Grocery Ad Scavenger Hunt

Happy Friday! Today I have a quick activity that requires only the worksheets in this post and a weekly ad from Kroger (Here is the link for the online ad, in case you don’t have a paper version. However, you may want to have the paper version because that will allow you to cover or black out the ‘adult’ beverages. You could also use any other grocery store– although I was looking at the Kroger ad when I developed the worksheet).

These worksheets will allow you to target categorization, answering WH and inferential questions, following 1-2 step directions, object use, adjectives, describing, and synonyms and antonyms.

Here is a quick worksheet that you could use for your artic kiddos. They will find as many items with their target sounds as possible.

If you use these and your kiddos like them– let me know. If they hate it or you have problems–let me know that too! If you see other areas that could be targeted, comment below!


Chapter 1 Application

My post serves as an application post covering the first chapter, Connections: Why a Pediatric Cochlear Implant Surgeon Became a Social Scientist.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure where this chapter was going for the first few paragraphs. Although I enjoyed the review of the history of cochlear implants and newborn hearing screenings, I was too quick to have thoughts of not being sure how I would tie this up into such a post. Mentioning this to my husband as I began reading over the weekend, he offered very helpful advice that significant others can have such a knack for: “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Ha!
I loved reading about Zach and Michelle as well as the reminder of the Hart and Risley research that I found fascinating in school. While reading on my Kindle, I highlighted a few parts of this portion of the chapter that made me reflect:
1. “What had gone wrong? I had provided the gift of hearing to two deaf children. Why hadn’t that been the complete answer to speaking and learning and integrating into the world?”
               -We all have days where we wonder the same about our own careers, don’t we? Similarly, we are providing the gift of speech therapy to all of the students we serve. Why was I able to release Student A, who met their goals, this school year but not Student B, who is making progress but isn’t quite there yet? Or really, especially in my current world with 7 MSD units between my two schools and the concept of role release in mind, why was I able to release Student A, who can now participate and progress just fine in their classroom, while Student C was released due to Specially Designed Instruction no longer resulting in measurable benefits?
2. “Taking the Hippocratic oath meant that my obligation didn’t end when I finished operating; it ended when my patient was well.”
               -With role release still on my mind, I think this is why the educational model of speech-language therapy can be such a challenging concept for some, including SLPs in the medical or clinical world, parents, and even some of us. We are in this field to be helpers and can easily and understandably overlook the fact that for some of our students, other staff can be equally as or maybe more effective in their efforts to help following a little bit of teaching from us.
3. “Were we saying that there was no solution? Do we say that’s that and go on to another, more promising patient?”
               -This is the part of Chapter 1 that really got me thinking about “application”. So, what do we do? We know that birth-three is a critical period for neuroplasticity and language development. We know that socioeconomic considerations impact educational attainment in addition to other aspects of lives. We know that the quality of language, and not just the quantity, matters during those crucial years.
               What do we do?
What do you do?
What do I do?
I think we advocate. We advocate for students to caregivers during opportunities like ARC meetings, where we can use that time not just to routinely review progress, but educate parents (to be clear—regardless of assumed socioeconomic status) in hopes that the information we share will be used at home with our students. We also advocate for students to school staff during opportunities like push-in therapy, faculty meetings, PLC meetings, or when we pick up or drop off our students in their classrooms. The more practice in a variety of settings, the better.
Actual dialogue with caregivers is great but I’ve been in a number of ARC meetings where the ARC Chair has made it clear that I’ve been talking too much. We also know that teachers don’t have time for long winded teaching sessions each time we arrive to their classroom. Quick communication, like handouts or e-mails with useful links, can be a good alternative when time is short.
I’ve been printing relevant handouts from Super Duper for parents and teachers since I was in grad school. Here is one I found that is relevant to the material in this chapter:
E-mail can be a good way to follow-up after a quick conversation with a teacher about a student. Here is a website on echolalia that I still have open in my browser from when I e-mailed a teacher on Friday:
Sometimes I’ll make visuals to support language during routine or new activities in the classroom after consultation with the teachers to make sure that what I’m providing will actually be useful.
This was a good first chapter, as it really got me thinking by the end. The author stepped outside of the surgery room comfort zone to attend classes to ultimately benefit patients. While I have done a few things I mentioned above to benefit my students, I definitely don’t do all of those things all of the time for every single student on my caseload. Reading this chapter and writing this posts makes me want to challenge myself to do even more.
-Candra Grether
SLP @ The Phoenix School of Discovery and JTown High School
 Thanks, Candra!!

Book Study

Chapter 1 Summary

Brought to you by Marie Fisher:

Connections:  The author, Dana Suskind suggests that parent talk is the most valuable resource in this world no matter your race, culture, language etc.

My Story: Dr. Suskind decided to peruse her fascination of the brain through the ear and became a cochlear impact surgeon. The timing was ironic because in 1993 NIH set recommendations for all newborns to undergo hearing evaluation before leaving the hospital. The age of diagnosis changed from 3 years to 3 months.

