Monday, June 1, 2020

Mr. Nussbaum's Learning Fun

Mr. Nussbaum's Learning + Fun is a collection of interactives that could be used to develop many language underpinnings (e.g. descriptive skills with the EET). For example this section of science games offers many opportunities. Some require a subscription (offered currently at a discount) but many are offered for free. Check it out- I'm adding to the Teletherapy Resources List.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Some metaliguistics for you

I went to grammar school. I mean it was intense diagramming-sentences kind of grammar back then. I learned what the subjunctive mood was. Actually my mother taught my eighth grade ELA class, but that's another trauma to not talk about for now.

Anyway, for this reason as an SLP I've always had a lens on syntax, at least in its functional capactity of comprehending and producing complex sentences. This involves building some syntactic awareness of parts of speech and the functions of words. There is evidence that knowledge of parts of speech and how they go together impacts language and reading comprehension. Approaches like sentence combining are research supported and require this kind of awareness in students.

For these reasons, interactives around parts of speech can be considered on-point in our therapy. Check out Sheppard Software (overall) and their specific ELA interactives. Their Parts of Speech tutorial is adorbs and a fun visual way to explore the functions of nouns, adjectives, and verbs (note also that adjective+noun equals elaborated noun phrase which we can be measuring as microstructure in narrative).


The sparkly cloud


The sparkly cloud is hiding

Finding an interactive website of this type is helpful as you can follow the activities in a sequence, which helps with session flow. I have added this website to the Teletherapy Resources List.

As a child of this era also I loved Schoolhouse Rock and have used their engaging grammar videos in therapy to build awareness of parts of speech.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pairing Picture Books With Apps in Teletherapy

I've long been a fan of the contextual approach described by Hoggan & Strong in their influential article The Magic of Once Upon A Time-- that of pairing a picture book with pre- during- and post- narrative/language teaching opportunties. I have been presenting about this with many iterations for years, and last year published a pamphlet about it (free) on Teachers Pay Teachers.

We can consider "apps" in this context as including websites and webtools. Last week I used a picture book via it's YouTube read-aloud. There are usually several versions available for any picture book, I like to make choices around the style of reading and a slide-show look. I mentioned I have been picking lots of picture books with emotional vocabulary or self-regulation themes. In this case, I liked this version of Good News, Bad News (Jeff Mack) also because the visuals were a little quick. It provided the opportunity for many stopping points targeting situational observation and use of association and causals:

"Now he has an umbrella, so that's good news. What do you think the bad news will be?"
"Hmm that went by kinda fast, what did you see as the good news there?"



One post activity suggested by Hoggan & Strong is an "art" activity! I set up a collaborative art activity with the group using Jamboard- an interactive/collab whiteboard that is part of the Google Suite (find it in your little "matrix" of Google Apps- upper right corner of Gmail, Drive etc). In cases where I have used Jamboard, I have just clicked on Share and made it editable to anyone with the link, then put that link in the chat of Zoom or Meet, and students navigated to it easily. In this case, I thought we could do a good news-bad news cause effect chain in a different setting- my students chose a supermarket, I started them off and it played out like this:


Here's the resulting Jam. It owes something to Nancy Tarshis, Ryan Hendrix, and Kari Palmer who presented a verbal play activity I once saw called "Yay! Oh No!" Our activity with some coaching involved:
-Student 1: The lights go out at the supermarket!
-Student 2: But good news- the rabbit has a flashlight
-Student 1: But then bad news, dinosaurs invade the supermarket.
-Me: But good news, they are herbivores and just wanted lettuce
-Student 2: Bad news- they have no money.
-Student 1: Good news- there's a cash machine
-Student 2: But it's broken!
-Student 1: a repairman comes (but we should make him an animal to fit the story)
And we all decided everyone gets money to shop!

The boys did well with this playful narrative activity!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Model Lesson About Re-openings

I recorded this for a client who can not attend a makeup session offered for the holiday Monday, but thought it was also worth sharing here. As I watched our governor in MA announce the four phase reopening plan last week, I thought how it might be some important information to discuss in my social groups for a number of reasons:
-all students will need to utilize strong situational awareness in the community as we go forward, being aware of the restrictions and visual markers for social distancing etc.
-This plan is essentially a Five Point Scale and involves a lot of nuances, understanding why one phase is same but different (vocabulary from Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen)  from the previous and future phase etc, as well as many IF/THENs
-Any lesson about time is also an executive function lesson.
-and so on...

I did discuss this plan with parents beforehand, emphasizing that:
-I am encouraging students to initiate conversations with them about the pandemic and what restrictions mean within their family.
-Just because something is open or now "allowed" does not necessarily mean every family is going to go forward with that- also a lesson in perspective taking.

And naturally, I did not present this activity as in the video below, there has been a lot more "stop and discuss" e.g. before moving to the next category having students predict what falls in each phase.



Resources shown in this video/following up:
-Fair Play read aloud (skip the odd opening first 50 seconds)- this book was recommended by Michelle Garcia Winner in her book Thinking About You, Thinking About Me for the lesson about JustMe thinking, but is also a great establisher of the main idea connections between government and social cognition
-Reopening Massachusetts visuals (if you're in MA, or you can do a same but different lesson)
-A Kahoot for students to play with what they learned. Again, you can make a same but different one if not in MA.

