Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Boost Sale

If you were like me, you spent early August trying to figure out the schedule, your caseload, the staff relationships, and all of that.  So when the TpT sale happened, I wasn't completely prepared with what I should buy, to be completely honest!  

But TpT heard everyone and has decided to throw a one day sale- today, August 20.  Everything will be up to 28% off!
Check out the sale here and fill up those carts!  Happy shopping!

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Articulation Test Center {app review}

As I have begun to plan for the school year, I've thought a lot about what I will need for my predominantly articulation caseload.  I have had my eye on the Articulation Test Center app ever since I saw it at ASHA in Chicago this fall!   Check it out with me.

The first thing you will notice is that there are two options: a screener and a full test.  They are both great tools to use, so let's look closer.

You will likely get a screen like this pretty soon after opening the app for the first time:

I highly recommend you watch these videos.  They could explain how to use the app way better than I could in a blog post.

Watch the Full Test tutorial here:

Watch the Screener/Quick Test tutorial here:

Another great place to start is the information tab:

Administering the Tests:

Once you start either the screener or the full test, the child will see a series of picture prompts and be asked to say what it is.  You can record the child speaking during the test, which makes it easy to go back and listen later.

To score:
The targeted sounds will be green.  If the child produces it incorrectly, simply click on the sound and it will change to red.  If it is an approximation, click on it again, and it will change to yellow.

If the child omits it completely, drag the sound upward and the symbol below will appear.  You can also mark substitutions and phonological processes.  Just drag the process to the sound, and it will mark it for you!

Once the child has completed all items, this screen will appear:

After the test, there will be a section for a speech sample.  You have your choice of scenes.  Once you're in the scene, click around and various prompts will appear:

Record the student during this time for review later.

Once you have this completed, the report section will appear.   You have several options.  The first is the words tested tab.  This will show all of the words tested and how you marked the errors.  It will also include any notes that you made.  

The next section is errors marked.  This will show the total percentage correct of the errors and the sounds that were incorrect.  These errors are compared to normative data or when the sound is normally developed.

Based on those errors, a report is generated and recommendations are made.  You have the option to print or email the report.  You can also add more conclusions that you may have to the report.  

What I Love:
-I love that it's a one-stop shop.  It has both a full test and a screener.
-I love that it's portable.  Maybe the place for the child to be tested is not the most convenient for us.  This app helps us out in this situation because we don't have to carry bulky test materials everywhere.
-I love the built-in report feature.  This makes for quick progress monitoring and saves me so much time!
-I love how comprehensive the data tracking is.  You can track omissions, substitutions, approximations, phonological processes, and other notes.
-I love the recording feature.  I cannot count the number of times I've wished I could have recorded what a child said and review it later.  This solves that problem!
-I love that the student's data is kept, so you can compare different reports and monitoring progress.
-I love that real pictures are used.  Sometimes symbols can be confusing, so this is an awesome feature.
-I love that it's pretty easy to use!
-I love the speech sample portion.  We learned in grad school how important this is, so I was very happy to see it included.
-I love the variety of settings and options to turn on/off to customize it to each student's needs.
-It is evidence/ normative data-based.  In the report section, you can see the research used cited at the bottom.

For Future Updates:
-Even for screenings, I like to collect a short speech sample.  Sometimes I cannot truly hear if a child has a sound in their phonemic inventory or not until a conversation.  So that being said, I would love for there to be a speech sample section as part of the screener.
-This is a long ways off and would take lots of research, but I would love if this app would be standardized.  Districts require standardized scores for formal testing most of the time, so this wouldn't qualify for that.  (However, it would be perfect for progress monitoring, as I mentioned, so I will definitely use it for that!).
-I would love it if the app could be programmed to automatically identify the phonological process.  It is just a picky little thing, but it would definitely save the tester time!

Bottom Line:
This is an amazing app that every SLP should have in their back pocket.  I cannot wait to use it in my speech room this year to assist with progress monitoring and screening!  

This app is currently listed at $49.99 in the iTunes store.   BUT from August 12 through August 14, both this app and their best selling Articulation Station Pro will be on sale for 30% off the normal cost.  That brings the price down to $34.99!!  This is their biggest sale of the year, so plan to get these apps while they are discounted!

Note: A code for the app was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine.   

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's In Your Cart? {linky}

It's time for another sale!!!!! I am so excited to tell you that the big Back to School sale on Teachers Pay Teachers is August 4 and 5 (Monday and Tuesday)!  Enter the code BTS14 at checkout and you will get up to 28% off all products in my store!  

Now let's talk about what's in my cart.  Jenna at Speech Room News hosts a linky party every sale for bloggers to show you what they're buying.  Check out all of the blog posts here.

Recommendations to buy:

I have a couple of new products in my store that I would love for you to take a look at.  The first is my new Owl Speech Room Decor set.

The second are my Speech War sets.  Later Developing 1, Later Developing 2, and Early Developing.

Finally, check out my new packet on Idioms.

Now for what's in my cart:

If You Take a Mouse to School Book Companion from For His Glory

I Can Posters from Natalie Snyders

Speech-Language Pathologist Administrative Portfolio from Nicole Allison.

I am not at all close to being done looking through all of the amazing products out there. I'm sure I will go back and checkout a couple times!

What's in Your Cart? 

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Owl Speech Room Decor

Owls are everywhere right now!  I thought they would be really cute in my speech room, and I found a set of owl clipart with colors that will appeal to most of my students!   I will post pictures of these items in my room later on this month once everything is perfectly set up and ready to go.  

Included in this 92 page packet are:

-Welcome Bunting with options of three colors of lettering

-“Speech is a Hoot!” letters for bulletin boards or walls.  Cut these out and put on your bulletin board, door, or front of your desk! 

-Hall Passes (nurse, boys' bathroom, girls' bathroom, hall pass)

- Decorative Labels in 2 sizes

-Note sheets, one design with "A note from ____" and one blank design

-“In Our Speech Room..” Rules with 4 background color options

-"Speech-Language Therapy" signs with various background color options

-"Welcome to our Speech Room" signs with various background color options

-"Owl-ways Use Your Best Speech and Language" signs 

-"Speech and Language are a Hoot" signs

-Binder Covers in three colors

-Calendar labels, including the months of the year and squares for every day of the week

-Grade labels, including one label for every grade from preschool through senior year of high school

-Large owls to be used on bulletin boards, desks, walls, bookshelves, or any place else in your speech room that you need a large owl. Some also have words of our field on them (articulation, describing, retelling, grammar, etc) to make a bulletin board showing what we do!

- Behavior Clip chart with an owl theme

Also includes: 
-"Shhh...We are Testing" and "I'm in a Meeting. Be Back Soon" signs

-"I Can” bubble letters for bulletin boards or walls

-"I Can" letters in circles for bulletin boards or walls

I really hope you love this and can use it in your speech room!   If you are interested in using this, you can find it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting Started in a New Speech Room

If you follow my Facebook or Instagram pages, you know that I have just begun moving into my new speech room!  It is a very exciting time.  I love being able to decorate the space and make it my own.  Here's a sneak peek for you (a full blog post will come later):

So if you are a brand new SLP like me or are moving to a new classroom, here's a few steps to help get you started:

1)  Tour your room early, if possible.  I had the opportunity to tour my school and room about a month and a half before my contract was set to begin.  I knew I had the summer free to dream up the perfect room and then find supplies to make it happen.  It gave me an idea of which areas could happen, such as my book nook (pictured above).  It also showed me that I had a certain number of filing cabinets, which meant I did or did not need crates, etc to supplement and add storage.

2)  Set a budget.  As a newbie with no income, it was difficult to swallow the realities of the cost of setting up a classroom.  I had one friend tell me she spent almost half of her paycheck her first year to pay for decorations, bulletin boards, and books.  I was determined not to do this, because I knew it wasn't realistic for me.  Set a dollar amount limit that you want to keep your costs under and stick to it.

3)  Prioritize your wants and needs.  For me, a rug was a huge priority.  My floors are all tile.  Not only did I not want to sit on the bare floor or have my students sitting on it, I felt a rug would add to the room and make it feel more welcoming.  By making a list of your top priorities in your room, you will be able to better stick to that budget.

4) Ask about any restrictions regarding decorations.  One of my friends is in a school that has very strict guidelines about decor (in fact, it's a whole teaching philosophy).  Some may allow you to do whatever you want.  There may be fire codes you have to follow.  You may not be able to put boxes close to the ceiling.  You may not be able to hang anything from the ceiling.  Check into these before doing anything.

5) Make it yours.  You can try and make it such that it will appeal to every child.  What I have learned is that not every child will appreciate it or enjoy it, no matter what you choose.  You are the one who will be spending the majority of the time in the office, so it needs to be a space you are comfortable in as well.  Obviously, it has to be kid-friendly and should be fairly gender-neutral.

