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Review and Giveaway: Test of Semantic Reasoning (TOSR)

Today I am reviewing a new receptive vocabulary measure for students 7-17 years of age, entitled the Test of Semantic Reasoning (TOSR) created by Beth Lawrence, MA, CCC-SLP  and Deena Seifert, MS, CCC-SLP, available via Academic Therapy Publications.

The TOSR assesses the student’s semantic reasoning skills or the ability to nonverbally identify vocabulary via image analysis and retrieve it from one’s lexicon.

According to the authors, the TOSR assesses “breadth (the number of lexical entries one has) and depth (the extent of semantic representation for each known word) of vocabulary knowledge without taxing expressive language skills”.

The test was normed on 1117 students ranging from 7 through 17 years of age with the norming sample including such diagnoses as learning disabilities, language impairments, ADHD, and autism. This fact is important because the manual did indicate how the above students were identified. According to Peña, Spaulding and Plante (2006), the inclusion of children with disabilities in the normative sample can negatively affect the test’s discriminant accuracy (separate typically developing from disordered children) by lowering the mean score, which may limit the test’s ability to diagnose children with mild disabilities.

TOSR administration takes approximately 20 minutes or so, although it can take a little longer or shorter depending on the child’s level of knowledge.  It is relatively straightforward. You start at the age-based point and then calculate a basal and a ceiling. For a basal rule, if the child missed any of the first 3 items, the examiner must go backward until the child retains 3 correct responses in a row. To attain a ceiling, test administration can be discontinued after the student makes 6 out of 8 incorrect responses.

Test administration is as follows. Students are presented with 4 images and told 4 words which accompany the images. The examiner asks the question: “Which word goes with all four pictures? The words are…

Students then must select the single word from a choice of four that best represents the multiple contexts of the word represented by all the images.

According to the authors, this assessment can provide “information on children and adolescents basic receptive vocabulary knowledge, as well as their higher order thinking and reasoning in the semantic domain.”

My impressions:

During the time I had this test I’ve administered it to 6 students on my caseload with documented history of language disorders and learning disabilities. Interestingly all students with the exception of one had passed it with flying colors. 4 out of 6 received standard scores solidly in the average range of functioning including a recently added to the caseload student with significant word-finding deficits. Another student with moderate intellectual disability scored in the low average range (18th percentile). Finally, my last student scored very poorly (1st%); however, in addition to being a multicultural speaker he also had a significant language disorder. He was actually tested for a purpose of a comparison with the others to see what it takes not to pass the test if you will.

I was surprised to see several children with documented vocabulary knowledge deficits to pass this test. Furthermore, when I informally used the test and asked them to identify select vocabulary words expressively or in sentences, very few of the children could actually accomplish these tasks successfully. As such it is important for clinicians to be aware of the above finding since receptive knowledge given multiple choices of responses does not constitute spontaneous word retrieval. 

Consequently, I caution SLPs from using the TOSR as an isolated vocabulary measure to qualify/disqualify children for services, and encourage them to add an informal expressive administration of this measure in words in sentences to get further informal information regarding their students’ expressive knowledge base.

I also caution test administration to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD)  students (who are being tested for the first time vs. retesting of CLD students with confirmed language disorders) due to increased potential for linguistic and cultural bias, which may result in test answers being marked incorrect due lack of relevant receptive vocabulary knowledge (in the absence of actual disorder).

Final Thoughts:

I think that SLPs can use this test as a replacement for the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test-4 (ROWPVT-4) effectively, as it does provide them with more information regarding the student’s reasoning and receptive vocabulary abilities.  I think this test may be helpful to use with children with word-finding deficits in order to tease out a lack of knowledge vs. a retrieval issue.

You can find this assessment for purchase on the ATP website HERE. Finally, due to the generosity of one of its creators, Deena Seifert, MS, CCC-SLP, you can enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy!

Disclaimer:  I did receive a complimentary copy of this assessment for review from the publisher. Furthermore, the test creators will be mailing a copy of the test to one Rafflecopter winner. However, all the opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not influenced by the publisher or test developers.


