iName It: Household Items {An App Review and Giveaway!}

If you follow all the great speechie blogs out there, then chances are, you’ve seen the latest reviews and giveaways for the app iName It by Smarty Ears.  Have you entered all the giveaways for this app yet?  Well, if you want one more chance to win a copy, then check out my review and enter the rafflecopter giveaway below to win this simple yet versatile app!



So here is the WHO,WHAT,WHEN, WHERE and WHY of this awesome app…..

WHO will this app benefit?  and WHAT skills will it address?

Although this app was originally designed for adult patients with aphasia experiencing word finding difficulties, I was pleased to find it appropriate for other populations, namely, the pediatric population, including children with word retrieval weakness as well as those working on life skills who need to strengthen their understanding and use of functional vocabulary.  Also, if you are working on a thematic unit in your therapy room related to “household items,” ”rooms within a house,”  or any theme related to the home, this would be a great way to address new vocabulary.  Additionally, Smarty Ears suggests this app is appropriate for students with apraxia.  According to the research sited by the app  creator, “literature suggests using initial syllable cues and sentence completion cues may trigger motor commands for articulation and be beneficial to individuals with apraxia of speech as well.”


WHAT does this app look like?

The app consists of 50 words for objects typically found in rooms of a house including kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room and garage.  There are 10 target items included for each household scene.  The photos scenes are clear and well organized—Your kiddos will feel like they are standing right in the middle of these beautifully designed rooms!

HOW do I start using the app?

iName It is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Select the language you wish to use in the settings.  Click on the “start practice” button to add/choose users, then choose the room you would like to start in.


A task bar at the bottom of the screen shows  the objects to be found in the scene. After selecting an item, a bar will display the prompts that you can choose from to help with naming the item.

If the user  doesn’t need a prompt to name the item,  tap the “got it” button.


For demonstration purposes, I am showing the kitchen scene and tapped on the cupboards.  The item being addressed then becomes highlighted.


Need help with retrieving the label for that item?  The screen looks like the one below and a cue bar becomes available to help prompt you.

The five different prompts available include:

1-phonetic–a spelling cue is given to help with word retrieval. (pencil icon)



2-semantic—a word meaning is provided. (book icon)



3-phrase completion-A sentence fill-in is provided using the word in the appropriate context. ( frame icon)


4-phonemic—an initial sound cue is given to assist in naming the word. (speech bubble icon)

5-whole word–the word is displayed. (ABC symbol)



WHERE are results kept?

Data is collected during use of the app and stored in the results section.  Go to the main screen to access the results tab and then click on the player name/avatar.  Information provided includes:    the dates the app has been used, overall accuracy without cues, overall accuracy with cues, and which type of cue was most successful. Each session is recorded by date and visual scene name.  As with all of Smarty Ears apps, the session report can then be emailed, printed, or exported to the Therapy Report Center and used for monitoring progress and report writing.


WHY do I like this app?

  • It’s easy to use!
  • It can be used with a variety of populations.
  • The photo scenes are visually appealing—(loving the modern home design–when can I move in?!)
  • When tapping on an item, that item is highlighted, while the rest of the screen becomes grey and fades into the background.  A great feature for individuals who may be visually distracted by all the stimuli on the page.
  • The “most successful cue” feature allows the user to see what “strategy” was most helpful in getting the correct response.
  • Versatility—I can use this with students on my caseload to address: Categorizing (Can you name some other items you would find in this room?) WH question formulation  (Have student ask a question and another student guess the correct item–”What is something you store food in to keep it cold?”)   Sentence completion (Have students use the household items in sentence of their own.)


The iName It app is available in the iTunes Store for $14.99.

Ready for the giveaway!?   Check out the rafflecopter giveaway below and enter!!!!

Disclaimer: Smarty Ears provided me with a free copy of the app to review as well as one copy to give away. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday FreeBEES {A Bird’s Nest Craft/Recycling Project}

 It’s time for another edition of  Friday FreeBEES and I’m linking up!



