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February 16, 2021

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Tech Tuesday: “Jam” with SGM®

Jamboard sample imageGet ready to Jam! This past year, Google introduced the interactive and collaborative tool Jamboard, which could not have come at a better time given the pandemic and our need to engage students via distance learning. Jamboard allows for quick and easy co-creation of visuals in a shared space via addition of images, sketches, text boxes and post-its. Therefore, it is a great venue for making interactive scenes, brainstorming, and generating language on graphic organizers. To access Jamboard, follow the steps you would to get started with any Google tool: go to the “waffle” in the upper right corner of a Google space such as Gmail or Drive, and select Jamboard...

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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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November 24, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Gratitude is a Story

Gracias-Thanks book coverThe practice of gratitude is one that research suggests can be helpful psychologically all year round, so my hope is that this post will be useful to you in many days beyond Thanksgiving. However, when you think about it, gratitude is based in narrative, as a thought/emotion we have in response to life events. Culatta and Westby (2016), in a tutorial entitled “Telling Tales,” suggest that intervention to improve narrative language including emotional and theory of mind content should “focus on emotion and character traits that cross events.” For this and other reasons, particularly “in these difficult times,” we would do well to cultivate expressions of gratitude in interventions across the year and in varied contexts. Here are some resources to help you promote gratitude along with narrative and expository language...

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July 23, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Summer Study Series on an RCT of Narrative Intervention for Adolescents

Sumer Study Series imageWe look at an exciting piece of research from last summer (July/August 2019), Improving storytelling and vocabulary in secondary school students with language disorder: a randomized controlled trial* (full article available at link). In this article, Joffe, Rixton and Hulme describe a randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving both narrative and vocabulary intervention for secondary students in the UK. It is notable because RCTs in language intervention are relatively rare, and considered a high level of evidence. ASHA, on a scale of evidence quality, rates “well designed randomized controlled trials” as level 1b, 2nd on a 6-point scale of evidence; these are research studies in which intervention groups are compared to a control group in which no intervention was provided. Additionally, interventions for adolescents with persistent language problems are less researched, so this study is an important one!...

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April 20, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Basics of Using MindWing’s Digital Icons

All Icons Sets image

MindWing has made its digital icons available at low cost to assist us as we are providing distance learning and teletherapy during this COVID-19 crisis (surely one of the biggest common kick-offs we have experienced). In this post, I’ll be outlining some what-tos and how-tos with the icons; if you’d like a longer visual overview, I recorded a webinar (Intersecting Story Grammar Marker® with Technology and Telepractice: Distance Learning During this COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond) with Maryellen on April 1, 2020 and the recording is available for free on the site. The Digital Icons downloadable is a PowerPoint (PPT) file that can also be opened in Apple (Mac)’s free Keynote application or uploaded to Google Drive and opened with Google Slides. PPT files open automatically in Keynote, but let’s tackle that Google part first...

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February 03, 2020

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Tech Tuesday: Telling Tales at Varying Developmental Levels

Sean on hike photoThe practice of providing model narratives in order to scaffold personal narratives from students is one that is supported in our literature. Pamela Hadley (1998) describes conversational mapping, or “give a story to get a story,” as critical in language sampling, and these principles can be extended to intervention activities. Westby and Culatta (2016) suggest similar procedures: “Clinicians can model the telling of event narratives and ask children to relate their own experience about a similar event. One clinician told of a time when she did not close the door on her hamster's cage, and the hamster escaped and was never found. The telling of that experience elicited a child's story about a time when he had pet crickets in a cricket cage and the family cat got into the cage and ate the crickets.” We should remember that not every model needs to be a complete episode, though I realized after a recent trip to Utah’s National Parks that I had one ready-to-go. Additionally, this model also demonstrates the synchrony between Story Grammar Marker® and Zones of Regulation®.

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