Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Materials

Here are some newer Halloween materials that I made, Free!  Enjoy!

Halloween - What Am I? "Lift the Flap" Book:  Download this free book that I made. Teachers/Parents will need to cut some rectangles and tape the rectangles over the pictures on each page to create the 'flap' effect. Simply staple the book together, cut rectangles, place one top of a picture, place tape along the top....repeat!  Then read to your child! =)
Teacher Pay Teacher Free Download 

**Remember, there is some assembly involved: stapling the book together (I also had the students make a cover for it...a pumpkin and we worked on following directions/making requests/etc), plus you will need to cut pieces of paper to make the flaps, but it is very quick/easy!

Halloween - Who or What Am I (game only version):
Teacher Pay Teacher Free Download

My PlayHome Stores and Duplo Trains

When I posted about some fun apps that I found this summer, I forgot to include My PlayHome Stores and Duplo Trains.
My Playhome Stores is similar to the original, but has a town or store theme, it costs 1.99.  It has a variety of stores and provides ample opportunity for vocabulary development.  I use this app for labeling of nouns/actions, listing items within categories, listing associations, and other language related goals.
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Duplo Trains: a FREE app that allows the student to pick 'cars' for the train, design track layouts, pick cargo, pull the whistle, and build bridges. It is a nice app for vocabulary associated with transportation/trains, listing associations with trains, talking about the scenery, discussing why we need to make a train stop, making predictions about what stop is next, talking about cause/effect, problem solving, etc.  Love this one!
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy October and Halloween 2014!

Here are some of my favorite, and some new, Halloween and Fall apps!

Henry's Spooky Headlamp: This app goes on sale frequently, but otherwise it is $.99. This app is basically an I Spy type of game.  I use this app for students ages 3 through primary grades.  Here are some of the ways that I use this app:

  • Identify and/or label Halloween vocabulary
  • Identify or Explain how the items go with Halloween (A pumpkin is something that you carve during Halloween)
  • Articulation: A good number of the items contain some popular articulation targets for carryover activities 
    • I see a spider web (/sp/ blend, /b/ final)
    • I see a scarecrow (/sk/ blend)
    • I see a black cat (/bl/, /k/ initial and final)
    • Depending on what sounds we are working on, I might change the carrier sentence to: I am looking for, I am searching for, etc.
  • Phrases/Sentences: For students who might only label items, this is nice for expanding their utterances.
    • They say, "cat", expand the utterance to, "I see a black cat" or "I see a black cat that has yellow eyes"
  • Same/Different: for younger students, we talk about same/different and being able to reference the item we are looking for while scanning the screen.  So, some fine motor and scanning skills are also practiced. =)

If you like this app, no worries about Halloween ending...they have different versions for different seasons/themes!

Halloween Totems HD: A free app!  It's just a fun incentive app that I use for quick turns during other skills. You could still talk about vocabulary, or even some concepts and other skills (short, tall, balancing, fell, how many blocks?, etc). Again, if you like this app after Halloween, no worries, they have another version, called Two Tall Totems.
iPad Screenshot 4

Parents Carve a Pumpkin: This is a free app!  For your phone or ipad/tablet.  I use it in the following ways:

  • Vocabulary: Talk about pumpkins, pumpkin colors, parts on a jack o lantern, etc
  • Describing: The students must give sentences that describe their pumpkin as they pick features
  • Fun: We also use this app for an incentive/fun time while we do other more structured skills/practice. 

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Here is a list of other apps that I use as well:

Giggle Ghosts: for counting, or as 'fun'.

Mickey's Spooky Night Puzzle Book:  I use this app for vocabulary and answering basic wh- questions.

Elly the Reindeer The Spooky Party: A Halloween party book.  I use this app for vocabulary and answering basic wh- qustions.

Maria Counts Pumpkins: A LAZ reader book.

Landon's Pumpkins: A LAZ reader book.

Wood Puzzle Halloween HD: I use this app for vocabulary and 'fun'.

Treat Street

Clicky Sticky Halloween Sticker Book: I use this app for following directions and conceptual terms.  I either provide directions on where to put stickers, or students can also give me (or a peer) directions.

Monday, September 23, 2013

So....what's new in the world of apps?

