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!

Tech Tuesday

Tammy Crane shares:

First and foremost, I would like to thank the Crusade for Children for their generous donation of our iPads. I am so appreciative because the iPad has helped me be more productive and has enhanced my therapy sessions tremendously.

I have been able to utilize the iPad in many of my sessions. It has been especially helpful with my students working on articulation. They love to record themselves and listen to help improve their speech sound productions. It has been a great tool for providing feedback to my students.

I have also downloaded some educational and fun apps.  I love to incorporate books into my therapy sessions, so when I discovered the Epic! app I was thrilled. Epic! Is a free app that offers a digital library of 25,000 books.  Reading the books on the app has been a great addition to my sessions. The students are very engaged in listening and reading the books, as well as the interactive options available. There are so many interesting books to choose from – for all ages and levels, fiction, non-fiction…  The library is searchable by title, author, or you can browse tons of different categories.

The epic app has been very helpful for targeting language skills.  A great feature of Epic! is the vocabulary and definition option. Some words let you click to read the definition of the word. For students who are working on defining and describing, we discuss the meaning of the word, then click the definition to see if we were correct.

There is also an option to create a quiz at the end of the book. I have created quizzes for my students based on their goals, as well as had the students create their own questions.  They have really enjoyed making their own questions, which helps show a deeper understanding.

For my artic students, we listen for and search for words containing their target sounds. This activity helps my students become more aware of their sounds and hopefully will increase their awareness of their speech sound production skills outside of the therapy room.

Over the summer, I hope to explore other apps available and expand my repertoire of fun and engaging activities for my students.

I can use my iPad

I wanted to share something that may help other SLPs working with AAC users. I created this simple board using symbol stix on the news-2-you site. It is particularly helpful for students who can navigate their devices well but struggle with initiating the use of the device in a variety of activities. Each time the student initiates the use of the device to ask/answer a question or comment they get a star. The assistants and teacher in the room use this board each day to ensure the students are utilizing their devices in a variety of activities. I am beginning to see increased independence with initiation of AAC across settings.  –Marie Fisher