Thursday, January 24, 2013

Word Retrieval App

Time for another app review! Today we are looking at the WordRetrieval App from the Virtual Speech Center! (To see a review for Articulation Games from the Virtual Speech Center go here.)

Why am I excited about this app? Because I can use it to target goals from my TBI students! Yay! Finding new materials for these students can be difficult since they are older and seem to get board fast!

What does this app do? Well, helps people with work retrieval problems. (And some days I feel like I am one of those people! Ha!) It is a flashcard or jeopardy style game that allows you to target skills such as naming a picture, sentence completion, opposites, associations, and convergent/ divergent naming.

Who could I use this with? Well, I used it with my TBI students but you could also use it with students who have aphasia, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and other language disorders.

It is simple to use and collects data for you, as all good apps do! It is $9.99 in the app store!

To see how you use it watch the video below. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Daily Bus Report Cards

Behavior management. Sometimes I feel like I do more of this than actual speech therapy. Anybody else with me? When I graduated I had no idea that I would be so involved in behavior plans and writing behavior goals. (The thought had never occurred to me because, obviously, all of MY students were going to be perfect little angels. AT. ALL. TIMES. Ha.)

Now, don’t misunderstand, I adore all of my students. And I am the first to take up for them.

Teacher: “Ms. Young student A will be attending in-school suspension today.”
Me: “Ok. Why is he there?”
Teacher: “He put student B in a head-lock during PE yesterday.”
Me: “Atta boy! So proud he stood up for himself! Student B is always picking on him!”
Teacher: Gives me a quizzical look. Pretty sure she also is wondering which administrator allowed me to teach a social skills class…

Ok, before you feel the need to invite me to a pragmatics session, I assure you I understand that this is not the best way to stand up for yourself (although it seems to have been effective). My point is that even though my kids do not always have appropriate behavior, they are still MY kids.

If you are still with me, thanks. I really hopped on here to tell you about Daily Bus Report Cards. This is something that has been very effective at my school.

How it works: I give the bus driver a stack of ‘report cards’ at the beginning of each month. Each morning he checks the appropriate boxes (and sometimes writes notes about the previous afternoon) and gives the paper to the student. The student delivers the paper to me (or classroom teacher) on the way to class each morning. If the student has met his goal at the end of the week, he receives a reward. Simple, effective and easy documentation.
I love that it is very concrete and my students know exactly what is expected of them.

To grab a FREE Daily Bus Report Card for yourself click HERE. Hope it helps, or sparks an idea for you!

What has been an effective tool for your behavior management?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

iSpeech Web Reader

Hope everyone enjoyed a day off for Martin Luther King day! I have been spoiled with breaks due to ice and snow and then a holiday! But I guess it is time to get back to work!
Independent work can be a struggle for many of my students who have difficulty with reading. My special education teachers and I are always on the look at for new resources to help these children. So when I was contacted by Nick about iSpeech Web Reader I was excited to try it out!
iSpeech Web Reader is a program that will read what is on the computer screen to you. (Click here for demo.) I must say that it has one of the less robotic sounding voices! I used iSpeech Web Reader by having students listen while they read along. This way they were able to read the stories and answer the questions with less support from me. It worked well for most of my students; however, it read a little fast for some of them. Mostly I enjoyed watching their pride grow as they were able to do more with less help from me.
It took me sometime to learn how to work it, so be prepared to commit some prep time to this product.
It is also has text to speech, which is very helpful for special needs students who have difficulty communicating. You can use it on a desktop or with a mobile app! To learn more please go to the iSpeech website to see if this is something your students could benefit from!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chain Letter Link Up

It’s time for the Chain Letter Link Up! We have interviewed two great speechie bloggers, Natalie from Just Wright Speech and Leslie from Leslie 4 Kids and Speaking of Apraxia (you may remember the guest post she did for us earlier). You can read about them below. Also, be sure click on their links to follow their blog or TpT store! Next you can cjeck in with their blogs to read others they interviewed.

1.     Your name, email, and TpT store if you have one. If not, feel free to leave me your blog link.
Natalie Boatwright,, TPT Store: Just Wright Speech, blog link:

 2.    When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging the night of January 4, 2013. Blogging is very new to me, but I wanted to be able to share my ideas as a SLP. I love using books in therapy and want to share the companion packets for the books I use as well as other materials/ideas I find helpful.

