Friday, January 20, 2012

Invasion of the iPad!

If you're like me you are either wishing you had an iPad or discovering how to use your iPad in therapy.  I have been in both situations this year.  My younger sister was not utilizing her iPad (1st generation) so she is allowing me to borrow it for use in therapy until I can afford to purchase my own (which I hope will be an iPad 3 this Spring/Summer!).  I posted previously about a Speech Hunt and MadLibs we have done with the iPad that the kids LOVED!  Here are a few more activities, apps, etc. that I have found helpful for therapy with the iPad so far!  I love it!

I uploaded a photo of the wonderful "Capture the __ Words" gameboard provided by Speech Room News then we used the Glow Draw! app (free) to play!

 By the end of the day I am insanely tired of hearing dice hit the table so why not have dice on the iPad?  This GameTools app (free) allows you multiple game functions.  There are up to six dice (you can +/- the dice), a timer, a score card, and a buzzer.

Here are "some" of the apps I use on my iPad.  Most were free, some were a few dollars or less:

 (Favorites from this shot: Data Tracker by SuperDuper, MadLibs, Talking Pierre, Educreations - see below for more, SocialSkillsBuilder, Futaba, and GameTools)
 (Favorite Early Intervention apps from this shot: Wheels on the Bus, Peekaboo Barn, Buddy Bear Lite)
 (The first 12 apps are the ABA Flashcards which are FREE!  They're not amazing but can be useful, portable, and of course, free!)

(The BrainPOP app is amazing!  There are FREE videos about several upper level - 3rd/4th grade minimum - and 10 question comprehension quizzes afterward!  Great for recalling details, sequencing, vocabulary, and more!  The videos are each about 5-10 minutes in length.  The WildFriends, Science360, and NASA apps have great photos, articles, etc. for various language activities... maybe even articulation!)

The following two photos are examples of how I've been using the iPad to complete otherwise unappealing worksheets.  Again, I use the GlowDraw app for this.  Plus, this saves paper which is always great!

This is the Educreations app (free).  It is a whiteboard for your iPad!  You can upload photos, write in various colors, and even RECORD what you do to send to others.  We use it to discuss vocabulary, label, complete worksheets, and more:

Please share your favorite apps below!

Thrift Store Treasures!

I know we're all looking for great ways to find therapy materials for less.  One of the things that can cost the most is quality games for reinforcement and therapy activities.  Games cost anywhere from $7-$100!  So, I've made it my Saturday routine to peruse local Thrift stores for cheap games!  Here are a few of my latest finds and how I use them in therapy:

 Taboo Junior: Sells for $48 as "Taboo Kids" on Amazon.  Bought for $0.75 at Goodwill (was $0.99 but 25% off!)  This game has proven to be an excellent language game.  It works on describing different vocabulary words to others using antonyms, synonyms, details, location, function, size, shape, context, and more!  It also allows me to see which words are more difficult for a student and which words are tough for entire groups/grades of students!  Twist: I took a picture of the game board and loaded on the iPad and use glow draw to have students "move" their pawn which frees up table space and makes the game more mobile!
 Cranium Cariboo: Sells for $100.00 on Amazon (I'm not kidding/exaggerating!)  At my early childhood setting we used this game ALL the time but I never wanted to pay to buy my own.  And then there it was, hidden on a shelf at Goodwill... for $0.99 and 25% off... 75 CENTS!!!  This game is used purely as reinforcement for Kindergarten-2nd grade.  However, if you have students working on color, shape, quantity, and letter recognition - you could target goals.  I infuse language by having the students tell me what each thing is (what are airplanes/camels/etc.) before they can open the space!  They LOVE searching for the bouncy balls and being the one to find the final ball that opens the treasure chest!
Outburst Junior: Sells for $40 and up on Amazon.  I purchased it for $4.98 at my local DAV which was pretty steep for a thrift purchase but hey... I like to help out the vets!  They had several there so I took my time to open it, make sure the pieces were there (my #1 tip for purchasing thrift store games).  I haven't started using this yet but think it will be great for language students!  Particularly those with category-related goals and general vocab goals.

Okay, this is NOT a thrift store purchase but it's a cheaper cousin to Jenga ($15.00+) at only $5 at Target!  Then, I took my artic word lists (/r/ is shown here) and printed the words on clear labels with my handy label maker.  There's a word on each side of the block which comes in handy when you get the same block 2+ times in a game. There area 48 wooden blocks so there are 96 artic words in each tower!  The students LOVE this game and we will often have a beat Ms. Reed contest to see if the kids can collectively beat me each week to win a prize! (They sadly have never conquered the Tumbling Tower challenge!)  This is a great way to spice up therapy!  I have a /r/ and a /s/ set in my room and love them!  Tip: Make sure the blocks are SMOOTH not rough because the tape will not stick as well to rough blocks.