Peña ED, Spaulding TJ, and Plante E. ( 2006) The composition of normative groups and diagnostic decision-making: Shooting ourselves in the foot. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 15: 24754

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New Product Giveaway: Comprehensive Literacy Checklist For School-Aged Children

I wanted to start the new year right by giving away a few copies of a new checklist I recently created entitled: “Comprehensive Literacy Checklist For School-Aged Children“.

It was created to assist Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) in the decision-making process of how to identify deficit areas and select assessment instruments to prioritize a literacy assessment for school aged children.

The goal is to eliminate administration of unnecessary or irrelevant tests and focus on the administration of instruments directly targeting the specific areas of difficulty that the student presents with.

*For the purpose of this product, the term “literacy checklist” rather than “dyslexia checklist” is used throughout this document to refer to any deficits in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling that the child may present with in order to identify any possible difficulties the child may present with, in the areas of literacy as well as language.

This checklist can be used for multiple purposes.

1. To identify areas of deficits the child presents with for targeted assessment purposes

2. To highlight areas of strengths (rather than deficits only) the child presents with pre or post intervention

3. To highlight residual deficits for intervention purpose in children already receiving therapy services without further reassessment

Checklist Contents:

  • Page 1 Title
  • Page 2 Directions
  • Pages 3-9 Checklist
  • Page 10 Select Tests of Reading, Spelling, and Writing for School-Aged Children
  • Pages 11-12 Helpful Smart Speech Therapy Materials

Checklist Areas:

    1. Memory for Sequences
    2. Vocabulary Knowledge
    3. Narrative Production
    4. Phonological Awareness
    5. Phonics
    6. Morphological Awareness
    7. Reading Fluency
    8. Reading Comprehension
    9. Spelling
    10. Writing Conventions
    11. Writing Composition 
    12. Handwriting

You can find this product in my online store HERE.

Would you like to check it out in action? I’ll be giving away two copies of the checklist in a Rafflecopter Giveaway to two winners.  So enter today to win your own copy!

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Review and Giveaway of Strategies by Numbers (by SPELL-Links)

SPELL-Links Strategies By The Numbers

Today I am reviewing a fairly recently released (2014) book from the Learning By Design, Inc. team entitled SPELL-Links Strategies by Numbers.   This 57 page instructional guide was created to support the implementation of the SPELL-Links to Reading and Writing Word Study Curriculum as well as to help students “use the SPELL-Links strategies anytime in any setting.’ (p. iii) Its purpose is to enable students to strategize their way to writing and reading rather than overrelying on memorization techniques.

SPELL-Links Strategies by Numbers contains in-depth explanations of SPELL-Links’ 14 strategies for spelling and reading, detailed instructions on how to teach the strategies during writing and reading activities, as well as helpful ideas for supporting students as they further acquire literacy skills.  It can be used by a wide array of professionals including classroom teachers, speech-language pathologists, reading improvement teachers, learning disabilities teachers, aides, tutors, as well as parents for teaching word study lessons or as carryover and practice during reading and writing tasks.

The author includes a list of key terms used in the book as well as a guide with instructional icons screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-10-57-10-amscreen-shot-2016-09-24-at-10-56-46-am

The goal of the 14 strategies listed in the book is to build vocabulary, improve spelling, word decoding, reading fluency, and reading comprehension as well as improve students’ writing skills. While each strategy is presented in isolation under its own section, the end result is for students to fully integrate and apply multiple strategies when reading or writing.

Here’s the list of the 14 strategies in order of appearance as applied to spelling and reading:

  1. Sound It Out
  2. Check the Order
  3. Catch the Beat
  4. Listen Up
  5. A Little Stress Will Help This Mess
  6. No Fouls
  7. Play By the Rules
  8. Use Rhyme This Time
  9. Spell What You Mean and Mean What You Spell
  10. Be Smart About Word Parts
  11. Build on the Base
  12. Invite the Relatives
  13. Fix the Funny Stuff
  14. Look It Up

Each strategy includes highly detailed implementation instructions with students including pictorial support as well as both instructor and student guidance for practice at various levels during writing and reading tasks.  At the end of the book all the strategies are succinctly summarized in handy table, which is also provided to the user separately as a double sided one page insert printed on reinforced paper to be used as a guide when the book is not handy.

