Thursday, February 28, 2013

Beer Art Intervention Project

Anna U. Davis is one of the DMV's hardest working artists. By that I mean that Anna shows a lot of work around the DMV and is a key, active member of the visual arts tapestry that makes the DMV one of the hottest (in spite of the apathy of the press and local museums) visual art scenes on the planet. 

A little like my own hotel art intervention project, Anna has a very cool art beer intervention project going on... she says:
Every time I buy a 6 pack of mixed beers @ S & S liquors @ Takoma Park Metro Station, I will return the cardboard beer carrier to the store with a drawing on it. If you want it, grab it at the store when you buy a mixed 6 pack! Free, oh well you have to pay for the beer! :)
Check them out below... I know that I'm headed there soon to buy some brews - S&S is located at 6925 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20012 and they're gonna start selling a lot of Anna's beer tomorrow and they owe her at least a free six pack once in a while...


Speech Buddies {giveaway}

I loved all the feedback I got from my Speech Buddies review a few weeks ago! I wish I could let each and every one borrow my set and try them out! Luckily the really nice folks over at the speech buddy company are going to let me give away one to a Speech Room News follower!

You'll be able to select which one you need! I can't wait to see who wins! Just enter via rafflecopter below. 

OK. Stop. Collaborate. and Listen. I have the best news for you.

((after this youtube because you're going to have Vanilla Ice in your head anyway))

My friend CC is also giving away a set of speech buddies! Say what? Two chances to win?! Click on over and enter for your chance to win from CC (right after you enter below!)

Two chances! Ready! Go! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Art of Street Portraiture

While traveling in Cuba with National Geographic Expeditions I had the fortunate opportunity to interview a real life ¨fotógrafo minutero¨ that expanded my knowledge on a craft that is used less frequently now a days, but still in Cuba, Argentina and other locations around the world.

The beauty of these fotógrafos minuteros or street portrait photographers, is it’s authentic nature, and it’s ability to develop photos instantly. The liveliness caught with this type of practice, and equipment is something unlike anything else in the photography world used today. It has a raw, yet intimate style all at the same time.
Read  the whole piece (Via) here...

February Feature: Auditory Processing

Today's February feature is from Jessica Chase at Consonantly Speaking! Jessica's posts are always so full of information! I'm so happy she's guest posting for me today and talking about Auditory Processing Disorders. 

Thank you for allowing me to guest post, Jenna! Last week on my blog, I had Miss Speechie of Speech Time Fun guest post about tips and ideas for working on auditory comprehension in speech therapy sessions. As there are a significant number of students on my caseload who have difficulty with auditory processing and comprehension skills and some who have language processing difficulties. I decided I would do a follow-up to the entry about how to educate your colleagues/fellow teachers to provide the best learning environment for these students.

1.     Professional development for colleagues: Educate your peers through discussions, presentations, handouts, etc. about auditory processing disorder.

·       According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), “[Central] Auditory Processing refers to the efficiency and effectiveness by which the central nervous system utilizes auditory information”. Central Auditory Processing Disorder can only be diagnosed by a professional audiologist; although much of the time the speech-language pathologist is the first to notice auditory processing difficulties and often helps in a multidisciplinary assessment with other professionals. Having a diagnosis of Central Auditory Processing Disorder does not mean that the child has a hearing loss.
·       Language processing disorder is often used interchangeably, but focuses more specifically on the language aspect of the disorder.
·       A person who has auditory processing difficulties may have difficulties with auditory discrimination, temporal concepts  including following directions and sequencing information, recalling directions and information from a story, and have difficulties when there is competing auditory signals.
·       [Central] Auditory Processing Disorder is a “deficit in the neural processing of auditory stimuli that is not due to higher order language, cognitive, or related factors”.
·       [Central] Auditory Processing Disorder can co-occur with other disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, language impairment, learning disability, etc; however, it is” not the result of these other disorders”.
·       Difficulties in the classroom for students with [Central] Auditory Processing Disorder include but are not limited to difficulty following orally presented directions, understanding orally presented information, answering questions about orally presented information, recalling information from an orally presented presentation/information/story, comprehending information from an orally presented story, sequencing events in a story, understanding and using classroom vocabulary, rhyming, spelling, reading, maintaining attention, using appropriate sentence structure, following classroom routines, and organizing a narrative/writing assignment.
·       Students may have inconsistent performances in the educational setting.

