Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Do you need a four slice toaster?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 15, 2012
Tags: , , , , ,

As I’ve mentioned in past posts we are in the process of  getting our house ready to sell. This has meant lots of purging, packing and painting. We really don’t need a three-story 5 bedroom home with 4 bathrooms anymore. What we want is a cottage on some warm island but…..

So in this on going progress of painting, purging, packing and pulled muscles my husband states that he wants a two slice toaster. Huh? We have a toaster. It can toast four slices at once. And the slots are even made for bagels with pictures on how to load them correctly. So why do we need a new toaster?  In our quest to downsize I guess you start looking at everything differently.  Although we probably will not be running out to replace our toaster anytime soon it did get me thinking about wants and needs.

My present therapy room at school is a barely a two slice toaster begging to be a four slicer. It’s packed and crowded. I am constantly trying to reduce materials. There are many things I want to keep but do I NEED them.  It’s complicated. In the world of a Speech Language Pathologist we work with many different disabilities. We need lots of materials to meet the variety of student needs we see every day. Some days “my” plan doesn’t sync with the student’s plan so I need to be able to quickly reach into my bag of tricks and pull out a different rabbit. It’s difficult to do this while trying not to step on feet or fingers or whatever body part may be on the floor. But I make due and my iPad does help a lot. So enough about the room maybe (fingers crossed) next fall I will get to move into a larger space that has elbow room. Maybe it will even have a window…. dream on….

In the meantime I have been having fun using themes to target IEP goals. Fairies, goblins and gnomes just left to return to the forest where they have better views and elbow room. I’ve heard pirates plotting, cowboys/cowgirls galloping around, jungle creatures growling and nature budding all outside my almost two slice toaster speech room. I’m wondering how they will all fit!

So back to wants and needs. Here are a few apps that I are on my need list

I have around 2000 apps and I use them in many ways. Book apps are wonderful for comprehension, vocabulary, joint attention, etc.  There are game apps that I use for turn taking, following directions, vocabulary and problem solving. So to narrow my App NEED list down to just a few is difficult.

But first just my observation about apps and their cost. I know I have gotten very comfortable buying apps for .99 or 1.99. But when it gets more expensive then I may skip it or really weigh if I need or just want the app. Now think about looking through a catalog for therapy materials. I don’t skip earmarking a page just because something is over 1.99. The same eye should be used when looking at apps. Yes, the  iTunes “catalog” has thousands of apps ranging from free to several hundred dollars so we may skip some of the more “expensive”  apps in favor of others. Now compare a 39.99 app and  all it offers to something similar from a catalog that may cost more… then make your decision to buy or not.

1.  Custom Boards Premium  by Smatry Ears- this is my number one go to app. I use it to create lots of therapy materials, visual schedules,  game boards, books, pictures for kids to cut out and paste onto a project and so much more. To get inspired check out the cute book that Deb Tomarakos alias Speech Gadget made- Easter Freebie

2. Articulation apps- I have 3 main ones that I use. I like to rotate them with the kids and sometimes in the same session. They can keep data which saves me time.  They are: Articulate it!,   ArtikPix  and  Articulation Station.

3. Rainbow Sentences– I use this app to work on syntax/grammar. I also have been using it with some of my kids are less verbal and have had some amazing success. They are matching the colored words to the colored lines. I’m finding that they are saying longer strings of words when they record the sentence in the app.  I also use the other apps from Moblie Education Store.

4.  Apps from work great for vocabulary and working on grammar/syntax. I recently used this app to work on he/she along with has and is. I used magnetic dishes along with magnetic chips (from super duper). You can see the set up below that I used for one group. They touched the he or she picture and moved up: HE has puzzle beads. They repeated it for she and received a chip to put into their dish for each correct sentence. It made a drill type exercise a little more fun. The dishes were bought at the Northern Tool and they came 4 to a package. They can be found at auto-parts  stores or amazon.

5.  My newest apps I am use for language skills are Language Adventures,  Go Togethers, and Hamaguchi apps.

That’s just a few of the apps that are on my what I need list. It can change to match the needs of the kids I work with at school and in the clinic. I often get asked to show someone my favorite or the “best” but it really is dependent on what you NEED them for and how YOU use an app.  What’s on your need list?

P.S. Our house is now on the market and after all the painting and scrubbing I NEED a massage and a manicure! Ok ok I want them.

11 Responses to 'Do you need a four slice toaster?'

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  1. You’ve got your hous ready to sell AND still have time to share your therapy ideas with apps?… Wow! Appreciate your ideas. Good luck.

    • Cindy said,

      Nancy- That’s good idea- I’ll get my assistant working on that right away. Oh wait I am the assistant…LOL! Spare time is hard to find for most of us!

      • Nancy Barth said,

        Especially difficult when you’re moving!

    • Cindy said,

      Cathleen- Thanks- I’d like to share more but as most SLPs know this time of the year is crazy busy.

  2. Nancy Barth said,

    Maybe you could do a free eBook for subscribers to your blog that describes your favorite apps, what skills you target with them, organized by category….in your spare time!

  3. Lucy Nutt said,

    Great article, Cindy! I’m with you about the apps that you listed. I only have around 780 of them though!

    • Cindy said,

      Thanks Lucy- I found it hard to just list a few favorite apps.

  4. Cindy, thanks for mentioning the Easter book I created with Custom Boards. I love that app! Good luck with your move. Having just moved last August, I can relate.

    • Cindy said,

      Deb- Thanks for the encouragement about moving. At least this time it’s only the dog I have to pick up after and we have left only one toy out for her!

  5. Kristen Miller said,

    I’m curious how you use the magnetic dishes seen in the photo ? Thanks ! Kristen

    • Cindy said,

      Hi Kristen,
      Since the dishes are magnetic I use them to hold anything attracted to magnets. The magnetic chips from super duper work great. – search for chips

      I can have kids put the chips etc. in the dishe and they don’t spill out even if the dish is vertical on a cabinet. It is a fun way to have them collect items for responses.


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