Verbs practice fun!

I have been drilling with my students regular and irregular past tense verbs all year!  I have been trying to think of creative ways to review before the school year ends. 

I ordered a product from Super Duper for my supply list for next year and I was so excited when I got it already that I had to use it ASAP!  It is called "Yesterday's Verbs."  If you do not have it, definitely try and get it!  It is a great program for students with syntax goals.  It has a progress approach to working on this skill.  For each, regular and irregular, they have a flip book that is split up into sections.  You can drill and review each section until mastered before going onto next.  The book comes with the program and the worksheets correlate to the flip books.  You can check out this product here!
I was inspired by an idea I found on pinterest.  I wanted to create a fun craft to practice these verb tenses.  I like to call it "Lunch Bag Verb Practice Books."
Since I had 6 verb tense pairs, I took 7 lunch bags.  At the seam, is the closed end of the lunch bags.  I cut the bags in half.  For the "cover," I had the closed end on the right hand side.  I stapled at the seam.  You can do this for your students ahead of time or give them the instructions to do so for themselves.  We glued the present tense verbs on each bag or "page."  We then glued the past tense onto index cards (to make them more durable).  We placed each past tense in the bag that went with the present tense verb.  It was such a fun way to practice and then drill as we "read" our books!  I let my students take the projects home, they were so proud!  Their homework was to read their books to someone at home!  Such an easy way to keep drilling!
You can grab copies of the Boardmaker pictures here!
regular past tense       irregular past tense

Since yesterday's say and color worksheets were such a hit, I created a version to be used with regular and irregular past tense verbs.
You can your copies here!
Say and Color! Regular past tense verbs  
Say and Color! Irregular past tense verbs

My students have enjoyed practicing their verbs with these activities, will yours?!! 

Summer themed say and color worksheets!

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, I like to bring in summer themed activities.  It definitely helps deal with my hot classroom!  I will try and post over the next week or two many materials that go with the theme!

For today, I have a synonyms and antonyms say and color worksheets.  Each one was developed using coloring pages I found using Google (I cannot take credit for the graphics, just the finished product!).
You can use this during therapy as a review of the vocabulary worked on during the year or send home in a summer review packet.  Once the student verbally expresses the synonym or antonym, they can color the picture or part of picture.  You can give them a multi-step direction, "once you tell me the synonym of goofy, you can color the sun yellow."  You can use this as a review and make index card games using the same vocabulary words (memory or go fish). 

For the synonyms worksheet, note that I included a cue to help remind students that the words mean the same and they can use the sentence strip to express the words using expanded utterances.

I hope you find these worksheet fun, motivating, and helpful!  My students enjoy using them and I hope yours can too!

Grab your copies here: Synonyms Opposites
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Introducing! The Enchanted Dictionary App!

I was contact by a speech-language pathologist, Marg Griffin, who created with her husband an app series called Enchanted Dictionary!  She was generous enough to provide me with a copy of the app for grades 4-6 but she also has created one for grades 7-12!
This app was very easy to figure out and for a reasonable price of $1.99 it is very helpful for school-based SLPs working with students having difficulties comprehending academic vocabulary.

This app allows you to select a category from a wide variety of academic based lists.  You can select which words in the category you want to choose and even edit the definition to match textbooks, simply language, change wording around to truly determine understanding of word meanings.
Note the categories on the left!  Great for addressing common core standards!


Note how all of the words have checks, I did not eliminate any words from this list.
This is how you can edit a definition of a word already in the app!

By clicking the + sign, you can add a category or subcategory!  Want to review prepositions?  Can add them here!  Want to review meanings of various verbs?  Do it here!  If you click the + to the right, you can add words in the already created categories!  So easy, right?!
Once you are done setting up the word lists, click Play!  This game has cute graphics and looks like a book or dictionary.  The words of the definition are scrambled and the student must drag the words in order to the right hand side to create the definition.  When the words stop swirling, they are correct.




This app is just a great way to practice defining words without boring flash cards.  It helps students develop sentence structures while practicing their academic definitions.  You can take these same definitions and create a homework practice worksheet to help with carryover.  With the push towards common core, I think this app is a great way to incorporate classroom curriculum vocabulary into speech sessions.  You can review the vocabulary prior to using this app, make memory games using index cards and other drilling techniques.  You can use this app as a review or "quiz" to check and see if your students recall and comprehend the definitions.  Can they describe it to the rest of the group?  Can they use it in a sentence?  Those are some ideas to use as a follow up!

Although the app tells you at the bottom how many are correct and how many more words to go, it allows the student to keep trying until they are correct.  Therefore, there is no data collection or true score-keeping method.  You can time your students and see if their speed improves with each time they review the same vocabulary words.

