Open House!

Families interested in learning more about my summer services are invited to drop by on Saturday, June 15 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

For location and details, please e-mail me.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Summer Camp Schedule

Several of you have asked about this summer’s camp schedule. I guess it’s time for me to start planning because summer is only a few months away! 

All camps will run Monday-Thursday, July 29-August 8, for 2 hours each day. 

o Reading Detectives: Secret Agents, grades 3-6   9:00-11:00

Comprehension: All Ears on Deck, grades 3-5  11:30-1:30

o Comprehension: Word Gamers, grades 6-8  2:00-4:00  (this time is likely to change to an earlier slot)

 

**Update: I have had several requests to move All Ears on Deck to July 8. I am willing to do this and make other requested changes as long as enough people are interested. Please email me with specific requests and I will do my best to accommodate.

Friday Night Foodies

Summer camps came and went, and now I’m moving on to my next venture: Friday Night Foodies! It combines a few of my passions: language, social interactions, and food. 

This is an idea I’ve been toying with for a while, and I wanted to put it out there to get some feedback from you. I’m thinking about starting a monthly “dinner club,” where older students and young adults (age 15-21 or so) come together for an evening of cooking, eating, playing games, and chatting. The idea is inspired by several of my students who love to cook, yet have food aversions that limit their diets. It is my belief that food aversions (with the obvious exceptions of food allergies and food sensitivities) can be improved and overcome, given the right conditions. Many students avoid food out of fear of the unknown or a sensitivity to texture. My goal is to provide opportunities to try new, healthy foods in a positive, relaxed setting with food they have prepared themselves. 

The group would meet each month, probably at my house, for a few hours. During this time, we would prepare a meal (each student would be responsible for shopping and bringing some ingredients), eat, play a game, and practice social interactions. Cooking provides a range of opportunities to build language skills, including vocabulary,  reading comprehension, sequencing, following and giving directions, and answering questions. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to develop skills in working and communicating with others. 

If this is something you would be interested in, please send me a message to let me know. If I get enough interest, I will schedule some dates!

Summer is here!

Summer camps begin in just 1 week!!! I’m very excited to be able to offer such an intensive intervention for struggling readers and comprehenders. I’m also very eager to meet the wonderful kiddos heading my way. We’re sure to have a great time learning and playing together.

I described a bit about the Reading Detectives curricula in an earlier post, and so I wanted to take a moment to discuss the curricula and methods I’ll be using in the Comprehension groups.

The goals of the Comprehension groups are two-fold:  1) build conceptual understanding in order to improve comprehension and 2) teach strategies to aid comprehension. For the first goal, we’ll be working with Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing & Verbalizing curriculum, which focuses on integrating language with visualized imagery. To support this process, we will be physically drawing out the concepts we visualize and labeling the various components, pulling from the work of Ellyn Arwood. These methods aim to support students in visualizing the big picture while still seeing the details. As part of this, vocabulary-building will be a key component to instruction. For the second goal, we will be working to build self-awareness around language comprehension, helping students to monitor their own understanding and to be actively engaged in the comprehension process. One of my favorite resources for this is Chris Tovani’s book, I Read It, but I Don’t Get ItWe’ll be practicing each strategy described in the book through a variety of age-appropriate games, activities, and reading materials.

If you have any questions about the plan for the Comprehension groups, please don’t hesitate to send me a message!

Parkinson’s Voice Therapy

Communication changes are almost inevitable for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and often the first to occur upon onset of the disease. Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is the gold standard in treating voice changes resulting from PD. More than 15 years of research, backed by the National Institutes of Health, have repeatedly demonstrated the efficacy of LSVT in improving voice, articulation, and nonverbal expression in patients with PD. Most importantly, patients and their families report an improved quality of life after completing LSVT. See an example of the kind of changes that occur with LSVT here. To schedule an in-home consultation to discuss whether LSVT might be appropriate for you or your loved one, please e-mail heatherthompsonslp@gmail.com or call 503.505.4516.

Summer Camps, continued

It’s time for an update!

I’ve received many inquiries regarding my summer camps and wanted to provide just a bit of an update to everyone. I’m currently gathering information from all of you regarding your summer schedules and your wonderful children. With that information, I will be finalizing a schedule for the groups. I already know that I will be running two 2-week sessions, beginning July 9 and July 23. Each group will run Monday-Thursday, 2 hours each day. The specific times for each group will be posted soon, and registration forms will be e-mailed to all interested families.

For families who want to know more specifics about each program, here is a description of the Reading Detectives camps:

On the first day of camp, I will be informally (and briefly) assessing students’ skill levels in phonemic awareness, spelling, and reading (decoding). From there, I will customize plans for each individual student to target their areas of deficit. The two main curricula that I will use are:
1. Lindamood Bell LiPS program – focuses on building awareness of individual sounds within words to support development of spelling and reading. This website provides a description of the program and if you click on the link on the left, you can read research about all Lindamood Bell programs. This is a well-established program with A LOT of research behind it. It delivers systematic, multi-sensory instruction with a clear scope and sequence.
2. Words Their Way – This program builds on the phonemic awareness activities in LiPS by focusing on developing word knowledge through phonics instruction. It, too, relies heavily on multi-sensory instruction and is very systematic.
When the summer camps end, I will again informally assess each student and provide parents with a brief report to share with teachers in the fall, if you’d like.
That said, I want the kids to have fun! We will be learning these skills through movement, games, and activities in addition to the direct instruction provided through the LiPS program.