2.     Accommodations in the classroom: Provide appropriate suggestions for accommodations in the classroom setting.

·       Create a safe environment for asking questions.
·       Encourage children to ask specific questions related to processing information such as “Can I have some more thinking time?”, “Can you come back to me?”, “Can you repeat that?”, “Can you explain that again?”, “Can you write it on the board?”, and “What does the word ____ mean?”.
·       If a student would rather use a hand signal, cue card, or other manner of asking for help so that he or she is not singled out, allow the student the opportunity.
·       Check for understanding by having the student repeat the directions or information, asking the student if he or she understood, asking if the student needs help, or asking if the student has any questions, depending on the situation.
·       Use visuals in learning including posters, images, writing on the board, highlighting information, videos, etc.
·       Seat the student in an area of the classroom where he or she can make the best use of visuals, hear the best (such as under a speaker), will not be distracted, and/or is seated next to a student whom can be a productive, helpful learning buddy.
·       Face the classroom when you speak, use a classroom microphone, or in some cases use an FM system so that students can easily hear and understand you.
·       Use one-on-one or small group instruction when you can.
·       Break directions down into parts, repeat directions, and clarify information as needed.
·       Give additional time after asking the student a question or giving the student information for the child to process and understand the information presented.
·       Create a structured classroom environment, use visuals when it comes to transitions, and stick to the routine as much as possible.
·       Provide an outline of classroom notes/instruction for the student to follow and take notes on during instruction and use to study from, if age-appropriate.
·       Give the student organizational support including graphic organizers, notes/note-takers, preview questions, an agenda/calendar, preview questions, a device to type notes on or send in answers on, etc. as needed.

3.     Referrals and Interventions Provided: Educate your peers on the proper referral process and interventions provided by professionals who can treat Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

·       Speech-language pathologist: Initially, the speech-language pathologist is the first person in the schools to whom a student is referred. The speech-language pathologist can help teach a student listening strategies, phonological awareness skills, age-level vocabulary, advocacy, assist in strategies to help students follow multiple-step directions, organize and sequence information and stories, etc.
·       Audiologist: Can diagnose Central Auditory Processing Disorder, provide auditory training techniques and exercises, assist in teaching phonological awareness skills, etc.
·       RtI Provider: Can provide assistance in learning phonological awareness skills including rhyming, phoneme awareness, phoneme segmentation, blending words, auditory discrimination, early reading skills, etc.
·       Special Education Teacher: If a students’ auditory processing skills severely, negatively impact classroom performance in the areas of vocabulary, reading, writing, or mathematical skills or if a learning disability or otherwise co-occurs with the auditory processing disorder, a special education teacher may also be included on the intervention team. The special education teacher may assist with the student learning classroom vocabulary, reading comprehension, sequencing events in a story, writing skills, mathematical sequencing of steps in a problem,  organizing events in a written narrative, etc.
·       Neuropsychologist: Assesses cognition and achievement to determine or rule-out a possible presence of a learning disability and provide additional information to determine possible therapy interventions.

I hope that this post helps you think about how to relay information to other professionals/colleagues who work with children who have Central Auditory Processing Disorder and how to provide the best environment in those students! Be sure to grab this freebie for a text-based poster to use in the classroom or at each group of desks to encourage students to ask questions/advocate for themselves! You can also grab another freebie here for ahandout to give to teachers to educate them about auditory processing disorders. I hope to see you all sometime at Consonantly Speaking!


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). (central) 
auditory processing disorders [Technical Report]. Available from (

Today’s guest blogger is Jessica Chase, M.A. CCC-SLP of the blog Consonantly Speaking! She currently works at a public school with children grades K-12. You can follow her blog on Facebook and educational, speech-related boards on Pinterest.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lilith and Eve (After The Sin) - detail

The Lilith and Eve (After The Sin)
Charcoal and Conte on Paper. 4x12 inches
Will be at SCOPE New York next month!

