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


Not a Box…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 7, 2016
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I took a book idea that my friend Sean Sweeney (Speech Techie) shared at the ASHA convention in November. He had many great ideas on pairing apps with literacy (books). Of course I added my own twists.

1. I chose the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.

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2. I read it to some of my K-2nd grade students. We worked on making predictions, using our imaginations and thinking outside as well a inside of the box- I couldn’t resist. wink

3. Then I added a twist by giving each student a sheet of paper that I had drawn a “box” on it.

4. They were asked to turn their box into something from their own imagination.

5. Per Sean’s suggested pairing we used the Toca Boca Robot Lab  and Moonbeeps-Gizmo apps once their creations were completed. This was a fun way to work on turn taking, compromising and requesting. The other app suggestion (from Sean)  is Doddle Buddy.

6. I displayed their creations along with the book and of course a cardboard “not a box” on the cabinets outside my room.

Here are the final results:

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A rocketship, a spaceship, a house, a pool, another house, a treehouse boat

 

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A house, a monstersaurus, a car, a zombie, a treehouse, a TV

Bonus: To add another twist I plan on gathering a plethora of different kinds and sizes of boxes to make creations that are not a box! Think of all the language skills we can build on in this activity- vocabulary, sequencing, requesting, comparing, contrasting, etc. Three apps I plan to use with this activity are :Adobe Voice, Go Sequencing and Making Sequences . I can take pictures of each step and create a sequencing activity within these apps.

What twists have you added to a book or app?

Cindy

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You make my <3 flip

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 7, 2013
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I use a 3:1 model at school. This means I work with students three weeks and the fourth week is my indirect week. I use this in many ways- consult with teachers, observe students in classes, testing, due process paper work and I do still continue to work with some students. My favorite part of this week is doing lessons within the special education site based classrooms.  This week I tried a fun activity orginally posted on Aunt Peaches.

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I  follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. I enjoy her humor, whimsy and crazy style.  She recently posted a project for making yarn hearts. So I decided it would be a fun messy project to bring into a classroom of students with sensory issues.

The directions for the project can be found here: Yarn Hearts. I used the pictures from this site as a visual map for my students. My interpretation is shown below.

Gather your supplies: (check out your school supply room and use what’s there)

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I only bought the Mod Podge. ( I knew I had some in our basement but I wasn’t digging through all those moving boxes!)  The rest came from my house or the supply room at school.  I got the gloves (for myself to wear)  from the wonderful kitchen staff at my school. I knew I was going to be the one removing the excess goo from the yarn.

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I taped the hearts on to cardboard before going into the classrooms.

The kids helped me measure the Mod Podge by counting how many times I filled and dumped (3) and one for water.  They took turns stirring the mixture and we worked on remembering to hold the spoon as we passed it to our neighbor. If they forgot… whoops wet spoon and that was a real life cause/effect lesson. What can we do now? (ask for help) What do you need? (paper towel)

I used string and yarn and cut it in who knows how long of lengths.  I had the kids chose their own yarn or string by requesting the color and if they wanted the thin (string) or think/fat (yarn). After each had a chance to put on one length I had them pick a second color and add that too. Now the interesting twist every one of students touched and manipulated the goo covered yarn/string.  This was a big step since these sweethearts with autism.

Lots of fun vocabulary with this lesson: Valentine, squiggle, goo, mushy, squishy, thin, fat, long, wet, dry, inside, next, first, squash it (pushing the string down)…..

How lucky am I to find a roll of sequins in the supply room! Some kids even chose to add it to their creation. I mean who doesn’t like a little sparkle!  We  also used these to hang our creations.

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I created these back in my room (without gloves) to use up the extra goo. I even smushed some into the heart ice-cube try to see how it would work (these took longer to dry). Note to self: Next time wash your hands before you start conversing with your co-worker.  I had lovely shiny plastic looking hands and it took a while to wash it off.  And by the way the hearts the kids made look flashy hanging from the  ceilings in their classrooms!