The Cochlear Implant: In 1990 a multichannel cochlear implant allowed for complex speech processing. This timing was significant because children’s hearing loss was now being detected and possibly corrected via cochlear implant at an age when the brain pathways for language were being created. Before the NIH’s recommendations for newborn hearing screenings changed, children’s hearing loss was often not detected until age 3 and at that point the brain has completed 85% of its physical growth. Physical brain development and language development coincide. Children born deaf and implanted later in life will hear sounds but will rarely gain the ability to understand the meanings associated with the words they hear.

The Advantage of Starting Slowly: Dr. Suskind started a cochlear implant program at the University of Chicago. Her work started slow which allowed for her to attend and observe each specific family she worked with. The things she observed ultimately sparked her curiosity for a career in social science. She worked with families facing social and economic challenges.

Zach and Michelle: Both Zach and Michelle were among Dr. Suskind’s first patients to receive cochlear implants. Zach was born profoundly deaf. His parents made him wear hearing aids, had a therapist come to the home to work on techniques with the family and the parents signed with him so he had a mode of communication before being implanted around 8 months of age. Language was embedded throughout his home life. Michelle was also born deaf and received a cochlear implant around her second birthday. Michelle’s parents had a tougher home life including unemployment. Michelle’s father also had hearing loss due to Waardenburg Syndrome.

The Significant Difference: While Zach was reading on grade level (this predicts the ultimate learning trajectory), Michelle functions in third grade with minimal spoken language and a Kindergarten reading level. Dr. Suskind and her staff toured Chicago’s schools’ hearing loss classrooms to better understand “oral” (primarily spoken language) vs.“total communication (primarily used sign language) classrooms. Michelle was in the total communication classroom. Her teacher shared that she often came to school dirty, had no lunch and difficulties communicating.

The University of Chicago A Wonderful Home: Dr. Suskind concluded that Michelle’s lack of language development had to do with the home environment to which she was born. She was determined to find out how she could help this situation for children like Michelle. She started attending Child Language Development classes at the university.

Hart and Risley: Hart and Risley were child psychologists at the University of Kansas in 1960’s. They found that the language environments for children born into affluent families differed from those born into poverty. Language exposure, not socioeconomic status, is the ultimate difference. Quality and quantity of the words a child hears is linked to educational achievement.

Thanks, Marie!

Stuttering Resource

Today, Chelsea Graham shares a great stuttering resource she found:
I’m always on the look out for resources that highlight role models for my students who stutter. I’ve  been trying SO HARD to advocate for my students with communication difficulties. It continually frustrates me that my colleagues don’t understand how a communication disorder can impact a child in the classroom (other than a pesky R – they never miss referring kids for R!).   In addition to presentations at staff meetings, conversations during ARC’s, handouts during May’s BHSM, I also engage teachers in conversations in the staff lounge.  And it’s paying off!  Yesterday a teacher shared with me a touching moment she shared with her class, centered on a Scholastic News Weekly Reader article.  The article was titled, “The Voice of a Champion,” and was about George Springer, a baseball player who stutters. There is an accompanying video that can be accessed through the subscription (requires a username and password).

The teacher reflected on how her students were filled with compassion when they heard George shared how devastating it was, as a child, to be teased for how he talked. Then she sent me the article, with her username and password, so I could share it with my student who stutters. Yessssss!

So I thought I’d share with you all.  If you don’t have access to Scholastic News – shoot me an e-mail and I’d be happy to help you find a copy. I’ve also included a link to George Springer’s organization SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young.  This is a fairly new organization (I’d never heard of it) – and they offer a Summer Camp for children.  The fee is exorbitant ($3125!!) – but they offer a sliding scale to families based on income.

Katherine Preston, the author of Out With It, is associated with SAY.  She has a program called SAY Storytellers, where she mentors teens who stutter in the creative process to write their own story.

Thanks, Chelsea!!

Martin’s Big Words Literacy Unit

In honor Of Black History Month, the Literacy unit for February is based around the book Martin’s Big Words. Here are the activities produced by the group during our September work day:

Literature Study- (Month of January- His birthday January 15th)- Adapted for an intermediate group

(5th grade- Social Studies Core Content)

Pre-reading literacy activities:

  1. Present cover of book to each student. (There is a picture, but no title on cover page).
  2. Go to each student in the group and ask “What would you name this book?”
  3. Flip through the book and do a “Book Walk” by looking at the pictures briefly.
  4. PREDICT what you think the book will be about? (each student)
  5. Three (3) MAIN WH?s to think about and answer throughout and after reading the book. Write these on the Dry Erase Board for visual cues.
  1. Who is this?
  2. When did he live?
  3. What did he do?
  • Start reading book- answer wh?s throughout.
  • For student(s) working on vocalic “AR”- have student say “Martin” each time the word comes up in the book by pointing to student. Use pirate sound “AR” and hand models to show placement cues for back of tongue elevation.

