Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Cookies--iPad style

I like to cook with my speech kids.  In the past, we've made cookies, applesauce, hot chocolate, pancakes, homemade bread, and much more!  One class typically has a Thanksgiving feast for the students, teachers, and families.  We bake together, all morning!

These days, budget constraints limit this for therapy activities (although we are still planning on the Thanksgiving feast.) Salaries are frozen, and I have a couple of kids of my own in college, so I feel I can't personally feed the speech kids.  We also get very little instructional money.  I could ask parents to chip in, but they have their own money woes.
      I do have my iPad, though, so today, we cooked iPad style!   The app was Cookie Doodle.

This was a nice app for choice making, and sequencing.  There was also some simple vocabulary involved--rolling cookie dough, baking in an oven, frosting the cookies, cutting out shapes, sprinkles, and drawing.  We will need to repeat this, because the app was a bit of a novelty today, with the language involved only being an introduction (the boys didn't master it, in other words.)  We also did not do the more advanced features of making a recipe more from scratch.  I see many days of 'baking' ahead of us!

I love iPads, but I find that to get more communication interaction going, I need to create custom-made communication boards to go along with the apps.  Then I can model the language of the app--in this case, describing what they wanted using words and then pictures, using language rather than impulse to choose, and commenting.  The communication boards slowed the process down, and the kids were thoughtful in their choice-making.  We had a great time, and the three boys using this took turns and made an interesting group cookie.  They loved the virtual 'eating' part!  

Choosing the cookie shape  (the boy chose a 'Z')
I augmented the app by taking screen shots of some of the features---types of dough, flavors of frosting, the shape choices, and types of sprinkles.  I also took some screen shots of some of the actions--rolling, baking, and cutting out the shape.

To get the screen shot to a communication board, simply email the screenshot to yourself, then treat it as you would any other picture.  Download on another computer, alter or import to something like Boardmaker if you want, and print.  For this activity, I did not use Boardmaker---I simply printed, and in an old-fashioned way, I cut out the image with actual scissors, and glued them onto card stock.  There were lots of little images, and the kids will get more and more familiar with the choices over time.  In the future, I want to add some images and words for commenting.

Picking sprinkles
Screen shot of their cookie--the letter Z!

 This app was 99 cents---cheaper than buying a few cookies, and well worth the price.  There are many other uses for this in language therapy--comparing cookies, sequencing the steps, and using descriptive words.  I'm sure those of you out there in the speech world can think of many more.  Have fun!!!


  1. I love cookie doodle! It's one of the best apps, I think! I used to love to "make cookies" with my kiddos and then have them write out a "how to" essay about what we did. Fun stuff!

  2. I like the 'how to' essay part. My regular ed second graders are getting ready to start writing how-to books in class. This can be a big help!


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