Therapy Fun with Ready Made Fall and Halloween Bingo

 

There are many fun therapy activities you can do with your preschool and school aged clients in the fall. One of my personal favorites is bingo. Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource actually has a number of ready made materials, flashcards, and worksheets which can be adapted for speech language therapy purposes. For example, their Fall and Halloween Bingo comes with both call out cards and a 3×3 and a 4×4 (as well as 3×3) card generator/boards. Clicking the refresh button will generate as many cards as you need, so the supply is endless! You can copy and paste the entire bingo board into a word document resize it and then print it out on reinforced paper or just laminate it.

Fall vocabulary words include: corn, crops, farmer, scarecrow, apples, acorns, oak leaf, maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, grapes, mushrooms, salmon, geese, squirrel, jacket, turkey, Jack-O’-Lantern, rake, pumpkins, harvest moon, hay, chestnuts, crow, and sparrow

Halloween vocabulary words include: witch, ghost, skeleton, skull, spider, owl, Jack-O’-Lantern, devil, cobweb, graveyard, clown, pirate, robot, superhero, mummy, vampire, bat, black cat, trick or treaters, alien, werewolf

Now the fun begins!

Some suggested activities:

Phonological Awareness:

  • Practice Rhyming words (you can do discrimination and production activities): cat/bat/ trick/leaf/ rake/moon
  • Practice Syllable and Phoneme Segmentation  (I am going to say a word (e.g., ghost, spider, alien, etc) and I want you to clap one time for each syllable or sound I say)
  • Practice Isolation of initial, medial, and final phonemes in words ( e.g., What is the beginning/final  sound in mummy, vampire, robot, etc?) What is the middle sound in bat/cat/geese/rake etc?
  • Practice Initial and Final Syllable and Phoneme Deletion in Words  (Say spider! Now say it without the der, what do you have left? Say trick, now say it without the /t/ what is left; say corn, now say it without the /n/, what is left?)

Articulation/Fluency:

  • Practice production of select sounds/consonant clusters that you are working on or just production at word or sentence levels with those clients who just need a little bit more work in therapy increasing their intelligibility or sentence fluency.

Language:

  • Practice Categorization skills via convergent and divergent naming activities: Name Fall words, Name Halloween Words, How many trees  whose leaves change color can you name?, how many vegetables and fruits do we harvest in the fall? etc.
  • Practice naming Associations: what goes with a witch (broom), what goes with a squirrel (acorn), etc.
  • Practice providing Attributes via naming category, function, location, parts, size, shape, color, composition, as well as accessory/necessity.  For example, (I see a pumpkin. It’s a fruit/vegetable that you can plant, grow and eat. You find it on a farm. It’s round and orange and is the size of a ball. Inside the pumpkin are seeds. You can carve it and make a jack o lantern out of it).
  • Practice providing Definitions: Tell me what a skeleton is. Tell me what a scarecrow is.
  • Practice naming Similarities and Differences among semantically related items: How are pumpkin and apple alike? How are they different?
  • Practice explaining Multiple Meaning words:   What are some meanings of the word bat, witch, clown, etc?
  • Practice Complex Sentence Formulation: make up a sentence with the words crops and unless, make up a sentence with the words skeleton and however, etc.
  • Or you can just make up your own receptive, expressive and social  pragmatic language activities to go along with these games.

So join in the fun and start playing!

(This post originally appeared on the Smart Speech Therapy LLC blog)

 

Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP, is a bilingual speech language pathologist with a full-time hospital affiliation (UMDNJ) and a private practice (Smart Speech Therapy LLC) in Central, NJ. She received her MA from NYU and her Bilingual Extension Certification from Columbia University. She specializes in working with bilingual, multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted at risk children with complex medical, developmental, neurogenic, psychogenic, and acquired communication disorders.

11 Tips for the 2012 ASHA Convention

I am officially excited about ASHA 12. (Not that I haven’t been since last year in San Diego). I hope to meet many of my readers, Facebook and Twitter friends at ASHA in Atlanta this year. I figured it’s that time of year that I should post a little bit about my recommendations in preparation for ASHA.

