Friday, November 8, 2019

Add YouTube Clips to Google Slides

As Google Apps (G-Suite) becomes more ubiquitous in school settings, it becomes more useful for SLPs to tap into the power of these tools. Whether conducting in-class therapy activities, or via a small group with your laptop, or even in my case frequently in the private practice setting in a room with an Apple TV, having a visual "space" to explore contexts, language, and strategies is important. Using Google Slides allows you that space- I often encourage thinking about presentation creators flexibly, as you don't need to be creating a whole series of slides or a "PowerPoint." It's just a space, and one that is much more easy to work with than that of a word processor, because of the whole fitting things into paragraphs aspect (and the nightmare of trying to insert and place an image in a doc as opposed to a slide).

Another tool you can consider within Google Slides is the ability to insert a YouTube clip.

On a Google Slide, that's Insert > Video > Search, which searches YouTube.


Once onscreen, you may want to drag the video corners to make a bit larger.


Doing this has a number of advantages:
a) You can place helpful videos into lesson sequences within your Google Slides "decks" and therefore have them for subsequent groups, years, etc
b) Inserting the video here on a slide removes ads and distracting sidebar content
c) Your following slides can be a place to graphically/visually explore the ideas of the video in discussion with the group (e.g, a story map, see my post A Story of Shapes.


Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Come see us at ASHA!

I am lucky to be presenting three sessions in Orlando at ASHA Convention in just a few weeks! Here are some details:


Imagine Integration: Incorporating Evidence-Based Methodologies in Telepractice
Session 1048
Thursday 11/21 10:30-12:30

It takes some imagination to translate evidence-based approaches into digital, interactive formats for telepractice activities! This session will model techniques in incorporating “clickable and typable” visuals in the process of implementing best-practice methodologies. Techniques and strategies will emphasize approaches in narrative language, sentence formulation, vocabulary, social cognition and self-regulation that can be infused across the client’s school day.

Learner Outcome(s):
List two resources SLPs can use to access clinically relevant research
Describe two clinical techniques applying technology with curriculum-based materials to complete evidence-based approaches in telepractice
State three ways to engage clients on curriculum-based content using digital and “hands-on” resources


Not Just for Mickey Mouse: Applying Animation Tools in Language and Social Interventions
Session 1338
Friday 11/22 7:30(!)-9:30 AM

It takes some imagination to translate evidence-based approaches into digital, interactive formats for telepractice activities! This session will model techniques in incorporating “clickable and typable” visuals in the process of implementing best-practice methodologies. Techniques and strategies will emphasize approaches in narrative language, sentence formulation, vocabulary, social cognition and self-regulation that can be infused across the client’s school day.

Learner Outcome(s):
List two resources SLPs can use to access clinically relevant research
Describe two clinical techniques applying technology with curriculum-based materials to complete evidence-based approaches in telepractice
State three ways to engage clients on curriculum-based content using digital and “hands-on” resources


Show Them the World (Knowledge): Pairing Picture Books & Apps for Contextualized Language Intervention
Session 1836
Saturday 11/23 11:30-12:30

Epcot has not cornered the market on simulating the world! Another edition of this popular presentation from ASHA 2012-2018 reviews pairings of picture books and apps that provide intervention contexts to expand semantic knowledge and align with social studies curriculum areas. This session will describe approaches using high- and low-tech materials targeting a range of language objectives.

Learner Outcome(s):
Identify 2 apps and picture books containing language structures and contexts within text, visuals and interactions
State 4 features of disciplinary language within social studies providing contexts for language intervention
Describe 2 session plans pairing texts and apps based on contextual overlappings

I hope to see some of you there!

Friday, October 25, 2019

More on ever-evolving language

Slang is less academic and current-events-related than the terms related to my last post on the birth of new words and their inclusion in Merriam-Webster. Conversational figurative language is nevertheless quite important to be able to follow if not use-- unawareness of it can lead to misunderstanding of narrative and situations. Let's face it: the teaching of old idioms is only useful for application in standardized tests that measure it, or old texts that try to avoid cliches anyway.

Last spring, a 43-year-old high school teacher began keeping track of slang in a Google Doc that went viral and became the subject of some news coverage. You can find the doc here.


