Archive for category Speech Language Pathology

Word SLapPs and its many uses

We have gotten some very nice comments from users or Word SLapPs in the past few months.  If feels great to have made something that people are finding so useful!  I use it all the time with some of my clients.  Mostly I have been working on identifying actions with photos I find on the web.  Once they learn to correctly ID a few actions I set the program to level one with the question prompt off and have them label expressively.  I’ve started to take pictures of them during sessions as well so that they can talk about their own actions as well.  Another idea I had that worked pretty well was to model some expressions for Mr. J. (age five) to use while playing various games.  I opened up one of the many drawing apps that my daughter uses and hand wrote different phrases like, “Wow!, Yes!  I did it!, etc.  Then I loaded these onto Word SLapPs and recorded myself saying each one as I would really do if playing a game.  It worked!  Mr. J. started to imitate my voice.  After that we worked on turn taking and sharing while we played, “Cut the rope.”  I put these same phrases on cue cards out on the table as we played and he has started to use them as we play.  Mr. J. loves to play, “Cut the Rope,” by the way.   I love when he plays this game on my iPad because he whizzes through levels that I get stuck on allowing me to open up  new boxes sooner than I could on my own.  I don’t like, however, that he sometimes wipes out everything and I need to start all over.

Preschool and Kinder Math apps

Yesterday I was taking a closer look at some of the apps I loaded onto the iPad and thought I would mention a few I really like.  Two of them are by McGraw-Hill, a company that has been in the education field for years.  The first is called, “Everyday Mathematics Monster Squeeze.”  You  play alone or  up to four players to practice “greater than” and “less than” to guess a secret number.  The game involves guessing which number is the “secret number”.  Players are told that the secret number is greater or less than the one they have chosen.  An octopus makes the game more fun by moving two of his tentacles closes and closer to narrow down the numbers.  The other one we use by the same company is called, “Top it.”  You basically compete against an opponent doing double digit subtraction.  Kids get to deal out cards which they think is fun and the winner is the one whose answer happens to be largest.  Most of the McGraw-Hill apps seem to be going for $1.99 for younger students and range from early school age math to US history and the MCAT.  There is one called, “Beat the Computer” that I’d like to try.  Who wouldn’t want to beat a computer?

Another Math app that I really love is called, “Park Math.”  It’s made by one of my favorite app makers, Duck Duck Moose.  Everything they do is so visually appealing and well thought out.  A little blue bear on skates moves from page to page when you touch him bringing him to the next activity.  What a genius and simple way to move from page to page!  Little ones can work on counting, addition, subtraction, sorting by size and following simple directions.  I think this app is very creatively done and gives great visual support to little ones.  Check it out! Buy it!

The last math app I am going to talk about today before I move on to do my laundry is called, “Sam Phibian,”  by 3Cd.  I would by this app just to look at it.  The colors are brilliant and there is wonderful texture and depth to the artwork.  To play children must feed a little frog called Sam the correct number and color bugs that fly over him.  If you feed him the wrong things he will get bigger and bigger until he falls off his pad.  At first my son didn’t get what to do, he just wanted to feed Sam any old thing that went by….. flying saucers, underwear, etc. The funny sound effects and visuals you get by feeding Sam something wrong were cool to him but not as cool as winning the game.  Finally he understood that he needed to look and see how many of each bug needed to be eaten.  (I kinda liked watching him do this after five minutes of ignoring my advice.  He finally tired of losing and looked at the bottom of the screen to figure out what to do.)  Sometimes the best apps out there are for the simplest of ideas.

Word SLapPs – update on the update

This second update to Word SLapPs is taking much longer than I ever thought but I am hanging in there.  We are adding some really great things that I think everyone will love.  The scoring works well and certainly helps me out at work.   Now if I forget or don’t have time to write all that happens during a session it gets saved for me.  We are also adding a big “X” that shows up when the wrong answer is chosen.  I’ve been able to test this out as work as well.  I have to say I enjoyed the look on some kids faces the first time they saw it pop up.  If only,  if only, if only we could get it all done.  Each time our programmer works to fix a bug something else happens…audio doesn’t match up, the game crashes, etc.  So frustrating!  Now I’ve been left alone for the week and I can’t get any of the updates our programmer sends to load onto my iPad for testing.  My husband has been trying to help me figure it out by phone so you can guess how that is going.  Knowing me it is probably some dumb thing like leaving the all caps button on.  Our programmer is trying to be helpful by sending the files in some different way which just confuses me more as I try and figure out how to do “new.”   I am going to continue to be positive though.  It always gets figured out and it will this time too.

Wheels On The Bus by duckduckmoosedesign.com

Duck Duck Moose makes a few apps that I really like due to quality of graphics, design and obvious thought they put into making their programs.  I would argue that the images themselves could stand alone as works of art.

Wheels on the Bus ( $1.99) in particular really saves me since my voice is pretty awful without someone  to sing along with.  Have you ever tried singing songs alone, in someones living room, with parents watching and have their child walk away?  We all know that these nursery rhymes are great for teaching eye contact, arm movements, first words, etc.  How many of us don’t love doing it though because, well, you sound awful and feel goofy?  Well, Hurrah for Wheels on the Bus!  It comes with different voices and instruments for you to try out to see who you will be in tune with!!!  It also plays lovely background music that children can’t help but move towards when you turn it on.

I use this app just about every session with a few of my littlest guys.  Each verse has its own page with different animals or objects that move around when you touch them.  Great for cause and effect, identifying pictures, eye contact, and teaching arm movements to pair with the song.  You can also crank it up to hide the fact that you can’t sing.

First day

Today is my first day at blogging and I have high hopes. We will have to see how it goes considering how long it took me to get this far. There are a few topics I want to write about so next I need to figure out how to create different subjects to post under. Is this even possible?

What I hope to write most about are my experiences providing early intervention services as an SLP. Most specifically I will be posting a bit about what I do in my sessions and hopefully inspire some dialogue. I know what I do at work….but what the heck does everyone else do? I’m also planning to share which apps I find useful at work and how I am actually using them. As an app developer myself I also plan to give a little insight into what goes into making and updating an app – including the tears and frustrations. Other than that I will occasionally take some time to talk about the books I’m reading and what movies I’ve made it out of the house to see.