Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment {Product Review}

Back in November at the ASHA conference, I was able to meet so many sweet people and talented vendors.  One of these talented ladies gave me a copy of a brand new assessment to review.  It's called the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KLBA).  After reading up on it and trying it out, I am SO excited to tell you about this one.


The KLBA was created by Naomi R Konikoff, MS CCC-SLP and Jennifer Preschern, MA CCC-SLP.  It is "a universal screening and progress monitoring tool for early language skills."  It consists of three assessments for students enrolled in kindergarten and geared for fall, winter, and spring.  For me, this is perfect for the Response to Intervention (RtI) process especially since I have to include specific RtI data in every evaluation (state requirement).

One thing that I love about it is that each assessment only takes about 3-4 minutes to administer or maybe a little longer at first.  This  works out great if you're on a tight schedule like me (and probably every other school-based SLP out there).


The skill areas included are: auditory comprehension, following directions, categories receptive, categories expressive, and narrative language.  The test gives you a raw score for each skill as well as a total score.

To administer the KLBA you use the picture prompts and record form booklet.  The instructions are straightforward and the pictures are colorful and easy to identify.  A couple of the pictures could have a little better quality; however, they were still clear enough for the students to easily understand.


I like that the verbal prompts are included inside the picture book to allow for quick delivery.  Most of the subtests include a training item and specific directions on what to say if the answer that's given is correct or incorrect.

Inside the test manual are specific scoring guides for each skill area as well as an answer key and scoring practice items.

There isn't any standardized data included, but you can still measure progress made throughout the year using the 3 assessments.  I will probably use 2 of the assessments as a pre- and post- measure for my RtI kindergarten students.  Check out this post on how you can use the KLBA more specifically in the RtI process.

The manual does give you the data from a recent pilot study, which allows you to compare your students' scores to the averages of the participants given in a table form.  You can find more info on the research involved in the KLBA here.  And this post explains how you can even use this test to differentiate SLI from ELL difficulties.

Overall, I thought this was a great tool to gather lots of language rich data from kindergarteners.  It can definitely be a go-to for progress monitoring, IEP goals, interventions, ELL concerns, and more.

 What do you think?  Is this something that you could use in your speech room?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Appy New Year Part 1! {InTense Pro}

Happy New Year!  It's "Appy" New Year on the blog today.  I've got a brand new app to tell you about and a giveaway too!  It's called InTense Pro, and it's designed by speech-language professionals as well as video game developers.  What makes it fun for the kiddos is that it combines learning verb tenses with a cute carnival game.


This app starts off by letting you create a profile for students.  Just tap + new profile to get started.


A cool option that you get is the ability to put the parent's email into the student's profile.  This is great if you frequently want to keep parents updated on progress.  You could also add your own email in place of it and send the results to yourself.


On each student profile, you can select the question types, tenses to practice, progress charts, and total stats.




Select up to 5 players in a group to get started and tap the let's play button.


There are several types of questions that are presented.  Tap the speaker button to have the question read aloud.  Some questions even have speakers for the question and answers with no text.


Follow the directions to complete the different types of questions.  After the student answers correctly, they earn tickets.  Keep track of how many tickets have been earned by looking at the righthand side of the screen.  There are 3 different types and each represents a different game that can be played for reinforcement.  More on that in a second.


After one student answers several questions, they are prompted to pass it to the next person in the group.


They take their turn answering questions and earning tickets.  They have to answer correctly on the first attempt for it to be counted as correct.


Whenever you want to reinforce, simply tap on one of the tickets to begin your game.  Depending on the ticket pressed, you'll enter a certain game board scene.  Tapping on a pod will allow you to complete a fun activity.


For this activity, you have to launch a cannonball to hit some top hats...kind of like angry birds.  :)



Tap the back button in the corner to return to grammar questions.  After playing tap on the settings icon next to the student's name to access their profile.  From their you can view their scores and email the results.  The dropdown menu at the top of the screen lets you decide exactly what scores you'd like to view.


Grab this app in the iTunes store for $18.99 HERE.

Things I loved about this app:

  • The graphics are super cute and kid-friendly.
  • The game aspect of it is very motivating for kids.  The games are fun and engaging and challenging enough for my older students.
  • It's easily adaptable to fit your specific needs.  You can tailor it to target exactly what the student is working on in therapy.
  • You can even choose the types of questions that work best for your student.  If you want all multiple choice with visual text, then you have the option to choose that.
  • I like that you can have several students playing at a time, and that they answer a few questions before passing.  This works great in group.  You could have them all working on something while waiting their turn, since it's not going to be right away.  (I'm a multi-tasker ;))
Things that could make it better:
  • The main thing that I didn't love about this app is that some of the questions are confusing.  The visuals they give are a little tough.  See below.  The correct answer is the one on the left.

  • Sometimes the answers are tricky as well.  The one below asks for a 2-word past tense which threw me off a little.

At least you do have the option of viewing the correct answer if you are unsure.  And it will let you keep guessing at the multiple choice items until you get it right.

