February 24, 2015

What's In My Cart (Linky Party!)

Click the icon to go to the Linky Party page at Speech Room News!
Hi, everyone! I am participating in my first linky party- woo! I have linked up with Speech Room News and I am so excited to see what everyone has in their carts in preparation for tomorrow's sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am an avid thrifter, so let me be the first to say that sales are my favorite.

I've had some items in my cart for a while now that I have been anxiously looking forward to buying. The best part is, tomorrow is our first day back after being out of school for 9 snowy days (during which time I left my paycheck at the school) so not only will there be a sale, but my bank account will be replenished and ready for some online shopping for fun new therapy materials!

Here's why you should be excited about tomorrow's sale:
Like many other SLPs on TPT, everything on SLP Word Play (TPT) will be 20% off!!! But not only that- use the code HEROES to receive an extra 10% off!

Here's a product I recommend from my story. I created it over our "unplanned winter break" last week.  This activity is intended to be used to target following directions with elementary-high school aged students. This particular activity targets following 1,2,3 step directions, basic concepts (colors, location, size, shape), compass directions: north, south, east, west (for older children), and varying difficulties of directions (first/then, before/after, etc). This product is useful when trying to integrate  GEOGRAPHY into SPEECH/LANGUAGE THERAPY.

Here are some items from other sellers that are in my shopping cart, awaiting tomorrow's sale:

1.This product from Schoolhouse Talk looks to be a necessity for me. I love two things about this product: It helps with progress monitoring (which can be an absolute pain in the rear) AND it's EDITABLE! So even if the product doesn't suit the exact needs of the caseload, it can be modified to fit. Yay!

2. This product has rave reviews on Nicole Allison's TPT. My thoughts are that anything that simplifies vocabulary works for me. I have a hard time getting teachers to hand over their vocabulary words, especially since I work with PreK-6th and each teacher has new words each week. When I try to find my own vocab, I become overwhelmed at the choices. This product can help narrow down what to target and how to progress up the ladder of difficulty. For that, I am thankful.

3. I've had my eye on Natalie Snyders' Language Progress Monitoring Tool for quite some time now. My upper level students are some of the more difficult ones to keep progress data on because they are working on so much language! I have hopes that this tool will simplify the process. As stated before, anything that makes progress monitoring easier is a product for me.

4. Who here has taken a language sample, sat back to analyze and thought, "Wait. What am I even looking for?!" No one? It's only me? Nah, it happens to the best of us and that's why I need this product. A basic staple in my collection of checklists, and School SLP on TPT has it up and ready for me to use!


5. Last but not least, I have Figuratively Speeching's tool for aiding in the comprehension of test questions and directions. This vocabulary is some of the MOST important for our students when it comes to their classroom performance. A student will have a hard time taking and passing a test when they can't even completely understand the directions. I love that this activity focuses on the vocabulary that is sometimes forgotten!

 Thanks for checking out my cart! Head back to the linky party and see what everyone else has in their carts as well!

February 22, 2015

How I Use It: Story Maker Pro (app)

Story Maker is one of my favorite apps to use with all elementary age language groups. I have found it useful to target many of my language goals that I inherited from the previous SLP at my school. I have used this with ages Kindergarten-6th (all ages that I treat). Some of these children are your average language delayed students, some are MMD, some are FMD. Some of these children need help with categorization and vocabulary. Some have difficulty with story sequencing, retell, comprehension and/or following directions. Some students have fluency disorders. This app can help target all of it!

Story Maker Introduction Screen

This is the screen where the magic begins! After clicking create a story on the introduction page, you now have free reign of the story making app. You see see the categories so neatly organized across the bottom of the screen. Each category has tons of items within it- as many locations, occupations, items, creatures, and delicacies as you could ever hope for.

Story Maker: Creating the Story

Here's an example of a story some of my students created. In this instance, we were working on telling a cohesive story. There was a lot of guided instruction with this group of students, as well as a visual set of criteria (characters, problem, solution, etc).  I let the students pick a story topic after they browsed the different people, aka characters, they could choose from.

Story Maker: Finished Product</center>

One thing I like about this app is that you also have the option of voice recording your story instead of putting any type. This saves time and works on expressive language and fluency, if that's something you need to target! 

Here are the ways I've used this app:

Have students predict which category they'll find certain items. Tell them three things you want (or that a stuffed animal wants). Maybe your stuffed dog wants a ball, a doghouse and rain. Can the student identify the correct category each item will fall under?
Create a page called "Things You Find in a Zoo" and have them find items within each given category. They'll find a zookeeper, cage, lion, tree, etc. and can place each picture on the page you created. 

Pick one category and go from there. Perhaps this session, you're working on places. Let the child pick a few locations, then you pick a few. Take turns describing the locations. Tell where you'd find it (example: parking lot- you'll find one at Walmart, school, church, etc). Tell what it looks like and who you might find there. Make real word connections. (Parking lot was a simple example- there are SO many locations to choose from!) Included in this category are landmarks, which can be fun for older students after learning about famous places of the world. 

Story Retell, Sequencing and Comprehension
I lumped these together because targeting them is often similar with my groups. If you've just read "The Three Little Pigs", have the students retell it using this app. Remind them (visually, if needed) to use a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END. 
You can also make your own version of the story and put it in an incorrect order. The students then have the option of rearranging the story slides into the correct order. 
Type a question on a slide about the story you just read. Then, provide pictures of 2-4 options of possible answers. (Example: What did Goldilocks eat?) This is a simple way to give the option of multiple choices for students who need it. 

Following Directions
Put 3 items on the screen (Example: table, banana, child). The student can be instructed to follow directions. If your younger students are like mine, they need help with basic concepts as well as following directions. Ask them to put the child beside the table, the banana behind the child, the table under the child. Let the students pick 3 objects that interest THEM and go from there. 

Since this app has the option for voice recording, the student can create and tell their story, then replay it. This lets the student self monitor their speech and check for use of strategies. 


Pro vs Free
I began with the free version of this app.  However, if you're wanting to save stories you've created (to continue in the next session, perhaps), it's worth the $5. 

Pros and Cons
Pros: Free version, affordable pro version, simplistic pictures, voice recording option, over 800 images to choose from, saving capabilities with paid version.
Cons: Sometimes, the students become "lost" in the mass of pictures available to choose from. However, with supervision, it's not an issue. 


Overall, I love this app. I can target tons of goals and areas of language without spending a fortune or a ton of prep time. Let me know how you use this app!

*I am in no way affiliated with Super Duper, Inc. and am not being paid to endorse their products.