  1. If you don’t already have one, create a Twitter and Facebook account. Join SLP groups and on Twitter, find the #Slpeeps. I am @apujo5 on Twitter. Benefits of social networking for the ASHA convention? You get all the heads-up on the behind-the-scenes info. You meet great new friends so that you don’t have to be at the conference alone. You can also find someone to share a room and save a little money. There is a “tweet-up” on Friday at 5 pm in the Leader Lounge where you can meet the people behind the Twitter handles. This year we are having a “pre-conference” dinner and there are several that met up last year staying in the same hotel.
  2. Pack comfortable clothes and shoes. Yes, as professionals we often dress nicely, but trust me, you will appreciate the Nikes and jeans. Last year I was away from my hotel room from 7 a.m. until about 11 p.m. I was EXHAUSTED and just missing my comfy clothes. You can learn new information whether you are in a dress or in a pair of jeans! (Besides, if this is your first convention, the exhibit hall is ENORMOUS!)
  3. Bring a backpack. I personally am not a huge fan of the infamous Super Duper bags. Not only do they stink, they are not all that comfortable to haul around. There are so many freebies at ASHA, you definitely need something supportive to carry your stuff. If your backpack is big enough, you can stuff a Super Duper bag into it.
  4. Bring your phone, tablet and your charging cords. No matter how great your battery is, you will more than likely need to charge it at some point during the day. Especially if you are one of those #Slpeeps who tweet throughout the entire convention. There are also chargers you can bring for your phone that you don’t have to plug in during a session. Last year I purchased the iGo Green charger. You plug it in to charge overnight and can use it to charge up to two devices while it’s charging. While you’re sitting in a course, you can plug in your phone (doesn’t have to be an iPhone) and charge it from anywhere in a room. No mad dash for a seat close to an outlet needed. Also, by bringing a tablet, you eliminate the need to haul around pens and notebooks.
  5. The scheduler for ASHA is finally up! So many people are so overwhelmed by the seeming millions of available sessions to attend. I am a very visual person, so I have to do everything a little different for scheduling. I have to make my own calendar, then highlight all the sessions I want to attend and put the session number on the calendar. I then narrow my sessions down to two per time slot. Be sure you select some alternate courses as there are times you get to the convention and some of the courses/posters have been cancelled.
  6. It’s never too early to start packing. The more you plan what you need to take, the more prepared you will be! I personally do much better if I pack early because I will inevitably remember things I need to take later on. Also, the more room you can make in your bag the better. (Remember, the exhibit hall is ENORMOUS and full of wonderful FREE items. You can also purchase many items at a discounted rate!)
  7. Make sure you sign up for all the freebies. The opening party, awards ceremony and closing party are actually a lot of fun. Better yet, they’re also free! You are already spending all that money on registration anyway. The conference also offers a box lunch for a small price (I think $7 a day). It really beats having to fight crowds at restaurants and all the waiting (giving you more time at the exhibit hall). The boxed lunches are pretty decent and quite affordable.
  8. Prepare to have FUN. The ASHA convention is a blast. It takes forever for it to come around every year, but once it starts, the time flies. There is so much to do and so many people to meet. Prepare for one of the greatest  convention experiences of your life!
  9. Don’t forget, leave some time for socializing and the exhibit hall. You won’t regret it. There is an enormous amount of knowledge to learn from all the exhibitors. (Did I mention that many give away free items?)
  10. If you really can’t find a session you want to attend during a certain time period, you can always do poster sessions. Remember you can do six posters for every 90 minute time slot!
  11. Also, I have found the greatest app. If you are attending ASHA with friends, and split up, download Voxer. It turns your phone into a walkietalkie and is available for both the iPhone and Android phones.

For first-timers, the ASHA convention can be very overwhelming, but in the end is definitely worth the exhaustion!

(Tiffani is one of the official ASHA Convention bloggers. These three bloggers were selected to blog about the ASHA Convention in exchange for complimentary registration. Stay tuned for more insights from her and the other bloggers before, during and after convention.)