Evolving language is a good thing for all educators and perhaps especially SLPs to track. Probably don't use too much of it to avoid rolled eyes! Last year I wrote up an observation and indicated some confusion about why a high school student kept repeating that he wanted "a snack" in the context of having been offered a snack by a teacher. I literally just realized what that was about as I was writing this post.

Urban Dictionary online is another good resource if you ever need it, but is quite profane, be warned. I pulled UD up to explain to two colleagues why it was important to cut off the use of "yo mama" jokes among a group of teens, who should have been reading the situation better in the presence of teachers.

The list veers into some edginess, nothing like UD, but use your judgment. It is a good resource for making discussion activities around the terms, perhaps a quiz with Kahoot for fun and engagement, and working on narrative language about when/where the terms might be used. I'd add shade/throwing shade, and don't come for me, as a good way to close this post!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Little Interaction Makes a Fun Vocab Lesson

Merriam-Webster is known for documenting the changing words of our language. Their Time Traveler website (accessible in any browser) will allow you to look up any recent year and see a list of words that had their "First Known Use" in that year.


Click on any site to see a definition; you may have to provide "kid-friendly" definitions. This site would be great if you want to incorporate engaging material or current events content, which often has many contexts for teaching narrative and expository text.

Many of the words featured are nouns. For a strategic focus you can teach semantic structures with a tool such as the Expanding Expression Tool. 

Example: 
Escape Room (2012)
Green/Group: A recreational place
Blue/Do: It simulates a locked room according to a theme, you have to get out
?/What does it look like?: Room or series of rooms
What is it made of/Parts: Puzzles, codes, hints, themes
White/Where: Often in a mall or amusement center
What else do I know? I once did one that was a fallout shelter

Buy one, or the kit, but did you know you could make a template for classroom instruction, or use mine at this link? (please DO NOT request access, rather, you can click File> Make a Copy to copy to your Drive).

Friday, October 11, 2019

ASHA Voices Podcast

A few weeks ago I recorded a segment on ASHA's new podcast, ASHA Voices, with its host J.D. Gray. It came out this week. The episode and others that are available (through this link or Apple's Podcasts App) are worth a listen. In this one, Kim Murza discusses the need for creativity and "wearing many hats" as a school-based SLP, offering great tips. In my segment, we talked about visual tools such as Google Earth, "Fail" videos, Pic Collage and Book Creator (this was edited for time: note, search for "AFV fail videos"- family-friendly- when looking on YouTube). I hope you will give it a listen!



Friday, October 4, 2019

Make Different Versions of a Conversation with Pixton

Pixton is an online comic creator that I have loved for years. One thing I love about it is that you can create visuals that demonstrate communication behaviors or conversational moves that spark discussion and analysis (and practice) very quickly. Play around and make one strip (I use the classic free Pixton and screenshot my creations) and then note from your library you can make a copy of your strip like you do with Google Docs, and change the language or communicative move used. Voila! Another version! Consider handing one to each person in your group and having them explain what they see.

Pixton also is a great contextual tool- see all these settings? I haven't forgotten my previous topic run on context, and will return to it. Each of these offers many specific backgrounds within it to incorporate narrative language.


Create a simple two character comic and you can create examples of different WH questions to use in conversation, and their results:


You can contrast these with yes/no questions, which tend not to bear as much fruit:


And comments, and so forth. Create a lot of engaging visual supports for older students in a short period of time.

So again, 3 tips:
-Make sure your browser runs Flash (I had no problem with this using Chrome)
-Screenshot to save/print your strips (you could also put them on Google Slides, like I did here if you have trouble seeing the comics above, with instructional tips)

This post inspired by a lot of conversational work I have been doing with groups, and this post I thoroughly agree with by SLP Rebecca Reinking.


Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Get on a Roll this Year (Part 5)

So I made a thing. I have a free packet available on Teachers Pay Teachers describing the foundations and many examples of one of my favorite strategies: pairing picture books with apps for contextualized language intervention.


