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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Board Games of 2014.

This post includes Amazon Affiliate links.
Kristin over at Simply Speech had the great idea of sharing favorite board games as a linky party.  I'm always up for a linky party!
My favorites:  

 Turtle Talk is a go-to game as it targets so many language goals.  There is also the added motivation of collecting the colorful foam tokens and spinning the turtle.  


I just purchased Bubble Talk this year and I'm so glad I did.  Laughs can be heard down the hallway as we play this game of social skills.  
You have to be super quick for 5 Second Rule - Just Spit it Out!   Students have to name 3 items in a category within 5 seconds.  As any SLP knows, this skill is used for many goals of oral expression and auditory comprehension.  Great for older kids! 

I love Guess Who and the Electronic version is great for middle school students.  I turn it on when we want to work on attention, following directions, and impulse control.  My students and I have extra fun when we use the funny characters and use the voice of the person whom we have chosen.  

Sequence for Kids just that and perfect for young, non-readers!  It gets those little brains working by using critical thinking and strategy skills.  

 Uno is the game that my students usually choose when they have the option.  I have to get creative with Uno as there are not many opportunities to use language and speech with this game.  However, I find Uno Attack to be a great game for the social skills of sportsmanship, turn-taking, and humor. 

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Head back over to Simply Speech for more game ideas.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Kiss for all season!

I just came back from Rite Aid where they had some great holiday sale buys.  I snagged up some wrapping paper, games for my students, and a couple of bags of holiday candy.  The "best before" date on the candy was October 2015 (it's Dec. 2014 now) so I knew it would be good for a while.  Here is one idea on how to extended the life your your holiday treats.  
You can use this simple trick with M&Ms, Skittles, Reeses, and just about any Christmas colored candy!  If you have extra Hershey Kisses, check out the official site HERE to find many yummy treats.    Also remember that most baked goods and chocolate may be frozen and pulled out when you need them for your special class parties.  

Enjoy! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

No snow? Make some magic!

This post includes Amazon Affiliate links.
It's a green Christmas in Vermont and my kids are wishing for snow so I pulled out the package of magical crystals that they got from Santa.  Snow was so easy to make as it only required the package of crystals and a cup of water.  Although they couldn't take out the new sled, the girls enjoyed making snowballs and squishing the white concoction through their little fingers.  

I can't locate the "Just Like Snow" product that we used, but found these similar instant snow making products available at Amazon.  These had the best ratings and ship free with Prime.
 

Free Option
Sodium Polymer, also known as water lock, is used to make fake snow and is found in laundry detergents, thickening agents, and disposable diapers.  My kids are out of diapers, but if you have disposable diapers, you can make snow!  Use the cotton center of the diaper by cutting it into small pieces, placing the pieces in a bucket, and pouring between 2-4 cups of water on the pieces.  Voila, snow!  

Whether real or artificial, snow is great for sensory bins, teaching thematic units, weather related activities, and just plain fun for the sake of fun.  


Friday, December 26, 2014

Siri-ous results in speech.

As most of you know, I primarily work with middle school students.  This year's caseload surprisingly consists of many students with speech challenges including apraxia of speech, fluency, and articulation   I find it hard to find materials for this age range.  My students have had years of speech services and, not surprisingly, speech therapy is not their favorite part of the day.  My goal this year is to make their service time fun and functional and my most recent idea of using speech recognition technology has been a huge hit.   
Some of my students have iPhones and I'm lucky enough to have an iPad with Siri.  Siri is a voice to text application for Apple products.  There are other voice recognition apps such as Android Voice. The recognition technology is pretty amazing and improving daily. 

Students must be intelligible for Siri to respond appropriately to the request.   The motivation is huge as students drive the search with their interests.  I ask students to share their interests, hobbies, favorite tv shows/music, etc., and Siri does the search for information.  For example, I have a Mine Craft obsessed 5th grader who is constantly searching for tricks of the game.  My 7th grader loves basketball and enjoys reviewing game stats.  This avenue gives students immediate feedback and they are very careful to use their strategies to improve intelligibility. 

The SLP may also drive more language-based searches by asking students calendar related questions or making inquiries about general knowledge, community places, and even asking "how-to" questions for sequencing.   Other functions are available too.  Students may text the teacher, check/input into their calendar, and set the alarm clock.  The service options are endless as is the fun and motivation.  

I would love to hear how you plan to use Siri with your students.  



 You may also like these products related to speech and technology.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Toilet Paper Crafts~ really

A beautiful, simple craft that is a snap to create and comes from reusing/recycling toilet paper rolls!  


Whether for Christmas, winter, or as an EET Companion, your students will feel so proud of this craft.  I would love to see yours.  Feel free to post pix on my SLPrunner FB page or Instagram @SLPrunner.  

You may also like Warm Fuzzy EET Companion!