What is this EET I keep hearing about?

Do you feel like everywhere you turn you are hearing about the EET? I feel that same way, and I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned about the EET, or Expanding Expression Tool, in the past couple months. I love it, and I think you will too!

According to the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) website, “The Expanding Expression Tool provides students with a hands-on approach to describing and defining. As a mnemonic device, it provides visual and tactile information which facilitates improved language organization. The kit itself is designed to allow you to follow a hierarchical approach taking student’s expression from words to paragraphs to reports. Therefore, it can be used by a variety of ages.

The kit consists of the Expanding Expression Tool, a manual, stickers for written expression, object cards for describing activities and a poster.

The Expanding Expression Tool is color symbol coded. Students learn the code and from this code are able to provide detailed descriptions including the following elements: the category the item belongs to, the function of the object, the appearance, what the item is made of, the parts of the item, and it’s location.

This tool has been classroom tested in both regular and special education classes.”

I love it because it gives my kiddos a framework to describe and define items or words. If you’re tired of saying things like “Let’s think of other ways we can describe that.” or “Hmm… I’m not sure what you’re telling me about. Where did you see it?” then YOU NEED THIS TOOL.

Curious about the research behind it? Click here to see pretest/posttest results and learn about the research supporting the use of the EET.

Personally, I can attest that not only do my kiddos enjoy using the EET (we like to call it “the caterpillar”), but it has really helped organize their language when describing things. It’s multisensory, which I think is what makes it so successful.

Now that you know the basics of what it is… how about I show you around what comes with a kit when you buy it?

First, the kit comes in a handy little box that just happens to fit perfectly in my therapy bag that I carry around with me at all times. It even has space to throw it worksheet/activities that I use consistently with the EET (more on this later).

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When you open it, it looks like this:

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Included is a large EET strand (the basis of the program), stickers, foam dice, a visual stand-up board, cards, and a book containing worksheets and information about the program. I’ll go through each below:

First, is the book which explains how to use the Expanding Expression Tool AND provides tons of worksheets. The one thing I wish about the EET is that this book came with a CD to print the worksheets.

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Next, is the EET strand. You will probably use this the most of anything else in the box. My younger kiddos call it “the caterpillar”. Each bead slides up and down the string:

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Another way to make the EET fun and interactive is to use the included dice. For some reason, dice really get my kiddos excited:

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There is an entire deck of cards included, with simple pictures you can describe AND cards that outline how to use the EET for higher level skills like summarizing:

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Last, there is a handy stand up poster:

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This is what my box looks like:

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I like keeping extra worksheets and visuals inside so everything EET related is in one place since I don’t see kids in one room or office:

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The worksheet shown on the right above is part of a packet I made that works super well with the EET (or without it). Click here if you’re interested!

And below is a picture of EVERYTHING:

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Below is an example of the EET in use. I like to use my worksheets, the visual poster, a card, and the EET all at the same time. So much multimodality support going on here!

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When you go to order the EET, you will be given the option to add on several items that increase engagement with the idea and open the door to tons of fun and interactive treatment ideas. One of the fun add-on options is the EET Steppers. My puppy likes them too :)

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You can do SO many fun things with these like play baseball or musical chairs:photo 3

They are also great as puppy pillows apparently:

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So how do you use it?

Basically, for the younger kiddos, you find a simple object to describe. Each bead on the strand helps your kiddos remember various ways to describe objects. To teach the EET, I like to start one bead at a time. After your kiddos know each bead, they can simply slide each bead over as they describe the item in that way. For example, the top green bead reminds your kiddos to describe the group (green=group) and the next blue bead reminds them to describe what the object does (blue=do). It’s fairly easy to teach and I love that the large strand can eventually be faded to a visual using the included stickers that can be easily kept on a student’s desk.

Does it work?

YES. After teaching each bead, my students need substantially less support to describe items and are now able to describe them much more completely. If you don’t believe me, ask ANYBODY who has an EET and I’m sure you will hear the same thing, this thing works!

How do I get one?

I hope by now you are convinced to buy an EET. Because it is copyrighted, please purchase the kit and do not attempt to make your own. CLICK HERE to check out the website. There are very compelling videos and an online ordering form. From the site, you will be able to add on extras such as the

 Note: I was provided with an Expanding Expression Tool to write this review. The thoughts expressed are mine. No other compensation was provided.

