Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love It and List It Linky: Language Apps

Jenna from Speech Room News is at it again with her Love It and List It Linky! This month, the theme is language apps.

Here are a few of my favorites (click the pictures to be taken to the site) and why:

1. Super Duper Publications What Are They Asking?: This app is supposed to target asking and answering questions, but I find that I can target much more than that. Asking questions is very difficult for some of my students, but this gives them a fun format to practice. In groups, they get a kick out of choosing which character to be, as some of them are animals.

2 and 3. My PlayHome and My PlayHome Stores: I love these apps so much that I created app companion packets for both (with permission from the app developer). These are my go to apps to get a kid talking!! If you're interested in the app companions, click here!

4. Language Adventures by Smarty Ears: I recently reviewed this app and I have used it frequently!! I love that it targets so many different areas of language all in one easy to navigate app. 

5. Describe It! by Pocket SLP: This is a wonderful app for describing items in a fun, game-like format. 

These are some of the ones I use the most frequently! Thanks to Jenna for hosting this linky!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Peek At My Week: 10/25

This week, I decided to focus on pumpkins since Halloween is just around the corner. This was my very easy craft for the week:

It involved very little prep: just cut up some green and orange paper and grab some paper plates from my giant stack. I loved that I could customize the craft for the groups I was working with. 

For my language groups, we read this article about the life cycle of a pumpkin from Read Works (you have to sign up to access the article, but it's free). It was a great way to work on sequencing, retelling, and vocabulary. I wrote the steps to the life cycle on the pumpkin and wrote a note to parents on the stem ("ask me what I learned in speech today!"). 

For my articulation groups, I wrote words with target sounds on the pumpkin.

For my older elementary kids, we watched a video about the mystery of King Tut's death, which can be found here on Watch Know Learn. I found a free worksheet from Education World here, which provided a lot of practice with listening/reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. A lot of my older kids have goals for predicting, inferring, and identifying details in passages. 

For my younger kids and some of the kids in the autism classroom, I found a simple book on Speaking of Speech that worked well for many things. It's under Materials Exchange, Thematic Units, Halloween and it's about halfway down the page. 

The format is "I see a _____," so I was able to work on Halloween vocabulary, expanding utterances, and sequencing. I think the kids had fun this week! What did you do?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: Websites To Use In Therapy

Disclaimer: This post contains links to the websites mentioned for your convenience.

Do you use computers in therapy? I definitely don't use mine all the time (I have a laptop, so it's a little more difficult with groups), but sometimes it's a nice change of pace. These are some of the websites I really enjoy using:

1. Watch Know Learn: I wrote briefly about this one in Peek At My Week this week. It's a great website with free educational videos for K-12. This week, I used a couple mystery ones (Lochness Monster and Bermuda Triangle) with my older students. We made predictions about what we thought was the truth and answering listening comprehension questions. 

2. Time For Kids: The students get copies of this magazine, so using the website is a great way to incorporate curriculum vocabulary. What's great about this site is that there are Common Core lessons that include worksheets and articles - a ready to go lesson plan!

3. Readworks: You can search grade level reading passages. Reading comprehension is a skill that so many of my students need help with that this has become a go-to resource for me.

4. Social Skills Videos on YouTube: This link takes you to some cute videos for a wide range of social skills like honesty, politeness, etc. This one features cartoon like animals. If you'd prefer videos with people, this one has a few.

5. MrNussbaum: This website has a range of free, educational games. I believe the games can even be played on the iPad, which is great. This website also has a ton of other resources to check out, like printable reading comprehension sheets, Mad Lib type activities, and scavenger hunts. 

I'd love to hear what you're using in your therapy room! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

S...peachy Feedback: October 2013

(Click the picture to be taken to Nicole's post)

October Feedback time!!! Feedback is very important to me because it shows me what you like and what you would like to see in the future. Plus, you get points for leaving feedback, so it's win-win! See the photo below to see if you're this month's feedback winner: 

Click here to be taken to the product that was rated.

If your TpT username is "Ashleyfalls," email and let me know what product you'd like from my store (bundles excluded)! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Product!

Confession: Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I think it's because I don't like scary things and Halloween always makes me think about ghosts, haunted houses, and thriller movies. I do like all things pumpkin though, so I decided to create a fun pumpkin freebie that targets irregular plurals. Particularly, the ones where the "f" changes to a "v." This one seems to be the hardest for my students to grasp. Enter Pumpkin (Irregular) Plurals (click the picture to snatch it up):

Use this fun poem to help your students remember the rule:

Have your students say or write plural form on the second pumpkin - this would work well for a literacy or writing center too!

There are sentence prompts where the students need to say the sentence, but change the word in the pumpkin to the plural form. 

It's short and sweet, but it's FREE and it's the first Halloween themed product in my store!! What do you think?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peek At My Week: 10/18

I'm slowly working my way up to Halloween things in therapy. I probably will do more next week, but I don't like doing it for too long. This week, I used some of my Dollar Store Dash purchases. 

I put velcro on the skeleton in various places and on the creepy crawlies. It was a great way to target directions, body parts, concepts, etc. The kids had a ball putting the items all over the skeleton and it was such an easy activity to incorporate other activities with.

