Wednesday, March 12, 2014

{Review} Superflex... A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum

Who doesn't love superheroes?!?!  You may have heard and/or read about some incredible Social Thinking products to target social skills.  Today, I'll be sharing my review of my favorite material yet, called Superflex... A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum.

The introduction to this product says it all... "The purpose of this Superhero Social Thinking curriculum is to provide the social-thinking educator, teacher, or parent with a fun, motivating, and non-threatening way for our students to explore social thinking while increasing their knowledge of social expectations, their awareness of their own behavior and how to modify their behaviors with Superflexible strategies.  Our students have difficulty monitoring and regulating their own behaviors in the moment, and this curriculum provides a fun forum in which they can explore their own challenges and identify ways to modify their thoughts and related behaviors in different settings."

This resource offers thirteen different lessons aimed at explaining social skills, the type of superhero that students should want to emulate and the type of characters that students should stay away from.  Also included in this resource are a few appendices that offer:
- books and materials related to the superflex curriculum
- definitions of words and characters used in the curriculum
- student awards
- social scenes to support lessons
- additional handouts

I was showing this resource to a teacher today and we both agreed that we love the characters included in this curriculum.  Of course, Superflex is what we all strive to be.  Superflex is super flexible and tries to figure out how to keep people calm while also getting his turn at activities.  He's a great problem solver.  Then, there's also the "team of unthinkables" which teach about unexpected social skills.  ("Topic Twister Meister", "Space Invader", and "The Destroyer of Fun" to name just a few!) 

Now about those lessons... As I mentioned, there are 13 different lessons in the curriculum.  Each lesson includes the materials needed, purpose of the lesson, vocabulary words used, goals, and things that need to be done before the lesson.  (I like organization, so this really appeals to me!)  

The book methodically walks you through the lesson and provides handouts to practice the skills that the students have learned.

Below is a letter that can be distributed to parents and educators.

Quiet Please... Training in Session!  I love how even older kids can get into this curriculum because it's so fun and engaging!

This curriculum also includes a "cartoon book" that looks more at the relationship between Superflex and the Team of Unthinkables!

I love that this curriculum explains social skills in easy to understand terms, but it is also interesting for older students as well.  It allows students to work through poor social skill traits to determine how to improve upon these characteristics in a non-threatening way.

You can find this awesome Social Thinking Curriculum resource for $49.00 HERE!!!

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Review} Speedy Speech

Lately, I've been seeing really good progress from my artic students who are seen more often for shorter sessions, so I was excited when Speedy Speech contacted me and asked me to review one of their products.  This program attempts to remediate sound errors through short 5-10 minute one-on-one drill sessions.  Currently, they make products for /r/, /s/, /l/, and /g/, and are coming out with a /th/ product soon as well.  Today, I will be sharing my opinions on the /s/ edition.

Each book contains: 
  • Program Guide with Step-by-Step Directions and the Latest Therapeutic Techniques
  • Auditory Bombardment Sets containing 360 words
  • Auditory Discrimination Pair Sets
  • Sound Bridge
  • Illustrated Drill Sheets Containing:
     - 360 One and Two Syllable Word Trials in Initial, Medial, 
                      and Final Target Sound Positions
     - 360 Phrase Trials
     - 360 Sentence Trials
  • Record Forms
  • Monthly Homework Calendars
  • A Variety of Parent and Teacher Letters
  • Motivational Charts and Certificates

The program includes eight different stages designed in an appropriate hierarchy of sound development.
* Stage 1 - Sound in isolation
* Stage 2 - Sound in syllables and consonant-vowel combinations
* Stage 3 - Sound in the initial position of one and two syllable words
* Stage 4 - Sound in the final position of one and two syllable words
* Stage 5 - Sound in the medial position of one and two syllable words
* Stage 6 - Sound in phrases
* Stage 7 - Sound in sentences
* Stage 8 - Sound in conversational speech

Mastery is considered to be 90% accuracy over three trials.  This is expected before moving on to the next stage.

Here is an auditory bombardment list for initial /s/ and /s/ cluster words.  It is recommended that each session begin with auditory bombardment.

The next two pictures highlight stages 3, 6, and 7.  There are pictures, words, phrases, and sentences of one syllable and two syllable initial /s/ and /s/ clusters.

The picture below demonstrates stage 8, as it includes conversational speech prompts.

Also included in this book are RTI progress monitoring sheets, a letter to the teacher, a letter to the parent, scheduling forms, practice tips, homework directions, and rating scales.  I really love the homework (as pictured below) because it includes a short artic activity for everyday.

What I like about this product:
- It methodically moves through a logical hierarchy of sound development.
- It includes extensive word lists of the targeted sound in all positions.
- I really like the "at a glance" monthly homework pages so that students have practice with their sounds on a daily basis.
- The program comes in one easy to use book so that sessions can run more efficiently without the SLP flipping through a bunch of papers, cards, etc.

