Sunday, December 7, 2014

Monthly Must-Have Sale: December

Happy December!  The 7th of another month, so that means another monthly must-have sale!

Polar Express Expressive Language will be discounted today only.  Get it while it's on sale!!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Peekapak {product review}

Note: There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience. 

Today, I'm bringing you something completely different than I ever have done before.  Have you heard of Birchbox?  It's a monthly subscription service that sends you a box of makeup every month.  I've always wondered about having a similar concept for SLPs or teachers.  Today, I bring you Peekapak!

What is Peekapak? 
I'm glad you asked!   It's a monthly subscription service that includes toys for storytelling and play-based learning. There's an original storybook, a craft, and other activities to help the kids learn!

What was inside mine?
-Safety scissors
-Craft supplies (tape, crayons, popsicle sticks, string,small tub)
-Tanogram puzzle pieces
-Tanogram puzzle pages
-A toilet paper roll to make a kaledioscope
-Small, colorful beads/tokens
-Shiny paper
-Wax paper
-Paper figurines for story retell
-Peekapak Pals (paper dolls)
-Note from the co-founders

In my Peekapak, I had several activities.  Making a parachute, making a kaleidoscope, tanograms, and reading a book were just a couple examples. There were also popsicle sticks and paper dolls for story retell.

How to use in the speech world:
I think these boxes are perfect for our preschool or lower elementary friends.  The focus of my box was on shapes, which is what my kindergarten friends are working on in first and second quarter.  The tanograms (or any of the crafts) would be great for following directions.  The popsicle sticks and paper dolls also be great for story retell and sequencing. For our articulation students, read the story (or have them read it) and say the words with their sound(s) in them!  

Interested in Peekapak?   Head on over here!  Use the code SPECIAL10 to receive $10 off your Peekapak!

Have fun!!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Step by Step by SOAR Therapy, LLC {app review}

I have a few students who are working on sequencing skills and have been struggling to come up with more activities to keep them interested.  I was so excited when I heard about another sequencing app, and I couldn't wait to try it out.

I'd like to introduce you to Step by Step, a new app from SOAR Therapy, LLC!

Description (directly from SOAR Therapy, LLC):
StepByStep is an app for assessing and improving sequencing skills for users of all ages. Using easy-to-see Activities of Daily Living, users arrange each sequence in the order they think is correct, thus allowing teachers, therapists, or parents to accurately understand their student's cognitive levels.

After you create an account, select kids or adults.

Once you select which one you are working with, you will see a screen full of all of the sequences available for the kids or adults.

Select the targeted sequence and you will get a screen like this.  The student/patient will drag the pictures around to the order they believe is correct.  Then, touch the "continue" button to check his/her answers.

Once they hit "continue," a box with their data will pop up.  It will indicate the number correct out of how many total items in the sequence.

You can view the results for each sequence:

In the menu on the left side, you can add users.  Data is stored by each user, and it shows the accuracy, time it took to complete the task, and the date it was completed.

What I Love About This App:
-It was created by an occupational therapist with the intention for use by speech-language pathologists as well.
-It is easy to use!
-It has sets for kids and for adults.
-There are multiple levels in that there are shorter sequences and longer sequences.
-The app stores data over multiple sessions!
-My students enjoy moving the pictures around.
-The sequences are real life situations.
-It can be used at home for further practice!
-The pictures/graphics are simple and not distracting.
-There are lots of sequences--52 total!
-The price is reasonable--only $0.40/ sequence if you purchase the who kids set or adult set.

What I Would Love in a Future Update:
This is me being SUPER picky, but I would love for there to be a way to have multiple users at one time.  In a skilled rehab setting, this is not necessary since you are generally one-on-one.  However, in a school setting, it is rare that I have one student at a time.  It would be great to have it switch back and forth between users instead of me doing it manually.  Again, that is me being super picky. It really is a convenience thing.

Interested in this app?  You can download it for free in the App store here.  The free version comes with 4 sequences (2 adult, 2 kids) for you to try.  If you like the app, you can purchase the kids set for $9.99 or the adult set for $9.99 or each sequence for $0.99!

Note: A copy of this app was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Following Directions {app review}

Welcome to Day 4 of app week!  Today, I have another app for you from I Can Do Apps!

Let's talk about Following Directions!

Description (from I Can Do Apps):
"Following Directions from I Can Do Apps is an educational tool designed to work on following directions with a variety of difficulty (simple one step commands to two step complex commands) in order to improve language, auditory processing, vocabulary and memory skills.  Multi-step directions include embedded concepts of: first/then, before and after. This app is designed in collaboration with a Speech Language Pathologist."
The first activity is touch the ____.   Pretty simple- students will just touch the picture stated.

The second activity is touch the ___ and then the ___.  The student has to touch the pictures in the correct order.  For example:

Another activity is After statements.  The student will touch ____ after they touch ____.

Before Statements is a similar activity.  The student will touch ____ before they touch ____.

The final activity is called Before and After Statements.  It is a combination of the previous two activities.  It is an increase in challenge as they have to differentiate what both mean and apply that knowledge.

What I Love About This App:
-It was developed with the help of an SLP.
-It is inexpensive.
-It has simple photographs and graphics.
-It is easy to use.
-It addresses my students' goals while engaging them.
-It is great for kids and adults.

What I Would Love in Future Updates:
-A way to have multiple players.
-A way to track data over multiple sessions.

If you are interested in this app, you can find it in the app store here.  At the time of this review, it is listed at $2.99.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sequencing {app review}

Day 3 in App week is here!!   I'm excited about the next app because I have students working on this skill.  I loved being able to use this with them!

Let's talk about Sequencing from I Can Do Apps!

Description (from I Can Do Apps' website):
"Sequencing from I Can Do Apps is a tool designed to work on sequencing and storytelling skills.   Sequencing can help individuals organize information and ideas efficiently.  This app targets the concepts of first, last and next in the early levels then applies these concepts in more complex tasks in later levels.  Five levels of increasing difficulty allow users of varying abilities to learn about sequencing using photographs of everyday events."
As it mentions, this app has five levels.  The first is identifying what picture occurs first or last.  The student simply clicks on the picture that answers the question.  Here are a couple of examples:


The next level is identifying the picture that occurs next.  The student clicks on the picture that answers the question here as well.

The third level is touching two pictures in the correct order.  The students touch one and then the other.  The pictures will light up red or green to indicate if the answer is correct or incorrect.

The fourth level is putting three pictures in the correct order that they would occur.  The student will drag the pictures up to the white space in the correct order.

The final level is numbering the steps in a sequence.  The student drags the numbers from the top to the statement below.

What I Love About This App:
-It was designed with an SLP's input.
-It has multiple levels.
-It is easy to use.
-The students can check the sequence for the final level.
-It is engaging while still addressing the skill.
-The pictures are real pictures and are simple enough for students to recognize.
-It's inexpensive.

What I Would Love to See in Future Updates:
-A way for there to be multiple players.
-A way to save data across multiple sessions.  We do this by hand, but it would be nice to have the app save it.  

If you are interested in this app, you can find it in the app store here.   At the time of this review, it was listed at $4.99.

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

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Phonological Awareness Lab {app review + giveaway}

First of all, Happy Veteran's Day!  Today, we thank those who have served our country and fought for our continued freedom and rights.

Second, welcome to day 2 of App Week!  I have another new app from Smarty Ears for you to check out called Phonological Awareness Lab.

There are four activities included in this app (with different levels/activities built in to those as well).
Sentence Experiment:

In the sentence experiment, the app will read a sentence aloud, and the student has to identify how many words were in each sentence.  For every word, the student clicks the dropper.  Then when the number of drops matches the number of words in the sentence, the student clicks the beaker to check his/her work.  If it turns green, the answer is correct.  If it turns red, the answer is incorrect.

Decoding Room:

Blending Syllables-
In this activity, the monster will say a word, broken down by syllables.  The student will then click on the picture and identify which word the monster was saying.

Blending Sounds-
This activity is similar, except the monster is saying sounds individually.  The student will blend the sounds together and click on the word that is formed.

Rhyming Compound:

Rhyming Identification-
The app will say the words aloud. Press the green button if they rhyme and the red one if they do not.

Rhyming Selection-
Select the word that rhymes with the word in the big bubble.

Rhyming Match-
Select the four words that rhyme and then hit the green check mark.

Syllable X-Ray:
In Syllable X-Ray, the app will provide four pictures and then a number of syllables.  The student will select the picture which has the same number of syllables as the app mentioned.


As with all Smarty Ears apps, the report section is great!  It shows the overall accuracy and breaks it down by session and activity!  This is great for data collection and reporting.

What I Love About This App:

I really like this app.  I like the variety of ways that it targets phonological awareness.  It includes practice with sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. The app makes addressing these goals fun; my students are engaged the whole time.  In fact, they ask to play it on multiple days.  Some of my students love science, so the whole lab/science theme is definitely a way to keep them engaged.

What I Would Like to See For Future Updates:

The only thing I would like to see is bigger images/symbols on some of the activities.  They can get pretty small.

Is this an app that you think you can use in your speech room?  If so, you can get it in the App Store or on iTunes here.  It is currently listed for $14.99 at the time of this review.

Smarty Ears is generously donating a code for this app to ONE lucky reader! Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: A copy of this app was provided for my review. No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Verb Quest {app review + giveaway}

After a long absence, I am back!  I was busy planning a wedding and getting married.  I wanted to do something special for all of you readers, so I'm bringing you APP WEEK!  This week will be full of app reviews and giveaways just for you!

I wanted to start with a brand new app from Smarty Ears called Verb Quest.

Description (directly from Smarty Ears on iTunes):
"Verb Quest is a multi-player multi-level app designed to improve language skills in children. Verb Quest uses a fun magical theme to engage clients in their learning while teaching verbs. Easily customizable to fit nearly every need, Verb Quest is an engaging activity for students learning to use verb tense forms, and people who are learning English as a second language.  
Created to facilitate an understanding of verbs, Verb Quest has 20 levels ranging from simple present tense to the complex skills of negation, tense shifts, and participles. Each sentence has a corresponding picture to help reinforce the skill and increase engagement. Verb Quest is designed to teach and reinforce the grammar rules of the English language for children and English language learners alike."
First, select your student and then choose the level.  Each student will appear with a stack of books like you can see below.  Click on the bottom of the books and you can select the level/target on another screen.


Hit save and you are ready to go!  The activity will look like this on all of the levels.  The sentence is read aloud, and then the student will drag the answer to the open space.

After the student answers correctly, this screen will appear.  Hit record and have the student read the sentence aloud.

As with all Smarty Ears, there are great options for progress reports.  You can view them by level (to see if they've mastered the level and what the accuracy was for each) or by session (to see what they worked on each day and what the accuracy was).

Finally, you have a pretty big list of settings you can monitor.  You can change whether a hint is displayed, accuracy is displayed, if it reads the questions aloud, if the level is automatically increased, etc.

What I Love About This App:
-It is multi-player and customizable to each player's needs.
-It has 20 levels of play!
-It has options for hints, rewards, and recording the students reading the sentences aloud.
-It's easy to use.
-It's engaging!
-My students continue working on this alone for a few seconds while I turn to another student.
-I love the real pictures used in the app.
-There are two versions of progress reports-  by session and by level. Both are detailed and provide great information for data tracking.
-It targets my students' goals perfectly and pushes them to the next level.

If you are interested in this app, you can find it in the App Store here.   At the time of this review, it is listed at $19.99.

Smarty Ears is offering ONE lucky reader a code for this app!   Enter the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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