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Information About the Communication Continuum
Speech, Language, Literacy
Park Slope Communication & Learning Center Newsletter
Issue 16 - April, 2012
You can sometimes make words using the letters in a larger word. For example, from the word "tube" you can make "be," "bet," "but," and "tub." Now onto a harder one: how many words can you make from the word "garden?" (Hint: we found 35.)

Riddles for Kids: Fun with History
Q: How did the Vikings send secret messages?
A: By Norse code!

Q: Why were the early days of history called the Dark Ages?
A: Because there were so many knights!

Q: What was Camelot?
A: A place where people parked their camels!

Q: How did Columbusís men sleep on their ships?
A: With their eyes shut!

Q: Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
A: At the bottom!

Q: What did Pony Express riders ride after dark?
A: Nightmares!

Q: Where were English kings usually crowned?
A: On their heads!

Q: What did Paul Revere say when his ride was over?
A: Whoa!

Q: Which American president wore the largest hat?
A: The one with the biggest head!

Q: What did George Washington say to his men just before they got in the boat?
A: Men, get in the boat!

Answers to WordsInWords
Ad, age, aged, an, and, anger, are, danger, dare, darn, dean, dear, den, drag, ear, earn, end, era, gander, gar, gear, grade, grand, nag, near, rag, rage, raged, ran, rang, range, ranged, read, red, rend.

In This Issue

  • Some Goings On
  • Stories from the Kids: Ryan and Zeon (with videos!)
  • Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Reading Method & KidsVoyager Online: What happened last month?
  • Home Treatment for Language Delayed Kids
  • For Fun: Trivia Quiz
  • For Fun: Some Interesting Events in April!

In Upcoming Issues

  • Using Literacy Activities to Increase Your Child's Knowledge of Current Events and History
  • How to crack the tough nut of English spelling
  • Bilingualism, is it a positive or a negative?
  • Speech vitamins: do they work?

You're receiving this newsletter either because you have requested it, or because you're a current or former client or associate of Park Slope Communication & Learning Center. If you do not wish to receive any further newsletters, please click "Unsubscribe" at the bottom. You'll have the opportunity to "opt-out" with every e-mail.

Our ongoing goal is to keep you informed about all matters related to the Communication Continuum: Speech, Language, and Literacy; to keep you updated on our seminars and other matters of interest; to answer questions you may have, and also provide some fun activities for your child, created by us, by colleagues, as well as syndicated content.


Please submit any questions you have regarding Speech, Language, and Literacy, and we'll be happy to reply in an upcoming issue of CC-News. If you do submit a question (to news@parkslopecc.com), be sure to let us know if you'd like your name (first and/or last) to appear, or if you'd prefer it left out.


In the past, we've held seminars and discussions on: Stuttering, Auditory Processing Disorders, How to Help Your Child Develop Reading Skills, Early Speech and Language Development (0 - 5), Speech/Language/Feeding Developmental Milestones, Using the Phonic Engine® Reading Method to Facilitate Reading, Writing, and Spelling. Please let us know if you'd personally like any of these repeated, or have other topics that you'd like to hear about.

Some Goings On
  • Summer is quickly approaching, and so are our summer programs: Speech Camp, and our Intensive (but a lot of fun!) Summer Reading Program. Registration forms for both programs are here.
  • We're extremely happy to announce that another center, Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation, in Plano, Texas, has begun using KidsVoyager Online/The Phonic Engine Reading Method. So please tell your Texas cousins about them!
  • We will be presenting the Phonic Engine Reading Method at the annual convention of the American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology in the beginning of May.

Stories from the Kids

The students in our reading groups produce writings using KidsVoyager Online with KidsVoyager Animated Storywriter. The writings may be imaginative stories, summaries of things they've read online, writings to teach higher level skills, such as persuasion, and so on. The stories are entered into the Online Storywriter's text box using typed spelling, combined with Phonic Engine Encoding (i.e. selecting initial & final phonemes for a word, then clicking a matching word displayed in a multisensory word grid). Writing is a terrific way to learn, teaches numerous skills, and kids love it. We hope you enjoy them.

The Cat And Dog's Conversation, by Ryan

"Aaaahhh," said Pinky "Sitting by the window sill is so relaxing!"

"Get out of my way!" said Merlin the dog.

"I was here first so I will not get out of your way!"

"Oh yeah!"

Lily, the pet owner came in the room. "What is all the yakking going on in here?

"Woof," said Merlin.

"Meow," said Pinky.

You can see and hear Ryan's original story here!

e-reader, by Zeon

I think that people who own a computer might want to own an e-reader because you can put over one thousand different books in one small device. They can it bring around with them.