You can find this great artic resource for $89.00 HERE and you can check out all of the other products that the company offers as well.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

{Review} Understanding and Explaining Time in Sequential Stories

Here's the last (but not least!) in a three part review series of new materials by Great Ideas for Teaching.  This final resource is called Understanding and Explaining Time in Sequential Stories.

This material is "designed to help students comprehend how much time it takes to complete sequential stories or events.  The activities are designed to help students understand that events can happen in a very short period of time or can happen over a much longer period of time."  This skill is essential for improving overall comprehension skills.

Pictured above is the student worksheet.  Pictures are used to tell a story, while the instructor reads a short narrative to accompany the illustrations.  Then, questions are posed to clarify how much time was needed to complete the actions in the story.  This also helps to determine if the student can remember details from the narrative.  In addition, it allows the student to show his/her ability to follow directions related to time.  This resource targets a child's ability to understand the importance of time in sequential stories.  It also shows him/her the importance of time in their own daily routine.

The instructor's worksheet includes questions such as:
- Did this story take place in the morning or the evening?
- At what time did Larry go out to check on his pet?
- How much time passed from the beginning of the story to the end of the story when Buddy came home?

I absolutely love this resource and know that I'll get a lot of use out of it.  It includes short narratives that are also supported by picture cues, which are very useful for students struggling with narrative skills.  It also asks simple and more advanced questions that rely on a student's ability to pay attention to the story and pick up on specific details.

You can find this (in my opinion) must-have product for $29.50 HERE!

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

Sunday, March 9, 2014

{Review} Auditory Comprehension/Vocabulary Activities for Non or Minimally Verbal Children

Here is a wonderfully versatile workbook from Great Ideas for Teaching that is intended for non or minimal verbal children.  (But wait, there's more - continue reading to see all of the goal areas that it could be used to reach!)  Introducing, Auditory Comprehension/Vocabulary Activities for Non or Minimally Verbal Children

This material is intended to "provide structured comprehension lessons and vocabulary building for young children".  The book uses many pictures so that children can indicate how much they know receptively without having to verbally express their ideas.  It is intended for children ages 3-7.

There are 38 two-page lessons in this book.  Each one contains a student worksheet that has many different pictures (6-12) and an instructor's worksheet.

Instructor's worksheet questions include directions such as:
- "Point to someone who is riding a tricycle."
- "Point to someone who is hitting a ball."
- "Point to someone who is blowing bubbles."
- "Circle someone who is being kind to animals."
- "Put two lines under someone who is a very good jumper."
- "Put an X under someone who has her feet on pedals."

(The level two directions are a bit more difficult than the level one directions for differentiation.)

In addition to using this book for children who have minimal verbal skills, it could also be used to target:
- pronouns (subjective and objective)
- third person singular verbs
- present progressive verbs
- regular/irregular past tense verbs
- more advance vocabulary
- object descriptions
- 2-step and 3-step directions

You can find this fantastically diverse workbook for $32.00 HERE!

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

Friday, March 7, 2014

{Review} Language Stimulation Activities by Great Ideas for Teaching, Inc.

Great Ideas for Teaching is at it again!  They have three new materials that I'll be sharing my review of over the next few days.  First up, is Language Stimulation Activities!

This material can be used to "provide structured, repetitious activities that will assist students in fully learning very important language terms...".  It is intended for children in preK through 2nd grade.

Each concept pair includes two student worksheets and two instructor worksheets.  The student sheet includes four pictures - two to demonstrate each concept.  The pages below show the concepts of hot and cold.

The instructor's sheet for the first worksheet includes questions and directions such as:

- "Is ice cream hot or cold?"
- "Point to a picture that shows cold weather."
- "Are frozen things hot or cold?"
- "If the hot sun shines on a snowman, what will happen to it?"
- "When it snows, is the weather hot or cold?"
- "Is the word chilly more like hot or cold?"
- "On a cold day, does a coat keep you warm or cold?"

In all, there are 20 questions on this first instructor worksheet that can be used and/or tailored to the individual needs of students.

The second student worksheet includes six concept pairs.

According to the instructor's worksheet, students must circle, underline, or mark the picture in another way to appropriately follow the directions that are given.  Additional questions are asked as well, such as "Circle the one that has flames.  Is it hot or cold?"

What I love about this material:
- It targets lots of different concepts - hot/cold, happy/sad, wet/dry, new/old, open/closed, inside/outside, front/back, high/low, top/bottom, through/around, big/little, long/short, narrow/wide, fast/slow, push/pull - to name just a few!
- It provides tons of practice with the same concept.  Often, I feel as though students with language impairments don't receive enough exposure to targeted goals.  In this case, students can repeatedly work on the same concept area.
- The pictures represent the concept they are portraying very well, so as not to confuse young children.

You can find this awesome material to target concept acquisition in a variety of ways for $29.50 HERE!

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