Sunday, February 24, 2013


I found Fluently, which is a great app for easy onsets, when it was a free app featured on Smart Apps for Kids.  It is an app that is designed to monitor easy onsets in students speech.  It's regularly a $10 app so I feel very fortunate to have downloaded it in time.

I've been using it in therapy with 4 students who stutter for the past few weeks.   I also have been sick and have had a very hoarse voice, so my kids have been amused to see the app "alert" almost every time I open my mouth.

The app is designed to monitor easy onsets. When you are using smooth speech the button is blue and pluses slightly as you speak.  You can adjust the sensitivity with the slider bar at the bottom.

If you speak to harshly (ie ME!) or use a hard onset the button will turn read and you will have to tap the button to reset it.
I've had varying success with my students using this app.  I have a student who is about ready to move on from easy onsets and try other things, and while he was interested in the app, he didn't use it to monitor his speech.  Another one of my students who is just starting easy onsets was VERY interested in the app, and would practice and practice until he was able to keep the button blue through single words.  It should be noted that I also see him for articulation, and he doesn't do much to monitor his speech.  Both of my girls have been doing easy onsets for a few sessions, but struggle to self-monitor.  They used the app to monitor, but not as closely as my other student.

In my opinion, Fluently is a very simple app that I'm happy to add to my fluency toolbox.  My students who have less experience self monitoring their speech while producing easy onsets found the app more useful, but my student who has had to self monitor didn't use it.  I like it better for my students who aren't as far along in therapy and struggle to self monitor.  If I had bought it I would consider it well worth the price for the one student's self monitoring skills alone.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I still love Dropbox!

I did a post about how much I love dropbox last spring.  I am still loving everything about using Dropbox for working between my home and work computer.  Life without the jump drive is going well.  I regularly back up my computers, but that isn't a daily activity.  Dropbox allows me to keep my working files in a "crash-free" zone so I won't ever lose part of an evaluation report because of a computer issue.

Dropbox will also upload pictures on the I-pad into a folder you can use on your computer!  I originally planning to blog about this, but when the ASD teacher in my building mentioned that she Googled a classroom teacher for a picture for a picture schedule, I thought that this handy trick isn't as common knowledge as I once thought, and needs to be shared.

I frequently take individualized pictures for a few specific students as well as to upload here.  By being able to use the I-pad I don't have to worry about remembering to take my camera back and forth.  It's also great to take individualized pictures for picture schedules, or for communication boards for Boardmaker. 

All my photos are currently uploaded.  You will get a message while it is uploading telling you how much is left.  You can even see screen shots for an upcoming post!

You can select to automatically upload pictures (it will do video too!) when you download and open the dropbox app.  When you are ready to upload a bunch of pictures, open Dropbox on the I-pad and it will get started!  Once you upload a video, and move it out of your dropbox folder, you will also open up a lot of space on the I-pad too.

Signing up for here will give me more free space.  Otherwise you can sign up at  You get so much free space to start with, and then can invite others or choose to pay for more free space depending on your needs.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Comprehension Paragraphs

Another blog post today - really? Well, I was going to save this one, but with my sale coming up tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I got this up on TPT so you all can get the discount.  I was home sick most of last week, and was able to finish up on some partially complete materials.  I've been needing some sorting activities for telling the difference with main-ideas, details and inferences for some time so I'm really excited to finally have finished the activity!

Fiction and Non-Fiction Reading Comprehension Paragraphs
12 Fiction and 12 Non-Fiction paragraphs included.

Check out this activity in my TPT store!

Very little color is used in this document.  Options are included to be able to print all therapy materials in black and white only to limit visual distractions and save on color ink!  (sorting page is included in color and black and white)
Sorting page for Main Ideas, Details and Inferences for the paragraphs.  This page is also included in simple black and white.

1: Have students identify Main Ideas, Details and Inferences from the Paragraphs.  6 sentences cards are included for each paragraph (1 main idea, 1 inferences and 4 details). Students sort the parts of the paragraph to identify the main idea and details from the paragraph and identify which sentence was an inference.  Sorting pages are included.  Some paragraphs have more than 4 details to allow for students to find their own detail.
Sample of the paragraphs with the main idea, inference and details included.  12 non-fiction and 12 fiction paragraphs are included.

2: Have students answer comprehension questions.  The same 24 paragraphs (12 fiction and 12 non-fiction) are included on additional cards with 3 comprehension questions underneath the paragraph.  

