Website Wednesday: Reading Fun

This is going to be my last Website Wednesday, at least for a while.  I am going to focus more on reviewing Android apps on this blog and in Yapp Guru this summer, using my new Nexus 7 tablet.   I also am working on a flashcard Excel file and will be giving away a promo code to Puzzingo at some point in the next few months.

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in Library

The website this week is  resource developed by Mrs. Carney a teacher with Appleton Area School District in Wisconsin.   She has organized a list of games, Powerpoints, and other resources in different topics. I found several useful activities for my upper elementary students here (http://www.aasd.k12.wi.us/staff/boldtkatherine/ReadingFun.htm).  I have used some of the games from the subject predicate area.  Other areas that look useful include the plurals, homophones, idioms, and parts of speech.

Everyone have a great summer!

Advertisements

Website Wednesday: GotKidsGames

gotkidsgameslogo

GotKidsGames.com has some great language and phonics games for grades K-6 in it’s Word Games (http://www.gotkidsgames.com/GotKidsGames%20Word%20Games%20By%20Grade.html) area.  The link to this area is currently at the bottom of the second column in the homepage.  Some of the games keep score and some do not.  There are plural,  pronoun, subject-verb, adjective, and punctuation games to name a few of the ones that could be used in therapy.

Some of the games are short race the clock games to see how many correct answers can be done in a minute. I have found these most useful in therapy because they are quick, track data, and the kids enjoy them.  5 of these are  subject-verb agreement games: 1st grade, 2nd grade3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th Grade. There’s also a racing homophone and pronoun games.  If you click on a few of the links in the last couple sentences you may notice some of the games have no ads.  Playing around with this website, I noticed that you can change a few of the the .html ending to .swf and the ads go away.  The .swf links a may eventually stop working, but I have enjoyed them the past few months.

Most of these games are flash games so they can work on Android tablets.  It has come to my attention that the Android 4.1 and 4.2 no longer have official flash support, but you can still get it from adobe’s website in archives.  I found a YouTube video that explains how to get flash in Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).  You can watch it below.

App Review: Puzzingo

Puzzingo

Name Puzzingo
Creator 77SPARX Studio, Inc.
Marketplace Google Play & Amazon Appstore
Categories Preschool, Elementary, Vocabulary
Price Free w/ in-app purchases (for Google Play)
MB 33.5 (bigger w/ in-app purchasing
Operating System 2.2
SD Card Yes
My Rating 5/5

Puzzingo or “Kids Puzzle Game PUZZINGO for Toddler and Preschooler with Animals, Numbers, Letters, and More” is a puzzle based vocabulary game.  Puzzle pieces are inside boxes which can be shaken to open.   Each piece is a noun with a written label and is named when selected.  The pieces can be placed into shaded areas to complete a puzzle.

There are currently two versions of this app available for Android Devices.  The version on Google Play (3.81) has the option of in-app purchases of additional puzzles.  The current version in the Amazon Appstore (3.36) does not have in app purchases.  Both apps are free and ad-free.  Many people are reluctant to purchase apps where in-app purchases are available.  The in-app purchases in Puzzingo (Google Play version) require parent verification.  As I talked about in my Security and In-App Purchasing post, I recommend all SLPs set up a pin code for on device purchases.  This will prevent clients or thieves from purchasing unwanted apps as well as in-app purchases.  For more information on how to set up the pin code, click the link to the post above.  With a pin code you can be assured there will be no accidental purchases on this app.

I was given an “all access pass” to the Google Play version by the developer to review this app and I am very impressed.  I can see why this app is one of the most popular apps on the market.  This is the best play-based vocabulary game I have used.  The Amazon Appstore version currently has (free) puzzles for toys, numbers, jungle animals, ocean animals, farm, picnic, and alphabet.  In the Google Play version, you have free access to juggle animals, picnic, dune bug, steam train, farm, sand castle, and costume shop for free.  With in-app purchasing you can get puzzles in each of the categories and sub categories below:

Trains: commuter train, train yard, city train, country train, space train, clown train, train station

Princess & Fairies: fairy house, fairy tailor, fairy rock band, fairy flight school,  frog race, pirate princess, princess

Holidays: Lunar New Year, Santa’s stable, snowball fight, Santa’s workshop, Christmas tree, harvest, New Year,

Cars: mini van, chopper, indie car, stock car, 4×4 truck, clown car, bulldozer, super bike, sports car

Animals: Jungle Animals (another), forest animals, fresh water animals, safari animals, polar animals, grassland animals, Australian animals

Space: observatory, alien hair salon, space station, consolations, solar system, astronaut, space shuttle

Core Concepts: numbers, colors, counting, ocean animals, shapes, toys, alphabet.

