Learning: Verbs {App Review}

I was contacted to check out a new app that focuses on verbs.  As you know based on my last post, I am always looking for ways to target verbs.  This new app is called Learning: Verbs by Language Concepts.

This is a very simple app that targets only receptive language learning of verbs.  It starts with you choosing which verbs to target.  Initially, you can choose from 22 different verbs, but there is also an option for you to add your own, which I will show you in a minute.  After you choose your verbs, you can choose how they will be displayed for your student.  You have a choice of one, two, three, or four verbs presented at a time.  You can also decide if you want text on the page that states the verb, audio, and feedback after the student answers.

For my first session, I chose four pictures with audio, text, and feedback.  The audio does not happen automatically, I had to push the speaker button to hear the audio recording.  After I pushed it, the speaker said, "Show me Cooking."

The student then chose the correct (or incorrect) picture that matched the verb.  When the correct picture was chosen, the rest of the photographs disappeared, leaving only the correct choice.

After that, you press "Next" and you are on to the next trial.  There was not any audio when the student got the item correct, just the word correct on the bottom of the screen was shown.  When the student go the item incorrect, a very loud voice said, "Choose again."  I ended up turning the feedback off, as it was startling and aggravating to my student with ASD.  I would have rather heard feedback when it was correct, but there was no way to choose that.  I was able, however to change the settings during the trials without having to stop because there is a settings button at the top of the page that you can click on, and easily turn the audio off.  The only problem was, that to turn the feedback voice off, I had to turn all of the audio off.  Turning the feedback button off only made the pictures not shake when they were incorrect.  It was fine for me, because I just read the verbs to my student when they were presented.

When I was done with my trials with my student, I pressed "End" and that was it.  I had a quick little progress monitoring session for receptive verbs.

Next, I wanted to try to add my own pictures to the app.  I chose a picture that is used in my Interactive Verb books, jumping.  It was easy to add the picture, although it did get a little distorted, as it has to fit in a portrait setting.  I think it still looked good, and recognizable though.  After that, I added my voice to say, "Show me jumping." After I put the picture on, I realized that they already had the word jumping in the mix, so I took it out easily by holding the picture, and then having the option to delete what I had put on.

I think overall, this is a great, quick little app that can easily target some receptive verbs.  I can see it being used for progress monitoring if you are targeting choosing verbs from a choice of two, three, or four pictures.  I do wish it had some data collection built into it, but I was easily able to keep track of the data myself since I was sitting with my student while he was playing the app.

If you want a chance to win a free copy of this app, head over to my Facebook page for Speech Universe.

Thank you to Learning Concepts for the copy of the app to review.

Kids in Action! Verb Interactive Books!

I am so excited for this new product that I created!!!  I am always looking for ways to target expanding utterance length, working on verbs, and working on pronouns.  I have visuals that I use with different pictures that I own, but I wanted it all in one place that would be super easy to grab and go.

With all of this in mind, I created Kids in Action!  Interactive Verb Books.

This is a set of six books.  Each book provides visual supports to expand utterance length and target verbs by use of interactive icons.  There are two books with boys (he) in action, two books with girls (she) in action, and two books with kids (they) in action.




The pictures in each set are identical.  The difference is in the subject or pronoun used.

I have used these books with my students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with great success. The kids love manipulating the icons in the books, and I love the language expansion and vocabulary building that I get from them.

If you are interested in these books, you can find them HERE.

Listening Power K-3 {App Review}

I am always so excited when Hamaguchi Apps contacts me about a new app to review!  Their newest app is Listening Power for grades K-3.  I'm still using the Preschool version that I reviewed in June, and loving it.  I was so excited to check this out and share it with you!

I love that all of the Hamaguchi Apps follow the same format for adding users and adjusting settings. This makes it so easy for me to figure out a new app.  First, you add your students.  You can add each student individually, and then organize students into groups.  Once you add your student or group, you hit "play."

Next, you will look at the settings.  You can adjust the activities, answer choices, levels, reward game, and whether or not you want to track data.

Now you are ready to play!  Here are the different activities available within this app:

Listening for Descriptions:
In this activity, students are presented with an auditory description without any pictures paired with it.  After the description is read, the pictures appear.  Students must listen to the description and then recall the description to make a selection.  There are three levels for this (easy, intermediate, and advanced) with 50 descriptions in each level.  I love that you can also choose how many choices the students will have (2, 3, or 4).

