Tech Tuesday

Ali Carroll shares how she used the same App as Jamie (last week) in a slightly different way:

Freebie app:   PlayHome Lite

I was lucky to gain an Ipad with Melissa Weedman’s fantastic Crusade for Children grant!  The Ipad has been wonderful to motivate and engage students.  They are always enthusiastic when given the opportunity to use it.

Being a frugal person, I have only explored FREE apps at this point.  But one I have found useful with my preschoolers (and could be appropriate for elementary aged and students in MSD units)  is  PlayHome Lite.  The free version includes a traditional family of five with one screen scene being their family room and another scene being the kitchen.  All of the family members can be dragged into the room and sit on furniture and or turn on the sink/microwave/TV/etc.  Most other items can be moved/manipulated:  cook on stove, turn on/off lights, open/close curtains, and family members can eat edibles as well with the app providing appropriate sound effects as the visuals are moved.  This is great for students to practice following directions with spatial concepts and action words. I also have student’s practice expressive language by stating what and who they want to move and what the person will then do in the room. This activity brings about tons of enthusiasm for a turn!  I use it in a very structured fashion, much like I would use smartboard or laptop. I have found if unstructured, students simply visually scroll and drag however they desire in silence; thus decreasing receptive following of verbal directions and one works harder to elicit the expressive language.  But I occasionally also use it unstructured as a reward at the end of a session or with a first/then behavior strategy.

As I am able to research and explore more I might consider purchasing the full app.  I hope we might eventually be able to use our individual materials money towards purchasing apps, the possibilities would be endless!

Tech Tuesday

Jamie Priddy shares:

One of the things I was most excited about when I received my iPad was finding ways to provide visual supports and active learning opportunities for my more severe elementary-aged MSD students. I read blogs and searched websites for the best FREE apps (because I’m an SLP on a budget!) and found a real winner! I have been using My Play Home Lite with my students for a few weeks and they love how “hands on” it is. It can easily be used to target many different language objectives, as well as articulation objectives. It is very interactive, and keeps the students engaged throughout therapy. The app simulates two different home environments where children spend a lot of time: the kitchen and living room. There are moveable members of a family (mom, dad, sister, brother, and baby), as well as moveable objects in each room. The scenes are similar to real life homes and you can manipulate the environment with the swipe of your finger. For example, when you touch the light switch, the lights turn off. When you touch the faucet, water turns on. I have found multiple uses for the app so far and want to share a few of the objectives that I target while using the program.

These are some of the goals that I target using this app:

1. Spatial concepts: Because all of the objects are moveable, it is perfect for teaching students to understand spatial concepts and follow directions. (Put the mom next to the baby. Put the book on the table).

2. Object function: It has been great to teach my young students object functions, as well as life and safety skills, using the kitchen scene. Objects such as stove, microwave, oven, lights can all be turned on, which can lead to discussions about what we use each of the items for.

3. Pronouns: Along with following spatial concept directions, students can also follow directions containing pronouns and use pronouns in sentence to describe the members of the family. (He is standing by the fish tank. Put the apple in her hand.)

4. Vocabulary: Household vocabulary can easily be targeted through the kitchen and living room scenarios in a very basic “Show me the ___” format or having the student name the objects in the room.

5. WH Questions: Students can answer “what, where, who” questions about the picture scenes.

6. Articulation: Having students name objects or find objects in the scenes that contain their phonemes is an easy way to target articulation objectives.

Overall, I have been very pleased with this free app and the opportunities it gives my students in therapy. I am so grateful to have the iPad to motivate my students and move them forward in their language skills.

We have almost made it!

As the end of the school year approaches, scheduled get CRAZY and the kiddos are more antsy than usual! I wanted to dedicate today’s post to tips and strategies for surviving the end of the year madness! That being said….I’m leaving that up to you! Comment below about what you do to survive and thrive during the last few weeks of school!

Tech Tuesday

Krista Rice shares:

I LOVE the versatility of the iPad and how it provides instant access to countless resources. My students are able to use the iPad as a motivating tool to help practice their goals by accessing various forms of literature, videos, songs, and activities. For some of my middle school students, I have used different apps to target vocabulary, such as Scattergories. My students have responded positively to our “speech iPad” and request to use it frequently in our sessions. My middle schoolers are more engaged in our sessions and are starting to request to come to speech more often! 🙂 At my elementary school, I’ve incorporated using the iPad during articulation sessions. I downloaded a free version of “Articulation Station”, which includes a free trial of /p/ in all word positions and speaking levels. One student in particular is working on marking final sounds in words. He is able to record his production of a word, then judge the accurateness of his production. The app even includes buttons to mark correct and incorrect productions, providing accurate data immediately. This not only helps the SLP collect data more efficiently, but also allows the student to take his own data and track his progress. Also, by having the student listen to and judge his own speech, he is naturally developing self-monitoring and correcting skills. Another example of using the iPad in therapy is to incorporate short video clips and/or songs to target basic concepts. For example, I have my UofL mini practicum student, Sydney, planned a lesson for a kindergarten group to target spatial concepts. She found a short song on YouTube, titled “The Prepositions Song Scratch Garden”. First, she played the video in its entirety then replayed the video and paused the song when it approached a new prepositions (ex. above, beside, outside, between, below, ect.). During each portion that was paused, the student clinician asked questions about the location of the specific object in the video and used a visual aid for choices/prompts. Also, she had the students manipulate objects to match the preposition that was being discussed on the video. The group of students moved around to the beat of the music and stayed engaged the entire session. One final way I have used the iPad is to record students during various speaking tasks to obtain speech and language samples. I just completed a fluency evaluation on a student and recorded the student’s utterances. The video recording and playback feature on the iPad was extremely user friendly and allowed my graduate student and I to watch the video and analyze the student’s speech in a timely manner. I am excited to continue to use and learn new ways to use the iPad during my speech sessions.


