Monday, April 8, 2013

Ryan's Speech Therapy Gadgets and Games 2013

One of my favorite times of the year is when I get to use my budget to purchase items to use in speech therapy.  The school district that I work for is very supportive, in my opinion, with giving their teachers and professional staff money to purchase materials each year.  I don't know how other school districts work, but I feel fortunate to have this available to me every year.  I imagine that most school-based speech therapists purchase books, workbooks, flashcards, games, and testing supplies.  I did some of that when I started my career, but I've definitely moved towards the electronics as time has passed.  I am proud of myself this year, though, for purchasing a couple of vocabulary games.  So, I thought I'd share with you the goodies that I ordered.

Making vocabulary fun is an essential for me in speech therapy.  I would guess that this game is pretty common in a speech therapist's closet, but I have never gotten around to getting one.  You can tweak the game to fit your students' needs.  Since most of my kids struggle with vocabulary, we might play it in reverse as suggested by The Doc is In.  To take it a step further, I'll probably have the kids make up their own cards and maybe even adapt it to their science, language arts, or social studies vocabulary.

Don't Say It
Well, in speech therapy we really should, "Say it!"  I always like to modify the rules for games so that they fit my students skills (or lack of skills). This one fits the bill.  Basically, you get a card with a vocabulary word along with four words typically used to describe the vocab word.  Just like Taboo (actually JUST like Taboo), you aren't supposed to say any of the words listed to describe.  For instance, the word might be "sheep".  You have to get your team to say it without using the words "baa", "lamb", "wool", and "flock".  I'll play this game, but I'll probably do the opposite by giving the words listed and having the kids guess.

VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Scanner
This little gadget is pretty neat.  I first learned about it while working with a young man who was looking to scan worksheets so that he could type his answers using his computer.  My mind got going and I started to think of the other possibilities to use a hand held scanner.  First, it fits into my manly speech therapist's tote bag (briefcase), which makes it a nice portable option being a travelling SLP.  Then I thought that I could use it to scan completed worksheets/assignments to store digitally for the students' portfolios/folders.  It would save me paper and give me a way to "keep" those worksheets while the students take them home for their files (as I usually jokingly call it "the trash can").  Finally, I mentioned scanning a worksheet and then completing it on the iPad.  I use a free app called neu.Annotate.  It allows you to write directly onto the pdf file or you can create text boxes and type in your text.  Then you can save it, email it, or print it.  Pretty cool stuff.

Favi Wireless Entertainment Keyboard
Since I'm a big SMART Board and Tap It user, I thought that this would be a fun and quick way to interact when you don't necessarily need to get up out of your seat to type.  The cool part is that many students (and teachers) already know how to use this type of keyboard because of cell phones (okay, okay...this type of cell phone is sooooo 2008).  You get the idea.  Believe it or not, I still have a dumbphone because I'm too cheap to pay for the data package.  Anyway, this device is also a remote for presentations (it even has a laser pointer).  That little black box on the right is the mouse pad.

There you have it.  That's partly what I spent my budget on this year.  I also sprinkle some of my budget on online subscriptions and other supplies.

How about you?  What were some of your fun purchases for your "speech closet" this year?