Monday, December 17, 2012

The Snowy Day for Speech and Language Therapy

I know that many of you are planning your lessons for January. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic book about a young boy who goes outside to play in the snow. This wonderful winter book can be used for making predictions, inferring, teaching vocabulary, comparing, asking and responding to questions, sequencing, and retelling. You could create your own thematic unit and teach this book for the entire month.  Internet resources for this book are endless!

I used The Snowy Day in Early Childhood Special Education classrooms, but is appropriate for primary grades as well. The Snowy Day is easily found in libraries and can be read on-line. 

One on-line version of this book can be found at the Official Website of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. I like this animated version of The Snowy Day as, unlike YouTube versions, you can easily stop to talk about each page of the story. Look at the real-life version of The Snowy Day, on the Activities page. 

Activities and Links:

Label objects and actions found in The Snowy Day - click here to download object and action pictures from BoardmakerShare. Also included are five visuals for print awareness. 

At Teaching, you will find questions to ask students and some suggested vocabulary. This page could be helpful when planning your therapy sessions. 

Talk about clothes that you wear in the winter. Take pictures of students wearing mittens, a coat with a hood, hats, boots, etc. Make a books with carrier phrases such as She is wearing a scarf. or Diana is wearing boots. to work on pronouns, classmates names and/or present progressive tense. Use PowerPoint's Photo Album feature to make these books. If you don't have time to make these for individual classes, use pictures of people or cartoon characters found on the web to practices sentences such as The girl is wearing boots., Santa has mittens., or He has a coat. 

Teach the concepts long and short using scarves. Purchase some dollar store or thrift shop scarves and cut some to make them very short. Put them in a box leaving one end of each scarf hanging outside the box. Students will pull the desired scarf and classify it as long or short before putting it around his or her neck. 

Download The Snowy Day Adventure Pack at Reading Rockets to find activities for parents as well as many that you could adapt for therapy. 

Download The Snowy Day Printables at Home School Creations to find phonemic awareness activities and a winter/summer clothing picture sort.

Throw big and/or little snowballs (pom-poms or Styrofoam balls) over the snow fort. Stand behindin back of or in front of the snow fort. Our snow fort was a small table covered with a white sheet. I also found great language activities at Cochlear Implant's On-line Snowball Fight!

Retell the story or sequence story pictures. Find story pictures, lesson plans and more at Webbing Into Literacy's A Book a Week: Classroom Instruction (scroll down to see The Snowy Day). also has a nice set of sequence cards in the free The Snowy Day Lapbook and PrintablesKinderGals' retelling activity is a little more involved, but excellent. You could simplify the activity for therapy by using only a silhouette for Peter and put together materials prior to the lessons. 

Teach the concepts hot and cold.  Use cold packs to demonstrate cold and a heating pad for hot (not too hot). Sort pictures of hot and cold items. 

At Hooked on Teaching, students wrote an additional ending to the story to tell what Peter and his friend did on the second snow day.

Discover the World of Ezra Jack Keats, at, contains activity suggestions for The Snowy Day and many of Keat's other books. 

Last, but not least, when I searched Teachers pay Teachers for "snowy day," Check out these three freebies:

This will be my last post until after the holidays. In January, visit my blog for two great app giveaways. 

I hope that all of you relax and enjoy time away from work!


© 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Managing Your Apps in iOS6

Just a few more tips and tricks:

Update Your Apps
  • Go to the App Store. Find the tool bar at the bottom of the screen. 
  • Tap on Updates and then go to the top left corner and tap Update All
  • If you have a large amount of apps to update, you may have to update them a few at a time or individually.

How Large are Your Apps?
  • To see how much memory each app (and other content) are using, go to Settings then General then Usage and look under Storage.
  • It may take a few seconds for the list to appear.  Once a short list appears, click on Show all Apps to see all of your apps.
  • Apps will appear from the largest to the smallest. If you have movies in the Videos app, they will appear first and usually take up the most space.
  • At the top, directly under Storage, look to see how much available space you have on your iPad. You will see the number of GB available and the number used. This is the storage space that you have on your physical iPad. This has nothing to do with the iCloud which is where your data, notes, and photos are saved.

