Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Back to School with the Mouse

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Most of you are back in school or thinking about returning soon. I started back to work this week and am putting together some language activities for Laura Numeroff's book, If you Take a Mouse to School. Here are some links to great budget priced (FREE) activities to pair with this book. 

Your students will love this animated version of If you Take a Mouse to School on YouTube. Check out Andrew Ghio's other animated books as well. 

At Teachers Pay Teachers find FREE If You Take a Mouse to School Visuals and If You Take a Mouse to School Spatial Concept Flashcards

Find more visual supports at Boardmaker Online  and look at my Why Question - Companion Activity for If You Take a Mouse to the Movies. It can easily be used with If You Take a Mouse to School

Kristen, at Pinning With a Purpose, used this book to teach her children the setting of a story. Her activity could be adapted to use in therapy to teach setting or where questions. 

Visit Kinder Gals to see their version of If You Take a Mouse to School. They use the book to introduce their students to school personnel and locations. 

Find free word cards (with visuals), a snack idea, and mouse craft at 1st Grade hip hip Hooray.

2 Teaching Mommies offers a free printable "school supply unit." The pictures can be printed and used for numerous classroom activities. The Which is Different Activity would make a nice why/how question activity. 

There are many activity suggestions for this book to elicit oral language at Promoting Success for You and and Your Students. Here are just a few.
  • Look at the illustrations of the boy and mouse getting ready for school. Ask your students to tell what they do to get ready for school each morning. 
  • Create a pretend story of a stuffed animal's adventures in school. 
  • Do a simple science experiment (Adapt this for therapy by taking photos of the steps and allowing students to tell the procedure using the photos for support.). 

The interactive, printable book In My Backpack can be found at 4GASLPsRecite "Backpack, backpack, what is in the backpack?" as you pull items out of a backpack. Students can name the items and answer questions about the functions of the objects.  I created a simple PowerPoint book to go along with the activity. You can download Backpack, Backpack here

Take pictures of student's backpacks and lunchboxes. Students can respond to the questions, "Whose backpack is this?" or "Whose lunchbox is this?" Responses might include mine, my, pointing to self or others, or possessive nouns such Mary's backpack.  

At find activities, games, songs, printables and a teaching guide with over 40 activity ideas to use with Laura Numeroff's books. 

This book and other Laura Numeroff books are easily used for discussing wants and needs.

Have fun describing school supplies.  Use magnifying glasses or a document camera to inspect a variety of school supplies.

I hope that you found this post useful. My posts will occur about once each month - minus summer break of course. However, I am always looking for freebies and new therapy ideas and will share these weekly on my Facebook Page


© 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hop into Better Speech and Language Month with these 40+ Frog Themed Links to Activities

Frogs can live in most habitats and climates, lay hundreds of eggs, breathe through their skin, and make very long jumps. AND, frogs can be found, as the main characters, in numerous children's literature selections making them the perfect candidates for thematic lessons.  

All About Frogs

The life cycle of the frog pairs well with sequencing, retelling, verb tense, and more. Search for "frogs" at We Give to find three online books about the frogs and their life cycle. 

Both Make Learning Fun and A Child's Place have free frog life cycle sequence cards in color and black and white. Carrie Manchester, at Carrie's Speech Corner has FREE Frog Life Cycle booklets in her TpT store. Find a Frog Life Cycle Craft at DLTK's Crafts for Kids.

Mrs. T, an incredibly creative first grade teacher, created a "frog facts" book on the iPad using, her student's frog pictures,  ChatterPix Kids, and Book Creator. Check out the video at her post, Frog Facts in Story Form on the iPad. Your students will love making a similar book. ChatterPix Kids is FREE, but Book Creator is $4.99. Save the $4.99 and a little time by using only ChatterPix along with the Photos app for no cost. Just create a album in your Photos app, and show as a slide show.  

If you are reading any of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad books, visit The Virtual Vine for a good comparison of frogs and toads. You will learn some new facts and find many frog themed activities as well. 

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Jump, Frog, Jump

See how Speech Gadget uses Jump, Frog, Jump in therapy.

I like the Jump, Frog, Jump stick puppets and word walls at Make Learning Fun. 

Teach color matching at Learning and Teaching Preschoolers' Jump Frog Jump Color Floor Game

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There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog


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Froggy is everyone's favorite! Did you know that he went to Hawaii? Read the FREE online version of Froggy Goes to Hawaii at We Give Find a good wh-question activity for this book at the Utah Education Network and a FREE comparison printable for this book at Wise Owl Factory

Rebecca Bond does a nice job of reading Froggy Goes to Hawaii on You Tube. This might be a great way for students to review the book at home or in a center.