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The hearts from the ice-cube tray found a home in the trees and in a baby monkey’s lap. Ahh..kind looks like a pink diaper! The monkeys are from Walgreens  after Chritmas clearance this year. I’m sure they will be doing more than just hanging out in the trees in my therapy sessions! And yes that is a blue glitter lamp!

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My door theme is about keeping it simple but fun:

I taped up hearts and found some Valentine jokes. I found mine here but a google search will give you lots of options. The question is on the front and when you flip-up the heart to see the answer.  Oh yes now you see the connection with the blog title!

This is the You make my heart flip printout in : Word Format  or PDF

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I used this app to create all the borders and picture effects: Photo Captions from Sprite Labs.

Now get out there and add your own twists!

Cindy (who wishes she had chosen a snazzy name like Aunt Peaches)

Cranky time of the year

Here in MN we are used to snow and cold but it can make us cranky if we are in subzero temps with subzero windchill. So with a few inside recess days I knew it was time to crank up the fun in my speech room.

I found this last week at Target on clearance for  under 7.00 dollars. It comes with only one character so of course I will be adding lots of fun twists.  The first group to try this all wanted to be first so we put names on slips of paper and put them inside. I used the claw to pick names. The name slips were lined up on the white board marker tray.  Then we loaded items into the toy claw and we had to decide if each item was too big, too small or the “just right” size.  After each turn the student placed their item on the marker tray in front of their name. Then I gave clues describing an item and they guessed and were able to play with the item.  Of course we worked on sharing…I would say “Freeze Pass” and they passed their item to the person next to them until they had a chance to play with all items.

I will be adding cards into the toy claw from my materials to “crank” out too. What a fun twist on drill and practice of speech sounds, vocabulary, following directions and more!

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Out came the zappers and articulation cards with another group. I gave clues and the first person to zap the card got to add it o their pile but only if they could say it correctly in a sentence.  I kept adding cards to fill in the zapped cards.  I used zappers from the Great Face Race game. They have suction cups which grip the cards. You could make your own using rulers or paint sticks and add  small suction cups with duct tape.  Or if you like power tools then drill a hole and push the end through and secure with duct tape.  It would be a fun twist to wind the duct tape around the sticks to decorate them.

I will close this post with our twist on Groundhog Day Thinking Maps creations using the Custom Boards app app.

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Cindy

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted. ~ Mae West

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 25, 2013
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Here are a few quick clips from my twisted speech sessions. I hope you can find something you can try too!

1. Snowflakes – I bought several packs of  foam snowflakes in the dollar section at Target. Lucky me they were on clearance for .30 cents per pack. I pulled them out on one of our lovely below zero days. My articulation students thought of winter words that contained their sounds. It was their idea to decorate them with their speech sound!

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2. My first graders read some winter books about snow and snowballs. Our entire school uses Thinking Maps so we created bubble maps and then decorated our snowflakes.  I have used this app to create Thinking Maps- Popplet  This session also led to an unplanned lesson on evaporation. So we put a little snow in a cup and when the kids returned the next week they asked to check the cup. Well twisted me I threw it in their faces! But guess what…the snow had melted and evaporated! All that remained was our green marker line to show how high the snow had been in the cup.

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3.  I sent my students on a scavenger hunt. We used my iPod Touch to take pictures. Some groups looked for  things that had their speech sounds.  Some looked for items that targeted their language goals- finding items in categories (animals, soft things, round items, etc.).  We talked about expected and unexpected behaviors before we left on our adventures. Expected- walk in halls, quiet voices, etc. Unexpected- walking into classrooms, yelling to get the camera, etc. We used the pictures to practice target sounds in words and sentences. We gave clues and had others guess. We thought of other items that would fit into the categories.

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5.  Snowman baskets- I bought several ok a lot of these felt snowman baskets. I found these too on clearance in the Target dollar section for .30 cents each.  Here is one way I used these in therapy. I set out 3 baskets and we worked on throwing styrofoam snowballs into them.  Concepts used: 1st, 2nd, 3rd;  front, middle, back;  right, left, center;  near, nearest, furthest/farthest; few, many; my turn, your turn; most, least, some, none

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6. We made it snow inside the school!  It snowed on us, under tables, over our heads,  and anywhere we pointed the iPad! We even caught some on our tongues. You too can make it snow with  this app: Virtual Snow

Snow that’s what we’ve been shoveling out. How about you?