There are a number of things I like about the book. Firstly, of course it is based on the latest research in reading, writing, and spelling. Secondly, clinicians can use it the absence  of SPELL-Links to Reading and Writing Word Study Curriculum since the author’s purpose was to have the students  “use the SPELL-Links strategies anytime in any setting.’ (p. iii).  Thirdly, I love the fact that the book is based on the connectionist research model, which views spelling and reading as a “dynamic interplay of phonological, orthographic, and semantic knowledge.” (iii). Consequently, the listed strategies focus on simultaneously developing and strengthening phonological, orthographic, semantic and morphological knowledge during reading and writing tasks.

You can find this book for purchase on the Learning By Design, Inc. Store HERE. Finally, due to the generosity of Jan Wasowicz  PhD the book’s author, you can enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy!



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Review and Giveaway: ‘I Can Do’ Apps Early Literacy and Critical Thinking Bundle

FullSizeRenderToday I’m excited to review  not just one but a bundle of four different apps I Can Do Apps    developed by Carrie Steenbergen M.S, CCC-SLP.

This bundle consists of the following 4 apps:

  • Associations
  • Categories
  • Rhyming
  • Starting Sounds

These apps are perfect for young preschool and kindergarten age children or older children with developmental disabilities and language delay. Reminiscent of the apps (no longer available in the US) they have a simple layout and engaging real life photographs to facilitate students interest.

All of the below I Can Do apps have five different levels, each containing 10 trials (with the exception of memory games). They contain pictures of real objects and are wonderfully randomized.

Levels increase in the order of difficulty and movement between screens is accomplished manually for teaching purposes. The apps allow the clinician/parent to  turn on/off written words and audio reinforcement after selected answers.


First up is the Associations app. It’s five levels are: 

1. Identify associated items given two choicesIMG_0461

2. Identify associated items given three choices


3. Identify two out of four associated pictures


4. Identify three out of six associated pictures


5. Identify the item which does not belong


Next is the Categories app. It’s five levels are: 


1. Identify a picture that fits into a specific category given two visual choices


2. “Find the other category member” from three visual choices


3. Identify a picture that fits into a specific category given three visual choicesIMG_0471

4. Identify two out of four pictures which go together


5. Identify the item which does not belong in a category

Now let’s talk about the Rhyming app, it’s five levels are: 


1. Identify a rhyme from two pictures with labels

2. Identify rhyme from two pictures


3. Identify a rhyme from three pictures


4. Identify a rhyme from four pictures


5. Play a rhyming memory matching game


Finally there is the most advanced app in the bundle the Starting Sounds app, and it’s five levels are: 


1. Identify the starting sound


2. Identify the picture which begins with the given sound


3. Identify the picture starting with the given sound give 2 visual choices


4. Identify the picture starting with the given sound give 2 visual choices IMG_0477

5. Play a memory matching game


There you have it! These practical, relatively inexpensive apps ($2.99 each or $9.99 per bundle) are great for introducing early critical thinking and emergent literacy skills to young children.

I really enjoyed using them and found them particularly effective for my 4 to 6 year old language impaired preschoolers as well in my older 8 to 10-year-old client with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X, as well nonspecific cognitive disabilities.

Find them separately or together in the iTunes Store or, thanks to the generosity of their developer enter my rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win your own bundle!

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App Review and Giveaway: Listening Power Preschool HD by Hamaguchi

image1Today, I am very excited to review the Listening Power Preschool HD recently released by Hamaguchi for children ~3.5 + years of age  with a focus on improving language processing and listening comprehension.

