Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book of the Week: Skeleton Meets the Mummy

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

I think this book is becoming one of my Halloween Favorites! Skeleton Meets the Mummy is the story of Sammy the Skeleton.  His mother asks him to bring a thermos of soup to his grandmother since it's chilly.  Sammy tries to hurry because he's meeting his friend Derek to go Trick-or-Treating, but he is being followed through the woods by a mummy!  This book is not too scary for the little ones and is great for having kids make predictions (Did you predict how the book will end???).

After reading the story, answering wh- questions, and making predictions, we made mummies:

We used a gingerbread template to make the bodies and added strips of masking tape and googly eyes.  For this particular group, we worked on following directions and body parts. But you can adapt this craft to any speech target...Kids can earn strips by answering questions, by saying an articulation word, by using a target word in a sentence, etc.  You can even write articulation words on the tape strips and have students bring home for carry-over practice!

I did try to create a mummy using the paper doll pattern done on my Cricut (I used the Paper Doll Dress Up Cartridge), but it really wasn't sturdy enough for the younger kids to use without ripping. The tape tends to stick to the table when you do this craft.  When the kids tried to lift it, the pattern ripped.  Fortunately, it could be fixed with more tape!

I would definitely recommend using the gingerbread shape for younger kids though.

What do you think? Would you use this book and/or activity in your speech room?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More EET Fun: Beads 2 and 3 {Out of This World Vocabulary!}

Over the summer I broke down and bought the Expanding Expression Tool.  I had been skeptical about purchasing the EET because I wasn't sure how well my caseload of preschoolers and kindergarteners would get it.  We've been going through each bead on the strand one at a time.  (If you missed my post about the first bead, Green-Group, you can see it HERE.  Two weeks ago we did the second bead (Blue-Do), but I never got a chance to write about it before now.  This week we're doing the third bead (Eye - What does it look like?).

Essentially, with this bead you're working on object functions.  We worked on (1) describing the function of common objects that you might find around the house or the classroom, and (2) listing objects you might need to perform a specific task.  Here's a preview:

"What do you do with...?"

"What do you need to...?"

I used the space-themed game from my Seasonal and Thematic Dot Reinforcers to make the activity more fun!

Eye - What Does it Look Like?
Not going to lie...I've been doing a lot of ground work in my sessions for this activity.  This is an area my kids really struggle with - using more than one attribute to describe.  So, we've been doing some fun activities to target using attributes of color, shape, and size to describe.  Here are some of them:

Basically for this craft, I pre-cut shapes (large for bodies, small for eyes, nose, mouth) and used my Cricut (Paper Doll Dress Up Cartridge) to make small and large hands and feet.  The students had to request their parts using color plus shape and/or size descriptors.

Now that they have the idea of using those attributes, we are pulling out the cards from my Out of this World Vocabulary packet.  Here's a sample:

PSSST! I included poster charts for kids to use to help them remember colors, shapes, and sizes:

Since I was creating a packet to accompany the EET, I added a category activity. You can use this activity for category naming and sorting:

And there are some game play cards to increase the fun/competition/motivation!

If you missed my last post, we're creating an EET "caterpillar" as we go through the beads. Here's what it's looking like these days:

The activities described above can be found in my TPT store:

Out of this World Vocabulary Fun
Seasonal and Thematic Dot Reinforcers

Are you using the EET with preschoolers and kindergarteners?  What activities/strategies have you found to be most helpful?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Love it & List It Linky: Language Apps

I'm linking up for another fun "Love it and List it! Linky" hosted by Jenna at Speech Room News!  (See Jenna's original post HERE.)

This month's topic is Language Apps!  Here are my favorites (in no particular order):

  1. Speech With Milo Interactive Storybook (Doonan Speech Therapy):  I love this app for many reasons.  Basically, it's great for my preschool kiddos.  They can listen to the story, interact with the pages, and record themselves retelling the events on the page.  Plus, it's a bargain at only $1.99!
  2. Language Adventures (Smarty Ears, $14.99):  This app/board game can be used to target a variety of objectives and is a ton of fun for the kids!
  3. Rainbow Sentences (Mobile Education Store, $7.99):  This is a great app for working on syntax, expanding utterances, and so much more! I wrote a full review on this app that you can read HERE.
  4. Syntax Workout (Virtual Speech Center, $16.99):  I have a group of students who will do just about anything for a few minutes of "reward" with this app!  They don't mind "working" so that they can work some more with the app!  What's not to love about that?  This is another app I've reviewed in the past, check it out HERE.
  5. Cookie Doodle (Shoe the Goose, $0.99):  OK, this is technically NOT a language app...but the language potential is endless! Follow the directions of the recipe, sequence the steps, decorate and describe a cookie.  There are so many things you can do with this app and the kids just love it!