Speachy Feedback: September 2014

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Getting feedback just might be one of my favorite things about selling on Teachers Pay Teachers. I read EVERY SINGLE piece of feedback you leave me, I really do! Below is some feedback I received recently that just made my day:

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 Calling Natalie M… you’ve won a free product from my store! Email me at speechymusings@gmail.com!

If you’re interested in checking out my All About Verbs product, click here. It’s a nice thorough packet!

Keep up the great feedback and have a fantastic week!

{thanks for reading}

 

Articulation Test Center App Review

To be honest, working at a private practice you don’t get a HUGE number of articulation kiddos. I was concerned this app might not get as much use as I like to give to apps when I’m reviewing them… but I didn’t really have another app that did what this app could offer so I tried it. And fell in love. I should have known better… The most used articulation app I own is by Little Bee Speech (Articulation Station). Check out my review of Articulation Test Center below.

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First, you have the option of choosing the Screener or the Full Test. To be honest with you, I haven’t used the Full Test yet, but played around with it and it’s very similar to the Screener. I have used the Screener (and used it often) so I can tell you that it works, and it works well and efficiently.

When you press “Screener”, the following page is shown:

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When you click on the age, I love how it shows you how many stimulus cards will be shown, as well as the sounds that will be tested in each position:

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After you set up a student to test….

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you’re ready to begin!

The first picture shown in the 2 year old screener is below:

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 What I love about this app is how easy it is to record substitutions, errors, and deletions. You can show errors by just touching any of the green boxes. Then they turn red to indicate an error was made in that position:

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OR, you can swipe upwards to indicate an omission was made in that position:

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OR, you can press that little down arrow and pick from a selection of sounds (or processes) to mark substitutions or phonological process errors:

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Another awesome feature about this app is that when you mark a process, it describes it, provides an example, and gives the age that this process should be eliminated:

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Another cool feature is that you can turn the picture upside down. Something useful if you’re testing across the table!

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After you’re finished with the screener, you get this “happy bee” page, and are asked to rate the student’s intelligibility as shown below:

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Then, the magic happens! DATA DATA EVERYWHERE!

You can see an overview of the words tested/errors made:

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You can see a fancy table outlining errors made, including substitutions and phonological processes:

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You can view a automated report generated by the app (and email it out!!):

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AND you can see recommendations to work on based on the age of your client:

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The Full Test (instead of the Screener), is incredibly similar with a few extra options:

When you open the Full Test, you are shown the options below:

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Additionally, you are prompted to record a speech sample about a scene:

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If you choose to add a speech sample, you can select a scene:

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And begin:

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When the scene opens up, you can press on various people and objects and get conversation prompts:

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Then, as with the Screener, you can rate the student’s intelligibility:

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The Full Test provides the same crazy, awesome level of information after the test.

To be honest, usually at this point in an app review I provide an overview with a list of pros and cons. After using this app for a few weeks, I haven’t found anything that I want fixed so I will leave you with this:

If you want an easy way to assess your student’s articulation skills and get useful, meaningful feedback afterwards, this is it. The app is beautiful, intuitive, and amazingly useful from the second you open it up. In case you want a little extra information/help, the app provides videos demos as well.

To check out the app in the App Store, click here. It’s $24.99 and well worth it in my opinion!

{thanks for reading!}

Note: I was provided with a copy of this app to review. No other compensation was provided. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are mine alone!

Early Describing and Categorizing Packet

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After starting my new job, I really need a packet that targeted describing. I searched and searched Teachers Pay Teachers (because let’s be honest, starting your CF is insane) but couldn’t really find anything at the level I wanted. So what’s a girl to do? Make her own packet… and here it is!

My Early Describing and Categorizing Packet turned into a fantastic, HUGE resource beyond what I thought it would. Check out some of the pictures below to see what this packet is really all about.  It targets describing items by describing their…

—Category

As you’ll start to see, I’ve included A TON of visuals with this product. Below is an example of one of them. In the small square in the center, you can put the included icon cards to describe!

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In case that format isn’t your thing, I’ve included 3 other visuals for describing the category (and the other topics in the packet as well). Another version is shown below:

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Another way I target categories is sorting. Sorting, sorting, sorting! I have included one of the pages shown below for each category targeted in the packet. If you want the task more difficult, increase the number of category options for sorting. There is also a sentence strip at the bottom to help your students verbalize the name of the category in a complete sentence!