I cut out and laminated a tree trunk and then put velcro on the tree and the felt leaves. I used this as a reinforcer and a requesting activity with my kids with autism. They all liked the interactive aspect of this. Irregular plurals were targeted and discussed too, especially ones that the "f" changes to a "v" like in "leaves."

For my older kids, we watched videos on Watch Know Learn, which is a great free site with educational videos for grades K-12. This was a great way to work on listening comprehension, prediction, inferring, and recalling details. Plus, watching videos seems motivating for many of the kids. 

What did you do in therapy this week?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

{Review} Smarty Ears Apps: Articulate It! and Language Adventures

I love apps!! This time around, I'm reviewing two apps from Smarty Ears: Language Adventures and Articulate It! They have an ever-growing number of speech and language apps.

First up is Language Adventures. This will surely become a go-to app for a variety of language skills, including antonyms, categories, inferencing, multiple meaning words, synonyms, and WH questions. 

After hitting "+ player," you are able to add your students and select their target(s). One thing I'd like to see is the ability to go in and change their target(s). I had difficulty doing this and ended up deleting and re-adding students when I wanted to change a target. You have the option to choose either expressive or receptive. For expressive, no choices are provided. For expressive, choices are provided. I ended up choosing receptive and reading the question aloud. If the student had difficulty answering, I then provided choices. 

Then you are able to choose from 3 levels. Each level takes you to a different area of the school, including the playground (level 1), cafeteria (level 2), or classroom (level 3). 

The game board screen has a die (hooray - it won't roll all over the floor) that the student taps to roll. Once rolled, the student taps the space corresponding to the number on the die and the pawn moves. 

This is an example of a question. The questions can also be used for listening comprehension, which was a big plus for me.

Other features of the app: sometimes the student will get to move ahead (from what I can tell, this is random). I really liked that the major language apps were ones that I frequently target. I found the need to slightly adjust the questions for some of my younger kids, but that was no biggie. I also really liked the life skills aspect of the questions. Most of the situations that were given were ones that students might experience, so we were able to discuss the "do's and don'ts" of the situations. 

The only thing that I would change is maybe having the option to just do the questions - in the event that I want to do a different activity but still use the questions. Overall, this app is comprehensive in nature and uses curriculum based vocabulary, which is something my students will really benefit from!

Next up: Articulate It! I have a few other articulation apps on my ipad, but I love having variety to choose from. 

You can select quick play if you want to just start. I have been doing this a lot lately! You can choose between phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, or number of syllables. Holy cannoli - the choices are amazing! You can also choose the phoneme position (I, M, or F) and then further customize by selecting/deselecting words you want to show up. I particularly liked this option, especially for my preschoolers who need simpler words to practice. 

You can also choose between flashcards or matching. Below is an example of what the matching game looks like. 

And guess what?! There are also HOMEWORK PAGES! On the home page, you simply select homework pages and you can select ready made pages that you can print and send home. I really love this option because it makes my life a little easier!

Language Adventures is available for $24.99 and Articulate It! is available for $38.99. While these prices are a little high, I think the time-saving and motivational aspect of these apps is well worth the price. Thank you to Smarty Ears for allowing me to review these apps! Please keep making awesome speech/language apps!

Disclaimer: The app was provided to me. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Peek At My Week: 10/11

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

This week was a busy one! 

1. I pulled out the paper plates for the above apple craft that I found on Pinterest here. This was a great opportunity to discuss regular and irregular plurals (apples, seeds, leaves). The craft is very simple and requires little to no materials. For the younger kids, I let them use dot markers instead of regular markers, which was a huge hit.

2. Funglish: I used the adjective tiles during a couple of my sessions with older kids. We discussed the adjectives that we would use to describe an item. I put 1 minute on the timer and let them grab the adjectives that fit an item (I just picked one from the cards). Then we discussed why we thought each fit. I also used it as a category building activity - what are some things that are plastic, stretchy, sweet, etc. 

3. Time For Kids website: My 4th, 5th, and 6th graders read this article about eating insects and we had a rousing discussion about what bugs we would or wouldn't eat. The higher the grossness factor, the more entertaining it is! 

It was a great week and a 3 day weekend is on the horizon!! How was your week?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{Review} Virtual Speech Center: Verb News

I recently got the opportunity to review Virtual Speech Center's Verb News app. I was excited because I have SO MANY kids with goals for verbs (mostly irregular and regular past tense). Since this can be a rather tedious and frustrating grammar skill to address, having extra fun tools like apps can definitely help increase the motivation factor!

This is what the home screen looks like:

You have the opportunity to work on: simple present, present continuous, simple past, and simple future tense. There are a total of 190 regular and irregular verbs. 

You can also choose between presentation method including: auditory bombardment, fill in, and make up your own sentences.

Below is an example of the fill in task:

You meet Andrew who is the newsroom anchor. There are 4 different movies that help explain the four verb tenses. I found this helpful because a lot of my kids learn visually. A fabulous feature is the "reward," where the child can record a newscast of himself/herself and then watch it. 

