Melanie Place at the The Speech Place has a great linky party for SLPs to share some of the unusual items that they use in therapy each month. This month's topic is apps. We all love the apps dedicated to a specific therapy purpose, but there are tons of apps out there ready to be modified for other uses by the most creative people on the planet- SLPs!
So, mine are not always the most original uses for apps out there, but here is what I do with apps that are not necessarily straight artic or language or fluency apps.
1) Reinforcer apps
So many of my students just love any type of activity or game app. The one my 5th grade boys love lately (and this is a tough crowd let me say) is the free version of Tenzi I got awhile back.
This is an electronic version of the dice game Tenzi. I love it because it is SUPER fast, doesn't involve real dice that make lots of noise and go flying across my therapy table, and has lots of game options. We usually practice our goal, and then the student has a turn to play Tenzi where ten dice are rolled and they chose the number they think they can collect the fastest and the timer shows who got ten of the same number first. Since they are racing to do it the fastest, a turn often lasts less than thirty seconds so most of our time is spent doing goal practice and only a little on reinforcement.
For younger students, especially the preschool crowd, I love free apps that go with a theme. For example, this past month we did a farm unit. There are tons of free apps that open to a screen that gets them talking (describing what they see, using good sounds identifying what goes in what category, etc.). After they practice their goals, they get to add a piece to the farm scene or color part of a scene. Here are two free ones called Crazy Farm and Little Farm.
I LOVE books in therapy, but nonfiction ones are sometimes hard to find, and my students really like books with colorful pictures and less obvious amounts of text. I use this National Geographic Weird But True app quite a bit to work on language goals and auditory processing goals.
3) Doodle Buddy
I love this app for playing pictionary with kids. Sometimes I get so into creating themed units and linking things to Common Core that I work much harder at creating elaborate therapy units when a simple game with the Doodle Buddy app gets even more accomplished. I was doing r-blends last week with a student: See if you can figure out what she wanted me to guess on my turn.
Now, if can only get her to blend the f with the rest of the word instead of saying fffff, pause, reckles! :-) Plus, DoodleBuddy is great for having the students write on worksheets you upload and save in your iPad library or in Dropbox.
And last, but not least, I have to say that my camera feature gets used the most on my iPad. Not officially an app, but I can take pictures of therapy cards and then scroll through them for practice. I have photographed objects throughout the room and scrolled through them like game cards (see this previous post). I love to take the kids pictures and add it to other apps like The Fifth Wiggle or inside drawing apps so they can make funny pictures of themselves. Oh, the possibilities!
How do you get creative with apps?