Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cranium Cariboo Narrative Game for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick FREEBIE

Hi All! I've been a little under-the-weather for the last few days, so tonight's post will be short and sweet! I got some nice feedback about my Cranium Cariboo narrative language game idea, so I made another Fabulous Freebie for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! Feel free to grab it  here , and please, as always, leave feedback if you like it! Here's a peek:

Rebecca-SLP :-)
PS- I reduced the picture size a bit to fit in my version of the game...let me know if it works better for you, too! :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Amazing Linguistic System

Confession #7: Even after all these years, the human language system still fascinates me.

Good evening! I have to admit, I love watching and reading scientific information about the English language (well, all languages, actually). Last night I stayed up much too late watching NOVA on PBS. It was a fascinating look at how the "Watson" computer, used to compete on the game show Jeopardy, was designed and created. The look into how computers are getting better at (but still don't match human intelligence) interpreting and using our language system was amazing. Although new science is allowing these "super computers" to, in effect, "learn" based on experience (typical human responses to a question or problem), and they seemingly have every bit of data ever entered online (e.g., encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases, etc.), the ambiguity of the English language still  confounds these computers.

NOVA gave a wonderful example of a sentence that may stump a "super computer". The sentence read, "I shot an elephant wearing my pajamas". Of course, we instantly can guess that the computer may have difficulty understanding WHO was wearing the pajamas, the elephant or the shooter. Also, what kind of "shot" was it...with a gun or a camera? Of course, they stated that humans use CONTEXT to determine the meaning of the message....not so easy for computers that rely solely on "facts" stored as code.

As we all know, the ambiguity of English can also confound many of our students. In order to understand the meaning of a word or sentence, they must use context as well as language experience to figure it out. Tonight I have a Fabulous Freebie for multiple meanings of words! I've been thinking about the idea of some firefly activities. Growing up, I always called them lightning bugs, but I think fireflies sounds cuter!

My Fabulous Freebie is titled: Catching Fireflies: Multiple Meanings of Words.
It includes 40 multiple meanings firefly cards, 10 blank cards to make your own, 10 lose-a-turn cards, a net "draw pile" board, jars for players to "catch" their fireflies in, a definitions of words template, and game directions. Here's a peek!

 You can grab a copy of my freebie here, and please watch for more "Catching Fireflies" language and articulation activities!

PS-please don't forget to leave FEEDBACK!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Universal Therapy Materials

Hello! I hope you're doing well....tonight I thought I would write a quick post about using one therapy material for many different types of sessions. For the past thirteen years, I have loved almost everything I have purchased from
Super Duper Publications. If you've been a SLP for more than a millisecond, or have been to the ASHA conference, I'm sure you're familiar with this company :-)

Over a decade ago when I bought my first "Fun Deck" from them, there were very few options for materials that were bright, colorful, and well, fun. Those were the days of drawing, coloring, cutting, gluing, and laminating your own materials. Think of how far we've come! In the weeks and months ahead, I'll share my favorite apps and other "contemporary" therapy materials, but tonight I'm going old-school (well, kind of). :-)

A few years ago I ordered the MagneTalk Barrier Games from Super Duper Publications, and casually used it with some language groups. I've always loved barrier games to target following directions, basic concepts, verbal formulation, etc. This week I pulled MagneTalk off the shelf, and I literally used it for almost EVERY session I had that day! For my following directions/attributes group, my social cognition group, my fluency student, even an articulation session!

For the following directions/attributes group, I used it the traditional way, and had the students tell each other where to put the magnets with specific concepts (e.g., "Put the crescent moon on the left side of the star", etc).

The barrier game was surprisingly difficult for my student with social cognition challenges! We worked on turn-taking, anticipating a listener's needs (giving enough specific information about magnet placement), identifying a "group plan", whole body listening, following directions, flexibility, seeking information, communication repair strategies, thinking about others (perspective), and asking/answering questions! Phewwww! We will DEFINITELY be revisiting barrier games again!

