Sunday, March 31, 2013

Multiple Choice Articulation App Review and Giveaway

To say that artic therapy can get bland quickly would be an understatement!  I am constantly wracking my brain trying to find a new and fun way to target sentence and conversation levels.  Particularly for my oh-so-cool 3rd and 4th graders!

So, when I was offered the opportunity to try out Erik X. Raj's Multiple Choice Articulation app, I was very excited to check it out!  (maybe even giddy... I like apps & they like me)  Erik is a fellow Speech-Language Pathologist who offers some great documents, tips, tricks, and information over at his website.  The app (for iPad/iPad mini/iPhone/iPod touch) has over 500 silly and thought-provoking multiple choice questions targeting S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH. 

Overall, we had a blast checking out this app in my speech room!  Here are some specifics:
When you open up the app, you are presented with this screen.  Included in the app are these 7 phonemes.  Selecting the "i" will take you to more information and directions, contact information, etc. Just select the phoneme you will be working on during your session.  You may only choose 1 at a time.

The phonemes are then broken down by position (including blends when appropriate).  Again, you may choose just one at a time but this is a fairly quick step and I switch between phonemes and/or positions a few times during sessions if necessary.

 Each question is presented with bolded words indicating where the chosen sound will be found.  For my readers, I have them take turns reading the question for extra practice.  I prompt them to respond in a complete sentence.  There is also an option to have Mr. Raj read the question to the child or give an example of an answer to the question.  This can be great for station work and for at-home practice for families.  Warning: This app will incite interesting, and often hilarious, responses from your kiddos.

(2nd grade students working on the /r/ section of the app)

So, is this self-proclaimed straightforward app right for your iTherapy?  Only you can decide that, of course.  But, here are my pros and cons could-be-betters about the Multiple Choice Articulation App:

  • Super easy to use.  Children can even use it independently.
  • For readers and non-readers
  • Includes 7 phonemes with all positions for sounds that are often still seen in error in children.
  • Insanely fun.  I might laugh more when using this app than my students!  May also cause laugh-snorts!
  • Perfect for practice at the conversational level - students forget that they are practicing their sounds in this unscripted Q&A format which allows for accurate information regarding carry-over abilities.
  • Also targets various language skills associated with answering questions and naming reasons behind a decision.
  • Plenty of questions to allow for multiple uses of the app without repetition of questions.
  • Road-tested with 4th and 5th graders: They enjoyed it as it wasn't a "baby"ish app.
  • I'm a sucker for in-app tracking but I'm not sure how much that would really add to the app...
  • It would be great to be able to add students and assign phonemes to them to practice.  In a group with multiple students, each student would have personalized phonemes and positions on their turn.
  • Some of the questions may be a little gag-inducing - but to be fair we loved those gross ones so maybe that's more of a pro... 
  • You must be okay with being silly in therapy with your students when using this app... absolutely no stick-in-the-muds allowed!

To learn a little more about the app, a video demonstration and more information can be found here.

The app is currently listed for $9.99 and is available in the App Store.

However, the amazing Erik X. Raj and I would love to offer you the opportunity to win a fantastic prize pack!  Simply enter via Rafflecopter below for these prizes:
1st Prize:
$25 iTunes Gift Card
"What Do You Know About Artic" from Sublime Speech

2nd Prize:
$10 iTunes Gift Card
Your choice of What Do You Know About /r/, /s/, or /l/ from Sublime Speech

3rd Prize:
Your choice of What Do You Know About /r//s/, or /l/ from Sublime Speech

Best of luck to you!  The contest ends on April 7th at midnight and winners will be notified on April 8th!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Using QR Codes in Speech Therapy!

Have you discovered the magic of QR codes yet?  Or do you see these little squares around town and on your favorite products and wonder, "Who created this crazy box-o-dots?".  QR Codes are really Quick Response Codes.  They are a type of matrix barcode that came to us from Japan.  The QR Code has become popular due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes that we are used to.  The QR code is read by an imaging device, such as a camera or phone.

The great thing is that kids LOVE scanning these little boxes and they are extremely motivating in therapy.  Here are a few ways that I have incorporated QR Codes into therapy recently:

Articulation Scavenger Hunts:
Create several QR codes using one of the sites below and post around your building for a fun scavenger hunt.  I posted QR code clues around the building that, when scanned, revealed the text for the next clue.  I tried to include as many of the target sounds in both the clue and the destination (This is where you draw and create masterpieces - art room).  Students began in my room with their first clue.  They scan it using the free SCAN app on my phone (or iPad - most tablets and smart phones can access a scanning app) and read the clue aloud to practice their sounds and head off to their next location.  I have about 10 clues/stops on the hunt and this takes about 20 minutes but that's mostly because my building is 3 floors and we explore it all!  I also create a worksheet on Microsoft Word that contains all of the clues and lines for filling in the answers.  You can download my example of a /r/ QR Code Scavenger Hunt here!

Create QR codes to accompany any new vocabulary task for students.  These QR codes can simply link to an image of the vocabulary to add a visual.  It can also lead them to a website with more information about the word.  To create these codes using links, simply go to a QR generator site and plug in the desired link and create the QR code.  This is also great for listening comprehension about nonfiction topics.