And there you have my top 5 language apps!  What are yours?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book of the Week: We're Going on a Ghost Hunt

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

Have I mentioned that I love Halloween?  There are just so many fun things you can do with this theme!  This week, we used the book We're Going on a Ghost Hunt by Kris Hirschmann.

As you may have guessed, this book is similar to We're Going on a Bear Hunt.  However, this story lands you in a haunted house surrounded by ghosts! (But it's not too scary for the little ones).

While reading the story, I focused on the prepositions (over, under, through, etc.) and had the students illustrate using their hands.  After we finished the story, we grabbed my little ghost stuffy and took turns following directions and/or using prepositions:

After the story was OT time!  Our occupational therapist had kids make these chalk rubbing ghosts.  Didn't they come out cute?  As a bonus, we got to work on the preposition "around" while making these!

If you want directions for making the chalk rubbings, let me know!  What's your favorite Halloween or ghost-themed book?

On Amazon:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Product Review: Pirate Talk by Super Duper

Oh that red box! Who doesn't love coming home to find one of these at their door?

When the nice folks at Super Duper contacted me about reviewing one of their products, I was happy to do so!  First, I'd be foolish to say no to an awesome product from Super Duper (yes I knew it would be awesome before even opening the box!). Second, I love getting new materials for my kids.  Third, I know many of you look to bloggers like me to find how what we really think of products and apps!  Here's what was in the box:

The Details:

Pirate Talk: Receptive & Expressive Language Game.
Created by: Sarah Michaels and the Super Duper Staff.
Grade Level: K-5
Description (from Super Duper's website):  Your students are about to embark on a swashbuckling adventure as they sail the high seas with Pirate Talk, the receptive and expressive language skills game! As students respond to each prompt, they move from island to island on the colorful game board and collect gold coins. The prompts reinforce seven essential communication skills:  Sentence Repetition, Answering Questions, Following Directions, Categorizing, Inferencing, Describing, and Social Skills.
Includes:  Game Board, 150 Color-Coded Receptive and Expressive Language Cards(5 subject areas, 30 cards each), Instruction Sheet, 6 Pirate Player Pieces, 100 Gold Coins, and Electronic Spinner (1–3)

A Closer Look:

My son has learned that a box at the door equals something fun.  So when we came home, he begged me to open this one right away!  We opened the box, took out the game board, and checked out the other items:

Notice M's foot anxiously waiting to play!
I skimmed the directions because I prefer games that allow you to fly by the seat of your pants.  I believe that if the directions are too long and complicated, the kids won't want to play the game.  Am I right? can see that the game comes with basic directions and game variations!  This is great for changing things up and using the same materials for multiple sessions, but in new and exciting ways!

After that, I organized the cards.  I think it's a personality requirement for SLPs to love organization and clearly Super Duper is a company of SLPs! The box has a tray that holds your cards and the cards come color coded and with dividers:

The cards have different scenes on the front.  The scenes depict scenarios from 5 different categories:  activities, community, home, school, and people.  Here's a sample card from the "activities" section:

Super Duper really does have great illustrations, don't they?  On the back of each card are the prompts for each target area: Sentence Repetition, Answering Questions, Following Directions, Categorizing, Inferencing, Describing, and Social Skills. I found that we could use the pictures as conversation starters as well.

Notice that some cards allow children to earn "bonus" coins!

Instead of dice, Pirate Talk comes with an electronic game spinner! How cool is this?!? I love that you only have the option of spinning a 1, 2, or 3 and I may just have to use this with other games as well!  The kids loved pushing a button instead of rolling a game die and NOTHING fell on the floor!! :)

What may just be the best part of this game is that it comes with 100 gold coins! I didn't count them, I'm going to take Super Duper's word for it!  Boys and girls were thrilled to play this game and to earn these shiny coins!

Trying it Out:

My son was in love with the game and didn't really want me to bring it to work.  Once he got over that, I brought it to school and tried it out with my kids.  I used it with kids in Preschool and in Second Grade.  We played the traditional version, nothing fancy.  The kids LOVED it! I loved that I could use it in a mixed group and target different objectives with the same cards!  I did find that with larger groups of kids, we weren't able to "finish" the game by returning our pirates back to their home bases, but none of the kids minded. They were happy to count their coins to find the winner.  If you're wondering, 2nd grade loved it as much as the preschoolers.

Bonus Activity:

My super-observant friend Stephanie was quick to make this observation...There are 100 gold coins. New information suggests aiming for 100 articulation trials/session.  See where I'm going with this?  You can use the coins for motivation in an Articulation Challenge!

