Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nada! and Flapz by Blue Orange Games {REVIEW}

If you haven't heard of Blue Orange Games, it is something you HAVE to check out.  There are a ton of games for people of all ages.  The best part is, you can incorporate so many speech and language goals.  I was so thrilled when the people at Blue Orange Games sent me not one but TWO of their amazing games to use with my students!  Keep reading to hear all about the games Nada! and Flapz and how you can use them in your speech room.

First up is Nada!  This fast moving, matching dice game is sure to be a hit in your speech room or classroom.  It can be played with 2 to 4 people which is perfect for your smaller speech groups.  
What is included:  
36 orange and white dice, a travel bag, and directions

How to play:  
There are three rounds.  First, take 6 orange and 6 white dice out of the bag and roll them on the playing area.  Students need to be focused and start looking for matches as soon as the dice are rolled.  The object is to be the first student to find a match on at least one orange and one white die.  

Whoever calls out the match (i.e. "Rabbit"), collects all the dice with that symbol.  He/she will then roll the remaining dice.  Now comes the fun part (at least I think so)!!  If there are no matches, you shout out "Nada!" and collect the rest of the dice.  A new round starts with 12 dice after all dice have been collected.  The student with the most dice at the end of 3 rounds is the winner!  If a student accidentally calls "Nada!" or a match, the dice should be rolled again. 

Another exciting thing about this game is that there are two variations of how to play.  I'm not sure about your students but mine can get bored easily of the same games so changing the "way" to play keeps things fun and interesting!  

The next super fun game is Flapz!  According to the website, it was inspired by the handmade cootie catcher! It is an adorable game with 96 fun challenges and can be used with 2 or more students.  

 How to play:
Choose a student in the group to go first.  That student will ask another student in the group to choose a number between 1-12.  Depending on the number chosen is how many times the Flapz is folded and unfolded.  I'll use the number 4 for the purpose of explaining how to play.
 Next, the student chooses a color from the 4 colors that are visible (as seen below).  He/she counts clockwise 4 dots from the colored dot chosen.

 The student will then flip open the colored dot that was landed on and reads the 4th challenge.  Once the student finished the challenge, the game continues with another student in the group.

Your students are sure to love BOTH of these amazing games from Blue Orange.  You can check out more details and purchase them from their website. I hope you enjoyed both of the reviews!!!

Live Love Speech

Saturday, May 25, 2013

BBQ Figurative Language {NEW} Activity

It is almost Memorial Day and I'm sure many of you have picnics, BBQs, and more to attend this weekend!  I purchased this adorable BBQ clip art a little while back and thought what better weekend to create an activity than this?!  I have many students that struggle with explaining and understanding figurative language.  I hope you find this activity exciting and useful!!  The best part is, the graphics go perfectly with the upcoming summer season.  Head over to my TpT store to grab this activity.  

BBQ Figurative Language

This activity targets similes, metaphors, and idioms. There are 112 cards included with this set!!

Included: 40 similes, 32 metaphors, 40 idioms, BBQ mat page, blank page to add your own similes, metaphors, or idioms, and answer keys.

How to Play: Print and laminate all pages. Cut apart all individual cards and place face down on table or playing area. Each student receives a BBQ mat page where he/she stores BBQ items. Students will correctly explain the simile, metaphor, or idiom in order to collect the item. The first student to get one of each BBQ item is the winner! The included answer keys give possible explanations for each simile, metaphor, and idiom.

I hope you and your students have fun using this activity all summer long!  Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend!!!

Live Love Speech

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Cheap Ideas for Speech by Miss Speechie!!

Cheap Ideas & Tricks for Speech!

Are you wondering how to use items around your house or items you can get for free in speech??  I have gathered a couple of items to show you how you can easily create multiple speech and language activities without spending a dime!

Brown paper lunch bags:

Do you have some of these in your house?  If not, you can easily get a TON for a cheap price that can last a while!  Here are some ideas that I use paper bags for:

  •  Puppets!  You can make puppets as a following directions activity or have students tell you how to make them for a language or fluency lesson.  You can also pre-make them to use for articulation, following directions, or pretend play.  You can also create character puppets based on stories read to help work on comprehension and describing.
  • Paper bag books:  Click HERE to see my previous post on how to create a book with these bags!
  • Sorting: You can easily create a sorting activity where students can place items into each bag. 
  • Mystery Bags:  You can place items into the bag and have students guess them by feeling or asking question.
  • Main Idea Bags:  You can put a main idea on the bags and provide students with magazines.  They can look for pictures that will go best with that main idea.


