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Information About the Communication Continuum
Speech, Language, Literacy
Park Slope Communication & Learning Center Newsletter
Issue 26 - February, 2013
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 "football?" (Hint: we found 46.)

Riddles for Kids: Valentine's Day
Q: What did the boy sheep say to the girl sheep on Valentine's Day?
A: I love ewe!

Q: What did the boy pickle say to the girl pickle on Valentine's Day?
A: You mean a great dill to me!

Q: What did the boy owl say to the girl owl on Valentine's Day?
A: Owl be yours!

Q: What did the boy elephant say to the girl elephant on Valentine's Day?
A: I love you a ton!

Q: What did the boy cat say to the girl cat on Valentine's Day?
A: You're purr-fect for me!

Q: What did the boy bird say to the girl bird on Valentine's Day?
A: You are my tweet heart!

Q: What did the boy bat say to the girl bat on Valentine's Day?
A: You're fun to hang around with!

Q: What did the boy drum say to the girl drum on Valentine's Day?
A: My heart beats for you!

Q: What did the boy squirrel say to the girl squirrel on Valentine's Day?
A: I'm nuts about you!

Q: What did the girl squirrel say to the boy squirrel on Valentine's Day?
A: You're nuts so bad yourself!

Answers to WordsInWords
Afoot, aft, all, allot, aloft, aloof, alto, atoll, ball, ballot, bat, bloat, blot, boa, boat, bolt, boo, boot, bot, fab, fall, fat, flab, flat, float, foal, fob, fool, foot, lab, loaf, lob, loft, loofa, loot, lot, oat, oat, oft, tab, taboo, tall, to, toll, too, tool.

In This Issue

  • Simple Strategies for Creating Strong Readers
  • Stories from the Kids: Scott, Joycelyn, and Nini (with videos!)
  • Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Reading Method & KidsVoyager Online: What happened last month?
  • For Fun: Trivia Quiz
  • For Fun: Some Interesting Events in February!

In Upcoming Issues

  • Bilingualism, is it a positive or a negative?
  • How to help your child write short stories

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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.

Simple Strategies for Creating Strong Readers

These are simple, but highly effective strategies for helping your child become a successful reader. We came across this on the ed.gov website, and wanted to share it with you. If you navigate to


you will find other articles related to reading, and we suggest you visit it.

This article was published by the U.S. Department of Education, and may be found at


Without doubt, reading with children spells success for early literacy. Putting a few simple strategies into action will make a significant difference in helping children develop into good readers and writers. Through reading aloud, providing print materials, and promoting positive attitudes about reading and writing, you can have a powerful impact on children's literacy and learning.

  • Invite a child to read with you every day.
  • When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
  • Read a child's favorite book over and over again.
  • Read many stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as he or she reads along with you.
  • Discuss new words. For example, "This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?"
  • Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.

Read from a variety of children's books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books. Reading well is at the heart of all learning. Children who can't read well, can't learn. Help make a difference for a child.

My Pet Dinosaur, by Scott

I have a pet dinosaur named, Tyrannosaurus. He is my pet. I found him in the deserts of Egypt where I was hiking. He was so small that he fit in my suitcase. Now he is taller than the highest building in the whole, wide world.

He and I like to scare people to get money. I say, "Give me your money or he will eat you!" We like to scare people so we can do whatever we want. We like to knock down trees so they don't get in our way. I feed Tyrannosaurus whatever he wants. His favorite food is mozzarella sticks.

We have a very tall house so he can fit in there. My parents let me keep him. I am glad that I have this pet.

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

Guns in America, by Nini

When the shooting happened in Newtown, CT. it sounded an alarm to all of America. This was a major tragedy caused by guns.

I firmly believe that the cowboy mentality is quite a dangerous one. It can cause much destruction various ways. A perfect example is the Newtown shooting. It caused so many little innocent children to lose their lives as well as the teacher.

Even though some people need guns, they absolutely do not need an assault weapon for any type of protection.

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

Gun Control, by Joycelyn

Some people think guns are good to have around the house to protect them and their family, but have you ever thought that these guns are dangerous?

This essay will be about the three reasons why I think guns are bad to have and why I agree with the President.

First off, why I think the President is right, is because we can't have children getting hurt in schools like, for example, a month ago when friends and family witnessed the shooting in Connecticut.

The President had many ideas but one of them (according to CBS News) "Would limit access to guns and certain types of ammunition."

The second reason I agree with the President is because people are not going to able to go anywhere because they are scared and afraid of their environment. I feel worried about this problem because kids feel uncomfortable about going to school and their parents will be concerned for them.

However, if you have a medical condition or you need a gun for a good reason, and you have no marks on your record, you should be approved to use one. A good record should be necessary for approval to own a gun, and a bad record should make it impossible.

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

Monthly Feature: Phonic Engine Method & KidsVoyager Online: What Happened Last Month?

January was an especially interesting month for our reading program. With the older kids, we continued to read stories. One of these stories was Edgar Allen Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum. This story takes place during the Inquisition. The main character wakes up to find himself in a prison. Because he is in total darkness, he doesn't know the size of the prison. In this prison, his captors seem to enjoy playing mean tricks on him, such as leaving him very salty meat while removing his water. In the end, the Inquisition is over and he is freed.