There are 12 – 32 pieces (vocabulary words) in each puzzle.  Some of the puzzles have short games to play after they are completed (e.g., racing game with the cars).  The developer occasionally adds more puzzles, so this list may be incomplete in a few months.  I recommend this app to be used as a play-based game during speech language therapy as well as for home use with all preschool and elementary kids.  This app is great for a preschooler, yet still engaging and educational for older children.  My 7, 9, and 10 year old children all like this game.  I have even learned a few words from this game.  I will be giving away a free “all access pass” to the Google Play version of this app this summer, so check back here for more details later. You can view the developers video below.

Website Wednesday: Cando’s Helper Page!

Cando

Cando’s Helper Page (http://www.candohelperpage.com/index.html) is a website created by Ray Beaudoin.  It has been around since 2001.  It has a lot of games and worksheets that can be used for language and articulation therapy.  The games are what I would call “old school”.  They are not as fancy as stuff from Funbrain, but my students still seem to enjoy them.  I have frequently used the Practice Activity #3  in Final Consonant Blends and both of the Mixed Bossy R Practice #5 and #6 in R-Controlled Vowels to provide a break from normal articulation therapy.

All of the games use Flash Player, so they will work on Android tablets that have it installed.  Flash Player can be found in Google Play here and enabled on Kindle Fires by following the directions here.

Check out the two new pages I created at the top of my blog: SLP Android Apps and My Free Microsoft Office Files.

App Review: Shake-a-Phrase

Shake-a-Phrase

Name Shake-a-Phrase
Creator Artgig Studio
Marketplace Google Play & Amazon Appstore
Category Story Starters, Parts of Speech, Vocabulary
Price $1.99
MB 7.1
Operating System 2.1
SD Card No
My Rating 4/5

Shake-a-Phrase is a fun app for students to get story starters, identify parts of speech, and learn new vocabulary.  There are three parts to the app Shake It!, Story Starter, and Quiz Me!.   Shake It! is a random sentence generator with definitions provided.  There are five themes: animals, fairytale, monsters, sports, and shake starter.  The shake starter (story starter) provides ideas of how to begin a narrative.  Favorites can be saved to a list.  Options in the quiz area let you select from 1 to 5 parts of speech you want to practice: nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions.  Students are asked to find these parts in sentences.  Correct answers are rewarded, but incorrect answers are not tracked.

I recommend this app for classroom and home use for students functioning in the upper elementary to middle school range.  This app would also be good to fill in the last few minutes of the therapy.  I was given this app to review it, but I am receiving nothing for my review.

Website Wednesday: Quia

Quia There are a ton of speech therapy materials at www.quia.com/web.  The trick with this website is finding what you want when you want it. The resource I found for SLPs is Pamela Bordas’ Homepage (http://www.quia.com/pages/pbordashome.html).  There are a lot of language and articulation activities available. I particularly like to use the challenge board games for therapy with two students. You can also search for shared activities here (http://www.quia.com/shared/).  With flash player many of these activities work on Android devices.

Website Wednesday: The Communication Matrix (Evaluation for Those in Early Stages of Communication)

CommunicationMatrix

Last week, I ran across this website while reviewing an evaluation conducted at a university in my state.  If you are like me, you have treated some children with very severe language delays.  One of the hardest things with these students is figuring out what to use when testing them.  The Communication Matrix looks like a great solution to this problem if the client is in the early stages of communication, and best of all it is free.  You register and fill out a survey on the website and a free results page is created.  For the cost of a testing protocol ($6.00) a custom report can be created.

Check out their video here:

Their introduction YouTube video cuts out 17 seconds before their video on their website.  The rest of the video talks about how you can go back and repeat the survey multiple times to show progress, and that all the information is completely secure and can’t be identified.  They have a YouTube channel with 3 other short videos here.

I have only looked at a summary report  from this website, but this will definitely be my go-to place for testing kids in the early stages of communication.  The website again is: http://www.communicationmatrix.org/.  Please comment below if you have used this evaluation.

