Simple, but FUN!

One of the most popular activities in my speech room always surprises me.  It is a simple "feed the animals" game produced by Super Duper Inc.  The game is called Animal Buddies- Open Ended Motivational Box with Tokens.

There are days when I ask my older students which game they would like to play while doing their articulation words.  I am always shocked when my fourth or fifth grade students ask for this game!  They love it!  All I do is make them say as many words as I choose (or sentences) and then they get to pick a couple of food items to feed to the animals.

I recently came across a freebie by Lauren LaCour of  called Hungry Hippos Artic.  This is a fun game that you can use as an articulation game or an open-ended motivational game.  I took all four hippos that are included in the packet and glued them onto an old tissue box.  Then, I bribed the art teacher for an exacto knife and cut out all of the mouths on the hippos.  I laminated the blank fruits that are included in the packet and placed them on a sheet of foam that had a sticky side.  I did this so that my students could have an easier time picking the small pieces up off the table. 

This simple activity has turned into a new favorite of many students!  They love the hungry hippos!
You can find the Hungry Hippos Artic game HERE for free.


Going on a Picnic! A WH Question Activity

My kids love to go on picnics.  In the summer, we'll pack up a basket for lunch and walk down to our favorite park.  My kids love the change of eating outside, and those regular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just taste a little bit better.  When I saw a set of cute picnic clipart from MareeTruelove, I knew I had to get it and create something with it.  We have started working on some more WH type question with my ASD groups, and I thought this might be a perfect match.  So, I created:

Going on a Picnic! A WH Question Activity

In this packet, you will get 90 different question cards.  18 cards for each of 5 question types (who, what, where, when, why).  Each card is labeled at the bottom with the type of question asked for easier organization.

There is a fun "picnic basket" mat to collect all of the different items.  Students answer a question, and if they get it correct, they can keep the picnic item card.  The student who collects all of the 6 different items first, wins!

Watch out though, you could get ants in your basket and lose a card.
I also included 5 divider cards for organization.

You can get this activity packet HERE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The weather here is nicer this week.  I think I'll take my students outside to our picnic tables at school to play this game this week!

***Update: 5/28/2013- We had rain today all day, but I was able to play with students inside!  We'll see what the rest of the week brings...


Review: Differential Diagnosis of ADHD in Speech Language Pathology

I was recently approached by Tatyana over at Smart Speech Therapy LLC to do a product swap/review.  I jumped at the chance to review her slide presentation titled, Differential Diagnosis of ADHD in Speech Language Pathology.  I have a new student this year who has probably the most significant case of ADHD that I have ever seen, but, I always wonder if something was missed.  Does he really have ADHD, or is it something else?  This packet that Tatyana has created answered a lot of my questions, and is full of great information.

The Goals and Objectives of this presentation are clearly presented and definitely covered in the packet.

After the Goals and Objectives are clearly stated, Tatyana presents the following information to you:
  • Overview of ADHD
  • Describes core symptoms of ADHD (Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity)
  • ADHD Statistics-  Wow!  Did you know that as of 2007, 5.4 million children ages 4-7 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD?!?
  • What if its not ADHD?- Tatyana reports that nearly 1 million children are potentially misdiagnosed.
  • Disorders Frequently mistaken for ADHD
  • Differential Diagnosis- describes language disorders with ADHD like symptoms
  • Case Studies- 4 different children.  Each case study contains background information, assessment results, diagnostic findings, discussion and learning outcomes.
  • Multidisciplinary Approach for Evaluation and Management
  • Relevance and Implications for SLP's
  • Helpful Resources
I thought this was a very informative packet!  The case studies were really interesting and made me think about students that I have known.  Sometimes it is easy to just take a physicians diagnosis of ADHD and run with it.  Tatyana reminded me that we need to look deeper.  There may be a language disorder that is presenting with ADHD like symptoms.

You can get this slide presentation packet HERE at Smart Speech Therapy LLC.  This packet is currently available for $8.99

Thanks to Tatyana for allowing me to preview such a great product!
You can find Smart Speech Therapy on Facebook and at her website
Tatyana is currently reviewing a product of mine: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie: A Phonemic Awareness Book Companion at her blog.  You can check out her review of my phonemic awareness book companion HERE.
We are both doing giveaways of our products on our blogs!  Tatyana will be giving away a copy of Differential Diagnosis of ADHD in Speech Language Pathology on her BLOG.  You can also enter to win one of three copies of my book companion here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Summer People Sentences: 3rd person pronouns (he, she, they) FREEBIE

Every season, I have made an activity that focuses on third person pronouns.  First there was Winter People Sentences, then Spring People Sentences, and now I have Summer People Sentences: 3rd Person Pronouns (he, she, they).

This is a simple activity that just has the students "give" an item to the boy, girl, or pair of kids.  Students place the item in a box under the character, and then create a sentence such as, "She has a flip flop" or, "He has a grill."  There are three mats that have visual sentence starters, and three mats that just have a blank space for the item card.  The blank ones are available so that students may create their own sentences without visual cues.

Example of Mats with Sentence Starter:
Example of Mats without Sentence Starter: 
Example of Item Cards:

I have decided to try something new with my freebie, and make it available only on my Facebook page.  All you have to do to get this great free product is to like my page, Speech Universe!  Once you get to my page, find the button that says "Free Downloads."  This is where the freebie is located.

I hope you enjoy my free activity!  If you like it, please share the link with friends!


Sheep in a Jeep: A Phonemic Awareness Book Companion

One of my favorite books to read with students is Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw.  This book is a great way to work on rhyming words.  The sentences in the story are really simple, and have mainly one syllable rhyming words.  I wanted to make a phonemic awareness book companion to use with this awesome book.

Sheep in a Jeep: A Phonemic Awareness Book Companion is a 20 page packet that focuses on the phonemic awareness skills of rhyme, blending, and segmenting.

The packet starts out with a rhyme awareness activity:

Next is a rhyme generation activity:

The next activity focuses on sound blending (onset-rime):

Last is a segmentation activity:

All of the words in these activities come right from the book.  Students are highly engaged when activities are geared toward such a fun book!

You can get this packet of activities at my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.

Hope you and your students enjoy these activities!


Protecting Kids Hearing

This weekend, I got to attend a music festival called Bottlerock in Napa, CA.  It was a four day concert series full of incredible bands.  It was of course beautiful weather the entire weekend, and the bands were awesome!  I really only got to see two days- that little thing called "work" kind of got in the way!

While I was there listening to the music and not really being able to talk to my friends unless I was yelling, I started looking around.  What I saw kind of surprised me.  There were lots of little kids.  Then, I noticed that a majority of parents had their little ones ears covered with headphones!  I thought, WAY TO GO PARENTS!!!!  It was so loud there, and the exposure was literally hours upon hours of very loud noise.  You could hear music from the main stage probably about 1/2 mile to a mile away.  I wish I would have thought to use my decibel app on my phone to see what the reading was!

Here are examples of the headphones that I saw kids wearing.  Both sets report noise reduction of 22 decibels.  These are available on  I must say, all of the kids looked adorable in their little headphones.

I mentioned that I saw the majority of kids with headphones on.  They were playing and dancing, and having a great time.  I also saw several little ones without hearing protection.  Many of those kiddos were not so enthusiastic about being there.  Many of them were crying.  I'm not sure if they were just bored, or if possibly, their ears hurt.  This all got me thinking about hearing protection.  How much is too much noise?  How can we better protect our own hearing as well as our children's?

I found a great website called "It's a Noisy Planet".  This website is put together by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).  This website is full of amazing tips for parents on protecting and educating about hearing, noise, and hearing loss.

From this website, I learned that:
  • a rock concert probably has a decibel level of 110 dB
  • the smallest detectable sound that the human ear can hear is 0 dB
  • normal conversation is about 60 dB
  • a power mower is about 90 dB
  • a jet taking off is about 140dB
  • regular exposure of greater than one minute at or above 110 dB risks permanent hearing loss.

They also had a great chart that spelled out how your ears can tell you that something is too loud:
  • You have to raise your voice to be understood by someone standing nearby.
  • The noise hurts your ears.
  • You develop a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears, even if it is only temporary.
  • You don't hear as well as you normall do until several hours after your exposure to the noise.
They advise that there are three things you can do when exposed to noise:
  1. block the noise (headphones, ear plugs)
  2. avoid the noise (walk away)
  3. turn down the sound.
Please check out their website- it really is an awesome resource.  It's a Noisy Planet

Now, you may ask, "Did you have headphones on at this concert?"  Unfortunately, the answer is, "no".  I did not have any headphones or earplugs with me.  I did, however, try to remove myself from the loud music at times by going to other areas of the venue, and sitting pretty far back from the speakers.  Looking back, I know I should have brought something with me, and practiced what I preach.  I know now, that next time, I will try to set a better example and take proactive steps to protect my own hearing!

What do you do to protect your, or your children's hearing?


Syllable Splash Review and Giveaway!

Have you seen Syllable Splash?  It is an app by Smarty Ears that targets syllable awareness.  I was offered a chance to preview this app, and thought it would be great to use with my kindergarten phonemic awareness group.

Syllable Splash is a really simple app.  There is just one activity- counting syllables in words.  To start this app, you select a player.  You can select up to four players at a time.  You can also select the settings you want for the game.  You have a choice of using words with up to 4 syllables.  You can also choose the number of wrong choice options (1-3).  There are cute fish and shark animations that you can also choose to turn on or off.  I kept them on- they are pretty cute.

After you select your players and options, you are ready to begin!

The narrator says a word that matches the picture.  Students then choose how many syllables the word has.  The number of syllables is mixed up instead of in sequential order.  If you have the animations turned on and the student chooses incorrectly, a shark comes and eats the incorrect response!

It seems to me that this game will go on forever.  I do not think it stops unless you press the Done button.   By pressing Done, you are taken to the report card.

You can share data from this app by email or by using the Therapy Report Center app by Smarty Ears.

What do I like about Syllable Splash?
I like that it is simple.  The app serves one purpose- counting syllables.  The graphics are really cute and attractive.

What could be improved with Syllable Splash?
I actually did not agree with the syllable count on some of the words.  Maybe I am wrong, but they counted "fireman" as two syllables, "stapler" as two syllables, and "hippopotamus " would not even register a correct response (I think it is 5 syllables, but there was not an option for five).
I also wish there was at least some sort of counter or something to keep the students engaged.  There isn't anything that counts how many trials they have completed.  There also isn't any incentive or reward.

Where can you get Syllable Splash?
You can get Syllable Splash HERE at the iTunes store for $5.99 until 5/12/13.  After that date, the price returns to its regular price of $9.99.

You can also win a copy of this app in my giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided a copy of the app by Smarty Ears for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


Playground Scavenger Hunt

Outside speech therapy scavenger hunt.  This is a great way to engage students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the outside environment.

The weather has been beautiful here, so during our social language group, the school social worker and I took our students with ASD out for a playground scavenger hunt!  We had so much fun!

First, we made a scavenger hunt schedule for each student.  They needed to find each piece of playground equipment on the playground and check it off their list.

Outside speech therapy scavenger hunt.  This is a great way to engage students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the outside environment.

We encouraged the students to play with each other and wait for friends at the end of each piece of equipment.

After the students completed the scavenger hunt, we went back inside and worked on our conversation skills.  The students asked each other, "What was your favorite piece of playground equipment?"  This is a skill we have been focusing on for months now, and the students are getting MUCH better at directing questions to each other and orienting themselves toward each other.  They are even getting better and asking and answering the questions without visual supports!

All in all, it was a fun day on the playground!


Teacher Appreciation Sale!

This week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, I am participating in a Teacher Appreciation Sale!  I will have 20% off of all of my products in my store, and TpT will give you an additional 8% off when you use the code TAD13.

You can check out my store HERE and get your wish list ready for the big sale days!

Thank you to everyone who follows my little blog and store!  I truly appreciate you, and know how hard you work for your students every day!


Comprehension Aphasia: App Review

Last week, I introduced a freebie that focused on yes/no questions.  This week, I want to introduce you to a great app, Comprehension Aphasia from Virtual Speech Center, that also focuses on increasingly complex yes/no questions and directions. 

When I was first approached about this app, I thought that I would not review it because, "I don't work with people who have aphasia."  Then, I looked at the preview information, and realized that this app will not only work for people with aphasia from a stroke or other brain injury, but it will also work for my students with receptive language difficulties and autism.  So, I downloaded the app, and WOW!  This app is jam packed with was to target both yes/ no questions and following directions.

When you first open the app, you select START, and then select a student you will work with.  You then choose the goal area you would like to target.  You have many, many areas to choose from.

This app includes more than 1,700 pre-recorded audio instructions in these goal areas:
  • Yes/No Questions (6 levels of difficulty)
  • Basic Directions with 1 Element (12 levels of difficulty) *elements are: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and function of objects
  • Basic Directions with 2 Elements (12 levels of difficulty) *elements are: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and function of objects
  • Temporal Directions (18 levels of difficulty) *uses terms before and after
  • Conditional Directions (9 levels of difficulty)
After you select your student and goals, you are ready to go!

Here are some screen shots of the different areas:

Yes/No Questions:
Basic Directions:
Temporal and Conditional Directions:
This app keeps data for you and gives a report card for each student.  You may select your report based on the date or activity for each student.

There is a settings button that allows you to further customize the way you are targeting goals.  There is an option for turning on background noise (choice of three noises) and to control the volume of the background noise. 
What do I like?
There was a lot to like about this app.  With 1,700 different pre-recorded instructions, this app will not keep repeating the same trials over and over!  My students were engaged by the real photographs.  I am always looking for new ways to target yes/no questions and following directions with my students with autism, and this was a great app that will focus on these goals.  I also like that the app keeps great data for you.
What could improve the app?
If you select more than one goal to work on, the app takes your student through 30 trials of one goal before switching to the next goal.  For some of my students, this is just too many trials for one targeted goal.  I wish there was a way to select how many targets you would like to see in each goal area.
Where can you get this app?
This app is available at the iTunes store here:
You can purchase this app right now for a sale price of $15.99.  This sale price will last through 5/14/2013 when it will return to its regular price of $19.99.
I was provided a copy of the app by Virtual Speech Center, Inc. for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

Roll it, Say it, Keep it Articulation

This winter, one of the kindergarten teachers at my school showed me a fun game called Roll Say Keep.  The game focused on reading sight words.  I thought it was such a cute idea, and instantly thought I could turn it into an articulation game.  I looked on Teachers Pay Teachers to figure out who to credit for the idea for this game, but there were many, many versions out there.  If you search Roll Say Keep on TpT you can find some fabulous sight word games (maybe to share with teachers at your school).

I created Roll it, Say it, Keep it: Articulation for the following sounds: F, V, S, Z, K, G, and Th.

Roll it, Say it, Keep it is a simple dice game that uses a game mat and item cards.  You can laminate the game board and cards.  Cut out all cards (there are divider cards included for easier organization).  Students place a card on each spot on the mat and then roll the dice.  What ever number they roll is the number of the card that they say.  In my articulation version, I have the students say the word the number of times that they rolled on the die.  You could also have the student put the word in a sentence.

Here is what the game looks like while you are playing...
I also printed out my entire bundle and put it in a three ring binder for an easy grab page of articulation words!

You can get the bundle Roll it, Say it, Keep it: Articulation HERE and save 25% off of the price of each set purchased individually.

You can also get each set individually:
F and V
S and Z
K and G

Have fun!