What I Liked:
-variety of verbs included
-the kids liked being able to record themselves and then watch it
-different answer platforms (auditory bombardment, fill in, etc) which helps easily differentiate for students on different levels

What I Would Change:
-Fill In Task: for the choices that included an auxiliary (ex. is baking), there was a really long pause in between the words, which was sometimes distracting
-some of the verbs were lesser known to my students, so I needed to explain (ex. applauded) - this was also a plus because we discussed synonyms!
-I would like to see a prompt for the newscast, so that the kids can practice using the past tense (ex. report on a cat that got stuck in a tree, etc)

If you are interested in this app, you can purchase it for $9.99 in the App Store. Make sure you check out Virtual Speech Center's other apps too!

Disclaimer: The app was provided to me. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

A-HA Moment: Penlight Double Duty

Penlights! We all have them, no? They are those wonderful little tools for looking (or not looking, depending on the willingness of the child) into mouths to check for adequate structure and function! I have a boring gray one, but some apparently come in fun colors!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience

So I happened to be working with a student on identifying key words. For whatever reason, I had my penlight on my desk and suddenly had a good idea. It's sort of the magic of those fun little secret decoder from Super Duper:

I grabbed the penlight and told my student he needed to shin the light on the key words! BINGO! Motivation appeared out of nowhere and he became much more engaged in the task. I think I'll be using this idea much more often now!

Love those A-HA moments! :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dollar Store Dash Linky Party

The concept is simple: You have just $5.00 to spend. Using the items you bought, create 3-5 activities! I picked up the following 5 items:

1. plastic skeleton
2. plastic creatures including spider rings, bat rings, caterpillars, etc
3. spider web basket
4. monster cut outs
5. felt leaves

How I Plan To Use In Therapy:
1. I will make a tree and affix velcro to the leaves and branches. We can put the leaves on the tree as reinforcers or work on prepositions!
2. I'll turn the basket over. I snipped the spider and bat rings so the kids can put them in the web! 
3. I plan to put velcro on some of the creepy crawly things and different body parts of the skeleton to work on vocabulary, following directions, expanding utterances, etc.
4. I can hide the creepy crawly things around the room and we can talk about their locations. I can give clues so the students can find the items to work on auditory comprehension.
5. Monsters: There are different colored monsters, so I might use this in a variety of ways: cut out a mouth on one so the monster can be fed the creepy crawly things. I think I might keep the monsters for a later date too! 

Those are my ideas for my $5.00 purchase. I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

{Review} Speech Pages

I recently got the opportunity to try out some products from Speech Page! This is a company that sends you already laminated and velcroed (I think I made that word up) therapy materials. I have to say the time saved not laminating and adding velcro was a huge bonus for me. 

I was sent the following:

Interactive Prepositions 4C

Pros: I loved that the students could actually "perform" the preposition. My preschoolers really seemed to loved the interactive pieces. I liked that we could work on vocabulary and generating sentences as well. 

Cons: While they loved putting the pieces "in" and "behind," they did seem to have some trouble sliding the piece in without my help. This probably wouldn't be a problem with older students. 

Following Multistep Directions 4A: This comes with a direction page too!

Pros: I love the variety of concepts that are included. These pages allow for more vocabulary and concept development. I also used some of the pages for requesting with some kids in the autism classroom, which worked really well. 

Cons: The only improvement I would love to see is having the direction page for each scene printed on the back of the scene, so you don't have to remember to bring a separate page with you!

Pros: My 4th-6th graders really liked discussing the problems that could happen. The fact that there is a visual picture definitely helped my students. I was able to observe a lot of language with follow-up questions too!

Cons: None!

Speech Page is definitely a company that you should check out! If you sign up for SuperSaving email, you can get notification of special monthly discounts too! Thank you to the company for allowing me a chance to review your products!

Disclaimer: The products were provided to me; however, the opinions expressed are solely my own. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Peek At My Week: 10/4

This week marked the beginning of October! To me, fall means pumpkins, apples, possibly early snow (depending on where you live), and pulling out the sweaters. Although I'd have to say summer is my favorite season, I do really enjoy pumpkin and apple baked goods. I also feel like fall marks the beginning of the holiday season - another thing I really love.

Last week, one of my 5th grade boys was complaining that he didn't want to come to speech. I get it - at that age, being pulled out isn't fun. I pull him with 2 other 5th grade boys, so it seemed to derail parts of the session. Instead of taking it personally (what?! you don't want to come and see all the AWESOME things I have planned?!!), I decided to try something different with this group. I designed a Jeopardy game (google Jeopardy powerpoint template - you'll find a bunch to choose from).

I used the following categories: details, summarize, infer, predict and wild. It seemed to hold their attention and I felt like I got more accomplished. This student did say he didn't like Jeopardy; however, he seemed to have fun. I ended up using it with a few other groups and everyone had fun keeping track of their points. 

Other activities included: Leaves Everywhere from Chapel Hill Snippets (free printable book) and some bingo dot pages for my younger kids. I think I've finally found a good way to plan my week, so I'll share that in the coming weeks! 

What did you do this week?