Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Edublog Awards-- It's Voting Time!!

If you missed the post on my Facebook page, Jenna over at Speech Room News nominated me for Best New Blog for the Edublog Awards.  I made it through to the "short list" and am in the voting rounds!

Now, this is where you all come in... I need your help!!

I am so honored to even just be considered for this nomination!  If you feel as though you find the ideas/information on this blog to be useful, I would be *SO* appreciative if you would take a minute to cast a vote for me here.  Voting is super easy! You'll just hit the "up" arrow right under the box with my blog name.

It will have you log in to List.ly to cast your vote using either Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  After you log in, make sure to check the page again to see if your vote went through.  If the "up" arrow is blue, that means your vote has been cast!

While you're there, take a look around at the other categories and cast your vote for all the other SLP blogs out there, too.  You can vote for as many as you want, but you can only vote for each blog one time.

Sublime Speech has put together a blog post with a list of all the SLP blogs nominated for each category for easy reference.  Check that out here.  How awesome would it be if SLPs were in the top few in each category we were nominated in?!

A big thank you from the bottom of my heart goes out to all of you who read my blog!!  I never would have dreamed when I started this blog just 5 short months ago, that I'd be nominated for something like this! Another big thank you  goes out to those who have already or will be casting a vote in the Edublog awards! I appreciate you!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

My birthday was last Thursday (December 5), but I've been celebrating with different friends and family in different ways every day for the last 4-5 days! Tomorrow I'll be celebrating with a friend who couldn't celebrate with me last week, and that will be the last of the birthday celebrations... I didn't have anything birthday-related going on tonight, though, but I thought, "Why not keep going?"  No need for a "nothing" day when I could throw a giveaway! (Can you tell I love to celebrate my birthday?!).  So, check out the recent winter activities I've created and then enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Up first.. a Winter Wonderland of Language! 

This one is a 40-page Winter-themed language packet geared towards PreK/K students.  It includes the following:

Basic Concepts cards for your Cariboo game-- includes concepts such as many/few, on top/under, fat/skinny, in front/behind, etc....

Frosty WH Questions (who, what, where, when, why)- includes extra blank cards as well as extra lose a turn/take another turn cards so it can be played as a game- whoever has the most snowmen at the end wins!

Hot Cocoa Categories: Sort the marshmallows onto 6 different cups of hot cocoa

Snowball Similarities & Differences: Cut out snowballs included. Place one item in one circle that the snowman is holding up, and from a field of 3-4 pictures, have students find the other snowball that goes with the item you presented. Students place the second snowball in the second circle on the snowman page, and tell how items go together and/or how they are different. 36 stimulus pictures (18 pairs) are included.

Penguin Pronouns: Feed the boy/girl penguins different fish with winter vocabulary pictures on them. Attach penguins to a brown bag or box of sorts, and cut out the dotted rectangle on their bellies. Have your students practice “He is eating a...." or “She is eating a.....” You could also use this as a receptive categorizing/pronoun task by having only select fish out at a time and giving instructions such as “Feed her something you wear.” and “Feed him something you eat.” Blank fish are also included.

Memory game with cute Christmas owls to play as a general reinforcer game!

..And, last but not least, lots of vocabulary activities! Dominos, Bingo, and Cariboo cards are all included in this packet.

You can find it in my TpT store here: 

The second one I just completed is a QR Code activity for Christmas called "Stuff the Stockings."  It works on inferencing and s-blends at the same time.  I used this during my observation with my SPED director, and he was really impressed with it!
It includes 42 inferencing cards with s-blend words as the answers. There are 6 cards for each blend (sm, sn, sp, st, sk, sl, sw). Also included are picture cards for each answer in case your students need choices, or to use as a variation on the game! (see below for suggestion)

Read the clues on each stocking to your students and have them guess what Santa stuffed in each stocking. After they guess, have students scan the QR code with any QR scanner app on a phone/iPod/iPad. A picture will come up, and your students will see whether or not they guessed correctly.

**NOTE: You will need WiFi for the QR codes to work**

Try these variations, too!
1. Have students pull the cards out of a hat or stocking first before handing them to you.

