Sunday, June 30, 2013

Patriotic People Pronouns and a GIVEAWAY!!

Parades, picnics, fireworks, oh my!  Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays!  I've been working on a few patriotic activities and will be doing a giveaway of a few of them in honor of this special day!  The first giveaway will be for "Patriotic People Pronouns"!!

This activity includes 30 objects to promote subjective and objective sentences, two subjective pronoun cards and two subjective pronoun cards, as well as 48 fill-in-the-sentence cards!

Shining Stars Instructions: 
The he/she/him/her pronoun cards and star object cards are spread out on a flat surface.  The adult gives a direction from either the subjective or objective cue card to the student (e.g. "Give the zebra to the girl.") The student follows the direction. Then, the adult asks the follow up question (e.g. "Who has the zebra?"). The student must respond to the question, using either he/she or him/her in their response.

Object card

Pronoun card

Subjective pronoun cue card

Fill-in-the-Sentence Instructions:
Students take turns drawing sentence cards and determining which pronoun to use in place of the underlined word.

Want to enter to win 1 of 2 copies of this product?  Ready.... set.... go!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jellyfish Craftivity!

I live in the Midwest, so I can pretty much only dream about the ocean and the creatures in it.  Since we are "celebrating" the ocean and the beach in speech this week, I thought that I would share a fun and minimal prep activity with you!

These "jellyfish" are super easy and can be used for any goal area.  All you need are a bowl and strands of crepe paper.  Students can decorate the bowl so that it's more festive.  Then, just go to town adding crepe paper strands.  Last, add artic words to the strands, write categories for students to generate words that fit into the categories, write grammar sentences on the strips, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

I hope that you enjoy this craftivity!

Do you have any easy and fun activities?  Share your ideas in the comments!

Friday, June 28, 2013

{Review} Processing Auditory Messages Exactly and Totally

Here is another great product from Great Ideas for Teaching to target direction following skills and auditory processing, called Processing Auditory Messages Exactly and Totally!

This resource is created for children who have mastered simple verbal directions and require more challenging material.  The directions are longer and the pictures are a bit more detailed than Building Auditory Direction Skills and Following Auditory Directions.  The activities require a student to hold information in their memory while scanning a picture to complete given tasks.

The book first discusses small-step goals for the student, which are:

1. To start listening as soon as the speaker starts speaking.
2. To listen to the entire direction.
3. To remember the direction while searching in a highly detailed picture.
4. To carry out the direction accurately.

These goals are important to discuss with students so that they know what skills they are working on and can be active participants and learners in therapy sessions.

The resource contains twenty different "stories" that each include a picture.

Each story also includes a level 1 instructor's worksheet that has simple directions, such as "circle the ladybug" or "color the saw red".

Level II directions are a bit longer and more challenging such as, "Find the chipmunk that is holding a mushroom upside down. Color that chipmunk brown." or "Circle an insect that has spots that look like spots on a mushroom."

What I love about this book:
- I often work with students who are at different levels.  With this book, I can easily use just one lesson to cover multiple ability levels.
- The book makes homework a snap!  It includes "materials needed" and "directions" so that homework helpers know exactly what to do!  (I love anything that reduces the amount of time I spend sending home homework!)
- The pictures that are used in this book really appeal to the early, middle, and upper elementary crowd.
- As with other products by Great Ideas for Teaching, this material also allows students to interact with the items on the pages, making the activity even more fun and hands-on!

You can find this fantastic direction following and auditory processing book for various levels for $29.50 HERE!

Disclaimer: This resource was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

{Review} Following Auditory Directions

I have loads to students working on following directions right now, which is why I'm so excited to bring you a wonderful material that targets this skill!

Following Auditory Directions by Great Ideas for Teaching is an extensive resource intended to increase auditory attention, auditory processing, and auditory memory.

The book includes 33 two-page simply-designed cartoon lessons, which grab, and holds students' attention and challenges children to focus on directions given with specific modifiers, spatial words, and catchy phrases.  Not only does this book encourage attentive listening, it also targets basic concepts and specific vocabulary words!!

Included in each lesson is a page with various objects, 

as well as an "Instructor's Guide" sheet.  

The Instructor's Guide includes the purpose of the activity (great for sending home as practice so that parents know the skill that is being targeted), as well as materials needed, and directions.  This sheet has many different instructions, such as "Circle the picture that shows Fido in front of the front door." and "Pretend Fido jumped on the dog house because a snake was in front of the dog house. Draw a snake where it belongs."  

Here's another example of the object page as well as the Instructor's Guide sheet.  I just love the pictures included in this book!