How about sending a QR code home with students?  When students have smart phone, tablet, or iPod access, there are so many websites that are accessible from those devices!  It's very easy to create QR Codes and you know kids will love to scan them which may mean that they actually do their homework!  You can also upload PDFs of worksheets you have made to a public access like dropbox or google docs and send it home via a QR Code.  You can easily send instructions to parents or even e-mail the QR code (you can scan it off of a screen!) to parents.  Plus, you'll be saving trees = happy planet!

QR Voice Codes:
Scan this code with your app/computer:
So as you can hear, this fun code will say whatever you type.  This is great for use with students who are not readers.  It can be used to give clues for the scavenger hunt, give quick info about other tasks, etc.  But most of all... it's just fun!  I created this code here.  

QR Codes on Objects:
If working with younger students, you could place QR codes on objects with links to audio files that pronounce the item or to websites that give a name and definition or more information.

QR Code Materials:
Several teachers and SLPs have begun using QR codes in their materials.  These can be found by searching for QR Codes on TpT.  You can also add QR Codes to materials you have already made, including word, powerpoint, and other projects.

Social media links:
A great way to network with other SLPs, parents, and colleagues is to QR code your e-mail, twitter, address, blog, etc.  This can be added to business cards, e-mails, websites, etc.

Resource List:
QR Code Readers - Mobile Devices: QR Code Reader
QR Reader for iPhone
Qrafter (iPad too)

Desktop Readers (for use with webcams):
QuickMark (PC)
QuikMark (Mac)

Code Generators:
QRStuff (Colored QRCodes - See Below!)
Mobile Barcoder (Firefox add-on)
QR-Code Tag Extension (Chrome)
Qrafter (iPad/iPhone)
Barcode Generator (Android)

Be creative and include your students.  How else do you use QR Codes?  I'd love to add your suggestion to this post (with your permission!).

(Try it out - Use this purple QR Code to send others to this post!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blast off into SPRING Giveaway!

Have you had enough of winter yet?  Just when it seems like Spring is ready to poke it's head out from the snow (it was 83 degrees here on Friday), winter comes back to remind us that it isn't really gone for good yet (it's supposed to snow on a few days this week).  We won't let that damper our excitement for blooms and warmer temps!  A few of your favorite Speechie bloggers/TpT sellers have come together to offer an AMAZING Spring giveaway!

I will be giving away my Hedgehog Grammar Unit as part of this giveaway.  You can find out more about that here!  So enter below, visit some other Speechie sites, and enjoy!  Best of luck to you!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information, check out all of the sponsored products below:
Busy Bee Speech: Monster Mash Artic
Crazy Speech World: Social Candy Monsters
Home Sweet Speech Room: Directing the Action: Social Skills/Pragmatics
If Only I Had SuperPowers: The Princess and the Dragon Speech Language Activities
Kids Games for Speech Therapy: Easter Language Activity Pack
Kristin Minden: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick Activities & 1 and 2 Step Following Directions
Let's Talk Speech Therapy: Breaking it Down - Phoneme Segmentation/Blending & Multisyllabic Words
Live Love Speech: Who Wants to be a Social Skills Superhero?
Major Speech Minor Girl: What Would You Do or Say Social Skills Activity
MrstSLP: Easter Basket Roll a Dice Game
Ms. Jocelyn Speech: Buzz Words
Natalie Snyders: March Homework Packet & April Homework Packet
Nicole Allison: No Print Expressive Pack
Rae's Speech Spot: Sequence Comprehension
Speak Listen Play: Practice on the Playground S and S Blends
Speech Room News: Easter Early Developing Sounds Articulation Game
Speech Time Fun: Spring Word Fun
Speechy Musings: Phonemic Awareness Packet Powerpoint
SLP for Me: Spring Egg Hunt - Language Lessons Around the World
Teach Speech: Who What Where When Questions with Visuals & What Questions with Visuals Add On
WordNerdTeachSpeech: Butterfly Categories

Monday, March 4, 2013

Speechie Freebies 1 Month/1,000 Follower Giveaway!

Hello Sublimers!  As you have most likely seen from previous posts, I am one of the collaborators on Speechie Freebies. We started our collaborative website to bring our readers free, downloadable materials to use in speech therapy sessions. As of March 1st, we celebrated not only a one-month anniversary of the launch of the website, but over 1,000 followers on Facebook as well! As a thank you to our followers, we would like to celebrate with a giveaway! Read below to learn about the awesome gift cards and Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) products we are giving away!

1st Winner: 

$25 TpT voucher, $10 Amazon gift card, $10 iTunes gift card, WH Question Cards Pro iPad application, and all of the TpT products from the list below. (Over $92 in total value!)

2nd Winner: 

All of the TpT products from the list below. (Over $35 total value!)

3rd Winner: 

One TpT product from the list below of your choice. (Up to a $7 value!)

The TpT products included in this giveaway are as follows (donated by the following):
~ Crazy Speech World:  Up, Up, and Away Phonology
~ Speech Time Fun: Word Finding Fun at the Circus
~ Carrie’s Speech Corner:  Receptive Detectives
~ [simply speech]:  Synonyms are Sweet
~ Kids Games For Speech Therapy:  Preschool Language Pack - Pronouns

Gift cards and vouchers were donated by:
- Kids Games For Speech Therapy
- Let’s Talk Speech Language Pathology
- Consonantly Speaking
WH Question Cards Pro was donated by:
- Super Duper Publications

This giveaway runs from March 4th - March 8th, 2013!  Make sure you enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.  And THANK YOU again for all of your support!