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So, since the Weather Strikes Again!, I will have to delay (hopefully not for too long!) a post about the district-wide SLP meeting we were going to have today. Ah well, if I don’t get to witness it myself, I have some notes about the Main Thing they were going to discuss and I will write a post up about that, if nothing else. In the meantime….
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to incorporate computer use into the therapy session. Mostly because I made up a simple little PowerPoint activity for my kids working on rhyme. Basically, the first slides compare pictures that rhyme (e.g. bee, key) and I just click through them and talk about how they rhyme because they have the same sound at the end. Then the slides move to a little “game” to test the kids to see if they’ve picked up the whole rhyming thing. Basically the slide has two pictures side by side that sometimes rhyme and sometimes don’t. Below the pictures is a button that says “Yes” and a button that says “No.” I tell them what the pictures are (e.g. “This is a picture of a house and this is a picture of a mouse. Do house and mouse rhyme?”) and they can tell me yes or no. At this point, since they still aren’t really getting the whole rhyme thing, only one of the buttons (the correct button) actually moves to another slide. So if the answer is “Yes” I let them click the “Yes” button and it goes to a slide with a picture with a little animation and sound that basically says “Yay! They rhyme! How cool is that?!” If the answer is “No (they don’t rhyme)” then the “No” button leads to a picture, animation, and sound that kind of says, “Doh! Those don’t rhyme! How sad!” or something kind of silly like that. Just this last weekend, I thought it would be more awesome if the buttons went to very short videos I downloaded from YouTube and inserted into the PowerPoint. (Note: It was more awesome.) There are only about 5 slides that I use to test them, so it’s not slide upon slide that I have to do this button thing on, and I use the same animations/pictures for “Yes” and “No” for a single session. (I only change them for the next session.) I would say the initial PowerPoint I did took about 30-45 minutes for me to make, and now I just use it as a template and replace the pictures so I don’t even have to create new buttons/hyperlinks. And really, the longest part for me is usually thinking of enough simple rhymes to show the kids. (Okay, finding videos that are under 15 seconds on YouTube proved to be more time consuming than I thought, but now I have a tiny store of them built up for a while, and I’ve alerted friends that if they find any really cute, really short videos to send me the link.)
In any case, the reason why I did something computer based in the first place (well, besides the fact that I’d done it once before for a graduate class) was because I couldn’t find pictures for the rhymes I wanted to do among R’s materials and I didn’t want to have to print out a bunch of color pictures that I found on the internet. (The schools are economical with their color printing.) I was able to find the stimulus items I wanted and I can carry it from school to school on my laptop, which is pretty convenient. I don’t think computer based activities can be used for everything, and sometimes kids need something to manipulate with their hands, but it works for this and is still easily reusable.
Has anyone used a computer based activity to teach a goal? Do you think it’s feasible? Does it sound like I have the PowerPoint skills of a god? (I can assure you, I do not.) Is it something you would consider making and then using? If so, for what sort of language goal? What do you think of computers being used in the therapy session in general? I find with my older kids with whom I’m working on writing, I constantly want to pull out my laptop to bring up something on the internet to help be explain. Unfortunately, my own laptop is not hooked up to the internet at the schools. If any readers out there have thoughts to share on this, I’d love to hear them.
Ever since I posted explaining the kinds of games my supervisor frequently uses, I’ve been going crazy preparing some of my own. I had really been enjoying the time off from making materials, but suddenly, the seriousness of preparing for the many sessions I am now leading hit me. And I aim to be a pretty awesome intern, not a terrible one, so off I went, prepping like mad for my sessions and finding stuff to print and color for activities.
This weekend, I have made matching frogs, colored sequencing cards, made simple commands cards, created a simple rhyme PowerPoint, and printed about four other activities that need to be colored and cut (I plan to color the umbrellas today). Whew! I really need to start laminating this stuff.
I secretly think I’m trying to channel the nervous energy I feel about 1) my thesis (I have no idea where it’s going right now), 2) getting ready for my hospital externship. My hospital is out-of-state, and while I now have a place to live (a major victory!) I’m trying to get everything else in order for it although they have yet to finalize the contact (I try not to think about this), and 3) the PRAXIS II. I went ahead a scheduled it for March because I want to get it done before I leave for my hospital externship and who knows where I’ll be going when I get back. (Hopefully I will have a job!) I’m now trying to force my brain back into study mode, when it quite happily went on no-study mode for Christmas break and externs. Whoops.
I will take this moment to generate a To Do list for next week. (I’ve also stopped consistently making a To Do list since going on extern. This is probably another reason I feel stressed when there’s actually not a lot to accomplish.)
- E-mail my thesis advisor
- E-mail my future landlady
- Buy a plane ticket (??? I keep waffling on this)
- Laminate all finished materials
- Continue typing up school notes
- Continue studying for PRAXIS II
- Re-post my desk as For Sale
- Clean and re-organize my room (losing furniture really increases the chaos)