I’ve got Easter, Spring and Earth Day all covered with this craftivity and freebie!!!

Download the FREEBIE Spring word list and Egg Color Chart to accompany this game here!!!!

Keep the chart in front of you as you play.   Cut out each of the  Spring words and place them randomly into the eggs.  Put all eggs in a bag so players can’t see which one they are choosing.

Each student can collect their eggs in their  own “nest” .

The winner will be the student who has tallied up the most points at the end of the game.

Students will earn eggs by reaching into a bag that contains the following colored eggs:

BLUE=How many syllables are in your word?

PURPLE=Think of a word that rhymes with your word

YELLOW= Use your word in a sentence

ORANGE=What category does your word fit into? Name two other words in that category

GREEN=Guess  my word–give three clues about the word 

egg chart




To make your birds nest, you will need some materials that were previously used for other purposes.  A great way to demonstrate creative recycling to your students!!

Gather the following items:

  • Square containers like the ones I used here (a Styrofoam mushroom container and a clear plastic container from a guacamole kit).  You will find these in the produce section of your supermarket.
  •  plastic eggs
  •  Easter grass
  •  a brown paper bag cut into long strips
  •  glue






Cut your strips of brown paper bag and start gluing them to the bottom of the container.  Lay them in different directions, covering the entire bottom and sides of container.  Use a rubber band to hold the pieces in place while they dry.




Flip the container over. Glue and add the strips to the inside of the container.



Your container should start to resemble a bird’s nest.  You can add green Easter grass to the inside of the container if you wish.  Also, if pressed for time in the classroom, use the containers as is, and fill them with the grass.


And as always, “SpeechSnacks” has included a recipe!  This one could easily be performed with a life skills class if you have access to a kitchen….or why not give it a try at home and bring it to school to share with your speechie friends at school the next day if permitted.


Heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl, combine: 1 cup all-natural peanut butter ,  1 cup ricemellow creme, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut


Let the kids have fun measuring and pouring all the ingredients into the bowl and mixing with their hands!


I LOVE this product I recently started using…it contains no fat, no refined sugar, no corn sweeteners, no cane sugar, no preservatives! It’s derived from brown rice syrup (it’s  the healthy version of marshmallow fluff)….so use it to make rice crispy treats, on a sandwich with peanut butter or to top your hot chocolate!




Shape heaping tablespoons of the mixture into balls with your hands. Wet your hands slightly so that the mixture won’t get too sticky. Then press into the center to hollow out the middle and form a nest.

This step is also all about the kids!  Rolling the dough is a great fine motor, kid-centered task!


Add your favorite preserves to the center of each cookie before baking for 10-12 minutes. You can also add other centers such as dried sweetened cranberries, dried apricots, raisins or all-natural jelly beans(just be sure to add them AFTER the cookies have baked or they will burn or melt!)


Let the kids  help decide what to add to the centers—give them some new, healthy options to explore—make them part of the process and they might just surprise you with their willingness to taste something new!!


Don’t forget to check out all the egg-cellent and FREE ideas that others are adding to this week’s link up!!

Cottontails, Ladybugs and Bird’s Nests—A Speechie Springtime Roundup!

 I’ve put together all my springtime ideas into one post!!  If you need a recycling craftivity for Earth Day—I’ve got it!  If you want a fun plastic egg game that addresses language goals—I’ve got that too and if you want to see me in action making a simple and healthy snack, I have a video starring “yours truly” and the cutest little “ladybug” ever!!  All of my craftivities and food themed projects are accompanied by products that you can purchase in my TpT store.   My products are inspired by the hands-on projects I have created.  I hope you can find something that you can use in an upcoming speech/language session. Many of these products and ideas span across a variety of ages, ability levels and are well-suited for life skills groups as well!!  

First,   “Collect the Cottontails” is a game that I created and use with my articulation and language kiddos during the week leading up to Easter.    And I have a FREEBIE word list and game chart available for this game.  Find the  word list FREEBIE in my TeachersPayTeachers Store!  Use it to target specific speech sounds or as a Spring vocabulary list.   You can find the entire post, including the game as well as a recipe for “Cottontail Cookies” here!!    