Website Wednesday: Quizlet

Quizlet

Quizlet is a flashcard website, that allows users to create and share sets of flashcards.  Unlike some of the other flashcard websites Quizlet allows use of images in their sets.  Users can form classes (groups) to share their sets.  I have created two classes, one for speech and another for language.  Both of these classes have over 40 cards; check them out by clicking the links in the previous sentence.

The flashcards in Quizlet can be accessed without signing in.  Registering and logging in allows you to create cards, favorites, and join classes.  If you log in information in some sections are saved, but can be easily cleared for the next client by clicking “Start Over”. After you are logged in you can join my “Speech Therapy For Use With Clients” class by clicking here and my “Language Therapy For Use With Clients” by clicking here.  If you create your own flashcards don’t forget to share.

There are currently 7 ways to study flashcards directly from the website. The flashcard mode just allows you to navigate through the cards just as you would real flashcards.  There is a new flashcard mode (below the flashcards), which is showing up on my Chrome browser but not on Internet Explorer.  This works very well during therapy because it allows you to mark (wrong) cards for further study by clicking the star on the top right corner of the card, making it easy to track data.  The new mode allows the card to be spoken if desired.  Both modes allow you to choose which side of the card you want to show first. I will contact Quizlet about its new mode and when they are planning on making it the default.

The “Speller” mode shows a picture if available, says the target word, then prompts you to type it.  If typed incorrectly it repeats.  The “Learn” mode shows or speaks one side of the flashcard and prompts you to type the other side.  Data is tracked and you can complete another round until all incorrect cards are correct.  This works great with language cards.  The “Test” mode provides a quiz with part fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, matching, and true/false.

There are two games also. Scatter is a timed game to match flashcard sides.  Space Race  prompts you to type one side of the card before the other side moves across the screen.

Much of this content can be accessed through the internet with a mobile device, but there are a lot of apps which allow offline use.  The best one I tried is Quizard which is available on Android, Amazon, Nook,  as well as iOS.  There is a free lite verison of Quizard on Google Play and Amazon.  Apple also has an official Quizlet app.  Windows phones and tablets can find apps here.

Quizard

Multiple flashcard websites can be accessed from Quizard.  To download Quizlet cards click Download Sets and Download From Quizlet. From here you can search for “subject”, “creator”, “my cards”, or “my groups”.  If you become a member of one of my classes, click my groups, log in and allow access. Then you can view your groups (classes) and select (download) the desired set.  Similarly you can view your favorites, or you can search for rwslp to find my stuff.

Explaining the details on how to use Quizard further would be quite lengthy.  If there is enough interest (comments)  in a tutorial, I can create a video.

With Quizlet you can now create and access hundreds of flashcards on your computer, smart phone, and tablet.

Website Wednesday: FunBrain

Funbrain.com

Many speech language pathologists who work in the schools have probably heard of FunBrain, but did you know it has stuff you can use in therapy.  I use some of the games from the Word Games section during therapy.  All of these games keep score and the kids enjoy them.  Below is a list of the ones I have found useful.

2Bee or Nottoobee – works on the “be” verbs

The Plural Girls – works on regular and irregular plurals; two levels in both multiple choice and fill in the blank

Vocabulary – works on making words (text) to pictures in the areas of alphabet, animals, fruit, tools, machines, and shapes

Word Confusion – works on homophones in two levels

Scramble-Saurus Game – works on unscrambling words with a provided clue with three levels and multiple topics

Grammar Gorillas – works on identifying parts of speech within sentences

There are also Mad Libs a and spelling games.

I apologize for anyone who checked out my blog last Wednesday expecting a website.  Amazon had a free app that could be used in therapy so I posted on that instead.  I will try to keep my Wednesday posts on websites (except for when Amazon has good therapy app on Wednesday).  Next week will be a great resources for both online and offline (app) use.  Be sure you check back next week!

Amazon App of the Day: Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

Catterpillar

Amazon’s free app of the day is Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This app works on counting, vocabulary, quantity, and addition within five levels.  Kids are asked to select the food items  that the very hungry caterpillar eats within the story, quantities are of the food items are also targeted (e.g., “Please eat two apples”).  I tested this app and  would recommend it to speech language pathologists and parents with preschool and early elementary kids working on labeling food and quantities.

The Amazon Appstore can be downloaded on almost any Android Device.  Find out how to install it here.