2. Use the printable pictures included of all the answers, and put them around the room or just on the table, etc… After the student guesses and checks his answer via scanning the QR code, have the student find the correct picture on the table and put it into a stocking before drawing another card.

You can find this activity in my TpT store here:

To enter to win a copy of each, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

It's been a little while since I've done a Movin' Mondays post, but it's back and with a Christmas theme this time!

I was browsing Pinterest for some winter/Christmas therapy ideas and came across this pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/21040323233050339/  I loved the idea of decorating the tree for a therapy activity, so this activity was born!

It's just green bulletin board paper cut out in the shape of a tree, some different sized circle die cuts, and some Christmas light die cuts.  Pretty simple!  The circles are supposed to represent ornaments.  I just took small Velcro pieces and attached them to various parts of the tree, and then attached Velcro to the "ornaments" and lights.   I also attached small Velcro pieces to the fronts of some of the ornaments and lights, so I could put pictures on them.

In this picture, I attached pictures of some winter vocabulary words I've been working on with my prek kids. These are the Cariboo cards that are included in my recent winter language pack that's in my TpT store.   
In addition to vocabulary/picture naming, I can work on the following skills with this activity, as well:
*basic concepts (put an ornament at the top of the tree, at the bottom, in the middle of the tree, below a blue ornament, next to a light, etc...)
*categorization (i.e. "Put something you wear on a blue ornament" or "Put something you eat on a red ornament")
*object functions (they get to pick a picture to stick on a light or ornament, and have to tell me what you do with the object before placing it on the tree)
*WH questions ("What do you need to build a snowman?" "Where do you bake a gingerbread cookie?" etc...)

I can also target articulation with this activity, by using blank ornaments/lights as reinforcers (i.e. say your word 5x and then put up an ornament), or by letting them stick pictures of their speech words on ornaments and lights.  I've been using the pictures from Busy Bee Speech's "Don't Break the Ice" articulation card set (grab them in her TpT store here-- they're awesome!!) and they're the perfect size! Bonus-- I already have Velcro on them from attaching them to my ice blocks from my Don't Break the Ice game! I love when picture cards serve a dual purpose :)

This activity is pretty simple, but lets the kids stand up and move around a little bit (especially necessary this time of year with temps causing indoor recess!), and I love that I can easily address multiple goals in a group.  Even if you only used artic pictures, like the ones I mentioned above, you could target WH questions/functions/categories/concepts with those if you have a mixed artic/language group, and use those to decorate your lights and ornaments on the tree.  

Can you think of any other ways you might use this activity??

Sunday, December 1, 2013

8 (More) Gift Ideas for the SLP!

Fact:  December is the best month out of the year. Not only does it mean Christmas and New Years, but it also means my birthday!! Woo hoo! :) I am always asked for a birthday and Christmas list for gift ideas, and this year, I started adding lots of SLP-related ideas to my wishlist.   I think it's fun when you can personalize a gift even more, so I would love any sort of gift having to do with my profession!  

That being said, I know there have been several other blog posts out there recently on gift ideas for the SLP, but I have had my eye on some different things that other people haven't listed, so I thought I'd throw out some new/different ideas that are on my wishlist, as well, in case you are looking for more ideas!

Up first..
1.  "It Takes A Big Heart To Shape Little Minds" Tumbler cup. By now, I'm sure you all have seen the "I help people communicate.  What's your super power?" tumbler cups.  From the same Etsy store comes this tumbler that I thought was just too cute! It'd be perfect for any SLP (or teacher!) working with the younger kids.  

2. Anne Taintor Sticky notes--(links here, here, and here) because work can get a little crazy and we all need a good laugh sometimes! And, we always need more sticky notes. Always. 

3.  "Lucky Me, I Get To Be Your SLP!" shirt.  I found this shirt back in the summer and fell in love.  I think it's super cute! I want to get it and wear it on our prek screening days :)

4.  "SPEECH" Plaque:  I've had this one on my wishlist for a while.  This would be a perfect little plaque to hang up in an office!

