Saturday, February 25, 2012

Giveaway! A Day with A Difference

iPad Screenshot 1
 I recently had the opportunity to use the new iPad app, A Day with  A Difference.  It is a great interactive story book that teaches basic concepts.  The main characters, Mr. Big and Mr. Small, guide you through a series of events where basic concepts are encountered in natural situations.  For example, there was only one washer left at the laundromat, so Mr. Big and Mr. Small had to share.  Oh no!  Their clothes are all mixed up.  Will you help them sort their clothes?  My students loved the interactive games in this story!  Basic concepts targeted include bigger and smaller, longer and shorter, same and different, more and less.  After reading the story, there is an option to play bonus games.  It was possible to collect a lot of data in a short amount of time during these games. Overall, this would be a good addition to your therapy tool box if you work with preschool aged children. 
iPad Screenshot 2
Mr. Big and Mr. Small
iPad Screenshot 5
Basic Concept Game

I have one of these apps to giveaway!  Leave a comment with your e-mail address to enter.  The winner will be chosen on Friday, March 2.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Life Skills Questions

What are the most important questions for a child to be able to answer? Children need to be able to answer so many questions to function in life/school that it is quite difficult to narrow it down to a short list.  However, many students with langauge impairments have an extremely difficult time answering any questions.  Even the simple ones like, "What is your name?"  prove too difficult to answer for some langauge impaired children.  I've compiled a list of questions that relate to safety and basic life skills.  Here is the list I came up with:

1.       What is your name?
2.       What is your last name?
3.       What is your address?
4.       What is your dad’s phone number?
5.       What is your mom’s phone number?
6.       What city do you live in?
7.       What street do you live on?
8.       What is your zip code?
9.       What state do you live in?
10.   Where do you live?
11.   How old are you?
12.   What school do you go to?
13.   What number do you call for an emergency?
14.   What do you do if you see a fire?
15.   What are your parents’ names?
16.   Who are your parents?
17.   What do you say if you need help?
18.  When is your birthday?
19.  Who can you ask if you need help at school?
20.  Who can you ask if you need help at a store?
21.  Who can you ask if you need help at the library?

You will notice that some questions are asked several times but are worded differently.  This is important to teach flexibility to the language impaired child.  Am I missing any key questions? 

Next, I went to Flashcard Machine to generate a set of flashcards based on the question list.  Flashcard machine is FREE!  You do have to create an account though. You can review the flashcards online, on your iPad, or print them out.   Now we will drill, drill, drill until these important questions are mastered!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Action Verbs

Pinned ImageDo you all follow Pedia Staff on Pinterest?  If not, you should start now!  You will instantly be hooked.  The other day, I noticed a post that asked what Pinterest picture board would be helpful for speech/language therapy.  I responded that I would like to see a group of pictures that elicit usage of action verbs.  Voila!  The next day, there was literally an entire pinboard of excellent photos.  Check it out here.   I've already used this pinboard for several therapy groups.

Sentence Formation
This is what I had in mind when I requested this pinboard.  I have a student who rarely speaks in complete sentences.  I had him look at a picture and form a sentence of at least 5 words.  "The white owl is skating."

One student needed help adding "ing" to the end of verbs.  These pictures were great help in targeting this goal.  I projected one photo on the board and instructed the student to tell me a sentence about the picture.  The student said, "The owl skate."  I expanded, "Yes, the owl IS SKATING."  He was able to independently add "ing" after I modeled it several times.  He especially liked the animal photos!

I have a group of students working on expanding utterances using conjunctions.  We brainstormed all the conjunctions we could think of and made a collaborative list on the board.  Then I projected one of the action verb photos on the board.  The students took turns telling about the picture using a conjunction in the sentence.  "The owl will eat a mouse after he skateboards."

Thank you Pedia Staff!!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Diary of a Speech Kid

What is it about Diary of a Wimpy Kid that is grabbing kids' attention?  I think it helps that the kids can all relate to Greg Heffley. Greg finds himself thrown into middles school, where "wimpy" kids like himself share the school with bigger, meaner kids.  Regardless, my kids are obsessed with Wimpy Kid and I decided to play into their obsessions for Diary of a Speech Kid Week.

Diary of a Speech Kid:  Fill-In
I use this activity for students who need help with syntax.  They must think of adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. to complete the diary entry.  I also use this for speech kids.  These silly stories are great for students working on carryover of speech sounds.  If they are working on /r/, make sure all of their fill-in choices have the /r/ sound.
Diary of a Speech Kid- Fill-In

Glow Draw+FunBrain= Speech Practice
Fun Brain has the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book #1 on their website.   Check out book #1 here.  I printed off a few pages, took a picture of them with my iPad, and opened them in the Glow Draw app.  (I have seen this technique on Pinterest.  Not sure who should get credit...)  No iPad?  Just print off the pages and have students highlight the target words.

Word Level- The student underlines every word that has their target sound in it.  They practice saying each word 5 times.

Reading Level-  The student underlines every word that has their target sound in it.  They read the passage paying close attention to underlined words.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Event Kit

This packet has a lot of great activities.  However, the only one I borrowed was the Secret Word Game.
The player has to describe the "secret word"  without using any "forbidden words."  I use this for language (describing nouns) and speech (carryover practice).  I sorted the words based on the students' knowledge of Greg Heffley.

Vocabulary Bingo

We didn't have time to read the entire Diary in my class.  However, the reading teacher did.  I passed this activity on to her to help the language impaired students get more vocabulary exposure.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pragmatic Language

I have a never ending checklist at work.  I work all day to check tasks off the list and it somehow continues to grow.  And grow.  And grow. 

Evaluate Sam.
Write evaluation report.
Make-up time for Sue.
Complete monthly caseload info.
Lesson plan for Monday!
Create a Pragmatic Language Rating Scale

This last task has been on the to-do-list for weeks.    I thought I would share my final product.  I have a high number of children with autism on my caseload and  I do not  have time to meet with their teachers as often as I would like to.  I created a rating scale that allows the teachers to report areas that are difficult for the students in the area of pragmatics. I went ahead and included an informational sheet about Social Language Use and Tips (adapted from ASHA).  

Social Language Use and Tips
Rating Scale

Create a Pragmatic language Rating Scale

I can finally check it off. Whew, that feels good! I hope by sharing my ideas I am making your to-do-list shorter!

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