Overall, I think this is a great app and my students love it.  My friends at Algoma even gave me a code to give one away for free!!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter below!! Good luck and Happy New Year!!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas From Our Speech Room {& a Freebie!}

We've been decking the halls in speech this month!  From gingerbread men to Christmas trees, we've been busy!

I always like to start off December with a gingerbread unit.  The kids love it, and it never seems to get old.  A few of my favorite gingerbread books are:
  • The Gingerbread Man (always a classic)
  • Gingerbread Pirates - I found a cute unit to go along with this one on TPT here.  
  • The Gingerbread Cowboy
  • Gingerbread Baby - There are some great TPT resources for this one too!  Check out this free one from Mindy Stenger and this one from Super Power Speech.

We also decorated gingerbread men, did worksheets and 100-dot sheets, and played Gingerbread Speech!




After we finished our gingerbread unit, we went all out Christmas!  A couple Christmas books I frequently use are:
  • Biscuit's Christmas Eve (with a freebie here!)
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell - I use Jenn's companion pack with this one
  • Little People Christmas flap book - My littles absolutely love it.
  •  I Spy Christmas 
Along with these books, we described reindeer with the EET!


We played Bingo and Cariboo and looked through toy catalogs.




We also made Christmas tree sentences and used lots of worksheets.



Whew!  It's been crazy but fun.

Lastly, I decided to give out little treat bags to some of my students.  Aren't they cute?


I made adorable speechy Christmas labels with funny little sayings on them to tie onto the bags.


A few of my students and co-workers usually give me gifts at Christmas time, so I made simple thank you cards to hand out.  There are fancy chalkboard ones for my co-workers and more cutesy-type ones for my students.  I tried to leave enough space for you to sign your name.


You can grab these labels and thank you cards for free HERE!

Enjoy!  Here's to your last few days before break!  Merry Christmas!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

What's In My Cart Linky!

It's Cyber Monday!  That means it's time to empty those wish lists and carts you've been holding online.  Teachers Pay Teachers is having their big up to 28% off sale on Dec 1-2.  Get excited!


I'm linking up with Jenna to talk about what's in my TPT cart for the cyber sale!  Click on the image above to go to the original blog post.

Here are a few things from my store that might help you around this time of year!

Penguin Preschool Language and Penguin Phonology


Criteria Charts for Speech and Language - Complete Edition


100 Dot Sheets for the Year!


All of these should be big hits in your speech rooms.  Now for a little peek as to what's in MY cart!!

1.  Nonfiction Texts Winter Edition by Nicole


2.  Interactive Books: Winter Treats from Jenna



3.  Articulation Word Search Bundle by For His Glory


4.  Cariboo Phonology from Kari


I know these products will be just what I need to get me through the end of the year and then some!  What's in YOUR cart?  Be sure to check out Jenna's post at Speech Room News to see what everyone is buying.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Fun in the Speech Room

Last week was all about Thanksgiving in my speech room.  I thought I'd share a Target dollar spot find with you that my kids had a blast with!


This came in one big roll of Thanksgiving fun.  I separated it out and made a couple rows, since my speech room wasn't big enough to spread the whole thing out!


We used EET stickers and talked about turkeys and other pictures on the sheets.


We did lots of do-a-dots and coloring and practiced our artic words lots and lots of times.


Some even glued pictures of words with their sound in them onto their sheets.


Overall, I'd say this activity was a success.  Their favorite part was probably getting to do speech on the floor!

What do you think?  Did y'all have any Thanksgiving fun in your speech rooms?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Orlando Fun and a FREEBIE!

Do you have the post-ASHA blues?  Or are you a little blue that you didn't get to go to Orlando and join in the fun?  If you've been following our hashtag #SLPbloggers on Facebook or Insta, you may have seen lots of fun pics and posts of our time at ASHA.  Here's a little recap, so you can re-live the experience a bit. ;)


We had our very own blogger table at the exhibit hall.  


We passed out a couple thousand flyers and made new friends and hugged the necks of sweet people who knew us from the internet.  We also took selfies and gave out goodies to everyone who would take them.     


11 SLP bloggers were hosting the table at the convention.  Check out the flyer to see who was there.  We even got to tell people about speech therapy blogs and Teachers Pay Teachers stores who had never heard of them before!  


Inside the ASHA store was a cool photo booth where you could take silly pics and sport all kinds of SLP paraphernalia.  Here I am with Maureen from The Speech Bubble SLP!  
At our booth, we gave away lots of freebies and raffle entries.  How sweet are these SLP buttons?


I also made cute little mini task cards to give out.  They target multi-syllabic words.  Aren't they cute?



For those of you who didn't get one at ASHA or were unable to go, I making this available to you as a freebie!  Just click HERE to download the page.  Print, cut, punch a hole in the corners and you're ready to go.  

I added a few more cards to the stack, so even if you did pick one up, you may want to download to add more to your deck!

Even though I got sick on the last day (boohoo!), this was an AMAZING experience!  Hope to see you all next year in Denver!
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