Cindy

“MacGyver” your speech therapy

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 23, 2013
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If you ever watched the MacGyver series that ran from 1985-1992 you know that “MacGyver” was a genius with duct tape and other odds and ends. He managed to save the day with his scientific knowledge and inventive use of common items. Plus Richard Dean Anderson who played the character MacGyver is from Minnesota just like me!  So when I had some left over styrofoam packing from a crock pot gift I knew I could not just toss them out.

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What can you do with duct tape? Well that is appropriate in a school setting? Here is what I did. First I bought duct tape with a design and not very MacGyver like. There are a lot of options and lots of brands. I chose one that I thought my K-3rd grade population would like whether they were girls or boys.

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The duct tape is the top roll.  The bottom roll was ribbon on clearance at 75% off. You can find duct tape with a similar pattern but a deal is what I went with this time.

I presented the styrofoam pieces to one of my groups. They chose to use the tape. I told them they were on their own but had to make a plan and work together. I love activities that are kid lead and I sit back observing while providing minimal guidance. They did a great job covering the front of the styrofoam and decided the back did not need it. They think it will make a great TV screen for pretend shows that they create. I can’t wait!

The second group used the ribbon and I was able to hear a lot of conversational speech. Great way to see how articulation errors are improving …. or not. They named this one Wild!

Now what to do with these creations you ask? Well as an SLP I am sure your brain has been storming already.  Here are a few things we have done ….so far!

1.  Take all those articulation cards and toss them…literally toss them through the opening. If the target sound was said correctly we tossed it through the opening and let it land on the floor. After we finished tossing each student had to collect the cards that were face up and say it again. If the card was face down they just set them on the table. Others had to say a sentence before tossing. And my favorite was creating a story- the first student said “Once upon a time there was a  boy/girl who went on a journey. He/She took a (insert articulation card)”  The next student added onto the story with their card and so on and so on. After the initial introduction they came up with their own start to each story. I had a group of 3 try this and each had 5-10 cards for each story.

2. In a kindergarten group we worked on basic concepts- over, around, on, under, through and middle. They called the MacGyver creation a “window.” I brought a bag of small toys (rubber chicken, wind-ups, dinosaur, etc.) and they used these to act out the concepts. The chicken flew “through” the window. The dinosaur went “under”. Each student also took turns giving directions. I created this sheet for the students to use and take home. concepts for home

3. Students can take turns using the “window” as a monitor and give a report, share about their weekend, tell a story…. or ask them to come up with ideas.

4.  I used it as a frame on my wall and in the middle I put a category card.  For some groups this is a warm-up activity and they each need to think of 2-3  items that fit the category before we start our work. For other groups this is their activity and I keep changing the cards as we work.

5. We placed cards on the table face up and put the “window” over them. We put a dropped a small ball inside as it settled on a card the student would choose it and complete the task. You can use any type of cards. We used articulation and lots of cards from the materials I found on Teachers Pay Teachers site. There are many many SLPs who have wonderful materials for sale.

6.  One of my groups came up with this game- They used both “windows” and placed them on table. They used articulation cards to say a word to their partner. If the partner heard correct sounds he said “right on target” and the card was placed in the middle of the “window.” If it was not said correctly he said “missed” and the card was placed outside of the target.  They named the game “Right on Target.”

If you do not have any packing from a box then you could cut out a shape from cardboard and “MacGyver” it!

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!

Cindy

My ABC’s Favorites from 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 1, 2013
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HappyNewYear

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.

a 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.

b 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!

 c 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!

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s 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!

Bootiful art work! Plus a review for Mask Jumble Halloween app

On my indirect week I like to go into classrooms and do a project with the whole group. This past week I went into the three self-contained special education rooms. I often create a project that each child can take home but switched it up this time. I used screen shots from some apps and clip art. I used photos of the students taken with my iPhone and iPad to create our posters.

