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


Appy New Year – Yapp Guru Expert Linky!


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(Click on this icon to view other bloggers 10 favorite apps)

This is only 10 of my go to apps in 2014. Believe me it was hard to choose only 10. I’m sharing the apps that I turned to the most to fit the needs of my present caseloads at school and the speech clinic.Plus these are ones  that are not necessarily “speechie” apps and I can add a twist to make it fit many of my therapy goals.

So drum roll … and in no particular order… Here goes.

1. News-O-Matic This is a subscription based app that I happened to get on sale. The news changes daily and is made for kids. It has short articles, videos, slide show, maps and fact links for each article. The articles can be read to you. Targeted vocabulary words have links to definitions. Cost: free app with in-app purchases

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2. Custom Boards This is an app that I use to create materials. Often I use it during therapy sessions and we can create a new vocabulary game or list together. It has many different templates. You can use your own pictures, ones in the app or from google. Cost: 49.99

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3. Sago Mini Doodlecast   This app is like a white board with at twist. There are 30 drawing prompts but you get to finish them. As you draw you also record your story. When you are finished it will play back each stroke you drew and what you said as you were drawing. Lots of therapy twists here. Be sure to check out the other apps from Sago Sago too. Cost:2.99

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4. Describe it to me There are over 160 pictures to use to work on improving describing skills. There are six different questions that target category, function, parts, location, visuals, and extras. You can work on this app in the receptive mode and chose a correct answer or in the expressive mode and create your own responses. Cost: 9.99

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5. Spot it HD This is just like the popular Spot card games. In the app you can play solo games or up to 4 players. You can also set the game to easy (6 symbols), normal (8) or hard (10).  There are options for timed or untimed play. Cost: 2.99

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6, 7 and 8. Between the lines level 1Between the lines level 2 and Between the lines advanced These apps are ones that I used to work on inferences, body language, facial expressions, perspective taking and slang. The videos and real photographs helped my caseload a lot. These apps also can be found in lite versions. Cost: 15.99 or .99 for lite versions

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9. Articulate it! This app has recently been updated and now includes fun backgrounds you can switch up. You can also add you own pictures, words and sentences. My twist with this app is to use it with my fluency students and my language students. I can create my own sets of words/pictures for specific needs. Watch for more updates that will contain stories for even more practice…coming soon! Cost: 39.99

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10. FingerPaint Duel  This app is made to encourage “playing together creatively.”  In the app two players try to finger paint a shape and get the most points. My twist we talk about strategies- which size pencil would work the best and why, should you use the eraser or not, etc.  Cost:  Free and Full app 2.99

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Now it’s your turn to share your favorite apps and the twists you use with them.

Cindy

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12 perks and knee jerks of 2014 in the life of an SLP (me)

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on December 22, 2014
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Another year has once again moved past me. It continues to move with lightning speed on some days and at a slow motion pace on others. I guess you might call this an end of the year reminiscing blog but maybe I’ll add a few twists.

The twelve whoas and fist pumps of this past year. (in no particular order as my brain functions on random organized chaos)

12. My caseload is somewhat manageable at 49 with ebbs and flow.

11. My finds at thrift stores and on TPT have created bulging cabinets once again. Yes I will keep looking for a Cariboo game for you too.

10. I’m honored to have my blog listed as one of the Top 75 Speech Pathology Websites for 2015. Oh the pressure! Be sure to check out the list and some fun sites.

9. This has been a year of procrastination (sometimes this works in my favor..wink wink). I’m not one for making a New Year’s resolution but if I was this should be one but I’ll wait and just think about it.

8. Missing ASHA this year was a definite whoa or better yet woe is me. I missed reconnecting with SLPs and getting my brain regenerated. Fingers crossed for next year in Denver.

7. I have a great team of teachers and special education staff that I work with at my school plus a speech room with a window.