 

Tiffani Wallace, CCC-SLP, has been an SLP specializing in Dysphagia for over 11 years. Tiffani has been very active in the social media world, creating two Facebook groups, Dysphagia Therapy Group and Dysphagia Therapy Group-Professional Edition. Tiffani is also the co-author of the app Dysphagia2Go, available on iTunes. She is preparing to travel nationally and speak on the topic of Dysphagia. Tiffani writes a blog called Dysphagia Ramblings and is the author of www.dysphagiaramblings.com. She is a five time ACE awardee and recently obtained her BRS-S.

How to Use and Set up Guided Access on iOS 6.0

Apple never stops impressing me with their always evolving nature. With the release of iOS 6.0, one of the most anticipated features for the special education community is a well-designed accessibility feature called ” Guided Access”.

During my many presentations, I have seen therapists come up with creative ideas to get students to stop exiting a specific application by pressing the home button on their iPads. I have seen therapists use bub caps which reduce the sensitivity on the home button and even tongue depressors to make the child stay focused on one application. Those days are OVER! Apple has given us the guided access that allows adults to set up a password so that the iPad can stay on the same application and disable the home button from exiting the application without that password.  Do you want to know how to set up guided access? On today’s episode, GeekSLP TV #33, I demonstrate how to access, set up and use one feature that will help children learn and become more efficient in using their iPad for communication. Here is the episode for you:

(This post originally appeared on GeekSLP.com)

 

Barbara Fernandes is a trilingual Speech- Language pathologist, a geek  and an app developer. She is the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears Apps , a company that creates apps for speech therapy. Barbara is also the face behind GeekSLP TV, a blog and video podcast focusing on the use of technology in speech therapy. Barbara has also been a practicing speech therapist both in Brazil and in the United States. Barbara has created over 21 applications for the mobile devices for speech therapists.

 Going to the 2012 ASHA Convention? Barbara Fernandes will be presenting a short course on November 14 “The iPad and Your Therapy – Apps, Accessories, Accessibility and Features,” as well as sessions PC04 “The iPad & Your Therapy: Apps, Accessories, Accessibility, & Features (Invited)” and 1179 “Using Apps to Assess & Treat Articulation & Phonological Delays.”

Appdapted: Halloween Themed Apps

Halloween is going to be here before we know it, so spend some time now and stock up on some great quality Halloween themed apps!  I have always enjoyed working on Halloween themed activities throughout the month of October and I now really enjoy having my clients  interact with Halloween themed apps. I know some you school SLPs out there aren’t allowed to call these activities “Halloween themed” and usually have to go with “Fall Festival” or use some other workaround title.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of 16 of my favorite Apps to use for Halloween. Some of them have a direct Halloween theme and others are themed around  spooky or scary things. Keep an eye out for the apps that are labeled HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as these will be of immediate use to you in your therapy sessions.

Screen shot of my Halloween folder

1) Halloween Shelf   – Free  (5 years and up)

This is a fun little app that is essentially a soundboard. You can use it for cause and effect, predicting, etc… My favorite us of it and do this with other sound board apps is to use it for sound effects.   I have some of my higher functioning clients write a scary story and then read it and use the soundboard like an “old timey” radio show. They really enjoy hitting the sound effects and then listening to a recording of their story.

2) iBlower Series: Magic Halloween – Free (Toddler and up)  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

This is pretty cool cause and effect app because you are able to activate the animations using your hands, voice, or by blowing into the mic. The blowing into the mic feature is neat because you can have some lower functioning kiddos interacting with the app as well or even higher functioning if you want to work on some production of lip rounding or just work on basic imitation skills.

3) Monster Mash Lite Free (Toddler and Up)

Working on describing skills? This app allows you to create monsters with a different head, torso, and legs. This can be a fun app to use in a barrier type game, where the child creates their monster and the therapist has to then draw the monster based on the child’s description of it.

4) Monster Booth Free ( Middle School and Up)

This app is definitely for the older kids as it is slightly gross and contains aspects of blood and gore. You take a picture of the person you want to turn into a monster and then apply the overlays. Perhaps you can turn it into a what do you want to before Halloween game? So if you have some older middle school students and above this might be a great app to use if they can handle it without laughing and not being mature.

