Saturday, April 25, 2015

Updated Feelings Book---Free

PDF (Smarty Symbols)
 Hi friends,  I have updated this book somewhat.  The Boardmaker version is no longer available.  The pdf version is now in Smarty Symbols, and free to download for your own use. (I pay for a commercial license, so you can not use the symbols for your own products.)  This Smarty Symbol version also doesn't have any valentine images, so it's good to use all year long! 

There is so much stuff out there for Valentine's Day, it's hard to narrow down possible activities to the few you can actually do with the kids.  I try to narrow things down, so that the focus of the activity is centered around IEP goals, and not on a super cute product.

One goal which is ongoing is for the children to identify and talk about feelings.  The goal should go beyond merely identifying facial expressions, but for the child to tell others what makes him feel certain ways.  The reasons are different for every child.  I found a nice little activity on Boardmaker Share that I was able to convert to a simple book.  Although there are only three feelings identified in this book, if you have Boardmaker, this is easily expandable to include other feelings.  The icons for examples of why they feel certain ways can also be changed to fit the specific environment of the children you work with.

Click here to Download the Feelings Book in pdf

Have fun with this!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tin Eye---Trace images on the web

I've been cleaning up the blog lately---deleting images that aren't public domain, using my own pictures more, using a paid subscription for my interactive books, paying my daughter to draw clip art, or just refraining from using images if I'm not sure I can.  This has been a big job, but I'm resting easier at night knowing that I'm not violating copyright laws. 

One website I've been using to trace images has been  From it's website, "TinEye is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version." 

Just this evening, I looked back at an old post I had written, with a picture of a half empty glass.  I looked up that image with TinEye, and saw that this was actually not for free public use.  That picture was deleted instantly!   A public domain image replaced it quickly.  My blinders are off, and I'm careful about what I'm doing, more and more each day.

Even images that are reportedly public domain are traced by me on TinEye before I post, and those are few.  


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Very Lonely Seagull Interactive Book AND Yellow Fish, Yellow Fish Interactive Book

My lovely daughter, Vicki, is home from her bird banding job in American Samoa.  Not only is she a bird bander, but she is also a talented artist, and created a couple of darling seagull drawings for my new interactive book, "The Very Lonely Seagull".

At the end, the seagull meets a friend, and Vicki managed to make them both look very happy. 

I'm amazed by her talent.

I also recreated an interactive book I did earlier, with different photos (now public domain images) perfect for my more linguistically challenged kids.

It's all here in this 35 page pack--interactive books, comprehension questions, and Bingo---all about the beach.  Let's get ready for hot weather!   It's coming! 

Modest price, lots of bang for your buck. It's hard to beat three dollars.


Friday, April 17, 2015

The Ocean Book in Indonesian---free to download and print

How can I ever forget Indonesia?  Some of you may recall that when I was there, in Bali, I stumbled upon a school for children with disabilities, and saw that they possibly could use more interactive books written in Indonesian.  My daughter, who is in the Peace Corps in Java, and her friends have helped me translate, so here is the latest.

  In English, it's "What Animals Live in the Ocean?"  Most of you will need the English version. 

Here it is in Indonesian:

Go here to see a photo gallery of some of the beautiful children of this school!

 Click here to download the book.

That's all for now!  Have a nice weekend!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Put me in the Zoo---Companion Pack great for SLP/EC collaboration

One of my favorite children's books is "Put Me In the Zoo" by Robert Lopshire.  It was published when I was a little girl, and I've loved it since!  It is now an exemplar text for the Common Core, and as such, I thought it would be nice if my special little friends could access this text with a bit of help, visuals, and companion texts.

I've developed a companion pack to go along with the book.  This is a very nice set of activities for SLP/EC collaboration or just SLP literacy activities to help with language development. 

This pack includes:

Visuals to make the book interactive  --Pages 3-4
Comprehension questions-- pages 5-7)
Sequencing activity page --(page 8)
Activity Pages—kids put spots on the animal and write/dictate a sentence
(pages 9-12)
Companion Interactive book and icons/sentence frame—”Spots Everywhere” (pages 13-27)
Companion Interactive book– “At the Zoo” (pages 28-37)
Writing Practice: Letter Z (page 38)
You can go here to purchase at a modest price.  Of course, if you are a starving CF, email me privately ( ) if you feel your students can benefit from this product. 

Happy Spring everyone!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Speech with Milo: Sequencing App---popular in my room!

I'm back from Lisbon, and am working at full speed again.  We have a six day work week---yes, school on Saturday to make up for snow days.  (Sigh!)

A few of my students have a new favorite app---Speech with Milo: Sequencing.  

It's a simple app to use.  The child simply puts the pictures in the correct order and is rewarded by a simple video.  You can read a review of the app here.  I felt the $2.99 price was reasonable.

 The app itself is simple, and does not collect data.  You need to control the quick little fingers on the ipad a bit to minimize random guessing.

 In other words, you just can't turn a kid loose on it without control.

What I really like about it is the extension activities for writing that I've come up with.

I let the kids use this app a bit, having them verbalize sentences to go with the pictures, and answer my questions.

Then I take away the ipad, and provide them screenshot print outs of a selected set of  pictures.  The task is to write out the sequence using complete sentences and transition words.  For whatever reason, my students have been very motivated to do this, and I've been amazed by some significantly handicapped children's abilities here. 

The kids are not writing "War and Peace", but they are providing me with little written stories to go with the pictures.  I can then expand on the sentences with them, and model appropriate syntax and vocabulary.  The reward for their efforts is more Milo Sequencing!  The students' teacher loves this too, and is eager to use the screenshot printouts during her writing activities.

Screenshot printout, with my student's writing

If you need to know how to take a screenshot with your iPad, go here for a tutorial.
You can then find the photo in your gallery, and just email it to yourself to print from a computer.

As a disclaimer, I found this app and paid for it myself.  No one asked me to write about it, but a few of my students with autism especially love it, so I use it.