The Best Things I Learned This Summer


The Best Thing I Learned This Summer.  What a question!  When I first heard it, my initial response was that this summer I learned that I eat too much, drink too much (at least that is what my waistline is telling me), and buying and selling a house is very stressful!  I think I have learned all of those things, but I have also learned some better things this summer too.  Here are three things I learned this summer...

First, I really love Michigan!  Sometimes in winter, I am really not sure why I live where I do, but then summer hits.  This summer, my family took a vacation to the Traverse City area where we rented a cottage on the water.  It was amazing!  It was so relaxing with lots of time for some family bonding!  Here is a picture of the view from Sleeping Bear Dunes:


The second thing I learned this summer was how to use Periscope!  What a fun, new social media app that is available on both Apple and Android phones.  It is a live streaming app that is owned by Twitter.  I have only done two videos so far, but I have been watching a ton of them, and they are so fun!  You can really learn a little bit more about your favorite SLP bloggers, celebrities, and companies.



The last thing I learned is truly that buying and selling a home is a huge job, and very stressful.  At the end of the school year, we decided to sell our home that we have been in for 12 years.  We have outgrown it a bit, and wanted a change.  So, the last two months have been a whirlwind, and now, I am moving on Saturday!!!  We are all excited for the new changes to come.

Hope you are enjoying your summer, and are learning a thing or two also.  Share something that you have learned this summer in the comments- I would love to hear about them!



Tips for Tuesday: Updating your Purchases on TpT



One of the great things about purchasing items on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) is that when authors update their work (which I often do) you can easily get these updates by following these simple steps:

1.  Go to My TpT and click on My Purchases.


2.  Next, sort your purchases by changing the sort to Recently Revised.  Then, look for products with the red Newly Revised Re-Download button.

3.  Then, you can click on the Description of Revision button to see what has changed.

4.  Last, simply click the Download Now button to get the most updated version of the product.

Pretty easy, right?

There are a few reasons that I might update a product: 
  • I may have missed something when I proofread the original product, and had to make some fixes or changes for that reason. Oops!  Sorry about that one!
  • I may have looked at the original product and realized that I don't really like how it looks anymore.  In creating new products, I have changed my style over the years, and I want all of my products to reflect my latest updated style.  This usually translates into new graphics, easier printing options, and sometimes additional activities within the product.
  • I update my homework calendars and planners every year so that you will have pages for the most current year.
  • I added a new packet to a bundle (E.G., Interactive Articulation Books- I continue to add sounds to this bundle.)
Here is a product that I recently updated:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-it-Say-it-Keep-it-Articulation-Bundle-687069

For the Roll it, Say it, Keep it Bundle, I added some sounds and also completely updated the look of the entire product.  I also added a low ink, black and white option.

Here is a freebie that I have recently updated. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Answering-YesNo-Questions-684392



Please go and either update it or grab it HERE.

 Hopefully this tip will help you this week! 

Let me know what else you need help with, and it may turn into a new Tips for Tuesday post!


Fall Interactive Books

Hi everyone!  Hope your summer is going well.  I am having a blast staying at home this summer with my boys.  I am also in the midst of moving too.  We purchased a new house, and are moving this month.  It has been a crazy time, but we are all excited.

I can't believe it, but fall will be coming before we know it!  I know, how dare I say that!?  But, in my free time between packing and just generally relaxing, I created the last in my series of seasonal interactive books.  My newest addition is for, you guessed it, FALL!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fall-Interactive-Books-1967978

I think these Fall Interactive Books turned out really cute.  I can't wait to use them with my students!  They have been kid tested though, by my very own little monkeys. :)

There are three books in this set:
Fall Activities
Fall Clothes
What Do You See?

Each of these books has ten pages with an interactive piece for each page.  Your students will be quickly engaged with these repetitive sentences in each book.  There are detailed instructions for how to put each of these books together using Velcro and either binder rings or a book binder.

Here are some samples from each book:

Fall Activities:



 Fall Clothes:




 What Do You See?




I have loved using this series of books with my students with ASD as well as some of my younger students in Kindergarten and First grade.  There are so many opportunities for sentence expansion, and it also encourages early reading with the repetitive sentences.  I use these books to work on WH questions too.  With these books, you can target WHAT, WHO, and WHEN questions very easily.

I hope you like these books as much as I do!  You can get them here: Fall Interactive Books




Listening Power Preschool: Review and {GIVEAWAY}


I have another great app that I was able to review this week!  This one is from Hamaguchi Apps, and is called Listening Power Preschool.

Don't let the name fool you.  I am using this with my elementary population in grades K-2.  It is also great with some of my older students with ASD.

I am so excited to share this app with you today!  I absolutely LOVE Hamaguchi Apps.  I use the Fun With Verbs & Sentences all of the time.  So, when I was asked to review this new app, I jumped at the chance!!!!  The most exciting part is that Hamaguchi Apps has offered to giveaway not one, but TWO copies of this app!



Listening Power Preschool starts out very similarly to most of the Hamaguchi Apps.  You will go and select a user.  You can add in your different students and then decide if one person is playing or a group of students.

After I enter my players, I actually went back to the home page to select the settings.  There are several different things you can play with.