I made a quick "bank" out of a butter tub, but how much fun would it be to use a treasure chest piggy bank!?!?

The Take-Away:


  • As a receptive/expressive language game, Pirate Talk has it all.  You can look at a picture scene and ask each type of question, in addition to targeting inferencing and pragmatics.
  • Versatility!  The game cards themselves make Pirate Talk versatile, but the adaptability of the game goes beyond that. (See description below)
  • Fun! Who doesn't love a pirate theme?!?
  • The description on the box says that this game is for Grades K-5, but the box itself says that you can use it with Grades K and up or Ages 4-10.  


  • I can't think of a single one!

The Bottom Line:
Pirate talk is a fun, engaging addition to your therapy supply closet.  According to the game's description, you can use it to target 7 areas of communication. However, I have found that you can use it for so much more than that!  The game board can be used for an open-ended activity, the spinner can be used to make your game boards (like those from TPT) more fun, and the gold coins can be used to get 100 trials during Articulation Burst therapy!

If you have Pirate Talk, what's your favorite game variation?  If not, what's your favorite product from Super Duper?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

S...Peachy Feedback Linky


Today I'm joining up with Nicole of Speech Peeps for a super fun Feedback linky!  If you haven't heard of it yet, this is the linky where you get rewarded for leaving feedback on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I wasn't able to link up last month because I had too much going on in my life to write a post, so I wanted to make sure I took the time to link up this month!

The winner of the "S...Peachy Feedback" this month is (fittingly) SLPeachy who left this comment on my Apple Trouble Book Companion:
We just finished up with our Apple Trouble unit. I ended up using the activities for several sessions and the students really enjoyed it. This has become one of my favorite books and seems to have it all - sequencing, vocabulary, context for describing and more. Thank you for taking the time to put this together!

SLPeachy, you won a free product from my TPT store (bundles excluded)! Send me an email at to claim your prize!

If you didn't win my prize this month, head over to Speech Peeps to see if you were the winner for another blog/store!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book of the Week: Bats

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

This week's book of the week is a fun not-quite-Halloween non-fiction book...National Geographic Kids: Bats.

This is a great book to use during the month of October (or anytime really) with older students.  You know, the kids who are "too cool" for some of our fun Halloween stories.

Here's what I like about it...It's loaded with tons of facts and information about bats and real photographs:

You can use pretty much any page in the book for working on WH- questions, summarizing, sentence formulation, etc.

There's a page about Bat Myths and truths:

This past year I was asked to administer state testing for the first time.  I noticed that some of our speech kids have difficulty with True/False questions.  This page would be a great way to practice that skill!

There are fact cards that summarize key vocabulary (Tier 2 and 3 words) from the story.  You can cut these out, but I would recommend making a color copy as there is a page on the other side.

I love the National Geographic Kids series and often find these books in the Scholastic Readers and book fairs.

Here are some of the activities I'm using to accompany this book:

First, we're using this organizer (Bats are...can...have) to summarize the information from the story.  And here's a fun paper bag bat craftivity that can be used for following directions.  You can also cut a mouth and have students feed their articulation words to the bat.  And here's another bat craft that can be adapted...add vocabulary or articulation words (pictures or written words) to the streamers and you have a take-home project that can be used for carryover!

I wanted a faster paced game to get more trials in some of my sessions, so I created this bat themed activity:

Essentially, you place all the cards face down on the table. The child takes a turn completing a task, then draws a card.  If they get a bat, they keep it.  If they get a ghost, they return ALL their cards to the center of the table.  The player with the most points (or bats) at the end of the game is the winner!

You can find this activity in my TPT store.

What are your favorite bat-themed activities?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Skeleton S-Blends {Freebie included}

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

I've been working on a skeleton-themed activity to accompany the book Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler.  

Do you remember me mentioning that I'm running an OT/Speech group this year with our wonderful OT?  Well, we chose this book because she has an awesome skeleton craft (similar to this one on Pinterest) and I came up with this activity since many of my kids are working on /s/ blends:

The design has a fun skeleton/chalkboard theme. Graphics are by Scrappin Doodles.  There are 12 target words for each of the following blends: /sk/, /sl/, /sm/, /sn/, /sp/, /st/, and /sw/ for a total of 84 target words.

Here are some of the /sk/ words:

You can use the words for articulation or for sentence formulation.  I tried to include as many Halloween themed words as I could (scare, slimy, skeleton, etc.).  I also added two dot-reinforcer pages (one girl, one boy) :

and a writing page:

You can find this item in my TPT store.  Download the Preview file and get the /sk/ words for free!

Tell us...If you don't use these for articulation, what would you target?

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