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One thing I should note is that the way you use this packet is flexible! You can print, laminate, and Velcro the pages shown above and reuse the icon cards. OR, you can use these activities as “cut and glue” activities. The option is yours! Because I’ve been swamped lately, I’ve been doing mostly cut and glue type activities but hope to laminate and Velcro some sections when I have a chance!

Once your students can do the previous 2 activities for categories, I would recommend moving onto the worksheet section. These worksheets all include icons to glue in the boxes on the right side so you can always make these activities receptive!

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—Color

Next up after identifying the category is identifying the color. Many of my kiddos halt after learning the category and have trouble understanding that an item can be described using a huge variety of words. That’s why I like to introduce describing the color second. It’s easy to understand, but solidifies the concept of describing these items in many ways.

Again, I’ve included various visuals and sorting pages.

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Then, once again, I like to use the worksheets at the end of the “color unit” to make sure my students have mastered this topic.

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—Size

From my experience, teaching our students to label the size of items shown in picture can be tricky! I think this is often because objects look the same size in pictures. Think of two pictures, one of an elephant and one of a frog. The elephant and frog are probably similarly sized in the pictures, and we all use our world knowledge and experience to remember that elephants are, in fact, much larger than frogs. Because of this tricky topic, I attempted to include a wider variety of worksheets and visuals in this section.

This visual is the most basic, used for identifying whether something is big or small:

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But we all know not all items can be described as simply big or small. For describing the size in more detail, I’ve provided the following visual that challenges your students to think of items that are bigger than or smaller than the item being described:

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As with the other sections, I’ve included sorting pages like the one below:

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And more sorting pages where you can have your students sort 5 items by their size, with the biggest ones on top and the smallest ones on the bottom:

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Last, I’ve included the same style worksheets as in the other sections, targeting just big and small:

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—Location

Next up is location! Below is an example of one of the extra visuals included in this section, for describing items you can find in a house:

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And below is an example of a location worksheet AND the icons I include for said worksheets. These icons are included for each section’s worksheets so you can make them receptive if desired. The first row in the icon page corresponds with the worksheet shown.

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—Parts

The last topic targeted in this packet is parts. By now, you’ve seen many examples of the types of visuals included. Here is an example of one for describing the parts on various items:

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Aaaand an example of a worksheet for the parts section:

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—Putting It All Together

 The last section of this packet is great for discriminating parts vs location vs color etc…. I’ve included visual cards:

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Three mini books that take you through each topic (location, size, color, category, parts) to reinforce the idea of describing items in multiple ways. As with everything in this packet, visuals are included to help comprehension:

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Last, I’ve included worksheets with everything put together:

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Additionally, the packet includes 110 icon sized cards, perfect for describing AND cut & glue activities. Below are some examples:

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Below is a picture of the product “in action” with my EET:

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I love, love, love using this packet with my EET cards. It is perfect for those kiddos who need a little more visual supports than the EET provides.

Wanna check this product out? Click here to see it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!!

Have any questions? As always, feel free to email me at speechymusings@gmail.com anytime!

{thanks for reading}

I’m feeling like a giveaway! Comment below and I will pick a person on Friday, September 12th to win a copy of this awesome packet!

Let’s Learn Emotions App Review

I’m working on identifying emotions with many of my kiddos right now, so when I was offered the opportunity to review Let’s Learn Emotions from Everyday Speech I jumped at the opportunity! Once I used the app, I was even more excited to start using it with my kiddos!

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Check out some of the fantastic features below:

There are three fun ways you can target emotions. Matching games, discussion games and flashcards. Additionally, you can add or remove any emotion cards you want. That means you can actually add flashcards using your own caseload! So cool!

 {MATCHING GAMES}

The matching games section looks like the screenshots below:

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After you touch your choice, the app will provide feedback and show the correct emotion for each card.

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{DISCUSSION GAME}

This will likely be the section I use the most of this app. I love that when you touch the word flashcard, it flips over and shows a picture of the emotion. That definitely helps many of my kiddos understand the emotion more.

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Another example of a question in this section is below:

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{FLASHCARDS PRACTICE}

What I LOVE about the flashcards section is that it doesn’t just tell you the answer when you flip the card over…. it actually explains HOW to tell how a person is feeling. Great, great, great!!!