There are over 20 Froggy books. Here are links to activities to use with some of these books. 

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Itsy Bitsy Spider and Green Speckled Frogs, visual supports for familiar preschool songs made by SLP Overloaded.

Find very cute story props (complete with a log) and a mini-book for Five Green and Speckled Frogs at

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Another cute printable to use as story props for Five Green Speckled Frogs can be found at Activity 

Here's a Poster for Five Green and Speckled Frogs from Make Learning Fun. 

Directions at Preschool Speechie's Green Speckled Frogs suggest that wikki stix be used as tongues so that the flies will stick to the tongues.

For Articulation

Nina McKenzie, at TpT, made this FREE, 39 page, Articulation Frog Toss Game  to use with s, sh, and s-blends. 

Feed the frog as you say the words with Final Consonant Flies from Kari Radovich (Rock Chalk Speech Talk). 

This portable Frog and Friends Virtual Hangman, from Tech 'n Talk SLPs, was designed for use in group articulation therapy, but can easily be adapted to any activity in which students take turns. 


Where is Little Frog? - A book for Positional Concepts from Jessica Finch (The Speech Peach).

Leaping Lily Pads for Object Function from Kari Radovich (Rock Chalk Speech Talk). 

Look at all the frog themed ideas found at The Busy Speech Path's Pinterest Board - All About Pond Life

Hoppin' on Multiple Meaning Words from Pitner's Potpourri.

Emergent Readers Who am I? and Five Buzzing Flies are found at MakeLearning Fun. These will match goals involving sentence length, verb tense, descriptive words, and the concept "around."

Frog Hop Barrier Game from Speech Path Track.

Build a Frog and Friends - Rainy Day Rewards is a no-print interactive activity designed for use on a computer or iPad. Use with an individual or small group as reinforcement with almost any lesson.

The Lost Button Story Sequencing Cards to use with Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad are Friends: The Lost Button. 

I saw this old fountain with traditional ceramic Andalucian
frogs (Spanish tree frogs) at the Plaza de Espana in beautiful
Vejer de la Frontera while on my extended Spring Break.


© 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Six Weeks of Summer - Interactive Speech and Language Practice Activities

I have just updated my page, Six Weeks of Summer - Interactive Speech and Language Practice Activities. This page includes links and free apps easily available to parents with Internet access and/or mobile technology. 

Customize summer activities for your students by choosing apps and links to add to a calender, make a hotlist, or post the links to your web page. 



© 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's that Smell?

This is not a typical post for the Budget SLP, but something that needs to be passed on to all educators. And, maybe not just educators . . . 

I have a chemical sensitivity usually triggered by, but not limited to, fragrances. When exposed, my eyes and nose burn and I can often taste the chemicals in the fragrance. Extended exposure causes headaches and sometimes nausea.  In my home, most detergents, cleaning products, and personal care products are fragrance free.

I work in the special education world and have been overpowered by fragrances in classrooms, conference rooms, therapy rooms, and restrooms. Culprits include cologne or perfume (worn by parents, SLPs, teachers, and administrators), air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and insecticides. 

If these fragrances cause me such physical discomfort, how do they affect our young students with allergies and asthma? What about our students with sensory issues? 

Students with autism can be hypersensitive to odors. These students may also have difficulty communicating their discomfort. Inappropriate behaviors may occur as they resist being with a person or in a place due to what is perceived as an intense smell. Undesirable smells can even cause toileting issues, difficulty eating, and nausea. 

For your students' comfort (and possibly your co-workers’), consider removing air fresheners, take home the flowery soaps and lotions, and save your perfume for date night. 


© 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mothers Day, Play-doh, Oceans, Summer, Sports, Visual Supports, and Links!

I use my blog as a quick resource at work. Last week when a link to visual supports did not work, I knew that it was time to update. I thought that I would be able to do this in a day or so, but now know that it will take many days and nights. I will post as I add and correct links. 

Beginning with my first ever post in 2012 - Both links now work at Parking Lot Games. Download free Parking Lot Games for articulation and language. Make your own with my templates.
Shape your therapy with Play-doh - New links and activities.

Find Mother's Day ideas, Sports theme - Part 1 and Part 2, Ocean activities and more for summer.

Visual supports can be found at Kizclub (great story props), the Miami-Dade CountyPublic Schools prekindergarten site, and a lot of links here!