What was especially interesting was that many of the students had never studied the Inquisition before. Being provided with just a little bit of history, they were able to make sense of this very scary story.

We discussed how Poe set the stage for this tale, and examined the verbiage. What words did he use to make us bite our nails? What words did he use to make us wonder whether the character would be freed? We took this opportunity to review vocabulary words (using our double click word-lookup page) when we found words that were not familiar.

One particular benefit of reading classic literature is that you come across wonderfully expressive words that we don't typically use in conversation. Looking up those words, and using them in sentences, enhances vocabulary.

Many of the older groups also read Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech. The students read it silently along with Merlin, the text reader, and then reread it aloud. This activity, called guided oral reading, is an evidence based practice to help increase reading fluency.

This moving and poetic speech uses many metaphors for what the world could be like. We discussed how the speech allowed us to picture how wonderful the world could be.

To enhance writing skills, the students had to write a list of 10 things they could do to make the world a better place.

With our younger students, we read stories from several wonderful web sites: BAB Books and Magic Keys have wonderful stories. For our pre-schoolers, we used storyplace.org for stories that appeal to the younger set. This site reads stories aloud and has accompanying printable material to make them even more delightful.

With students who are working on increasing phonics skills, we continued reviewing short vowels, vowel pairs, and vowel diphthongs (glides). We also did homophone lessons, such as "it's, its", "there, their, they're" and "to, too, two". We used them in sentences in order to fully demonstrate that we knew what they meant. We did "cloze" lessons, in which the students were given a list of sentences, with each sentence containing a blank to enter the correct spelling of the homophone in question.

This is a spelling activity that students always seem to enjoy. For them, it is almost like solving a puzzle or "cracking a code," which, in fact, it is: cracking the code of written language!

Trivia Quiz: Super Bowl Firsts

This year, the Super Bowl will be played on February 3rd in New Orleans. Test your gridiron knowledge of Super Bowl firsts with this fun trivia quiz.

1. In what year was the first Super Bowl played?
2. Who was the first team to score 50 points in a Super Bowl?
3. Which domed stadium was the first to host a Super Bowl?
4. When did the Super Bowl get its name, having previously been called the AFL-NFL World Championship?
5. In 1976, the Dallas Cowboys became the first team to advance to the Super Bowl as what?
6. Who was the first team to lose three Super Bowls?
7. Which Super Bowl was the first to have no cheerleaders at the game?
8. This year, Super Bowls ads will top $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. How much did the first Super Bowl commercials cost, adjusted for inflation?
9. During the first Super Bowl half time, who was the featured performer?
10. Who were the first two coaches leading teams in the Super Bowl?


1. 1967.
2. San Francisco 49ers.
3. The Superdome in New Orleans.
4. 1969.
5. A wildcard team.
6. Minnesota Vikings.
7. Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
8. About $260,000.
9. University of Arizona and Grambling State University Marching Bands, along with entertainer Al Hirt.
10. Vince Lombardi coached the Packers, while Hank Stram coached the Chiefs.

February 2013 Holidays and Events

AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month
American Heart Month
Bake for Family Fun Month
Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month
International Boost Self-Esteem Month
International Expect Success Month
Library Lovers Month
Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month
National Bird-Feeding Month
National Black History Month
National Cherry Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Mend a Broken Heart Month
National Parent Leadership Month
National Pet Dental Health Month
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
National Time Management Month
Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month
Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
Spunky Old Broads Month
Wise Health Care Consumer Month
Worldwide Renaissance of the Heart Month
Youth Leadership Month

1-7 Solo Diners Eat Out Week
3-9 Children's Authors and Illustrators Week
2-9 Dump Your “Significant Jerk” Week
3-9 Publicity for Profit Week
4-8 International Networking Week
7-14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
10-16 International Flirting Week
10-16 Jell-O Week
10-16 Love a Mensch Week
10-16 National Pancake Week
11-17 Random Acts of Kindness Week
17-23 Build a Better Trade Show Image Week
17-23 National Engineers Week

1 National Wear Red Day
2 Groundhog Day
2 Hedgehog Day
2 Take Your Child to the Library Day
5 African-American Coaches Day
5 Weatherperson's Day
6 Digital Learning Day
6 National Girls and Women in Sports Day
7 Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day
8 Laugh and Get Rich Day
9 Read in the Bathtub Day
10 Man Day
11 National Shut-In Visitation Day
11 Pro Sports Wives Day
11 Satisfied Staying Single Day
12 International Pancake Day
12 Paczki Day
13 Ash Wednesday
13 Employee Legal Awareness Day
13 Get a Different Name Day
14 National Donor Day
14 National Have a Heart Day
14 Race Relations Day
14 Saint Valentine's Day
15 Susan B. Anthony Day
18 Presidents Day
18 George Washington's Birthday
19 Single-Tasking Day
20 World Day for Social Justice
21 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
21 International Mother Language Day
23 Curling is Cool Day
23 World Sword Swallowers Day
26 For Pete's Sake Day
26 National Personal Chef Day
26 World Spay Day
27 Inconvenience yourself Day
28 Floral Design Day
28 National Chili Day
28 National Tooth Fairy Day

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