Love It and List It: Language Apps

It is Love it and List it time over at Speech Room News!  I love this link up!  I always get great ideas from other SLP's to use in therapy.  This month, the theme is language apps.  I have several apps that I use regularly with a variety of students.  Here is a list of my current most used apps:

1.  Prepositions Remix by Smarty Ears.  I have so many students working on prepositions right now!  This app is a great receptive activity that allows customization of each specific preposition that you would like to target.

2.  First Phrases by Hamaguchi Apps.  This is one of my most used apps ever!  My students with ASD absolutely love and request for this app.  They call it the "mouse" app.  They love it because they create a short phrase and then can watch a video of the actions requested.  There is also a record option so that students can hear their own voice tell the characters what to do.

3. ABA Receptive Identification by Nouns and Class by  This is actually two different apps, but they are listed on the same page.  I use both of these constantly with my students who have autism.

4.  Sentence Ninja by Smarty Ears.  This is one that I have used pretty much every day since I downloaded it.  My young students and students with ASD love this one because they can move the words around to create sentences and also record their voices.

5.  Conversation Builder by Mobile Education Store.  This one is a great way to practice some simple conversation skills, especially with my students with ASD.  They love the pictures and the recording aspect to the app.  Students record the conversation, and then listen to the whole exchange.

So I am now realizing that all of my favorite apps are paid apps, and not free.  Sorry about that, but these are truly the ones that I use on a very regular basis, and also the ones that my students truly love!

Halloween and Thanksgiving Mats (with a freebie)!

I have been having a lot of fun lately with my students using bingo chip reinforce mats.  I originally made a fall set that I gave away as a freebie on my Facebook page.  I wanted to make a few more because my students were loving them!  I decided to make some Halloween and Thanksgiving mats.

You can get the Halloween mats HERE.

You can get the Thanksgiving mats HERE.

If you look in the preview area of the product listing on TpT of either of the above mat sets, you might find a surprise FREEBIE!

I hope your students enjoy these as much as my students have been!

Spooky Facebook Frenzy!

You might have seen people posting about the Spooky Facebook Frenzy.  This is going to be an awesome way to grab some fun Halloween themed freebie speech and language items!

All you have to do is go to the Facebook pages of the pages participating and click on the icon that looks like the one above.  This will take you to a page that directs you to either "like" the page to get to the freebie, or it will show you an image that includes a link to the freebie if you already "like" the page.

Here is a link to a map of all of the participating pages: Spooky Facebook Frenzy (this link will take you to a google doc where you can highlight each page to click and link you to Facebook).

Once you start, you will be able to just click on a pumpkin to take you to the next page for another freebie.

You can start the hop by going to my (or any participating) Facebook page and click on the Spooky Facebook Frenzy button.  The Facebook Frenzy will last from Oct. 18-21. 

Have fun!!!

Sentence Ninja App Review and {GIVEAWAY}

Smarty Ears Apps has done it again!  They have come out with an amazing new app called Sentence Ninja!
I want to start this review by saying that I was recently asked to be a part of the Smarty Ears Advisory Board.  This position is purely voluntary.  I am in no way compensated by Smarty Ears, other than being able to see apps before they are posted.  The Advisory Board helps with suggestions of apps before they are released.  We are kind of like a testing crew.  I have not yet participated in giving suggestions on apps before they were released.  This app was finished up right when I was asked to serve on the board.  I can say that I am really excited to be a part of this great team of people!
Now, onto the app! Please note, the opinions expressed in this review are all mine, and I was not compensated for this review.

This app was designed as a multi-player, multi-level activity designed to improve sentence structure skills.
You start out by selecting your players (you can select up to 5 players at a time).  You can import players information from Therapy Report Center, or you can just input the information by selecting Add Player.

After you select your player (or players) you can change the settings.  This is where you can decide if you want to allow hints and if you want the cues color coded or left blank.  The hints are an awesome way to increase independence with this app.  The hint will place one of the words in the sentence for the student.  The color coding is also an awesome way to increase independence.  More on both of these later...

If you choose Modify Exercises, you can also modify which stimulus pictures are used in each level.
After you have made all of your selections, you press start, and can then modify the level on which your student is working.

There are 39 progressive levels ranging from phrases to complex sentences.  There are six groups of phrase/sentence types:
  • Phrases
  • Sentences
  • Question Format
  • Negation
  • Advanced Sentences
  • Complex Sentences
Once you choose your student's level, you are ready to begin!

The activity begins by showing a real photograph with words scattered around.  If you chose to color code, the background of each word will be a different color.  Students must drag the words down to the lines at the bottom of the page to create a phrase or sentence.  The colored lines match up with the colors behind the words.  This is a great visual strategy for my students!

After the phrase or sentence is completed, there is an opportunity for the student to record their creation.