5.  Most schools/hospitals require you to wear an ID badge to work.  I prefer the ones that clip onto your pants, because I'm often times wearing a scarf or necklace around my neck already.  Many badges also serve as keyless entry into the building, so having a retractable badge reel is ideal! Get your favorite SLP a cute, stylish one like this one on Etsy:

6. Lanyards for keys--SLPs are frequently known as crazy bag ladies, and, sometimes, we (okay, I) have a hard time finding the car keys buried at the bottom of the bag! With a lanyard, it makes it easier to grab a hold of those keys while digging through the bubbles, files, toys, endless pages of laminated materials to be cut, etc... that always manage to bury our keys inside our bags. This Autism lanyard would be cute for someone who maybe specializes in that area or is very passionate about that particular area within our field! Or, for a more generic lanyard, check out these from Vera Bradley!

PS- I have a Vera Bradley one, and my husband *thoroughly* enjoys it when he takes my car and has to carry around a pink floral lanyard.. AKA he buries it in his pockets and hopes no one else sees it :)

7. Personalized Notepads- I received a personalized notepad set last year during teacher appreciation week from one of my former preschool parents that said "From the desk of Miss Kari" .. It's been one of my favorite gifts, and I get compliments on it whenever someone sees it!

8. Personalized Clipboards- These are SO fun! Who wants to carry around a boring old brown wooden clipboard when you could have something as fun as this?! SLPs are always on the go, and we do a LOT of assessments. Clipboards can help keep everything together while we're running around, and on days when it feels like we're drowning in paperwork, a cute clipboard to look at may be *just* the little boost we need to lift our spirits ;-)

What SLP-related items are on your wishlist this year??

PS- If you're looking for more ideas, check out these blog posts, as well:
*Speech Room News' 12 SLP Gift ideas (love her suggestion for iTunes cards (I got a TON last year for Christmas, and still haven't used up all the credit!), Starbucks gift cards, and children's books-- My in-laws go yard sale-ing all the time, and my mother in law always picks me up some good children's books when she sees them-- love getting new books for therapy!!)

*Sublime Speech's 10 Speech/Language Apps to Gift This Holiday Season- I love Danielle's unique twist on the gift giving idea... if you like the idea of helping your favorite SLP load up his/her iPad, but don't want to do something generic like an iTunes gift card, check out her post! Gifting apps is a great idea-- you just may have to be a little sneaky and do a little detective work to find out if they already have the app or not!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The SLP Guide to Black Friday

I'm pretty sure a love of shopping was programmed into my genetic makeup at birth. I get it from my dad, who probably enjoys shopping more than I do... My parents always used to go out at 4am on Black Friday when all of us kids were younger, in order to get the best deals on toys and games. I haven't done a ton of Black Friday shopping (mostly because I love sleep), but I have gone out the last two years.

Last year, my first stop was Walmart to get some nice sheets on sale, thinking everyone would be in electronics and it'd be easy to get them. False. I got elbowed in the face when they opened up the pallet, so I decided to just walk away.. An ER visit was not worth it for bed sheets!! My husband had gone with me to get some Coke, so we ended up checking out, on Black Friday, with only a 2 liter of soda.. Ha!

In most other places besides Walmart, the check out lines were the worst part of the stores.. I haven't had any bad encounters at any other store, but I've been to Walmarts in less populated areas that weren't crazy, either, so I guess it just depends on your area!

That being said, I think I might just stick to trying to do most of my Black Friday shopping online this time around.. But for those who are going out to the stores to shop, I saw a lot of good deals in the ads this year that could be useful for SLPs. I thought I'd highlight some of the most relevant deals being advertised at various stores this year!

1. Michaels:
-30 percent off die cut machines and accessories, plus $20-$25 Cricut cartridges--good for the crafty SLPs!

-50 percent off Creatology crafts, including sticker buckets - - could be used for some winter/Christmas-themed crafts you're making in the speech room! I love the sticker buckets!

-Photo boxes 5/$7 (regularly $4 each) - - Could be used as organization / storage for printable TpT materials!

Combine these deals with a 30 percent off your entire purchase coupon from their ad (or get it from the Michaels app on your phone) for even more savings!