Do you have these around the house?  If not, you can also get these for a cheap price!  Here is some ideas on how I use them:
  • Sorting:  an easy way to get students to sort by categories.
  • Following directions:  if you align and number the cups in the correct order of steps necessary to accomplish a task and provide the materials needed for each step in the cup, it will help student complete tasks independently.
  • Token holder for reinforcers!
  • Avoid grabbing and fighting:  when I am doing following directions tasks that contain crayons/markers/manipulatives, I like to have ready to go cups with the materials sorted for each student.  This helps avoid students fighting for materials!

Paint Stirring Sticks:

These were free!!  I went into a paint store and told them that I am a teacher and they handed me several!  Yes, FREE!  How do I use these?

  • Story sequencing:  I attach Velcro to the sticks and students can arrange pictures to tell or retell a story. 
  • Articulation/Phonological Awareness activities:  I take a permanent marker and write B, M, E.   As I say words, I ask students to touch the placement of the target articulation sound or where the sound is in the CVC word.  You can also use these B, M, E for teaching story sequences as well!
  • Word/Picture matching:  I attach Velcro to the stick.  Then, attach pictures on the Velcro.  I write words/synonyms/adjectives/etc. on clothes pins and students must match and place the clothes pin onto the correct picture based on the task.

McDonald’s French Fries Containers:

These were free as well!  Again, I pulled the teacher card!  It worked!!  Here are ways I use them:

  • Sorting: anything to motivate sorting activities works for me!
  • Sequencing:  students can place pictures or sentences into an order of the containers.
  • Answering questions:  I will make questions on yellow construction paper and place them into a container.  Students must take one, read and answer the questions.  Just an easy way to make a drilling activity more exciting!  Click HERE to see my blog post and more pictures using this idea!

Here are just four items I use in my therapy room!  There are tons more!  Feel free to visit my blog for ideas and suggestions on how to create DIY activities for your speech room.

Miss Speechie is a licensed speech-language pathologist and author of the blog, Speech Time Fun.  Learn more about Miss Speechie and her therapy ideas by visiting her blog, her Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Get out!" by Sublime Speech!!

This awesome guest post is from Danielle over at Sublime Speech....

Get Out!”

Of the speech room that is…
There are days during each week that I feel like I’ve been doing therapy in my speech cave while others enjoy seeing the sunshine or snow falling through their glorious windows.  Yes, I’m jealous and that’s okay with me.  But how often do you take advantage of your ENTIRE environment.  Whether in a school, clinic, private practice, or otherwise there are so many wonderful opportunities for language, speech, fluency, etc. all around us!  Here are a few ideas:
Get Outside:

Some of our favorite things to do outside are the same things we do in my room.  But, when it’s a beautiful day out… why not move  your office outside?  Sometimes we just take our activity and find a nice place outside to complete it.  It also spawns new conversations that we don’t typically have.  Other times we go on word walks or vocab voyages.  These are simply as they sound… we walk around outside and name things we see.  This is a good opportunity to work on providing definitions, flexible word use, attributes, naming, etc.  You’d be surprised how much you can target on a simple walk.  You can also go on a speech sound hunt where you walk and identify objects, animals, people, etc. with the targeted speech sound in them.  Adding movement and a new environment to your sessions can increase their abilities to carry over tasks into those environments as well!

Get in the Hallways:

How much time do you waste going to get kids?  And how much extra time do they miss coming to you each day?  Some of my groups fall after natural breaks in my day like lunch or RtI groups.  Oftentimes I will go get the students and do an activity in the hallway.  This gives them about 5 extra minutes in their classrooms.  Don’t think that’s a lot?  Well, just by seeing them once a week in the hallway and giving them those 5 minutes back in their classrooms, they are spending about 180 more minutes in their classroom each year… which is 3 HOURS!  Wow!  We usually keep these hallway sessions to our quieter activities… it’s simply not the place for a game of “Blurt!” but works well for artic practice, card practice, and quiet games.