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{MANAGE EMOTIONS}

The last section of this app allows you to add your own pictures/content. It is incredibly easy to do and I believe makes the app much more functional for your kids. Seeing their faces and the faces of their classmates and friends makes everything much more realistic.

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If you can’t tell already, I’ve really enjoyed using this app. It is only $2.99 in the App Store and beyond worth every penny. It’s difficult to find apps in that price range! It is loaded with great features and I love how it really teaches what to look at to interpret emotions.

If you’re interested in learning more about this app/buying it from the app store, click here!

{thanks for reading!}

Note: I was provided with a copy of this app to review. No other compensation was provided. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are mine alone!

 

Social Skills Calendar

This school year, I’ll be running a social skills group at my work! I wanted a basic outline of topics to hopefully target each week. I decided that most of the time, things are too difficult to target in just one week so I made this handy dandy calendar of which topics I’ll target when. I will target each topic for 2 weeks and move on, but obviously most of the topics are connected.

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I began the year with topics I know I’ll want my students to be familiar with right away. For example, if my kiddos aren’t using whole body listening, very little will get done the rest of the year!

 I hope to tie in themes/holidays as appropriate to target skills as well. For example, I put “Giving Compliments” over Valentine’s Day so it could easily be incorporated into therapy!

Note: Many of the topics are based on Maria Garcia Winner’s vocabulary and her Social Thinking Model. For more information on this, visit www.socialthinking.com!

Hope this has been helpful!

30 Pieces of Advice for New SLPs

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I recently asked for advice for new SLPs on my Facebook page and the response I got was AMAZING. The feelings I have after starting this new job have been crazy. I love it, but it can definitely feel overwhelming at times! I still sometimes feel bad for the clients who get assigned to me instead of the more tenured therapists!!

So if you’re a new SLP and anything like me, check out the amazing tidbits of advice from other wonderful SLPs below:

1) Don’t spend lots of money at the retail stores. I accumulated a lot of products my first year from yard sales and thrift stores. Also, wait until you know your caseload before purchasing products as well.

2) Do your best to leave work AT work. Sure, there will be a few times you need to bring stuff home, but don’t make a habit of it. Figure out what you NEED to do for your job and students, and don’t burn yourself out on things that don’t really matter all that much.

3) It’s ok to have a complete meltdown at least once the first week!!

4) When I started out in 1984 (yes, 1984!), my colleagues were choosing to work either in the school setting, or in the medical setting—but not both. I remember thinking that I didn’t really want to give up one or the other of those choices. So, I did not give up either one and have practiced in schools, acute facilities and SNFs continuously for thirty years. Yes, it was a little crazy at times, but I encourage ALL newbies to attain and keep up their skills in both areas. Yes, I know a great deal about learning disabilities, IEPs, assessment in the schools, along with bedside swallow evals, modified barium swallow studies, Parkinson’s, CVAs, etc. I’m proud to say I’m both an educational and a medical SLP and YES I would absolutely do it this way all over again!

5) One, don’t feel like you need to have absolutely every material you want on hand when you start. Start with the basics and be content to add a little at a time as you see is necessary for your student population and as you have money and time (two commodities you didn’t have much of during grad school!). Two, choose one thing each year to become better at. For example, for your first year, you might want to focus on IEPs and paperwork, for your second year, incorporating classroom curriculum into your therapy, for your third, homework and better parent communication, etc. Don’t feel like you have to master everything in one year! Third, use your creativity and passion for our field to connect with your students and staff, while still maintaining time for yourself to relax, have fun, and detach from the job.  HAVE FUN!!! You have so much freedom now that you’re out of grad school, so take advantage of it!

6) Don’t be afraid to say no. If you have to much on your plate ask for help. Always stand up for yourself.

7) Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! No one expects you to know everything! You’ll learn by asking and getting advice from those with more experience.

8) Act confident…even when you’re not!

9) ALWAYS take your lunch break. I skipped mine and worked through about 3 months before I started to feel burnt out. Don’t do it to yourself! The work will get done, I promise  and make friends with the teachers! You see your kids once or twice a week. They have them everyday.

10) Build a support network and nurture it.

11) Don’t forget to have fun!