  • VIP and Press First View, Wednesday, March 6: 3pm – 9pm (By Invitation)


  • Thursday, March 7: 11am - 8pm
  • Friday, March 8: 11am - 8pm
  • Saturday, March 9: 11am - 8pm
  • Sunday, March 10: 11am - 7pm
Skylight at Moynihan Station
New York City Main Post Office
312 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

Monday, February 25, 2013

No-Glamour Vowels {review & giveaway}

When the authors of, No-Glamour Vowels, reached out asked me to review their new book from Linguisystems, I jumped at the chance. I have several children on my caseload with Childhood Apraxia of Speech working on vowels and there is a shortage of vowel materials available.

The app was developed by 3 school-based SLPs. It features 188 pages plus a printable CD-ROM that includes an additional 176 printable pages of therapy materials! 

The book targets 13 different vowels including short, long and diphthongs. Each vowel sounds is targeted with the following resources:
  • Vowel Information Page
  • Word List
  • Activity Ideas
  • Picture Pages

The book includes a age of mastery chart for each vowel - information I hadn't ever had easily printed out to refer to! 

Start with the vowel screener. It includes pictures and prompts that the clinician has the student repeat. Score their abilities at the word, phrase and sentence level. 

The vowel information page contains information about spellings, age expectations and elicitation ideas. 

The Word List is separated by structures. 

The Activity Ideas are specific to the vowel. For example, playing a game with alphabet letter for the long 'e' sound. (9 letters of the alphabet end in the long 'e' sound.) 

Picture cards are included for CV, CVC, CCVC, CVCC in words as well as phrase/sentences. 

The book also includes extra worksheets provided on a CD. These include words sorted by syllable complexity for personalized practice.

So, what's the bottom line? 

Pros: I love that No-Glamour Vowels systematically targets the vowels with careful thought to the difficulty of the words. The book divides words by their complexity (CV to CCCVC.) There are so few vowel products, so a book with enough materials to target such a variety is a asset to most any therapy closet!

Cons: Although the book lists a page of activities for each vowel, I wish it had some simple worksheets to accompany each idea. That would be a huge time saver. For example, one 'long I' sound activity is to look at a map and talk about where you might drive.  I wish the book game with a map to use for this. If there was one activity included for each vowel those would be great ways to send home carryover work! 

The book is available from Linguisystems for $43.95. It's also available as an e-book download on the linguisystems website for 34.95 (a new feature!)

Disclosure Statement: Copy of No-Glamour Vowels was provided for this review. No other compensation was provided. 

The book authors, would like to give one lucky SRN reader a copy of No-Glamour Vowels! You can enter using the Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Virgin Mary as Superhero

Meet ‘Super Mary’, a pop culture version of her former self, part of a series by French artist, Soasig Chamaillard, who restores and transforms damaged statues, either donated or discovered in garage sales.
Details and lots more versions of this artist's work here

By the way, those of us who have been to Artomatic over the years, know that there is an Artomatic artist whose name escapes me now, that several years ago did this idea first (if I recall correctly in more than one Artomatic) where instead of the Virgin's statue, he used statues of The Christ, which he then transformed into a whole array of new versions of Jesus that a few centuries ago would have merited frying at the stake.

If anyone recalls that artist's name, please leave it in the comments!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spiderman Naked

Spiderman Naked - 2013 by F. Lennox Campello
Spiderman Naked
Charcoal and conte on paper
14 x 8 inches. 2013
Will be part of the "Superheroes" exhibition at SCOPE NY next month. Booth J09.

  • VIP and Press First View, Wednesday, March 6: 3pm – 9pm (By Invitation)
  • Thursday, March 7: 11am - 8pm
  • Friday, March 8: 11am - 8pm
  • Saturday, March 9: 11am - 8pm
  • Sunday, March 10: 11am - 7pm
Skylight at Moynihan Station
New York City Main Post Office
312 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

Portlandia mocks postmodernism

Labeling everyday objects as postmodern "art" is dangerous, as the creators of Portlandia demonstrated last week.

Check it out here.

February Feature: What's RTI.. and is it contagious?

Today's February Feature is from Danielle at Sublime Speech. She is sharing some RTI laughs and thoughts today! 