From Head to Toe Literacy Unit

You get another BONUS literacy unit this month! Because the Harry Potter unit is targeted more to older kiddos, our second featured book for May is Head to Toe, which would be appropriate for your younger ones! Here are the ideas the work group shared:

  • Song to go with the book from youtube
  • Read the book
  • Activity
  • Bingo
  • Mr potato head
  • TPT has several free activities
  • Letter home to parents about the book and the link to the song
  • Story being read aloud on YouTube

Tech Tuesday

Chris Scally shares:

I have tried to use the recording features of the iPad to provide feedback to students about their performance.  To let them see and hear their performance on a task and evaluate how they did.

Rationale:  Many of my students (and I’m sure everyone else’s):

  • Do not self-monitor in real time
  • React very poorly to my evaluative comments
  • Do not quite understand the target behavior and need a more concrete way of seeing it.

 ARTICULATION STATION:  The most basic version of this I do is using the record feature on Articulation Station. It’s $60 for the full program, but I have definitely gotten my money’s worth.  It features a simple to use onscreen audio recorder.  Many kids find it motivating, some but not all have been able to use this feature to listen to a trial and accurately judge it and correct it.  When I have a student who is FINALLY getting a sound, I will sometimes use the recording to share a success with the classroom teacher.

VISUALAUDIO Real Time Audio Spectrum Analyzer:  This is more app than I need, but it is free and it will give me what I want:  a basic graph of speech volume dB over time seconds.  When I’m trying to improve breath support over sentence level speech for kids whose artic and volume drops as they continue talking, this helps kids see what it is I’m asking them to do.  I use this early, when I’m teaching the basic strategies for improved breathsupport, slow speech, and over articulation.  When they have the basics and I want carryover to more natural utterances, I use…

SIRI:  “Hey Siri, can you show me a video of a bulldog puppy”  When Siri understands them, they are good to go.

THE VIDEO CAMERA, iMOVIE and iCLIP:  Some day I will have a SUPER CUTE post to share of this in action.  But right now I’m still trying to figure out efficient ways to manage the editing part.  So far, I have been recording students in the autism class having social conversations and reviewing the dynamics of it, not so much for corrective feedback, but to pull positive examples. “Listen to how you asked an on topic question, look at your good eye contact here,” that sort of thing.  As I progress this project I think I have a student whose parent will give me permission to share.

I would love to hear how others are using recordings to provide feedback.

Thanks, Chris!



This week our post is a couple days early (since it is the beginning of the month and we don’t have school Friday!)

I’m sure you are already aware, but I just wanted to share a few things from around the internet that celebrate BHSM!

ASHA has several great resources here.

They also have some great ideas to publicize the month here.

This Super Duper article also has some good information to share.

Here are some freebies and low cost items on TPT.

There are also usually FREE APPS offered during this month! Have you found any great ones?
If you have apps or activities for this month, share the love—leave them in the comments!


Tech Tuesday

Lisa Ehrie shares:

Ipad for Articulation – Recording and Worksheet for Carryover and Self-Monitoring Skills

Getting students to self-monitor their speech, identify a good versus bad production and carryover their skills can be such a challenge! One of my favorite ways to use the Ipad is for recording students’ speech and then letting them review and critique what they hear.

I have found this activity generally works best with students who are:

1. Older elementary age (2-3rd grade and up)

2. Working at the sentence level, spontaneous speech and/or (structured) conversation

3. Most ideal for smaller groups of 2-3 students.

4. I review being respectful and no harsh criticisms when I introduce the activity.

5. I use this worksheet for students to fill out

  • I like to use the App called Voice Recorder (has pic of cassette tape on icon). You can create a file for each student within the app for their recordings.
  • You can also use the video camera on the Ipad, however sometimes having “video” can be distracting for the students and they don’t quite focus on what they hear as well.
  •  let the student read a few sentences aloud with their target sound OR respond to an open ended question that requires 2-3 sentences of spontaneous speech. (I let them see the question card prior to recording so they can think of their answer before I hit record).
  • Afterwards, we replay the recording and the students (even the speaker) each fill out the form. I printed several of them on cardstock and laminated so we can use dry erase markers and wipe off.
  • I model the use of the worksheet and fill one out too. They circle the level they think the speaker is at and then fill out the side questions. Student are often able to pick out words with errors. They also can sometimes surprisingly remember placement cues or other strategies you THOUGHT they did not know/remember….but as it turns out can share with other students in the “tips” section. It also helps build confidence with those students who are really doing great with their sounds.

This Ipad activity beats drill/practice some days and it helps build skills for longer utterances and spontaneous speech/carryover once a student is at that point. The kids think it is fun and whether they are the one speaking or critiquing – everyone benefits!