn's during one of their good sale days last year! So dress your little guys up like Captain Hook and Blackbeard. Then put the hook on one student and give your hand made rings to the other student!  I wish I could show you how cute my little pirates looked!

I used our Ellison die cut machine to cute large letter O's. Then I put 3 pictures from boardmaker on each ring. I made these rings with associations in mind. The student has to name which to pictures go together. For other students we made sentences with the words, pronounced words, and identified vocabulary. 

I made this file folder articulation game. First you need to find a pirate picture (I got this 'coloring sheet' one online, but not sure where.) Then my students had to draw out of a black bag to find an eye patch for our pirate!  The eye patches had velcro on the back. If they got a pirate patch, they identified the picture on the patch, said it in a sentence or came up with a rhyme. They were on the look out for lucky treasure chests too! Once they found all 5 they won the game! 

The eye patches can be grabbed for free right HERE. They feature /g/ and /f/ words. 

I used this cute printable from 2TeachingMommies. I'm using it with magnetic bingo chips and wands. Kid's earn chips for completing any learning target! Grab it in a packet here.

Here's one other quick file folder game! I made is this treasure sort. I had student sorting money and jewelry. I put a picture of a girl and boy pirate on each so we could work on possessive pronouns and possessive nouns while we sorted! (This is HIS penny. This is Annie's ring.)

Here is a view of my therapy note for the week! You can download the PDF version here to take a closer look. 

Ahoy Matey, Grab these free apps! There are several free pirate apps out there on itunes. I tried out a lot of them for you and these are my top 4 free ones easily used in speech.

No ipad? No problems, just play a hands on game of Pop Up Pirate! 

Have fun with your mates this week!