Thursday, May 16, 2019

Out of the Loop- a fun social game

Out of the Loop is a great game to try with any of your groups (free for iOS and Android, additional content packs with in-app purchases). I used both with a high school and upper elementary group. It first of all has figurative language in its title-- I asked two of my groups what this commonly used idiom means, and none of them knew. Teachable Moments!
-The game is played by entering player names and then passing the iPad to have each player (3+ players) follow the on-screen prompts.
-All players are shown a word except for one, who is Out of the Loop. Players need to position their screen so that no one sees, a good opportunity to emphasize Thinking with the Eyes (see work of Social Thinking®).
-You can also pre-teach the concept of bluffing and "going with the flow" (flexible thinking/adding thoughts) so that no one knows which player doesn't know the word.
-Prompts on-screen then tell players to ask a specific player a question about the word, so the responder needs to a) answer promptly so no one thinks they are "out" and b) not answer the question too specifically so players know they are "in".
-At the end all make guesses about in/out.
The game is a good opportunity to emphasize knowing others' names, which are shown on screen throughout as a helpful visual support. I also found in each case I played there were opportunities for language or perspective taking/Comic Strip Conversational review of "notes to self." Out of the Loop comes with a food category, and everyone likes talking about food!


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

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Voice Headliner- A Fun way to Play with Sentences

Voice Headliner is a simple webtool you can use on any device. Choose a celebrity (these include Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ellen, and others) and type a sentence up to 300 characters, and the site will speak what you wrote in an approximation of the celebrity's voice. This provides a motivating and silly way to work with sentence composition, vocabulary, or giving directions. The tool creates sharable videos as well.


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

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Toca World unites many Story Grammar Settings

The free app Toca Life: World (available for iOS, Android, Kindle) works some device magic by uniting any of the Toca Life apps you have on your device. I've long been a fan of these sandbox-play apps that present a variety of scenes mirroring real life for sociodramatic play. Each scene is interactive such that you can manipulate objects and perform actions with characters. Look at Toca Life's settings through a language lens and you'll see many contexts for syntax (verbs, causals), semantics (categories, vocabulary) and discourse (telling a story). This past week I used the Toca Life: Vacation app to model an airport story for my student, and was thrilled to see him tell a same-but-different story (note that there is also a screen/audio recording feature in each app for your to make a movie of your stories with narration). Toca Life: World, in addition to bringing your places together, provides additional settings for purchase. I had fun with the ski resort making this model for one of my groups! 


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

 
.