It has been a VERY long time since I posted anything on new, fun apps.  So, here are a few that I found during Summer:

Toca Boca Builders:  As always, Toca is wonderful.  This app allows you to build and create, each 'robot' or character has a different function (painting, dropping blocks, moving blocks, deleting blocks).  This feature alone is awesome for language!  Talk about the function and describing what each character does...and which character you need for a job!  This is great for students who need to verbally explain a process...tell them what you want built ("Build me a tall tower") and have the student verbally explain which characters they will use and what their 'plan' is.  Or, reverse roles, the clinician/teacher/parent is the builder and the child must describe what you are doing as you create.  You can also model the describing as well...tell your child what they are doing ("Ahh, I see that you are going to delete a block...").  This app would also be fun for Before/After directions, "before you paint 1 box blue, add 2 boxes", etc.
iPhone Screenshot 2

Toca Cars:  Toca has added an app, Cars! It is on sale for $.99, so grab it now! The app has two drivers to choose from and you can use Toca's roads, or you can make/edit your own roads!  Students can have fun driving on (or off) the roads.  Cruise through ice cream puddles! Knock things down, and then use the restore button to rebuild them!  This app would be useful for:

  • Describing: Students would need to describe the type of map/road they are using or creating. "I am making a map that has giant puddles of soupy, messy, pink ice cream!"
  • Sequential terms: Students could again describe their 'map', but would be required to use sequential terms that focus on the order of steps (First, second, next, third, last, etc).
  • Answering questions: The clinician and student could build a map together, the clinician could ask basic or higher level questions:

    • What do you think will happen if we add giant ice cream puddles?
    • What did we add at the beginning of the map? What did we add at the end?
    • What will happen if our car goes off the road?
    • What will happen if our car crashes into _____?
    • Incentive Game: This app would serve well as an incentive during other therapy goals as well.  If a student is practicing articulation, the student could produce 10 words and then work on their road or take a turn racing. 
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Dr. Panda:  Which Dr. Panda? ALL of them!  My children at home LOVE the Dr. Panda apps, and we bought all of them.  The Dr. Panda apps are great for social interaction, role play, articulation practice, vocabulary, and just about any language goal. Some include: Hospital, Garden, Airport, Hair Salon, Supermarket, Handyman, Art Class, Garage, Teach Me, Daycare, Restaurant etc.
The link sends you to the Dr. Panda website...from there you can look at all of the apps vs. me listing the links for each one. You can get a good idea of what Dr. Panda is all about!  The one caution I would make is that Dr. Panda has more visual stimuli than something like Toca Boca.  There is a lot to look at and for some children, it may be too much visual stimulation.


I'll be adding more to this post in the next few days...I need to flip through the apps on my home iPads to remember what I like and what is new that I haven't mentioned!

It's Here! iOS7

Here are Some Tips for the New iOS 7:
Updates are great, but they can be overwhelming. Here is a short list, with directions,  of the new features of iOS 7.  I read a variety of blogs and articles, compiled what I thought was most necessary, and wrote these tips/directions.  Let me know if I didn't include something pertinent.
- Jenny C., M.S., CCC-SLP

Closing apps

In previous versions of iOS,  you needed to double click the Home button, which would reveal App icons on the bottom of the screen. Holding down a finger on them would make them shake and pressing the red cross closed the app.

In iOS 7, you:

  • Press the home button.

  • A ‘drawer’ opens up  that shows a smaller preview of each App window.  These are your apps that are open.

  • Swipe the app upwards to close it.  It is that simple...this is a nice time saving feature!

App Folders Have Pages
In the previous version of iOS, each folder could only hold up to 12 apps. This is no longer the case and each folder can now have multiple pages.  
  • Drag apps into folders by pushing down on an app icon until it starts wiggling.  
  • Drag the app on top of another app or into a folder from there.  
  • When adding a 10th app into a folder, the folder will automatically create an additional page.

Background App Refresh Helps You Save Battery Life By Disabling Apps From Running In The Background
Previously, a reason why the battery drains throughout the day is due to some apps that collect data in the background. Now you can block apps from running in the background using iOS 7. To access this feature go to:
  • Settings
  • General
  • Background App Refresh.
  • You can disable every app running in the background with one toggle switch or disable specific apps individually.

Swipe Up For Control Center
A new feature is called the Control Center, which lets you quickly adjust the volume, Bluetooth, brightness, Airplane Mode, and portrait orientation.  There are also icons to for: Flashlight, Camera, Calculator and Clock.  To use the Control Center:
  • Swipe upwards at the bottom of the screen, in the center.

