Monday, May 28, 2012

Oceans of Links and Apps

For those of you working on an ocean theme these last few weeks of school, here are a few links and some free apps. AND, scroll down to the bottom to download a "Fish" PowerPoint.  


At Cindy L. Meester's Blog make an ocean in a bag - one of my favorites. Also download an ocean bingo game and a ocean game for the pronouns he and she

Read Surfer Girl at

Make a Sandcastle with Clifford the Big Red Dog

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium play games and watch and learn about animals that live in the ocean

Match the sounds in the shells when you play Clifford's Shell Match at

Count Fish at

Make an Ocean Scene with Billy Bear.

Ocean art, snacks, crafts, and language activities at Preschool and Everything

Play Sea Animal Bingo and Sea Animal Match at  Kizclub.ocm

 Download Story Patterns at Kizclub for the books I am the biggest Thing in the Ocean and The Rainbow Fish.

Play Which Fish at Peep and the Big Wide World Talk about and complete patterns. 

More resources at PreKinders.

Free Apps 

Ocean Animals - For readers (iPhone app, but works on iPad) March 2015 - This app is now $.99

Interactive Story - Josh and Emma Go to the Beach.

SeaWorld Ruckus Reader - for beginning readers and above - Read the free book Shark Goes to the Doctor - a great real-life book about sharks. You must purchase the other books in the collection. 

An Ocean Puzzle for Toddlers - Three free puzzles for toddlers. Other puzzles available for purchase. 

Peek-a-Boo Ocean Lite - Very simple labeling of things in the ocean. Touch the water to see the sea creature. Touch the sky to move to the next sea creature. 

Memorama - Great memory game. Pictures are sometimes similar so students will have to look for details. 

Bonus - Download the Fish PowerPoint - made for the production of /f/ and to increase phrase length. 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981–2011 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.
Boardmaker® is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

For Parents: Preschool

I purchased Jean Warren’s books long before blogs.  Object Rhymes: Reproducible Emergent Readers to Make and Take Home (Reproducible Rhyme Books) was well used and is still in my stash of favorite things.

Jean is no longer publishing her books, but has created Preschool Express as a free on-line educational activity resource for parents, teachers, and grandparents. 

I frequently tell parents about this site when making suggestions for working at home. The Activity Calendars are the best! Each daily activity is easy to complete and labeled by skill.

Jean has practical advice and suggestions for parents in the Learning Station. Recognizing Teaching Moments, Teaching Children the “Language of School,” and 20 Ways to Raise Self-Esteem are three of my favorites.

There is so much more on this site; activities for numbers, letters, art, games, food, science, motor skills, social skills, music, phonemic awareness, and thematic units.

Check it out! I know that you will like it! 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shape Your Therapy With Play – Doh

Today, PediaStaff posted their Pinterest Pin of the Week: Play Dough Mats Galore and Even More Mats.  Well, Play-Doh (aka playdough and play dough) was not something that I ever wanted to use as a therapy tool when I was  working as a school SLP.  Occupational therapists cut it, early childhood teachers cooked it and the little ones just ate it.  

Turn back the hands of time (and don’t take my iPad) and I would be using Play - Doh.  The free mats at Planet of the Apels and PreKinders are adorable and could be used in both articulation and language therapy.  In addition to the mats, PreKinders has numerous creative play ideas for play dough.

The mats at Boardmaker Online would be perfect for articulation therapy, phonemic awareness, talking about feelings, thematic units and so much more. 

The free PLAY-DOH Play-Dates by Hasbro, Inc will be fun to use in therapy for all ages (younger students will need more help). Work on directions, sequencing, and retelling. Play barrier games, incorporate articulation, syntax, and more into the activities. Take screenshots of the app to make your own sequence cards.  The Story Creator allows children to create stories with their creations. NOTE -  As of March 2015, I could not find this app in the iTunes Store, but mine (an iPhone App) was found in my "Purchased Apps" and still worked on my iPad.  

Visit Hasbro's Play-Doh Imaginative Creation for several hundred Play-Doh creations and step by step directions for each. Another great way to work on directions, sequencing and retelling as well as incorporating articulation, syntax and more into the activities. 

Play dough is not expensive. At Target, the cost is about about $5.00 for a four-pack. However, if you have time to make your own there are many, many recipes on the web. Below are just a few links to  play dough recipes.

P.S. Did you know that Play-doh was first manufactured in Cincinnati as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s.  It was marketed as a modeling compound for children in the 1950s after school children were observed playing with the wallpaper cleaner. 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981–2011 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.
Boardmaker® is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Have you visited KIZCLUB?

As an SLP,  KIZCLUB was my go-to site when introducing a new literature selection. I used the Storybook Patterns in PowerPoint activities, as story props when retelling a story, as visual supports, and on communication device overlays.

This completely free site offers eight tabbed sections to use when preparing lessons for students in preschool and primary grades. 

1. ABC'S -  Alphabet activities and printables for writing practice. 

     2. PHONICS –  Find pictures for plurals, position words, compound words, and many phonemic awareness activities.

3. TOPICS – In this section, I found activities to support goals relating to inferences, position words, sequencing, retelling, syntax, and classification. T
opics include colors, community, body and health, opposites, and much more.