Get others involved:

Have you ever dared your principal to do one of Erik X. Raj’s “I Dare You” articulation app dares?  Have you ever had your QR Code hunt land a student at the nurse’s office?  How about having your students practice their sounds to others they see in the hallway or at lunch?  Did you know that they will be GIDDY to practice their skills when it involves other adults in your building?  Did you know that you aren’t the coolest person anymore?  Sure, they like you… but they LOVE the rest of your staff too.  Why not get some carry-over going with their skills by chatting with the art teacher during her lunch duty?  And here’s the best part… the staff LOVE it! It’s something different for them too!  My staff doesn’t run when they see me with my kiddos coming for them, they actually linger to see if we are going to ask them to do something fun!  So get out there and get others involved!

Get moving:

I’m sure I could quote some awesome study here about movement and learning but you’ve heard it before.  Engaging other parts of the brain while learning new skills has been shown to help that skill “stick”.  One way we use this theory in speech is to get out to the more open areas of our building and MOVE!  We use a vocabulary beach ball with my older students.  It’s as simple as it sounds… a beach ball with curricular vocabulary on it.  You toss to another student and whatever their designated finger is touching is the word they give you a definition for.  We’ve also done articulation hops.  This is as easy as spreading artic cards around an open space.  Students hop to the cards (preferably landing next to them to avoid slipping!) and say the word however many times you decided.  We add rules such as not being able to hop to another word that a student is on… or even more challenging, not hopping to a word that has already been said by anybody!  We also like those Velcro paddles with the small tennis ball type thing that you toss back and forth.  This can be used for many things but we use it the most for attributes and flexible word use.  The clinician gives a word and each student names an attribute and tosses to the other student.  If they can’t think of an attribute, the other student gets a point.  For flexible word use, I will name a word and each student will name a synonym, antonym, or homonym depending on what we are targeting. 

Get Creative:

The amount of DIY craftivities out there is incredible.  Adding some creativity to the mundane speech and language activities can really motivate students.  We also use games that allow creativity, such as Oodles of Doodles, Win/Lose/Draw, etc.  Some students are very creative, even if they struggle with speech, language, fluency, etc.  Tapping into that creativity can allow them to work on skills and be successful at the same time.

So, you think speech therapy can only exist within that tiny closet of a room you have been given?  NO WAY!  Get outside, get moving and get in the hallways.  Get others involved and get creative.  Just GET OUT!

Danielle Reed {Sublime Speech}

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BHSM Contest Winners and {FREE} Certificates!!

If you remember back in the beginning of May I wrote a post about having a poster contest for all my students in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month.  If you missed it, you can find it HERE

Today, with the help of my fabulous co-workers, we chose the winners!  We certainly had a tough time since there were so many creative and adorable posters.  I really am so proud of how hard all my students worked and all the effort they put into them.   I can not wait to give the winners their certificates and prizes!!!

Here is the winning poster for Most Creative....

Next, here is the winning poster for Most Original.....

And finally, here is the winning poster for Most Artistic....

We ended up choosing two additional winners who will receive certificates for honorable mention.  Check them out below....

Last but not least, you can head over to my TpT store and grab these adorable certificates.  I hope you can use them in your speech room as well!  Enjoy!!

Live Love Speech

Monday, May 20, 2013

Key elements of storybook reading by HomeSweetSpeechRoom!!!

Thanks so much to Kristine for inviting me to guest post today! I'm excited to share with you about the key elements of storybook reading!

For starters, what do you think about when you think storybook reading?  I thought title, characters, and plot and making sure the students understand those basic elements.  Well, I was wrong!  Here's what I learned through one of my supervisors (Ackerson, 2010).

1st element--Forming groups based on ability.  Some students will be able to answer WH-questions without much cueing; other students will need binary choices and picture cards to help them answer questions.  We had multiple clinicians, so the groups could happen at the same time.  But if you needed to do them at two different times, that's ok!  You can use the same book and same basic lesson plan.  The difference is how you target the vocabulary and other language concepts.

2nd element--Language content.  Language content refers to the basic receptive and expressive language elements that you want the students to get out of your session.  This could include nouns, verbs, descriptive words, or "fun" words (or movement words such as "swoosh").  These are the words that you will emphasize while reading, be it through extra time or volume while reading, WH-questions, or repetition of the word itself.