Although this app is designed for one student at a time, you can take turns or have them work together to rearrange the words to create the definition.  Are they struggling?  How about writing the same words in index cards and have them move them around that way before putting their answers in on the app.  Don't want students sitting around getting bored while watching another student move the words around on the app, give the others index cards to try it out for themselves!  So many ideas!!  Can you think of more!!??

Want to learn more about this app??  Check out their website http://goldencommunicationsllc.com/ or learn more by viewing their You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXgDsqn9C2g.  This app should definitely be included on list of apps to suggest to parents!!

Motivation Board

I have been asked by several readers what I use as a motivation board or reinforcer chart.  I developed this very generic template that could be used with ANY student!  You can use this for doing homework, appropriate in-seat behaviors during speech session, or give to classroom teacher to help with carryover of speech skills.
I have this board printed out twice.  On one copy, I cut out the stars and laminated them separately.  I laminated the entire original board and put Velcro over the stars and one piece in the empty box.  Once a student performs desired behavior or task, you can give them a star.  Once they have all 5, they can get what they are working towards.  I recommend deciding the reward in the beginning so it is clear and visible.  I have provided a Boardmaker display of some common rewards for you to use.  I laminated these rewards and put Velcro on the back as well.  These pictures will go in empty box when the student decides their reward. 

You can use this for each individual student or for a speech group.  This works great for those students that cannot wait until the end of the session to receive their reward.  It also helps when the student may not understand why they did not receive their end of speech reward.  Figure, if you are a group for 30 minutes, after 5-6 minutes you can discuss behavior and reinforce if necessary.

There a variety of ways you can use this simple motivation board.  I have a cute and crafty one I put together when I was in graduate school way back but it is at work and I am not!  I will try to post pictures of that one at a later date!

Get your free downloads here: Motivation Board Picture Choices for Rewards
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Super Duper’s “The Question Challenge Card Game” & Fun Sheets Book


I was fortunate enough to be provided by Super Duper “The Question Challenge Card Game” and “The Question Challenge Card Game Fun Sheets” book.   Just note that the opinions are all mine!

Do you have students working on higher level questioning skills?  This activity is just for you!  You can use this product with students in all grade levels by adapting it if necessary.  This product reinforces expressive and receptive skills in 10 different areas: inferencing, understanding sarcasm, determining perspective, staying calm through self-talk, stating opinions, predicting, intonation and body language, cognitive flexibility, social encouragement, and questioning in conversation.  As you can tell, these skills can address skills that correlate with the common core standards for language arts as well as addressing pragmatic/social skills. 

Common Core Standards you can address (you can use these for writing lesson plans or rationales for using this product in speech and language sessions):

·         Understand question words (who, what, where, when, why, how).

·         Drawing conclusions from a story or text.

·         Distinguish the literal and non-literal meaning of words and phrases in context.

·         As questions about a text; ask questions to check for understanding.

·         Recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details.

·         Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly.  Provide reasons to support an opinion.

·         Demonstrate understanding of figurative language.

·         Pose specific topic related questions during conversation and make comments that contribute to the discussion

·         Report on a topic or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant and descriptive details to support main idea or themes.

·         Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences using appropriate subject-verb agreement.

The game: it comes with an electronic spinner, bingo chips, challenge cards, and cards targeting the various areas listed above.  You can play three ways:

·         You can have student select a challenge card to determine who is going and how many questions they will answer.  If answer is appropriate, the student will spin the spinner and receive that amount of chips.  You can decide when the game will end, when chips run out or time runs out.  Whoever has the most chips wins!

·         You can deal seven question cards to each student.  Student can spin the spinner and answer that amount of cards.  If they answer correctly, they can place the card face down.  First player to answer all cards and get rid of them is the winner.

·         You can also use the game cards with any other Super Duper game (Pirate Talk, Chipper Chat, etc.) or general board game (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Jenga, etc.).

I chose to play by giving each student a cup.  They selected the challenge card to follow directions and know what to do.  I chose an area to work on for the group (or if I had students with mixed goals, I gave a different target skill to each, GREAT for differentiated learning!).  When the student responded correctly, they spun to get their chips.  I put a timer on my iPad for 15 minutes since I did not want the game to last the whole session.  Once the timer went off, we counted our chips to see who won!  I followed up the activity with either a worksheet from the fun sheets book or a game on my iPad that went with the concept we were learning (i.e. Understanding Inferences or Let’s Predict from SuperDuper, Garfield’s fact & opinion, Conversation Builder, Question Builder, Autism and PDD Reasoning, and more!).

