ASHA School Connect Conference

Today, Nicole Groft, SLP at Gutermuth Elementary shares some information about her recent attendance at the ASHA School Connect Conference:

Hello fellow SLPs! I had the opportunity this summer, through a Fund for Teachers grant, to attend the ASHA School Connect Conference! I wanted to share just a few things that I thought were helpful and most influential toward my practice. One major focus in the conference was a push toward narrative and literacy-based therapy for language as opposed to drill and practice. Studies show that narrative therapy not only enables therapists to work on a variety of skills during one lesson, but also shows more significant carry-over of skills to the classroom and can reduce planning time after units are established.

One presenter at the conference who was particularly fabulous was Phoung Palafox. Her presentation was very engaging and informational and if you have the opportunity to see her speak, you should! She spoke not only about literacy-based therapy but also about the types of materials and books chosen. She expressed the importance of multi-cultural selections to provide our students “windows and mirrors”. Books can be “windows” that allow students to see outside of their own perspective and “mirrors” to reflect familiar experiences, culture and views. Children require both. She also recommended using books with vibrant pictures to engage students and provide rich visuals. She loves to use Caldecott recognized and awarded selections.

Some books that I have found to meet many of these standards include:

“A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams

“Allie’s Basketball Dream” by Barbara E. Barber (great for a sports unit)

“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats (great for winter unit)

“John Henry an American Legend” by Ezra Jack Keats (tall tale/ folklore)

“The Family Book” by Todd Parr (great for family unit)

“The Adventures of Beekle” by Dan Santat (great for friend unit)

“One Plastic Bag” by Miranda Paul (great for recycling unit for older students)

“Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts (empathy/friendship)

“Everybody Cooks Rice” by Norah Dooley

“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt De La Pena (transportation/neighborhood unit)

“Henry’s Freedom Box” by Ellen Levine (black history/underground railroad)

“The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi


I know books are difficult to purchase with our speech monies, but many can be found just down the hallway! My school librarian is very helpful and will let me borrow books for an extended period of time during my units. Also, I have been granted a DonorsChoose project to help build my classroom library and a Fund for Teachers grant that has also helped me to purchase books and instructional materials. If you have any questions about ways to raise money for books, supplies and materials through grants or projects, please feel free to contact me at:

Please comment below with your favorite book to use during therapy!


Thanks, Nicole!!

2 thoughts on “ASHA School Connect Conference

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