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


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.

Please! No more ideas… really… I’m going to lose my marbles! ;)

I may be in the minority but please don’t post anymore ideas on Facebook, Linkedin, newsetters or your blogs. I am over run with too many ideas. Don’t even mention Pinterest!! I put my blog posts on there but I don’t dare to look around at any other pins or boards. Being an SLP for 35 years I have lots of materials and resources so I don’t need anymore…really …..no I’m serious….this time… 😉

20120505-001103.jpg

My school year is ending on June 8th. I am starting to mentally pack up my room and I’ve already run out of nooks and crannies. How can I store it all? Yes my iPad is wonderful and has a wealth of apps that work great in my sessions. BUT…I have a lot of other great stuff too. I’ve talked about downsizing in past posts but I still have many things (ok maybe TOO many) that I want to keep. I promise I will use them…pinkie swear.  In the meantime I will do my best to organize, pack  up and get ready for summer break.

So what do I plan to do this summer?

1. Relax

2. Play and explore with my grand-daughter – who is now 6

3. Work in private therapy

4. Write blog posts and articles for Smarty Ears Therapy Corner

5. Share more therapy materials/ ideas on my blog

6. Maybe even start a Facebook page for my blog… I’ve been encouraged to do this but what should the page be called??? Send me your ideas!

7. Think about next year …a little

8. Oh dare I say it explore Pinterest…maybe…. ok I probably will

In the meantime I packed away my Ocean theme from my last blog post and my room is looking a little bare. The kids are complaining. Wait… I did leave the sand pail with the liquid water beads out…hmmm. Ok a couple more ideas but I’ll try to make these easy and disposable.

So since I mentioned losing my marbles here is what I plan to do with  them!

Water Beads or Liquid MarblesI have found mine at dollar stores. They have only had the clear ones but they do come in colors.  I use these in sensory tubs or in this case a sand pail. For the last week of school here is how I will use it before I “lose my marbles.”

a. Just play with them- they feel wet and the squeals from the kids are so cute!  We can include a few adjectives to describe them for a language goal.

b. Add items and try to find them (without looking) – paper clips, hard marble, dice, any small trinket. Language twist: talk about the sizes and shapes; Articulation twist: use small laminated words or cards instead of trinkets; Fluency- create a sentence for the trinket or card with easy speech.

c. Add plastic letters or numbers- Pull out an M think of words or summer things that start with M- Pull out a 4 and think of  4 words or sentences using your sound(s) or draw 4 articulation cards or draw 4 vocabulary cards

d. Put a few outside in the sun and make predictions on what might happen to them… I don’t know but my guess is I will be finding out one of these sunny days!

e. Brainstorm a list or find pictures of other things that fill up with water…. pool, water balloon, etc.

There you now have five ideas to use until the end of the school year!

Enjoy and then to downsize just ..

1. Put all the trinkets you used back in your desk where you probably found them in the first place

2. Put the articulation  and vocabulary cards back into their boxes (or if you used ones on an app in your iPad just close it!)

3. Return the plastic letters and numbers to the teacher you borrowed them from

$. Toss the liquid marbles or put them in baggies and send them home with kids…nice surprise… maybe! Or use them at home in vases for fresh cut flowers.

4. Save the sand pail and take it home – you can use it as intended but I see a slushy drink with a little paper umbrella added to mine!

   

Last Summer Fun!

Can you SEA me now?

We have been swimming in the ocean in my speech room. Well at least figuratively. All the kindergarten classrooms have an ocean unit so I knew it was a perfect time to dive into my ocean theme boxes. It has been fun opening the boxes and rediscovering games, books and more. Honestly I am finding by “themeing” my materials I am using them more effectively.

My kids had been so excited about our Pirate Unit that when I took it down they were very sad. Then they asked if I was going to put them on my board again just like in our pirate ship. So this is what I came up with… I used the app I’m in! Traveling. This is a free app but to get the all the scenes it costs 1.99 which I needed for the beach scenes. I took their pictures and added them into the app. Check it out below!