I usually capitalize that phrase because it is the title of a presentation I have done at ASHA Convention and other places with different versions (I like to call them sequels) since 2012! And guess what, if you are coming to Orlando, there will be a worldly version there! This session will be focused on building semantic/world knowledge, language tied to social studies concepts, and situational and social self awareness based on comparing our daily lives with that of other cultures:


In any case, I am happy to keep spreading the word about this strategy, which offers a balanced approach to using technology along with other materials, and mirrors across books and apps the techniques of co-engagement and stacking activities around a context (in pre and post-book fashion). I hope you will check out the free packet and please leave me a rating! My stars are looking kind of empty, with this being my first endeavor on TpT. Thanks!


Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Get on a Roll this Year (Part 4)

There's of course a difference between "helping students with homework" and working in context, and that's as Barbara Ehren calls it, "maintaining a therapeutic focus." Text mapping, or teaching expository text structures, is one tool that we can teach students in almost any context. Graphic organizers are most helpful as a visual tool in text mapping, and are generally more helpful when a) more than just beginning-middle-end or main idea-details boxes (research supports this too) and b) consistent, using graphic organizers or helping students create them with a similar look, feel and structure.

For some more background information on this, I recommend Text Comprehension: Graphic Organizers to the Rescue and Expository Discourse Intervention for Adolescents With Language Disorders available on the ASHA Website.

Kidspiration and Inspiration for iPad remain my favorite apps for teaching the structure of any contextual block of language, whether that be a BrainPop video, a student or group's reading assignment, or a classroom topic reviewed more generally.

Both of these apps are free to try (for 5 activities). Kidspiration has the advantage of allowing for contextual basic or abstract categorization (sorting) with their Super Grouper mode, essentially also targeting the expository text structure of list or enumeration.


One strategy I have used is to look for expository categories in a narrative picture book e.g. "things on a beach" or "weather conditions." That way the picture book or other context can be used for retelling/summarizing as well as the categorization/semantic skills.

Take Scaredy Squirrel has a Birthday Party, available on EPIC! Books for Kids. You can create a Super Grouper Activity about two of the relevant contextual categories. Students can sort and write or audio record (tap the symbol, then the microphone) a "why" or association for each of the items.



These apps also allow you to make "diagrams" such as lists, sequences, cause-effect maps or story maps. You can move the bubbles around so you don't get stuck always making a "web," which really only corresponds to description. Look to Story Grammar Marker®/Thememaker®, Thinking Maps and BrainFrames for consistent structures you can translate. 

I've written before about the use of Google Drawings to do similar work with graphic organizers. For a wealth of examples you can copy right into your Google Drive and use, see Matt Miller's terrific collection on Ditch That Textbook (an edtech blog I am excited to have just found).

Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Get on a Roll this Year (Part 3)

Being on a contextual roll can involve curriculum topics. SLPs can go this route without watering down our therapy and while emphasizing specific therapeutic targets. One of the best examples I have found of this approach was written up by Theresa Ukrainetz, a context maven (2017); I have used this quote to launch collaborative activities in workshops:

“SLPs can link to the curriculum with thematic whole-part treatment units. For example, a 6- to 8-week unit on the topic of national parks can address a small number of specific skills, perhaps one for each of vocabulary, syntax, discourse, and self-regulation that come together in communicative activities. The SLP can choose a particular park (e.g., Yellowstone National Park), features (e.g., geological formations), or issues common to many parks (e.g., being “loved to death” by high visitation rates). To encourage engagement, students can have choices of the culminating project (e.g., speech, brochure, newsletter). The SLP looks toward the classroom in selecting information sources and crafting treatment activities. An extended process of reading sources; taking notes; composing, practicing, revising, and delivering the presentation; and then reviewing performance allows RISE+ (Repeated opportunities for Intensive interaction with systematic Scaffolding of Explicitly targeted skills) within these integrated skill tasks (Ukrainetz, 2006, 2015a, 2015d). Additional practice opportunities for individual skills can occur through brief focused skill tasks (e.g., constructing 10 relative clause sentences to express two pieces of information, such as “Yellowstone Park's geysers are holes in the ground that release hot plumes of steam.” After the student achieves some competence in this controlled setting, the SLP moves to coaching application of the skills within related activities in the classroom.”