In  this room I used pictures of different Halloween costume pictures and we labeled them or pointed  (dependent on students’ skill levels). Then we made a collaborative “Fall-o-weeeeen” poster. I used the app Picture Me Trick or Treat and clip art from Scrappin Doodles. I bought the pumpkin bag and cut outs from the dollar store. The fall confetti around the sides was the idea from one of the students.

In the second room we made a “Field of  Screams” poster. The corn was made from a green strip of construction paper and clip art for the corn. The bats and spiders were from the dollar store. The clip art was from Scrappin Doodles, Halloween Card Creator and Wood Puzzle Halloween.

In the last class we made a collaborative “Knock Knock. Boo’s there?” poster. The clip are was from Scrappin Doodles and Picture Me Trick or Treat. I used construction paper for the doors. The bats and spiders are from the dollar store.

First we had closed doors:

Then we knocked on the doors and….

For all of these posters we were talking, pointing and requesting. The kids glued the items on tho poster board and we talked about concepts like: over, next to, under, top, middle, bottom, more, all done etc. Of course lots of vocabulary happening too!

APP Review:

Mask Jumble Halloween is a fun app from Piikea Street. I did not have this app before creating our posters. If I had I would have definitely added these fun pictures! You can view more information and a video on the Piikea Street website.

I used this app with students for fun and to work on taking turns (waiting is hard!), giving directions and making choices. The app includes 10 masks with 40 unique pieces.  As you complete masks you get treats and need to catch them in your mouth to earn a new mask. What a fun way to work on right/left, and up/down. Photos can be taken of your face in a mask which then can be e-mailed as a postcard or printed. With my students we printed them and then compared and contrasted the faces/masks. We also worked on emotions/expressions. You can make any face you want for your mask- a sad Frankenstein  an angry princess and more.  I worked on articulation sounds for some students /s/- mask, costume, princess etc. /k/ Frankenstein, mask, cute, costume, etc. We had a great time with this app! Piikea also has another mask app called Mask Jumble Animals.

How can you incorporate this app into your therapy sessions?

  

This is my door to my speech room. I used clip art from Scrappin Doodles and a postcard (black pumpkins). Student pictures and a spider or other Halloween creepy image are under the pumpkins with a ?. 

Here is how I use it.

1.  I put sticky notes on the side numbered 1-4 and across the top lettered A-C. Students state A-1 and the other student finds the correct pumpkin and lifts it up. We get to see if it is a person or a Halloween image.

2. Students choose a pumpkin and lift it up if it is a person they can keep going or stop. The object is to see who can lift the most without getting a Halloween creepy image.

3. I put two of each image and the kids play a matching game. I use Halloween images, articutlation words/pictures and vocabulary words.

Do you have any other ideas  for this door?

Yippee Ki Yay!

 

Maybe this should be titled Yippee Ki YIKES!!! If it’s August then that must mean my summer vacation is galloping away. So I should be fetching me some tissues and fussing. But… I’m not….yet. It’s been a lazy summer with not many projects or routines so I’m looking forward to some structure again. In the meantime my blog has been ignored this summer so I’m getting back on my horse and writing a new post.

I decided to work on my Cowboy/Cowgirl/ Wild West unit. It is only a start but I wanted to share what I have so far. I have more items at school that will be part of this unit so stayed tuned.

I created cards to use for a memory or go fish game.Wild West Lasso game – Print two copies Wild West card backs– print on the backs of the Lasso cards

Another inexpensive resource:  Perkilou cowboy set

Here are some links I lassoed to learn how to talk like a true cowboy/girl: Old West Slang;  Cowboy CodeSlang and Legends

Apps: Here are some apps to make any cowgirl Appy!

US Westward Expansion

Westward Expansion

Little Jake

Talking Cowboy

Oregon Trail

Swapsies

iRodeo

Cowboy Lasso

Cowboy Names

Wrangler Rope

Classic Western Movies

Cowboys and Indians Magazine

Rodeo News

There was a fun Pecos Bill storybook app from Ruckus Media but I do not see it in the app store anymore.