What is RtI… and is it contagious?
Acronyms are usually one of two things: Confusing (e.g. teenage shortenings of phrases/words that never needed shortening in the first place) or frightening (e.g. diseases and the like).  It seems like one of the most recent fear-inducing acronyms in the world of education has been RtI, or Response to Intervention.  Used in general education for years, RtI looks to provide a multitiered approach to providing interventions to struggling students at differing levels of intensity.

Now we have combined two acronyms: SLP + RtI!  (Sometimes I refer to this as “Caution, it’s Slipperti”… please excuse my ridiculous use of puns!)  I was dumped straight into the deep end of this RtI pool when I moved back from Chicago, where I had been working with Early Childhood, to Kansas City in 2011.  It may seem odd to say, but my new position in KC was the first time that I would be working with “regular education” students in my career.  I spent most of my graduate studies, practicum, and employment working with students with severe disorders and primarily with nonverbal students.  So, needless to say, RtI was a new concept to me.  I also found out that it was also a new idea to so many others in our profession.

Much like districts across the country, my new district had been using RtI with regards to speech, voice, and fluency for a few years.  However, there was not a district-wide approach and I was left asking questions that would largely be left unanswered.  I learned that in previous years, typically a teacher would tell the SLP that they had a student with speech errors, the SLP would screen the student, and begin seeing them for twenty or thirty minute sessions.  There were also grade-wide screenings in second grade.  However, each school in our district had a different procedure.  So, being the somewhat cliché type-A speechie that I am, I began researching RtI in districts around the country and learning what I could from massive amounts of internet searches and journal articles.  I attempted to develop a process of tiered intervention that was similar to the RtI seen in regular education for other subject areas.  So the other SLP in my building and I gathered our quick screeners, referral sheets, and Missouri State norms and got up in front of our amazing staff and showed them our fail proof system.  Or so we thought.

I am not entirely sure what we thought would happen but we were about to learn a lot about teacher-SLP relationships and the ups and downs of throwing another new process/intervention at teachers.  I will say, that many of our staff members took our new plan and ran with it.  They screened students they were concerned about, looked at the normative data to see if it was an age-appropriate error, and then worked with us to see which tier the student would best benefit from.  My best example would be a First Grade teacher at our school who was concerned about the intelligibility of a student.  She took time to sit down with him and work through our Quick Screener.  She consulted with me afterwards and we looked at the data she had gathered together.  She then spent a few weeks seeing if he would make progress with Tier 2 interventions in the classroom.  She kept amazing data of his productions.  When this student failed to make progress, and due to other academic concerns, we moved into full evaluation mode.  The best part was that we were able to use her data to justify speech testing and eventual qualification for speech services.  However, this was not the norm.  We were left wondering where we went wrong.

In the year since our introduction of the new RtI process began, we have learned so much about a more successful recipe for Speech RtI in our building.  It is still far from perfect but has improved quite a bit.  The secret was getting out of my room and into the hallways and classrooms in my school.  It also meant taking another look at how RtI services were carried out.  Here is how it has changed:

Before: Teachers approached us with students they were concerned about.
Now: I try to check in with staff members on a regular basis.  When I see them in the lounge, when I pick up other RtI students, and through e-mails.

Before: Teachers did not utilize the screening tool we provided.  Speech was put on the back burner.  I received 3 completed screeners for 2011-2012.
Now: I offer to walk teachers through the screener before they work with any students.  We have also added a “referral form” to increase communication and clarity in our process.  I have received 10 completed screeners during the fall of 2012 alone!  Teachers have also begun to place the screeners in the child’s soft file to notify the next grade’s teacher that they noticed an error that may not be age-appropriate in the following year(s).

Before:Students were not identified until second grade for sounds that are commonly in error such as /s/, /r/, and /th/.
Now:Screenings are done in every grade when a concern is noted.  Students are identified as soon as Kindergarten if the sounds are not age-appropriate.  We also do not begin working on sounds until it is no longer an age-appropriate error (/r/ and /th/ typically).

Before: No Tier 2 interventions were utilized.  Students went from Tier 1 to Tier 3 immediately.
Now: Students are typically in Tier 2 with classroom teachers for 2-4 weeks.  These interventions included modeling correct production (of visible speech sounds) and drills provided to them by me.  Teachers speak with me about how to work with a student.  Tier 2 has been successful for most visible sounds including /th/ and /l/.  The /r/, /s/, and other sounds are more difficult.  We move /r/ and /s/ to Tier 3 pretty quickly as they are the most difficult sounds for teachers to target.