© 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

25+ Dinosaur Themed Resources for Speech and Language Therapy

Dinosaurs is a theme in our early childhood special education curriculum and a colleague recently asked me for some speech and language therapy ideas. The dinosaur theme is one that students always enjoy and there are so many great resources for speech-language therapy on the Internet.

Pteranodon, Alamosaurus, Yangchuanosaurus, Dimetrodon, Brachiosaurus, Zhejiangopterus, Ankylosaurus, and Zigongosaurus!  Definitely a good way to practice multisyllabic words and /r/ and /s/ sounds. Check out the Field Guide at Dinosaur Train on the PBS website. Learn how to pronounce all of those dinosaur names and know your dinosaur facts before beginning therapy sessions.  And, while you are at the site, look at the games and videos.

Play with your dinosaurs to teach verbs – eat, drink, sleep, jump, run, hop, walk, go, sit, stop. Take pictures of your dinosaurs eating, jumping, sitting, etc. Use the photos as visual supports or create a book. A nice example is Dinosaur’s Busy Day by Gaige at Tar Heel Reader. It would be fun to make a book with your students and “their” dinosaurs.

While you are at Tar Heel Reader, look at the many dinosaur books. Use them as is or download and modify to meet your student’s needs. Dinosaurs Lived Long Ago is perfect for early childhood groups.

Don’t have dinosaurs? Print and laminate the story props for Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland at If you have access to this book, use it to teach describing words - meek, fierce, fast, slow, weak, strong, short, and long.

Also at Kizclub, a dinosaur book to use in therapy or send home - expand sentences, work on vocabulary, ask and answer who questions. 

At Mother, find Printable Dinosaur Masks for Prehistoric Play.

The FREE Colorforms app has a dinosaur themed playset.

Would a dinosaur be a good pet? Visit to see this activity. Follow up by reading the story Dino Store, a free interactive story app. This could turn into a good writing activity.

Speech Days in the Pre-K made a FREE Dinosaur Language Pack containing 19 pages that target categorizing, vocabulary, regular past tense verbs, and pragmatics.

FREE dinosaur themed items found at Teachers pay Teachers include

A dinosaur sensory bin would be one way to teach descriptive vocabulary such as rough, smooth, bumpy, hard, and soft. Check out the sensory bins at FantasticFun and and Happy

Find a paleontologist emergent reader at Making Learning

Discover fun /s/ blend actions with dinosaurs while playing along with Keri at My This is one of my favorite dinosaur finds. You and your students can play along with Keri during this 12 minute video while practicing s-blends, working on verbs, final consonant deletion, following directions, wh questions, and much more. It’s so much easier to get data when someone else is teaching. 

More from SLPs. 

Read digital books at We Give There you will find dinosaur books appropriate for the very young to age 10.  Three of several include Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, DK's Let's Look: Dinosaurs and  Meet the Dinosaurs.

If you are going to talk about volcanoes, look at V is for Volcano from Preschool Alphabet. The Classic Erupting Volcano would elicit much language, but using the Mini Volcanoes (with eye droppers) would be very conducive to group work. 



© 2015

Graphics from Sweet Clip Art -

Sunday, February 1, 2015

50+ Links to Creative (and Budget Priced) App Ideas for Speech and Language Therapy

Tablets and apps have changed the way that most of us work with our students and clients. The wide variety of apps available is great, but it is what you do with these apps that is even better! Here are links to more than 50 creative ideas to help you make the most of your budget priced apps.

Visual Supports for Apps

Use visual supports to increase communication for those with limited expressive language skills as they use apps. You can find visual supports for apps at Boardmaker Online and at Teachers Pay Teachers. Here are just a few of many available.

Toca Band Visual Support (Boardmaker)
Pepi Doctor (Boardmaker)
Play Home Lite (Boardmaker Studio)
Therapy with Toca Boca Hair Christmas app  (TpT) Free visual supports and more!
Don't see visuals for your favorite apps? Don't have Boardmaker? 

Make your own with screenshots

Try  or Sen Teacher

Class DoJo (FREE)

Visit Allison Nichole, at Speech Peeps, to see how she creates visuals for Class DoJo.

Use PowerPoint to make custom visual supports (this would be my choice). Make each slide a visual and print the slides as handouts - two or six slides to a page depending upon your desired size.  PrAACtical AAC has a FREE tutorial for this on TpT. 

And, for those of you who need visuals for app rules and iPad guidelines, try these visual supports at Boardmaker Online.