Video model lesson



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Demonstration of Pixton EDU- simple comic creation in teletherapy

Comics are motivating therapy tools that can be used to develop a narrative, work on physical description, emotional vocabulary, interpretation of nonverbals, or social behaviors and conversational moves. Pixton EDU provides much for free currently and as a webtool is very applicable to teletherapy. You can see some of my previous posts on Pixton here and here but in the video below I demo the current upgraded Pixton EDU. Email subscribers can click here for the video.
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Some books I have been using on EPIC!

Given the current crisis and stay-at-home advisory (now transitioning to a safer-at-home advisory in MA) I have been focusing in groups on narrative, conversations, and social self-regulation tools. A few books that have opened up to discussion and followup activities (Recall that EPIC! offers free educator accounts):

The Lemonade Hurricane- an irked sister helps to teach her disregulated brother to calm himself. Play a version of Lemonade Stand online or on Alexa following the reading!

Sergio Sees the Good- this book is about negative bias, how we tend to notice and react more to negative things than positive. Good for a narrative activity after where students list positive things about their week, even "everyday positives" like a comfy bed.

Dictionary for a Better World- this book is useful over multiple sessions, has abstract vocabulary and challenges you can revisit with students for narrative or journaling.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Use science to build categories and following directions

GoReact is an activity (originally an app) from Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago that I originally wrote about for ASHA Leader. I was reminded of it recently when a HS student I work with had a chem project I needed to assist with.

GoReact can be used to explore the periodic table of elements and associate elements with practical, relatable objects they are used to make. Just click on any element.

Then, there is a Featured Reactions tab- this gives directions to assemble elements in different categories, e.g. health and beauty aids. It's a great interactive website to build categories, comprehension of direction, narrative about experience of products, and describing by function.


This website is a good pairing with the fun book 11 Experiments that Failed and maybe some simple experiments using household items

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Fun Way to Explore Teleconference Social Behaviors (and another Discussion Web)

Let's be honest...Zoom and other Tele platforms are not just a now thing.
...school may be hybrid or more in the fall
...social distancing may continue for some time or have periods with flareups
...industries are discovering that working from home has benefits and some are making it the norm.

For these reasons, developing communication competencies for our sessions and beyond is an opportunity here! In my groups, we watched this amusing video (as far as I know available only on Facebook but you don't have to log in) and completed this discussion web with contributions from all.



See previous post about discussion webs as a way to scaffold complex language in teletherapy. In the process we also evaluated some of the behaviors shown and put them in a sequence from most to least expected (most distracting to others). This was a fun discussion and we were all able to acknowledge things we have done on Zoom that might have been "unexpected" and acknowledged our growth as well (self-awareness)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A quick "Mining" of Smart Exchange for Useful Materials

Piggybacking on yesterday's post, I just wanted to demonstrate a brisk look at Smart Exchange. We need not focus only on ELA categories in any material but can be looking also at content areas and consider a) would this activity be Fairly Priced, Interactive, Visual, Educationally Relevant, and Speechie/Specific, i.e. you can identify specific objectives you can target with it and b) what can you do AROUND the activity?

For example, look at Fairy Tales and STEM- my plan for a social group today is to use a book about engineering and failure, then use Google Slides to have them design one of the options and share.

Here are 10 more I found on just a quick search:

Spring Calendar- Time concepts and building the macro of time for executive function!

Verb or Noun

Adjective Noun Riddles - These two follow along recent research for later language development especially that metalinguistics is important. Not only are parts of speech a curriculum area but our understanding of them helps us unpack complex language for comprehension.

Dressing for the Season 

What is Weather? - These two are similar. Weather is always one of my favorite educationally relevant language areas-- it's so tied up in categories, description, time, causals, conditionals, functional decision making. Think about pairing with the MarcoPolo Weather app.



Animal Classification

Five Food Groups- These two are based in categories, essential to semantics and description, as well as science.

What a Plant Needs to Grow

Animal Homes- As in this pair, science topics can also be contexts for sequencing and sentence formulation.

Park Map Skills- Maps are wrapped up in our understanding spatial concepts and executive function mind-maps of space and its layout. Pair with the free app Beep beep Alfie Atkins for map-making.

Remember from yesterday's post, Smart Exchange requires a free account to sign in, you'll need Smart Notebook Basic (also free) and you can edit files as you see fit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Smart Notebook in Telepractice

SMART Notebook is free software designed for interactive whiteboards, but activities available for it work well in telepractice sessions. Notebook activities are similar to PowerPoints but have interactive elements that will be useful if you are giving students cursor control or perhaps just screen sharing with students making verbal choices. No need to re-invent the wheel, instead take a look at activities available on SMART Exchange, the free website (access w a free SMART account). You can look in ELA and SEL categories or find activities in Science or Social Studies with language underpinnings to target (categorization, sequencing, sentence formulation, etc).

For example, look at this activity created for National Pizza Day (see in quick-and-dirty demo below). The author modified The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza (with language targeting suggestions) and then created a page where you can make a pizza. Features like Infinite Cloner make it so there's an image of sauce you can drag over to the pizza, but then the sauce is still there so you can drag over more. SMART Notebook files are editable so you can, say, change the title slide because it's no longer National Pizza Day, remove one of the videos if you want, and delete/modify the page where students vote on their favorite pizza (this uses a push-out-to-devices piece called SLS Online that you might not want to get into).

So, again, the components you need to get started here are SMART Notebook basic software. Go to SMART Exchange to download activities.