Make Folders to Save Space

My iPad2 has eleven pages for apps. I can save space and add more apps if I make folders.
  • To move an app, hold down one app until all apps wiggle and move it to the desired page or folder.
  • Drag one app on top of another to make a new folder and rename the folder to suit your needs.
  • To stop the wiggle, push the Home button.
Move seldom and never used apps (the ones that can’t be deleted such as Game Center) to a folder label Seldom Used Apps.

Deleting Apps
  • Touch and hold the app icon until the apps wiggle. 
  • Tap the X  to delete the app from your iPad.
  • This will not delete the app from your iTunes account. You can always go Purchased, at the bottom of the screen in the App Store, to see or install apps that were previously deleted.

Access All Running Apps
  • Double-clicking the Home button shows all of the apps that are running on the iPad along the bottom of the screen.
  • To switch to a running app just tap on it.
  • Swipe the screen downwards to remove this bar.

Closing Apps
  • Double-click the Home button to see all of the apps that are running along the bottom of the screen. 
  • Touch and hold an app icon until all of the apps wiggle. 
  • Tap the  -  to close the apps. 
  • This will not delete the apps from your iPad.

Make an Icon as a Shortcut to Your Favorite Websites
  • First, find the website.
  • Tap on the send icon at the top of the page  
  • Add to Home Screen.
  • Name your icon and press Add.
  • The icon will appear on your iPad screen.

Guided Access
  • Go to Settings and tap General and then Accessibility
  • Turn on Guided Access
  • Set a Passcode
  • Open an app of your choice
  • Quickly press the Home button three times.
  • Tap Start, in the right corner, to begin Guided Access
  • Quickly press the Home button three times.
  • Put in your Passcode.
  • Press End to cancel Guided Access. 

If you haven’t used Guided Access, check out How toUse and Set up Guided Access on iOS 6.0  at ASHAsphere. With Guided Access you can lock students into the app of your choice, draw a shape over an area that you want to disable, and turn off motion and touch as needed.  

Use Your Dock to Quickly Access Your Most Used Apps
  • By default the dock contains four items, but your iPad can hold up to six apps or folders on the dock. 
  • Just tap any app until they all wiggle. 
  • Drag the apps that you don’t want on the dock to the screen and move the desired apps or folders to your dock.  


© 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Taking the Mouse to the Movies: Why Questions, Pronouns, and More

My last post, Taking the Mouse to the Movies, had a variety of speech and language activities to use with the holiday book If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff. Here are just a few more. 

At Speaking of, Donna Williams submitted a companion activity,  IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES Activity, to elicit the pronoun he. I used it with a few of my students and decided that it would make a great why question activity. I created the mini-book, pictured below, that can be found at During therapy sessions, we read and discussed the book and students were given the opportunity to independently read one of the printed books. I was always happy to hear non-readers asking and answering the questions (data!). This book was also used with students who needed help with sentence structure and the phonemes /s/ and /g/. 

For those without Boardmaker, you could create a similar activity using the IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES Activity at Speaking of I cannot distribute the below document as a PDF due to Boardmaker's copyright policy

Here's More!

  • Take pictures of a toy mouse (or maybe The Elf on the Shelf) in various places in your school or community (similar to the above Boardmaker activty) to continue to practice asking and answering why questions. 

  • Take pictures of your students (or other boys, girls, men, women) in various places in your school or community to elicit he and she - Why is he in the library?, Why is she at the grocery store?, etc.

  • I always had at least one student that struggled with the pronouns I and you. Take or obtain pictures of that student in various places in their school, home, or community. Present these in a mini-book, flashcard, or digital form. Some students needed simple questions such as Who is on the bus? or Where are you? Others, who could answer more complex questions, were asked those such as Why are you on the bus? or Why are you in the cafeteria? Provide visual supports for appropriate responses as needed. 


© 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Taking the Mouse to the Movies

Laura Numeroff’s If You Take a Mouse to the Movies is one of my favorite holiday books. A few years ago I read this book to one of my early childhood classes. There were eight students in the classroom and I found the books at one of the Scholastic Book Clubs* for $1 each.  I splurged and bought a book for each student. 

We used this book in speech – language group for three weeks. I met with the class for 30 minutes twice weekly.  At the beginning of each lesson, I read the book or did a picture walk and talked about the story.  A little time for print awareness vocabulary was built into this activity. Title, author, illustrator, cover, page, and word were discussed.  Including pictures of Laura Numeroff and the illustrator, Felicia Bond, really helped the students understand these concepts.