Sample of the comprehension questions with fiction paragraphs.

Grab this activity in my TPT store!

President's Day Sale!

I've uploaded a few new materials to my TPT store in the past week - so make sure you take advantage of my running a 20% off sale for President's Day tomorrow!

Make sure you follow me on Facebook to get information on all future sales too!

Fact and Opinion Cards

 My new TPT activity is an activity to identify facts and opinions.  The therapy objective is to help students understand the difference between facts and opinions.  Some of my sixth graders have started working on facts and opinions in their classrooms, and our conversations have really shown that that have a lot of difficulty identifying the difference between the two.  I'm excited for this one, the more we've talked aobut it the easier it is getting.  Check it out on TPT!

24 Fact cards and 24 opinion cards as well as fact and opinion posters are included. Blank cards to add your own facts and opinions are included at the end of the unit.

An opinion poster is also included, but not pictured.

Students work to identify facts and opinions.
Facts Cards

Students can discuss if they share the opinion on the card, or who might have that opinion.
Opinion Cards

Additional Game cards are included. Students try to get as many monster cards as possible. If they get eyes they see a monster and take an extra turn. If they get slimed they lose a turn, card or all their cards, depending on how your students like to play.

Grab this activity on TPT!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Now on Facebook!

Pop over to Facebook and like my blog page!

I've decided it's time to start a Facebook for my blog!  So like my page, and I'll do a flash freebie when I hit 100 likes!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Asking Situational Questions

I have been working with some of my students on asking questions on and off all year.  Many of my students are able to formulate questions, but then can't ask questions when they are in the classroom, home or social environments.  They don't know how to ask questions when they are out of my room!  So I got to thinking, and make an asking situational questions activity.  These cards require students to think of a specific situation with a peer, teacher or parent and what they want or need to know.  The students then have to formulate a question to ask in that situation.  The idea behind this activity is to bridge my students question formulation skills, and reduce some of the anxiety about actually asking a question.

Check out Asking Situational Questions in my TPT store!

A total of 80 therapy cards addressing Yes/No, Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions are included.  8 additional game cards are also included!
An example of Yes/No Questions!

An example of Where questions.

Game cards are included.  Students try to collect as many owls as possible.  A sleeping owl causes the student to lose one turn.   If the owls are caught in the student, they must put all of their owls back.  Cards with two owls are worth two points.

Grab this in my TPT store!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simple Articulation Activity

I love smelly markers and so do my students!  I've been picking up these jumbo smelly markers at Michaels for a while now and now they have dry erase markers and highlighters.  I picked up a few of these and ended up using one during articulation therapy with a particularly challenging student today.

The brand of the marker is Scentos.  I pick them up at Michaels for less than a dollar each (retail a dollar, but you get a 15% teacher discount with your id).  If you don't have a Michaels, I've also seen them at Wal-mart and the Dollar Tree.  I originally bought them because they are everything I'm looking for in a marker.  Really big, has a face and smells delicious. 

My student is a reluctant therapy participant at best.  Today he did NOT want to practice his L sounds for anything.  He is not motivated by taking turns in games.  Not motivated by praise, doesn't like "finding" L's in books to practice.  If fact we are back on articulation after a 2 year break with language-only therapy for lack of participation.  Anyway, on a whim today, I asked if he liked smelly markers, of course he does.  So we used the smelly highlighter to highlight his words when he said them correctly 10 times.  He needed some cues to wait until he was done to highlight, and not to smell the marker while practicing.  The entire activity was done with him half laying on my table.  However, I'm counting it as a success because we did FORTY YES, forty words today.  This is completely unheard of, so I'm calling the activity a success. 

I have two more highlighter colors, so hopefully, with new smells the activity won't wear off so quickly.  I'm thinking stars or smiles on the picture next time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dinosaur Articulation R Silly Sentences!

Silly articulation sentences with all R sound contexts.  24 cards of each R sound context: Prevocalic R, R blends, ER, OR, ARE, EAR, AIR, and IRE.   192 sentences cards in total!

My students love anything with silly sentences for articulation practice, and with my current number of R students, I couldn't resist making this activity.

Check out this activity in my TPT store!

Game cards are also included for each level so these cards can be used either as a stand alone game or as stimulus materials in other activities.

I'm putting these cards up for free in my TPT store until 4pm central time today!  So grab it if you're interested, and please leave feedback!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I Did Today and Yesterday

I am busy making new things, but I know I like seeing what other bloggers are actually doing in their speech rooms.  I didn't take pictures of all the activities, but will post the few I managed to snap.

