Sunday, October 13, 2019

SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Link UP

Hello there! If you came looking for freebies, you've come to the right place!! New freebies are added every Sunday! And forever freebies can always be found from past link ups under "my files" on the right sidebar. 

Feel free to link up your own freebies too! Just follow the rules. 

Link Up Rules
1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. You may link up 1-3 freebies.
3. Your freebie can link to your blog or store.
4. Freebie doesn't have to be "specifically" designed for special education, but should be practical for special education.
5. Share this image on your social media so more people can discover your freebies!

Grab your freebies!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Train Your Brain with FORBRAIN!

Use your voice to boost your brain! Increase attentiveness, speech, and memory! Have you heard of Forbrain? When Forbrain contacted me and asked me to review their product with my students, I was instantly on board after reading about their product and all of the amazing reviews on their website! Forbrain has been proven to improve...

Sounds pretty awesome, right? I have students with attention deficits, auditory processing disorders, short term memory, reading struggles, and speech/language delays. All of these needs exist in my classroom, so if you throw something like this at me, you bet, I'm going to give it a try! :)

But first, let's see how it works? How can this compact headset mic do this? As you can see below, nothing goes in the ears, but on the bone in front of the ear. The user speaks into a small attached microphone that is projected through this bone. Forbrain enhances certain patterns of your voice, delivering your voice to your brain through the bone structure. 

Forbrain has been proven to:
  • Improve speech fluency, pronunciation, sound discrimination, and rhythm.
  • Reduce sensitivity to noise.
  • Train the brain to be more attentive.
  • Improve auditory processing and sensory integration.
  • Improve short term memory.
  • Improve reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Build confidence in the speaker and improve communication skills.

Sounds pretty amazing! So I tried Forbrain out with four of my students. Each student wore Forbrain for about 15-20 minutes. For my age group, Forbrain recommends just 15 minutes a day training for a duration of 6 weeks or longer. Here's a little overview of each student that was included in this experiment. 

Student A - ADHD, always off task, can't sit still, very hyper
Student B - ADD, mellow, can't focus, lack of participation, in his own little world, seldom looks when name is called
Student C - not very verbal, quiet
Student D - inattentive, unintelligible speech, speaks in a whining tone. 

Ready for the results?

Student A
-Forbrain did occupy this student enough to keep him in his seat, but it was a huge distraction for him. He couldn't stop playing with the mic and kept sucking on the mic, which in turn caused the mic to start squealing because it got so wet. Once I patted it dry with a paper towel, the squealing stopped. Yes, the mic does come with replaceable foam covers. 

Student B
-His focus and participation during whole group improved tremendously, as he wanted to hear himself talk. He was raising his hand and answering questions unlike before and was looking upon his name being called.

Student C
-Increase in verbal participation, louder voice, seemed to be more confident, but also became a distraction. 

Student D
-Less whining, more focused on speech articulation, but also easily distracted with device. 

So while I did see results with my students, it was also a distraction for them all. I also noticed that it was too large for the heads of my first and second graders, so the fact that it didn't fit their heads well was probably a large part of the distraction, plus the fact that it was new and fascinating to them.

I can definitely see the potential in Forbrain though, especially in small group settings or one-on-one where the device can be monitored easier, and also with older, less fidgety students. I can also see where Forbrain could be very beneficial for SLPs during speech sessions. 

If you are an SLP, or have students or a child that is inattentive, struggles with reading, auditory processing, short term memory, or maybe has sensory needs, or language or communication barriers, I definitely recommend giving Forbrain a try! Give it a try and learn more here

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Win a Tablift Tablet Stand!

Wow! What a year it has been already! Although I've continued to be very active on Instagram and Facebook, my blog has been a little silent! Well maybe more than a little! :)
Well today, I'm bringing you not only a blog post, but also a giveaway! 

Tablift recently asked me to try out their standing tablet stand with my students! 

Well of course I had to try it out for myself first! I spend a lot of time on my iPad and while I don't  take it to bed with me, I do love stretching out with it on my sofa, so I was definitely excited to try it out. 
I love that it allowed me to be hands free! I'm typically doing school related stuff on mine, or browsing Pinterest :) so the Tablift allows me to be able jot down those classroom ideas or recipes without having to lay my iPad down each time or put my legs up to hold it. 
The legs are very flexible allowing you to put it in any position, and keeps the iPad stable even on uneven surfaces such as my sofa. These flexible legs also allow you to make it as high or as low as you'd like and make it super easy to store!
The iPad attaches easily and very securely with a stretchy band and the Tablift has 3 positions. You can position it straight up and down for sitting in a reclining position, slanted forward for laying flat in bed, or slanted back if using it in a sitting positon. It will also hold your iPad in the portrait position too. Oh, and it's also compatible with Kindles and other tablets as well. 

One downfall I found was that I had to remove my iPad case to use it. My iPad would not fit in the slots with the case on it. Other than that, it's been  very useful and I like that I can be completely hands free while working on lesson plans and other stuff. 

Once it was teacher approved, I took it to school and tried it out with my students. Again, I did have to take off my iPad cases, which made me a little nervous at school, but with how secure and tight the band holds the iPad in, and with how sturdy the legs are, I really had nothing to worry about. In fact, the classroom iPad on the Tablift has been actually safer, because some of my students have been known to slam down the iPads very roughly on their tables and toss them around inappropriately. With the Tablift they can't do that. 

Two other bonuses I have found using it in my classroom are that it greatly improves student posture. My students aren't slouched down and over looking down at their tables, or placing the iPad too close to their eyes. Instead, they have to sit in an upright position in their seat with the iPad positioned at an appropriate distance.

The second bonus is that my students seemed to perform better on reading tasks. Since they are in an upright position and not hovering over the iPad, they have been able to visually track their reading much better. They don't seem to need to refocus as often or lose their place. 

I also have a student that likes to stand. The Tablift adjustable legs allow you to position the iPad high enough to accommodate the standing position. 

The Tablift did not work well on student desks unless they were standing, because in order to keep the flexible legs on a standard student desk, the iPad had to be positioned high. But it works perfectly on not only tables, but also for students that want to sit on the floor to use the iPad. 

Overall, I really love the Tablift. I just wish I had  more of them! :) I'm taking the one I have home every night for me to use and at school I can only use it with one iPad. I wish I had one for every iPad, because I love that when students are using it, they're not slouching and laying across the table, they're not misusing the iPad, and they are visually tracking their reading much better. 

Would your students or even you benefit from a Tablift? If so, you can easily purchase a Tablift here. The Tablift retails for $39.95. BUT, Tablift also gave me two to give away! :) Want to win one? Just enter the Rafflecopter below and two winners will be notified on Sunday. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway