Monday, April 30, 2012

Under the Sea

Last month in preschool I read one of my favorites, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell. We retold the story with pictures from Boardmaker and we made these great "fish tanks"!

My preschoolers and I had a great time making these little fish tanks! With 3 simple materials you can make them too! Don't worry I made 31 and not a single one leaked in a backpack!

In my head, this is what our tanks would look like. But in real life, adding the 'port hole' was too labor intensive and took away from the speech/language focus so I ditched it after the first kiddo :)

I used the Pictello App to make a picture story that my students could use! It helps if we can watch the video of each step. The picture above is a screen shot right before they played the movie with each step. Then as we made the tanks, we went step by step following directions.

The secret to these beauties is this awesome hair gel. The bubbles in it are perfect! I got mine at Wal-Mart for about a buck. You need one bottle for about 6-8 "tanks". You also need plastic sandwich bags and swedish fish!

The squeezing was their favorite part! This is one of my pictures from the Pictello instructions!

They all did really great following the app and adding their fish! We targeted concepts, following directions, articulation, sentence formation, and question generation!

Some other activities we did include this ocean magnet puzzle. It was really great for new vocabulary and multisyllabic words.

We also did our photo fish from Super Duper Inc. I have lots of friends working on those tricky velar sounds!

We had lots of fun. Any fish activities that you have done in your speech sessions?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rainbow Sentences Giveaway!

I have a fun giveaway for you today! I love all the Mobile Education Store apps. Language Builder is one of my most used apps! The newest app from the line is Rainbow Sentences, a great little app to work on syntax and grammatical structure. I have had this app for several weeks and my students love it!

The app uses color coding for scaffolding support. My students love it and I love the ability to change levels of complexity.

Apps For Children with Special Needs is a resource for parents and therapist. A4CWSN's website includes video demo's of apps that can be viewed to help make decisions about purchasing. They provided these mobile education apps.

Use the rafflecopter to enter below! Goodluck - I will pick 5 winners on Friday!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pronoun Puzzles

Just a quick idea for you today! Pinterest has been been full of adapted puzzles the last few months. There were several different versions of synonym and antonym puzzles. I thought those were a great idea, but I feel like I already have SO many activities for that! That's how I ended up with this pronoun puzzle!

I wrote a sentence on the blank.  I wrote the pronoun on the back of the puzzle piece. This was from the Dollar Tree! What else would be easy to target with a cheap puzzle like this?

Better Speech & Hearing Month

May is here!  What do you have planned for Better Speech & Hearing Month? I have been so overwhelmed I haven't had too much time to plan anything! I'm sticking with little smarty candies added to these handouts with a little note: "Be a Smarty - Protect your Voice!" Check out these free handouts from Courtney and Jenna (both graduate students!)

First up - a calendar from Courtney:

This year, I wanted to try to get everyone in the school involved in Better Hearing and Speech month. I created a calendar with activities that address many areas we target in our therapy. These activities are quick and easy for parents and their children to do every day during the month of May to promote better hearing and speech!

(Don't worry, the SRN address isn't blasted across your download! It's just on there in case it gets lost without a link back here on pinterest!)

 Courtney Cole is an SLP Student Permit Holder. She is an OMNIE student in the Speech-Language Pathology graduate program at Ohio University, who works primarily with elementary students in kindergarten through 5thgrade.

Next check out this handout from Jenna!

This handout was created by Jenna Williams,  a graduate student in CSD at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

Monday, April 23, 2012

EET Baseball

Any baseball fans out there in speech land? I thought I would combine baseball season with one of my most used therapy tools, the Expanding Expression Tool. Let's pause and all agree that you won't just use the EET programs without purchasing the EET kit first. Sara Smith created an amazing program and we want to support our fellow SLP by purchasing the kit! So let's look at how we are incorporated baseball and the EET in the speech room!

We used my big white board, a few baseball foam cutouts and dry erase markers! I love an activity that is easy to store :)

The first step is to make some EET baseballs. You will need 7. I used these yellow foam cutouts. I'm pretty sure they came from the Dollar Tree, but they were from last year. I drew the prompts on each baseball!

The set up looks like this. To score points, students have to use at least 4 of the 7 descriptors. They have to get a 'homerun' to score! You can see some of the vocab we described today in red above. It was all baseball themed. 

For our game I made the 'Green Group' and 'Blue Do' prompts mandatory. We worked on developing a sentence similar to this: " A COACH is a type of PERSON that HELPS KIDS LEARN TO PLAY BALL." "A HELMET is a type of SPORTS EQUIPMENT that PROTECTS YOUR HEAD." We were focusing on answering the category and function descriptions in a natural sentence.

Next they got to pick 2 more prompts to finish their description and pass 3rd base/home plate. I set a cue level before the game. This week it was 3 cues - while I introduced the activity. They knew they could get 3 prompts/explanations and still earn their point by getting around all the bases! That basically meant I helped with the first 3 bases and they did the 4th independently. Next time we play I will give them two prompts and then we'll keep reducing it until we're independently scoring home runs! 

I was surprised at how difficult it was for them to transfer their learning to this new format! It's always good to practice in new ways and this reminded me that just because they can use the skill is some formats, it won't necessarily carryover independently! Don't forget to have the EET strand out on the table to help them connect what they are familiar with to the new format!

Are you using the EET in your speech room? Are you doing anything baseball themed?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Apps for Late Talkers

Just wanted to jump on here and steer you over to Technology in Special Education. If you aren't familiar, their website is a great reference for all things technology. They have a 'Free App of the Day' feature that I constantly use! They also have an Apps by IEP goal list!

I wrote a guest post aimed at parents of children who have expressive language delays. I listed some apps and some direct ways to use the apps to encourage first words in toddlers.  You might want to share these apps and ideas with parents of children on your caseload!

What other apps are you using for these young children?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Spring has sprung and I'm loving all the bug and flower themes in preschool. This week I read a classic by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

As we read the book I focused on vocabulary, categories of food, WH questions and temporal concepts (yesterday, today, tomorrow.) It's great when the kids already know the story because we can talk about other concepts without losing the flow the story!

We made a bunch of different caterpillars this week! The one pictured above has S-blend articulation targets on it.  I also created a version that contains multi-syllabic words. Lots of my clients are working on these two articulation goals!

We made this caterpillar with actions on it! We worked on identifying actions, using verb + ing, and answering WH questions. It was also great for past tense -ed!

We started with a full caterpillar and then took pieces off as we answered questions!

We also did this story retelling with all the pieces of the story. There is a circle for each part of the story! Whew! That caterpillar sure was hungry!

In individual or small groups sessions, we retold the story to make a long caterpillar! It gave us a chance to discuss the butterfly lifecycle. Then we took the foods and sorted them into categories (healthy/junk, hot/cold, etc.)

We also used the pieces to retell the story as I read it whole group. We were pretty proud of our giant caterpillar so we worked a little bit on some concepts! We used words like taller, shorter, bigger, smaller, equal, same, different, as tall as, and as long as. All the kiddos got a chance to measure themselves next to it! We decided who was the tallest and who was the shortest. A great opportunity to work on comparatives and superlatives!

The last activity I did with my little guys was a bug pattern activity! The one I have I picked up at Goodwill but I can't find it online! It is  Similar to this one pictured above! I used it to work on concepts like first, last, middle beginning, end, and same/different!

Grab all the FREE downloads in one file HERE! Enjoy! As always please feel free to Pin it and share it on Facebook!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Super Duper Grammar Apps!

I'm back today with another Super Duper Inc. app round up! Many of my early elementary aged students struggle with grammar skills. These are some apps that work to build those  skills. 

Irregular Verbs One of my most commonly used apps! I love being able to pull it out every week.  The app contains many verbs but lets the user select which targets will be practices. This provides the SLP a great system to track which verbs have been successfully learned. 

Regular Verbs If you're working with younger students, this app might be right for you. I have used this app with some Kindergarten friends. They are working on adding morphological markers as well as developing sentences. I am able to target several different goals with this one app!

Plurals  Regular plurals are another basic grammatical skill I frequently target in therapy. This app has been so helpful with my preschool crowd! They love anything on the ipad and this app helps me target plurals in a drill format, but spiced up with the ipad!

Has & Have While most children pick up normal language skills by hearing the adults around them, our language impaired students have difficulty identify correct form just by hearing them. The HAVE/HAS app, lets you teach your clients grammatical rules and then review them with this app! 

Was & Were Similar to the HAVE/HAS app, this WAS/WERE app is a wonderful addition to your grammar app list! For students on my caseload, eliciting these sentences with other apps is difficult! Playing it in app form has infused some fun into our drill work!

What Does Miss Bee See This is Super Duper Inc.'s newest app! It's another great app for targeting a variety of goals. Each card in the deck, is a scene that asks What does Miss Bee See? I have been using this one to work on WH questions. I can ask WHO is in the picture, WHERE are they, WHY are they doing that, etc! Great for groups of kids where you are targeting different goals for each student! 

Do you have any favorite Fun Decks you would like to see changed into apps next?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In the Tall Tall Grass

In the Tall Tall Grass is one of my favorite books. I love anything that starts out with the phrase, "Crunch, Munch, Caterpillars Lunch"! This book is perfect for our preschoolers and I made a super cute craft this year to go with it! Check out my Tall Tall Grass craft!

This idea started from a post I saw on here. I wanted to make a craft with my preschoolers. I think crafts are one of the most wonderful ways to work on speech and language skills!

The kids hid some animals and bugs from the story in their own grass!

First we started with the super long construction paper. I folded them and then drew lines (about 5) to work on cutting (you're welcome OT!)

Then while they were cutting out animals and bugs, I cut a few more lines in their grass (cutting takes a long time when you're three and have fine motor delays!) Next we glued our sentence strip to the top of the page. For friends with more difficulty - we just added the "I see ___." Then we crinkled the grass a bit to make it look more real!

Next we talked about vocabulary while we added animals in our grass. A great opportunity to work on positional concepts, following directions, vocabulary, descriptive concepts, salient features and story telling.

And Voila! Some Tall Tall Grass to take home! We took time to use the sentence strip and describe our grass. We predicted what was in our friends' grass. We even did some inferencing where I gave clues and they named the item in the grass.

I used these pics to make little puppets of each character. We used them during the story and hid them in a bucket of grass (aka Easter Grass!).

Got any ideas for this story? I'm doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar this week in class so I will get you some free downloads for that next week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Language Adventures Review & Giveaway!

I'm sure you've heard the buzz! Smarty Ears has a new app out! Language Adventures is the first language 'board game' app! They gifted me a copy of the app to review (but the opinions belong to me!) and two copies for some lucky SRN followers! Hooray! So let's check out the new app!

My first impression of the app is that it might help save my sanity. Am I the only one who gets a little crazy every time the dice fall off the table?! I'm doing 3 cheers that I won't have to help remember colors of game pawns or listen to the dice go flying!

Let's start with a short video to give you a tour of the app!

The app focuses on Expressive and Receptive targets for synonyms, antonyms and multiple meaning words. The app provides practice for these three vocabulary skills at 3 different levels of difficulty.

The app lets you pick one or more of these targets for the student. You can select Receptive (which provides 4 choices) or Expressive (open ended questions) language or both.

Four students can play at one time. The students roll (aka tap) the dice and then move their pawns. At that point, a question appears on the screen. The app takes data which can then be printed or emailed. Settings within  the app can allow for different options for when students answer incorrectly and delivery of the questions. Overall it looks like a great way to get students engaged. The format is new and fun while targeting important skills for language impaired students.

Let's get to the giveaway! Enter using the rafllecopter widgit below. Please share the news about the giveaway! I will pick a winner this Friday! Goodluck!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

HearALL Giveaway!

 Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I'm back today with one more giveaway from the people over at Learning Resources. The HearALL Assessment Recorder is perfect for recording groups. Let me tell you a little about it! Learning Resources provided me with the product to review for you, but the opinions listed below are mine.

The HearALL has a 4 way omni-directional microphone that works great when you have kids sitting around the table! It also works perfectly when you're recording a language sample with a little one who can't stay in one place for very long! I just placed the recorder in the center of the play area and then as the little one moved around the mic was still able to record the sample without any problem!

The recorder uses WAV or MP3 files.  Storing files and using the recorder is really easy. I used it the first time on the fly and it was super easy to figure out!

The current price is $99.99, but one lucky Speech Room News reader will get a free one! Just enter using the rafflecopter entry below! Goodluck! I will draw a winner on Thursday! In the meantime visit their Facebook page and say thanks from Speech Room News!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Speech Graffiti

Last week we had a Speech Graffiti day! It was a blast! I would recommend it!  I found this idea on pinterest and added a speech and language twist! Here's a peek! With more pictures than words!

This is the final product! I hung it in the hall for all our friends to see!

This is an idea of the goals/objectives we're targeting! We use 'I can' statements in our building!

This is a friend using my articulation sheets to draw pictures that contain her speech sound.

The board is starting to fill up! Check out all those /s/ pictures!

I covered the entire table with paper for bulletin boards. The student's picked chairs where they could find new spaces!

This group of friends were working on /r/  and /s/ blends!

This student wrote out some answers to the EET probes!

The language students also had plenty to draw! Check out my 3 part story, category wheel, irregular plurals and verbs!

Graffiti day was a success! What else could we draw?