Monday, April 30, 2012

TxTools Review

PediaStaff has released their very first app into the world this week.  And... (insert drumroll)... it's free!  It has several nice features rolled up into a nice, neat, and simple package:
This is the initial screen for the app. The icon for the app has the same "tx" but is a green background.  I found it in the app store by searching for "PediaStaff" but I'm sure a "txtools" or similar search will reveal the same results!
The first available option is "Tally This" which is a simple tally marker system.  I'm a huge fan of anything that keeps me from having to make those annoying "tic" marks on paper.  My kiddos become over-interested in their marks and percentages when they should be concentrating on the task.  So, this tally system is nice when you just want to keep track of how many times something has happened, how many are left, etc.

Percent Right is a great feature for SLPs.  We are notorious for knowing what 17/23 is off the top of our heads  (did you just pull out a calculator to figure that one out?) and live by percentages!  We have to and Percent Right helps out.  Now, I may be missing something, but I'm not seeing the possibility to switch between kiddos during a session.  I've briefly reviewed SuperDuper's Data Tracker app and you are able to store student data and switch between several students to track their percentage correct on particular goals.  However, that app is not free so no complaints there.  This feature is great for one on one situations - particularly artic.

This handy little Age Finder is as it says.  It takes the guesswork out of how many years, months, and days a student is - especially helpful during  evaluations.  Nothing fancy here but it negates the need for multiple age calculator apps as it is included within this app.

Finally, the IEP Scheduler app.  I admit, I'm not really sure if I would use this app as our IEP system keeps track of when we need to hold the next meeting.  It might be helpful for figuring out when I need to send notices home, schedule with parents, etc.  During evals it could be useful for calculating our meeting dates with parents.

Overall I am impressed by this first app by PediaStaff .  It's a no-frills freebie with 4 great features.  I can definitely see myself pulling this out in therapy.  I am pretty attached to my Data Tracker app at this point and if this app had that component... done deal!  I'm excited to see what may be coming our way from PediaStaff and their list of crafty contributors.

What did you think of the app?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Phineas and VERB!

Is it just here in Kansas City that kiddos are generally CRAZY about 2 things... Angry Birds and Phineas and Ferb.  They think the step-brothers, their projects, tattling sister, secret Agent P (Perry the Platypus) and show are HILARIOUS!  After many requests for P&F, I had a mini-pun pop in my head.  Ferb and Verb rhyme... PERFECTION!  So, without further ado.... Phineas and Verb:


This is a card game with 2 available levels.  Level one is a sentence about Phineas or Ferb which contains a past tense verb (irregular).  There are 3 choices provided.  I find that this works best with 1st-2nd grades.  Level 2 contains a sentence about Phineas or Ferb which contains an irregular past tense verb as well.  However, in Level 2, the student is only provided the present tense verb and must correctly change it to fit in the sentence.  There are also Perry/Agent P cards, Dr Doofenshmirtz lose all cards, and Candace Lose a turn cards.  The object of the game is to have the most cards in your deck.

As usual, there are two links provided.  One, of course, is the free document.  However, as taking time to create and post materials adds up, I've begun uploading some documents to "Teachers Pay Teachers".  If you are willing to "purchase" that version instead of the freebie, I would greatly appreciate it.  If not, the freebie is available to you as well.  Either way, thanks for coming to visit Sublime Speech!


Please let me know if you spot any inaccuracies... it's been a long week :)

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

**AWESOME NEW WEBSITE ALERT!***

I just found a great resource for curricular vocabulary goals.  It looks like it's currently in a beta version (the testing version before it is finalized and launched) but is user-friendly and is looking to be something I will use with my language kiddos!


Word Dynamo is a website from dictionary.com!  It allows you to pick grade levels, standardized tests, academic subjects, and different languages with word games including matching, listen and pick the answer, and flashcard studying.  There are other great games that are worth exploring.  You can also do the "Word Dynamo Challenge" (seen above in the photo) which allows you to pick your grade (Elementary/Middle/High/Beyond High) and then identify the definition of given words and it "estimates" the number of words you know.  This can be fun for students and may give you an interesting look into their vocabulary skills (without photo cues).

Overall this looks like a useful and interesting site that can be utilized for curricular vocabulary goals.  I'll check for iPad compatibility ASAP and edit this with the answer - unless somebody beats me to it!