  • Activities: You can select the level and how many choices for each of the five different activities.  You can also choose whether or not you want the app to automatically advance your student after a correct choice or if you want to manually advance.  This is a great feature because you can talk about each item with plenty of time before the next item pops up.
  • Answer Choices: You can have the choices automatically pop up, or you can push a button to "Show Choices."  This option can also give you extra time in between the presentation of the items and when the choices pop up.
  • Levels: This gives you the option to automatically drop or advance a level based on how many the student gets correct or incorrect.  There is also a manual option to change the level.  I really liked when it automatically increased or decreased difficulty for my students.  Sometimes I might over or under estimate my students, and this quickly remedies the situation for me.
  • Bubble Game: This is an incentive that students can earn after they work.  You have the option to turn this on or off.  You also have the option for the game to pop up after 1 activity, 3 activities, 5 activities, 8 activities, 10 activities, or 15 activities.  That's a lot of options!

You also have the options to track or not track progress, turn the text on or off, and also have narration and story sounds turned on or off.

Now, on to the activities!  These are so great!

Listening for Directions
This activity targets concepts such as on, in, out, on, up, down, behind, line up, sit down, stop, underline, cross out, and more.  Students listen to a direction and then choose their answer.  There is a pause between the direction and the choices so that students are not looking at the visual cues while listening.  This forces them to use their auditory memory skills.



Listening for Descriptions
This activity targets adjectives such as colors, big/little, happy, sad, clean/direty, hot/cold, stripes, spots, soft/hard, round, and square.  Again, students listen to the direction and then pick an answer from a choice of two, three, or four pictures.


Listening for Grammar and Meaning
This activity focuses on plurals, verb tenses, pronouns, preposition concepts, and negation.


Listening for Stories with Pictures
A story is read with accompanying pictures and sound effects, followed by quesitons about the story such as who, what, and where questions.


 

Listening for Stories without Pictures
This activity is the same as above, except the student is not shown pictures during the story.  The student must stay focused and imagine the story, then answer simple questions about the story.  An animation after the story shows some aspect of the story.


After your student is finished with this app, you can check out the data that was recorded for the session.  This is all saved by date for your to use later also, which is great when doing progress reports!

What do I think?
I think this app is very versatile!  I used it with a variety of students ages 5-11.  I used it with some of my older students who are developmentally delayed, and it fit their goals perfectly.  I loved all of the options for choices of answers, presentation of items, and levels of activities.  There isn't anything else I would want to see, because I think they really nailed this app!  It's great!

You can get Listening Power Preschool at the app store for $15.99.  You can also enter to win a copy here!  Hamaguchi Apps was very generous to offer not just one copy, but two copies of this app for a giveaway!  Just enter the rafflecopter below by Thursday, June 18 at 11:59 pm EST for your chance to win one of the two copies of this app.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finishing Strong: Keep Calm and Just Color!

The end of the school year is always a stressful time for me.  I have not only all of my end of the year IEPs, evaluations, and progress reports to complete, but I also have all of my own kids end of the year activities and sports to contend with too.  Some days it can just be completely overwhelming.  Some days when I get really frazzled, I like to go out for a run and clear my head.  But, taking a run isn't always possible in my world, so I need something else to calm my nerves (besides a nice cold craft beer).

Five years ago, my husband had some pretty major health problems and ended up needing numerous surgeries, and finally, a kidney transplant.  While I was in the waiting room the day he received his kidney, I was given a gift from some volunteers.  The volunteers were from the Gifts of Art program at the University of Michigan.  They gave me a brand new box of crayons and a coloring book.  I loved to color when I was little, and truly had not done it in years.  My kids were pretty little at the time and hadn't really gotten into coloring pages yet.  So, when I was given this gift, I was actually excited to try it out.  I have to say that it was truly very calming for me.  Because I had little guys at home, I needed my support people at home with them, so I was by myself most of that day. This was a great way to distract myself.  There was something about putting the brand new crayons to paper and creating something without a lot of thought that really relaxed my mind.  I think it was nice for me to feel like I had control over something during such a chaotic time.


Here is a page that I colored from this wonderful book:



Here are three sites where you can find some free coloring pages to help yourself relax and calm down for a few minutes:

Color Pages for Mom
Coloring Pages for Adults
Super Coloring

I have also purchased a book from Michaels that I really liked that is full of Lotus designs.  With that book, I also purchased some markers and colored pencils.  I have really enjoyed that too.  Here are a few examples of coloring books that you can purchase from places such as Amazon, Michaels, or book stores:

Creative Haven: Lotus Designs (this is the one that I purchased)
Mandalas Coloring Book
Flower Designs Coloring Book

Here is a picture I finished from my book, and one that I am still working on:





So, the next time you are feeling stressed, go out an buy a brand new box of crayons, print off a sheet, and relax for a few minutes!  Then, you can go to work and finish strong!


Homework Hotline: Linky Party!


This week Gold Country SLP is hosting a Linky Party that is highlighting great summer homework activities that are all available in black and white!

I am going to share with you my Summer of Speech and Language Calendars today.  These have been updated for the summer of 2015, and will continue to be updated for each summer coming up, so you will always have calendars available to you with the correct dates!  After you purchase this pack, you will be able to re-download the updated files each year.



These calendars come in both color and black and white versions, so if you are looking for something that will save you ink, you do not need to use the colored versions.

There are articulation and language calendars included in this packet:



Here is an example of a color version:



I have used these for three years now, and I always get compliments from parents each fall.  They love the simple activities that are included, and the fact that it does not take them a lot of time to work on some great speech and language skills.

You can find these calendars HERE.

Thanks for a fun linky party, Gold Country SLP!!!  Remember to check out all of the great summer activities available HERE.