Obviously, this is a very visual app!  I love this app for my students with ASD.  If you look at the top of the page, you will see a ninja with ten stone steps.  As your student progresses through the activity, the ninja will move down the steps, indicating progress.  There are 10 items presented at each level (there are more than that available in each level). 

When your student is done, simply press the done button at the top of the screen.  Depending on their accuracy with the level, they may get a reward at the end!

At this point, you can choose to try a few more at the same level, go to the next level, or press the done button to go to the results page.

I don't have a picture of how to choose your student on the report center.  Since I have been trying this app out with students, there are a lot of their names and pictures on my page now, and I don't want to delete their data to get a picture.  I have been using this app a lot!!!!

I do have pictures of the rest of the results page though.  Once you select your student, you have the options of choosing either their progress report, adjusting their level, or looking at their player reward hall.

You can look at data by date or by levels.

Adjusting the level is the same page that you saw at the beginning of your student selection.

Students earn belts in the Belt Dojo area by completing a group level (e.g., group 1: phrases).  There are six group levels in this app, so there are six different colored belts to earn. 

Another great feature in the Report Center is a Homework button!  There is great homework available for groups 1-5.  Most of the levels are combined on the homework pages to include 2-8 levels on a page because of similarities in their tasks.

I wish you could have seen the face of one of my students when he used this app!  He was so excited!!!  I know that this is going to become one of my go to apps for sentence construction and expansion. 

Want to learn more about this app?  You can see the Sentence Ninja app information at
This app is currently available for $14.99.
You can also win a copy here!  Smarty Ears was generous enough to offer one free copy of this app for a giveaway to my readers!  Just enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of this great app!
This giveaway ends when the clock turns midnight on Wednesday, October 16.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dollar Store Dash Linky Party!

It's a linky party!  I love linking up with other bloggers, especially when it might or might not involve shopping!  I thought this idea from Teach Speech 365 was so fun.  The challenge was to go to the dollar store and spend $5 or less and create 3-5seech or language activities with the items that you purchase.

Here is what I purchased:
1) mini pumpkin
2) pumpkin decorations
3) two cardboard doll houses
4) cardboard Halloween house

Here are my activities that I am planning with these items:

1)  With the mini pumpkin, and decorations, I am going to play a Mr. Potato head requesting game.  I will take pictures of each of the face pieces and then use it with my students who have ASD.  They can use the pictures to request with PECS, or as visuals to help with verbal requests.  E.G., "I want the green mouth."

2) I bought two cardboard doll houses to work on following directions and prepositions.  I will set up two of the houses back to back.  Students can either play with each other or with me.  We will describe where to put everyone, and then see if our houses look the same.  E.G., "Put the cat on the purple rug upstairs" or "Put the cat next to the girl."

3) Spooky Articulation!  The last activity will use the cardboard Halloween house.  I am going to cut a slit in the top of the roof that will fit my articulation cards.  Students will take turns saying their words, and then place them in the roof of the house.  Simple, but my kids loving putting their cards inside of boxes!

Thanks for checking out my dollar store ideas!  This is a fun challenge that anyone can take to get a few fun activities at school for a pretty cheap price!

Fall Reinforcer Mats: FREEBIE!

I was inspired this week to create some reinforcer mats for some of my articulation students.  You could also use these mats for language activity reinforcement. 


I love to use mats like these with magnetic bingo chips.  My students love to use the magnet to clean up after their trials.  They will use the mats multiple times in a session, just so they can clean them up!
You can get these free fall mats by liking my Facebook page and clicking on the free downloads button.
Enjoy, and happy fall!

Sign of the Week

This year on my caseload, I have a student who is on the Autism Spectrum, and also deaf.  This student is using a combination of a cochlear implant, a communication device, and sign.  We try to get our students integrated as much as we can within the school community, so I wanted to figure out a way to expose as many people in the school as possible to some sign.  Most people leave the building by passing by my room, so I thought about making a bulletin board with some signs.  I came up with a sign of the week area, and let everyone know to try to take a glance at it every week to learn a new sign that our student uses.

I found a great website called that had a lot of flashcards of signs. I'm not sure that they are all exact ASL, but so far, they have matched up with what our little guy is doing.

I also looked up the signs on You Tube and made QR codes for each one.  People can scan the code and watch a video of the sign, to get a better idea of how to do each sign.

Here are a few of the posters that I made for future weeks:

I don't own the rights to any of the pictures or videos, so I can't share the actual posters I have made, but I wanted to share the idea with you.  These posters are super easy to make in Power Point.

After I told the staff about what I was doing, I had a lot of great, positive feedback.  I have seen several people, not just staff, stop at the board and check it out.  One day I even saw a Kindergarten student sitting there signing the alphabet.  It reminded me of myself when I was little.  My favorite book was Helen Keller, and there was a sign language alphabet in the back.  I loved figuring out how to sign all kinds of words!

Hope some of you can use this idea too!