Where is the Search Page?
In the older versions of iOS, you could find the Spotlight Search feature by swiping all the way to the left. It is no longer there.  With iOS 7:
  • Swipe your finger in the center or middle of the screen and pull towards the bottom.  The search bar will now appear, as will the keyboard.  NOTE:  You must swipe in the middle of the iPad...not at the TOP in the middle.

Adjusting The Text
Another feature of iOS 7 is the ability to  adjust text sizes and properties. Find this feature at:
  • Settings
  • General
  • Text Size
You can also made text bolder by adjusting the settings under:
  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility

Reduce ‘Motion’ or Make the Screen Look More ‘Flat’

By default,the wallpaper, icons, and labels will float and move around as you move your ipad. It can be a fun feature, but it’s a feature that may be a nuisance. To turn it off or deactivate it:
  • General Settings
  • Accessibility
  • Reduce Motion: Turn ON (Yes, this seems backwards, but the question is, do you want to REDUCE MOTION...YES, so activate this button).  If you turn it OFF or leave it in NO, the items will float around.

Always Updating

With iOS 7, you can avoid having to go to the App Store and manually update apps; however, while this is a great time saving feature (you won’t have to remember to update and end up having 100+ updates), it is a battery-draining feature.  To turn this feature off, which means you will need to manually update apps as you did before:
  • General Settings
  • Background App Refresh (Scroll down under General Settings, it’s under Usage)
  • Toggle to OFF, or ON if you want the feature turned back on at some point.

Turning off AirDrop
Turning OFF AirDrop will also help to save batteries. This feature constantly searches for other iPhones or iPads nearby.  If you don’t want your iPad/iPhone constantly scanning (and using battery), turn it off:

  • Swipe up to open the Control Centre (Control Center = located at bottom of iPad screen, in the center, slide it up)
  • Touch the AirDrop logo and turn it off.

Apple was Watching You…You Can Disable This

Prior, Apple wasad tracking with iOS 6. Your iPad or iPhone has a unique identifier that is used to track what you are searching or browsing for, and then target your pattern with certain ads. If you don’t want to be tracked for ads:
  • Settings
  • Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Limit Ad Tracking, Turn this ON...again, you must turn the feature ON so that YES it can limit the tracking.

What is that Blue Dot next to some of the app icons?
The blue dot that randomly appears signals that the app has recently and automatically updated due to the new iOS 7 ‘background updating’.

****If you still have some issues with the new update, just try googling the problem, chances are….someone else has the same problem and put the solution online for all of us!  -Jenny

Friday, May 10, 2013

Guided Access for the iPad

Do you have a child or student who consistently exits out of an app? Do you need your child or student to work within one app for an extended time? Are there portions of the screen within an app that you do NOT want the student to access?  If so...Guided Access is for you!

What is It?
Guided Access is a settings option that allows the adult or user to restrict the ability to exit out of an app or use certain portions of an app.

Where do I find it? 

Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access to set up Guided Access. From there you can:
  • Turn Guided Access on or off 
  • Set a passcode that controls the use of Guided Access and prevents someone from leaving an active session
  • Set whether the device can go to sleep during a session

Now that Guided Access is enabled, how do I use an app with Guided Access?

Start a Guided Access session
  • Open the app you want to run.
  • Triple-click the Home button.
  • Adjust settings for the session, then click Start.

Why do I use it?  

  • Facilitating focused use of a therapy app: Using Guided Access can be very effective for AAC apps.  Many times, a student or child may want to quickly exit the AAC app, or if there are multiple pages to an AAC board...a student may not be ready for the multi-page level and may still need adult guidance in remaining on one designate page.  As a therapist, I simply go to the app, let's say I am using Go Talk Now with a student, I triple click to activate Guided Access, and then I circle the areas of the 'page' that I do not want the student to be able to press.  Again, why would I do this?  If a student or child has difficulty with fine motor control or is prone to swiping across the screen, Guided Access allows me to control what the student can activate.  I absolutely LOVE this feature/setting for facilitating use of AAC apps.  Sometimes I also use Guided Access for other therapy-based apps, especially if a student has difficulty with fine motor.  Essentially, I can 'get rid of' portions of the screen...that way the child only touches/presses areas that are needed.  This helps the student feel more successful and not as frustrated!  Here are some screen shots that I took to demonstrate Guided Access in use with Go Talk Now.  (I apologize for my poor photos.  I actually had to use my camera phone...for some reason I couldn't snap a screen shot with the iPad while Guided Access was in use.  I'll have to work on that one!)