Here's a little demo video for you:

Monday, May 11, 2020

E-Learning For Kids interactive website

I just stumbled across the website E-Learning for Kids- it has tons of content applicable for a number of levels and in various subjects. You may gravitate toward Language Arts, but note that the other topics have content for teaching many language underpinnings (e.g. concepts in the Math activities, description in the Science activities. The lessons here would be good for screen sharing and having students verbalize choices, or with cursor control, and have engaging animations. I am adding E-Learning for Kids to the Teletherapy Resource List.


This activity in the Science area is about describing and categorizing based on smell (lots of 5 Senses activities in Science here). I also like that the Science area has theme related to places around the world.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Demonstration of one activity you could do with Pear Deck

Pear Deck is an add-on for Google Slides and, I understand, for other tools, allowing you to make Google Slides interactive. You can also do this by sharing any slide deck so students can edit it, but Pear Deck offers some attractive possibilities as well. You can do much with the free education account available and I am on a premium trial. In this video I show how the add-on works and how you can do an activity like "sketch a birthday gift" for someone in a teletherapy group. I'm sure after looking at it, you can think of many other creative ways to use the tool--I'd love to hear about what you come up with. I have used it a number of times in groups and it's very engaging and fun. In the video also you can see what your view will look like as an instructor vs. the student view, and I also discuss brain in the group/executive function/pace as skills we have worked on through using this tool. Thanks- for email subscribers, the video is here.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Video Modeling Texts

TextingStory is a free app for iPad or Android that is useful for modeling (co-engagement) or co-creating examples of the social pragmatics, conversational moves and hidden rules of texting. It is very easy to use, just select the "texters" and type messages, and it creates a video of the text conversation unfolding. You can send the video you produce to the Photos app and then to your computer or mirror your iPad and create the conversation based on contributions from clients. You can of course model conversations that go well and not so well. You also could consider this as a narrative building tool in that conversations sometimes create an "initiating event" and reaction, etc. This being a critical time for our students to build and maintain social connections, working with visual tools like this is very helpful.

In my group, we mapped the progress of this conversation, labeling elements of it:
-Opening/greeting (we had some divided discussion of whether this one was "cool," I asserted that I'm using it a lot with friends right now, a time when "check-ins" are important)
-Response/reciprocation
-Response/Comment (my student said "mention of popular thing)
-Comment
-Invite
-Response/plan to follow up



One approach I find important with teens as that the above tool adds engagement and allows for flexibility, showing there is not just one "script."

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Keeping it simple and a visual for you

I posted a bit back about a webinar Nathan Curtis and I did that is being offered for free through the ASHA Learning Pass (until end of June, 2020). In this we reviewed a "Continuum of Technology Integration" partly to demonstrate that it is OK to keep it simple. I've recently been applying and emphasizing even simpler activities as beneficial in telepractice, but especially during this emergency.

For that reason, I've added to the left/simpler side of that continuum so that it now looks like this:


...acknowledging the importance and value of those easy-to-execute, conversational activities. 

Elaborating on the verbal exchange and asynchronous types of activities are examples of conversational games/structured conversations like "high and low" (state the high of your week and low of the week, essentially two narratives or one linked with an adversative but for the low). 

I find it valuable to screenshare to provide visual support and structure for some of these, but you could do that with a small whiteboard on camera, too. 

One of my favorite conversational games is Two Truths and a Lie. This requires some planning when playing- what 3 things should I say? One strategy I always teach is to think of three true things and then change one slightly. On players' part there is a lot of listening and responding needed. This game also is a good way to work on the Social Thinking® concept of "People Files"- it's expected to remember things and show interest about others, and your social memory of others will help you start conversations. The mnemonic here of FILE is my own creation- what's the schema of what we remember about people. I always think of likes/dislikes as separate from interests e.g. I should remember he's a Sooners fan, he hates seafood, etc. 

Playing in tele I found this visual support helpful both to aid in comprehension (write down the players' statements as they say them) and the flow of the game. It's good to hand the responsibility of "polling" to the person who makes the statements, and when you are not sitting in a circle, writing the students' names assists so they can "call" on each other for guesses (in person I encourage them to do this with eye gaze but that doesn't work so well in teletherapy. Also this is a visual aid for learning names, often a challenge. 

Click here for the slide, email subscribers or readers on the blog as well. As always with shared items, please do not request edit access. You can edit if you like by clicking File>Make a Copy or Download as PPT.


Anyone have other "conversation games" they like to play that require minimal materials? Please let us know in the comments!

Monday, May 4, 2020

May the 4th Be With You

You may not have time to incorporate this into today's sessions, but there's some generalizable ideas here anyway. May the 4th is of course the punny/meme-y Star Wars "holiday" when we can wish everyone all The Force. Using topics of interest to our students is motivating, especially in tough times, and can incorporate many goals around language. LEGO clips (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Adventures, others) are widely available on YouTube and frequently wordless, thus tapping interpretation of nonverbals and situational cues.

Training is a fun such clip.



You can use this clip in teletherapy to:
-Work on narrating or composing sentences about the story
-Use chat to have students write lines of dialogue, working on conversational language (see Anna Vagin's ideas about this)
-Guide a discussion web about a question like "What's something you had to practice to get better at?"