12) NEVER be afraid to try new things. I am in my 30th year and still am learning and changing. CHANGE is good, so they say!

13) PR is a huge part of your job!! Parents, teachers, admins, etc. Make your parents feel that you are working WITH them. Even though you are the expert in the field, be humble. Give your best. You will do well!

14) Be open minded about job setting. Accept PRN jobs if you can to keep your skills fresh. I thought I only wanted to work with adults as a CF. I worked in a nursing home for the first two years and slowly started doing PRN early intervention and realized that I loved working with children and adults. 13 years later, I work mostly with children. I have encouraged all my students and CFs to explore PRN opportunities in fields they think they may not want to work in just so if they need to change they have the experience.

15) If going to work in a school system, be flexible, and respect the teachers, get to know them, eat lunch with them, ask their advice about the kids—they spend more time with the kids than we do, granted in a different way. Also, get to know your school secretaries and custodians–they really run the school. And remember, we are hired in schools to be ‘support staff’, not the ‘Queen’. In your very own Speech room, should you be lucky enough to have one, you can be Queen, but only in there.

16)  1) Therapy sessions go awry sometimes and it’s not the end of the world. There will be amazing sessions and some that go WHOMP WHOMP. If you’re working with kids, only YOU know it bombed- they don’t- so no worries! 2) The paperwork and pressure WILL make you cry occasionally. Hide behind a file cabinet or find a clean bathroom and let it all out. The beautiful moments when you know you changed the course of someone’s life will make up for it. Savor those.

17) If you’re working with preschoolers, always have an extra shirt on hand!

18) Be a team player. Although you are the expert about speech and language skills, there are many other professionals and parents who see the child in different settings. I always tell young SLPs to listen to the parents because sometimes they see things before the educational staff. Also develop good relationships with your teachers. If you sell the importance of speech and language therapy to the teachers, they will be your best friend realizing the importance. Eat in the teachers lounge. Yes, sometimes they drive me crazy asking me questions about referrals, but they value my advice and my professional expertise. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I learned so much from a mentor by asking questions.

19) Focus your passion, find your niche… Never settle!

20) Ask questions! Ask parents about their kids and what works/doesn’t work. Ask experienced therapists why they choose one approach over another. Ask kids for their opinions. Stay open-minded and positive.

21) It is ok to ask questions. It is ok to not know EVERYTHING!

22) Do not be ashamed to say “I don’t know, but I can find out!” Our profession always changes and is growing. You will not always have the answers, and that is ok!

23) Do your best, but cut yourself some slack. I entered the ‘schools’ after 15 years in 0-3. I was old enough to know I didn’t know everything and am giving myself time to learn. My first year went well and I will up my expectations for myself this year based on what I learned last year!

24) Keep learning. Keep growing and most importantly, keep an open mind about setting. There are so many opportunities for us as SLPs. You may find yourself using your degree in a way that you never thought possible or imagined. Roll with it!

25) It’s always about what is best for kids. Focus your work on that and you can never go wrong.

26) You know more than you think you do. Follow your gut. Do what you know is right. Befriend the right people. Do the best by your clients/students!

27) Make friends with teaching assistants in the school system, and with CNAs in hospitals and nursing homes. They can make your job easier, and you will get more carryover of goals when they are on your side.

28) Stop to breath for just a second. The race, however, isn’t over. Graduating is the first step. The CFY is up next, your licensure, your C’s…there is a world of opportunities, but you must finish all if those steps to avail yourself of them. Once you are finished, do what you love. Don’t think for a second that you “must” stay in a place where you are not 100% loving it. The employers need you more than you need them; and it is a great position to be in. Participate…ask questions…be mentored and then volunteer to be a mentor. Everyone remembers those first days as a newly graduated SLP. Help someone make the transition.

29) Read speech blogs, find fun ideas on Pinterest, stay current on journal articles, and keep your therapy both fun and evidence-based!

30) And mine… give yourself a break once a while :)

Anything they missed? I’d love to hear!

ChatAble App Review

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Personally, I feel like AAC is often underutilized in our field. Oftentimes, this can be due to lack of access to the appropriate technology, cost limitations, or time limitations. We learned in grad school that AAC is appropriate for anybody who cannot meet 100% of their communication needs in a day. I love many things about ChatAble including its $159.99 price tag.