Don’t you just love the parachutist’s face! I did not ask him to make that face but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to do something special with it. I found a parachute picture and glued his face onto it. The can you sea me now  board was created using brown paper for the beach, blue for water, yellow for sky and an orange circle for the sun. I used the I’m in! Traveling app and cut out out the pictures to glue on the “sea board.”  This time I did not add all my students but so far no one is complaining!

I used the beach cut outs on the bottom of my door to work on describing. One student chooses an item with “their eyes” and then gave two clues before the others could guess. You can download the pictures here: Ocean Pictures

Games we played:  I am including links to Amazon (if available) but most of these I purchased elsewhere.

1. Splash! This game is fun play the rules but I never stop there. The toy dolphins included in the game we’re a fun tool to use with my students. After learning Dolphin facts we could have our toy dolphins act them out.

2. I created another He/She board like I did for the pirate unit but this time using the beach theme. You can download it here: ocean he -she

3. I created an Ocean Bingo game using Custom Boards. You need to print out each bingo card. Print one extra card to cut apart and use as the calling cards.You can download it here: Bingo A   Bingo B   Bingo C   Bingo D   Bingo E   Bingo F   Bingo G

4. There are some fun and inexpensive ocean/beach materials at Perkilou Products  that we used- Ocean Adventure, Beach Barrier Game

5. Piranha Panic is a game that I picked up at a thrift store and had proven to be a favorite.

6. Splash Attack is a fast paced game and relies on quick visual discrimination.

7. Spongebob Squarepants Splash n Roll Game– who doesn’t like Spongebob!

8. Curious George Beach Game

9.  This was a great tool to work on as a team. I had the students ask their partner for the pieces they needed. ” I need a small yellow rectangle.”

10. Finding Nemo Storytelling Game

Create an Ocean in a Bag:

This is an activity I did last year and repeated again this year with my site based autism classrooms.  I found all the materials at the dollar store. The sand was different this year and  made more of a mess. I liked the gravel like sand I used in the past but it was not there this year. I’m sure you can look around and find lots of options for your bag! I first used  my iPad to look at an Ocean Video.  We talked about what we find in an ocean and then created our own ocean in a baggie! Here is the visual I used: Ocean in a Bag

If you would like to see another great idea for an ocean in a bag check out Jenna’s post at her Speech Room News blog!

My Room-

This time I bought a large ocean mural from a dollar store and cut it in half. I put the whale on my wall and the undersea half on my white board.

The green sand pail has liquid marbles inside. I bought ocean erasers and put one set inside the pail. The kids take turns trying to find matches by touch or sometimes we just pull one out and talk about the sea creature. The erasers and liquid marbles are both from the dollar store. We used the large conch shells to listen to the ocean (a great way to get it really quiet for a minute!).

Apps – here are some of the ocean apps we splashed in!

My Ocean Friend ( iPhone)   My Ocean Friend ( iPad)

To the Sea (iPhone)    To the Sea (iPad)

Ocean Animals for kids (universal)

Oliva the Octopus (universal)

Hit the Beach (iPad)

Tiny Ocean (universal)

Lettermen go the seaside (universal)

Splish Splash Inn   Splish Splash Inn HD

Learn Sharks Now (universal)

Fisherman and the Goldfish   Fisherman and the Goldfish lite

Sunny Bunnies   Sunny Bunnies HD

Scott’s Submarine (universal)

Josh and Emma go to the beach (iPad)

Candy Fish (iPad)

Sandcastle Maker (universal)

Jellyfish Jam- free (iPad)

Fraise Puzzle (universal)

Little sub abc learn to spell (iPad)

Deep Sea Submarine HD  Deep Sea Submarine (universal)

Lalla Funny Stickers Sea World (universal)

iDraw Ocean

Little Mermaid’s Surprise (universal)

Mermaid dress up – lite

Mermaid Sticker HD

Ocean Sticker book

Shape Collage – this is what I used to create the images at the top and bottom of this post

Now it’s your turn to add your own twist!