2. Target
-$299 16gb iPad Mini, plus $75 Target gift card with any iPad mini purchase

-$100 Target gift card with any regular size iPad purchase

-$50 for $60 worth of iTunes cards (pack of four $15 cards)

-$5 Games: Hedbanz, Jenga, Connect 4

3. Toys R Us
-$3.99 Game: Chutes and Ladders

-$5 Games: Angry Birds Outer Space, Cooties, Connect 4 Launchers

-$8 Game: Hedbandz

-Playdoh 4-pk: $1 each

-Save $10 on iTunes gift card purchases of $50 or more

4. Walmart
-$4.88 Games: Don't Break The Ice, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland

-$14.77 for Apples to Apples (regularly $21.88)

5. KMart
-50 percent off Apples to Apples to go and Angry Birds

6.  Overstock.com
-$229 (39 percent off) for a Silhouette Cameo die cut machine + Vinyl Starter Kit + $25 + $10 download card

7. Walgreens
-$4.99 high heel tape dispenser--what girl doesn't need one of these?! :)

-$15 Walgreens gift card with the purchase of two $25 iTunes card

Are you braving the crowds this black Friday, or are you sticking to Cyber Monday?? Post some of your finds if you're shopping - - I love to hear about good deals!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apraxia Treatment (2nd in a 4 Part Series): Using Pivot Phrases in Therapy

Pivot phrases (or carrier phrases, depending on your preferred terminology) can be *so* beneficial in working with kids not only with apraxia, but with a lot of young language-delayed kids in general.  Pivot/carrier phrases are phrases where the one part of the phrase (i.e. the first two words) stay the same throughout the activity, but the last word changes.  Some examples are…
*I want ….
*I like ….
*I see ….
*Put on ….
*Take out ….
*Open ...

Carrier phrases are typically 2-3 words, and are great to implement when a child has obtained some consistent single word approximations, but isn’t yet combining multiple words together.  Using pivot/carrier phrases gives the child the opportunity for lots of repetitive practice in sequencing sounds and words together, which is key for motor learning! Carrier phrases allow you to work on the expressive language piece of communication (by combining multiple words together) while still working on successive approximations on the accuracy/clarity of the words produced.  

Let’s take the carrier phrase, “open ___,” as an example.  If a child is only producing single consonant or vowel sounds for words (i.e. produces “o” for “open”), you could facilitate a step up by working on VCV and CV approximations such as “o-pih” or “o-puh” while using it in a carrier phrase (i.e. “o-pih bah” for “open box” or “o-pih du” for “open juice.”).  This way, you’re still facilitating a higher level of motor speech production than what they are doing spontaneously (but not too high a level where they can’t be successful), while still encouraging and facilitating the use of multiple word combinations.  

Carrier phrases are also great because they’re predictable.  They reduce the “linguistic load,” so the child doesn’t have to think as much about what they are going to say.  Sequencing is such a challenge for kids with apraxia, especially those just starting their journey in speech therapy, so anything that can help it become more automatic, from my experience, seems to help a ton!

In addition to kids with apraxia, I’ve found that carrier phrases work really well with preschoolers who have language delays and aren’t combining many words together.  Carrier phrases are predictable, making it easier for the kids to “catch on” to what I’m expecting them to do, and they start using the 2-3 word combinations more consistently with less cuing/modeling from me!

Some of the ways I incorporate these into activities in speech:

*Playing “Memory” with speech cards (“I got ___” or “I see __”)- I typically have two sets of words they’re working on (i.e. VCV or CVCV words, etc…) and use those as the target words.

*Go Fish with speech cards (“You have ___?”)

*Looking at books:  Books with repetitive, predictable text like Eric Carle’s “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” are great for using carrier phrases (“I see a…”), but really, any book can work! You can flip through the pages and use the carrier phrase “I see ___”) to point out different pictures you see on each page.  

*Mr Potato Head: I might have them use “I want” to tell me the different parts they want, i.e. “I want hat” or “I want eyes.”  I might also use “put on” to have them tell me they want to “put on hat” or “put on feet.”  Another one you could use is “___ go on” like “hat go on” or “nose go on.”

*Beanbags! I’m not sure if I’ve professed my love of beanbags enough, but they are seriously amazing.  Bubbles and beanbags are two of my kids’ favorite things!  With beanbags, we might throw them onto pictures of their speech words and use the phrase “Bag on ___” to name and practice the word their beanbags land on.