5) Treat Street $.99 ( Toddler and UpHIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

This is a fabulous app if you want to work on role-playing skills or just practice saying “trick or treat”. To play, you dress your character up in their costume and then head out down your street ringing the door bell or knocking on the door. The door opens and you get a treat for your bag. You are also able to monitor the treats in your bag as you go along in the game and can practice sorting skills at the end of the game by sorting all the treats in the bag.

6)  Carve-A-Pumpkin from Parents Magazine– Free (Toddler and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The app store as a bunch of carver your own pumpkin apps but I like this one the best. You are able to carve both free hand or use templates .

7) Monster Me Free ( Toddler and Up)

Monster Me is a pretty cool Augmented Reality App that has a mad scientist feel to it.  You line up your head on-screen with the guidelines and click play and virtual mask is overlay-ed over your face.  You can change your eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing the mask or have fun and click randomized for a totally mad creation!!!

8) Ask Ya Mummy Free  ( Elementary and up)

Working on answering “yes” and “no” questions? Is it boring  and tedious? Well invite a Mummy into your therapy session.  Ask Ya Mummy randomly answers questions you ask with a “yes” or a “no”. You can have fun by have the child gauge if the mummy was ”right” or “wrong” when answering the question.  The app can also be used as a soundboard as well.

9) Peek a boo Trick or Treat $1.99 (Toddler) iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kindle, Android  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

Night and Day studios have a fun series of Peek A Boo apps and this is their latest edition.  Knocking on the door causes it to open revealing 1 of 14 Halloween themed characters. The only thing I don’t really like is the fact that you are knocking on the door and finding a character and it should really be the other way around. You should be answering the door to greet one of the characters. It’s cute and fun nonetheless!

10) My Monster Voice Free  (Toddler and Up)  iPad

Want to sound like a monster?  This app comes with 3 preset high pitch monsters, 2 low pitch monsters, and a custom setting.  Select your monster, record your message, and hit play and start laughing at how silly the voice sounds.

11) Go Away Big Green Monster! $2.99 ( Toddler and Up)  iPad HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

I am sure you have used this at some point with a felt board activity or just reading the book, as this book as been around for quite some time. It offers a treasure trove of possible activities from just working on the word “go”, parts of the face,  to describing activities.  Just Google “Go Away Big Green Monster! activities” and you’ll see what I mean.

12) Halloween Card Creator- Free (Elementary and up)  iPad

A fun free app that allows you to make Halloween Cards! Lots of fonts, clip art, and various other customizations  Start creating your Halloween card today and share it via e-mail or Facebook!

13) What was I scared of?  By Dr Seuss $1.99 (Elementary and up)HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

A fun story about “fear” and how to handle it.  Typical Dr. Seuss rhyming pattern through the book supports good phonemic awareness.  Great to work on picture and word associations as well.

14) Spooky Playtime $2.99 (Toddler and Up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

This is one of my favorite Halloween apps. It has lots of fun mini games!! They include: Junk Food Zombie- feed the zombies and help improve their eating habits, Bat Cave- sound recognition, Haunted House- a memory and matching game, Pumpkin Patch- counting skills, Spooky Forest- candy shape and color matching, Billy Bones- fine motor and shape recognition, Sylvia’s Spider Web- letter andnumber recognition.

15) First Words Halloween $1.99 (Pre-k and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

This app is based on the successful First Words Apps. I like this app because you can work by letter name or phonics and pre-select the amount of letters you want in each word. It’s useful to target CVC word for articulation or simply target some fall themed vocabulary!

16) Clicky Stick Halloween $.99 (Toddler and Up) iPad  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

This app is based on the award-winning app Clicky Sticky. This app will allow you to create a visual scene using “stickers” and then animate it using the play button. It’s lots of fun and can be used to enhance describing and vocabulary skills.

I hope you enjoyed the list and that you find these apps useful for therapy! Did I miss any good Halloween apps ? If so please leave a comment so I can add them to the list :)  Thanks!

