Wednesday, July 31, 2013

{Review} Comprehending and Verbalizing Visual Clues

The ability to learn by observation improves social interaction, comprehension, and vocabulary.  This skill affects a child's ability to interact with the world around them.  "Comprehending and Verbalizing Visual Cues" by Great Ideas for Teaching is a fantastic resource that helps a child target this important skill.

This material is designed for children ages 3 1/2 - 7 years old who have difficulty interpreting pictures and events, which subsequently affects their ability to talk about these things.

This book includes 30 2-page lessons that each include a picture sheet with four different pictures of various situations.

The second page in each lesson is the instructor's worksheet.  It includes a basic set of directions, as well as five different questions related to each picture.  (That's 20 questions for each lesson!)  Examples of questions are as follows:

- Is this girl old enough to skate well?  How do you know?
- What is the boy doing?  How do you know?
- Is the ice cream melted?  How do you know?
- Do these children need to be careful?  Why?

What I love about this material:
- It includes 30 different lessons, with 20 different questions for each lesson, for a total of 600 questions!
- I feel like this is a skill that is so often overlooked.  It's great to have a whole book devoted to this skill.
- The actions in the pictures are ones that are very common and are easy to relate to for students.

You can find this awesome resource to target comprehending visual clues for $29.50 HERE!

Disclaimer: This material was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

{Review} Activities for Mastering Inferences

I really just can't get enough of the fantastic materials that Great Ideas for Teaching creates!  Today, I'm excited to share an awesome resource with you that targets the ability to inference, which can be a difficult skill to acquire for many children.  This book includes TONS of great pictures that students must infer information from.

The book includes 37 different "lessons" that each contain a picture page and an instructor's worksheet.  Every picture page includes "cartoons" that give a great hint as to what a person means without the person actually saying anything.

Also included in every lesson is an instructor's worksheet.  Each one of these pages includes a simplified definition of an inference, which is great for reviewing before and after the lesson.  It also has basic directions, as well as statements to read aloud to the student and questions for the student to answer.

What I love about this resource:
- It includes great pictures that lend themselves well to inferring information from the situation.
- It includes 37 different "lessons" which means that the book can be used over and over again without repeating any previous lessons.
- It includes easy to understand directions, so it can also be sent home as homework.

You can find this fantastic resource to teach the ability to inference for $29.50 HERE!

Disclaimer: This resource was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

{Review} Storybook Maker

I love apps that allow students to create their own stories that are related to their speech and language goals, which is why I love the Storybook Maker app by Merge Mobile.

First, you'll need to create a new book and give it a name.

In your story, you can either add your own pictures that you've taken, or you can add letters and pictures that are pre-loaded on the app.

Here's the start of my story.  I added a character and had him say "roof" by including letters.  I also included the title of my story as well.

By tapping on an item, you can do many different things with it.  The options on this menu include "delete", "bring to front', "send to back", "unlocked", "rotate", "background", and "border".

You can also add borders to your story,

as well as backgrounds.

In addition, you can add background audio and record a voice telling about the events on each page.

Make sure to save each page by tapping the arrow in the top left corner of each page.

Here's the short story that I created.

What I love about this app:
- It's so versatile. You can target almost any goal area with this app including social language/stories, grammar, story retelling, fluency, sentence expansion, and articulation, to name just a few.
- It allows you to use your own pictures, so it can be personalized for each student.
- It allows students to record their own voices, which makes the app more interactive.

What I would like to see in an update:
- It would be nice if the pictures could be placed in any direction, so that items could face each other and/or have "conversations" with each other.

You can find this awesome app for a variety of goals for $3.99 at iTunes.

But wait!  Merge Mobile is giving away THREE free copies of this great app!  If you'd like a chance to win a copy, enter the rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This app was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed above are solely my own.

Monday, July 22, 2013

{Review} Describe It To Me App

"Describe It To Me" by Smarty Ears is a fun new "game show" app that targets a child's ability to describe objects, both receptively and expressively.

Smarty Ears does a great job providing detailed tutorials for their apps.  Spending a few minutes watching the tutorial makes using the app really easy.

Once you've watched the tutorial, you're ready to set up your users.  Simply tap "add" player, type in the students name, and then tap the photo area to add an avatar.

You can also decide the app's response if a student chooses an incorrect vs. correct answer.  You can also determine if you would like the points the student earns to be displayed and if you would like the spinner to be used.

You can also determine which specific words you'd like to use or you can select all of them to be used.  The app includes over 160 items to describe!

Now, you're all set to go.  There are six different "question types" for the app, including:

- category
- function
- parts
- location
- visuals
- extras

If you choose the receptive language setting, simply decide which question type you'd like to target.  A question will pop up related to the question type that you've chosen as well as a few possible answers.

If you choose the expressive language function, answers are not provided.  Instead, boxes are available to record correct vs. incorrect vs. almost responses.

Once you have completed the app, you can view each student's results.

Another great feature of this app is a multitude of homework sheets that can be printed and sent home with a student.

Here is a close up of one of the homework sheets.

What I love about this app:
- It guides students through describing objects with attributes in an easy to use and fun game show-like format.
- It includes over 160 pictures to describe, so students can use the app over and over again.
- It includes both receptive and expressive components, which is ideal when considering students at various levels.

You can find this awesome describing app for $9.99 at iTunes!

Disclaimer: This app was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Word Finding and a FREEBIE Parent Resource!

"It's over there by that thing." "Ugh, I just can't think of the word!"  Sound familiar?  