*Candyland- A lot of my little ones are working on learning their colors in the classroom.  With Candyland, I can reinforce those concepts, use some color words as targeted words for motor speech practice, and use pivot phrases like “I got (color)” for every card they draw.

*Putting toys in or on something...anything, really! For instance, using a farm set and saying “(farm animal) go in” when they’re going in the barn… or cooking pretend food with a kitchen set (“(food) in pan” or “(food) on plate”)... so many possibilities in play!  “In” “On” and “Out” are easy words to incorporate into carrier phrases, and are great for targeting final consonants, too! :)

*Any sort of “I Spy,” Flashlight game, or sensory tub activity where pictures or objects are hidden in a tub of sand/corn/etc…  “I found” or “I see” are great carrier phrases to use with these types of activities!

What are some of your go-to activities in using pivot phrases during your therapy sessions? I'd love to hear your ideas!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gobble Till Ya Wobble! Paint Chip Turkeys in the speech room!

There's tons of paint chip crafts all over Pinterest.. You can do SO many things with paint samples, and the best part-- they're F-R-E-E at your local hardware store! 

One of the crafts I've done with them the last few years is make paint chip turkeys in the speech room. It's super simple but super cute!

I use this with my artic kiddos mostly, but you could adapt it to work on a lot of other goals! I went to Lowe's and grabbed a bunch of fall-colored paint chip samples and cut them in half vertically to make the feathers.  The turkey bodies are just brown construction paper cut into circles via large and small circle die cuts from our teacher workroom.  

For every word they practice, I write it down on a paint chip and they get to glue it onto the turkey's body.  Simple as that!

Some other ways to use the turkeys...
*Have each turkey body be a category, and then as students name items in that category, write each one down on a feather.  Glue feathers on the body, and voila! Category turkeys!
*Use longer paint chip sample strips and glue on pictures of their speech or vocab words as they practice
*Use with EET- Write down the item you want your students to describe (i.e. "turkey" or "Thanksgiving") on the turkey body.  Have your students describe the item, and each part they describe gets written on a feather for them to glue on.

Have you made any crafts with paint chips? How else could you use these paint chip turkeys? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Dinosaur Stomp!

If nothing else, I know my preschool boys.  I know they like zombies.  I know they like trains.  I know they like robots.  And I know they like dinosaurs! So, we've kept the dinosaur fun going for an extra week in preschool.

We've been acting like dinosaurs and stomping our speech words this week! The kids got to attach a "dinosaur foot" to one of their feet, and walk around the room stomping on their speech cards as they practiced their words! My boys L-O-V-E-D it.  They begged me to let them take the feet so they could keep the fun going at home.  I haven't tried this with my girls yet, but I'm sure they'll love it, too! 

The dinosaur stomp worked well at the single word, phrase level ("stomp a ___"), and sentence levels ("I stomped a ____" or "I'm stomping ___") for articulation practice.  You could easily adapt it for a lot of other goals, too.  Just as an example, I have concept cards from this free Dinosaur language packet by Let's Talk Speech Language Pathology that I plan on using with the dino feet for my kids working on basic concepts.  I'll tell them to stomp the dinosaur that's under the table, next to the desk, etc...

These dinosaur feet were just cut out from two sides of a cardboard box, and outlined with brown marker to give it a little something extra.  Make 4 holes in the middle and string ribbon through to tie around their feet, and you're done! Easy peasy.

What do you think? Think you could use this with your students? What other ways would you use the feet?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dino Describing! A DIY activity

It's Dinosaur week here in preschool.. one of my favorite weeks!  I wanted to share a DIY I did this week to use for small group rotations in the classrooms.. Describing Dinos!

This is pretty much just a DIY version of the "Hedbandz" game.. I took 3 strips of black construction paper, laminated them, and then stapled them together to fit around my head.  I put a Velcro dot on the front center of the "headband", and attached Velcro to the bottom of each laminated dinosaur picture I was using to be able to easily interchange the pictures.  I just found these images from Google searches and Graphics Factory!

For the activity, I had groups of 3-4 kids at a time, and each one had to take a turn describing one aspect of the dinosaur on my head to help me guess which one it was.  I had made two sets of pictures-- one to go on my head (laminated with Velcro) and another set to lay out on the table as my choices when I was guessing.