6. Summer was a way to unwind, relax and still work at the speech clinic to keep my skills growing.

5.  Having my first /r/ in therapy to work on improving since moving to this school 4 years ago. I know it’s like how could you avoid it! Well my school was K-3rd so in MN if you have only one sound error like /r/ you won’t qualify until you are 9.  But now my school is K-4 and will be K-5 so guess what… 9 year olds with /r/ errors. Oh lucky me!

4. Mindfulness has been a skill our whole school has been learning and working on. (I’ve got a ways to go yet.)  It’s a great asset when a whole school has common vocabulary. Check out SpeechTechie and his posts about Calming.

3. Being a part of Smarty Ears advisory board and Yapp Guru app experts (oh yeah I’ve been procrastinating on my app reviews too).

2.  A blog started in 2009 that was born from a defunct Backflip bookmark site with a list of resources to my ramblings and twisted ideas for therapy (is that a perk or a jerk??).

1. Thinking back to my start in 1977 (with only my BS degree) with no internet it’s amazing how easy it to locate great resources from the explosion of slp bloggers, TPT sellers, website resources and apps.

So how was your year? What twists do you have to share? 

Cindy

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PS- Of course family is a perk (most of the time) but this post was about the year in an SLPs life

PSS- Just a few videos for a fun way to close out the year.

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Diesel speed (these two pups are mine- kinda how I felt on some of my hectic days at work)

The highs and lows of the Elf on the Shelf

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on December 17, 2014
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I won an Elf on the Shelf kit. I debated about using it at my school. My students are in K-4th grade and 98% are from different cultures. But since I won this kit I thought we could add our own twists to it.

I told each group that we had visitors move into the speech room. We skimmed* through the Elf on the Shelf book and talked about who celebrates Santa and who didn’t. I shared that our elf was a girl so my first group (1st graders) were the lucky ones to name her. Meet Lucy who now hangs out in the speech room.

*(I often just use a books pictures and make it fit my students needs vs. reading it word for word.)

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We learned that she has two rules.

  1. She can’t talk to us.
  2. Only adults can touch her otherwise she would lose some of her magic.

She keeps an eye on us to be sure we are all doing our jobs during speech. Yes even me.  If we are not following a direction or getting a little too silly someone often states “Lucy” and surprisingly it works!

I understand the whole Elf on the Shelf can do some really crazy things herself. But not ours she is very well behaved and just likes to keep tabs on what we do in speech.  So here is how we use her. When each group comes in they look for her and need to say “I found her. She is under the desk (or wherever)”  Making a statement that “She is right there” won’t fly in the speech room. The students then get to decide where she should be next. This leads to a lot of practice for prepositions and even a fun game of “hot or cold”.  If you haven’t played hot or cold it’s what you say when you are close (hot) to  Lucy or far away (cold). The best terms we have used are “hot chocolate, icicle, North Pole”  I’m sure you could think of others.

Remember I said we had 2 visitors move in… well meet Steve the Dwarf in the Drawer. And yes the students named him too.  I’m thinking his name came from a character in minecraft.

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“Steve” introduced himself this past summer in a clearance section and he begged me to take him home. So being a good SLP I knew I would find a way to use him in therapy. He also comes with a book. I again just skimmed through it with my students and told them that he really doesn’t like Lucy. He doesn’t think these Elves should be watching and reporting to Santa about us, let alone moving in! He lives all year at the house/speech room and hates having his routine interrupted.  

He doesn’t like rules so anyone can touch him but he’s not much of a talker. The students do the same thing spotting and moving him each day too.  He just doesn’t want to be too close to Lucy. He can hide in more places too as he doesn’t need to keep an eye on us. He’s making sure Lucy isn’t too much of a busy body or taking down wrong information about us.

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Having two visitors has made this month a fun way to target different IEP goals.

  1. compare/contrast
  2. prepositional concepts
  3. descriptive language
  4. vocabulary
  5. idioms/metaphors
  6. social skills: cooperation/team work

Oh and one more twist – my kit came with the birthday kit also. So students who have birthdays this month were thrilled to see that Lucy dressed up for them. Who knows maybe she will hang around and celebrate more birthdays.

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So have you used the Elf in your setting? What twists have you added?

Cindy

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