Tuesday, October 29, 2013

{Review} Products by All Y'All Need

I'm constantly amazed by the wonderful, diverse, and comprehensive products that SLPs have been creating.  Today, I will be sharing some great products with you by All Y'All Need.  (And stick around for a giveaway of both of our products as well!)

Activity #1: Fall Ask Away Activities
This is an awesome activity for the entire fall season.  Played similarly to Guess Who, this product includes a "Back to School" version, a "Fun in Fall" version, a "Thanksgiving Time" version, and a "Veterans Day" version.  This activity could be used to target attributes, interrogative reversals, syntax skills, grammar, etc.  I love that this activity can be used for so many different holidays and for so many goal areas!  Here are two of the sheets that I'll be using in November for Thanksgiving and for Veterans Day!

Activity #2: PreK Speech and Language Checklists
LOVE!  This material is great for working with preschool and kindergarten age students.  It provides basic yes/no checklists for articulation and language, as well as voice and stuttering checklists for all grades.  In addition, the product includes a teacher concerns page and SLP/teacher discussion page.  This material is great for a quick screening!

These are the screening checklists.

Here are the teacher concerns and discussion pages.

Enter to win one of these reviewed products through the rafflecopter giveaway below!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{Review} Speech Buddies

Speech Buddies is a set of five tools that are intended to improve speech sound production.  The set targets the /r/, /s/, /l/, "ch", and "sh" sounds.  Each sound is targeted through the use of plastic tools that are created to teach correct tongue placement.

                                            Speech Buddies In School Therapy
                                                  (Graphic Courtesy of Speech Buddies)

I have been using the tool to target the /r/ sound with two students since the beginning of the school year.  For this sound, the student uncoils the rolled up flexible plastic part of the tool, then holds his/her tongue at the end of the "roll" in order to produce the /r/ sound.

                                                               R tool schematic
                                                    (Graphic Courtesy of Speech Buddies)

Although I have just used the /r/ tool so far, here is a graphic that explains how the other Speech Buddies products are used.  The pictures provided are very helpful in explaining correct placement of the tools for specific sounds.

(Graphic Courtesy of Speech Buddies)

I have seen mixed results with my students using this system.  For one of my older students, it showed him the correct placement that he hasn't been able to get with verbal and visual cues, as well as other apparatuses that we have tried.  This is not to say that he is now able to generalize this sound to correct production without the tool.  We still continue to work with the "r stick" as he calls it, and it will likely take some time to achieve this sound consistently with and without the tool.  The other student I have been working with continues to have difficulty using the Speech Buddies /r/ tool.  He has difficulty achieving a retroflexed tongue position and making his tongue tense.

The low down: In my experience over the past two months, I have seen mixed results with this system.  I have seen it work well for one student, but not as well for another.  I also, however, believe that there is no perfect product.  I think that each product is made as well as possible to help as many students as possible.

Things to consider:
- As just mentioned, in my experience, the Speech Buddies tools provided mixed results.  As with any other larger purchase, I would encourage anyone interested to consider if the item(s) are worth purchasing for your specific population.
- I would strongly encourage anyone using this product to do so with the assistance of a speech-language pathologist.

To find out more about the Speech Buddies tools, you can click here.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own through my own experiences with the product.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Halloween Speech and Language Activities!

Happy almost Halloween!  In case you're looking for a few last minute spooky activities and crafts (or just want to start planning for next year) take a look at what's been going on in my speech room over the last month.

Spooky Activity #1: Speechie Spiders and Webs
We used this activity to target articulation/phono skills.  Make 4-5 concentric circles, then take a skinny object (we used the edge of an unsharpened pencil) and make lines from the center of the web out to the largest circle.  The spider made from each child's hands is my favorite part!

Spooky Activity #2: Spider Web Toss
I made these spiders last year using fabric, beans, pom poms, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners.  (Oh, and a lot of hot glue!)

I also made this web in my therapy room with masking tape.  Students stand in front of the web and toss a spider at the web, receiving points for the spot that the spider lands on.  This is an easy reinforcement activity that my students asked for again this year, and have already requested for next year as well!