You all may know I'm a national parks nut, so this topic would definitely engage me as well. Here Ukrainetz focuses on gearing the context toward the creation of a product or artifact, but you could also consider mini-projects. To be specific, some ideas integrating technology and specific clinical targets related to the above:

1. Use EPIC! Books for Kids highly visual materials--great for SmartBoards--to set the context, in the process targeting vocabulary (tier 2 or 3), expository text structure (e.g. a list, sequence, cause-effect graphic organizer) or do a conjunction search on a page to promote understanding and use of complex syntax.


2. As I know from planning my trips, every National Park has a website, and in turn a printable map and guide (on the MAPS page). Following a model, for self-regulation/executive function have students summarize the important situational aspects of visiting a park (Space, Time, Objects, People by Ward/Jacobsen), maybe with a visual made in Pic Collage, an easy way to display text and photos, or on a Google Slide. For example:

Zion National Park
Space: close to Las Vegas, the Canyon area most popular, East side accessed by a tunnel, also a remote area in Northwest of park. 
Time: e.g. most popular times to visit, how to enter the park on shuttle.
Objects: WATER is vital for any visit in summer
People: Very popular park, parts people want to visit include Angels' Landing (EEK, no) and the Narrows.

3. The above could lead toward a prioritization activity in which students use Google Earth and add the top 3 attractions to "My Places," along with a written rationale/description targeting causal language, which would make an engaging presentation.


4. Target functional reading comprehension and conceptual reasoning by having students map out a budget for visiting a park and researching air and hotel costs with Kayak.

5. Lastly, Google Slides would also be a good landing spot for students to create one slide with 5 complex sentences about a park (perhaps with targets because, so, if, when, otherwise)

Considering your professional development schedule this year? Check out Sean's offerings for training sessions.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Get on a Roll this Year (Part 2)

In the last post, I talked about how context can be your friend, not only in planning activities and engaging students, but also clinically. Incorporating curriculum topics is a key strategy for clinicians, but we need not be arbitrary about it. Please take these examples of contextual work as exactly that- examples. You can find out from teachers what they are working on and perhaps offer students a choice of topics to "roll with," especially if you are working on social objectives.

One tool I use frequently when making decisions as a group is the Levels of Like chart, a strategy I learned about from SLP Jenny Sojat. You can make one of these on a board to explore sample topics; it's also a good way to use Pic Collage:


Use Text tool to add the levels. Use the Web Image tool to search for images related to options being discussed. Poll students on their "thoughts" (good entry to perspective taking) and where each option lies. Try not to decide on something that anyone has below the OK level.

Let's say you explore pets as a topic. Pets are a nice entry point to curriculum as they relate to social studies (human interaction with environment, etc) and a number of science topics such as describing animal features, habitats etc. Some examples if you settle on, say, cats. Cats are cool!

Memes: A meme is, in internet parlance, something that is shared, often for humor. Memes are essentially narratives and often take on a "same but different" theme with different versions of a meme. But animal memes are usually a story, so think narrative language. Be careful where you get your memes; you can save images from icanhazcheeseburger, find cute groups related to animals on Facebook, or search for kid-friendly memes. You can organize them for presentation in a Google Slides format like I did below:



Note that each one is a (partial) story involving observation and prediction.
Character: owner and cat
Setting: bathtub
Initiating event: The owner is taking a bath WHEN the cat comes to visit and perch on the faucet
Sequential events/reactions: you guess
Also a good figurative language term in slide 1.

Books: Pets feature in a ton of narrative/expository picture books. Try Creature Features or It's all about ME-ow, which have science and social extensions.

Apps: Lots of apps revolve around pets. Many are not great! But check out Toca Life: Pets to tell stories and play (also great for categories/following directions), and apps like How to Draw a Cat Step By Step are good contexts for following directions.


Videos: Phrasal Verbs Friends is a series of fun cat vids teaching about Phrasal Verbs (basically figurative language). Thanks FreeTech4Teachers for that suggestion. Also see the Simon's Cat series for wordless narratives.

More Academic: see what BrainPop, NewsELA or EPIC! Books have for material on cats and teach expository text structures and strategies.


I'll sign off with a meow, then!


 
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