Toca Boca

Toca Boca Tea Party $
There were a few Toca Boca mentions above. I don't know anyone who doesn't like Toca Boca. They are not usually free, but definitely budget priced. My favorite remains to be Toca Boca Tea Party. This trailer from the Toca Boca site demonstrates a perfect therapy activity. Imagine all of the language possibilities in this activity alone! 

Toca Kitchen
Monsters (FREE)
TocaKitchen Monsters is a FREE app and another favorite. Read how Katie Millican uses this app in therapy at ActivityTailor and more suggestions for using this app from PrAACtical AAC. 

Speech Language Neighborhood has some FREE printable language activities for Toca Store, Toca Robot Lab, Toca House, and Toca Kitchen.  

QR Codes

Qrafter - QR Code
and Barcode Reader and
 Generator (FREE)

Want to use QR codes? The SLPs at Sublime Speech and Crazy Speech World tell you how. 

Freebies at TpT include QR Code Receptive Vocabulary Task Cards {Autism}: Feature, Function, Class and Individual Student Rewards with QR Codes.

Great Ideas from SLPs

Sock Puppets (FREE)

There are a lot of good articulation apps, but read how Heather Hetler, at Smart Apps for Kids, uses non-articulation apps such as Sock Puppets, Garfield Daily,  ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard and Stack the States to work on target sounds

Speaking of Apps blogger, Jeremy Legaspi, wrote about What's the Saying?, a free app that he uses when teaching students about idioms and figurative language. 

Pocket SnowStorm
Visit Chapel Hill Snippets to see how Ruth Morgan uses Pocket Snow Storm! in therapy. 

Read the blog, speechymusings, to see how this SLP grad student uses Story Creator to teach language and articulation skills.

Make Dice
Lite (FREE)
Trading Cards
Make Dice Lite, isn't an app that would pop up in a search for speech and language apps, but Abby, at School House Talk, creates dice for articulation, language, and fluency therapy. 

Speech Techie, always a great resource, uses the MarcoPolo Weather (Free) app to talk about the weather, creates photo comics with Story Me, and develops descriptive schema with Trading Cards

TinyTap (FREE)
You can do so much with TinyTap. Check out the blog posts below to see more!

Word Clouds
A past post from The Budget SLP - Word Clouds for Your Therapy Sessions.

Another past post - Educreations for Speech and Language. Since this post was written, Educreations has added a paid version to their inventory. The free version still allows for most of the exceptional features of this app. 


Beth Oliver made Kid-Friendly /b/ Initial Word cards to be used on the FREE app, SlideShark Presentation AppMicrosoft PowerPoint is also FREE to use for viewing and minor creating and editing.  

Balloonimals $

I follow Elizabeth Harmon's blog, sync up autism. I like her use of core words and her recent post demonstrating video modeling. Go to her blog to see how she uses apps such as Build a TrainToca Hair Salon, and Balloonimals.

Apptivities and App Smashing

Apptivities and App Smashing are terms that we are beginning to see more frequently. Apptivity is defined at Apptivity Bank as a learning activity using mobile apps. App Smashing is defined by Greg Kulowiec as the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.

Below are links to apptivities - some that involve app smashing!

Story Maker HD (FREE)
Apptivities found at iEducate incorporate listening, speaking, vocabulary comprehension, and critical thinking skills. 

Visit iLive 2Learn iLove 2Grow to see a good example of app smashing. Three free apps (Story Maker HDBalloon Stickies Plus, and Pic Collage) were used to learn weekly vocabulary words. 

Everything $

You're the
Detective $
Look at Inference iLessons by ilesson lady. Her students practiced making inferences with a Kenny Chesney song, followed by using the app You’re the Detective, and lastly, assessment was made using the app, Explain Everything.

My Playhome Lite(FREE)

Lisa Johnson wrote about ways to use My Playhome Lite in her post,  Surprisingly Educational, Entertaining, and Engaging. Two of her many suggestions were to pair it with Popplet Lite to work on sequencing and use it along with Doodle Buddy to create a dialogue based on what the characters are doing in the house. 

Check out Sean Sweeney's (SpeechTechie's) List of Social Apptivities at Diigo. 

Even More Resources!

Animoto (FREE)
Over 100 iPad activities to work on vocabulary skills, grammar, literacy, and more (all with task cards) can be found at Louisiana’s Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Technology Training Center. The cards are made with PowerPoint so that you can easily change cards to meet the individual needs of your students. 

At Mesquite Student iPad Camp find many creative ways to use the FREE app, Animoto.  

ALL Grasshopper Apps can be customized to meet your students needs. And, a bonus - Free CVC activities can be found at their TpT store


© 2015