Spooky Activity #3: Black Cat Concepts
To work on adjectives and concepts, I made these cats.  If you tape the cat body to a cookie sheet, then put contact paper down so that the sticky side is up, you can create a fun sticky board!  I made big pink ears, little black ears, a long thick tail, a short thin tail, etc.  Students can request items for their own cat or tell another student what to put on the cat.

Spooky Activity #4: Artic Witch Hats
I love these witch hats with artic words on them.  (Oh, and my students did as well!)

Take a small paper plate and cut about 7-8 slits in the middle.  Tape the triangle slits to the inside of the hat.  Paint the hat black as shown above, cut out circles for artic words and wa-la - instant speech and language witch hat!

Spooky Activity #5: Not-So-Spooky Spider Snacks
These little spider crackers were so easy to make.  Two crackers, some type of filling such as peanut butter, jelly, etc, pretzel sticks for legs, and chocolate chips for eyes.  We created these in our snack group and targeted requesting, turn taking, attributes, etc.

Spooky Activity #6: Spider Describing
I must be on a definite spider kick, but these next little guys were so easy.  I created these spiders by painting parts of an egg carton, gluing one edge together, and then adding googly eyes and pipe cleaners.  I put small pictures of items that the spider had "eaten" in its mouth.  Then, we used our EET to describe the items that the spiders had eaten.

Spooky Activity #7: Colorful Spiders
Last, but not least, is a colorful spider.  (No, not a black turtle as many of my students called it...)  I used this activity mostly with my little guys working on syntax, interrogative and expanded sentence length.  I painted a paper plate black, added a head, then colored clothespins various colors.  Student would ask, "Can I pick a leg?" or they could select a "leg" from a bin and state, "I have the purple/blue/orange leg."

What are your favorite Halloween activities and crafts?  Please feel free to share!

Monday, October 21, 2013

{Review} Teach Speech Now

Written by Robynne Merrill, The Complete Vowel + /R/ Series features a collection of six books, including:

- The Complete AIR Book
- The Complete AR Book
- The Complete EAR Book
- The Complete Stressed ER Book
- The Complete Unstressed ER Book
- The Complete OR Book

Each book includes extensive practice with commonly misarticulated words that contain these sounds.  The books begin by allowing students to repeat simple to complex words that contain targeted sounds through colorful illustrations of the words.  Each book also contains phrases, short sentences, complex sentences, question and answer drills, tongue twisters (my favorite!), simple stories, and longer rebus stories.  Pre-tests and post-tests are also included for initial and continuous assessment.

 (word level practice)

(more word level practice) 

(even more word level practice)

(phrase level practice)

(longer phrase level practice)

(story practice)

(tongue twister practice)

What I like about this material:
- The pictures allow even non-readers or students who have difficulty with reading to participate in the activities.
- Each book contains a large amount of material at various levels that a student might be working on.
- Pre/post-tests that allow for continual assessment.

You can find this comprehensive vocalic /r/ material for $50.00 HERE.  (This material is sent as multiple files to be downloaded.)

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

{Review} Language Empires

Here's an app that's great for older elementary students.  Say hello to Language Empires by Smarty Ears!

This app is excellent for targeting a variety of language skills such as:

answering why questions,

answering how questions,




answering which questions, 

figurative language, 

and sequencing.

Each "empire" includes 50 different questions, as well as 2-3 levels which means that this app is extremely versatile!

Getting started is easy.  Simply add a name and select a photo.

Then, you can adjust your settings.  One of my favorite features in this settings area is the ability to remove incorrect answers when a student chooses the wrong answer.

Then, you're ready to choose the area(s) to work on.  Just drag the player to the empire that fits the activity you'd like to work on.  Tap 'next' when you're ready to begin.

Here's a quick glimpse at all of the empires.  Reminds me of a video game - which may be quite appealing to many students!

Last but not least, you can view data for each student in every topic area.

*A new update to this app also includes homework.

What I love about this app:
- Typically, apps cover 1-2 concepts; at most 3.  This app includes 50 questions in 8 different content areas.
- I love that the app allows you the option of removing incorrect answers for a student if they provide a wrong answer.
- The app reminds me of a video game, which should definitely hold the attention of many students!

You can find this anything but ancient language app for $24.99 on iTunes!

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