Finally getting the time to put together the second installment of HiP Picks – now that we’re well into summer and the work front has slowed down considerably. Hard to believe that we’ll be heading back in just a few more weeks. Well, let’s get right to it . . . here are a few more of our favourite apps to use in the context of speech-language intervention.
My Playhome by Shimon Young
This app is fantastic for working on a variety of language concepts: pronouns, prepositions, verbs. The vocabulary opportunities are endless. If you are fortunate enough to have access to two iPads, you can use the app as a barrier activity and work on different language targets through giving and following directions. The app also provides opportunities to work on articulation targets and carryover.
Essentially the app is an interactive dollhouse that can be explored. It features 6 different rooms/places: kitchen, bathroom, living room, child’s bedroom, master bedroom and backyard. Within each of these places, there are a number of objects that one can manipulate and interact with. Great for working on functional language targets that can be generalized to real life contexts. We were very pleased with a recent update of the app that allowed it to feature individuals that reflect cultural diversity.
The Monster at the End of this Book by Sesame Workshop Apps
Who doesn’t love a great book?! As S-LPs we are big fans of books! This book app is highly engaging, entertaining and interactive! Our students love it!
Grover narrates the story and pleads with readers/listeners to not turn the page. He talks about how he doesn’t want to get to the end of the book because he is afraid of the monster that is supposedly at the end. Students and even us adults just can’t resist from turning the page!
This app provides many opportunities for language and literacy development. Here are just a few examples of things you can use this app to target in speech language therapy. Talk and have discussions around text and it’s various configurations to convey meaning and emotion. Early inferencing and predicting skills can be targeted (e.g., “What do you think is going to happen next?”; “What do you think will happen when you turn the page?”). It can also be used in lessons around feelings and emotions. There is also a great section for parents with quick tips of suggestions and ideas about how they can use and extend the app at home. Many of these suggestions are also useful for facilitating and developing language skills.
See.Touch.Learn. by Brain Parade
Picture cards offered in a virtual, interactive medium. This app offers the best of both worlds – first, there is the option to use ready to go, built-in lessons and there is also the option to customize your very own lessons and activities to meet the individual needs of children/students. Use real high quality pictures from the built-in libraries (free version has limited pictures – individual vocabulary packs can be purchased for $0.99-$1.99) OR take your own pictures using the 2nd and 3rd generation iPads (this capability is only available in premium version). Student performance can be tracked within the app as well.
We love how this app lends itself so easily to custom lessons for the development of receptive and expressive vocabulary. A few ideas: use the app to work on word associations, concepts, sight words, teach students functional vocabulary using pictures of the items in their own environment; target articulation skills. For more ideas of how the app can be used with students, check out Stephanie O’Brien’s video tips on the Brain Parade website.
Toontastic by Launchpad Toys
This app is a definite favourite of ours!! Create and narrate stories by following the app’s built in story arc (which follows the sequence of setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution). There are a variety of scenes and characters to choose from or students can create and draw their very own. This app is a great way to work on oral language, vocabulary development, narrative development. It also provides opportunities for to work on articulation carryover and fluency skills/targets.
One of the best things about this app is that it is FREE! Additional scenes and characters can be purchased for an additional cost; but there is more than enough to have your students playing for hours with what is offered in the free version! And that is something that makes us S-LPs on a tight budget really happy!
Cookie Doodle by Shoe the Goose
Another S-LP must-have for building expressive and receptive language skills. Make virtual cookies with your students. In this app, students select a recipe, add the ingredients, bake and decorate the cookies they make, and at the end they get the opportunity to eat it. Students can make choices about cookie cutters, types of cookie dough and various cookie toppings (e.g., colored sprinkles, candy etc.). This app is a great context for working on descriptive, spatial and sequencing language concepts. It also lends itself nicely to barrier game/type of activity. Another app with functional language targets that can be incorporated into real life activities. A definite and yummy favorite for sure!
Until next time . . .
Renena & Kerry