Fun Sheets Book:

This is a great book for follow-up activities from the game.  You can use it right after, in a follow up session, or give as homework.  The pages provide a variety of activities: matching games, word searches, crossword puzzles, game boards, cube rolls, word associations, memory games, story-writing activities, drawing activities and more!  The book comes with an answer key and CD for easy printing (no need to run to the photocopy machine!).

I liked using this book because it allowed me to assess the students work independently.  The game provided a “drill” method and the book allowed for assessment of comprehension and carryover.  The pages were motivating for my students.  They did not realize they were still learning!  The activities correlate so well with the game that it was a great way to practice the learned skill.  I ran and made some copies of favorites from each target skill and kept it in the game box so they are ready to go! 

I definitely recommend this game and book for all speech pathologists working with school aged children.  It addresses so many skills that are important for development and correlate with standards expected of them.  So many language delayed students have difficulty with these skills and this game is a motivating way to work in it.  The fact that you can play and use these cards in a variety of ways, you can keep taking this game out and the students won’t get sick of it!  I am always looking for games that when an administrator walks by, they won’t question me on why we are playing again.  This game targets so many language goals and standards (as I mentioned above), I don’t have to make up a rationale!  I know most school-based therapists are probably filling out budget request forms.  One should definitely consider ordering these two products!  You will not regret it!

eSkills Minimod Apps!


This company has created numerous reading comprehension, vocabulary, building, and language arts apps to support educators in a fun and motivating way.  I was fortunate enough to be provided with codes for the Context Clues and Reading for Inferences apps.  However, the opinions are all mine!

Context Clues

This app works on using context clues in a short story using cloze sentences.  There are two activities, you can practice the skill in a basic multiple choice and cloze sentence format or you can play a game which is like BINGO.  As the student reads/listens to you read the story, they will come across a “_____.”  For each blank, they will have 4 choices to choose which word would work best in the blank.  If they are incorrect, they are prompted to try again.  When they respond correctly, they can mark a spot on the BINGO board.  They keep going with the story until they get a BINGO. 

There are three reading levels to choose from.  I have indicated the reading levels below which are also provided on the app and on their website.

You can also set for “single user” or “multi-user” mode.  For the multi-user, you can play against other students if you have access to wifi or any other form of internet access.  Unfortunately, in my classroom, I do not have wifi access so I had to use single user mode.  The way I used this in a group, I read aloud the story.  As I approached a blank, we discussed it as a group: “what’s the main idea?”  “What clues do you see?”  “Look at all your choices and plug each one in to see which makes the most sense.”  Then, each student got a turn to select an answer and mark the BINGO board.
Practice Mode will allow you to decide how many questions:


Last, you can set up an email in which score reports can be emailed.  Like I said earlier, this feature is difficult for me since I do not have wifi but I was able to easily note student success and progress since it was in a drill format.

Reading for Inferences:

This app also has a drill or practice mode and a game mode.  The game is also like BINGO.  You can also set up the email to send score reports and change the reading level settings.  You can also play single user or multi-use as well in this game. 

For this app, the student is provided a short story (about a paragraph or two).  Once they are done reading/or listening to you read, they can press the continue button which brings them to a question.  The questions require the students to think about what they read, recall details, use reasoning skills, and draw conclusions based on the story read or heard. 


I felt it was important for me to help guide my students to take notes to help them recall main ideas and details.  We used my dry erase board which I drew a large graphic organizer.  This app was difficult for my students to recall the overall message from the story without assistance.  However, this is a skill required of them in the academic classroom.

Overall, I think BOTH apps are GREAT!  They allowed me to work on curriculum based skills but in a speech and language method that was fun and motivating.   Just taking the pencil/paper activity and using technology was motivating enough!  They got to work together, which allowed cooperative learning and turn taking skills.  I felt by creating a learning environment that allowed them to be successful, they felt confident and was successful working on these skills.  I definitely recommend this app to speech pathologists working with older elementary and older students, teachers, resource room teachers, tutors, and parents.  This is a great way to get practice working on these skills that are so difficult for many students.  I will definitely be looking into purchasing some more of their products since they are great for carryover of skills. 

You can check out their website to learn more about the app I reviewed and others at http://www.eskillslearning.net/products.php.   On their website, they also provide lesson plan ideas for each app!  They break it up into each reading level and include common core standards!  These are great if you have to write rationales for why you are using these apps in your classroom!  They took the thinking out of it for you! 

Minimal Pair Pack App!

I was fortunate enough to receive a code to try out the Minimal Pair Pack App from tbox apps.  However, the opinions are all mine!

