Saturday, June 22, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: What Materials Should I Use?

This time, Clinical Skills Confidence focuses on choosing therapy materials. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here, as there can be so many factors. Budgets (or lack thereof), ages of your students, abilities of your students, goal targets...

I will share with you how I choose therapy materials and where I tend to look for them. I don't think I go anywhere or look at anything without thinking "how could I use this in therapy?" 

Places I Look For Materials
*Super Duper Publications (check out their overstock items which change weekly and are 40% off OR their weekly special items which are 50% off) 
*Target - since I visit this store slightly obsessively (read: Ode to Target), I always check the Dollar Spot, toy section, seasonal section, and end caps - sometimes I find awesome clearance items 
*Consignment stores - I have found awesome toys/books for low prices here
*Dollar stores
*Party stores - favors can be used in all sorts of fun ways!

How I Choose Materials:
*can I use it for multiple students and goals?
*durability - will it last for awhile?
*Fun-o-meter Level: will it be FUN for my students?
*will it be used as a reinforcer or the primary activity? (games tend to fall in the reinforcer category)
*size - sometimes this is a factor if your therapy room doesn't have a lot of storage space
*would I recommend it to parents? 
*can it be used year round?

How do you choose therapy materials? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: StoryBook Maker

I am constantly on the lookout for any activities/apps/materials that focus on narrative skills, as this seems to be a very difficult skill for many of my students. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review StoryBook Maker from Merge Mobile

This is a comprehensive story-telling app, to say the least! 

Here is what I love about this app:

-You can publicly share your book (this works both ways: you can download some of the already shared books or share the ones your students have made).
-There are different page templates that you can choose from (title page, pictures with text, etc).
-You can take a picture to place right on a page. This would make it a great app for quickly making a social story for a student and use the student in it! 
-There are several colors to choose from. I've used some other story telling apps that have limited color choices, and my students have been disappointed that they couldn't find the "right" color. 
-Stickers!!! This is my FAVORITE part. I worked on receptive and expressive language with these. The stickers are separated into categories, so I often said, "let's find a ______. Where do you think we should look?" Some of the stickers also perform actions (ex. the ball will drop when you are reading the book), which has been a big hit!
-You can choose sound effects!!! Need I say more?

StoryBook Maker is $3.99 and available through the app store. A great price for a great app!

Merge Mobile is also the company with the ClickySticky apps, which are also popular in my speech room! For a chance to win, Merge Mobile has been kind enough to offer 3 codes for me to giveaway, so enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 14, 2013

Trader Joe's in Therapy!

I happened to receive the summer edition of Trader Joe's flyer in the mail today. Trader Joe's is a local grocery store. I was perusing it and suddenly realized I could definitely use this in therapy!

How? Check it out: There are short paragraphs that each describe a product that Trader Joe's carries. Each paragraph is basically a short nonfiction passage wrought with facts about history or the product itself. Prices are also listed for each and every item.

*Looking through this flyer, there were 3 alcoholic beverages listed. You could easily copy the flyer and cut those out though!*

1. Life Skills Shopping: Highlight the prices. Give your students a set amount of money and see what they can purchase with that amount. Great for budgeting and money skills. 

2. Wacky WH Questions: Read a passage aloud and ask your students WH questions.

3. Adjective Attack: Each paragraph has really great, attention-grabbing adjectives to describe the items. Have your students circle them and come up with synonyms or antonyms. 

4. Recipe Round-Up: Pick 3-4 items and discuss what kinds of dishes you could make using the items. Like a mini version of Iron Chef!

5. Persuasion Party: Have your students persuade each other to buy a certain item. 

6. Figurative Language Fun: There's a comic on the front page that uses figurative language. Have your students talk about the meaning of the comic and why it's funny.

The possibilities are endless! I love "speech"cycling things I find around the house!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A-HA Moment: Velcro Food

It's time for another A-HA moment that I had during a recent therapy session! If you missed my last, one, check out my Chutes & Ladders moment...

This particular moment happened while I was playing with a 3 year old with some plastic food that you can cut apart, such as the following:

We were busily naming foods, telling whether they were fruits or vegetables, what colors they were, etc. when he picked up one of the halves and touched where the velcro dot was. This particular velcro dot happened the be the "hard" side of the velcro. He seemed to be examining it rather closely, and suddenly I was like, "hello adjectives!!!!" Sometimes I wish that my life could be like a movie with that loud, crescendoing music when the character has a great revelations...

I took it from him and said, "oooo, it feels prickly." He said, "prickly" and ran his hand over it. Then we found the other side of the food and discussed the fact that it was "soft." We then continued to pull out the food halves and talked about whether they were "prickly" or "soft." It was a great new way to use this toy that happens to make a regular appearance in my therapy sessions. He loved it and we stayed with this activity for quite a long time!! Another way to extend this activity would be to find various things around the therapy room that feels different.

Has anyone had any great A-HA moments in therapy this week?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

SLPs care for Oklahoma

If I wasn't sure before, I'm pretty positive now: SLPs are one of the most caring group of people out there. When news of the Oklahoma tornado broke, I immediately thought of Amy of Major Speech Minor Girl, who I "met" through the blogging world. If you have not read her experience with the tornado, please do. You can find it HERE. I cannot imagine experiencing even half of what they went through. 

We all want to help! How can you help?! 

By visiting the newly created TpT store called SLPs Care For OK to purchase one of two bundles. Each bundle is GIGANTIC and includes several products donated from your favorite speech bloggers:

Find Bundle #1 and Bundle #2 which each has about 25-30 products. My donation was Can I Take Your Order? Receptive Language Activity and it's in Bundle #1. These bundles will be on sale from June 1-June 30! 

The money raised will go towards helping the 4 SLPs in the Moore Public School District who lost ALL of their speech materials. Each bundle is only $15.00 but the products separately would be about $140.00!! Holy cannoli Batman!