According to the Apple Store, you can, “Create and use symbol based grids…or use photos to make visual scene displays. Or, take both and create a hybrid page. The possibilities are endless with ChatAble. ChatAble is an easy to use communication aid app for people with communication difficulties who benefit from symbol and photo support. Parents, teachers and therapists can create page sets in minutes with an intuitive set up. The customisation options are extensive to enable people with a range of physical, cognitive and language abilities the opportunity to use the app to communicate at home, school or with their family and friends…. After entering your message you can also share it using email, twitter or facebook. As pages can be backed up and saved, you can share them with other students or friends too!”

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been customizing and using ChatAble with a wide variety of clients. I made pages for myself to play around, and made pages that I use every day at work. I will admit, that like any AAC system, it takes quite a bit of time to get started. I wasn’t super impressed with the pages that come on ChatAble, but they do represent a wide variety of the features of ChatAble which I appreciated. I learned a lot about the amazing things this app is capable of by playing around with the boards that come on it!

Without more boring rambling, here are some amazing things about ChatAble:

 You can easily make picture scene displays. Check out the one that would allow me to share information about my dogs below:

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First, I chose this folder so I can share about my dogs in my about me folder. In ChatAble, you have the option of adding a grid, a picture scene display, or a hybrid of both. I chose Scene so then I can take a picture using the camera or use my photo gallery. Then, I can add hotspots that speak when touched. I can also schedule start times for when they should speak as well!

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Check out the finished page below. You can see the hot spots (that I customized the color of). When touched, they introduce my dogs (e.g., This is my dog Harper).

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Below is the board I’ve used most often since getting ChatAble:

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You can see I’ve put a message in the message window. Once great feature about ChatAble is that you can export these messages into iMessage, emails, Twitter, or even Facebook. Pretty cool, and so functional.

Below is currently how I have my homepage organized. Again, I’ve only had the app a few weeks so I know this will probably change daily for the next month or so, but it gives you a good feel for the app:

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Below is my Arts & Crafts folder, which is growing every day. When you click on colors, the second picture opens. You can easily go back using the back arrow in the bottom left corner.

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One thing that is totally necessary in an AAC app and ChatAble does well is customization options. You can make the grids a variety of sizes:

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You can use pictures or symbols. Here is an example of some of the symbol choices for “play”:

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You can make everything from simple, small grids to a hybrid picture scene display with icon choices:

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Two examples are below. The one on the left is a hybrid and the one on the right is a very simple grid (2×2).

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 You can change almost everything. The text size, font, border color, background color, etc… I love the features and options!

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Overall, I felt like everything was easy to learn and intuitive, all while maintaining many options without feeling cluttered.

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You can edit pages by using the menu in the bottom right as shown above. Below are two pictures of the MANY options available to you in the settings:

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PROS:
-Customization options
-Usability
-Picture scene display/hybrid option

CONS:
-Less symbol choices than I would like
-Voice output isn’t great
-Twice I’ve had small changes not save

OVERALL:
This app is a fantastic AAC app that has become a must have for me. I love the customization options and the overall ease of use. I haven’t even used half of the options available (e.g., using an icon to open a webpage, adding musicThe picture scene display option is amazing and so useful. I can see taking pictures of my game closet and putting hot spots on each game for beginner communicators to make choices. The ideas are endless. I would absolutely recommend this app for AAC users, parents, and SLPs.

Check out ChatAble in the App Store here!

{thanks for reading!}

Let’s Use Language App Review

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been extremely MIA lately! In the past month, I’ve graduated, started a new job, got ANOTHER puppy, bought a house, went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic, and was in a wedding. I’m.exhausted. So please excuse the lack of posts and new, fun materials! I promise they are coming!

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Today, I’m excited to share an app review of Let’s Use Language. It’s an app very similar to another one I’ve reviewed in the past, Let’s Be Social. I enjoyed that app (and use it often) so I knew right away I’d like this app as well.

This app targets: vocabulary, sequencing, categories, and opposites. You can also make your own books to target anything you’d like!

Vocabulary:

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 Below is an example story from the app. You can scroll down slightly but this is about the length of most! I really like how they are short and to the point.