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Teletherapy Interactive Websites, Apps, Videos and other Resources List

I have been working on a list for some time that has been available in the sidebar of the blog, but wanted to wait until it got a bit beefier before making any kind of deal about it. The list sections include:

Interactive websites useful in teletherapy

Video resources

Mobile apps useful in teletherapy

Sources of e-text

Professional development (mostly free) related to telepractice

As I say in the document, it is a work in progress. If you have items you would like to share for addition, please email me (link on the website).

Please do not request edit access to the document, it is available as View Only. You could go to the file menu and select Add to My Drive and you would be able to see any updates added on an ongoing basis. Feel free also to download, but you would not see updates in that case as it is a Google Document.

Thanks and feel free to share. The doc is available at this link, in the sidebar, and below.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Sharing your iPad Screen during teletherapy

iPad apps can still be very useful in teletherapy even though you cannot really give cursor control. I discussed one workaround for this in this post using Bluestacks- an option you can experiment with. But since many iPad apps are Fairly Priced, Interactive, Visual, Educationally Relevant and "Speechie" (see my FIVES criteria info), and some of them are your go-to tools, there is still a lot we can do by showing them on screen (with the techniques in the video below, then screenshare in your teleplatform) and having conversations about what is seen, and having students make choices.

A reader and experienced teletherapist, Maureen Harper of GlobalSLPTherapy, put this very well and I am using her quote to me in an email with permission (she also contributed to a resource list I will be writing about tomorrow):

You are correct that using ipad apps limits the client from being able to directly control the app. As I have used ipad apps though, I have found them to be extremely motivating for the client to give me directions on what to do. They love being the "teacher". They have proven to be a great asset in expressive language development.

So, I'm not a great video-maker. I forgot even to shoot this in landscape, but it does the trick in offering a few updated options for showing your iPad screen in teletherapy. Email subscribers, here is the video.
For Mac: use the built-in free QuickTime application
For PC: Look at LonelyScreenReflector or AirServer (note these last two also work for Android devices)





Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kickoffs, and a free webinar!

Ok, I may be veering a little too much from the "here's this useful tech" message lately by talking about feelings and stuff. But this post does have some purposes as well.

Many of you know I am a huge fan of narrative as a functional, multi-point language target, and of Story Grammar Marker® in particular (also see StoryChamps (Peterson), SKILL (Gillam), EmPOWER/BrainFrames by the brilliant Bonnie Singer and Anthony Bashir, Thinking Maps, for a range of discourse development tools. Story Grammar Marker works through a sequence(s) of linked icons, my favorite of which is the Kickoff, representing the initiating event of a narrative. A kickoff is what starts a story (good analogy from football/soccer), like a lightning storm, or a Zoom lunch bunch with classmates. It's represented by this icon:



I love the clever and memorable aspect of the Kickoff, but it's also a representation of many of our students' Zone of Proximal Development-- language they have to learn to formulate whether they are in grade 2 or grade 10. Zooming in on a Kickoff helps us understand what has actually happened, in real life or in literature or a video. It's may be a problem or just "a development," and links to understanding of characters, perspective taking, setting, and Theory of Mind/perspective taking elements like feeling, thoughts, and plan.

So, to go "out there"- through this crisis I have just somehow sensed signs from my grandmother Nomie Murphy, passed away many years ago. These have included a summer plant (Dusty Miller) favorite of hers, which I don't usually plant but did last year, and which lived through the winter in my back porch plant box, though they aren't supposed to. A few other things have made me feel her presence like she's saying, "Hey, it'll be ok." I'm not particularly religious, but I'm pretty spiritual.

SGM's icons, while awesome, aren't the kind of visuals you see just everywhere. So you can imagine my surprise, while on a VERY RAINY walk yesterday on a customary path of late, I walked by this on the sidewalk and had to do a double-back:


Right near the supermarket I frequently accompanied my grandmother to, Stop & Shop, right near where I also thought she might be a Forsythia bush that "spoke to me." What can I say, it's a time.

I'm still a little shook.


What does it mean? Is it acknowledging, "Yeah, you're in a Kickoff," saying more are to come, or what? Anyway.

So, this post does have a useful point from Planet Earth. Show YOUR Kickoffs, even meta-ones like the kickoff that's a kickoff, as therapy activities supported visually. In this visual I conducted a conversation with a SGM-familiar client who asked, "Did you drop it there?" We focused on use of the feeling icon (confused) and thinking bubble (random! Good vocab word/idiom. I didn't want to get into the whole sign-from-grandmother thing). The story/picture made for a good scaffolded retell, as well.

On a Google Slide, natch. The SGM icons are available digitally on the Mindwing website ($7.95)


And if you've come this far with me (don't blame you if not), my second useful point is that I will be co-presenting a FREE webinar-- Technology Tools to Engage Children in Science & Social Studies During Distance Learning Sessions-- with Maryellen Rooney Moreau on Thursday at 2:30, click here to register, replay available later.

Phew, that was a lot to unload. Stay safe, sane and healthy folks.

Disclosure: Sean receives a consulting fee for blog writing and presentations here and there from Mindwing Concepts, whose methodology and products he values among the best in the field. He does not receive any royalties from product purchases,

Monday, April 27, 2020

Chateau Meddybemps

Chateau Meddybemps is a rich site with many activities you might consider in teletherapy, particularly for young students and for those you are experimenting with incorporation of interactive websites. Activities on this site might be ones you screen share and have the student observe the visuals and verbalize choices, or offer many opportunities for remote cursor control. For students who need buildup of skills in using the mouse in therapy, there are simple mouse skills activities. Also, there are a number of PDF based printable "activity centers" that you may be able to use for play on both sides if you've got willing parents.

