Technology can be a bit of a double-edged sword, right? 😅
In the years Marisha has been an SLP, she has watched a ton of apps come in and out of vogue. But there are a few (aside from SLP Now! 🥲) that have stood the test of time, and are a regular part of her speech session rotation — which is what we’re talking about on the latest episode of the podcast!
From increasing student engagement to sharing PDFs to repetitive practice, these three apps can make your life as an SLP so much easier:
Here’s an overview of the apps Marisha talks about:
Notability is a really cool app that you can use to draw, type in text, and import + draw on PDFs. For older students, it’s an instant engagement booster if you import the text you’re reading into Notability because the students have and opportunity to highlight or read from the iPad.
Notability is also great for PDF graphic organizers. One of Marisha’s favorites to use is a story grammar graphic organizer. She has a template (available in SLP Now!) and in Notability she can duplicate the page over and over and over. It’s really a really fun way to work on story grammar!
2️⃣ Cookie Doodle
This is an app that has really stood the test of time. It’s really simple app, but can be used to target so many goals — and Marisha hasn’t met a student who doesn’t love Cookie Doodle!
In it, students get to choose a cookie to make. The app gives them a recipe, then they have to put all of the ingredients in the bowl, mix them, bake the cookies, and decorate them!
You may not get to eat real cookies at the end, but this app is great because it provides repetitive practice of targets like following directions, identifying objects, and targeting grammar goals.
3️⃣ Toca Tea Party
Like Cookie Doodle, Toca Tea Party (a Toca Boca App) is a great reinforcer, and it offers the opportunity for some errorless learning. In it, the student chooses a cake and plates, sets up the table, then sings Happy Birthday and serves the guests!
There is (unfortunately) no real cake consumption involved, but students get structured and repetitive practice for targets like following directions, sequencing, and grammar goals.
These aren’t the only apps that Marisha uses, but they’re the first three we’re going to talk about… you’ll have to wait for the next episode for the rest! 👀
Now, we’d love to hear from you! 👇
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Hello there and welcome to the SLP Now Podcast where we share practical therapy tips and ideas for busy speech language pathologists. Wrap your favorite beverage and sit back as we dive into this week's episode.
Hey there, it's Marisha. This week I wanted to share three of my favorite apps to use in speech therapy. So let's go ahead and dive right in. My first favorite app is Notability. I use this for a lot of things. It's very versatile, so I used it in grad school. I also use it anytime I attend a conference. It's my note-taking app of choice. We'll have an episode in a couple weeks about how to make the most of conferences and I'll dive into how I use Notability a lot more in that episode, but today I wanted to share how I use it in my therapy sessions.
So all of the apps that I'm sharing are iPad apps, or I use them on the iPad. Notability is a really cool app that you can use to draw or you can use it as to type and text and you can also import PDFs and draw on the PDFs or add text and emojis and all of that good stuff. So I'll give you a couple examples of how I like to use Notability in my sessions.
So the first way is for older students if we're reading a text, an instant engagement booster is if we import the text into Notability and then the students have the opportunity to highlight or just to read from the iPad. They think that's really fun. But then we can also highlight text, add emojis, and use a bunch of comprehension strategies in a digital format. And that's just, again, a really fun engagement booster and a nice low prep way to read a text. You can even take a picture of a page and a textbook or a page in a book if you're using materials from the classroom. And then again, you can highlight them, add emojis, all of that good stuff.
Another way that I like to use Notability is I have a lot of PDF graphic organizers. One of my favorite graphic organizers to use is a story grammar graphic organizer. So that's one that I have a template of and I duplicate that page over and over and over. A really fun way to work on story grammar, I also have a summarizing one that I like to use and you can use it in the same way, if you're reading a picture book or watching a YouTube video that has a narrative structure, you can take pictures of the different components and add those to the story grammar organizer. For the students who need that one-to-one correspondence and support, you can also draw on the graphic organizer and use pictography. You can type in text, you can add emojis. And so it's just a fun way to leverage technology and avoid having to print a bunch of pages and students just love getting to type and add the emojis and the pictures and all of that.
Another cool benefit is that you can easily share the PDF. So you can print it if you want, or you can email it or text it to a parent so that they can use that for practice at home. I've also shared the organizers with teachers and all of that. So it's just a fun tool again to boost that engagement and support students skills and then also easily share it because it is digital in nature. So those are just some examples of how I like to use Notability.
My second favorite, and this is in no particular order, but another app that I really like to use in my speech therapy sessions is Cookie Doodle. So this has just stood the test of time. It's a really simple app, but I love it because I can target so many goals and I haven't met a student who doesn't love Cookie Doodle. So what it is, is the students get to choose which kind of cookie they want to make and then the app gives them a recipe and then they have to put all of the ingredients in the bowl and they mix it and they bake it. And then once the cookies are baked, they get to decorate it.
I love this as an activity because it's really repetitive. You can target following directions with this app, you can target identification of objects as an example. It's really great to target grammar goals because of that repetitive nature. It includes a lot of actions, so we can target verbs and pronouns and sentence structure and all sorts of goals in that context. And it's also just a really great reinforcer. I just gave a couple examples of the goals that I've targeted using it, but the options are really endless, I feel like. So that is one that I love to use.
The third app that I'm sharing today is Toca Party. So this is a birthday party app essentially. So the setup is that the student chooses a cake and plates and they set up the table and then you get to sing Happy Birthday, and then you eat the cake. So you serve the cake and eat it and then you can pour juice and drink it. And then you also get to clean up the table at the end. This is another really fun reinforcer, but it's also another repetitive app just like Cookie Doodle where there's a lot of actions involved and we can use it to start teaching those grammar goals. It's a really nice way to get that structured, repetitive practice, some errorless learning going on. It's also just a fun one to use as a reinforcer when needed and I can still target lots of goals as I'm going through.
So the three apps that I share today, I think my favorite one and the most versatile one is Notability, and then Cookie Doodle, and Toca Kitchen are really nice to target some of those grammar goals and to use as reinforcers. These are more for the younger students. I'll share some other app ideas next week, but these are just some of the ones that I've loved to use over the years and I thought I would share the love and just tell you about them.
So I'd love to hear what your favorite apps are, if you have any favorites and how you use them. So Instagram would be a really fun way to connect. I'd love to hear from you there. You can find us @slpnow. And if you would like links or a list to all of the apps mentioned today, you can find that at slpnow.com/166. Again, that's slpnow.com/166, and we'll see you next week for part two of some more speech therapy apps.
Thanks for listening to the SLP Now Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share with your SLP friends and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episode sent directly to you. See you next time.
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