Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review: 01/30/2015

I started this linky so that SLPs could go to 1 place to get ideas for therapy. Write a post about either what you did this week, or what you have planned for next week. All I ask is that you share a link back to my blog in your post.
(This post includes direct links to the products. Free products are indicated.) 

This week we were all about snow. (It is January, after all!) Some of my groups read The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)

5 Minute Day:
Students on the word level used my "Winter Hat" Homework sheet (on the left) to write words with their target in the hat. The ones that are on the sentence level (along with my fluency students) filled in the blanks in the story from Heather Porter's Snowy Speech Packet (FREE!). All of the students (except for my Kinders & 1st graders) used the lists that are included in this packet. My younger kids glued pictures from the Super Duper Jumbo Articulation Drill Book. I made the pictures smaller so they would fit onto the hats. (See my Quick Tip Tuesday #2 post to see how I did it.) When the kids got through with that activity, they used Articulate It! (Smarty Ears) for auditory bombardment.
To see larger pictures, just click on one and scroll through!

Game Day:
I gave the students a choice on Wed. & Thurs. 
Yay, Snow Day! (FREEBIE from Dean Trout), or
 Snowman Battle! (Part of Jenn Alcorn's Open-ended Winter Games!)
Upper Elementary Language:
We continued to tackle idioms using Winter Figurative Language (SLP Runner). One of my students missed most of his session on Thurs. due to class pictures, so he didn't get to the Draw to Learn Idioms (FREE from GoldCountry SLP). Another student had time to do one:
It took a while for her to draw the What does it really mean? picture, but I thought the end result was great! I'm planning on taking all of these and having her put it in a notebook that she can take with her to refer back to if she needs it.

Lower Elementary Language:
Using Winter Themed Speech & Language Packet (Speechy Musings), I had several students work on either answering wh questions, or putting the sentence in the correct order.
We made this cute little craft, courtesy of Shining and Sparkling in First. I just modified it a tad: the students put target pictures (either words that contained their sound, or winter actions) on the marshmallows. You can find the freebie here.
(Don't you just my student's shirt? She is just so stinkin' adorable!)

What was going on in your therapy room this week, or what do you have planned for next week? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

App Review: My First AAC

The following is an app review. The views are my own. I received no compensation for expressing my opinions.  Links (in dark red) are provided for your convenience. Want to see larger pictures? Just click on one and scroll through!

I used MyFirst AAC (NCSOFT) with a student I had in a previous school. He was being seen at a nearby university, and the clinical director recommended the app to his mother.

 Appreciated Features:
Different (and appropriate) categories to choose from:
Categories can be changed by either touching the big arrow beside the category in the top of the screen, or by touching the button just to the lower right of the arrow on the right of the category header. That will take you to the screen shown above.

The ability to disable categories as needed, as well as move them around within the app (using the double bars on the right of each line...just touch and drag to where you want it):
Easy manipulation of the icons within each category. Even though the settings page only gives the option of 2 or 8 icons, you can delete as many as you want until you have the desired amount of choices the child can handle.
(By touching and dragging the icons, you can place them in the position on the page that you want.)

Adding your own icons. If you don't see an icon that you need, it's very easy to add your own by using a picture from your iPad and recording your voice or a child's voice.

Changing voices from male to female. In the "Settings" home page, touch the picture of the boy or girl for the appropriate gender.
 Adding personal information. By touching any of the 4 icons on the bottom of the screen shown above, the information can be recorded so that it is relevant to the student using the app.

The ability to lock the screen so that the child doesn't accidentally change categories. This is easily accomplished by touching the button in the top right corner of the screen. (You'll know it's locked because the category picture becomes smaller.)
What I would like to see:
  A "Teacher edition" would be nice so that the SLP/teacher can have more than one student using the app during training.
 When using less than 8 icons but more than 2, there should be a way to get rid of the "Touch to Add" shadow. 

Additional Comments:
When the preschool teacher & I started using the app, there was a huge snaffoo following an update. As in, there were features we needed that wouldn't work. It took quite a while before either one of us received an answer. Apparently, even though Injini's name is still on the app, they sold the app to another developer. The original developer quickly emailed me and let me know what was going on, and was concerned at the long response time I was experiencing. It took longer than we believe it should have to get a response (at least 2 weeks), but once we did, it was fixed rather quickly. I'm not sure if this has been remedied since I haven't experienced any other problems. I noticed that Injini is still listed as the contact, even though emailing them won't help.

When I spoke with the clinical director at the university prior to purchasing the app, I questioned the transfer of the child from My First AAC to another AAC App. I would assume that once a child has mastered this app, he wouldn't have any trouble transferring to another app such as Sonoflex (Tobii) or Proloquo2Go. I wasn't able to get that far with the student, so I don't have any hands-on experience with that.

