Review: Narrative Assessment of Preschool and School Aged Children

About two years ago, I attended an in-service presentation on assessing narrative language skills.  I was really inspired to begin using these types of assessments in my language evaluations.  I have now regularly been using both standardized and informal narrative language assessments with the majority of students who are referred to me.  I have also started to target language skills through the use of narratives.
Recently, Tatyana Elleseff of  Smart Speech Therapy asked me to review her Narrative Assessment of Preschool and School Aged Children packet.  I was very interested to see what she had to offer, and what I could learn to add to my growing interest and use of narratives in my language sessions.  The packet she is offering is a 73 slide presentation that explains how to assess narrative abilities in preschool and school aged children.

The learning objectives for this packet are:
  • Explain the impact of narrative difficulties on language development and academic performance
  • List formal and informal instruments that can be used to elicit narratives in children of various ages
  • Identify specific elements of narrative assessment
  • Discuss stages of narrative development in preschool and school aged children
  • Formulate measurable goals and objectives targeting narrative skills

What did I like about this packet?
  • Tatyana describes why SLP's should assess narrative abilities.
  • The value of using narratives is explored.
  • There is a detailed list of the types of narratives (scripts, recounts, a counts, event casts, and fictional stories)
  • It reviews five different standardized/normed tests for narrative language skills.  I really liked this section because Tatyana gave a summary of each test and the testing limitations.
  • It has an explanation of analyzing microstructure (content, form, and use) and macrostructure (story grammar).  I thought this part was really useful and informative.
  • It has a GREAT explanation of what should be expected in a story from children ages 2 years to 12+ years.
  • There is a guide for writing measurable goals with some ideas for specific goals you could use to target microstructure and macrostructure.
  • There is a great list of resources to tap into with some free materials!  I highly recommend the materials by Language Dynamics Group- great materials!
  • There are excellent charts at the end that are quick references for the following information: Narratives at a glance, Microstructure at a glance, Macrostructure at a glance, Story Grammar, Perspecitve Taking Vocabulary, Narrative Ages and Stages, Episodic Structure, and Types of Cues.  These are really great reference sheets!
  • I felt like I took a class in the use of narratives.  The feel of this presentation reminded me of some CEU classes I have taken online.  Very informative and thorough presentation!
Some Sample Pages

Where can you find this packet?

Tatyana Elleseff, MA, CCC-SLP at Smart Speech Therapy is going to be offering this packet on her website for $24.99.  She will have it on sale now at an introductory price of 18.99!  Click here to find this great packet:
Narrative Assessments of Preschool and School Aged Children


Umbrellas in the Speech Room!

Today in our social language group, we had a lot of fun using umbrellas!  The main idea we were targeting was the preposition 'under.' 

The first activity was a book that I created called "Who Is Under The Umbrella?"  We passed out pictures of different animals or people, and students took turns putting the cards under the umbrellas on the pages.

 You can get this FREEBIE by clicking here:  Who Is Under The Umbrella?  Please leave feedback if you like it.

The next activity we did was to create little umbrellas for a bulletin board that the school social worker is going to make outside of her room.  The umbrellas were made out of coffee filters.  We had the students decorate the filters with Do-A-Dot markers.  Then, we folded them in half, punched a hole in the bottom and added a pipe cleaner handle.  I think they turned out really cute!

The bright colors of the activities today really got me excited for spring!  I will definitely take some April showers if they bring May flowers!


Apraxia Ville: Review and Giveaway!

Smarty Ears has done it again!  They have brought out another awesome app, Apraxia Ville!  This app is designed to target childhood apraxia or severe phoneme production difficulties.  It has a farm theme that is really cute, that I know my students are going to love.  Sorry in advance, this is a long post, but I really wanted to detail all of the great features of this app!  Also, there is a GIVEAWAY at the end!

I highly recommend the video tutorial under the support section.  Barbara Fernandez walks you through the entire app and gives great directions on how to navigate the app. 

This app starts out very similarly to other Smarty Ears apps.  Students can be entered into the app by clicking on "New Player", entering their name, and selecting a picture or avatar.  You can also import this information from Therapy Report Center, their free data collection app.

After you select your student, you will click next and select from three different activities.

The first activity is called "The Sound Windows."  This activity targets sound production only.  When you open the activity, there are two barn windows.  One window has an avatar of a boy, and ones window has an avatar of a girl.  The male avatar presents consonant sounds.  The female avatar presents vowel sounds.  When you touch the avatar, you can see and hear the production of the sound.  There is a small pepper slider that is located under each window.  This slider can be used to slow down the video production of the sound.  The consonant or vowel sound can be changed by touching the letter and selecting a new sound that appears in a sliding window.
There is a fun feature that is available on this activity.  In the top right corner of each window, there is a camera.  You can tap this camera icon to turn your ipad camera into a mirror.  The app suggests that you need an iPad 3 or higher, but I have an iPad 2 and it worked just fine.  Students are able to see themselves producing the sounds.

The next activity is called "The Farm House."  This activity targets single syllable words.  There are two levels in this activity.  Level 1 targets CV and VC words.  Level 2 targets CVC words.  There are a variety of sound groups you can choose from in this activity.  You are able to customize the consonant and vowel sounds that you will target.  There are twelve different groups of consonants as well as ten different vowel sounds.  If you have used this activity with a user before, you can tap on a button that repeats your previous selection of sounds.

When you open this activity, you will see a barn with its front doors wide open.  There is a picture in the doors that contains the target words.  When you touch the picture, it pronounces the word.  On the top of the barn are windows that contain your users.  This is where you will keep data.  Simply tap on the user you want to track, and you will be able to mark words as correct, incorrect, or almost there. The pictures in the doors will change to the sounds that you chose to target for each different student.  There are also two windows on the side of the barn.  These windows have the avatars that were used for sound production.  Students may review the sounds here.  There is a record and playback feature within this activity.

The third activity in Apraxia Ville is called "The Words Farm.  This activity focuses on stringing together two words with specific phonemes and patterns.  You may choose two or three words at a time.  Pictures of your targeted words are presented in a row, and students are able to touch a green play button to hear the words produced correctly.  They are also able to record and playback their own productions.  The data collection in this activity is very similar to that in "The Farm House" activity.

When your students are done with each activity, you press the "Done" button, and it will take you to a report page.  This will give you all of the data that was collected from the activity.  It provides the student name, date, activity, targeted phonemes, syllable structure, and accuracy.  This information can be emailed or exported to Therapy Report Center.

There is a really great new feature on this app, that I know I am going to love.  You are able to create a homework page to send home based on your session.  You simply press the "Homework" button to create a homework page that can be printed or emailed to you or the student's parents.  This is a great way to reinforce these productions at home!

What do I think?
I really like this app.  I love all of the customizations you are able to do with the sounds at a variety of levels.  The data collection is great, and it is compatible with Therapy Report Center.  I love the homework page that is able to be sent. 

Overall: I would recommend Apraxia Ville which is currently listed for $21.99.  Or, you can go below and win it in my GIVEAWAY!!!!

** I was provided with a copy of this app by Smarty Ears in order to complete this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for the review.  Thank you Smarty Ears for giving me this opportunity!

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March 2013 Link Up

I often see Link Ups and Linky parties on the TpT forums, and have been looking forward to some speech peeps participating too!  Well, Oh, How Pinteresting has started a Link Up for March.  You can find her instructions HERE.  I think this is a great way to network with other SLP bloggers and find out what everyone is up to!

State of Mind
I am excited about getting out of the cold weather in Michigan and heading down to Florida to visit my parents.  We are leaving a week from today.  Driving with a 5 and a 6 year old- should be interesting!
The anticipation of going someplace warm!  I am so over winter right now!  The first day of spring, and it snowed here.  Last year it was 80 degrees.  Ahhh...last year...
I also miss my parents a lot.  They live really close to us, but go to Florida for about 7 months every year now.  My kids really miss them too and are super excited to go.  Even if they aren't as excited for a two day car ride instead of an airplane ride.  Airline tickets were ridiculous this year!
I am prepping a great activity by The Speech Bubble called Camp Go-Together.   I am also checking out a new app from Smarty Ears called Apraxiaville.  I will be reviewing it and offereing a giveaway next week!  Keep your eyes out for it!
Go check out all of the blogs that are linking up at Oh, How Pinteresting.  Happy Spring!

Secret Code Idioms

My students had so much fun with my Secret Code Inferences, that I knew I wanted to make another activity using that format.  In the spring, my fourth and fifth grade teachers start to focus on idioms.  These are really difficult for some of my students, especially those with ASD.  They are so literal!  I made Secret Code Idioms for these students.

There are 24 different idioms targeted in this packet.  Each idiom is presented three different ways:

24 cards with the idiom listed and a secret code answer

24 cards with the idiom listed and a choice of three answers (secret code to check answer)

6 worksheets with four idioms listed and a space to write what the idiom really means.  There are also  secret code answers available on the worksheet so students can check their answers.

I hope you like these activities!  You can find Secret Code Inferences at my TpT store HEREIf you like what you see, please follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store and on Facebook

Thanks for checking this out!

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin is such a cute book that my students LOVE!  I have made a phonemic awareness book companion packet to go along with the book.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type: Phonemic Awareness Book Companion contains five different phonemic awareness activities to do with students PreK- 1st.

How Many Syllables?

Recognizing Rhyme

Generating Rhyme

Blending Monosyllable Words (Onset-Rime)

Segmenting Sounds

You can find this activity HERE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Secret Square

I have a game in my cabinet that I have had I think since I started as a speech path in the schools.  It looks like it is out of print, but I thought some of you might have it hiding in your closet or cabinet too!  The game is: Secret Square.  I am attaching a couple of pages of pictures that you could print off and use in the same way as this game.

Basically, this game is a set of 96 tiles with different object pictures on them.  It also has 25 chips.  The directions of the game say to choose 25 squares, at random.  Place the squares face up, in 5 columns of 5 rows each (I used 36 chips in my example).  You then pick a "Hider" who places a chip under one of the squares for all of the "Seekers" to try and find.

Players then start asking "Yes" and "No" questions about the squares to discover which square hides the chip.  Seekers may only ask questions that can be answered by "Yes" or "No".  For example,

Seekers may ask:
"Is it a fruit?"  "Is it an animal?"  "Can it fly?"  "Is it in the top row?"

Seekers may not ask:
"What color is it?"  "What letter does it start with?"  What row is it in?"

After answering, the Hider removes all of the squares that don't match the answer, and places them back in the box.  This continues until the secret chip is found.  The round ends when the Seeker names the secret square.  The Seeker then gets to keep the chip.  The Seeker that correctly names the square then gets to be the Hider with a new chip, and play continues with a new set of squares.  The player at the end of the game with the most chips wins.

There are many other ways to use these squares:

Same or Different
Select 25 tiles and arrange the picture side down.  Students take turns turning over two tiles at a time.  If they are able to perform one of the following tasks, they get to keep the two tiles.
1. state one way in which the two items are the same
2. state one way in which the two items are different

Describe It
Select 25 tiles and place them face up on the table.  Students take turns selecting tiles one at a time.  Students then have to describe the picture.  You can ask appropriate questions such as:
What color is it?
What is it used for?
Who would use it?

"Three for Me"
This game is based off of another game that I have called 3 for Me.  This game is also out of print now (I think it is a sign that I am getting old)!
Select 25 or 36 tiles and place them face up on the table in rows and columns.  Students then have to pick three different tiles and state how they are all similar.
Examples could include:
lion, cow, penguin because they are all animals
strawberry, apple, fire truck because they are all red
balloons, airplane, bird because they all go in the air.

Really, you could use any kinds of small pictures for this game.  Click HERE for a free sheet of pictures that you could use for these activities.