We all have moments of difficulty retrieving a word... it's on the "tip of our tongue" but we just can't find it.  However, for some students, word finding can be very frustrating, and can be more than just a fleeting moment of a word retrieval problem.  For students experiencing this, he/she may know the correct answer to a question, but may be unable to appropriately express what they know. 

Some common characteristics of word finding difficulties are:

- Fillers: Examples include "uh", "like", etc. These words do not contribute to a statement or conversation.

- Word or phrase repetitions: Examples include "and the and the" or "monkey monkey" (exhibited within a longer sentence).  

- Phrase or sentence revisions: Examples include "Then the boy, Lila walked into the kitchen." or "The dog, we ate at the picnic table."

- Delays: Significant pauses observed within a sentence.

- Word substitutions: Examples include "The dog ate the leash (bone)." or "Molly took out a plate (bowl) to put the soup in."

If you suspect that your child has word retrieval difficulties and these difficulties are significantly affecting your child's educational performance, contact a speech-language pathologist.  If you are looking for a few suggestions as to how to help improve your child's word finding difficulties, I have a free resource at my TpT store that might help.  You can access this resource HERE.

Do you have any helpful tips or tricks for targeting word retrieval difficulties?

Friday, July 19, 2013

{Review} 5-Minute Therapy

What can you do in 5 minutes?  Sharpen a few pencils?  Check out a book from your school library?  What about provide articulation therapy?  Read on to find out more about 5-Minute Therapy!

How the program works:
5-Minute Therapy was developed by a retired SLP, Sue Sexton, to help children who demonstrate speech sound errors.  The intentions of this program are to limit the time spent outside of the classroom, while simultaneously maximizing the quality of time that students spend working on their sounds.  Using this program, the student receives individualized therapy sessions that are 5-7 minutes in length, 2-4 times per week.  Students repeat words, name pictures, read, and participate in conversation while utilizing this program.

This first book includes:
- information and implementation sheets where users can find background information, ways to use the program, and instructional materials needed,

- baseline testing forms for sounds /r/, /s/, /l/, /k/, /g/, "sh", "ch", "th", "f", and "v' in the word initial, medial, and final positions as well as in sentences,

- pictures for testing that correspond with the baseline testing form mentioned above,

- sentences for testing that also correspond with the baseline testing form mentioned above,

- data sheets to record information,

- lesson plans to keep organized for future sessions as well as homework sheets to log homework assigned,
- and attendance calendars to keep track of each session's attendance.

Now for the actual targeted sounds!

This program targets the following sounds:

- /r/
- /s/
- /l/
- "sh" and "ch"
- /k/ and /g/
- /f/, /v/, and "th"

Each program is available for $18.00 each or all 6 are available for $99.00.

* The /k/ and /g/ book that I will be discussing includes both activities for /k/ and /g/ sounds, but I will be highlighting the /k/ sound in the following review.  All of the /k/ activities are also included as /g/ activities too.

This book includes:
- one syllable initial, medial, and final /k/ words, as well as initial /k/ multi-syllabic words,

- initial, medial, and final /k/ phrases,

- initial, medial, and final /k/ sentences,

- a word bank for one syllable initial, medial, and final /k/ words, as well as initial /k/ multi-syllabic words,

- a reading list for one syllable initial, medial, and final /k/ words, as well as initial /k/ multi-syllabic words, /k/ phrases in all positions, as well as /k/ sentences in all positions,

- 9 games for therapy that can be used with any sound and in any position,

- envelope games, created to elicit a large number or repetitions in a short amount of time that can also be adapted to target any sound in any position,

- and various homework activities.

What I love about this program:
- It offers everything that you could need to implement intensive articulation therapy sessions to increase correct production of speech sounds.
- It is very comprehensive and offers materials for sounds in all positions, as well as at various positions of the development hierarchy (e.g. words, phrases, sentences, etc)
- The baseline testing offers the ability to test all of the sounds included in this program and provides an SLP with an excellent understanding of the child's current skills.

- Changing my service delivery model framework!  Although I'm not used to providing therapy with this model, it is definitely a way to provide services that I feel would be beneficial to a student since repetition and maximal exposures are often key to success with speech sound remediation.

If you'd like to learn more about the 5-Minute Therapy program, you can visit the website.

To order materials, you can check out the order form portion of the site.

Disclaimer: These products were given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions shared here are solely my own.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

{Review} Minimal Pair Pack App

Tap/Cap, Kite/Light, Take/Cake... Utilizing minimal pairs is a great way to help children who demonstrate phonological errors become aware of those errors.  If you also have children with phonological processing errors, read on to find out more information about the "Minimal Pair Pack" app by Therapy Box Limited!

This app includes over 700 individual target words and allows students to work on their auditory discrimination skills and/or phrase completion skills with the following sounds in the initial position: /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /w/, /r/, /t/, "j", "y", "th", "sh", and "ch".

First, you'll need to choose your settings, including responses to correct vs. incorrect answers, choosing the voice, and determining if you would like the word, picture, or both the word and picture to be displayed together.

Next, choose the sounds that you would like to target with minimal pairs.

To target discrimination, press the "play" button.  The app will say one of the words that are displayed and then the child must tap the correct word to match the word that they hear.

To target phrase completion, press the "play" button.  The app will start the phrase and then the child must tap the appropriate word/picture to complete the phrase.

What I love about this app:
- It includes many sounds, so even students who demonstrate atypical substitution errors can use this app.
- It includes pictures in addition to words, so that even non-readers can benefit.

What I would like to see in an update:
- It would be nice to have a simple way to record correct vs. incorrect responses within the app.

You can find this great minimal pairs app for $29.99 at iTunes!

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