What I love about this book:
- It includes specific instructions that students must attend to, process, and then follow the direction.
- It targets basic concept words such as "in front", behind", "inside", "to the side", etc and well as specific vocabulary words!  (We speechies love to multi-task!!!)  
- Making copies of the reproducible pages allows students to interact with the pictures by circling, underlining, drawing, and coloring the pictures.
- The comics are so cute and, in my opinion, really go a long way in holding a student's attention.

You can find this awesome book to target direction following for $29.50 HERE!

Looking for something a bit easier?  Check out Building Auditory Direction Skills!

In the mood for something a little harder?  How about Processing Auditory Messages Exactly and Totally?!

Do have any resources from Great Ideas for Teaching?  If so, what's your favorite one?

Disclaimer: This material was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

{Review} Super Star Speech: Expanded Edition

Some of my favorite articulation resources are those that are simple, yet comprehensive, which is why I am now adding Super Star Speech: Expanded Edition by Super Star Speech to my list!

This 315 page book includes all of the individual Super Star Speech books combined into one!  Therefore, it includes:

- Super Star Speech: Speech Therapy Made Simple
- Super Star R and L
- Super Star S, S, and Sh
- Super Star Ch, J, and Th
- Super Star Speech Supplement

Specifically, it includes an informal articulation test

and a data sheet to accompany the articulation test.

It also includes lesson plan templates to organize activities, accuracy, and notes about the session.

Each sound is represented in this book with a variety of activities (including "p and b", "t and d", "n", "f and v", "k and g", "ng", "l", "r", "sh", "ch and j", "th", "s and z", "final consonants", and "blends").  

For each sound or pair of sounds, there is a brief, but detailed explanation of how each sound is made.  There are also multiple tips to increase correct production as well as a word list for each sound that includes the targeted sound in the beginning, middle, and end of words.

Students can also practice their sounds at the syllable level.

In addition, there is a list of words for the student to listen to and repeat, as well as pictures of words that contain the targeted sound.

Students can fill in the blank with an appropriate word that contains their targeted sound.

There are also quick and easy games that are great to give as homework.

In addition, students can practice their sounds at the phrase level

as well as the sentence level.

There are also a ton of open ended activities/games that can be used during therapy sessions or for home practice with any sound.

Last, but not least, there are a ridiculous amount of flashcard-type pages targeting each sound!

What I love about this book:
- the articulation test is a great way to collect baseline data and/or to reassess students as they continue to make progress with correct production of their sounds.
- it includes 3-6 ways to produce each sound. (I definitely learned a few new tricks for sound production!)
- it covers such a huge variety of skills, from eliciting production of individual sounds, to using words with targeted sounds in sentences.
- it includes lots of versatile activities that can be given as simple homework practice.

What I would like to see in future editions: 
- questions/stories/etc to target speech sounds in conversation

You can find this awesome articulation resource in an e-book version for $29.95 or in a print version for $34.95 (currently on sale from $39.95) by visiting the Super Star Speech website!

Disclaimer:  This product was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{Review} "You Are a Social Detective!"

Although I love teaching social skills, I often find them one of the most difficult skills to target, which is why I am so excited to share an awesome resource with you called, You Are a Social Detective!, by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke.

This book explains how everyone is a social detective, which means that we use our senses (eyes and ears), as well as our brains to determine what someone is doing now, what they might do in the future, and what they mean by their words and actions.

The book includes a letter to parents and professionals that describes the book, stating that it is broken down into "school smarts/social smarts & expected behavior", "unexpected behavior", and "being a social detective".

One of my favorite features about this book is that it uses COMICS!  Talk about the developers knowing their audience!  On one of the first pages of the book, you'll find a page that explains that everyone has different types of "smarts", and gives a few examples, such as music smarts, math smarts, sports smarts, etc.  This page sets such a positive tone for the rest of the book and explains everything in "kid friendly" terms.

Next, the book goes into detail about school and social smarts, as well as expected behavior.  It discusses multiple situations and what expected behavior looks like in each situation (e.g. classroom, playground, sports, home, etc).  Each comic explains social behavior in a very logical way.  For example, the page below states that "when people have good thoughts about us, we feel good and others feel good about us too".

However, when people do something that is unexpected, that can make others uncomfortable.  Below, the same "scene" as above is presented, except for the fact that the child is doing something this is not expected. The book also includes many other unexpected behaviors such as not being part of a group, not using their eyes to think about what the speaker is saying, talking too close, not taking turns, etc.  The situations depicted in the comics could easily come up in the "real world", and they definitely encourage conversation.

The book also includes a few pages on social thinking vocabulary definitions.  If students forget what the terms mean throughout the book, they can flip to the back of the book to remind themselves of what the words mean.