One evidenced-based strategy for working with students with phonological disabilities is to use minimal pairs to demonstrate how by changing the phoneme, it could change the meaning of the message.  This app was developed with this in mind!!  It takes out the "let's find words for each minimal pairs" aspect of this strategy!  What a time saver!  This app utilizes two concepts: discrimination and production through phrase completion.



For both discrimination and phrase completion activity, you can select the two sounds from a choice wheel which you want to work on.
Discrimination:  This activity allows the student to listen to the sound and select the word/picture of what they heard.  This activity is great for students that are having a difficult time hearing the difference in sounds.  This could elicit the conversation of changing of meaning of message.  This activity has great opportunities for auditory bombardment due to the great amounts of presentation of target sound.  This activity keeps score and lets student try and correct incorrect responses.
Phrase Completion: This activity elicits production of target sound.  It presents the student with a short phrase, and they must select the word/picture to complete the meaning of the message.  Granted, it doesn't require them to verbally say the word aloud, but you can have them read the sentence/you can read to the nonreaders, and they can verbally express their answer as they select it.  You can have discussion with students, I heard ____ but you selected ____.  To demonstrate how the difference in phonemes/sounds changes the meaning of message.  Again, this activity also marks correct and incorrect responses and prompts students to see if they would like to try again which is great for self monitoring and correction.
Settings:

The developer gives you several choices.  You can select what sound the student will be provided for correct and incorrect responses.  I personally liked the "applause" for correct and "uh-oh" for incorrect!  You can also decide the presentation of cards: symbol + word, symbol only, or word only.  I think removing the word is a great idea in order for the student to think of the sound and remove the letter correlation piece. 

**When the student completes a task, there is a score reporting page that appears:
As you can see, it gives you the choice to email the results or return to home to start with another student.  I LOVE WHEN AN APP PROVIDES DATA COLLECTION!!

Overall, I think this is a great app in the sense that it is a HUGE time saver!  No more making sound cards and thinking of my own minimal pairs!  I love how it has the opportunity for auditory bombardment and verbal production.  The graphics are great and not too distracting.  I wish they had multi-user option.  However, I used this app in a group of students where only 1 or 2 have articulation goals.  I used this as like a "do now" or "sum up" activity to do a quick drill and get a quick data collection.  While the group was working on an independent activity, I pulled the student aside and let them practice briefly.  How can you use this in therapy?!?!

Feel free to visit the iTunes website for more information here!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month Word Search

So I finally got an iPad!!  I am so exciting I have been playing with it all weekend!  There are so many more features I can utilize rather than my tiny iPod Touch I have been using in the meantime. 

As May is coming to a close, I realized I have not done ANYTHING for May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!  I decided to create a little word search that could be either placed in my colleagues mailboxes for some entertainment relief or given to my older students that always question me: "Why am I here?!"
I figured this word search could remind students and colleagues about the role of the SLP in the school setting.  It can be used to elicit a conversation or reminders of goals for students receiving services.  You can attach classroom strategies for teachers to remind them of how to carry over skills learned in therapy room.

A word search?!  That's not using my new toy!  Well, I thought of that!  I emailed myself the file from my computer and "opened with" the pdf-notes app.  Now my students could try and find the words and use the pen on the app to write it in.  I figured my students can all get a paper version and then we can review our answers by demonstrating where the words are located in the puzzle on the iPad.

You can get more information on this app here!  You can grab your copy of this word search here!

As I keep playing with my new toy I will post ideas I have come up with!!  Please send me an email or comment if you have ideas that have worked for you!  I would love to share your ideas as well!

Naming TherAppy App!


I was fortunate enough to be provided with a code to test and review the Naming TherAppy app by Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd. 
This app was designed for people with impaired word-finding abilities due to stroke, aging, or developmental delay.  It should be noted that all opinions and ideas are mine and was not from the company itself.

There are four different activities you can do with this app. For all activities, you can choose the categories you wish to work on.  It is also recommended by the developers to go into settings prior to using and set it into “child-friendly mode.”  You can also submit an email address for reports to be sent for data collection.
Naming Practice: In this activity, a picture is provided for the student.  The student is required to provide the name or label for this activity and can score themselves or you can do it for them by marking a check or “x.”  If the student cannot label independently, the app provides cues for the student such as a description, first letter, and the word written for them, a carrier phrase, a phonemic cue, or the presentation of the word for the student to repeat.  Each cue provides more and more help to the student.

I liked this activity because it was great for improving expressive vocabulary.  It teaches students how to retrieve difficult words by providing cues which could be carried over into the classroom.  They can take words they already know and think of cues to go with it as a follow-up activity.