 

(This post originally appeared on The Speech Guy)

Jeremy Legaspi, CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Foundations Developmental House. He concentrates on autism, AAC, apraxia, articulation,phonlogy, and some feeding. You can follow him on twitter @azspeechguy and check him out on azspeechguy.wordpress.com andwww.therapyapp411.com

Back to School Great New Games for Speech Therapy

The beginning of a new school year is always exciting for students as well as educators–I still feel the thrill several years after I’ve left the public schools to start my private practice. Everything is fresh and new–paper, name tags,  friends, teachers and backpacks. In keeping with a fresh start, I wanted to share some of my favorite new off-the-shelf products that can add a fun twist to your speech and language therapy sessions. Some of the toys and games are produced by large, international companies and some invented by ingenious educators and therapists who followed their dream and assembled a game in their garage:

Storymatic Kids by The Storymatic Corporation

Originally designed as a writing prompt by a creative writing teacher in Vermont, Storymatic Kids has taken on a life of its own. Fans are using this little box of 360 idea cards to inspire many creative endeavors beyond writing including cartooning, music, film and improvisation. Start out choosing two random yellow cards to describe your character and one blue card to get the story going. Our first story cards were “grandpa,” “bookworm,” and “here comes trouble.” Kids took off with a tale about our bookworm grandpa who was getting in trouble for losing his books, while a “mistaken identity” card had him sneaking off to the skate park to stay in shape since he was a skateboard champion. “Recess,” “befriended by a hippo” and “kiss” all had to be associated with the story and woven into the theme. It could be a jump from “recess’ to “befriended by a hippo” unless you were my little friend who linked them because the zookeeper visited the school to teach about animals. This box of thoughtfully designed cards is so portable for itinerant therapists and can be used to advance speech and language skills:

  • build vocabulary
  • associate ideas to build a coherent story
  • collaborate with classmates on storytelling or writing goals
  • carryover for stuttering and articulation therapy
  • teach elements of a good story–characters, setting, problem, solution (the only 2 rules for this game are that your character has to change through the story and stay alive–the inventor clearly understands kids!)

Recommended age: 5 and up. There is an older version called Storymatic although I have used the kids’  version with middle school students with language learning issues.

Feed the Woozle by Peaceable Kingdom

 

Preschoolers love this goofy, orange, furry creature wearing black high-tops with his signature “W” on them. His sign to “FEED ME” cannot be ignored as kids load up their spoon with wacky snack tokens like toenail toast or spider-egg pudding and make their way to Feed the Woozle without dropping their loot, depositing them in his wide open mouth. Three levels of cooperative play provide a perfect game for a group of kids of different ages. Three year-olds roll the die, count up the snacks to place on the spoon and walk carefully to feed the Woozle. Level 2 ups the ante for 4-5 year-olds as they use the spinner to direct how to move toward the Woozle–hula dance, bunny hop, spin, march, walk backwards or go crazy! Get out the blindfold for the third level, as you play with your eyes closed, relying on other players to verbally direct you to Woozle’s mouth. Here’s a tip–let’s hope your fellow players know right and left. I’ve used this game to:

  • improve social language with kids on the autism spectrum and their typical peers as they work together to feed the Woozle
  • work on following directions during the blindfold level 3
  • carryover practice for articulation

Two other great collaborative games from Peaceable Kingdom are “Seeds for the Birds” and “Race to the Treasure” where players race against an ogre which is quite motivating!

Recommended age: 3-6 years.

Jake and The Neverland Pirates Never Land Challenge by Wonder Forge

My pirate mateys loved this game as we worked as a team to complete pirate challenges and earn more gold doubloons than Captain Hook. Flip over a red and a blue doubloon to tell you the object to use, and how to use it to complete your task–”with the sword on your head, walk backwards around the vines,” or “with the cannonball under your chin, hop on one foot to the X and back.”  Kids started to ask each other, “Can you do the challenge?” and their friend replied, “Yo, Ho, Let’s go!”  Kids are so engrossed in the action, that they don’t realize the language learning involved to advance in the game. Tasks vary in difficulty from walking backwards to zig-zagging through the foam vines. We talk through each challenge, offering advice and laughing at the outcome as kids learn to:

  • Follow directions
  • Collaborate
  • Ask questions
  • Solve problems
  • Learn prepositions

Recommended age: 3 and up

FitzIt by Gamewright

Kids have such fun playing FitzIt, generating words based on multiple attribute cards they draw. My favorite was: what is usually used for entertainment, can melt, is smaller than a golf ball and doesn’t need a plug or battery? Of course, a chocolate truffle! It is such fun to see what kids create. The next player adds to the grid, using as many of his descriptor cards to connect horizontally or vertically to a card already played and announces his word to fit. FitzIt can build vocabulary and language as it requires players to think within a category as they move from general to specific,  adding additional descriptors and attributes. This little box of fun is portable speech therapy on the move.