My fluency student used his fluency shaping strategies, and practiced cancellations and pull-outs, when telling me where to put my magnets.

My articulation student labeled every object possible with his sound ("th") on the board and magnets, then practiced telling me where to put "this" one and "that" one in sentences.

Oh, and just FYI, I purchased an extra stand so that we each have our own....that means we can put our stands side-by-side at the end to compare/contrast our pictures!

Do you have this game? What do you use it for? I'll be using it again tomorrow with at least three groups ;)
What materials do you use for multiple sessions?

PS-Boy am I glad I don't have to color my own stimulus pictures anymore! ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Springtime Auditory Working Memory Complete Packet

Confession #6: I'm not trying to get rich off of you.

Happy (almost) spring everyone! Tomorrow marks the first day of spring, and it cannot come soon enough! We actually had a snow day today here in Mass, so visions of warm sunny days ahead are more than welcome :-)

Tonight's post is about a very big packet I have been working on for auditory working memory. I posted it to my TPT store last night, but I've been fighting with Picassa to make a picture collage, so I decided to just blog without the fancy collage pictures...I hope you will forgive me ;)

Many of my students are currently working on auditory memory skills. My springtime freebie was such a big hit, I decided to make myself a big kit to use with my students for the next few months, and I figured I would share it if others are interested. I debated whether or not I wanted to charge for this be honest, I didn't start this blog thinking I would make a business out of it. I know there are other SLPs (and grad students, if you can believe it!) that seem to be mass-producing packets for resale. I'm not sure I want to do that. That being said, I did spend a good amount of money on the clipart, and over 10 hours making this, so I finally agreed that it does seem honest to expect modest compensation for my work and materials.

So, if you liked my freebie, and want a bigger packet, please give it a try. I would love honest feedback regarding the value of this packet. Based on what others are selling their work for, I think I under-priced it a bit. That was purposeful because I want to know if you think it is worth it. Again, I'm not trying to get rich here! If you want to just visit for ideas and Fabulous Freebies, you're more than welcome!

My packet is 36 pages long, including 200 stimulus cards, 7 board games, and 4 visual auditory working memory strategy charts for: Number Memory, Word Memory, Auditory Closure, and Sentence Repetition/WH Questions.

Here's a peek at the packet and strategy boards:

 Here's a peek at some of the games and 200 cards:

I hope you like these adorable graphics from KPMDoodles as much as I did!
If you're interested in my pack , find it at my TPT store here.

Oh, and PLEASE, as always, leave feedback so I know if this will be useful to you!
PS- You may notice that I didn't add a watermark to the pictures above...that's because I trust you not to steal my work. You wouldn't do that, right? I wouldn't either :-) Happy Spring!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Paraphrasing Key Details in Sentences simple FREEBIE

Confession 5: Sometimes the simplest materials work out the best.

Happy day-after St. Patrick's Day! If you're like me, this time of year truly is "March Madness". I'm not referring to basketball here, but rather the hectic IEP/meetings/testing time that I seem to experience each year! At this time of year, re-inventing the wheel with materials can be difficult, and sometimes the quick, simple materials that take ten minutes to make give me the most mileage. That's what I have to share today...

Many of my middle school students are currently working on paraphrasing, or the ability to restate information in their own words. This task is particularly important to learn for note taking (even homework logs) and writing in school. This weekend, I quickly typed up a paraphrasing activity. The purpose of this activity is for the student to take a message, identify the key details, and re-write the message simply in his own words. I used it today with a few groups, and it targeted paraphrasing beautifully. If you want to give it a try, feel free to download it here , and let me know what you think by leaving FEEDBACK!

Rebecca-SLP :-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

FREEBIE Cranium Cariboo Narrative Game for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover

Confession 4: I love a good game!