Describe: The app provides a picture and the students must describe it.  The cues provided are kind of like EET cues.  I used my EET visual with this activity to remind them how to describe.  But if the student requires assistance, the app provides buttons for them to press to cue themselves.


Naming Test:  This is exactly as it sounds.  It is a drilling activity which requires the student to just label.  The student can score themselves or you can score for them as well. 
Flashcards:  Here is an activity that can be used to introduce or review the vocabulary in the other activities.  You can provide your own cues/questions, have students use words in a sentence, define, match to other pictures you provide, or give each other cues to have the rest of group guess.  This activity is pretty open-ended and can be used in a variety of ways.

Overall, I think this app is great for students with poor vocabulary and word retrieval difficulties.  It helps build vocabulary, provides cues to help retrieve, and practices describing and using vocabulary.  It covers all basic categories: animals, body parts, clothing, concepts, food, furniture, objects, people, places, and sports.  If you are an SLP working with adults AND students, this app is DEFINITELY worth your while since it is designed for both!  My students enjoyed prompting themselves, giving themselves scores, and competing against each other to determine who can provide the most descriptions!  You can make it into a game show and have them “buzz” or “ring” in to determine who can provide the label first.  I could go on forever in ways to use this app in speech and language therapy.  For more information, visit their website http://www.tactustherapy.com/naming.html. 

Have you used this app in therapy?  What do you think?  Did you think of other ways to make it meaningful and fun?  Feel free to share!

i Learn With - Planet Boing! HD App Giveaway!

I was given 4 codes for the i Learn With - Planet Boing! HD app to give away to my loyal readers!!  A4 was generous to provide them for us!  Visit their website to learn about them and the app project http://a4cwsn.com/.    You may also visit the iTunes website for more information http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/i-learn-with-planet-boing!-hd/id506805601.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ice Cream Parts of Speech Sort

As my therapy room gets warmer, kids and I in summer mode, and wanting to review skills one more time before we depart for summer break, I created a quick and easy review of parts of speech.
I found the template over at DLTK (check it out here).  I wrote noun, verb, and adjective on the cones.  I wrote various words on the scoops for them to sort.  My students had a blast watching the ice cream cones grow. 

Then we used our parts of speech to make sentences about ice cream ("The ice cream tastes cold." "The ice cream man makes delicious smoothies.").  I laminated all the pieces for safe keeping.  Hope you can use this easy preparation activity to review learned concepts of the year!

Question Builder App!

One goal that could get repetitive with activities is working on responding to wh- questions.  Mobile Education Store was generous to provide me a copy of the Question Builder app.  Just remember the opinions and application ideas are all mine!

This app allows you to change the settings based on student need.  You can change the presentation mode (verbal and/or visual), what type of wh- question form, reinforce options, and level of complexity.   

There are three different complexity levels.  Level 1 just requires the student to listen the question, look at the picture, and select an option from three choices.  Level 2 incorporates inferencing skills and adds more answer choices.  Level 3 incorporates inferencing as well and requires the student to select THE BEST response.  It also adds more choices which require the student to listen carefully and read each choice carefully.
Level 1

Level 2

Level 3
When the question is presented to the student, they have the option to click “repeat question.”  I really like this feature since it teaches the student to recognize when they cannot recall or understand the question.  I also taught my students to listen to the question, read all the choices, and then click to repeat the question to remind them of what is expected of them. 
When the student responds incorrectly, it prompts them to decide whether or not they want to try again.  I think it is important to have the student try again and understand what they did wrong and try to figure out the correct response.  When the student responds correctly, they could be rewarded with a fun animation.  The animation is different each time which keeps them engaged and motivated.  My students got a kick out of finding out which animation was going to appear each time.
When you decide the session is over, you can click “report” and get the results of the session.  The results are broken up by levels so you can see exactly how that student performed.  I think this is a great way to collect data and monitor progress. 
Overall, I think this is a great app!  It addresses vocabulary, wh- questions, and inferencing skills.  It correlates to skills required in the classroom such as thinking of the best possible response.  It allows for discussion of why the responses are the best and most appropriate.  It also helps teach compensatory strategies for working on auditory memory and comprehension.  Can the student repeat the question?  Can they use the learned strategy independently of listening to question, read choices, and listen to question again before selecting response.  How about reading all choices carefully before selecting their choice response?  The only negative I can think of is that it only allows you to collect data on 1 student at a time.  Despite this, I found I was able to have students take turns one question at a time and we kept score on my dry erase board which I used as a data collection.  This is a great product which all SLPs should consider including in their app library!  Check it out on Mobile Education Store’s website http://mobile-educationstore.com/.


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