Here I just began a Guided Access session by triple clicking the home button.  You triple click AFTER you are already in the app that you want.

Now, you can see that I purposefully restricted access to the bottom portion of the screen.  To do this, just circle with your finger, the areas that you do not want the child to access.

In this picture, I wanted the student to begin practicing opening their personall AAC board on their own.  I wanted the student to be successful and not accidentally open a different setting/page, so I 'blacked' out or disabled everything but the portion the student needed.  Just hit 'start' when you are done and the app is ready to go!

To end the Guided Access session, triple click the home will be prompted to enter your code.  Enter the 
code and you ipad will again be 'unlocked'. 

  •  **Another important therapy can prevent your iPad from going to sleep using Guided Access!  I love this! 
  • Home:  Again, perhaps a parent may want to control what a child is doing on the iPad for a designated amount of time.  At home, I sometimes will use Guided Access when I want my son or daughter to work within a specific math or reading app.  
  • Other Uses (also find Apple's Guided Access HELP info HERE):
    • Temporarily restrict your iOS device to a particular app
    • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction
    • Disable the hardware buttons

Other Tips:

Disable app controls and areas of the app screen
  • Circle any part of the screen you want to disable.
  • Use the handles to adjust the area.

Ignore all screen touches
  • Turn off Touch.

Keep iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from switching from portrait to landscape or from responding to any other motions
  • Turn off Motion.

End a Guided Access session
  • Triple-click the Home button.
  • Enter the Guided Access passcode.

**I'll admit...using Guided Access takes some getting used to for therapy, especially if you want to modify a task.  You will need to exit out of the app (triple click, enter your code, end guided make the changes you want to the app...maybe it is to switch to a different articulation sound or change a student's AAC board...after you make the changes, you now have to re-enable guided access).  So this can be time consuming at first, but once you are really familiar with Guided's a breeze!  Just keep practicing.  Now, I can switch in and out of Guided Access mode and make changes in just seconds.  I actually leave Guided Access ON (settings) all of the time...neither my children at home nor my students have ever triple clicked and 'locked' it. So I just leave it on, then when I want to activate it, I just open the right app, triple click, and get started!  I say all of this because I want people to realize just how easy it is to use!

I made a quick 'cheat sheet' (Google Doc) for using Guided Access...feel free to use it!  If in the classroom setting, keep a copy handy for all staff, you could even write the passcode on it. 
Link to Google Doc:

Dr. Panda Apps

I came across some new apps recently that remind me of Toca Boca apps.  While I see similarities, there are also quite a few differences...enough for me to warrant trying and buying  the apps.  While most are 'pay' apps, they have several free or 'lite' versions to try first. FYI, a 'great' aspect of Dr. Panda apps...they are also available for the android market!  This is great because it makes the apps more versatile! 
So far, the apps have been a hit with my children at home.  I have also used these apps in therapy for select skills and reinforcement...students have enjoyed the apps as well. 

Dr. Panda Apps (website)

Dr. Panda's Veggie Garden
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Dr. Panda's Hospital
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Dr. Panda's Daycare
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Dr. Panda's Restaurant
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Dr. Panda's Beauty Salon
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Dr. Panda's Supermarket
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Just a Few of My Ideas for Dr. Panda apps:

  • Articulation: All of these apps have the potential to be useful for incentives or rewards for articulation practice.  Because there are so many different apps and settings, you could also target conversation-level practice. For example, you could elicit or have the student practice /sh/ when using the 'supermarket' or 'shopping' app.  "I am shopping for..."
  • Language: Dr. Panda apps provide a variety of settings  and therefore, lots of vocabulary.  You can use most of these apps to target a wide range of basic and every day vocabulary.  
  • Describing words/adjectives: I am planning on using the Beauty salon app for targeting adjectives/describing words.  I would like to use this particular app as an incentive or supplemental activity...after we practice a more structured task that targets describing words, we can use the app to describe hair cuts, nails, etc.  If the beauty salon setting isn't as interesting or appropriate, I think the supermarket and restaurant apps could also serve this purpose well. 
  • Sequencing: Several of these apps would lend themselves to practicing sequencing skills and using sequential terms.  For the gardening app, I would have the students explain how they grew the vegetables.