3rd element--Macrostructure elements. These are things you have probably been doing all along!  These elements include title, setting, problem, and resolution.  Label these parts of the story with the students.  The next day, ask them about it to see if they can recall what they learned the day before.  An example question is, "Who is this story about?" and the students would either answer aloud or point.  This element also includes predictions.  Ask the students what they think is going to happen in the story.  Then, later, discuss if they were correct and why or why not. 

4th element--Syntax/morphology.  This might not be something we think about immediately, but preschoolers and young elementary students can benefit from language stimulation and hearing correct grammar, even if it isn't one of their goals.  Ask questions that require an answer with a copular "to be" or present progressive.  Think back to Brown's Morphemes.

5th element--Word and picture knowledge.  Focus on teaching students where the writing starts, that we read left to right, that we read words and not pictures, what the front and back cover are, etc.  These are essential literacy skills that the students will need for future academic success.

6th element--Phonological awareness.  This can be sound-letter awareness ("Her name starts with B so it starts with the /b/ sound") or the students' articulation/phonological target words.  Pick books that have those sounds embedded in them! Speechy Musings has a great list of books by target sound here.

7th element--Discussion and application.  Discussion can happen throughout the storybook reading somewhat, but be sure to follow-up after reading with those WH-questions, targeting speech sounds and literacy elements as well.  The application can be a simple questions such as, "How are we a team?" or "Who are you on a team with?"  It can also be something like a simple craft to do after the reading.

Phew! That's a lot of info.  Here's a quick recap:

If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you followed Home Sweet Speech Room on Facebook, TpT, or on my blog

I hope that this information was as helpful for you as it was for me!  Storybook reading will never be the same!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

I Dare You Articulation App {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

I am so excited to have the opportunity to review another fabulous app by my friend, Erik X. Raj!!!  "I dare you to pretend like you're eating a dollar bill with mustard all over it."  HAHA....This is just 1 of 600 child-friendly dares you will find in Erik's newest app, I Dare You Articulation.  This app will have you and your students cracking up!

One of my favorite things about this app is that it challenges my students to use their imaginations. The sound-specific dares really make therapy more interesting, exciting, and entertaining!  This app targets the following speech sounds: S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH all in the initial/medial/final positions.

I have been using this app with students in 1st through 5th grade.  For my younger students and non-readers, I have been reading the dares (with an emphasis on the words with their speech sounds) and having them repeat it.  My older students read the dares themselves.  As an added "twist", I ask them to pick out and say all the words that contain their speech sounds (extra practice..woo hoo!).  Another awesome feature is that students can listen to each dare by clicking the "Hear the Dare" at the bottom of the screen.

Once the dare has been read, the super fun part begins....The dare is acted out!!  I always participate especially to make my students who are a little shy or nervous feel more comfortable.  It is so exciting to see how creative my students can be when acting out their dares.

Finally, the app includes an explanation, awesome directions, and rules.  You can find all of that by pressing the "i" key on the homepage.

You can check out Erik's website for additional information.  If you want to grab this app (which I HIGHLY suggest you do), head over to iTunes now.  It's super affordable ($4.99).  Because Erik is so generous, he has given me an extra copy of this app for one super lucky winner!  All you need to do is enter below....

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Social Scripts by Ms. Jocelyn Speech

Social Scripts: Tone of Voice

I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say but how you say it.” When working with children who struggle with pragmatic language skills, we spend a lot of time teaching them to what to say. But, we can’t forget that we also need to teach them how to say things in the right way. The way a speaker emphasizes or stresses words creates an “attitude,” that expresses how the speaker is feeling about a situation or person. If a speaker’s tone is not appropriate for a given situation, the listener can become confused or even insulted. It’s our job to help our students express themselves clearly and appropriately.
First, it’s important to assess your student’s understanding of tone of voice (TOV). I have found it helpful to break it in to four parts; can s/he identify TOV when heard, can s/he use TOV during structured activity, can s/he identify appropriate situations for a target TOV, and can s/he use TOV appropriately in everyday situations.