Check out the Super Menu for activities like this one in which students can organize a zoo, thereby targeting naming, animal sounds, describing and using causals.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Creating a make-a-scene in Google Slides

Make-a-scenes are like Colorforms, for people who remember those. They present a setting, and allow for choices of elements to put in the setting. They therefore can work on thematic vocabulary, categories, syntax such as verbs, present progressive or causals, or on several levels of narrative- descriptive if choices are just items in a setting, action sequence if actions, or reaction sequence if more initiating events/problems.

Pic Collage has always been my go to for this, but if you want to involve some simple interaction in a teletherapy session, try with Google Slides. Even if you are using Google Hangouts Meet you have the potential to share the Google Slide file with the student so they can choose elements.

Here's a short video showing some tricks on creating a Make-a-scene in Google Slides. Have a good, safe, and as-positive-as-possible weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Videos and Discussion Webs

(sorry email subscribers for that last incomplete email, I hit Publish too soon)

Discussion webs are described in one of my favorite articles, The Magic of Once Upon A Time: Narrative Teaching Strategies (Hoggan & Strong, 1994). How nerdy that I have favorite journal articles, but anyway it was very influential for me and helped me see all of the activities that could spring from (any) context.

Copy and pas- I mean, quoting the article liberally: The discussion web (Alverman, 1991; Duthie, 1986) is a graphic aid that is used to support ideas during conversation about the story. Through its use, speech-language pathologists can guide students to discuss more complex ideas and concepts. The speech-language pathologist begins the discussion by asking an inferential or abstract question—for example, “Does the elephant deserve to be kicked out of the jungle?” The students then discuss, either as a whole group or with a partner, the reasons the elephant should or should not be kicked out (Appendix E).

Using the discussion web, the students can discuss their own reasons and react to opposing views. The language used during the exchange of reasons provides meaningful oral language practice. The discussion web does not have to focus on an issue found in the story. The speech-language pathologist can center the web around a related topic, giving students an opportunity to discuss issues of personal relevance. Discussion-web practice often begins with students working in pairs; one student then acts as a spokesperson and presents responses to a larger group, eventually leading to a whole-class discussion. When each pair is allowed to present only one reason to the larger group, students learn to prioritize and prepare for the final discussion.

Appendix E:

This was a tough week. The outbreak is still surging in Boston. It was a vacation week for us, but that of course didn't happen. The marathon didn't happen. Tuesday, it was announced that school is canceled for the remainder of the school year (expected, but still a gut punch, and we cried). Among other things. But we are healthy and working here, and have a lot to be grateful for. 

I was inspired by a video released by the Boston Globe on Monday and shared by a friend on Facebook: Here's the link.



We discussed this video in my groups as it prompts a lot of inferential and main idea thinking, and also is essentially Bostonian self-talk that serves as an Inner Coach Green Zone tool.

This would be an example of a discussion web you could use to provide a visual support for questions and responses- often writing down language and ideas helps students revise themselves and add on to what others have said as well. In Google Slides, shapes are your typable friend.



As always with Google shares, please don't request editing access. You can grab this slide for yourself by going to File>Make a Copy or File>Download as PPT

As an additional challenge/conversation prompt, I asked my group members to show the video to someone in their family and talk about it, and notified families about this in a follow-up email.

I hope this serves as helpful in its content, in its potential for use as-is over the coming week, and as an example of discussion webbing in response to a video.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Repost: Geoguessr works well for group conversations/collaboration/inference in teletherapy

Reposting this one from January 2019 as in the context of readers needing resources for distance learning and teletherapy. Geoguessr lets you play one "game" a day for free.

Geoguessr is a web-based game that plops you into an unknown place so that you can attempt to guess where you are. The game incorporates Google Street View and allows you to "drive" around by clicking the arrows; you can also click and drag on the screen to take a "look" at the surroundings.


Students then use a map interface to zoom in on a continent and country and make a guess. The game then reveals the location and how far off you were in terms of miles.

This game can be used to work on academic language and a number of other skills:
-recognizing geographic features, continents and countries
-distance concepts and measurement
-"thinking with the eyes" (looking for clues ala Social Thinking®)
-pretending together via taking roles in "driving" (in teletherapy, have participants tell you how to move while using screen sharing)
-persistence and self-talk

Many locations don't feature a ton of context so it is helpful to find a sign, look at the landscape, where cars are driving and perhaps use a web search to get some information about where one might be.

A participant at a workshop asked today if you can restrict yourself to say, the USA or important landmarks. No, but that gave me an idea. This game uses Google Street View which is accessible via Google Earth (via Chrome browser or the iPad app, just click on the little person icon and drag onto the map). You can certainly structure your own version of the game by placing students in Street View into a location that is more contextual or near a landmark, and instructing them that they can only use the arrows to figure out where they are!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

ASHA Webinar Free through ASHA Learning Pass

About 3 years ago, Nathan Curtis and I did a webinar for ASHA, Apps and Web-Based Materials for Telepractice. It is now offered through ASHA's Learning Pass, which they have made free through July. This post serves to notify readers of this opportunity offering .15 CEUs, but I am also receiving a lot of questions about it, actually a lot of the same two reasonable questions, so I wanted to provide a quick link to those answers. Also some of this would be useful even if you haven't seen the webinar

The webinar being 3 years old, some info and resources are out of date or no longer available.