After Reading:

  1. Ask about the 3 main WH?s written down. (Use book as reference.)
  2. Sequence the five (5) main events in the story.
  3. Create a main idea for the book.
  4. Each student takes turns re-telling parts of the story. (Can do Beginning-Middle-End)
  5. Ask inferencing questions about pictures and text.
  6. Go over figurative language that is in the book.
  7. Define targeted vocabulary using context clues and illustrations

Making Connection:

Question- How would YOU feel if you were Martin? (Draw/Art activity).

Additional activities to be considered/used:

  1. Can use Boardmaker pictures with field of 4 picture choices.
  2. For Preschool- talk about colors and shapes in the pictures.
  3. Discuss unfamiliar vocabulary concepts with the students.
  4. Add other articulation sounds that are appropriate in the group
  5. Extend to talking about months of the year.
  6. Make copies of portions of the story; have students highlight/practice their targeted sounds
  7. Make copies (color if possible) of important pictures and sequence story.
  8. Discuss the themes/visual concepts in the book-flags, stained glass, art and why the author chose them.
  9. Write and perform a skit based on the story.
  10. Talk about about family and who can make up a family.



Article 6

Here is the last article of the study!! Brought to you by Kelly Miklosh:
***Don’t forget that to receive credit you must comment on each of the posts (Other than your own of course!)***

Langevin, M. & Prasad, N. G. N. (2012). A Stuttering Education and Bullying Awareness and Prevention Resource: A Feasibility Study. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch, 43(3), 344-358. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0031).

This article speaks primarily about peer attitude towards children who stutter and toward bullying within the school setting. It proposes the idea of using a curriculum level stuttering education program to promote positive opinions towards CWS. To measure the progress, a pretest-posttest study design was used.

The article goes on to define bullying as a type of aggressive behavior with an imbalance of power with an intent to harm. The researchers broke down the roles of bullying into 4 main groups: perpetrators of bullying, victims of bullying, dually involved children, and uninvolved children. All 4 main groups were targeted in the study and completed the education program and pretest-posttest.  Multiple pretest-posttests were used including the Peer Attitudes Toward Children Who Stutter Scale (PATCS), The Provictim scale, and bullying involvement and knowledge questionnaires.  The PATCS is comprised of 36 items that are categorized into 3 subscales: positive social distance, social pressure, and verbal interaction.  Overall higher scores reflect more positive attitudes. The Provictim scale was used to quantify children’s attitudes toward bullying. The 3 subscales measure approval of bullying, rejection of weak kids, and support for victims. Again, higher scores represented more positive attitudes. The questionnaires comprised of questions assessing participant role status, changes in knowledge, and student perceptions of the curriculum based program. Questions were answered using a 5-point Likert scale.

In regards to the curriculum based stuttering education program used, the authors developed their own as they saw a significant need for more universal interventions that target the student population. With this need, they developed the Teasing and Bullying: Unacceptable Behavior Program (TAB). The TAB is intended to increase people’s knowledge about bullying and stuttering, improve attitudes toward CWS, reduce approval of bullying, improve support for children who are bullied, and mobilize the peer group to support CWS. The population that TAB was intended for was grades 3 to 6 as evidence suggest children in younger grades were unable to label disfluent speech as stuttering. It should be stated that the TAB was designed to be given by both teachers and SLP’s; however, for the feasibility of this study, the TAB was only given by teachers.  The TAB contains 6 teaching units with each unit comprising of in-class discussion guides, potential responses from children, reproducible activities, and take-home parent-child activities. The Tab also has a video that goes along with eat unit.

As mentioned above only students grades 3 through 6 were used. A total of 608 students were used. Schools used were in socioeconomically advantaged and disadvantaged urban and rural areas. Results of the study were aimed at answering 3 questions. The questions were as follows 1. Was there significant differences in pretest and posttest PACTS and Provictim scores between the group of participants as a whole 2.  Was there significant differences in knowledge about how to respond to bullying and 3. Did the participants like the TAB program? Results indicated that overall there was a statistically significant increase in the test scores as whole group as well as a statically significant increase in knowledge about how to respond to bullying. Lastly results revealed majority of the students, 65.7 %, like the TAB. Overall results suggest the TAB program has the possibility to improve attitudes towards CWS.

Personally, what I conclude from this article us that there is a large need for more universal instruction with education about stuttering. Many times as SLP’s we focus on client based instruction. While the

article only used teachers to deliver the TAB, the authors stated SLP’s can deliver it as well. However, it should be noted that the TAB takes 4 hours to deliver completely; consequently, I am unsure of the feasibility of completing the whole unit. Perhaps SLP’s can use parts of it and deliver it to multiple classrooms.


Kelly Miklosh

Thanks, Kelly!!