Social Scripts Tone of Voice_Page_27

It is also important to assess your student’s understanding of TOV vocabulary. How can you tell a student they are being rude when they don’t know what rude is? To assess this, I have students sort target words in to 3 categories, positive, neutral, and negative. 

Social Scripts Tone of Voice_Page_07 Social Scripts Tone of Voice_Page_29
The next step is the fun part, the acting. We LOVE to act in the speech room. To do this, I provide my students with scripts including a social situation and a line. 

Social Scripts Tone of Voice_Page_20 
Then, as the director, give them a target TOV to say their line with. In group situations, have students take turns being the actor. You can tell the acting child the target TOV quietly and ask the other students to listen closely when the child is acting to guess what TOV was being used. To extend the activity, have your students discuss whether or not the TOV was appropriate for the situation. You can also have your students add on to the script. 


Scenario: “It is dismissal and you are waiting outside with your teacher to get picked up. Your mom is 10 minutes late and you are the last child left.” 

Script: “Where were you?” Direct the student to say the line in a “rude,” tone. Then ask s/he or the group to imagine how the rest of that conversation would go. How would your mom respond to your tone? How do you think it would make her feel? Is it appropriate? How do you think you should have said it? 

Communication is not just what we say, but how we say it. It’s important to teach our students with pragmatic language challenges this important message. 

You can grab a copy of Social Scripts: Tone of Voice here. You can also enter for a chance to win a copy below. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ms. Jocelyn

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Auditory Processing Studio App {REVIEW}

Auditory Processing Studio App by Virtual Speech Center Inc. App {Review}

I'm not sure about all of you, but I have a TON of students on my caseload with various auditory processing goals and objectives.  So when the people at Virtual Speech Center gave me the opportunity to review their Auditory Processing App, I was beyond excited!   I found it to be perfect for students who have difficulty following directions, remembering what people said, have delayed responses, and difficulty listening in noisy environments.
This is a research-based app implements the bottom-top approach to treatment of auditory processing disorders.   The activities included with this app are: Auditory discrimination, auditory closure, and phonological awareness. One of the biggest struggles my students have is focusing when there is background noise present.  With this app, you have the ability to introduce background noise during any of the activities.

Getting Started
First things first, you want to add your students names.  Once they are entered, they will be saved for future use.
Next, you will choose activities from the list.  You can select individual activities and levels or you have the option to select all.
In each activity, when a student gets a correct answer, he/she earns an instrument which appears on the side of the screen.  After he/she gets five correct answers, the option to "play game" appears which means...time to play instruments in the studio!!  I love that this app has the fun, positive reinforcement built in (my students love it too!).  

Auditory Discrimination
There are 16 levels of difficulty with 50 trials each.   Like the other two activities, you have the ability to record and play back your student's responses by using the green and red buttons on the left side of the screen (as seen below). Some of the levels include:  Level 1: Same vs. different consonant minimal pairs-initial position of words; Level 5: Picture identification of minimal pairs-final consonants; and Level 10: Identifying presence of a specific syllable in a word.

Phonological Awareness
There are 16 levels of difficulty with 50 trials each.  I love how appealing the picture stimuli are in the activities.  Students will not only hear the choices but also see them on the screen.  You can also replay (using the button on the left side of the screen) the directions if needed.  Some levels include:  Level 3: Identify multiple words that rhyme with a target word; Level 9: Identify number of syllables in a word; and Level 16: Exchanging phonemes to make new words.

Auditory Closure
There are 17 levels of difficulty with 50 trials each.  Some activities will require the SLP/teacher to track correct and incorrect responses by using the green check and red X on the right side of the screen (as seen below).  Some levels include:  Level 7: Generating missing final syllables in single words; Level 11: Generating missing initial syllables in single words; and Level 16: Generating missing initial phonemes in words embedded in sentences.

You have the ability to track correct and incorrect responses in each activity.  Then, a session report can be generated with an overall percentage.  This is a great feature and really allows you to go back and see how much progress your students have made over time.  

Overall, I give this app an A+!   If you need an auditory processing app that tracks progress, gives instant feedback, and has TONS of activity options, this is DEFINITELY THE APP FOR YOU!!  Head over to Virtual Speech Center's website for more information and to check out the rest of their AMAZING speech and language apps.  You can also go directly to iTunes to download it now.

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful!!
Live Love Speech