In the webinar, Nathan provides great information on how to use simple tools such as PowerPoint (see also Keynote and Google Slides). He refers to available quick videos (one created by the equally brilliant Amy Reid) now up at:

How to make authentic materials in PowerPoint (with several examples)

Using animation and making templates in PowerPoint

Nathan also discussed work that WCGH had done in task-analyzing websites such as PBS Kids, I also used this as a model for a recent post on ABCYa. A visual was provided as a model of how their staff did this in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is no longer available, and PBS Kids has changed significantly since then, so that many activities are no longer there. My suggestion if you are interested, you can view the list (please do not request access, File>Make a copy or File>Download to save your own copy), the links are not clickable but you can Google to see if the activity is still available, like this:


In any case, the list provides a good model of task analyzing to build a library of possible activities.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Vooks is another great resource for books, context.

Vooks has produced beautiful, slow-paced video animated books, and offers a free year to educators (quite a snarky teacher video there, lol). The selection of books looks great and many are titles I have in my library of picture books. There is a process to request free access but I was approved quickly. The titles also have lesson plans with activity suggestions, ideas for questions and vocabulary cards. I definitely recommend Vooks for your toolkit; you can share books in sessions through screenshare.



Friday, April 17, 2020

Interactive Use of Mobile Apps in Teletherapy

This trick could give you the option of using mobile apps interactively in a teletherapy session. Worked for me. As we know, we can allow viewing of, say, iPad apps by Quicktime on Mac (here's a link on that, you just don't ever have to click record, you can simply show the screen) or wireless mirroring. But students would not be able to manipulate the app even through remote control (the iPad/app appear on the screen, when we click on the screen on the app nothing happens, so when they click on it on the screen nothing happens, you still have to touch the iPad to interact with it, QED).

I was inspired to check out the possibility of Android Emulators a few years ago by the brilliant Megan Sutton and this post. As she describes, these take some experimentation. I have downloaded some of the 3 emulators she lists and they have not worked on my Mac, or did, then didn't. Currently Bluestacks works great for me, and I describe in the video below how I have used it and several Android apps in teletherapy sessions. This requires setting up a Google Play account (basically your Google account) and attaching a credit card to it as you do your Apple ID. No, any apps you have purchased in the Apple App Store will not transfer- you'd have to re-purchase as Google Play apps. So try this if you really like the idea of using some of the apps you love that are also available on Android (you can look that up in advance in the Google Play Store to see if you should even bother). And as in the video, I'd recommend:

-try free apps first
-test this out with someone you can test remote control with on Zoom or wherever
-assume the risk- if you pay for apps and then say, Bluestacks stops working, theoretically you still own the apps like with Apple, I just can't guarantee anything.

So, use this trick for apps you would love to use interactively (for me Pic Collage and Toca Apps) and don't go nuts with purchasing.

View the video

Thursday, April 16, 2020

TinyBop Schools' Interactive Models

I have long been a fan of the TinyBop interactive apps for iPad. These smartly designed visualizations of "systems" are fun to use, linked to important curriculum topics, and language-neutral, so lots of talk can come out of them. They have ported them to web form as TinyBop Schools and made them free for the next several months, so I would highly recommend checking them out. In teletherapy these would provide for great interactions especially if you are sharing cursor (remote) control


Each model comes with a handbook. These are important to explore because the TinyBop models are so language-neutral that sometimes you don't know what they can do! The models also have journal and graphic organizer activities that are ideal for language therapy. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

An activity I'm doing this and next week in Google Earth

I'm long past processing that April School Vacation Week isn't happening. We all have bigger fish to fry, right? But here in MA it is always a rite of spring that brings the Marathon and some momentum leading up to the end of the school year...all that unclear as well.

However, we can simulate. Some of you know I am a Google Earth nerd, from way back when it was an application to download and you had to take a two-day class to understand it. Now, it's much easier. In Google Chrome, just launch Google Earth (or Google it); you can also use on iPad. But, Google Earth being so visual and interactive, it makes a great tool for telepractice. Consider using Google Earth for traveling to locations and working on descriptive language, situational awareness or the story grammar element of setting.

The activity I am doing is to have group members give a "tour"- could be a place they have gone to, are planning to go to, just want to go to, or even their neighborhood. I provided one- roughly main idea of place, 3 details and a story- as a model in groups. As a scaffold and also so that the activity makes social sense we talked about how a tour is a kind of conversation (thanks Anna Vagin for this and Conversation Paths, one of which I modified below- you should go purchase her amazing product on this, see a video here).



Students were given the roles of asking questions or making comments during or after my model tour and then I asked them to:

-use "future thinking" (see work of Ward/Jacobsen)
-think about a place to give a tour
-look it up in Google Earth and make sure it is searchable/navigable for an overview (main idea) and 3 details (places within it).
-think of a short story of your experience.
-at group you will verbally tell me where to go.
-please do not spend more than 10-15 minutes preparing for this
(this sent in email to parents)

Here's a video showing some of the navigation controls in Google Earth in Chrome which you can also find by, well, Googling! Typing a ? when in Google Earth will also display the shortcuts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A Visual Support for Expected Social Teleconference Behaviors

I created this mostly as a support to parents in reviewing some "expecteds" needed for individual or group teletherapy, given some clients we have had who have challenges with these. Some of the language is based on Social Thinking® concepts and also the whole body listening paradigm originally written about by Truesdale.

