Tuesday, March 24, 2020


LitCharts: From the creators of SparkNotes.  
Check them out at  https://www.litcharts.com/

LitCharts provides Side-by-Side Summary, Analysis, and Themes of a variety of literature.  
LitCharts is similar to SparkNotes or CliffsNotes except that LitCharts broke that mold in several ways. LitCharts is more of a bulleted-list-style summary of every single plot point in the book.  It offers side-by-side analysis and color-coded themes throughout the book.

The LitCharts Library has over:

  • 1230 Literature Guides
  • 187 Poetry Guides
  • 136 Literary Devices and Terms
  • Shakescleare Translations of every Shakespeare play

LitCharts offers online access as well as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.  The mobile app contains every word of content from the website, optimized for reading and reviewing on your phone.

If you are interested you can also subscribe to LitCharts A+.  They offer options for month to month as well as annual subscription rates. 
Check out https://www.litcharts.com/mrs-dalloway-sample.pdf to view all of the great features LitCharts A+ has to offer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Otter Voice Meeting Notes

Technology is improving everyday and it seems like nothing is improving faster than speech to text.  AISence Inc. is a startup on a mission to make voice conversations more valuable for everyone.

AISence has created a program called Otter, that will now record and take meeting notes for you in real-time.  Otter helps you capture and manage verbal communication through meetings, video conferences, school lectures, and other important conversations.

There is a free version of Otter and a Premium version.  With the free version you get 600 minutes of transcription every month and the plan does not expire.  The Premium plan offers 6,000 minutes per month.

Image of Otter iOS app icon.Download Otter Voice Meeting Notes for:
Android  (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aisense.otter)
iOS  (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/otter-ai/id1276437113?ls=1)
Or, create an account in your Google Chrome browser at otter.ai.

To learn more about Otter go to otter.ai.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Google Sheets as a Translator

Did you know that you can use the cells in Google Sheets to create a translation dictionary?  Google currently has over 50 languages available and you can translate from one language to another, not just English to the others.
This would be a great tool to use for those learning English as a second language as well as for those trying to learn any foreign language.  You could expand your sheet to include images or even brief descriptions, whatever would be helpful for you or your students. 

For more information please see the YouTube, How to Automatically Translate Google Sheets Cells (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEibCyjPMh4).

I am also including a link to the Languages Codes (https://developers.google.com/admin-sdk/directory/v1/languages) currently available in Google.

I have started a Google Sheet with translation from English to Spanish that you can take a look at as well, click the link below to make your own copy.
Translation Dictionary  (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JvbtxT1tXM7s-lvb0_ZjNjUw7nvGlh3jmCBVFfdHY-g/copy)

Google Sheets are versatile.  You could make a new tab for each language or, like in the video, make each column a different language as well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Aided Language Stimulation Explained

Aided Language Stimulation Explained  (https://tinyurl.com/glj7c4u)

Teach a student to use a communication device to generate language by using the communication device as a model.  Watch this PowToon video created by Chris Bugaj to learn a little about the importance of modeling the use of a communication device.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Keeping Pace

Keeping Pace (https://tinyurl.com/qtwe3gm)

This is an instructional video on how to use the communication strategy of a Pacing Board.  It was created by and stars Chris Bugaj himself.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Strategies for Eliciting Language

Strategies for Eliciting Language  (https://tinyurl.com/wdek6dc)

Another video created by Chris Bugaj and his colleagues at Loudoun County Public Schools.  This video shows how language scripts posted around the room can be used by assistants, substitutes, and other educators in order to help students learn to communicate.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Effective Communication Strategies

Chris Bugaj, CCC-SLP, is an AT Specialist, author, podcast host, app developer ... the list keeps going.  A few years back, when Chris worked for Loudoun County Public Schools, he and some of his colleagues created some informative videos on communication strategies.  I recently stumbled upon these videos while I was doing some other research.  The videos are a few years old but the information is accurate and worth sharing.  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing these short videos, giving you ideas of how to promote language in your classroom, your lessons, and for individual students.  

Effective Communication Strategies All Day Long (https://tinyurl.com/vvfvlkp)

This video describes how to infuse communication strategies into preschool classrooms, all day long.  The information shared can easily be transferred to and used in higher grade levels as well.

Effective Communication Strategies worksheet (PDF version) (https://tinyurl.com/vl4lt22)