Last, but not least, this resource includes three social thinking lessons.  Each lesson includes "critical vocabulary", "tools and materials needed", and 8-10 suggestions for use in the "what to do" section.

What I love about this book:
- EVERYTHING!  (Ok, maybe I should break it down a little bit more...)
- This book uses comics, which really appeals to children.
- The introduction breaks down being a social detective for kids in an easy to understand fashion.
- Both expected and unexpected behaviors are explained in great detail and real-life examples are provided.
- The same type of situations are used in both the expected and unexpected behavior portions of the book; therefore, students can compare and contrast the behaviors.
- The book contains a glossary of terms for students to refer to if needed.
- The social thinking lessons at the end of the book allow students to put their newly learned detective skills into practice.

You can find this fantastic resource for social thinking for $20.00 HERE!

Want to learn more about social thinking?  Check out their website or facebook page!

Disclaimer:  This product was given to me for review.  No other forms of compensation were provided.

Monday, June 24, 2013

{Review} Tiga Talk Apps

If you are looking for a few apps to target articulation skills and/or apraxia, look no further than Tiga Talk apps!  Tiga Talk apps are designed to "help children who are in the beginning stages of speaking learn how to make 23 core phonetic sounds through playful voice-controlled games that can improve speech clarity and articulation".

"Tiga Talk Speech Therapy Games" provides students with lessons and games that promote correct speech sound production.

To begin, watch the tutorial about the app.  This will make using the app much easier.

The lessons are divided into easy sounds, that include /d/, /b/, /m/, /t/, /n/, /p/, "y", /w/, and /h/.

Medium lessons include /g/, /f/, /s/, /k/, and "sh" sounds.

Hard lessons include "j", /l/, "ch", /v/, /r/, /z/, /pl/, /sp/, and /gr/.

Simply pick the sound lesson that you'd like. The app presents each lesson with the help of an animal.  The animal explains the sound and compares it to the sound of an object, so that the child has a point of reference. Then, the child repeats the sound. When a child repeats the sound, the bottom bar moves from red to yellow to green, depending on the child's volume.  

Below, the /b/ lesson has been selected.  The sound is connected to the sound that a bouncing ball makes on the ground.

By selecting the mouth icon, students can see a visual demonstration of how the sound is made.  I like this feature because it really allows the student to zone in on the articulators.

In addition to the lessons, students can also play a game that goes along with each sound.  The child must state the selected sound in order to create a reaction, (e.g. move tires, move a boat, etc).  Here, the balloons must be popped in order to reveal an object.

Balloons are removed with every few repetitions until the object is revealed.

Other games include dam busting, boat crossing, tipping tires, car racing, propeller pop, yay for hay, whirling helicopter, hot air balloon pop, glacier breaking, flying hot air balloon, sub secret, crate crashing, sub swim, jumping the tracks, log lugging, train challenge, vanishing kids, rocket ship to the rescue, zoom to the moon, pop and play, space rock block, and green ground bound!

What I love about this app:
- the visual cues that students can watch that really draw their attention to the articulators.
- the variety of sounds included, from easy to hard.
- the way that it links each speech sound to a sound in the environment.

What I would like to see in an update:
- I wish that there was a way to use each game with any sound instead of each game being tied with a specific sound, since more variety would hold a student's attention longer and throughout multiple sessions.

You can find this great app for $4.99 at iTunes!

"Tiga Talk Campfire Adventure" is an interactive storybook that promotes correct speech sound production.

As with any app, always watch the tutorial.

The premise of the app is that the whiskey jack took Ribbit and then stole the voices of all of the other animals' voices.  Students must help give the animals their voices back, in order to give clues of Ribbit's whereabouts, by saying their sounds.  To start the story, touch "play" on the main screen.  A short story explains the situation. Then, students must complete a task to hear a special sound being played, which the student can repeat.

Next, the student can decide between two animals, who they should visit.  The story continues in this fashion.

Students can also play games with individual sounds to give the animals their voices back.  To access a specific speech sound, go to the "scene selection" and tap on the appropriate sound.

Here, the snake has lost his face.  He can only get it back if a student finds his snake friends.

Once all of the snakes are found, the snake gives a clue about the whiskey jack by saying the /s/ sound, which provides a nice model for students.

What I love about this app:
- it is a fun and interactive way to teach students about specific speech sounds.
- the graphics are bright and vibrant.
- students have to do certain tasks to visit more animals, which keeps them engaged in the activity.

What I would like to see in an update:
- I would love for there to be a way to get more practice/repetitions with each sound.

You can find this cool app for $4.99 at iTunes!

What sound do you think you would use most when working with these Tiga Talk apps?

Disclaimer: These apps were given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.