3.    What is your favorite population to work with?
I love working with the school-age population, PK-5th grade.

4.    How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
Since I started on January 4, I’ve only been able to spend an average of 10-12 hours per week. Blogging/creating materials in an electronic way are fun, but takes time to learn. Working full time in the public schools and having two young children myself, four years & two years, doesn’t allow for a lot of “extra” time. I will get more efficient as time goes on.J I look forward to this new journey!

5.    What's your favorite topic to create materials for?
I like to make materials that can be used with a story book. There is so much language within books and the children respond to books very well. To relate articulation activities to story books is fun too. It allows the student time to hear the target sounds within a story format rather than at the level on which they are working, i.e. sound, phrase, and sentence.

6.    What's the best thing about blogging?
Thus far, the best thing has been being able to share with others. My page is very new, as you know, so I haven’t had many view my page, but to those who have, I hope it was helpful!

7.    Do you have any blogging tips?
My advice, to new bloggers especially, would be to take your time and do not stress over the small things. I consider my blog a “work in progress” and will be making changes/edits/additions as I learn how to do so. Happy blogging!

8.    What is your funniest speech moment?
There are lots, but to choose one…It was a time, not about what was said, but what was taught. One of my students showed me how to do something on the iPad…and to see the look on his face when he realized he had showed me something he knew that I hadn’t was priceless!


1.     Your name, email, and TpT store if you have one. If not, feel free to leave me your blog link. 

Hi all—my name is Leslie Lindsay, R.N., B.S.N.  and while I am not a speech-language pathologist, I a mom raising a child with resolving (once severe) CAS—and author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (WoodbineHouse, 2012 .  I am an avid blogger since 2009 at …it’s “Practical Parenting…with a Twist!” 

2.    When and why did you start blogging?  

I was reluctant to the blog world back in 2009—I didn’t think anyone would bother reading what I wrote.  I was wrong!  Plus, I was na├»ve about just how “big” the Internet has become.  Everyone reads stuff on the Internet. 

 3.    What is your favorite population to work with?

I love, love working with kids and educators the best.  Even better if I have a connection with an author who has written a book or article about kids and education.  That sort of combines all three of my passions:  kids, education, and writing.  But, I would be lying if I didn’t say I have a special affinity for CAS. 

4.    How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?

I blog Monday thru Friday, aiming for 5 posts each with a different theme.  Like everyone else, I’m busy so I don’t always get a post out a day—I’d be happy with three solid posts.  How much time…well, it all depends, but I would say an average of 40 minutes a post. 

5.    What's your favorite topic to create materials for? 

I’d have to say that I love working on new ways to help our kids work through self-esteem or coping with a speech impediment.  That really ties into my Monday (Apraxia Monday) and Tuesday (The Teacher is Talking) posts. 

 6.    What's the best thing about blogging?

The best thing about blogging….well, it’s tri-fold:  1)  I love to write and I am very much a ‘processor.’  I have got to get my thoughts and ideas “out” or I go nuts!  Sometimes blogging is the best way to do it.  2)  Connecting with others in the blogosphere also tickles my fancy.  I love to make connections that I may have missed out on had I not been blogging.  3)  I’d like to think that some of my posts help others out there…guess that goes along with #2 above.  But, when I get a response from a reader who tells me that they love what I wrote, or what I shared helped their child, it’s like I am giving back.

7.    Do you have any blogging tips?

Set a routine.  Blog every day at the same time of day in the same location.  You will prime your brain to work creatively at those times.  Pick several topics you are most passionate about and let them be your “columns.”  Write about similar things on the same days of the week.  Crafty Wednesday, or Alliteration Monday, or Therapy Trick Tuesday…you get the idea.  Readers will come back for their favorites. 

 8.    What is your funniest speech moment?

My daughter with CAS was at the mall around late February/early March.  She was nibbling on a cookie with her dad and little sister.  She looked up and saw a giant white bunny sitting in a spring-y little cottage.  Her eyes grew as large as saucers as she pointed, “Daddy…no ho-ho…big hop-hop!”  We still giggle about that today, many years later. 

Thanks for having me! !

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Was A Stranger to Beauty

Some of you may remember the guest post from Caroline McGraw, author of the blog A Wish Come Clear. Well we are excited to announce the launch of her new Kindle Single, I Was a Stranger to Beauty: A Story of Special Needs, Simplicity, My Brother Willie, My Friend Miguel and A New Way of Seeing the World.

Right now it is only $1.99 and 5% of the proceeds will go to L’Arche Washington DC, a wonderful organization. 