Listening for Meaning:
This activity is similar to Listening to Description, however students are listening for a specific word in the sentence.  Students must listen to an auditorally presented sentence, and then answer a question to associate the word and its meaning.  Again, there are three levels with 50 vocabulary words each.

Listening for Grammar:
In this activity, students must listen to sentences and select the one that "doesn't sound right."  Grammar areas included are: plurals, verb tenses, pronouns, preposition concepts, and negation.  Students select the one that is not correct, and then are able to hear how the sentence should sound.  Again, there are three levels with 50 grammar questions each.

Listening for Word Memory:
Students listen to a series of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 words.  Nine pictures are then shown, and students are asked to remember and touch the words in the correct order.  Because of the variety of word choices, the three different levels of difficulty, there are endless combinations available in this activity.  This means no item memorization in this activity!

Listening for Stories:
There are three levels for this activity.  In the easy presentation, a story is read with accompanying pictures and sound effects, followed by questions about the story such as who, what, and where questions.  The intermediate presentation is a bit more difficult with pictures only at the beginning and the end of the story, and more difficult question types.  The advanced level did not have pictures in the stories that were presented to me, however the app developers do state that pictures are available on non-fiction and science type stories in this level.

When your students are finished with activities, they can earn a quick game.  There are two to choose from, and you are able to determine how many activities your student needs to complete to earn either of the games.

Door Game
Shoot the Basket

At any point during these activities, you can click "end session."  This will stop the activities, and allow you to look at data that was collected (if you chose to do so).  When you are ending your session, do not click the home button- you will lose any data that was collected.  In examining your data, you are able to view your session results, email them, print them, save as a pdf, or delete them.  One great feature here that I don't usually see in apps is the ability to play the missed items again.  What a great feature!

This data is so comprehensive.  I love that the data sheets tell you which items the student got correct, and which items the student missed.  This will definitely give me great information about what I should be targeting with different activities.

Well, all I have to say is that Hamaguchi Apps has done it again!  Another great app to help supplement my work with students!  This will be wonderful for working on listening for grammar, vocabulary, descriptions, and story comprehension.  With the data collection done for me, it will be a breeze to progress monitor some of these areas!  Thanks Hamaguchi Apps for another great opportunity and great app!

Headbanz with the EET!

Today we had fun using the game Headbanz along with the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) for describing.  Normally, the game Headbanz has students asking about what is on their head.  They are supposed to ask questions that will guide them into figuring out what item is on their head band.

My students and I had an idea today to use Headbanz with the EET.  We decided that instead of asking questions, we would have to describe what is on other people's heads using the EET.  We also decided that you would "win" the card if the person guessed what item was on your head.

I got some great descriptions from students using this game and the EET.  They all tried to guess the items after just a few beads, but I made them describe using the entire string.  I got a lot of "oooh, oooh, oooh, I know it, I know it!"  But, I made them wait so that the other student got practice with describing.

My students especially like when I play the game with them.  I may get a few looks from passersby, but it is so fun.  I love to get a grin from someone passing by my room, and the great laughs from my students when I look like this:

You can check out the game Headbanz here:

I'll try...

This week, your Frenzied SLPs are bringing you some ideas that they are going to try in the new year to make your frenzied SLP life a little easier.

My tip/ idea that I am going to try this year has absolutely nothing to do with my SLP life specifically, but more with getting my family ready for school in the morning.  I love my husband dearly, but, lets be honest, most guys just don't get it in terms of how much really goes on behind the scenes before the kids go to school and mom goes to work.  I am lucky that he does make sure they eat before they leave (especially important for my son with Type 1 Diabetes), but everything else kind of falls on me.

My tip/idea that I am going to try for January is to make everything for lunches the night before.  I know this isn't an earth shattering idea or something that nobody has ever thought of before, but it is something that I want to really try and see if it makes my mornings a little easier.  I used to work out in the morning, and would really like to get back to that.  I think that making lunches the night before may open up a little more time for me in the mornings.

So, for January, I am going to make my boys's lunches as well as my lunch for the next day at night before I go to bed.  I am going to stick to it for the four weeks on January, and hopefully, it will become a habit for me, and open up a little time in the mornings.

Have a great week back from break!

An InLinkz Link-up

Happy New Year!!!!