Following the book reading or picture walk, each student was given a few minutes to explore the book. This was my favorite part of the lesson and a great way to gather some data as many of the students “read” the books aloud. 

For my very young students or for students who had difficulty turning the pages, I took the book apart, laminated it, put it back together and added page turners when necessary. For some students, I attached a picture of the mouse or other item to each page with Velcro allowing the students to focus on vocabulary.

Visual supports for objects and actions in If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
Click here to download.

Activities for some of the skills targeted while reading this book were:

Click here to download. 
Labeling objects and actions - click above to download object and action pictures from BoardmakerShare. 

Telling the function of an object when asked, "What do you do with  ______?"  (popcorn, a snowball, a couch, a radio, ornaments, a blanket, etc.). Use the Boardmaker object pictures above or use the adjacent  PowerPoint with graphics from

Why questions – It's easy to read this book and ask why questions. In my next post I will include some why question activities. 

Verbalize prepositions on and around – Put ornaments on a tree and put a popcorn string around a tree. Note that it is easier to string popcorn on floral wire than string. 

Put toy animals and other items under a blanket to keep warm

Throw big and/or little snowballs (pom-poms or Styrofoam balls) over the snow fort. Stand behind, in back of or in front of the snow fort. Our snow fort was a small table covered with a white sheet.

Retell the story or sequence story pictures.

Practice multisyllabic words. Many of my young students had difficulty producing words with more than one syllable. So, at the beginning of every month, two and three syllable words that corresponded with the theme or literature selection were introduced and practiced regularly. Multisyllabic words introduced with this unit were movies, popcorn, Christmas tree, carrot, snowman, snowball, blanket, radio, ornaments, paper and glitter. Click here to download my popcorn themed multisyllabic word activity at BoardmakerShare. 

Links to More Activities:

There are twenty-seven activities for this book at Teachers PayTeachers.  Prices range from Free to $20. 

Free Mouse to Movies vocabulary words at PreschoolPrintables
Play Mouse’s Little Matching Game  and Mouse’s Counting Game at Mouse Cookie

Play Beginning Sounds Popcorn Game or use the If You Take a Mouse to the Movies Comprehension Activity found at

Find a word sort, a cause and effect activity, and a snowman sequence at Today inFirst Grade.

At Mrs. download sequence cards, an interview with a mouse, a question and answer activity, a rhyming activity, and many other suggestions and resources.
At Pitner’s Potpourri download a sequencing activity and a cause and effect matching activity. 

*The Scholastic Book Clubs have books for $1 or $2 each month.  I often purchased books for my students.  I received a few grants that allowed me to buy many books for students. Other times, I used money from the PTA, school funds, or as we all do . . . . .  used my own resources.   


© 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Try TinyTap in Therapy!

Last month, I taught an iPad class for special educators and one of the favorite apps presented was TinyTap. TinyTap allows you to create games, interactive books/stories, and other activities with your own photos or photos found with the search tool. It even allows you to draw your own pictures or draw on pictures. Steps to creating the activities are unbelievably simple. OT's With Apps has a good step by step demonstration on their blog. 

Personalize your game by recording questions and comments.  Add music by choosing from one of the many soundtracks. 

There are a few free activities in the Marketplace and you can share your activities with others that use TinyTap through social media or e-mail. 

There are so many ways that SLPs could use this app.  I plan to use it as a probe next week to determine a child's understanding of pictures of his environment.   SLPs can use it for articulation, comprehension, making predictions, retelling stories or any number of objectives. 

TinyTap is geared for younger children, but at Langwitches Blog, it was used by 5th grade students to create vocabulary review activities for younger students.   

Check out my short sample activities, Santa and Names of Classmates. You will need to download the app and then download the activities so that you can open them in TinyTap. You cannot view these activities on you computer. Visit TinyTap, The Blog for more ideas. 


© 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Am Hungry . . . for Thanksgiving Dinner

This repetitive Thanksgiving story was made quickly and easily with PowerPoint. If you don't use PowerPoint, you should learn. It's not just for presentations.  Pictures and text boxes can be moved and re-sized easily. I have used it to create photo collages, weekly and monthly newsletters, flip charts for whiteboards, books for my students, flyers, signs, and so much more. 

I would use this book to reinforce the use of the "I am;" however, you can customize this book to meet your needs. Some suggestions are below. 

