Saturday, March 7, 2009

News-2-You Buzzard Day

I posted two Buzzard Day activities on Here is a link to a website with vulture crafts and printables for your students to go along with News-2-You Buzzard Day. has excellent interactive student materials. Here are some of my favorites and a couple of ideas on how to use them in therapy:

1. Essay Map- Essay Map is an interactive sequencing tool to plan a topic by introduction, ideas, supporting details, and conclusion. The steps are very linear and can be printed out. Awesome visual support tool. I am going to use it with my students to organize their thoughts and written work.

2. Literacy Elements Map-Graphic organizer tool to make character, setting, conflict, and resolution maps. Question prompts are provided to give students a guide for what kind of information to enter. Graphic organizers can be printed for future use. Good visual tool and excellent prompts for story element development.

4. Picture Match-I think this game is fantastic! Students can practice matching pictures to their beginning sound, short vowel, or long vowel sounds. Great for phonemic awareness! Teachers can select the letters/sounds that the students need to develop. The directions are easy to understand, the voice is clear, and students are given good feedback. The activity is mistake tolerant, and students can print out their work when completed.

5. Printing Press- This interactive activity has templates for creating newspapers, booklets, flyers, and brochures. Students can use Printing Press to create a class or speech therapy newsletter, make a flyer to invite other classes or parents to a school play or activity, or develop a brochure with detailed instructions on how to play a game. All activities have instructions for printing and folding the final product. I plan to use this tool with one of my students who is working on pragmatic goals. He is going to practice interacting with others to improve his ability to interpret nonverbal cues, decrease interruptions, and stay on topic by conducting interviews for the school paper. The student will plan the interview questions using ReadWriteThink's Essay Map. After the interview, he will use Printing Press to write his interview in an article format.

Student Materials Index:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I had the opportunity to try out some of FableVision's products this weekend. I must say that I am a big fan of Animation-ish (link) for project based learning. Students can draw visual representations to define difficult vocabulary. If a student has difficulty writing, he/she can use Animation-ish to draw a narrative or retell/summarize a story. Students can create an image to demostrate their understanding of complex, descriptive text. Another idea is to create a flip book to demonstrate an understanding of the life cycle of a butterfly. By creating a visual animation of an abstract or difficult concept, students will better understand and retain that information. This program also helps students work on fine motor skills such as tracing. This tool crosses all curriculum areas and is great for students who have difficulty getting their ideas and thoughts on paper.

I Love Wordle!

I've been able to play more with Wordle ( lately, and it's awesome. Students can create their own word maps or clouds by making a list and customizing the font/color/layout. The more a word is used, the bigger it appears. There are so many speech/language therapy lessons that could be supplemented using this website. Here are some ideas for using Wordle during therapy:
1. Practice articulation goals. Add correctly produced target words to "word clouds" and print. Student will be proud of his/her work and document can be used for data collection.
2. Create synonym/antonym "word clouds".
3. Develop descriptions of characters from a story.
4. List key vocabulary from a reading assignment.
5. Describe self for back to school introduction activity.
6. List descriptive vocabulary for writing assignment (ex. summer vacation, holiday)
7. Reflect on a school field trip.
8. Poetry writing
9. Identify rhyming words
10. Interview a classmate and record their answer to specific questions.
11. Label items in a given category.
12. Name all the characters from a book.
13. List question words/starters for students have difficulty with question formation.

And many more...
I've really enjoyed experimenting with this fun, free tool to supplement learning.

Wordle: Sad Synonyms

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adapted Learning by Mayer-Johnson

Adapted Learning is a new free website created by Mayer-Johnson. Essentially, the site is Boardmaker's activity exchange with a few more features. Individuals can search for Boardmaker files by grade level, subject area, or skill. Currently, there are not many activities available since the site has only been up for a couple of days. Everyone needs to sign-up and share their Boardmaker activites. This site has the potential to be GREAT!

Also, here is a link to the website tour:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Social Stories

Social stories have shown measurable success when teaching children with ASD how to handle a variety of social situations. The Kansas Instruction Support Network has developed a fabulous bank of social stories for students with ASD. These stories are organized by target skill and age range. Many of the stories contain familiar characters such as Dora, Bob the Builder, and Thomas the Tank. A place is also provided to contribute your own social stories to the database. Please share this site with other professionals! It's such a great resource. Thanks KISN!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Zotero is Great!

I love being able to use Zotero to keep track of the research articles that I read while online. In the past, I would tell professionals at work about a great research article but could never remember where I found it. Not a problem anymore! Zotero allows me to save my sources and add notes to go along with them. This tool is a must for all professionals!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Research Support: AAC and Improvement of Natural Speech

Parents and some professionals often fear the introduction and use of augmentative/alternative communication because of the unfounded belief that it will inhibit natural speech production. Also, it is difficult for parents of nonverbal children to understand the need for immediate communication (unaided or aided) because they want nothing more than for their children to verbally express their desires and feelings. Therefore, it is important for Speech Pathologists to educate individuals working with nonverbal children on the importance of introducing AAC at an early age. Many research studies indicate that not only does the introduction of AAC not inhibit natural speech development, but it actually can improve verbal communication. Here's some links to a couple of research articles on this topic.

Use of Speech Generating Devices to Support Natural Speech

Impact of AAC on Speech Production

Impact of PECS on Speech Development and Requesting

Effects of Manual Signing on Communicative Verbalizations

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Seussville Story Creator

The Seussville Story Creator is so cool! Students type in their name (author) and title for their story. They are then prompted to select the background, characters, music, and text. Students can create up to 3 scenes per short story. This website is so cute because it inspires creativity and makes writing fun. The Seuss characters are silly and motivating. Parents can use this website with their children at home. One negative is that it won't read the text back to the student, only the background music plays. However, it could be used as an interactive activity. The student could be paired with a peer buddy who is a strong reader to help read and write the story.

Seussville Story Creator link

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alternate Acess Games for Cause and Effect

Priory Woods Switch Games: This is a great website for switch and interactive games for students working on cause and effect. Most (if not all) of the cause and effect games can be accessed using mouse click, switch, and/or touch screen. The activities include popular characters such as Scooby Doo, Nemo, cartoons from Madagascar, and Chicken Little to name a few. Some music industry celebrities are also featured in the cause and effect games sections (ex. Kylie Minogue, Black Eyed Peas, TuPac). This site offers excellent free switch games that students will enjoy!
Click here for Priory Woods Website This free website has cute no-text stories from their "SwitchIt" series. Some sample stories include Bob the Builder and Five Little Monkeys. Great for elementary students working on switch use. Also includes a good story for older students about brushing your teeth. The Creative Play section of this website has fun activities for students to practice their mouse skills such as pointing, clicking, and dragging tasks. Overall, a great website with useful activities.
Click here for HelpKidzLearn

Inclusive Technology
is an exciting free resource for switch games. There are a variety of activities for students with disabilities functioning at different levels. Access options include mouse click, keyboard keys, one or two switches, IntelliKeys, and/or touch screen (depending on the game). There are even games for students to practice switch scanning! Great resource and the students love it!
Click Here for Inclusive Technology website