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October 22, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: More Spooky Stories!

Halloween is always a holiday that can be leveraged for engagement (and stories!) with our students. We hope you will add these three resources to your list to “harvest” annually! Through the pandemic telepractice-fest and beyond, I have enjoyed capitalizing on the trend of escape rooms for intervention activities. They make a great collaborative activity and encourage students to “think with their eyes” (ala Social Thinking®) as they look for clues. Escape “rooms” from HoodaMath contain a brief “story” introduction--why you are trapped there, a Kick-Off, and what you need to plan to do to get out! And what is an escape activity but the exploration of a Setting? Use MindWing’s Setting Map to teach the language underpinnings of describing a setting. In particular, escape games are great for helping students to label the parts of a larger setting...

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July 26, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study Series #3, Consider the Functional

Sumer Sun artIn July’s entry for 2021’s Summer Study Series, we’ll be looking at the critical overlap between narrative and expository language and our students’ access to the academic curriculum. Meaux and Norris (2018) tackle this topic in a tutorial for Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools entitled Curriculum-Based Language Interventions: What, Who, Why, Where, and How? I have always appreciated ASHA publications’ “tutorial” articles as I have found them to provide the most functional and practical information to be useful in interventions. The other “functional” consideration with this article is that including a focus on curriculum has always seemed natural to me. There is so much inherent language in school curricula and, from a linguistic perspective, this potential gap in comprehension and expression is why students receive our services...

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June 28, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study Series #2, Stories of a School Year Like No Other

Summer study Series imageContinuing here with 2021’s Summer Study Series, this post will be a little different. Rather than focusing on analysis of one article for further learning, I’d like to point you in the direction of a few resources related to a theme: mental health and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all heard and experienced it in some way, at this point almost a cliché; it was a school year like no other. Loss of a feeling of safety, of connection, of experiences, of freedoms, perhaps of health or people in our lives, these all pervade our memories of the past year. I’m of the mindset that every little bit of processing is potentially helpful. However, you may feel uncomfortable or unequipped to go into these topics in personal narrative with your students. For some support, I’d like to point you in a few directions...

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March 22, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: Technology Brings Stories to “Give”

Teacher and Book imageThe “Give a Story to Get a Story” technique is one we all know makes sense. We’ve seen what often happens when we ask students to produce a narrative out of the blue. More often than not, we are rewarded with a blank stare! The use of the “Conversational Map,” the formal name for this technique, was first described by Peterson and McCabe (1983) and, in web-accessible articles, adapted by McCabe and Rollins (1994) and Hadley (1998). In my experience, these articles hit on principles applicable when working with preschool, through adult clients, who can all benefit from language scaffolding...

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January 06, 2021

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A Hopeful Message for the New Year: “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld

The Rabbit Listened book coverIn celebration of the New Year, we want to focus on a message of “hope,” so we have chosen a selection of children's literature called The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld, for use with the Story Grammar Marker® or Braidy the StoryBraid® in school, for remote learning, or at home! In this Blog post, we will share an analysis of story elements and narrative structure using Story Grammar Marker® icons, a discussion of the message and metaphoric meaning, as well as activities with FREE downloads (found toward end of post)...

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December 22, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: “Woke” Stories, Using the Critical Thinking Triangle® with Current Events

News image 1This fall I have had the great pleasure of working with a student who is very engaged in teletherapy and has a special interest in topics related to social justice. His “woke” nature has served him in keeping informed about the pandemic and stories related to the Black Lives Matter movement, but like many of our students, he can miss important elements of these narrative events. ASHA outlines that incorporating Client Values into treatment is an important component of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). This is defined as “the unique set of personal and cultural circumstances, values, priorities, and expectations identified by your client and their caregivers.” This aspect, as well as the importance of engaging textual contexts and targeting narrative for students with ASD, led me to conduct a weekly current events activity through teletherapy for his sessions...

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December 21, 2020

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Building Comprehension and Expression with “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”

Christmas book imagesLike most of you, many of our holiday traditions this year have been altered or cancelled, but one we can still count on in our house is reading the poem ’Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. We have at our home some stunning versions of this famous poem in children’s picture book form. ’Twas The Night Before Christmas was first published with the title Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas almost 200 years ago, on December 23, 1823 in New York’s Troy Sentinel. It is this poem that gave rise to the image of Santa Claus we know and love in the United States and Canada; a jolly, round, old man with a white beard and red suit who drives a sleigh through the sky to bring gifts to children around the world on Christmas...

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