- Put a picture of a student on each page along with the food of their choice. Continue with the "I am hungry" theme. Let each student read the page with their picture. Change to teach possessive /s/ - I am hungry. I want Henry's turkey. Or practice pronouns - He/She is hungry. She wants turkey. 

- Print the story as handouts (six to a page). Cut out the pictures to make cards. The children could use negation and tell likes and dislikes when the pictures are presented - I don't like corn. I like peas. 

- Change the story to practice past tense - I was so hungry. I ate the turkey. 

Look at my posts Playing With Food, Playing With Food on Your iPad, and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more food related resources.


© 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Who is Eating? - Teach pronouns and more with this free download.

Practice WH questions, pronouns, present progressive tense, and increased phrase length with this simple PowerPoint. 

Click here to download "Who is Eating?"

Look at my posts Playing With Food, Playing With Food on Your iPad, and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more food related resources.


© 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Playing With Food . . . on Your iPad

Check out these apps with food related themes!

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox - This app contains seven different games, all with fruit, that teach children about colors, letters, counting, shapes, matching, and differences.  $.99

Toca Tea Party - Have a tea party on your iPad. Wonderful opportunity for following directions and  verbal interactions. $.99

Toca Kitchen Monsters -  Cook, chop, mix, fry, and boil food. Feed one of the four characters and wait for their response. $1.99

Toca Store - Play store on your iPad. Practice turn taking, requesting, answering questions, and so much more. $.99

FYI - Speech Language Neighborhood has activities and printables that go along with Toca Boca's apps.

ABA Flash Cards Food from - 100 clear photos of food. Item selection allows you to choose your own targets.  $1.99

My Playhome Lite - Pour drinks, fry an egg and feed the family pizza in the lite version of this app. FREE

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake - The little monkeys bake a cake for Mama – one monkey reads the recipe while others get the ingredients and dishes. Once the cake is in the oven, there’s more. . . . $2.99

Lil' Kitten Shopping Cart Game - Children will shop by food category and look for the best prices. Good app for readers. FREE

PhotoTouch Food from - Children find the food named.  Add your own pictures, adjust the level of difficulty, and choose foods by category. $.99 

Look at my posts Playing With Food and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more resources.

Next Post - Playing With Food and PowerPoint - Free Downloads


© 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Turkey Surprise - Spatial Concepts and More for Your Therapy Session

I don't usually post twice in one day, but this activity is too cute. 

© 2013 Jerry Jindrich
Turkey Suprise!  by Jerry Jindrich at Chateau Meddybemps is a short story about a turkey hiding from the family on the farm. Incorporate spatial concepts, pronouns, WH questions, present progressive tense and/or your student's target phonemes into a lesson using this on-line story. 


© 2012

Playing With Food . . . on Your Computer

Enjoy using these food related activities in your therapy sessions:      

Make Pizza and ice cream sundaes at Inkless Tales. 

At ChateauMeddybemps' Bobby's Busy Bakery, you can decorate cakes and arrange the baked goods in the window. Great for descriptive words, WH questions, positional words, and more.  Play in the bakery on your computer or interactive whiteboard and for individual lessons, turn the printed versions into file folder games.  

Both Make Learning Fun and Lil County Kindergarten have emergent readers relating to food on their sites. Emergent readers are great for speech and language as they are often repetitive and can target phonemes or syntactic structures throughout the book.
Five Little Hot Dogs, an Emergent Reader and matching story props can be printed at Make Learning Fun under the food theme. You will also find food playdough mats, restaurant order tickets for dramatic play, a cupcake shape activity and themes for pizza, strawberries, and picnic.

The Stone Soup Emergent Reader and related printables at Lil Country Kindergarten are beautifully done. The printable pictures make great visual supports and the emergent reader is good for targeting “we” and “in.”  There are many math related printables in this packet. Don’t ignore them as you can target numerous phonemes using math concepts. has many games and short videos about food for your youngest students. has as story props for Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert , Today is Monday by Eric Carle, Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar by Jane Manning, and The Great Big Enormous Turnip by Helen Oxenbury. You can watch a version of  the story, The Great Big Enormous Turnip at BBC’s Cbeebies.

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell, with visual supports and wonderful activity suggestions, was just posted at Chapel Hill Snippets.  A 25 page lesson plan with ready-made activities and story props for this book, and several other books, can be found at Florida's Department of Health. 

Look at my posts Playing With Food and Playing With Food on Your iPad for more resources.


© 2012