That’s all for now Pardner! It’s time to russell up some grub. More to come later!

    

 

LOL or Letting Others Lead or maybe Leaning On Lazy says it best

I had plans…

I had lots of plans…

I thought about lots plans….

So why haven’t I acted on these wonderful plans? Well first motivation went on vacation then diligence kept taking naps so I talked myself into nothing.  In the meantime all the plans floating in my head began to materialize like magic. How can this be I wondered? Did I send telepathic thoughts out? Did I mention it in another blog posting? Hmmm… then I remembered that SLPs are creative and often share the same brain. So the ideas I was going to work on this summer have already been created by others. Oh darn oh shucks pass me another  margarita  tissue. My mottos have always been to share and don’t recreate a new therapy material if it is already out there.

Plan one: to make new cards for my guess who game but guess what there have been others who did this for me!  Check out this one: Speech Room News

Plan two: make cards for my candy land game but here are ones that are already completed: Candy Land Language Cards  and   Candy Land Articulation cards

Plan three-ten: …. I forgot what they were but I’m sure they are brilliant. I’ll just wait until someone else blogs about them. You know it’s nice Letting Others Lead once in a while.

So now that “my plans” are done what is left to do besides sit on the deck, read and enjoy my summer vacation?

So while I am enjoying the day here are some  oldies but goodies that you might not have explored on my blog pages.

Articulation Ideas and Materials

Bulletin Board Ideas

Book Units and Adapted books

Social Skills Materials

I promise to be back with some new ideas once I can find where Motivation is vacationing.  In the meantime here are some fun apps I am playing with this summer in private therapy sessions and on my deck!

Articulation Scenes– great way to practice sounds- here is more information I wrote for Smarty Ears on how I use this app:  Articulation Scenes Ideas

StoryPals– stories with comprehension quizzes plus you can create your own stories

iBernard HD or  iBernard – great for social skills- what is he thinking, what will happen next etc.

Are you BOARD? UNO I am! Plus a giveaway!!!

      

I love using my iPad and many games are now an app. But I still have all these card and  board games in my speech room. Do I give them away? Do I re-purpose them? Do I toss them? Do I leave them in the cabinet and forget about them?

Since my speech room is small I was given a cabinet to use in another location. It is close but I decided to house my theme unit boxes and some of my games.  The access to these  games is a little tricky since they are stuffed into the “theme cabinet.” I did make a list of the games to help remind me but… I think I need a better system.

I had thought about putting the game boards into picture frames but decided to try some other ideas floating around in my head.  So…I took home some of my games that included a game board or that I could pull out of the cabinet easily.

I put hole reinforcements on the  two corners of the game board that were being drilled.  We left the game boards folded so we were able to drill through two corners at once.  Be sure to drill on a board and not your counter! I was lucky enough to have my husband drill the holes. I think he got nervous when I has asked him where the drill was…LOL. But you can easily do this yourself too.  After drilling I placed hole reinforcers on the front and back of all holes. Now if this is all you want to do you can hang the boards from hooks in your therapy room and store the pieces in small containers. OR you can check out the next options.

FYI: I did not end up drilling holes in the Hi Ho Cherry-O or Chinese Checkers games. They did not have the flat game boards like the other games shown in the  picture above. I’ll come up with something else for them.

    

I purchased several options to attach to the game boards. The dry eraser sheets and photo magnet sheets were purchased at Office Depot and the felt sheets at JoAnn Fabrics.

     

Option 1: Dry Erase Sheets

This was super easy- just peel and stick. The sheets can be removed easily. Now here are my ideas for this option.

1. Use as a dry erase board…duh

2. Use as a barrier game- the board bends in half and can be placed horizontally or vertically. You can take turns giving directions on what to draw. You can also use window clings  like the spiderman ones shown and place them on the board and give directions. You can even combine these two ideas; for example- draw a house in the middle- put the black spider on the left side of the house- put  spiderman on the top of the house, etc. Once the directions are completed you can lay the board flat and look at the results side by side.

