What’s Playposit? I am so glad you asked…



This cute little logo belongs to the most exciting website for social language videos that I have seen in a while. Yes, I don’t get out much, but it is REALLY exciting!! Playposit, formerly known as Educanon, was shown to me by one of my fantastic CFs, Rachael.  This site allows you to take video clips (from youtube, for example) and create pauses within the clip to ask questions in multiple formats (open ended, multiple choice).  These questions pause the video and pop up to allow your students to respond by clicking on their response choice (or typing their response to an open ended question).  Once you click on the answer, you click on the thumbs up sign at the bottom of the question and it turns the response green for correct or red for incorrect.  If you choose an incorrect response, when it turns your choice red, it also highlights the correct response in green so your student can see the right answer.  You can talk about what clues they may have missed or misinterpreted before continuing to the next part of the video.  You can set the parameters to allow your students to rewind the video for review, or  just click the arrow below the questions to continue the video to the next question.

I created one with a Big Bang Theory clip, The Sheldon Cooper Apology Tour , to work on what the other characters were thinking and feeling.  I created another clip using the movie preview of Angry Birds to determine what the characters were looking at (“thinking with your eyes” anyone?) HERE .  I have build a Pinterest board for social language videos already HERE, so I can just grab the URL link and create a video and question template to target specific goals for my students quickly and easily!  No more trolling the web for hours to find what I need, I can make it!

I fooled around with the site and the tutorials for about 30 minutes before I started making these videos and it was super easy!   Google Chromecast makes this app work best BTW.  It filtered out the ads from the youtube URL clips and it is FREE. You can also purchase different levels on the site and this allows extras such as printable worksheets to align to your video clips.  You can set up videos in Edmodo for your students to use at home and it records the accuracy of their responses, so it is a data collection tool as well.  It is like I won the social language lottery people!  You can share bulbs (what they call your videos) with colleagues, pin links them onto Pinterest and even post them publicly for other teachers and SLPs to use!

Take a few minutes to look around and then go have some fun!  What ways do you see yourself using this site for social language?   If you are feeling brave, share some of the bulbs YOU create in the comment section too (and thanks)!


Interactive Notebook for Social Skills

interactive notebook blog cover

I first was introduced to the idea of interactive notebooks when my youngest son was in middle school.  I thought it was a creative way to work on science units and make the information meaningful for him as a resource.   But it didn’t cross my mind until recently that this same format could work for social skills too.  The past year has been busy for me as I have been developing social skill trainings for SLPs and teachers of student with ASD.  I started looking for resources to share with them and found lots of great TPT resources and social language blogs.  However, I did not find a social skills interactive notebook working on social thinking concepts that matched what I wanted, so decided to make my own!  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

I first outlined what concepts to include because social language is pretty broad.   I narrowed it down to concepts for my elementary students (or students functioning cognitively at this level) that could span several months of the school year and be used over and over. These included personal information (family, pets, foods, interests), emotional regulation, rules and PBIS, thinking about others (personal space, think vs. say) and templates for comparing solutions (good, better, best), comic strips, problem/solutions and more.   Visual support is so crucial to success with social skills and the ability to break down the steps to problem solving, emotional regulation and figuring out stated and hidden rules is a hard but necessary skill.  Creating an individual notebook allows me to refer my students back to topics we have talked about and work towards having them use these tools independently as needed.

interactive examples

One of my teachers mentioned that she had observed one of her students using their interactive notebook to introduce themselves to a new classmate, as well as sharing some of the important class rules they needed to know “to stay out of trouble”.  It would be great, as an end of the year class project for your current students, to create a “What you need to know about your grade/ your teacher”  interactive notebook for next year’s students to have.  Your students could also make additional interactive notebook social skills units for different areas around the school (media center, cafeteria) or for special events like field trips or school presentations.

You can find my Interactive Notebook for Social Skills (elementary) with more than 80 template pages (black and white, ink friendly) included, in my TPT store HERE   .

Have you used interactive notebooks in speech or the classroom?  Share your thoughts here!

Emotions Foldable Lap Book

lap book for emotions

I have had the great opportunity to present on our professional learning day to a group of SLPs and teachers of autism classrooms in my county this week.  One of the things that we wanted to do was to have a make and take idea for usable materials.  I came across several pictures of lap books when I was looking for an idea.  While it is simple, I love that it is portable, able to be personalized and can be modified to whatever you are working on from Prek-young adults (think project rubrics for class presentations, strategies for Zones of Regulation, theme books for unit studies in science or literature).

I wanted to show you how I put one together to help a student who often became frustrated and shut down when challenged with a difficult task.  All you need are standard size manila file folders, glue, a ruler and your imagination!

lap book steps 1 to 3

We brainstormed ways to calm down when we are frustrated.  We practiced using the  words “I am frustrated” instead of getting angry or putting our head down on the table and refusing to work.  It was a lesson that we practice over a few weeks.  I have this freebie that I created for him HERE in my TPT store.  There is a color and black & white version as well as a blank template.  I used the blank in the example above so that we could draw representative pictures of each step.  I then glued the written words inside the flaps (so that teachers, paras and family members would know what the pictures meant and could reinforce the social language).

lap book example 2

Have you used lap books in social skills therapy?  Share your ideas here!!

Growing Hearts

heart blog

It’s that time of year, hearts are everywhere! What a perfect opportunity to talk about how what we say affects people’s feelings (their heart), both positively and negatively. For some of my students, there is a disconnect between what they say and what they mean. We work on using our social filters (thinking before we say something), understanding that our thoughts, actions and words make other people have different thoughts and feelings and learning to regulate our emotions in relation to others.  This is difficult territory for many students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or my impulsive students with ADHD.   I love the book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer to work on the concept of thinking of others.  You can peek at a youtube read aloud of the book HERE .

I was in the dollar store the other day and saw this packet of “Wack-a-pack” hearts. They come in a four pack for a buck! Here is the cool thing about them.  You open the pack and they are four flat balloons (small, mylar,  and heart shaped, of course).


Here are the directions!

When you smack them against a hard surface, it activates a small packet inside the balloon which then inflates it, just like magic!  But my lesson is on kindness, so instead of smacking the poor balloon, I use it as an illustration.  When when we hear sincere, kind and encouraging words, it makes us feel good.  We have what Michelle Garcia Winner describes as “having a good thought” about the person talking to us.  These good feelings can be described as “making my heart grow”.  Then we practice this with each other (it can get a little goofy, but that’s okay!).  I secretly push the packet inside the heart and voila’, it puffs right up, making our hearts grow right before our eyes!!


Be Mine…awwww

Then we talk about how mean words can make our hearts break.  We chat about what mean things someone might have said to us and how that made us feel.  We also talk about how careful we need to be when we talk to others!  Mean or careless words can make people have sad or mad thoughts and feelings about us when we don’t use our filters and think before we talk.  I then take a pin and pop the heart.  Ouch!  A heart shaped Venn Diagram would be a great visual reinforcer of these concepts too or if you are feeling brave, bubble gum to “grow” and POP your hearts!

What social skills materials have YOU found at the dollar store?  Share here!

**Want some other great dollar store ideas for speech?  Check out my friend Kristen’s            blog,  Talkin with Twang, Linky HERE .