Hello again and happy Tuesday! I hope your week is going well :-)

Tonight I have another Fabulous Freebie! After all, I did say I would post a freebie, or "two". So here is my idea: narrative language with the Cranium Cariboo game!
I have to admit, I haven't tried this out with my students yet (I plan to tomorrow). I made this today, but wanted to post it ASAP because my first book is There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover, and I figured you guys may want to use it this week, too :-)

So here's what I'm thinking in terms of play: replace the "trap door" cards (at least that's what I call them) with icons from the book, and replace the playing cards with stimulus questions, including ordinals for story sequencing. For example, if a student picks a play card that asks "What did the old lady swallow FIRST?", he would open the trap door that had the clover on it. I thought of this idea last week and decided to try to use it with my St. Patrick's Day book. I have plans to make a whole packet of these (maybe one with the cards for a lot of the "Old Lady" books?), so keep watching my blog/TPT store for that!

If you're not familiar with the Cranium Cariboo game, Jenna Rayburn over at Speech Room News has a great blog post about it here. Of course, I love Jenna's idea of using it for articulation, but I thought maybe I would try it for narrative. I think there are endless possibilities for narrative work with this game (both retelling and generating new narratives). I'm sorry to say the version of the game I use is out of production, but I think you can still get it on EBay if you don't already have it.

Here's what my game looks like:

Here's the cards I consider to be "trap doors":

Here's what I will replace the cards with:

There are 15 trap door cards in total to cover all on the game. You may need to trim these by 1/4 of an inch on the side depending on your version of the game.

Here's the playing cards that came with the game:

Here's what I made to replace them with:
There are 15 in total. You may want to have the book handy or sequence the story first with pictures to help with answering the questions!
So, what do you all think? Is this an idea you would try? If it is, pick up my FREE cards for this book here!
Oh, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE leave FEEDBACK so I know what you think!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Rebecca-SLP :-)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

FREEBIE Springtime Sentence Repetition for Auditory Working Memory

Confession #3: I can't wait for spring.

Hi out there. If you're like me, you love to see the winter thaw into spring. I can't wait to get my hands back into my garden, and watch the first sprouts peek out!

So many people downloaded my last freebie (thanks so much if you were one of them, and don't forget to leave feedback:-), that I promised another Fabulous Freebie...and here it is!

Many of my students need help with Auditory Working Memory. I found a fantastic presentation about AWM here. Keep an eye out for an entire packet of Auditory Working Memory activities, but in the meantime, give my freebie a try! Oh, and PLEASE don't forget to leave feedback at my TPT store so I know how I'm doing.
 It is a fun springtime-themed game for repeating 4-8 word sentences. My freebie is called: Springtime Sentence Repetition for Auditory Working Memory. Give it a try and let me know what you think:-)
Here's to Spring!
Rebecca-SLP :-)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wow, and thank you!

Confession #2: The power of social media blows me away.

THANK YOU to all of the people who have viewed my free Definitions of Words game. I am always amazed at the power of social media. I promised another fabulous freebie if it got ten downloads, and it's already been downloaded 27 times!! Stay tuned this week for a special "thank you" freebie (or two :-)!
Rebecca, SLP:-)
PS- If you downloaded my freebie from TPT, please don't forget to leave feedback. I'd be happy to take suggestions for additional activities or improvements, too!


Confession #1: Getting this blog off the ground is taking longer than I thought!

Whew! What a busy few weeks I've had....between work and my two little kiddos, getting this blog a-movin has been a challenge. To kickoff the launch of my first blog post, I'm giving you a fabulous freebie!!!! Yay! I LOVE a good freebie. 

I made this Rock, Paper, Scissors game to use with my upper elementary and middle school students to practice formulating definitions of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. In truth, I have used the definitions template for years, and thought a fun card game might be in order ;)

I have also practiced definitions of words by writing words on Jenga blocks. Give my little card game a try, and let me know what you think. If I can get ten downloads, I'll post another fabulous FREEBIE!

Grab my game here:
Rebecca, SLP :-)