4. CRAFTS – I have used many of the printable crafts as therapy materials. Print, laminate, and assemble for years of use.

5. STORIES AND PROPS - This section is huge! Stories are divided into three levels. Read these on-line or print to send copies home.  The Storybook Patterns and Classic Tales Patterns are fabulous and the creator continually adds new sets. I made many, many PowerPoint activities using these patterns. Click on Rain, a PowerPoint book that I used to encourage two-word phrases while reading Rain by Robert Kalan.  I printed this as a handout, cut out the pictures and stapled them together to make a mini-book for each student. I also printed the actual patterns from KIDZCLUB, laminated them, and let students use a spray bottle to "rain on the ____."

6. NURSERY RHYMES -  Find rhymes, word cards, and corresponding pictures in this section.  I used the pictures when teaching nursery rhymes. Click on Mixed-Up Nursery Rhymes to download a PowerPoint made for a listening activity during a phonemic awareness lesson. 

7. FLASHCARDS – Flashcards in color and black and white depicting consonant sounds, prepositions, numbers, shapes, colors, and verbs.
 – Free clip art, play money, reward charts, calendars and more. 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Six Weeks of Summer, Interactive Speech and Language Practice Activities

I spent the better part of this weekend updating my speech and language web page along with a new page for summer practice. My web page, Using Computers to Enhance Language Learning, has been available on the Internet since 2004. My new addition, Six Weeks of Summer Interactive Speech and Language Practice Activities, is something that I have wanted to do for a while. 

The end of the school year was always such a busy time.  In addition to packing, cleaning, therapy, IEPs, and progress reports, I put together summer packets for students.  I usually added a calendar, speech and language activities, reading lists, and a few games for travel. It would have been nice to find resources all in one place. My new web page contains daily interactive computer activities, printable resources, links to reading lists, app lists and activity calenders, and tips for parents. 

I hope that this site saves you some time and makes those last few weeks of school a little less stressful.


© 2012, copyright Diana Quinn

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Put It Away – an app for more than just cleaning

Put It Away was developed by a Stanford University student to help teach children how to maintain essential living spaces. The app can be customized to enable parents and teachers to simulate actual rooms at home or school. And, if you are a creative SLP (and we all are), many uses can be found for this app. Here are some ideas. Please add your suggestions.

  •  Use the ready-made activities to talk about location words / spatial concepts.
  • Take a picture of the kitchen area of an early childhood classroom, foods, and other kitchen items to talk about the function of each item and where each item belongs. Thank you to my good friend and paramount ECSE teacher for this idea.  
  • What’s wrong with this room? – During articulation and language therapy, ask your students to tell what is wrong with the messy room and tell how to fix it.
  • Sort items that belong in a backpack verses items that stay at home. This app can be used for so many sorting activities; money, colors, shapes, and animal habitats are just a few. 

I made the following activity to help students, with special needs, look at signs on restroom doors and determine which restroom is appropriate for each gender.  You can easily take pictures of the restroom doors in your building and use student’s pictures.

I took pictures of the restroom doors in my building, put them on a PowerPoint slide and added graphics to the doors. I saved the PowerPoint slide as a jpeg and sent it to my iPad.

For those of you who don’t have an iPad or want an additional restroom sign activity, download the PowerPoint by clicking here


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Use This Time Honored Toy in Therapy

Early in my teaching career, when I desperately needed toys and materials, a first grade teacher  (and good friend) introduced me to garage sales. For less than three dollars, I collected enough View Masters and reels for an entire early childhood special education class of eight. 

Time Magazine named the View Master as one of the top 100 toys of all times. It was first introduced in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair so that people could enjoy pictures of exotic locations, but over the years, evolved into a toy for children.  

I used View Masters in therapy
  • to elicit carrier phrases such as “I see ____.” Or “Here is ___.”
  • to elicit utterances during play such as “look” “ I’m done” “ I need another one.”
  • to obtain responses to simple questions “Do you want a new reel?” “What do you see?”  “Do you want to see the ___?”
  • to teach turn taking, requesting , and asking for help
  • to describe pictures
  • to tell stories
  • as a carry-over activity for articulation.

Have you used View Masters in therapy? If so, I would love to see your ideas. 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day - Some last minute ideas!

For those of you who need a few extra activities for Mother's Day week, here are some ideas for your younger students. 

Start out with a book . . . 

Find the frog on every page and tell his location. 

My favorite book for Mother's Day is Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer. Little Critter and his mother visit several places in the city making this a good book for predicting and understanding inferences. Mercer Mayer's books always provide great opportunities for verbal exchange.  

Click here to download comprehension questions that go along with the story.

Click here to download the simple PowerPoint, Mom on the Go.  This PowerPoint targets why questions and was created as part of a follow-up lesson to Just Me and My Mom.  I also gave some of my students this PowerPoint in print form* and they practiced asking each other the questions in their book.

For more books with about moms, visit We Give Books where you can read the following on-line.
llama, llama red pajama by Anna Dewdney

Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill

My Mother is so Smart by Tommie DePaola 

Mommy Loves Me by Dawn Sirett

*Print the PowerPoint as a handout; six on each page. Cut and staple the pages with a heavy duty stapler. 


© 2012

Links and content updated March 2015.