Caroline has spent so much of her life serving those with special needs, so she is more than qualified to write a book on this topic. We hope that you will all support her! Getting ready to download the book myself! To learn more about it, watch the video below!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mad Scientist Inference Review

Have you seen all of the great SLPs on TpT? There are so many and I am always finding new products that I love!

 I was very excited when Kristine at Live Love Speech asked me to review her Mad Scientist InferencesPacket! And be sure to stop by her blog today to see a review of our new TpT product Answer Me, Maybe?

I can never have too many inferencing activities. I have several 4th – 6th graders working on that goal and this product seemed to meet their needs best. What I liked most about this product was the   ‘Graphic Organizers’. 

These pages allow students to write out their thoughts on what they already know and the clues they found in the reading passage. Seeing the information that way really helped my students connect their thoughts. Not sure about your students, but mine can often tell me WHAT the inference is but they cannot tell me the WHY or HOW they came to that conclusion. At first I printed off these pages for each student, but our county is short on paper so I laminated the pages and let them write with dry erase markers. The students always seem to have more fun with dry erase!


The packet also included 32 cause/effect cards, 48 social scenario cards, and 8 Toxic cards. To use these cards in a game I just shuffled in the toxic cards. Then the players can draw cards, if they pick a Toxic card they must lose all their cards. Player with the most cards wins. 

There are multiple ways to play, this is just what worked best for my language groups. Do you have this product? (Please don't judge this product based off my pictures... I no longer have colored ink, so B&W it is!) Let us know what you think!

*Confession – I used this activity for a few days before I laminated it… still amazed at how well just the cardstock held up! Trouble with laminating is that there is just never enough time! (And there is always that ONE teacher who gives you the stink eye if you use too much! Ha!)

Be sure to show your support and follow Kristine’s blog, Facebook and TpT store!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Glamour Vowels Book Review

I was so excited when Denise, Tera and Kristen contacted me about reviewing their new book No-Glamour Vowels! This book can be found at LinguiSystems. These SLPs saw a need for materials that targeted vowels and so they put their heads together and created this awesome book! You know that whenever a product is created out of necessity, it is going to be great and beneficial to many therapists!

The breakdown of the book:
This book was created to teach vowel placement and production. It is recommended for ages 4 through 12. It includes:

·         activity ideas (Yay! I feel like I am always doing the same activities with my kids. So thankful for some fresh ideas!)
·         A CD-ROM (If you are like me, this is ALWAYS important because the school copier will be broke every time you run down there to make a copy and therefore forcing you to print it from the printer in your room and using all your ink… good thing ink grows on trees ;)
·         reproducible worksheets in words, phrases and sentences for
o    long A
o    short A
o    long E
o   short E
o    long I
o   short I
o   long O
o   short O
o    long U
o    short U
o   hooked U
o   dipthongs.
·         Vowel  placement chart (Good reminder.)
·          techniques for vowel therapy
·         screener

Why did I like it?
Because just like the authors of this book I was very short on materials to target vowels. Not to mention I am always on the look out for apraxia materials too! And the worksheets were very easy to incorporate into therapy! I also shared it with one of my special ed teachers as she was reviewing the long A with one of her students.
In summary, if you are looking for a new way to target vowels this would be a great tool to use! You can purchase it from the LinguiSystems website for $43.95.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Answer Me, Maybe (WH Question Activity)

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the song Call Me Maybe, by Carly Ray Jepson, it is stuck in my head for days! And so the song was an inspiration for the title of our new TpT product, Answer Me, Maybe.  I thought it fit perfect with the smart phone clip art!

This WH packet includes:

·         100 WH Questions

·         100 Picture Cards

·         5 Cards where the student must unscramble the question

·         5 Blank phones

·         9 Bonus cards (Created to play games with)

There are 20 questions for each WH word (who, what, when where and why). Just print, cut and laminate!

I have several students working on WH questions and they are all at different levels. I created this packet to be played multiple ways.

Game 1: Use cards to play memory. Lay question cards and picture cards face down on the table. Have students match questions to the correct picture. This game is good for non-readers. You will need to read the question card to the player, but the visual pictures should help them answer appropriately.

Game 2: Shuffle question and bonus cards. Have students draw a card. If they answer the card correctly they may keep the card. Player with the most cards in the end wins. This game is best for students who can read and do not need visual support.

Game 3: Shuffle picture and bonus cards. Have students pick a picture card and ask a question. If they ask a question correctly, they may keep the card. Player with the most cards in the end wins. This game is for students who are able to answer basic WH questions but struggle with forming their own questions.

You can purchase this game in our TpT store. And as always, please leave feedback and let us know what you think!