Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ryan's Speech Therapy Gadgets and Games 2014

Every year, believe it or not, the speech language pathologists in my school district get money to spend on supplies, activities, and games (and some other stuff).  I often see questions posted online about what games to buy when working on specific skills or grade levels.  So, when this time of year comes around, I like to share with others some of the goodies that I purchased with my budget.  Here you go!
  • Jenga Boom -- I'd have to say that Jenga or Tumblin' Tower have been speech therapy favorites ever since my undergraduate days. I used to tape words on each block, but then I realized that became a hassle (okay I procrastinated a lot). You can use Jenga in so many ways in speech therapy. You can have the person give you repetitions and then give a turn. You can use PECS or AAC to request blocks. Really, my students love any games with elements of surprise. I almost always make it a little suspenseful by counting down or giving them fakeouts. 1...2....Wait!....Are you sure you want me to do this?!? Anyway, Jenga Boom looks to give an added surprise by setting a timer to make the blocks fall on their own.
  • Lego Bucket -- Finally! I realized the potential of Legos in speech therapy. I wrote a post awhile back about using Legos for PECS or AAC practice. The $30 Lego bucket comes with mini directions to create quite a few structures. Again, you could have your students earn the pieces as they provide repetitions or you can have them ask or request specific pieces in order to follow the directions. And, you can have them follow written directions. Really, you can get quite creative with using Legos in speech therapy.
  • Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum Package -- I'm really excited about this curriculum.  I'm pretty sure I heard about it from Sean Sweeney at a professional development conference.  This program offers an age appropriate way to teach social skills to students using superheroes and villains.  The program is suggested for students in 3rd-5th grade, but I'm going to use this with my moderate cognitive impairment classrooms as well as my autism classrooms.  Superflex takes on villains who display poor social skills (Mean Jean, Topic Twister Meister, Rock Brain, and many others).
  • Jib Jab --  This might be my fifth year of renewing my online subscription to Jib Jab.  It has been one of my favorite websites to use with the SMART Board. You've probably seen it around Christmas time when you can Elf yourself and your friends. This site is highly engaging as you superimpose your students' bodies into funny videos. Occasionally, they'll even have special videos where students can dance with Justin Bieber or as  PSY in Gangam Style. I mostly use this as a PECS activity to make requests.  This is a student favorite at Halloween time!  Some of the videos are free to try out.   Also, check out their Story Bots.  You can create short stories starring you!
  • iPad tripod bracket  -- I'm sad that my Flip Camera is going out of production.  I've switched over to using iMovie on the iPad to record parts of my sessions to show parents and to create video modeling/social stories.  I decided to step it up a notch and improve my production value by getting this for my speech office.  The bracket attaches to a tripod (which I already own).  Generally, I film short clips of students practicing certain skills and then email them to their families or teachers.

So, what are you buying this year?  Please share!