Here are links to the visual as a simple PDF (click download) or Word (editable) file. Please do not ask for permission for the file, simply download and use as you see fit.


Monday, April 13, 2020

A Loom Video Tour of Some Epic Books and a Simple Game- Little Alchemy 2


I tried out Loom to show you some recent books I have used in teletherapy and a simple game that can be used for social and language targets in multiple teleconference platforms (i.e. through screen share or through remote cursor control). Email subscribers click through to see the post or see the video here.

Friday, April 10, 2020

A Peek at Part of an Update Email and an Important Book to Read to Your Clients

Hi folks-

Online sessions continue to go well! 

-Managing fear/anxiety: We read and discussed a fun, engaging book - Get Me Out of This Book: Rules and Tools for Being Brave. 

Here's the vid if you want to review with your child and fam- we went page by page with me reading on EPIC! Books for kids: watch the video


We first talked about how we have learned about tools through Zones of Regulation®- 
-A Blue Zone tool perks us up if we are bored, sad, sick
-A Green Zone tool keeps us in the green zone, feeling calm, happy, ok
-A Yellow or Red zone tool calms if we are anxious or very afraid
-And a tool can be an object, action or thought 

In the book a Bookmark (a wacky character like this is fun) gets anxious because of scary content in books, like pages with snakes or sharks.

He learns three strategies: 
-breathe 
-make a plan 
-think a good thought 

I discussed with the boys that learning that you can change your thinking is a lifelong lesson. I have had to use these strategies constantly and I talked about how I had to coach my own mom (in her 70s now) when she sent me some worried texts recently. The boys understood why this discussion was important currently. The book makes clear in a note at the end that these three strategies are ones learned by Navy SEALs!...

Some notes:
-An almost middle-schooler in this group is often overly concerned/critical of materials being babyish when they are not, and appeared to enjoy the book thoroughly.
-Reading books interactively is a great activity for teletherapy
-If you don't already know about EPIC! it is a free (for educators, always) e-reading library. The book in question is here. 
-This book could make a great story grammar map. It is also an example of metalinguistics, talking about elements of stories, and a kind of metanarrative (a story being aware that it's a story).

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Look for Language Underpinnings for Any Web Activity- ABCya

Sites like ABCya are filled with possibilities when we stop and consider what makes them potentially "Speechie" (see FIVES criteria). Ask yourself:
-Is there an inherent language process in this activity (e.g. categories, cause effect).
-What kind of conversations can I have with students that are NOT prompted by the screen (e.g. a description, commenting)

Take, for example, Bandemonium:


We've got categories, naming, the potential to make sounds corresponding to each instrument, later possibly finding songs where particular instruments are prominent and discussing them, looking at the language of lyrics, considering the narrative of songs,  I could go on...

This site would be useful regardless of whether your could give remote (cursor) control by having students verbalize choices as you screen share.

Here are some other examples from this site:
The Calendar Game: categories of activities, temporal concepts, following directions, executive function
ABCYa Paint: Create a story, follow directions, draw vocabulary words
Input/Output Devices: Describe by function and have awareness of how equipment is being used in the telepractice process
Latitude/Longitude Treasure Hunt: Sync with curriculum concepts and spatial reasoning.
Make a Treehouse and any other "Make a" game on skills pages: Describing, integrating parts into a whole, pair with a book like in this case If You Give a Pig A Pancake which involves a treehouse, also see Create a Car paired with If I Built A Car (lots of opportunities for complex IF sentences)

This is just a sampling from the "Skills" page. I hope you'll continue looking at this and other sites through this kind of language lens for telepractice opportunities- I didn't even mention the specifically targeted word games available by grade.

Note: there are ads on this site unless you go premium but I encountered only one pre-activity ad while writing this post and it seemed one I would use for discussion (a cool toy).

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Take them on a ride

Years ago the amazing Sarah Ward came to our department of SLPs and talked about schema. Common features define different topics e.g. animals all have habitats, feeding behaviors, adaptations, appearance etc. Ask yourself "What do all ___ have in common?" and you have a semantic map for describing any topic. I have done that lesson over and over and over.

Engagement is important at this time, and it's great to keep it fun and light. Why not take your groups to an amusement park? Virtually I mean, of course. Whether synched or asynched (watch video live together or put in Google Classroom), you can YouTube search POV rides and focus on Universal, Disney, whatever. Ask questions that prompt observation, description of the ride, links to the topic, comparisons to other rides. Since rides have topical schema you can link to other materials with the same context, e.g. this Expedition Everest Ride with something from this collection.




As always, review any video you plan to use fully. Rides are also a context for swear words.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

4 Types of Activities to consider using in Google Classroom

Some of you are connecting synchronously with students through platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet (could we make the title of that tool more awkward please? No), some of you are engaged in more asynchronous work (post activities to be done during a period of time), or some are doing both.

If you are working in a district that is using Google Apps (G-Suite), Google Classroom is an option. I am doing all synchronous directly, but consulting with some school staff around asynchronous options.

I first want to point out that Richard Byrne is a tremendous resource on all things Google in Education. See his post and video on several ways to share in Google Classroom, pieces modeled below also.

