CBI Activity

Visual Map of Target (Stonybrook)

Candra Grether shares-

I made this because I wanted our kids to have more independence with problem solving where to find items in the store (versus adults leading them straight there) but it is also good for language skills of following directions, categories, and as a visual to use when answering WH questions about the store or even as a visual when asking an associate for help locating an item. I used the “go” symbol for the exit because of already established core vocabulary routines with my AAC users. One of my Teachers of the Visually Impaired has blown up a copy of the map to half-poster size for one of our shared students and is getting good use out of this for her goals as well. I also have one for Middletown Walmart and am working on Stony Brook Kroger and Stony Brook Meijer– e-mail me if interested. Also, this is probably common knowledge but in case anyone could benefit from knowing this, I use the “add to” feature on Boardmaker to add multiple pictures to a symbol to resize and make custom buttons (e.g., “woman” + “clothes” for “women’s clothes”). I left this file as a PowerPoint file in case anyone wants to customize it for the Target that their students go to. I think the original print size is set to legal paper size but that can be modified of course.

Thanks, Candra!


Tech Tuesday

Angela Vanwinkle shares:

I just received my iPad in the Spring, so I haven’t had much time to explore it with my students. I also know I have barely scratched the surface of available apps because I only investigated free apps at this time. I used the iPad at this time as a method of reinforcement and engagement with my pre-school students.  With all of that being said,  I found that even my youngest students with the lowest language skills quickly learned how to use the apps and responded to them immediately. Students that did not regularly interact with peers in a small group setting became more engaged and interactive with the use of the iPad. I was able to use the engagement/interest generated by iPad activities into follow up Speech classes to improve the interactions of those students in other group activities.  I controlled the interactions with the iPad, because I wanted the games to be interactive in the group and I wanted the students to involve each other in the games. They loved them and were respectful of turn-taking opportunities (with training) and involved each other in the games. 

One app my pre-schools students loved was Learning Games for Kids-Toddlers. The app included a variety of concepts for pre-schoolers to work on (including sorting, shapes, etc.) and they particularly enjoyed the “Funny eggs” game in the app. I found it to be a great motivator to encourage attention when it was used at the end of class as a reward for hard work! We also enjoyed Preschool First Words Baby Toddler Games, which focused on matching pictures, completing pictures and choosing named items in groups. It was great for naming vocabulary. Again, all of the apps I found had more extensive information to be purchased, which I might consider for my own iPad in the future. 

I am looking forward to spending more time this summer investigating apps and games that I might want to use with my pre-schoolers in the fall! 

I really appreciate the Crusade for Children’s Grant that allowed me to use this iPad with my youngest students!



Lindsey Ludwig shares:

This is the bug unit I’ve been doing with my mixed groups over the past week. For the little ones, I try to give them groups of bugs that have their articulation sounds in them to practice. For the older ones working on articulation carryover, we just tell 1-2 thing we know about each but. This is also a great activity for multiple language goals. I’ve had kids work on wh-questions (What do bees make? Why does the scorpion have claws?) describing attributes, comparing/contrasting, problem solving (Ex: Which bugs are harmful? How does the bee harm you differently than the mosquito or scorpion?), categorizing (find all the bugs that fly/have long, skinny bodies, etc.). To make my pictures, I just uploaded them into boardmaker. It took some time, but I’ve saved these pictures and used them for probably the past 5 years. The kids are highly engaged, because, come on, kids love bugs! We’ve also made ladybug cookies to go with the activity. I just bought sugar cookies, mixed some red food coloring into icing, and had them put chocolate chips on them to make it look like black ladybug spots. You could also make other bug treats…see attached pics for ideas. I’ve also used YouTube for some supplementary teaching. For example, if they say they don’t know what a cicada is, I find a video on there about the noise a cicada makes. This usually makes the light bulb go off and they realize that they have heard that noise and therefore have a frame of reference for that particular insect. This really has been a fun unit for my kids from preschool through 5th grade.


Thanks, Lindsey!!

Tech Tuesday

Ashley Burch shares:

I have a love hate relationship with my iPad.  I love using it with my students but I also struggle with using it because 1. they already have so much screen time and 2. the drama when you are finished!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Talking Tom:  This cat responds to touch and repeats everything you say in a funny voice.  Great motivation for little ones and you can work on basic concepts, body parts, “what do you think will happen”, or just using words/word approximations to request what I do to make Tom talk.

Toddler Animal Sounds and Pictures:  This app provides real life pictures of animals and the sounds they make.  Provides lots of opportunities for naming, using a variety of words, and also great motivation.

I also constantly use the timer function to either let them know when the time’s up or the opposite how long they have to work until they get the iPad as a reward.  And finally all of my students love watching themselves on video or seeing their pictures.  We use selfies of ourselves and our friends to work on lots of vocabulary, pronouns, and sentence building.

DERBY ACTIVITY- No Bake Horse Cookies

Candra Grether shared this and I thought I’d try to get it out there to everyone before Derby passes us by!

Most of my MSD units are talking about the Derby this week. I got the cookie idea and pictures from savoryexperiments.com and made a visual “recipe” with a combination of Boardmaker and Powerpoint. I made the first page of directions quickly last night after a Meijer run and after doing the activity twice this morning, made some language and visual tweaks that will be better for me for future use. I’ve left both on the file. Great for following directions, spatial concepts and adjectives (positions, big/little), requesting, problem solving (leave an ingredient out… what is missing?), counting (how many chocolate chips? eyes?), and EATING! I used this with mostly AAC users this morning (hence my page two edit/switch to the text paired with pictures) and it was great for their actual IEP goals of initiating, commenting, and word combining plus all of the other skills already mentioned. OT jumped in on it too and we had a fun morning!

Thanks, Candra!!


Lexie Cunningham shares:

When I first got the generous IPAD donated by the Crusade for Children, I immediately thought that I would be using it with my middle school language groups and some of my high school MSD students that are knee deep in learning Core Vocabulary for increasing overall functional communication. However, the group that ended up benefiting the most was actually my middle school Autism social skills group…

One afternoon, while seeing me clean up materials from a previous session, one of social skills kids asked where I got my “fancy new IPAD” and inquired about being able to use it in speech. I of course commented that we are working on conversational skills, reciprocal questions, formulating appropriate comments in class and in social situations, etc. My student responded appropriately with the comment, “surely there is a social skills game you could look for on the IPAD.” So…the four of us went searching and found the app titled 10 Ways. This fun app is a jeopardy type social skills game that can be catered to your student’s needs. Categories range from sarcasm, social role play, social inferencing and problem solving, etc. IT HAS BEEN A MIRACLE. The jeopardy style game has increased my student’s internal motivation to due to competitive nature of the game. The improvisation and role playing activities have been SO fun to watch and the kids have really grown. Not to mention, what middle school kid doesn’t enjoy “playing on the IPAD.”

Thank you again to the Crusade for Children for the generous grant and donation, and to the Speech Office for allowing us this opportunity. Another fun year in the books!