So, I know that I have been absent a lot lately.  Honestly, life has just overwhelmed me.  2015 was a BIG year!
At home, my husband and I decided to move our family to a different town.  This meant cleaning, organizing and packing up our old house to sell (it sold in three days) so that we could start looking for a new house.  We didn't expect our house to sell so fast, so it was crunch time really quickly!  We really wanted to find a house in a neighborhood with lots of kids.  We looked all around, and found our dream house in the perfect neighborhood!  We were able to get a little more house than we originally wanted because we moved out a little farther that we had previously thought we would.  This neighborhood is crawling with little buddies for our guys, so it is perfect for us!

We accepted the offer on our old house on June 5, and a whirlwind later, we purchased and moved into our new house on August 1!  

Did I mention that we had also planned a family vacation for the middle of summer too?  We rented a cottage on Grand Traverse Bay, and had an awesome time spending time together during the lazy days of summer.  It was a great break from the craziness at home!  We spent our time exploring the area, climbing sand dunes, kayaking, paddle boarding, making puzzles, and playing games.  It was so fun!

After the vacation and moving, it was time to get the boys registered at their new school.  My oldest son has Type 1 Diabetes, so that took some planning time with the school.  The new school has been awesome with their support and help with his diabetes.  In November, they had Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Week!  My little guy who was selectively mute in pre K and K actually talked in front of the whole school!  AMAZING!!!!  He also got an insulin pump which has significantly changed his insulin delivery for the better.  There was a huge learning curve, but so worth it!

Of course, during all of this craziness, the boys still wanted to play sports too.  They were involved in soccer and a short hockey course this fall!

So, with all of that going on, it is amazing that I was also able take on an additional self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) room (4 total) and the rest of my general caseload, plus a new preschool program to boot!  Can you say CRAZY?!?!

At work, I have honestly been completely overwhelmed with the ASD classrooms.  24 students with significant delays can be daunting.  I have started to do groups with the students by working on Core Vocabulary.  I will write more about this another time, as this is definitely a work in progress.  The groups have been really successful, and I have loved running them.

My preschool students that I inherited this year are an absolute joy to work with!  I haven't worked with preschool age students in quite a while, and it is so refreshing!  They are so excited for everything I present to them, and have been making great progress too.

So now, on to the NEW YEAR!!!!!

I don't normally have new years resolutions, but this year, I wanted to write some things down to keep myself accountable.  
  • Blogging at least 2-3 times a month, if not more.  I have some fun ideas for posts, that I just need to sit down and write.
  • Create some new products to go with my Core Vocabulary lessons.  
  • Finally finish my Common Core Daily Workouts for grades 3-5.
  • Have fun with my students!!!!
Thanks so much for sharing 2015 with me!  I am constantly overwhelmed by the support I receive here.  Even with all the craziness that I have had going on, I love to check in here and see comments from people around the country and world.  Our online SLP community continues to grow in ways that amaze me.  

Here's to an awesome 2016!!!!  Cheers!!!

Speechless SLPs

There have been many moments in my career as an SLP that have rendered me entirely speechless.  When I saw this topic from Activity Tailor, I knew I had to link up!

Working in self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classrooms for over 12 years now has produced many speechless moments for me.  My favorites are when students who were previously non-verbal or very late talkers communicate with me.

  • When a student uses every color on their PECS book to request every color Skittle I have.
  • When a student with ASD has been working on simple conversations for a long time, and spontaneously makes a comment without prompting.
  • When we figure out that a completely "non-verbal" student will speak and repeat words into a microphone!
  • When a parent cries at an IEP because they are so happy with the progress their child has made.
  • When a student with ASD moves away for a year and a half, comes back, and still remembers my iPad password!!!
There are many speechless moments with my students that are not in self-contained rooms too.

  • When my kindergarten friends across the hall make sure to come and get me any time they are starting "my song."  Pop See Ko 2.0  You have to check this one out!  This will seriously get stuck in your head!!!
  • When a parent tells me that their child's grandparents can now understand them on the phone.
  • When six first grade friends want to come with me to my room when I pick up one of their classmates, and the student coming with me looks so proud that she gets to go.
Of course there are many moments at home too!
  • When my seven year old son still wants me to "smush his cheeks" every morning.
  • When the same seven year old tells me "good night, sweet dreams, see you in the morning" every night before I shut his door.
  • When both boys come all the way across the house to find me and ask me to make a sandwich when their dad is standing in the kitchen!
  • When my nine year old son tells me that he is sad that he will have diabetes for the rest of his life. 
  • When my husband tells me he loves me and I'm beautiful.  Makes my heart beat a little faster every time.
I realize every day how blessed I am to have my family, friends, and students in my life.  They all make my life so full of love.

Thanks to Kim at Activity Tailor for putting this linky together!