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Below are some example question from the vocabulary section:

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Sequencing:

Below is a question in the sequencing section from the same story:

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Categories:

Below are some example questions from the categories section:

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I was slightly confused about this section. Overall, I wish there were more typical category type questions. Another book asked questions such as, “Do penguins fly?” Instead, I wish they had questions like, “A penguin is an animal. Name three other animals.”

Opposites:

Below is an example of  an opposite question:

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Each time the app provides you with instant feedback:

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And then after each “module” or book, your students can see how many they got correct:

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Pros:
-Good length of stories
-The stories are relatable and easy to understand
-I love how the app is set up. Easy to use and not too many graphics/extra things.
-Targets topics I need more materials for!
-So far, the app seems to be getting great reviews from SLPs!

Cons:
-Some of the questions are directly related to the section they are in. BUT they are all useful.
-Many of the questions asked are not directly answered in the reading passages.
-No data tracking, only the report at the end (if that matters to you).

At the time of this review (01/16/14) the app was $14.99 in the App Store! Definitely worth it! Check it out here.

Disclaimer: This app was given to me in exchange for my review. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed are mine.

Binders, Bins, & Bags: Organization for Small Spaces

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Organization and being an SLP go hand in hand. Unfortunately, I do not have my own entire speech room to pull kids into and to keep my speech materials in (and I tend to be a messy person in general). I travel between different clinics and only have a shared office space in one of them. This means the majority of my speech materials have a home in my small apartment. I’m lucky to have what I call my “speech closet” where I keep EVERYTHING.

First things first, how did I get all of this during graduate school?

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It’s a combination of many places: Amazon, Goodwill, garage sales, and gifts from other fantastic people. Additionally, many of these materials are from Teachers Pay Teachers. Since the beginning of graduate school, I’ve made sure to buy a few favorite materials each mega sale so by the time I graduated, I’d have a good base of products to use! (I knew I wanted to do pediatrics so that was good!)

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I should mention that some of the organizers and such were from Goodwill. The wooden shelf on the bottom (shown above) said it was a TV stand (although I think it would be fantastic for shoes ;) ). Note: Go to Goodwill often.

{ORGANIZATIONAL MATERIALS}

I purchased a bunch of stuff on Amazon before I spent a week organizing! Below is everything I purchased for this project:

I used the jump drives to hold various printable materials! I have/use three different computers so I like having some favorite materials at the ready no matter what computer I have with me!

Check out how I used each of the other items!

{BINDERS}

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I made customized binder covers and spine labels for my materials (most were from my freebie you can download here). Because I have a lot of articulation worksheets, I decided to make binders for articulation sounds. I made binders for: r/l, sh/ch/th/j, k/g/f/v, blends, s/z, data collection/progress monitoring, adult materials, & reference materials.

Additionally, I have a large binder I use for reinforcers. These reinforcers are organized by season and by general reinforcers.

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Last, I have several binders with complete activities in them. For example, my interactive materials each have their own binder because I think they transport best this way.

{BINS}

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 I’m absolutely in love with my bin ideas. It is my favorite part of my speech closet! I bought 6 bins and 5 colors of file folders. The six bins are organized as follows:

Red – Articulation
Orange – Other
Yellow – Social Skills
Green – Language Level 1
Blue – Language Level 2
Mixed Colors – Themed materials (red=fall, blue=winter, green=spring, yellow=summer)

Why is this system awesome? Well I’ll tell you. I use the bins below for traveling. If you are in multiple locations (like me) use a different bin for each place. Write the initials of each client on a tab in the bin. When you think of an activity you want to use for the week, pull it from your beautifully color-coded bins at home and put it in the client’s traveling folder in the bin. Voila! It’s easy to put back because everything is color-coded.

{BAGS}

After I lesson plan and pack each client’s materials into their folders in the traveling bins, I back everything into a fun bag that I can easily carry around the clinic! My absolute favorite bag is from Vera Bradley. Check it out below:

It’s huge and great and huge and practical and huge.

Why I Love This System:

1) It is portable. I can grab and go activity by activity.

2) It’s easy to keep organized as my material collection grows. I can buy more clear bins and more colors of file folders.

3) When life gets crazy, this system makes my life easier. No more thinking about where activities go. Everything makes sense. Things are easy to find and put away.

4) It is extremely space efficient without sacrificing being practical or useful.

Good luck with your organizing!! Could be a fun summer project for those of you who have off in the summer!

{thanks for reading}