Before:Students were typically seen in my room in groups twice a week for 20-30 minutes. They typically missed 50-70 minutes of classroom instruction per week to attend sessions.
Now: Students are seen individually 3-4 times per week for 5-7 minutes in the hallways near their classrooms.  These sessions are drill-based and yield many more opportunities for productions and direct intervention.  This also increases the effectiveness of therapy and decreases the amount of time students are out of the classroom.  They typically only miss 20-30 minutes of classroom instruction per week. (For more information on 5-minute therapy, head over to

Before: Slow growth was seen in students.  Only 2 RtI dismissals in 2011-2012.
Now: Quick growth has been seen in students.  I have dismissed 4 students in the fall of 2012!  I also dismissed 2 students that began services in September/October, caught on quickly and now correctly produce the sounds they had errors with!  Exactly what RtI is meant to do!

Before:I dreaded RtI services, screenings, and conversations with teachers who did not agree with our new procedures.
Now: I enjoy my RtI kiddos and activities.  Because I provided the majority of these services in the hallways, my communication and relationship with teachers has greatly increased.  I’m more aware of their comfort levels and who may need more assistance to be successful in tiers 1 and 2 of intervention.

It has not been an easy road.  It is honestly a road that I thought I would never have traveled.  At times I wish I had paid a little more attention in my phonology courses or had taken more interest in my articulation clients.  But this SLP who swore she would only work with severe needs students has learned to enjoy and be an effective elementary SLP.  I encourage each of you to find what works best for you, your staff, and, most importantly, your students.  RtI is tricky but when done correctly, can greatly increase the effectiveness of your treatment and aid in decreasing your overall caseload/paperwork load.  Oh, and yes… it is contagious, but in a good way!

                          Recipe for Response to Intervention – Speech Style
Your state’s normative data
Easy to use intervention materials for the classroom teachers
Administrative Support

1)   Preheat your relationships with teachers to at least a friendly first name basis.  Spend time getting to know them, their comfort level and knowledge of speech errors, and letting them know that you are more than just a pretty/handsome face.
2)   Utilize the above free materials to find what will work best for your staff and students.  Provide trainings, professional development and constant handholding if necessary.  Realize that some teachers may never bite into your new recipe but others will gobble it down and ask for seconds.
3)   Bake for about a year.  Don’t expect miracles in the first few months, you will most likely only be disappointed.  Check in often on your recipe to ensure that the ingredients are working well together.  Make sure that teachers know you are always available to assist them and walk them through how to complete screeners.  Once they learn, they will feel more confident in providing you this information.
4)   While it is baking, be okay with changing the typical “30 minutes twice per week” mentality to a “5-10 minutes three or four times a week” mentality.  The more frequent your interventions, the more effective they will be.
5)   After baking is completed, make sure to enjoy the little victories.  Teachers who bring you completed Quick Screeners, students who only need RtI for a few months, and teachers who attempt speech interventions in the classroom.  I like to constantly build up my staff.  A lot of “great job” and “you’re awesome” e-mails and notes.

Find more posts and information from Danielle on her blog at SublimeSpeech. She's even posted  FREEBIE that you can grab at her TPT store!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rousseau reviews

Dr. Claudia Rousseau has a couple of really good reviews in The Gazette (which is owned by the Washington Post) here.

The Wapo, since they own The Gazette, often reprint Gazette articles in the WaPo, but have never re-used an art review, which I find odd, considering that Dr. Rousseau, an award winning writer, is one of the most talented art writers around and already in their employ.

It's a good thing that Mark Jenkins is doing a GREAT job at the WaPo since he took over the freelance arts coverage job from Jessica Dawson, but one would think that once in a while the WaPo would augment the visual arts coverage with a Gazette review here and there.

If you don't get it... you don't get it!

(e)merge back this October

The third edition of (e)merge takes place October 3-6, 2013 at the Rubell Family's Capitol Skyline Hotel, in Washington, DC.

Details here.