I wanted to present a sort of taxonomy, by no means comprehensive, of the kinds of activities you might post in Google Classroom for asynchronous "work" for your students, whatever the expectations of you are at this time. Here are 4 (Click on any of the images below to see larger):

1. Write about a picture.
Create an assignment (adjust timeframes and points- maybe "ungraded" to avoid confusion- for all assignments) and within it create a Doc. From another tab find an interesting picture with elements to describe from social or other targets. Insert into Doc with a prompt.


Here's an example. You can use this doc if you would like (file>make a copy, please do not request permission)


If you look at Richard's post above, he shows a student view as well. They complete the activity and Turn In.

2. Ask a Question/Conversational Prompt
Promote conversational skills on and offline by posting a question and moderating the discussion.


3. Post a video to prompt discussion.


The video example for this is here. Use your imagination, you can find all kinds of videos to prompt narrative and social language. Again, Anna Vagin is the authority on this- see her YouTube, Twitter, and books. 

4. Post a Drawing Prompt. 
This may engage students in descriptive language or Comic Strip Conversations for social cognition.


You can use this drawing if you would like (file>make a copy, please do not request permission).

If you want to know more about using Google Classroom, there are many more tutorials on YouTube.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Demo of Alexa Skills Useful in Telepractice

In this video I provide a casual (hey, it's a Thursday night during a national emergency) demonstration of using the Echo Dot for "skills"/games useful in telepractice for language therapy or social groups. You can also experiment with using Reverb or Alexa within the Amazon app. The app I mention with lists of Alexa skills is called Skills for Amazon Alexa App and is free.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Self-Regulation Sunday

In these extremely difficult times, we need all the tools to keep ourselves Calm. Calm (available also as apps for everything including Apple TV, as you see below) has free visual "scenes" with environmental audio. Try it and zone out for a few minutes. Calm also could be a nice regulating entry to any telepractice session, or a narrative activity, if you screen-share a scene from the website (log in, click on scenes, choose a scene, turn audio on, click home, click on screen to make menu go away).




Friday, April 3, 2020

Repost in Tele-Context: Cookies Crumby Pictures Address Self-Regulation

Originally posted 3/14/19.

I'm reposting this now because people could use ideas for videos that set contexts in telepractice sessions. These are all great social cog/self-regulation videos and could also be used for language lessons- for example story grammar or sentence formulation, or compare-contrast to the inspiration stories for the videos.

For a self-regulation curriculum in addition to Zones of Regulation, very reviewable in teletherapy, see also Hanna Bogen and Carrie Lindemuth's Brain Talk.



Sesame Street has been on a self-regulation initiative for the last several years. A series of skits called Cookie's Crumby Pictures parody popular movies and model strategies for listening, recalling directions, waiting one's turn and self-control. Children would not get the references to Karate Kid or When Harry Met Sally, but find the videos entertaining nevertheless. You can even sell them to older kids with a little effort. As always, a video that covers a social-emotional concept in the context of a story offers both a social cognition and narrative teaching opportunity. Check out this full playlist here, and a few sample videos are embedded below (email subscribers, click through to the full post).

Whole Body Listening:



"Thinking with the Eyes" (see Social Thinking®) and Problem Solving:




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

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Simple Idea: Uses for online whiteboards

Sketches to promote narrative, expository language or social understanding are well-documented tools in speech-language pathology, and don't have to be pretty:

Carol Gray's Comic Strip Conversations approach

Stickwriting Stories (Ukrainetz)

Sketch and Speak (Ukrainetz)

In a telepractice session you can use the platform's whiteboard if it has it (I can't figure out how to make the Zoom one come up and may have inadvertently shut it off), or find any number of web-based boards (this no-sign-in Explain Everything board has an educational bent).

Whiteboards can be used to:

-Illustrate narrative (related to strategies of visualization/Social Thinking® sharing imagination). This past week I had the boys follow a "group plan"/gratitude moment of describing a high of the week which included my use of the park stairs for exercise, keeping in touch with classmates, video games, time in nature, and turkey burgers.


-Work on appropriate level of detail, or show a clock to promote pace (executive function).

-Design something collaboratively. Make a collaborative drawing.

-Play Pictionary for general words/main idea or vocabulary sets.

-Play a "Backseat Drawing" style game where one describes/one draws "make a small circle at the end of that line."

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Virtual backdrops spark conversation, inference, strategic talk

Using Zoom for teletherapy, my students and I have enjoyed the virtual background feature. If you have a new enough computer, you don't need a green screen, but I bought one and a stand at Amazon for relatively short money.

Besides the "how did you do that?" conversation with students, you can have a "where am I? " activity and target concepts like thinking with the eyes (Social Thinking®) and the STOP strategy of Space, Time, Objects, People (Ward/Jacobsen), or just provide personal narrative models to spark questions and comments.

You can find images just by a Google Image Search and Preview or Adobe Reader will allow you to type on them as I did here, to scaffold a discussion of how supermarkets are the "same but different" in terms of space, time, objects and people currently:


Marty the annoying Stop and Shop robot behind me there also generated a lot of conversation and personal narrative from the kids.


Me at the Supercuts led us to discuss how they knew it was Supercuts (besides the big signs saying SUPERCUTS) and to a narrative model of how I cut my own hair for the first time on Sunday. 

Virtual Backdrops if available to you are just an interesting way of putting yourself in an interesting setting. Another way to do this, though not a dynamic backdrop, would be to take/trim a photo of yourself over a background in Pic Collage and use that image in a session. 



 
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