As a side not, please "Like" us on Facebook for additional information and benefits as we expand!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Art and Inferencing/Predicting Collide!

I appreciate and love art but have noticed that my students have very little knowledge about famous paintings/artwork (much unlike their insane knowledge of cartoons, video games, and apps).  So, it's difficult to find things that they do not have prior knowledge of to use for inferences/predictions.  I was browsing my photos of artwork that I took at the Art Institute of Chicago from when I lived there last year and thought that perhaps merging paintings and language therapy could yield interesting results!

I preface this material by saying that I have not yet used this with my students and therefore don't know how it will turn out.  (Isn't therapy all about trying new and different ideas though?!?)  So, I'd love your suggestions, reactions, and therapy stories... If I need to make adjustments to the document to make it more useable in your sessions, please let me know as I've only made the PDF available for this material.



I hope this is useful for you and that it is enjoyable and challenging for your students!

Download the PDF of the Artwork Inferences and Predictions document now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Splendid Summer!


For those of you in the school setting, summer is a wonderful time that we look forward to!  However, we know that oftentimes, our students do not continue to work as diligently on their speech and language skills during these weeks off.  I'm a huge believer in providing parents/guardians with the resources they need during those months to continue to work on speech and language skills at home with their children.  There are many resources for summer activity packets/calendars available throughout the web but many of those are out-dated or not exactly as open-ended as I would like.  Others are tailored to much younger children and therefore not appropriate for my kiddos.  So... I made my own for the coming summer.  What I like about this is that it is broken up into two 5-week calendars without specific dates.  I also created a letter and resource guide for parents/guardians.  Many of my parents have already begun asking for these documents to continue working on skills and to keep the kids a bit busier over the summer!

Thanks for coming to visit Sublime Speech!


What summer activities do you send home with your students?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Batter Up!

It's baseball season and here in Kansas City, we have the All-Star game to host this year.  So, in the spirit of another "promising" season of baseball throughout the country, I made up an all-purpose  All-Star baseball game for use as a reinforcement activity in the classroom, speech room, and at home!  You could use it as a file-folder game (cover included) or you can even upload it to your iPad and play!  Enjoy!
 
To Play:
Start at the Season Opener and move clockwise around the board.  If you land by EXACT roll next to a "Make the Playoffs" space, you may move to that space.  Otherwise, you must continue moving around the board.
When you are at the "Make the Playoffs" space, you then move counterclockwise around the inner board.  If you land by EXACT roll on the "Win World Series!" space, you win the game.  Otherwise, you must continue around the inner board.



Also, just a quick note:
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Thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm.  I have a huge "To Blog" list going and can't wait to have time to start those ideas/articles!

Any suggestions, topics, materials you'd like to see?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DIY of the Week: Silly Speech Sound Sticks

It's standardized testing time in Missouri which means that my mornings are consumed with testing and my weeks packed with sessions and meetings.  So, new materials have been on the back burner.  I did think of one material and have started making the /r/ version of it first and will move to other sounds as I can.  But, I didn't want to delay sharing it with you until completion so here are the basics of Silly Speech Sound Sticks:

What you will need:
40 sticks for each artic sound - for carrier phrases.
30 sticks for each position of a sound - 10 nouns, 10 adjectives, 10 verbs for each position of each sound.
Sharpie
Paint/Markers for color-coordinating

 What to do:
Take your 40 sticks and write carrier phrases on them (list of these will be provided below as they are completed).  Use your marker/paint to identify what type of word will fill in the blank.  I used red for nouns, green for adjectives and pink for verbs.  (You will use the same color to identify the word sticks)  Then write words on the front and back of 10 sticks per part of speech per sound position (e.g. 10 sticks with initial /r/ nouns on each side - total of 20 initial /r/ nouns).

How to Play:
Students can play individually (I do this during Speech Stations Day) or with partners/group.  The student draws a carrier phrase and identifies which type of word stick they will need.  They then draw a word stick and match it to the carrier phrase.  Then they say the sentence the number of times you would like.  My students like to nominate the "most realistic" and the "craziest of all" sentences.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions, extensions, or questions!  ENJOY!!!

(Links will appear as I am able to complete and upload them)
Carrier Phrases:

Words: