A Garden of Language

For the last four or five years, I have made a little garden in my back yard.  I grow tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, garlic, and a variety of lettuce.  Over the past two or three years, my little helpers have actually gotten quite into it.  Today, my five year old was helping me weed the garden, and I realized how many language concepts we were using in an everyday activity.  As we were weeding, he made sure to tell me that he would, "only pick the little ones, not the big ones."  I thought, "wow! We could be working on basic concepts!"  After that, I started thinking about all of the different speech or language skills we could work on as SLPs, and what we could advise parents to work on at home too.  Gardening is a great way to bond as a family, and a great time to take a moment out and just talk without other distractions.

Here are some pictures from my garden.  I have pots of some tomatoes, peppers, and flowers. I also have a big garden in the back of my yard, that is full of vegetables.

Here are some language skills that I think you could target in the garden:

Basic Concepts: big, little, wet, dry, top, bottom, in, out
Sequencing: planting a plant, watching a tomato grow, cooking with vegetables from the garden
Counting: How many plants in a row?  How many tomatoes are on the plant?  How many zucchini has the possum eaten this summer?
Colors: describe the colors of the plants, flowers, and vegetables
I found a book that looks really cute to help get children involved in gardening.  It looks like there are a lot of great tips and ideas to get some plants growing.  The name of the book is: Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out and is available on Amazon for $13.46 for the paperback edition or $9.59 for the Kindle edition.
You could also work on garden vocabulary with this cute FREEBIE!  It is a garden vocabulary bingo game.


You can get A Garden of Language: Vocabulary Bingo at my TpT store HERE!

I am by no means a master gardener, I just like to play around.  I probably do a lot of things wrong, but we have a lot of fun with it, and in the end get some great veggies from it!  I hope you are inspired to do some gardening with a little one in your life.  It could be with your own kids, or maybe start a couple of potted plants with some students that you work with.  Either way, I hope you have fun!

Summer Camp Language and Grammar Activities

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer!  I know I am loving being home with my boys.  We have been swimming, running around to baseball games, and generally just loving the great weather we have been having here.  In some of our downtime, I started working on a set of activities with a summer theme: Summer Camp Expressive Language Game, Summer Camp Receptive Language Game, and Summer Camp Grammar Game.  These packets would be great to use if you are in a clinic this summer, or doing Extended School Year programming.

The first in the set is Summer Camp Expressive Language Game:

There is a board game that is used for each packet:

There are four sets of cards that focus on specific skills.  The skills include:
  • categorization
  • compare and contrast
  • functions
  • if/then statements 
You can pick one set to use with a group of students, or you can differentiate instruction and use separate sets for each student based on their needs.
I have included a homework page for each targeted skill.  Here is the example of the categorization page.
For this packet, I also included some "I can" pages with visual sentence starters.  Here is an example:
The second packet in this series is Summer Camp Receptive Language Game. 
 The same board game that is included in the expressive packet is also included in this packet.  There are four sets of skills targeted in this packet:
  • auditory closure
  • listen for absurdities
  • part/whole relationships
  • what doesn't belong?
 There is also a homework page for each targeted skill.
The third packet is: Summer Camp Grammar Game

 Again, this game uses the same game board as shown above.  There are four grammar skills targeted in this packet:
  • subjective pronouns
  • irregular plurals
  • was/were
  • do/does

I made "I can" statement pages for each of the above skills.  Here is an example of the irregular plurals page: 
I also have a homework page for each skill that is similar to the pages in the previous packets.

You can purchase each of these packets separately in my TpT store:
Summer Camp Expressive Language Game
Summer Camp Receptive Language Game
Summer Camp Grammar Game

Or, you can purchase these three packets bundled for your savings!  20% off of each packet if you purchase them bundled.
Summer Camp Bundle of Language and Grammar Skills

Thanks so much, and hope you continue to have a great summer!

Phono Learning Center App Review and GIVEAWAY

At the end of May, Smarty Ears released a new app called Phono Learning Center.  This app is based on the Hodson Cycles approach which is used specifically for those children who are unintelligible due to a sound-system disorder.  I found this article by Caroline Bowen at Speech-Language-Therapy.com that has a great explanation of the Cycles approach. 

Smarty Ears contacted me before the end of the school year to do a review of this app.  I was able to download it and try it out with a few students before the end of the year.  I haven't given it a whole "cycle" yet, but did get some great feedback from my students!  I'm just now sitting down to write this review because, lets face it, now I have some more time!  The end of the year was crazy!

Phono Learning Center (PLC) starts out like most Smarty Ears Apps.  You add players and select participants.  You can import from Therapy Report Center if you use it.  You can select multiple players at a time.

You can double click on each student to adjust the targets that you will be working on.  You can select the level (words, phrases, sentences), primary targets (syllables, initial consonants, final consonants, s clusters, final s clusters, posterior contrasts, anterior contrasts, liquids), and secondary targets (voicing contrasts, stridents, palatals, consonant sequences, medial k, postvocalic r).  There are also advanced targets for students 8 and older.

You can also change the settings before you begin. In the settings you can choose to restrict the app use based on the Cycles framework.

Next, is an auditory bombardment activity where students tap balloons to listen to target words.

After Auditory Bombardment, you select the game you would like to play.  There are four choices:



Basket Paper:


When you have completed your activity, you can go to the report card.  Data collection tabs are at the top right corner of every activity. There is a missed button, almost button, and got it button.  I like having the almost button because it gives me an idea of how many prompts a student needs at the word, phrase, or sentence level. 

One of the best things about this app is the Homework aspect.  On the opening page under the Support button, there is a link to homework pages.  There are a variety of pages available that you can email, print, or open in another app like iBooks.

What I liked about this app:
I thought this app was very thorough.  There were a variety of targets, and the games are really cute for students.  This app is clearly based on the evidence-based practice of the Cycles approach.  The data that is collected is really effective.

What would make this app even better:
There did not seem to be an end to two of the games: balloon, and basket paper.  It would be great if there was a counter or something else to keep track of the number of trials.  My students love having a target number of trials to work towards.

How can you get this app?
You can get Phono Learning Center at the iTunes store for $14.99. This is currently a sale price, with a regular price of $24.99.  I believe the sale will be ending within the next few days.  You can also enter to win a copy in my rafflecopter giveaway:

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.


Prepositions Journey: App Review and Giveaway

I was recently given the chance to review Prepositions Journey by Virtual Speech Center Inc.  I was so excited!  I have so many students who are currently working on prepositions, and I never feel like I have enough engaging activities to target these goals.  I try to make it fun for my students, but some days I just don't feel creative enough, and out comes the iPad.  This app is a great addition to my iPad!

Prepositions Journey starts like most data collecting apps, by adding and selecting students.

Next, you select the category (scene) that you would like to use.  The choices are Lake Camping, Island, and City.  You also select the prepositions that you would like to target.  There are 20 different prepositions to choose from, and you can choose to work on all of them either receptively, or expressively- which I think is totally awesome!  The prepositions included are: in, on, under, next to, in front of, behind, in the back, between, above, below, beside, in the middle, outside, out, over, near, far, on the side, on the left, on the right.

When you work on the receptive activities, students are asked to point to an animal in reference to an object in the scene.  For example, "Show me the fox above the umbrella."

When you work on the expressive activities, students are asked to describe where the animal is by answering 'where' questions.  For example, "Where is the rabbit?"  You can record the student's responses and have them listen back to the sentence they have created.  You then mark it correct or incorrect.  My students loved listening back to themselves with this!

You can complete all twenty trials of the activity, or choose to finish early by touching the finish button.  Either way, data has been collected for you, and is available in a report that is broken down by preposition and activity type (receptive or expressive).

What did I like about this app?
I liked everything about this app!  My students were engaged with the activities, and it targets all of the prepositions that I need an app to target!  I really like that you can target the prepositions either expressively or receptively.  The pictures that are used in the expressive activity are clear, and my students enjoyed creating sentences to describe the pictures.  This is a great addition to my other activities that I use with my students to target prepositions.
What could make this app even better?
The only thing that would make it better is if the students could have some sort of "reward" that they are working towards.  There is a counter of how many trials students have completed, but there is not anything that they are working towards as a reinforcer.
Where can you get this app?
Prepositions Journey is available on iTunes for $9.99
You can also enter to win a copy of this app below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


June SLP Link Up!

Laura, over at Oh, How Pintearesting! has started a monthly SLP link up.  This month's theme is Fathers Day (notice the mustaches?).  You can participate in this link up by visiting Laura's blog.

Here is what I am up to:

Jamming to: The Black Eyed Peas.  I am trying to find more music to run to, but I always come back to these guys (and girl).  Anyone have some good ideas for music to run to?

Unwinding: By running.  Ok, so I haven't been great at this lately, but I am really trying to get back into it.  I've also been spending a lot of time sitting at baseball and soccer fields watching my little guys playing their favorite sports.

Needing:  To finish my end of the year reports.  I haven't even started my progress reports for all of my students.  Need to get on that this week!  I am also super excited about all of the great products I snagged in the SLP's Care for OK bundles that I purchased this week.  I need to start printing and laminating!

Excited About: Spending the summer with my boys.  I have two boys at home.  They are 5 and 6, and so much fun!  I can't wait to spend the summer with them!  I am also so excited about how much money we have raised so far for the SLP's in Moore, OK!  As of today, it is over $10,000!!!!! 

You can link up with this by going to Oh, How Pintearesting!  If you don't have a blog, you can comment below!  What are you jamming to?  You can help me find some new running music!


Two Moore Ways to help SLPs

On May 20, 2013, a major tornado ripped through the community of Moore, Oklahoma.  Unfortunately the damage was just unthinkable.  24 people lost their lives.  My heart grieves for those families. 
In the path of the destruction were two elementary schools.  The students and teachers lost their school, along with all of their valuable tools for learning.  Four of the SLP's in the district lost all of their years worth of speech and language materials.  A large group of SLP bloggers have put together two bundles of activities to raise money for the SLP's in Moore, Oklahoma.  You can read all about this awesome opportunity to help by clicking here:

 (Graphic courtesy of Mia owner of Putting Words In Your Mouth)
All of the money from the sale of these bundles goes directly to the speech-language pathologists affected by this disaster.  If you purchase either bundle, you will be helping a fellow SLP as well as snagging some awesome activities for yourself!
I contributed to bundle #2.  You can get my activity Semantic Fishbowl if you purchase bundle #2.
If you want to go right to the two bundles, you can go right to the TpT store: SlpsCareforOK