Cindy

Pirate invasion!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 4, 2012
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I am finding that I really enjoy doing units of fun in therapy. To me a unit of fun is choosing a theme and pulling in all my books, games, apps and whatever else fits and then doing therapy as usual…sort of.  I tend to stick with a unit for at least two weeks. I found one week was too short when you look at it through my students’ perspective. I am lucky to be full-time in one building but my students may only be in my room 1 or 2 times each week.  I see some of them in other rooms too. So if you do the math that’s not a lot of exposure to a theme’ofun.  Besides once I start a theme I keep finding more “stuff” treaures that I can add.

Anyway ….

Me speech room has been taken hostage by PIRATES! We’ve been practicing our meanest “ARRGs” and “AYE’s.”  It started on my door. I took pictures using the Pirate Ninja app (.99). You take a picture and use the app to add a pirate hat. This was a problem solving activity involving making choices- do you want to smile, make a pirate face, look mean, etc. then they had to choose which pirate hat (3 options) they liked the best. For my door I printed off their pictures and glued them on construction paper. I then added pirate sayings. Here are the ones I used in Word format so you can make changes or add to them: pirate bubbles or in PDF format: pirate bubbles pdf. I used a pirate hat cut out at the top of the door that I found on another site: Pirate Hat

Then I realized I would not be able to put all my speech pirates on the door so…

This is the white board in my room. I am not an artist so I did a quick search and found how to draw a pirate ship here. I used brown tag board, vanilla construction paper and a brown marker to outline.  As my ship began to fill up I added a dinghy and attached it with several pieces of yarn that I twisted to look like a rope. I added a few gold coins, a ring and treasure map. I found the shark, octopus/squid a whale and water in the Pirate Puzzles app (.99). I did a screenshot of each, printed and cut them out. There are still a few stowaways I need to add.

While checking to see what to call a group of pirates I came across two options: tango and crew. I like a tango of pirates- can’t you just imagine that! Think Jonny Depp…yah now you got it me matey!

Here are some of the materials I used and displayed for the unit.

Here are some of the activities: The pillowcases came from a set of 8 that I found at party store on clearance. I used these in a group wih my OT. The students worked in pairs. Not only were they working on fine motor skills but a whole lot of cooperation was going on!  The pirate paintng book I found at the dollar store. The paint is on the bottom of each page and the kids wet it with a cotton swab to color. I used this to work on following directions. Warning: 5 & 6 year olds tend to tip paper cups of water which led to another problem solving task!

       

There is a wealth of materials about pirates so it is an easy unit to find materials. I love the inexpensive materials found at Perkilou Products. Here is a link to the pirate materials but be sure to checkout the freebies and other resources. Pirate Set You can see one of the game boards in the pirate painting picture above.

One more freebie for you: This is game I made to go with the pirate theme: pirate game

Apps: I am not listing prices as they may have changed. There are lots of Pirate apps out there. These are a few I won, were free or purchased.

Pirate Ninja – this is what I used for turning me students into pirates

Find the Differences

Penelope the Purple Pirate

Pirates band of misfits movie app

Pirates Cove

Toontastic

I’m Going to be a Pirate

Pirate Treasure Hunt

Pirate Chat

Pirate PHD

Pirate Scribble

Motleys HD

Treasure Kai & the lost gold of shark island

Pirate Jokes

Huggy Bird HD

Pirate’s Rope

Are you going buggy this time of year?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 30, 2012
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This time of the year is always busy with evaluations, IEPS, progress reports and with the end of the school year deadline to complete it all.  So what a better time to bring in things that can “bug” us. I have had a nature unit that was “bugging” to get into my room. So we have been reading, talking and playing with all things nature-like including bugs, camping, creepy crawlers and more. We have been playing games, reading, and learning new concepts related to nature, bugs and camping.