Paperwork... I've got 3 IEP meetings tomorrow, so I've been getting my things ready.  I typed IEP meeting notes from two previous IEP meetings.  I completed exit paper work on two students.  I sent home a prior written notice for an initial evaluation for one student, and called another family to start the process.  I sent home an IEP meeting for another intial evaluation.  Then, I worked on writing one of my 6 current evaluations.  I also started organizing my list of progress reports to be completed for report cards at the end of the month.  (This whole paragraph probably seems familiar... and I need more prep time!)

Students!  My students have been doing a lot of books in the past few weeks.  In a previous post I mentioned that my school is trying to read a million books in February.  All the pages we read in speech can count to the total.  This week I'm reading Big Chickens, that I mentioned in a previous post, and Froggy Goes to Hawaii. I love using the Froggy books for social skills, since he is a great example of what not to do and talking about why.  He creates so many problems for us to identify, solve and talk about what he could have done differently.  I'm also reading Fox in Socks to one of my ASD kiddos since he has chosen this has his sole motivator during speech sessions every time I see him.  I'm not what's going to happen first - memorizing the tongue twisters, or my tongue just falling out.  Oh well, the giggles are kind of worth it.

I also did my Camping with Pronouns activity with a few students, and the pronouns section of my Sports Grammar pack with another.  The boy I did the sports ones with seems to be finally accepting the fact that "he" is a legitimate word that exists, and he has to use it, so I'm counting that as progress.

Some of my other students told jokes from my Joke Telling Unit - and then we went on a "field trip" to the main office to share our jokes with people in the building.

I've been putting this one off forever, because I really don't like the Wizard of Oz.  It probably stems from my sister watching the movie over, and over, and over again when we were growing up.  I even hid the tape at one point.

Long story short, I liked the therapy materials, included so I'm going for it anyway.  I started using Jenna from Speech Room New's Yellow Brick Road Social Skills pack on Tuesday.  I found a great game for the Wizard of Oz at goodwill that fits the whole pack perfectly. We used the nice words, and my student said that every since one was easy.  Then we went into his classroom today and practiced using nice words, a little less successfully.  Taking perspective is up next, so wish us luck!  Also, you should probably be wishing for my sanity as I'm introducing it in other groups tomorrow...

The game is out of print, but it appears to be available on amazon starting at 10.00.  I'm surprised at how many kids have recognized the game in my room and have expressed an interest in it, especially because the movie is so old. 

When I got home, I worked on cutting out my last major unit - the Alien Attributes and the last few pages from my sports set.  I also had to cut out my Superbowl sale purchases.  I got Monster Questions from Sublime Speech, Never Ever Circus from Speech Room News and Mad Scientists Inferences from Live Love Speech.
I'd say I have a big gluing and laminating project tomorrow, but I have theater tickets, so it will continue to take up space on my table for a little while.

What did everyone else do today?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Overtime Monday!

If you missed the sale yesterday, grab some great things in my TPT store for 20% off today!

I got some wonderful things yesterday, so spend the week, cutting laminating and cutting again with me!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Alien Attributes - A Describing Unit!

This is a describing unit that has a group of friendly aliens who have landed on earth.  Students are asked to help the aliens figure out about things on earth.  Contains a “story page” for each describing aspect about helping each alien figure out what to do with all of the things they find on earth!

248 therapy cards, plus additional game cards and customizable blank cards are included!

Grab it in my TPT Store!

Functions & Describing

The functions and describing units use the same basic group of cards, with two extra pages of animal cards to use for describing.  The describing unit includes a cue sheet to use to help students think up multiple items.  Game cards are included.  Students collect as many aliens as they can by helping them.  Some cards allow them to take an extra turn, others mean they lose a turn or lose all their cards.

The describing unit has a visual cue sheet to help students describe multiple elements for each object.

Functions/Describing: 48 object cards, 16 animal cards to use in describing not functions.


The comparing unit ask students to label how two given items are similar and how they are different.

  56 cards are included.

 The categories unit can be played in several ways.  Students can label items from the category name, label category names from groups of items or match the two together.

80 cards are in this unit, 40 category labels and 40 items cards
Labeling from Description:

Two descriptors are included on each card.  Most can apply to multiple things.

48 Cards are included.

Game Cards come in each unit!

Blank cards are also included to add your own items as appropriate for your caseload.

Grab this great set in my TPT store!