The computer is too big and heavy to walk around with, however, the e-reader is lighter than the computer and can hold more books. It will cost less money than getting the books at the store and with the computer you have to download an app to download the books.

The e-reader is about the same thing as a computer just an e-reader is for reading only. The e-reader can hold a charge for at least a week, and the computer can hold about a few hours in one charge.

This clearly shows that some people who own a computer might want to own an e-reader.

You can see and hear Zeon's original piece here!

Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Method & KidsVoyager Online: March, 2012

March was a very busy month. There were no holidays and we were very involved with all aspects of literacy. Currently, our students range from kindergarten through high school, so we have lots of ground to cover.

Our younger students spent a lot of time on phonics. We used KidsVoyager Online's Phonic Engine Encoding method to help kids learn how letters and sounds go together, and how sounds and words go together. Then, when our students search and find what they are looking for, they are not only really excited, they have learned something really important.

Our younger students also read lots of short stories. We used websites such as in www.magickeys.com, www.eastoftheweb.com and www.sundhagen.com/babbooks. One story we read was called, "Polly Helps A Friend." In the story, a girl named Polly makes a surprising friend in the playground: the slide!! He reveals to her that he has an aching back and even though he is getting on in years, he does not want to retire. He just needs a little time off. So how can Polly give her new friend a little time off without revealing that he has an achy back? She comes up with a great idea. She puts a sign on him that says, "WET PAINT." Brilliant!

We also read "Lesson From An Ant," at BAB Books. In this story, a girl decides to explore nature with her camera. She approaches an anthill with a stick, just to see what will happen, so to speak. Well, she gets more than she bargained for. The ants turn the tables on her and, before she knows it, her camera is being confiscated by Captain Itchmite.

Both stories were very amusing and the kids really enjoyed them.

We also played online games that focused on phonemic awareness. One of them was called Sassy Seals at a website called Gamegoo. In this game, kids had to match the initial sound of a word with another word with the same beginning sound. The older students played a game at scholastic.com called "Story Starters," in which they were given a "starter sentence" and, after selecting a format, such as a newspaper article, they came up with great stories by expanding on the beginning sentences.

The older students are still reading "Dr. Dolittle." One activity they enjoyed was drawing pictures of scenes from the book. After each chapter, a chapter summary is written by the students which helps them understand the story in its entirety. They are doing a phenomenal job drawing and writing about the book. Literary devices such as metaphors and similes were discussed. We spend a lot of time working on spelling; and it shows. The kids have been writing and producing excellent writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

All in all, we had a highly literary month!

Home Treatment for Language Delayed Kids

Parents play an integral part in their child's language development. This is especially true for children with delays in speech and language. To put this into the proper perspective, if your child is seeing a speech-language therapist, she probably sees him or her two or three times per week. You, on the other hand, spend hour upon hour together. Think of all the opportunities you have to help your child reach his therapy goals; and we promise, there will be no stress or pressure of any kind on either of you. In fact, it will be fun!

Children learn to speak one word at a time. What that means is that children go through a one-word stage, a two-word stage, a three-word stage, etc. The one word stage continues until there is a single word vocabulary of approximately fifty words. There are nine semantic categories that are expressed by these single words. These are existence, non-existence, recurrence, rejection, denial, attribution, possession, action and locative action (Lahey, 1978; Lahey, 1988; modified by Masterson & Apel, 2000). Children generally do not progress past the one word stage until they have learned to express each of these concepts. If your child is in the one-word stage, you want to try to gently nudge him into two word stage.

How you do this is to play (and really have fun) with your child and try to limit your comments to two or three words at a time. The activity should be one that is of your child's choosing. Here is how you structure your talking with your child. You are playing with your 14 month old who is at the one word stage. She is playing with blocks and putting one on top of the other and she says "bah" for block. You may reply "big block", "red block", "block on", "no block", "block fall down" or even "more block." A dialogue you might have with your 14 month old might be the baby saying "bah" for block while she places a block on top of stack of blocks. You reply, "More block, more block, more block on, uh-oh block fall down." Describe the action as it is happening and, as much as possible, talk about what your child is doing. Talk to your child all the time even if you are too busy. He will not get tired of hearing your voice!

If your child is either older or using longer utterances, then make your utterances longer too. You just keep adding a word or two and give the additional words extra emphasis. Remember that whatever you say has to be contextually appropriate.

And one other very, very important role for parents: making it fun for your child and keeping it real and keeping it salient. That way she uses the words on her own and makes them her own, incorporating them into her own verbal repertoire and used again later on her own. So wherever you are, be it in the car, the living room or Key Food, there is always, always time for language development.