6)  Gather ideas.   I started a Pinterest board just to collect all of the awesome ideas I found.   If you are interested, check it out my board here.

7) Consult other professionals.  I asked a lot of others about what they felt was necessary in their speech room.  This helped give me an idea of what I needed to purchase ahead of time.

8) Inventory everything.  I like to create a list of everything that is in the classroom so that if I am ever stuck, I can go back through that list quickly.  Otherwise, I would be stuck going through my materials closet frantically.  It may take some time at the beginning of the year, but you won't have to do it again, and it will serve as a great reference throughout the year.

9) Label everything that you own.  The last thing you want to happen is for your favorite game to walk away.  The school needs to know that it is your personal game/ activity.

10)  Try not to stress.  It is really easy to get stressed out about this closet or that bulletin board.  I am a perfectionist, so I tend to get stressed out when little things are slightly off.  It's something I'm working on.  I'm also learning to enjoy the process and that everything will come together in the end.

Those are a few steps to get you started.  I hope starting in a new position or starting in a new room goes smoothly for everyone this year!  I'll be thinking of you, especially since I'm in the same situation!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Insight Notes {app review}

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.  It seems endless sometimes, doesn't it?  Sometimes I wish people would come up with a solution to make it easier for us.  Well the creators of Insight Notes have tried to do just that with their app.  It was originally designed for psychotherapy, but they're wondering if it would be appropriate for SLPs to use as well.  So check it out with me and leave some feedback in the comments below.

Info about the app (directly from Insight Notes):
"Insight Notes is an iPad-based recordkeeping system designed to meet the needs of professionals who take notes or keep records on a per-client or per-project basis.  It is designed to be secure, simple, intuitive, and convenient.  Insight Notes was originally designed to meet the needs of health professionals who have strict security requirements and who wish to keep electronic notes, but do not need a multifaceted practice-management system tied to billing, insurance claims, scheduling, or invoicing."
Let's take a look inside, shall we?

First, set up your account with the following information:

Once you add a student/client, you can begin adding notes.  You have four options for notes- text, draw, scan, and progress.   Select the option you want from the menu that looks like this:


Once you have finished your note, you have the option to complete it, print it, or share it.  Once you hit complete, it will add your signature and contact information at the bottom.


As with all apps, you have a great settings menu here: 

And the biggest question on my mind, is it HIPAA compliant?  Well every time I exited out of the app, I got this screen below, which required a password:

Use in the SLP World:

As SLPs we generally have a required software that we use by our employers for billing, progress notes, IEPs, etc.  However, they don't necessarily mandate how we take/ collect our data.  Here are a couple of my thoughts on how we could use this app in our world.

-I think this would be a great app for in the nursing homes.  There were so many times that I was scrambling for a piece of paper to jot notes down.  This would be extremely easy to carry around and either type or write.  Nursing homes tend to have their own software system, as do most places SLPs work.  However, this would be great if you couldn't carry a laptop around with you.  You could type up notes and then transfer them to the software system later.  It also helps if you can't put your charges in right away--you can remember exactly what happened in your sessions!

-If you're not using the iPad for therapy that day, you could jot notes down by student.  Hit "complete" and that note cannot be edited.  This would be a great and easy way to eliminate lots of loose papers in files, especially since this app is HIPAA compliant!

-If you're not using the iPad for therapy that day, have the students take data themselves in a note.  They would find this highly motivating, I'm sure--the iPad always helps!

-This app could be great for meeting notes.  Maybe you feel like you can't write everything down in meetings and typing is faster.  Maybe you want a place to save meeting notes along with the child's data.  This would be a great way to do that.

Features to Add:

Now they want to know this..."This is a great app, but the thing that is missing that I really need for my practice is __________."  So let's talk about some of those _____s.

1) A way to upload a template.  They have a progress note template in there, but that doesn't necessarily work for our field.  It would be awesome to have a way to upload or own template for progress notes, evaluations, etc.
2) A way to add tables, graphs, etc.  I can draw these by hand in the "draw" note, but they don't always look pretty or get the job done very well.
3) Possibly a way to have more than one child's note open at once, perhaps a side-by-side type thing.  While this may be a bit complicated to do on the developer's side of things,  it would make group sessions a lot easier (instead of having to back out of every kid, go into another one, and so on).
4) A way to add more information about the client.  Right now, there is basically just his name under the client information.  It would be great to be able to add goals, likes, dislikes, etc.

So what do you think?  Could SLPs use this? 

Note: Insight Notes provided me with a copy of the app for my review. No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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