Please share your favorite therapy games below!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We're MAD for MadLibs

My students love anything that incorporates hilarity and the iPad.  I love anything FREE that does that!  A lot of my speech sound students are serviced through RtI (maybe I'll blog about how we are piloting that here later) and I see them for short 10-15 minute bursts where we do a lot of repetitions in a short time.  Sometimes, they get horribly bored.  So, with the iPad and the free MadLibs app (for iPhone/iPod) we use their sounds to fill out the story and read it.  Here's an example of a completed MadLib done for /r/:

When you go to the beach, you must take along a big blanket, a thermos bottle full of relish, lots of suntan rotten radishes, and a couple of folding chairs. Then you put on your shirt so you can get a beautiful purple to last you all summer. You also should have a big hat to keep the sun off your armpit. If you want exercise, you can find some worms to play volleyball with. Volleyball is America’s favorite bizarre game. You can also bring a/an dangerous lunch, such as hard-boiled pearls, a few shark sandwiches with mustard, and some bottles of rockin' cola. If you remember all of the above and get a place near a/an red hot lifeguard, you can sunbathe royally all day.

I also have a lot of students working on parts of speech so the MadLibs are great for that as well.  We sometimes start by listing the possibles on our board before beginning.  They often need to use the "hints" option in the game until they get comfortable with the different parts.  I have actually seen a large improvement in my older students after using this activity a few times.  Here's a screenshot of the game used this way:

There are 5 free MadLibs offered in the free version.  There are more that you may purchase additionally.
How do you use MadLibs in therapy?  Please share your suggestions!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spicy Dice

My students get bored with activities very quickly -- too quickly to have met the goal targeted by the activity.  I have several students working on vocabulary goals and goals which target the various components of a definition of vocabulary.  To work on this and spice up therapy a bit, I whipped up this variation of this activity:
You can download the word document here!

Please share your spiced up dice activities below!  It's how we roll! :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Going on a Speech Hunt

I don't know about you but my students are FEISTY after break.  They've forgotten how to sit and work and STAY AWAKE in speech so I'm going to get them up and moving!  We're starting to use my iPad in speech so here's an activity we've been doing utilizing the iPad and the app "Glow Draw" which is free!

For our "Speech Sound Hunts" I load the following pictures onto the iPad, open them in Glow Draw and off we go!  If I have more than one student it's great because it becomes a competition of sorts.  They must find the words on the list in the school as we walk around.  They have to keep their voices off in the hall but when they have found the word, each person has to practice it at the level they're working on (word, phrase, sentence) before we move on.  They mark off the word we've found (if they're competing they mark their 'symbol' on the space to claim that word) and we keep looking.  I've included the always popular /s/ and /r/ pictures below as well as the publisher files for them.  I simply save as a .jpg file and email them to my iPad... Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tracking - Oodles of fun!

I have spent the first two years of my time as an SLP trying to find the perfect tracking solution only to find out that there ISN'T one!  However, there are some helpful tools to tracking:

A paper copy sheet - good for at-a-glance accuracy/progress monitoring.  It's also very helpful to have these if a teacher or parent approaches you about a student's progress.  This is the one I'll be trying this semester:

Click Here to View Tracking Sheet

App Time -Another great thing I've started using this year has been the Super Duper Data Tracker.  This video shares a little bit about how to run the app.  It's currently $5.99 for iPhone and $1.99 for Android users.  I have loaded ALL of my students into this app, along with their IEP goals.  It works great in sessions and my students do not pay attention to me tracking with this method as much as they did when I used paper.  It also allows you to e-mail the results, graphs, etc. to any e-mail account straight from your device!  It can also be used on the iPad (as shown in the video)!  I'm not usually a person to purchase an app but I use this one in nearly every session and love it!  Watch the video below:

RtI Tracking - I have a lot of classic "Artic" students that I see through Response to Intervention.  As the requirements for data collection is a bit different for these students, I created a different RtI Tracking Form just for them.  This allows me to see when they may be ready to move back down to Tier 2, provide updates to teachers and parents, and more.

I hope these 3 techniques give you a starting point for tracking data.  It's a CRAZY process...

Please leave ANY tracking suggestions, links, comments, etc. below!