Trivia Quiz: Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Tuscany. To celebrate his birthday, try your hand at this Leonardo trivia quiz.

1. How many paintings of Leonardo da Vinci survive today?
2. Leonardo was one of the first artists in Italy to use oil paints. What was in use before that?
3. How many times was Leonardo married?
4. What type of food did Leonardo not eat?
5. What part of Leonardoís body did anthropologists piece together?
6. The man who commissioned the Mona Lisa never received his painting. Why not?
7. Where is the Mona Lisa now?
8. What is unique about the way Leonardo wrote notes in his notebook?
9. What did Leonard do so that he could understand human anatomy better to create more life-like works?
10. Leonard died in 1519 while being held in whose arms?

1. Only 15.
2. Egg tempura.
3. He was never married.
4. Meat.
5. His fingerprint.
6. Leonard took it with him wherever he went.
7. In the Louvre in Paris.
8. They are written backwards in mirror writing.
9. He dissected bodies.
10. The King of France.

April 2012 Holidays and Events

Alcohol Awareness Month
Cancer Control Month
Car Care Month
Couple Appreciation Month
Defeat Diabetes Month
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month
Fresh Florida Tomato Month
Honor Society Awareness Month
Informed Woman Month
International Twit Award Month
Jazz Appreciation Month
Month of the Young Child
National African-American Women's Fitness Month
National Autism Awareness Month
National Card and Letter Writing Month
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
National Decorating Month
National Donate Life Month
National Humor Month
National Knuckles Down Month
National Landscape Architecture Month
National Occupational Therapy Month
National Pecan Month
National Poetry Month
National Soyfoods Month
National Youth Sports Safety Month
Pet First Aid Awareness Month
Pharmacists' War on Diabetes
Physical Wellness Month
Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month
Rosacea Awareness Month
School Library Month
Straw Hat Month
Stress Awareness Month
Women's Eye Health and Safety Month
Workplace Conflict Awareness Month
World Habitat Awareness Month

1-7 Laugh at Work Week
1-7 Medication Safety Week
1-7 National Week of the Ocean
2-7 Explore Your Career Options Week
1-7 National Window Safety Week
8-14 Bat Appreciation Week
8-14 National Library Week
8-14 National Networking Week
8-14 Pan American Week
14-22 National Park Week
15-21 National Coin Week
15-21 National Karaoke Week
15-21 National Volunteer Week
16-20 National Paperboard Packaging Week
18-24 Cleaning for a Reason Week
18-23 Consumer Awareness Week
21-28 Money Smart Week
22-28 Administrative Professionals Week
22-28 National Playground Safety Week
22-29 Preservation Week
22-28 Sky Awareness Week
23-29 Spring Astronomy Week
24-30 National Scoop the Poop Week

1 April Fools Day
1 National Fun Day
2 International Children's Book Day
2 World Autism Awareness Day
4 National Day of Hope
4 Paraprofessional Appreciation Day
5 National D.A.R.E. Day
5 National Fun at Work Day
6 Drowsy Driver Awareness Day
6 Tartan Day
7 International Beaver Day
7 National Beer Day
7 No Housework Day
7 World Health Day
10 National Be Kind to Lawyers Day
10 National Equal Pay Day
10 National Library Workers Day
10 National Siblings Day
11 Barbershop Quartet Day
11 National Bookmobile Day
12 National Licorice Day
12 Support Teen Literature Day
12 International Day of Human Space Flight
12 Walk on Your Wild Side Day
13 Thomas Jefferson Day
14 Children with Alopecia Day
14 International Moment of Laughter Day
14 Pan-American Day
15 National Take a Wild Guess Day
16 Income Tax Pay Day
17 Blah Blah Blah Day
17 National Haiku Poetry Day
17 National Stress Awareness Day
18 Adult Autism Awareness Day
18 International Amateur Radio Day
19 National Hanging Out Day
19 National High Five Day
21 Kindergarten Day
21 National Auctioneers Day
21 National Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
21 Record Store Day
22 Earth Day
22 National Jelly Bean Day
23 World Book and Copyright Day
24 National Teach Children to Save Day
25 Administrative Professionals Day
25 Hairstylist Appreciation Day
25 Malaria Awareness Day
25 World Malaria Day
26 Hug an Australian Day
26 Poem in Your Pocket Day
26 Richter Scale Day
26 Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
27 National Arbor Day
27 National Hairball Awareness Day
28 National Go Birding Day
28 National Rebuilding Day
28 Spring Astronomy Day
28 Workers Memorial Day
28 World Healing Day
28 World Veterinary Day
29 National Dance Day
29 National Pet Parent's Day
30 National Honesty Day

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