So Many Choices, So Little Time… PART 2

By Lynn LaValley

BITSBOARD is unique app which allows its user to play 18 mini-games.  At the low cost of FREE, it’s a gem! Bitsboard has a large catalog of content which was created by fellow SLPs, teachers, and/or parents.  It is easy to create and customize boards, as well as share with anyone via the Bitsboard catalog.  This post is the continuation from 2 weeks ago, and will review games 10-18.

Bitsboard Games are as follow:

  1. Word Search– the user attempts to find all the words based on the clues that are provided via pictures, audio, or full sentences. This game is highly customizable, and the programmer can specify the number of words to display. This game has “tile magnets” which can be turned off so that the user will have to release the tile above the correct answer, and the tiles will no longer snap into the correct answer tile. The programmer can also set the directions of the target words (i.e. horizontal, vertical, diagonal, etc.).  As with many of the Bitsboard games, session length can be adjusted, as well as the sequence of items, and the progression of the game.
  2. Spelling Bee- this will assist in the acquisition of spelling, as well as navigating the keyboard. Kids are very motivated by this game because they are provided with instant feedback to correct mistakes and see checkmarks when corrected.  The programmer can control setting options such as spelling order, session length (i.e. between 1 and 20 items per round),and rounds can be set as continuous play, or interrupted by a scorecard. As with all games, the sequence can be programmed to appear in alphabetical or random order, or in the order entered.  The progression of the game can also be customized so that the game will automatically advance to the next screen after each correct answer, or manual so that the user has to click on the next button to advance.
  3. Bingo- what kid doesn’t love this game? This game allows for multiple users (up to 4 players). Settings include control over number of items and text only (which creates a reading game).
  4. Reader- This game helps young readers because in lue of hearing an audio prompt, the user sees a label which they have to find. (If help is needed, the user can click on the speaker icon and hear the audio stimulus.) A great feature is the adjustment of difficulty based on the user’s skill. For example, if the user gets two correct answers, the game automatically gets more difficult, but if two wrong answers are provided, the game gets easier by showing less photos.  Image numbers and audio hints are all customizable, as well as session length and the sequence of items.
  5. Photo Hunt- this game is similar to Bingo. The user has one chance to find the correct answer. The programmer can set the maximum number of images to display, as well as turn on or off the text only setting.
  6. Story Time- creates stories to be shared. The options include to display the page number, provide audio feedback, read to the player, or swipe to advance. Furthermore, the sequence of information can be set as alphabetical, random, or in the order entered.
  7. Side by Side- this game presents two cards side by side, which makes it great for teaching concepts (e.g. opposites). This allows for the programmer to display either both text and images, or two images per page. Again, the sequence of items presented is customizable.
  8. Odd One Out- this game has the user find the one item that does not belong as it compares bits from two boards at the same time (i.e. 3 items from one board, and 1 from another). Bitsboard recommends using boards in Collections to create the best learning experience. Audio prompts are available in this game.
  9. Sort It- much like Odd One Out, this game compares bits across 2-5 different boards, and the user must figure out how to sort the items. (Again, using boards in Collections is recommended.) Games with Sort It include sorting by related items, category by starting sound, and sort items by numbers. Like all games, this game is fully customizable with number of items, hints, display options, session length, sequence, and progression.

I hope you take the time to explore this app and have enjoyed this 2 part series.  As I previously said, kids love this app because everything feels like a game, and SLPs love it because the possibilities are endless.

App Review of Bitsboard …PART 1

BITSBOARD is unique app which allows its user to play 18 mini-games. At the low cost of FREE, it’s a gem! Bitsboard has a large catalog of content which was created by fellow SLPs, teachers, and/or parents.  It is easy to create and customize boards, as well as share with anyone via the Bitsboard catalog.  This week we will review games one through 9. (Stay tuned for 10-18 in the following weeks.)

The Home Screen allows its user to select a board and begin a Bitsboard game. Within the home screen users can view self-generated boards, or view/edit collections.  It is easy to organize all these boards and collections by student, class, subject, etc., and the search button allows you to find the targeted board quickly.  Tracking progress is also available.

Kids love this app because everything feels like a game. SLPs love it because the possibilities are endless.