PicMonkey Collage cottontails


This next post is filled with enough activities to keep your kiddos busy until Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail!

PicMonkey Collage egg post

There’s a recipe for BIRD’S NEST COOKIES that are kid-friendly and good for you, craft project that uses recyclable materials to make your very own bird’s nests in the therapy room or at home and a language activity in  my TPT store–Scrambled Eggs!  {cat-EGG-ories, EGG-spressions and EGG-stremely funny crack ups!}  Enjoy all the spring and Easter-themed goodies while you practice good speech and language!   Find the full post here!!!

Then, In honor of Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22nd each year, I created a book companion activity–Rhyme, Define, Recycle!  It is a book companion activity for the story Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel.      Then we did some REAL recycling projects!  We used an egg carton to make LITTER BUGS and egg shells to make EGG HEADS—it was messy but fun!  Check it out here!!

post recycle


Next, I’ve created a kid-friendly snack with a lady bug theme!  You can watch me in the video below as I prepare a healthy snack while practicing some important language concepts.  (But please be kind—I’m not quite ready for the Food Network just yet!!)

PicMonkey Collage ladybugs

Check out my LadyBug Picnic below, and view the entire post here!!!

This inspired me to create a product for my TpT store: LadyBug Picnic Complete Packet: for Articulation & Auditory Processing  This product includes a little something for everyone:  articulation, auditory processing for direction following, story comprehension, and memory skills and categorization—all with a picnic/ladybug theme!


Finally, if you need a vocabulary activity for your middle and high school students, check out Magic Squares Spring Vocabulary. It includes  vocabulary  for: St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary, weather words, basketball terms (March Madness College b-ball!!), color related words, “Spring changes” terms and flower related terms.

 spring 1

I hope these fun and effective ideas help make your spring therapy sessions fly by!  Before you know it, we’ll be talking about summer vacation and sharing end of the school year thoughts and ideas!

April Fool’s Fake Out & Language Activity!

I’m so glad it’s finally spring and April is here!! After utilizing my snow-themed speech and language materials all winter long, I am looking forward to spring-themed ideas to liven up the last few months of the school year.  This simple food activity and April Fool’s cause/effect product in my TpT store is definitely going to add some excitement to your therapy sessions!   And my older kids love anything humorous and silly–especially the boys–so I know this will be a hit with them!


If you have access to a kitchen at school or use food activities with your life-skills students, you’re going to want to check out my April Fool’s Cookies.  So easy to make (especially if you buy the instant potatoes) and so much fun to watch the reactions of those you serve them to!    Plus it’s a pretty healthy snack—potatoes and black beans–how can you go wrong!  Unless you were anticipating chewy chocolate chip cookies that is!


April Fool’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Mashed Potatoes and Black Beans)

Whip up your favorite recipe for mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes work great too—especially if you are making these with students at school. All you need is a hot plate, water, butter and the potato flakes for a quick and easy option!!  The directions on a box of instant potatoes are a great way to address sequencing/comprehension skills. (Omit black pepper or any other spices that will add color. )


(Optional): Mix in a few drops of yellow food coloring to make them appear more realistic.

Stir in a can of drained and rinsed black beans.

Place spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown in color.


Serve warm on a plate! Your “cookies” will look REAL when done!


And don’t forget to whip up a batch of real chocolate chip cookies to make up for the April Fool’s trick!!

Language building ideas:
Did you fool anyone??
Did they think they were taking a bite of a warm and chewy cookie?
Did they guess what it really was before, during or after you presented them with the April Fool’s treat?
Describe their emotions/reaction/response.
Identify the cause and effect of this experience. (Cause=serving April Fool’s cookies to others.
Effect= surprise, shock, disappointment from those believing they were being served chocolate chip cookies)

And as a follow up or substitute for the Cookie baking activity,  try out my April Fool’s Cause/Effect and Perspective Taking for Older Students.

Your students will love these fun April Fool’s practical joke scenarios found in my TpT store for $2.75. (Tell them they are meant for the classroom only!)


Cut out and laminate the 12 scenario cards and emotions cards pages.

Read through each of the 12 April Fool’s practical joke scenario cards (the cause). Decide what will happen next (the effect). Determine how the individuals in the situations might feel as a result of the effect (perspective taking).

Discuss what the practical joker might do next. Use the emotions cards to identify which of the feelings the person being fooled might be experiencing. You might use more than one of the emotions depending on your opinion of how someone would react to the situations.


Use the April Fool’s Cause/Effect Graphic Organizers to fill in the effects in writing as well as label the emotion that would coincide with each scenario.
Enjoy the included April Fool’s recipe card for “Chocolate Chip cookies!”

An Irish “Cork” tivity and FREE Language Activity!

Okay, let’s face it, many of us have an open bottle of wine sitting in our kitchen.  You probably opened it a few days ago and had a glass or two of red but haven’t had the opportunity to finish enjoying the rest of it.  Well, if you have no other plans this evening, go ahead and (responsibly) polish it off!  And while you’re at it, go ask your neighbors if they can do the same.  Maybe you will even consider having  a little impromptu wine tasting party with them—bring some cheese and crackers, a good hummus dip and enjoy!  But before you think that’s the end of the festivities, think again. You’ll need to collect the cork stoppers from each of the bottles for a fun St. Patty’s Day ”cork” tivity with your students the next day!  (Yes, I will take credit for the term “cork” tivity if it ever catches on!)  You will be using the corks to create a shamrock stamper for use in your speech sessions.  And feel free to make many sets of shamrock stampers if you happen to have more than three corks at your disposal!!

I’ve also included a freebie that you can find in my TpT store.  Most of my caseload is made up of older students (10-16 year olds) and I didn’t want to leave them out of the fun!  You can let them decorate a piece of construction paper with a shamrock stamper too, but to make things a bit more challenging, I’ve included a FREE language and comprehension download.

cork activity

Use the informative non-fiction text to teach them about the city of Cork and another passage about shamrocks.  Yes, Cork is a real city in Ireland and it just seemed like the most fitting  way to tie in with this “cork-tivity.”   I included a set of comprehension questions, synonym matching, a map of Ireland and a place to write newly learned facts about the city.   I hope you and your students find these activities fun and informative!

Here is what you will need to make the Shamrock stamper cork-tivity:

3 cork stoppers

a rubber band

washable green paint

a large piece of construction paper

a paper plate or thick paper for the paint

a thin paint brush


First, wrap the corks securely with a  rubber band.  Thick rubber bands work best.  You’ve made a shamrock stamper!


Pour some paint on a paper plate or thick paper.


Dip the cork stamper into the paint coating the bottom surface of the corks.


Press the cork stamper onto your construction paper. Be sure to put an even amount of pressure on all three corks as you press down for  best results.


How to use with your speech and language goals:

Have your students press on a shamrock for each time they practice any target sound, word, phrase or sentence.  If you are targeting the /sh/ sound, this will be the ideal activity!!

Use it with language students as well.  Create descriptive sentences about shamrocks and write them out around the edges of your paper–i.e.: Shamrocks are green. Shamrocks have three leaves. Shamrocks grow on the ground.


I have a small caseload of pre-school kiddos and they had a great time creating shamrocks!


Use a thin paint brush to make small stems on the clovers while the paint is still wet. Once the project dries they can take it home and share with their families.  Makes great refrigerator art too!!




Did you like this freebie??  If you haven’t heard,  Speechie Freebies started a link-up that will air every Friday!  You can get free materials from lots of creative SLP’s by visiting the freebies link.  And if you are an SLP with a great freebie to share, Friday is your chance to put your ideas in the spotlight.  So be sure to check out what else is buzzing!!!!

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