My ABC’s Favorites from 2012
2012 may not have been my best year but I’m keeping positive and hoping for only the best in 2013 for all! Reflecting back I do have a number of things that helped me in my therapy sessions this past year.
is for APPS: This is a hard one to narrow down to only a few-So in no particular order and not necessarily new in 2012 here we go…
Custom Boards- my go to app to create materials. I like the flexibility to use the symbols within the app, adding your own pictures or finding pictures on google. I can even make materials within a therapy session with the students, save it and print it for them to take home immediately.
Rainbow Sentences - an app that helped my students on so many levels: syntax, following directions and for a couple it motivated them to verbalize.
Articulation Scenes - yes I use many traditional articulation apps but this one is different- my students begged to play this one! They loved earning trophies and wanted to do all the sound scenes even though those that were not their sound errors.
Social Quest- an app that helps work through a variety of social scenarios – I like that there is not one correct answer and allows for flexibility
Conversationbuilder Teen - this is an app geared for older students and I used this more with clients I see in the speech clinic. I loved how the conversations looked like text messages and were in teen language. The version I used for the students at my school is called Conversation Builder.
Story Pals - is a reading comprehension app for short stories and follows with a quiz. You can even create your own stories and quizzes.
Question Sleuth- this app can be used to work on categories or asking questions to decide what item was hiding the star. You can add your own images and create your own categories.
Talking Train is a new app from all4mychild. I use it for sequencing, vocabulary and storytelling. You can draw a picture or add an image on 3 train cars. Record a story or words for each train car and tap go to send the train on its way.
Syntax City - an app to work on pronouns, plurals and more. I like how you can have a group of students working on different skills and levels at the same time. My students were so diligent and proud to see their report cards improve after each session. For my less verbal kiddos I used apps by Hamaguchi.
is for Books and Blogs:
I love my Kindle app. I have downloaded many free books for my reading pleasure. But also free ones to use with kids in therapy. One source (more for me than therapy) that shows free apps is- BookBub on Facebook. Another source I use is Amazon and search for free kindle books for kids- lots of choices! I also get free book option from the blog No Twiddle Twaddle
There is a plethora of SLP blogs and SLP Facebook pages this past year. I had listed some on the side of my blog but have not been able to keep up with all of them. What a wonderful way to get new ideas and connect with SLPs!
is for Connections:
I work with a wonderful group of SLPs, special educators and regular educators in my school district. This is a shout out to only two of them for making conncections and helping me make it through 2012.
Liz is an Occupational Therapist who allows me to do groups with her. We have worked together long enough what if you were observing a session it might be difficult to tell who is the OT and who is the SLP. We combine motor and language using obstacle courses, theme units, letter of the week and more.
Laura is a special education teacher who has a one of our site based autism classrooms. She is someone who is such a gentle teacher even in the midst of tantrums. We can collaborate about student needs and come up with ideas to work on together. I never worry if I need to change my schedule with her students. I enjoy working within her room and learning from each other.
The other connections that have brought smiles, knowledge and new experiences all came from social media. I have “met” so many SLPs on Speaking of Speech, Perkilou Therapy Group, Facebook and twitter. Meeting many of these SLPeeps and others in person at the ASHA convention was energizing! So shout outs to Mary H. (speech adventures), Sean S (speech techie), Jonathan F, Dean T, Barbara F, Kyle T, Rosie S, Lucy N, Tiffany W, Ramya K, Eric & Kelly S, Jeremy L (speech guy), Shareka B, Kim L (Activity Tailor), Heidi, Meghan, Karen, Jill, Megan S, Milo and more!
One thing I try to remember is you never know how big a small connection can be. A smile, a thank you, holding a door, a “I like your shirt” or stopping by to say hello just might bring a rainbow to someone’s rainy cloudy mood.
Allow me to be a little nostalgic- When I first entered the SLP field I was fresh out if college with my bachelors degree as MN had not yet change the requirement for needed Masters degree. We did not have phones in our rooms, Internet, social media, blogs or TPT sites. If I wanted to consult with another SLP I had to try to get on the one phone in our school and hope I could reach the SLP at her school (almost impossible). OR I could hand write a note and send it out through inter-school mail and wait for a week or so for a response. Now we can connect via many channels: cell phones, texting, Facebook, face time, twitter, email, blogs, etc. So how lucky are we!
is for all the other Speechie Stuff I liked: (nope not listing something for every letter of the alphabet!)
Of all my posts about therapy ideas my favorite was my Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. I think I liked this because it was so spontaneous and the kids really took charge of the sessions. It also made me smile as they tried to figure out directions for right and left as they sat across from each other! Looking at my blogs stats for the past year it looks like the one with the most hits was my Can You Sea Me Now.
TPT- Teachers Pay Teachers is a site where I can purchased great therapy materials for a few dollars or less. Now you can find many SLPs selling creative therapy games, flash cards and more. Many SLPs also sell products on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) site. Check out the resource list that Jenna Rayburn of Speech Room News has put together: SLPs on TPT Resource List
Ok more nostalgia – “back in the day” when I first started working in the schools we either had to wait for a catalog to arrive and hope there was a budget to order materials. The process of submitting a request on NCR forms and hope you could press hard enough to be legible through all three sheets and then wait for a few weeks until the item(s) arrived was often frustrating. The other option was creating your own materials without cute clip art. It might involve hand drawings, creating hand written dittos or if lucky using a typewriter and hope you did not make a typo! The copy machine was rare and it only used this really slippery paper that you could not were really write on.
The other option was a huge projector that would project a page onto the wall. You would trap paper on the wall and trace the picture then color it later. Anyone remember what this was called? I couldn’t find a picture. It was not an overhead projector. It was a huge clunky machine.
I have not been able to post to my blog as I had intended or as often as I had in the past. It doesn’t really matter why but what should be the direction I take now. As I look at all the new blogs it makes me feel comfortable keeping mine to what I feel I do best- provide therapy with a twist. That to me is taking something and turning it into a therapy tool or lesson. So in this widening world of bloggers I will continue to add my own twist.
Happy 2013 everyone! Keep on connecting! I’m off to buy some duct tape to go with a therapy twist I have stuck in my mind!