   

spiderman window clings

Option 2: Magnetic Sheets

I used 4″x6″ photo sheets but there are larger versions available which I think would be even better to use. These are not as easy to remove and reuse. This could be uses as a barrier game with magnets.

Option 3: Felt

I used felt sheets and a glue stick and double-sided tape. I used the glue stick but I think the double-sided tape would be enough- just be sure to add tape across the middle and along the edges. This is an option for attaching  pictures with felt or velcro backings (the hook part). You could use this to create stories, learn vocabulary, etc.

If you have room you could hang several boards next to each other to create a bulletin board effect. There are calendar dry erase sheets, cork sheets and larger magnetic sheets that would be options to try.

Option 4: Game Savers

While searching for ideas for storing games I came across this site- OBH Enterprises. They have a great product called GameSavers. These are plastic containers that are used to store your game boards and game pieces. The boxes come in three sizes to fit most games created after 1998. The boxes also include stickers to attach to the box for easy identification. I was happy to receive two of the GameSaver boxes to test. So here is my disclaimer: The boxes were given to me for free but my review is based on my own experience.

      

The larger electric blue GameSaver box is made for games like Monopoly, Life, or Risk etc. It is has a built-in money tray. I was able to put two games in this container- Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders and still close the lid. It measures 16 x 11 x 2.5 inches The game board must smaller than 15.75 x 10.5 x 1/2 inches (double folded rectangular or square boards) and  game pieces cannot be thicker than 2 inches in at least one dimension. This sells for 13.50 on the OBH Enterprise website.

The second box I received was the juicy orange midsize container. This size holds games like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladder, Clue, Stratego, Parcheesi, Charades for Kids, Scrabble, Jigsaw puzzles, Legos and more. It measures 16 x 11 x 1.5 inches. The game board must be smaller than 15.75 x 10.5 x 1/4 inches (Single folded rectangular or square boards) and game pieces cannot be thicker than 1.25 inches in at least one dimension. This one sells for 11.50 on the OBH Enterprise website.  I was able to put two game boards (checkers and Word Trio) and the pieces in this box and close the lid.

The snazzy purple GameSaver box holds games with double folded square boards The board must be smaller than 10.5 x 10.5 x 1/2 inches (Double folded square boards) and game pieces cannot be thicker than 1 inch in at least one dimension. I did not receive this size so my information is based on what can be found on the OBH website. It measures 16 x 11 x 1.5 inches. It can hold games like  Aggravation, Clue Jr., Charades for kids, Dora the Explorer, Family Feud, Monopoly Jr., Parcheesi, Scrabble Jr., Sorry, Scene-It DVD, Trivial Pursuit DVD and more. This sells for 11.50 on the OBH Enterprise website.

I  found these boxes to be light weight, stack and store easily. It was easy to recycle bent and broken boxes and replace them with these GameSaver boxes.  The GameSaver boxes come with one label per game.  There are times I store my boxes the long way and times I store them the short way. So the only thing I added was an extra label on one side of the box. Now I have lots of options on ways to store my games. I will hang a couple on hooks but I can still store the pieces in my GameSaver boxes. I will store others in the GameSaver boxes. One of the great things about these boxes is they are the same length and width which helps a lot when storing goes together. No more trying to stack game boxes of different sizes that just never fit together and can become an annoying puzzle to figure out which piece goes where. It looks like I will be ordering more of these once I get back to school and dig out the rest of my games.  FYI my Hi Ho Cherriy-O and Chinese Checkers games did not fit into the GameSavers containers. So be sure to read the will my games fit on the companies web page. The company also makes a product called BeachPack which can be  viewed on their website.

GIVEAWAY TIME…

I have a 25.o0 gift certificate to buy products on the  OBH Enterprise website. 

Enter now through 7/13/12  by clicking on this link to enter:  Rafflecopter giveaway

The gift certificate will be mailed to the winner.

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