Here are a couple of ideas:

1. Jigsaw puzzles- I picked put the Bug Picnic puzzle at Goodwill for .99 cents. I used it with several groups. The first group were kindergarteners so we worked on “flat, smooth and corner.” They tried to find the pieces that fit these concepts and even found some that “fit together.”  The next groups worked on “matching” colors and team work to find pieces. I figured there was probably some missing pieces and that became a “problem solving” activity for the last group when they finished the puzzle.

2. I love the Magna Puzzles– the one we used had bugs. I bought it at my Autism Shop quite a long time ago. I believe you can find these puzzles on Amazon. They are complicated so I made a photocopy of the finished puzzle as a guide. The groups work together and I sit back and interject as little as possible. This was the first time I used this with younger kids (1st & 2nd grades) and they really did amazing! I also used the Busy Beetles never-ending puzzle as another collaboration activity.

3. The game the kids literally screamed when playing and begged to play each time was Picnic Panic. This game is from 1992 and I bought it on e-bay a few years ago. I always hate to show you items that might not be available anymore but this one is just so much fun!  Here is an old video from the 90’s. 

4. The bug masks were picked up in the dollar section at Target. We wore them on bug hunts in my tiny speech room (I taped bug pictures and plastic bugs around the room). Sometimes we wore them just because!

5. Other games we played: Ants in the Pants, Can ‘o Worms (like monkeys in a barrel), and the Ladybug Game (another thrift store find).

6. We even had bug races down my cabinets. I found mine in the dollar section at Target. We raced to articulation and vocabulary cards at the bottom of the cabinet.

7. Camping out- we threw a sheet over the speech table and used our mini flashlights to do some of our therapy sessions. We even moved the campfire and marshmallows into our tent (see picture of my cabinet). To make this I used a wooden bowl I got at a garage sale and cut red & orange construction paper into flames. I wanted to use tissue paper but there was not the right colors left in our art supplies. I used long wooden sticks and glued cotton balls on the ends. When we were “roasting” our marshmellows I put one of the mini lights into the “fire.”  (I found these at Michael’s)

8.  A few years ago myself and another SLP received a grant to create story bags. One that we made fit perfectly with this theme- PJ Funnybunny Camps Out. We created the activities to be used with students and their families to use at home but now I use them mostly within my therapy sessions. I am sharing this one with all of you!

Pages 1-6 were laminated and placed into a binder: pg_1_Parent_letter PJ campingpg_2_Inventory_List_for PJ campingpg_3_Suggestions_for PJ campingpg_4_activities_PJ campingpg_5_vocabulary_PJ campingpg_6_artic_ideas_for_home PJ camping

The labels were taped onto plastic bags that hold the cards. labels for PJ Camps Out, Backpack page to color/outline, cut a slit to slide cards into and laminate: Backpack with slit, Cards to use for sequencing story:PJ Camping sequencing cards

The game board template- color or outline, laminate and tape two sides together: Game board 1Game Board 2     Ideas for camping snacks: Snack recipes

Vocabulary picture cards and definitions- cut apart and laminate for matching games: vocab matching 1 definitions; vocab matching 1 pictures – We used two sets of the picture cards for a matching activitiy and one set of the picture cards and definintion cards for another activity.

We tried out some apps and found a few that we liked the best:

Chipper apps: Let’s Go Chipper, Chipper Matching Game, Sally the Salmon, Chipper in the Parks, Bruce the Slug

Books: When the lights go out,  Dandelions e-book,  Backyard at Twilight,   Milly and Molly Go Camping, Buffy and the Butterfly

Exploring: Fotopedia National Parks, Project Noah

Games: Bugs and Buttons, Bug Builder, Bugfest, Boogie Bugs Mobile, Bye Bugs, Butterflies iBlower

Just fun!! Butterflying

Do you need a four slice toaster?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on April 15, 2012
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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 Kindergarten.com 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.

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