   My First AAC  is available for purchase for $24.99. To view in iTunes, click here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Snowy Day

I'm joining up with other SLPs at Speech is Sweet for her weekly linky.  It's super easy to link up: just write a blog post about the book that you're using this week, along with how you're using it in therapy. Then, link up!
 I wish you could have seen the girls' faces when I pulled this book out yesterday to read it to a couple of girls after we finished their 5 minute day! We had a 2 hour delay yesterday because of snow, so it was the perfect book! The funny thing was that I had this planned before we even left for Christmas Break.
This book is such a classic. It's filled with so many chances to infer and predict. Actions, winter vocabulary, and basic concepts can also be heavily targeted, along with a lot of "wh" questions.
What are you reading this week? Link up with Speech is Sweet, or at least stop by and see what everybody is reading this week!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday #2

 Kim is hosting "Quick Tip Tuesday". Posts that are short, sweet, and to the point...what could be better?

Last week, I needed some smaller pictures targeting certain sounds so that my Kinders could glue them on snowflakes & take home for homework. I used the disk from Super Duper's Jumbo Articulation Drill Book . Under the "print" option in a pdf,  look for Page Sizing and Handling, and click on Multiple.
Changing the Pages per Sheet to 2 by 2 will put 4 pages on a sheet, which was perfect for that activity. (I'm using Cause & Effect: Space Theme by A Speechie's World for this example.)
I've also used this same feature to print off materials from TpT to save ink, paper, and laminating sheets, but only if I felt that I could use it in a smaller format.

Do you have a quick tip to share? Click on the Quick Tip Picture at the beginning of the post to link up.  
Do you need a quick tip? Clicking on the Quick Tip Picture will take you to the post where you can see what everyone else is sharing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Re-Post

The following post was originally published on 09 September 2013. I thought it might be a good idea to re-post some of my earlier posts.

No Materials? No Problem!

As I was laminating and cutting out all of the cool free stuff I printed out from the blog hop, I started thinking about when I first started working.  There were no iPads, no computers in the room, and not even a phone in the room.  I relied heavily on picture cards and materials that I  made and colored myself. 
Let's say you're a brand new SLP.  It may be your first year out of grad school, a new school, or a new school system.  You're excited to take on this endeavor:  it's a new job, new people, new challenges.  You're shown your room (or your space), and you realize there are little to no materials.   What are you going to do?  Where are you going to start?

1)  First, you need to be creative.  I was lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who owned a bookstore; she gave me a couple of the Dr. Seuss' ABC books that I cut up, put on index cards, and laminated.  I still use them for my artic cards at one of my schools.

2)  If I described you  in the second paragraph, you're lucky that you are working in this day and age of computers and iPads.  There are a lot of free apps out there.  Appshopper is a great way to make a wishlist of apps you want; they'll notify you when there is a sale.

3)  Dollar Stores are your friend.  I've noticed that some speech bloggers find things at Goodwill.  I'm planning on taking advantage of it as well as a couple of other thrift stores we have in my area.

4)  TpT: You wouldn't believe the free materials I've made from this site!  I just can't thank those creative minds enough.  If I see something I could use and it's free, I download it and save it on a file on my computer just in case there may be a fee for the license later.  Of course, you do have to buy the cardstock, ink cartridges, and laminating film (at least I do!), and that can get costly.  The key is to not get carried away.  It's hard not to get excited when you see all of the amazing stuff. But then there are:

5)  Grants.  Our local education foundation gives us opportunities to write "mini-grants".  I haven't tried, but as soon as we get that email, I'm going to try to get some funds for the materials for TpT.

6)  Another good thing about being in the field in 2013 is the amount of speech blogs and, of course, Pinterest.  Don't limit  yourself to speech blogs and pins; you can get some great material from teachers.

7)  Amazon Prime.  You can get a free 30-day trial, then it's $79/year.  You can borrow books and use on your tablet, iPad, Kindle, even your computer.  I'm guilty of not using books as much as I should, but this may help me use them more.  (Please note that Amazon Prime is now more expensive!)

8)  Don't be afraid to ask coworkers for help in finding the right materials for your students.  I'm not just talking about other SLPs, I'm talking about the teachers.  Are you the only SLP in your system?  Cozy up to the SLPs in neighboring systems.  You may even be able to attend their meetings.

Not having materials can be stressful, but with time you will build your library.  Talk with other SLPs, raid closets (only your own unless you have permission!), and visit the local dollar store.  You'll be amazed at what you can find out there!