Archive for December 2011

Custom Boards in Action

Custom Boards in Action
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by Cindy L. Meester M.S.,CCC/SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

There are many options to use the Custom Boards app within speech therapy sessions. Let me show you a few ways to get you started.

Activities & Games Templates:

I used the Christmas Tree template and imported pictures from my Photos that displayed different emotions. I printed one master copy. You could laminate this or put it in a protective plastic sleeve. I printed one extra and cut out the ornaments. The object is to pick an ornament, label the emotion and make guesses on what the gift might have been. For example: Excited (red): she received an iPad or Upset/Mad (orange): she received a pair of used boots. It can be a fun brainstorming activity and lead to a social skills lesson on what to say and what to keep in your thinking bubble.

I used the Board Game (Simple) template to create a quick open-ended game that could be use for different objectives. This one is called Blizzard. You can use a coin (heads=2, tails=1) or a die to move. If you land on the purple blizzard you lose one turn. If you land on snow day you take another turn. Now landing on the red dice is the open ended part of this game.

    • For articulation students use articulation cards or the Articulate it! App and if they land on a die with 5 they say a word five times or five words or even use the words in a sentence. Play continues as long as time allows.
    • For language students use the Label Set #3 template found in Signs & Labels and add vocabulary words or pictures to the circles or “snowballs” and they draw from the pile when landing on a red die. You might have them provide a definition, describe and have others guess; use the concept in a sentence, etc.  You may want them to just draw one “snowball” on their turn.

I used the Matching Cards template found in Activities & Games to created two syllable word cards. I cut them apart and laminated them. I made them color-coded to help with matching the two pieces.

    1. The students can draw these in a matching game format.
    2. I have also placed or taped one half of the word in the room and they try to find their match.
    3. We placed these on the floor in a hopscotch form and they say each syllable while hopping on them. They like to collect as many pairs as they can.


These are only a few ways to use the many possible options available on the Custom Boards app. Be sure to explore the many templates available the possibilities are endless!


Sean Sweeney Joins Smarty Ears as Product Development Manager

December 26, 2011, San Francisco, CA – Smarty Ears is proud to announce Sean Sweeney as the company’s Product Development Manager. Sean will manage and help create new apps for Smarty Ears as well as collaborate with authors to develop ideas and bring their projects to life in an app format.

Sean is quite the expert in the industry. Sean holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University and an additional master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Framingham State College. He has served as a Private Practitioner for the past eight years at the Ely Center, located in Newton, MA, in which he provides treatment  to clients with social communication issues. Sean has 10+ years of experience as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist and he has also worked in the public school district as an Instructional Technology Specialist.

In 2010, Sean created the blog,, to share info with users on how to integrate technology into speech therapy and soon after, won the 2010 Best New Blog from Edublogs. He not only authors his own blog, but he also contributes to the popular industry blogs, ASHAsphere and the Mindwing Concepts Blog. Consequently, Sean has spent the past few years providing consultations and making presentations at conferences, area clinics, and the annual national ASHA convention. He has presented on topics concerning webtools, apps, and social media venues that SLPs can use to enhance their practice.

“I am hugely excited to join the Smarty Ears team! My experience in Instructional Technology in educational settings was primarily geared around helping teachers use (and in many cases work around) the features of available tech tools in order to meet their lesson objectives.  In my role with Smarty Ears, it will be wonderful to be able to actually design tools for SLPs that are customized to clinical needs!” Sean expresses, “As an SLP, I have always been a fan of products that provide a broad context and strategies that can be implemented outside treatment sessions.  I hope to apply that strategic and contextual focus toward developing apps that directly target language and literacy skills, while engaging students by taking advantage of the interactive potential of iDevices.”

Barbara Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Smarty Ears, “We are glad to have such a talented SLP join our team. We have watched all the great work he has done in promoting the integration of technology into therapy on his blog and we look forward to the great work he will do as the Smarty Ears App Development Manager.”

For more information, contact Smarty Ears at [email protected] or visit