Bitsboard Games are as follow:

  1. Flashcards- this is a great way to introduce new vocabulary, as it is a single visual witch shows both the word and picture. The record feature allows the user to say what they hear/see.   There are setting options within Flashcards which allow you to decide how the cards progress (e.g. swipe, tap, or automatically), display options (i.e. picture only, word only, both, or one followed by the other), capitalization of text, and sequence (i.e. alphabetically, randomly, or as were entered.
  2. Explore- allow you to view all items in a board.
  3. Photo Touch- the user hears the audio, and is required to identify its corresponding “bit.” The game automatically adjusts itself based on the user’s skills and will add and/or remove visuals as needed. Settings within this option allow you to specify the minimum and maximum number of images to display, turn this into a reading game by activating text only, and control the length of sessions. As with the Flashcards, sequence and progression can also be controlled by the developer.
  4. True or False- requires the user to identify whether the image, label, and audio presented go together. (“Yes”= true; “No”= false.) Again, this can be turned into a reading game by turning off the audio hints. The developer has control as to if the audio always matches what is being displayed, or to always follow the label. Length of session (i.e. “rounds”), sequence, and progression are all able to be controlled.
  5. Genius- this game shuffles through all boards available, and the user never knows what type of question is coming. Setting options for this mode allows you to turn on/off: Flashcards, Photo Touch, True or False, Match Up, Pop Quiz, Reader, Word Builder, and Spelling Bee. (Please note: this mode only uses simple question games, therefore Memory, Bingo, and Photo Hunt are not included.) Within this mode, length of session and sequence can be controlled.
  6. Memory Cards- allows for matching images, or images to text, or images to audio or label. This game can be played with up to 4 players with varying abilities as it can be played “face up.”
  7. Pop Quiz- even a quiz can be made fun with Bitsboard. Pop Quiz has various displays (from 2-6 possible answers) depending on the sills of the user, and like Photo Touch the difficulty is automatically increased/decreased based on the user’s response. Setting options include minimum/maximum number of answer choices to display, hints, session length, sequence, and progression.
  8. Match Up- is four mini- matching games in one. The default game requires images to be matched up with their corresponding word, however the other versions allow for different matching options such as matching to audio, or identical matching. Again, this is automatically adjusted based on the user’s skill, and has the same setting options as previously mentioned.

I hope you explore this app and the aforementioned games over the next two weeks, and stay tuned for the Part 2 when we explore games 9-18.

Phonological Processes

Phonological processes are typically developing speech sound errors which occur in children.  These processes usually remediate themselves by age 5.5.

The most common processes include:

Final consonant deletion- the deletion of a final consonant in a word (e.g. “bed” becomes “be”)

Fronting- is the substitution of sounds in the front of the mouth for back sounds (e.g. “cup” becomes “tup”)

Stopping- is the substitution of a sound which momentarily stops the airflow, for those which are “*noisy” sounds (e.g. “sail” becomes “tail.”)

Cluster reduction- is the deletion of one or more consonants from a 2 or 3 word cluster (e.g. “spot” becomes “pot”)

Stridency Deletion- is the deletion or substitution of a “*noisy” sound (e.g. “fin” becomes “in”)

Gliding- is when an /r/ becomes a /w/ or /l/ becomes a /w/ or /j/ (e.g. “rail” becomes “whale”)

*noisy sounds include: /f/ /v/ /sh/ /ch/ /j/ /s,z/

When these processes occur more than 40% of the time in a child’s speech, it may negatively impact his/her intelligibility.

For more information on phonological processes and how to remediate them, please visit :




The Power of Play

So often now young ones are being pushed to do more then they are ready for, and forgoing playtime. Play is not a frivolous and purposeless activity, but rather an opportune time to learn through something that is meaningful and relevant to our children’s life. Play sparks curiosity and creativity, and is critical for expanding cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional development.

Over the next few weeks we will discuss different types of play including: active play vs. passive entertainment, child-directed vs. adult directed, free play vs. structured play, and object play vs. social play.

Please feel free to join this discussion and give us your experience and input, ask questions, or tell us about your favorite toy and why.

Whether your child is working on developing language skills, speech sound production, or social skills, play-based therapy is a great tool.  Using active play (i.e. an activity which the child is taking part in) can allow for numerous communicative or production opportunities while having fun.  For example, a child that is working on /b/ production may enjoy bouncing/rolling balls with a parent/sibling.

Passive entertainment (i.e. an activity which a child observes passively) may be used for carryover of a skill.  For example, using an alphabet app which visually shows the letter “B” as well as word which being with the /b/ sound may provide more auditory feedback for the child working on the /b/ sound.

Let’s hear what activities you do to carryover skills addressed in therapy.

When playing with our children, we must remember that although sometimes we want adult-directed play (i.e. planned by us, initiated by us, and terminated by us), child-centered play may more relevant, meaningful, and reinforcing to them.  So, the next time your child initiates, follow along!  Learn to incorporate language into his/her play by commenting, modeling, and asking questions.

Think for a moment…what was your favorite play activity as a child?  Mine was Barbies and riding my yellow bike with a banana seat.  Times have changed, and many children play simulated games (e.g. Wii bowling) in lue of playing the actual game.  Although technology advancements have helped in many areas, Dr. Elkind (2007) states “an unintended consequence is that childhood has moved indoors.”  Playing on handheld devices and video game systems does not foster the cooperative play skills, problem solving, and language which is important for child development.   Weigh in your opinion regarding technology, we’d love to hear it!