 It was a great way to expressively target some basic concepts like long/short/tall, etc.. I created this visual to help them learn different ways to describe a dinosaur:

I used this with my afternoon kids because they're older and most are at a higher level than my morning kids (many are turning 5 and going to kindergarten next year, whereas my morning is full of lots of little 3 year olds!), and it worked really well for them! Challenging enough, but not too challenging, and they LOVED it.  They thought it was *hilarious* to see one of their "teachers" wear something silly like this. 

I also happened to be doing this activity in a classroom when the principal walked in to do her observation of the teacher... My timing is impeccable... ha.  I turned around in my chair and there was the principal, while I've got a big dinosaur smack dab on my forehead! I think she appreciated it, though.. :)

You can download the dinosaur pictures and describing visual here if you'd like to use it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spooky Speech Crafts!

Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite activities for getting my kiddos up and moving a little bit during speech.  Today, I'm going to share some of my favorite Halloween crafts to do in speech this time of year.

First up is Marshmallow Ghosts, a craft that makes me laugh every time I pull it out because of what one of my preschool kids said to his teacher after we were done making it.. 

This kid was SUPER motivated by food.  He kept asking the whole session if he could eat the marshmallows.  I told him that he could have a couple to eat when we finished making our ghost.  He ran back into his classroom afterwards and told his teacher, "Hey! That lady out there shared with me!" (We were doing therapy out in the commons/pod area).  It became a running joke the rest of the year-- granted I was new to him that year, but I had worked with him 4 days a week for 10 or 11 weeks at that point and he apparently still had no idea what my name was.. I was just "that lady out there" who shared with him!

Anyway, I digress.. Back to the craft! I let the kids have 1 marshmallow for every repetition.. so 5 repetitions=5 marshmallows to glue on.  They're motivated to do more repetitions, so it's a win-win for everyone!  If you can't use food at your school during therapy sessions, you could use cotton balls as an alternative and cover the whole ghost rather than just the outline.

Another craft we make is another one I'm sure you've seen on Pinterest.. Spooky Speech Spiders! This pin was my inspiration.

This craft is super easy to prep-- we have die cuts in our workroom, so the body is just the large circle die cut, and the legs are strips just cut with the large paper slicer.

I've had a couple preK parents tell me they really enjoy the crafts sent home from speech because then they know what sounds they're working on that week.  After every word they practice, they get 1 leg to glue onto their spider.  I write the words on the legs in white crayon, and when we're done, we go back and practice all the words again!

A new craft we did this year was for the song/story 5 Little Pumpkins.  I kept seeing activities for 5 Little Pumpkins all over Pinterest (I guess it's pretty obvious at this point I have an addition to Pinterest...), so I decided to incorporate it into my therapy and make it into a craft!

This was also an easy craft to prep.. again, just using a pumpkin die cut in our staff workroom and prepping strips by using the paper slicer.  For the speech kids, they got to glue a strip of paper (part of the "fence" / "gate") after every set of 5 repetitions.  For language kids, we worked on Halloween-related WH questions and glued a piece of the craft after every question.  I also targeted some basic concepts like top/bottom and up/down vs side to side while we built the fence & put on our pumpkins. 

What are some of your favorite crafts for Halloween time?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Movin' Mondays: Spooky Speech Fun!

I absolutely LOVE Halloween.  It's my second favorite time of year, second only to Christmas.  I have an entire BOX full of Halloween materials for speech that I look forward to using every year!

Here are some of my favorite up-and-moving activities for Halloween week!

1.  Toilet Paper Ghost bowling

I saw this on Pinterest (link here) during my first year in the schools, and have had a blast with it every year! I typically do this with an artic group of 2-- one kid practices their words, then bowls, and while they are setting the ghost pins back up, the other kid is practicing their words.  The second kid bowls, and while they are bowling/setting back up, that first student is practicing speech words again.  That way, each kid is busy with something and there's not much down time where a student is just waiting for their turn.

I also just saw a variation of this activity today from a new blog, Cheerful Speech Chatter, using bowling pins.. super cute!  http://cheerfulspeechchatter.blogspot.com/2013/10/ghost-bowling.html

2.  Pumpkin beanbag toss

This is pretty simple, but my kids love beanbags! I had them toss beanbags onto a pumpkin, and they had to tell me the number on the pumpkin they landed on (working on number recognition).  The number on the pumpkin was either the number of times they said their speech words (with artic cards) or the number of cards they had to do before their next turn (with the language kids; ie 4 pronoun cards, 2 vocab cards, etc.. Or, you could do it this way with artic, too, and have them do 3 cards 5x each or 4 cards 5x each, etc... for even more repetitions!).  You could modify this for kids working on MLU and put pictures underneath the beanbag and have them use 3 word phrases like ("I got ___"   "I found ___" or "___ under pumpkin" etc...)

One of the preK teachers I worked with last year had some super cool beanbags that one of our previous preschool parents had sewn her, and one of the beanbags was made from a skull & crossbones pattern-- perfect for Halloween and my little boys LOVED using it for this activity.  They asked for it almost all every. single. time.  Unfortunately, I don't work with that teacher anymore so I no longer have access to the skull & crossbones beanbag -- I think I need to learn how to sew just so I can make a set for myself! Surely it can't be too difficult, right?!

3.  Ghost Footprints

I got the inspiration for this from the blog, "Toddler Approved."  I modified it a bit to fit my needs, and used these Fall Concepts Bingo pieces to tape on to the ghost footprints.  The kids have to listen for a specific picture to find (i.e. find the pumpkin UNDER the table, ON TOP of the table, etc...) and then hop onto that footprint to "catch" the ghost before he floats away.  The kids were giggling the whole time... Oh to be a preschooler again... :)

4.  Trick or Treating with speech cards

I'm pretty sure I saw this idea somewhere out there in blog-land/Pinterest a couple years ago, but I have no idea where I saw it first.  I have a couple little trick or treat bags like this one below from the Target $1 Spot
I taped pictures of candy pieces to the back of speech cards, and then hid the cards around the room.  The kids got to "trick or treat" around the room and collect as many pieces of "candy" as they could to fill their trick or treat bags! We practiced each word before putting them in the bag.  Again, you could modify this in any way to fit your kids' goals! You could work on increasing sentence length by using phrases like "__ in ghost" (or whatever your bag is) "Ghost eats ___," or "Put in ___."  

Check back tomorrow for a post on a few Halloween-themed crafts I like to do in therapy, too! What are some of your favorite Halloween activities to do in speech?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Awesome Apps!

Last year for my birthday/Christmas, I put iTunes cards on my wishlist, thinking that I'd maybe get one or two $10-$15 cards.  Wrong.  When all was said and done, I ended up with $125 in iTunes credit! I actually just found one of those $25 cards when I cleaned off my desk at home the other night--I had never redeemed it and it was just sitting on my desk this whole time! I also found a $5 Starbucks card while organizing... talk about hitting the jackpot! Coffee and iPad apps are two things that can make my work life a little a lot easier on crazy days when I don't have time to plan! (Well, let's be honest, coffee helps pretty much any day, regardless of how crazy it is...)

So, thanks to all my generous family members, I've had the chance to sample a lot of apps! For today's post, I'm linking up with Speech Room News for her Love It & List It: Language Apps!

As I've stated before, I work with preschool students, so that's what my favorite apps are geared towards.  Up first... Peekaboo HD!  

This is a FREE app similar to Peekaboo Barn that I use all the time during Farm week.  It is great for basic farm animal vocab and WH questions relating to the farm animals.  An animal is hiding behind a haystack and makes its noise, and the kids have to guess the animal before touching the haystack.  When you touch the haystack, it opens up to show the animal behind it and says its name (but you can turn this option off if you want!).  I like that it has the printed name of the animal, too-- the more opportunities to incorporate literacy, the better!

All of my kids love this app and so do I-- so many ways to incorporate different goals! Turn taking is super easy to do with this app (as are phrases like "my turn" and "your turn").  You can use it for 'be' verbs and -ing verb sentence structure ("Cow is hiding" "Dog is hiding" etc...).  You can even throw in some speech practice with early developing sounds! (Cow/moo, bird/peep, barn, hay, dog/puppy/bark, etc...)