  • Builds vocabulary
  • Encourages deductive thinking
  • Builds categories and association skills

Recommended age: 10 years and up

Morphology Jr. by Morphology Games

Morphology Jr. is like playing Pictionary only with objects, as the Morphologist picks a word card, gives the clue–which is associated with the target word, usually its category–and proceeds to “create” the word with 30 available props. Colored cubes, wooden shapes, string, rubber rings and glass drops can transform into a band-aid, bunk bed or a yawn.  Players have to continually modify their structure to add features of the concept they are trying to convey. A wooden figure with two rectangular blocks was thought to be a bird until the Morphologist did a slow and steady take-off for an airplane.  More abstract concepts like “wind,” “yell,” and “roots” required abstract thinking as the string represented the roots of a tree topped with green blocks for foliage. The kid-friendly game board is a series of lily pads, as your frog marker advances and follows the directions for various challenges including limiting the number of props available, adding sound effects (really helpful for the wind!) or becoming one of the props yourself. Kids represent a word with a series of objects, requiring them to know the essential features of the object, action or person and then guessers have to re-convert the concepts presented back to a word. Quick thinking and language processing help players identify critical differences to distinguish their word from the wrong one being guessed. What do I have to portray to show a garbage truck and not a dump truck? The discussion afterwards about how a player portrayed a word and why players guessed certain words was a helpful exercise to work on syntax, inference, or description.

  • Discuss similarities and differences
  • Builds description, object properties
  • Language processing
  • Inference

Recommended age: 8 years and up

Rory’s Story Cubes- Actions by Gamewright

Roll out this newest Rory’s Story Cubes set and start your stories. Each of the 9 cubes has 54 illustrated everyday verbs–listen, jump, draw, take, light, or press–to move the story to a new place in the plot. Similar to the original set of Rory’s Story Cubes including nouns, this set can be viewed from a concrete to more abstract perspective. I thought one figure was sleeping while another player thought he was “snooping!” Flexibility is a key value of this game as kids can tell stories solo or in a group, combine the dice with other sets, or practice verb tenses. A favorite version with my players was naming opposites as we made a tower of dice. What’s the opposite of play? Work. What’s the opposite of build? Destroy. They loved to keep going until our tower toppled! I use this set to:

  • Tell stories teaching the elements of a good story
  • Work on  verb tenses–present, past, future
  • Work on opposites
  • Use conjunctions

Recommended age: 8 years and up

Sound It! Found It! by Wowopolis

Kids are master noise-makers as they guess the sound source, and find the image of what made the sound in a related illustration. 96 sound cards are broken into categories that match the 8 scene boards illustrating kids’ events–a basketball game, carnival, rock concert, space station, haunted house, zoo, house and classroom.  A designated “Sounder” selects a card in a category, and makes the sound pictured for others to guess. The “Listeners” try to be the first to guess the sound’s source and also find it on the corresponding scene board. I heard some terrific burps, ketchup splurts and basketball whooshes.  Kids need to think on many levels–interpret the picture, generate an associated sound, match the auditory sound to a visual picture, scan a packed illustration and often look for associations (looking for the frog? find the water). The inventor of this game confided in me that his wife is a speech pathologist so we know he got some great input! Help kids:

  • Think in categories
  • Process
  • Build association skills
  • Build listening skills

Recommended age: 7 years and up

Disclosure: The above games were provided by their companies for review

(This post originally appeared on Play on Words.)

 

Sherry Artemenko M.S.CCC-SLP, a speech language pathologist for over 35 years, has  a private practice, Play on Words LLC, popular blog,www.playonwords.com, and is the founder of the PAL Awards (Play Advances Language) which distinguish the best new toys, games and books that have the DNA to build language skills in children.