#2: Mr Potato Head!
I love this app because of all the different potato heads you can create.  It's great for requesting ("I want hat"), increasing MLU/using carrier phrases (2-3 word phrases-- "hat on" or "put on hat"), and vocabulary for clothing and body parts (both receptive and expressive! ie "Show me his shoes" or "What are these?").  You can target final consonants with this, too, using words like "on" "off" "put" etc.. in a carrier phrases.

#3:  What Goes Together? By Smarty Ears
I target associations a lot in therapy with my older 4 year olds and 5 year olds.  I like this associations app best out of any others I've tried because of the amount of customization you can do.  You can choose how many correct pictures you want on the screen, various categories of stimulus pictures, level of difficulty, and whether you want to do expressive vs receptive tasks. 

With preschool, I typically only do a field of 2 with 1 correct picture, and I almost always have it on the 'receptive' setting but can easily target expressive on this setting, too.  I love that you have to hit "next" in order to go to the next stimulus picture, and that it doesn't do it automatically.  This way, when I'm on the receptive setting and the student chooses the correct picture, I can take the time to ask them how or why the two items go together, before moving on to the next picture.  This app is $9.99 in the App store.

I also have another few apps I like to use for baseline data when I'm collecting info for annual IEPs. 
1.  Compare & Contrast Fun Deck by Super Duper:  Easy way to get data on explaining similarities/differences between items. $2.99 in the App store

2.  Understanding Inferences Fun Deck by Super Duper:  I use this to get some data on their ability to make inferences in picture scenes.  Also $2.99 in the App store

3.  The ABA Receptive Identification series apps-- I have the ones for identifying items by feature and by category.  I also have one for identifying items by function, but for some reason, it's not showing up on the kindergarten.com list of apps, nor will it show up in the iTunes U.S. store-- not sure why!!

Do you use any of these apps? What are your favorite apps to use in therapy?? Head on over to Speech Room News to check out what other SLP bloggers have listed as their favorite language apps, too! Click on the image below!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Movin' Mondays- Beep! Beep! Sheep In A Jeep!

A couple weeks back, we had our farm theme in PreK.  One of the books I used was "Sheep In A Jeep" by Nancy Shaw (Amazon link here).

While I was researching ideas on Pinterest (where else?) to use with this book, I saw this craft, which inspired this idea to make a jeep to use in speech to go along with the book!

How cute did this turn out?! To make the jeep, just take a rectangular box and cover it with red paper (mine is covered with bulletin board paper that we have in the staff workroom at school).  Fold all the flaps down except for one in the front for the "windshield."  The wheels & everything else are just made from black & gray construction paper.  

What did we use it for? I used it for a beanbag toss with different farm animals.  The sheep went driving and picked up his farm animal buddies along the way :) 

Here is a board from Boardmaker Share you can download for farm animal pictures.

Some different ways I used it:
  • Vocabulary:  I used this to work on farm animal vocabulary.  A lot of my kiddos can't name very many farm animals! The kids had to pick a beanbag and name the animal on it before throwing it into the jeep.  You could also target this receptively with two or three beanbags out at a time, and tell them to "Find the sheep" or "Find the pig" before tossing in a beanbag.

  • EET/Describing: For my older preschoolers working on describing (older 5s going into kindergarten next year), I had them pick a beanbag and describe the animal on it before tossing it in.

  • Inferencing:  This goes along with the vocabulary piece, but for some kids with basic inferencing goals (ie naming items when they are described), I described an animal and they had to guess which one it was.  After they guessed, they found that beanbag and tossed it in.

  • Increasing MLU:  We worked on combining 3 words together while tossing the animals in.. "Pig goes in" "Horse goes in" or "Pick up sheep" "Pick up goat" etc... You could also use "Take out (animal)" when taking the beanbags out of the jeep!

  • Articulation:  I used this as a general reinforcer for my artic kiddos.  They got to toss in a beanbag as they practiced their speech words.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to use this activity.. and I am all about adapting an activity to target a variety of different goals! The kids really liked getting to stand up and move around a bit during speech-- their little bodies can't stay still for long!

What are some of your favorite activities to use with Sheep in a Jeep? I'm always looking for new ideas! 

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