This app consists of 5  levels of increasing complexity.   Each of its five levels contains “easy”,  “intermediate”, and “advanced” options and can be set up to offer choices of two, three, or four answers in the form of pictures. Additionally if you turn on the “text” feature, the app can be used to improve decoding as well as reading comprehension in older children. 

1. The Listening for Descriptions  portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of attributes/adjectives  (e.g., colors, big/little, happy/sad, clean/dirty, hold/cold, stripes, spots, soft/hard, round, square, etc.)


2. The Listening for Directions portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of  prepositional concepts ( e.g., on, in, out, on, out, up, down, behind, line up, sit down, stop, underline, cross out, underline, etc.)


3. The Listening for Grammar & Meaning portion requires the child  to identify (via tapping) pictures containing a variety of  grammar markers including plurals, verb tenses, pronouns, preposition concepts, negation, etc.

screen480x480 (3)

4. Listening for Stories with Pictures portion requires the child  to listen to a story with accompanying pictures and sound effects,  and then answer: who, what, and where questions.


5. Listening for Stories without Pictures  portion of the app is the most difficult level as it requires the child  to listen to a story without  accompanying pictures and then answer questions about the story (an animation after the story does show select aspects of the story).

The app takes detailed data on the child’s performance which can be displayed for parent/clinician as well as emailed. It’s pop-up reward animations are engaging for the children.   It also has a “bubble game” as a fun break activity.


The app is suitable for both individual and group play. Furthermore, all the stories from the app are available in the PDF format to download and review.

I have used it with wide range of preschool and kindergarten aged children with a variety of linguistically based difficulties and low cognitive abilities with great success. I have also used it with older children 7-10 years of age with developmental disabilities and genetic syndromes with great success by selecting the “easy” option and 2 visual picture choices. For a cost of $15.99 (on Itunes), the app provides a fairly cost effective option for improving language processing abilities of young children.

Thanks to the generosity of Hamaguchi Apps you can enter my Rafflecopter giveaway to win two free app codes.

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Improving Emotional Intelligence of Children with Social Communication Disorders

Our ability to recognize our own and other people’s emotions, distinguish between and correctly identify different feelings, as well as use that information to guide our thinking and behavior is called Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Salovey, et al, 2008).

EI encompasses dual areas of: emotion understanding, which is an awareness and comprehension of one’s and others emotions (Harris, 2008) and emotion regulation, which are internal and external strategies people use to regulate emotions (Thompson, 1994).

Many students with social communication challenges experience problems with all aspects of EI, including the perception, comprehension, and regulation of emotions (Brinton & Fujiki, 2012).

A number of recent studies have found that children with language impairments also present with impaired emotional intelligence including impaired perception of facial expressions (Spackman, Fujiki, Brinton, Nelson, & Allen, 2005), prosodic emotions (Fujiki, Spackman, Brinton, & Illig, 2008) as well as abstract emotion comprehension (Ford & Milosky, 2003).

Children with impaired emotional intelligence will experience numerous difficulties during social interactions due to their difficulty interpreting emotional cues of others (Cloward, 2012).  These may include but not be limited to active participation in cooperative activities, as well as full/competent interactions during group tasks (Brinton, Fujiki, & Powell, 1997)

Many students with social pragmatic deficits and language impairments are taught to recognize emotional states as part of their therapy goals. However, the provided experience frequently does not go beyond the recognition of the requisite “happy”, “mad”, “sad” emotions. At times, I even see written blurbs from others therapists, which state that “the student has mastered the goals of emotion recognition”.  However, when probed further it appears that the student had merely mastered the basic spectrum of simple emotional states, which places the student at a distinct disadvantage  as compared to typically developing peers who are capable of recognition and awareness of a myriad of complex emotional states.


That is why I developed a product to target abstract emotional states comprehension in children with language impairments and social communication disorders. “Gauging Moods and Interpreting Abstract Emotional States: A Perspective Taking Activity Packet” is a social pragmatic photo/question set,  intended for children 7+ years of age, who present with difficulty recognizing abstract emotional states of others (beyond the “happy, mad, sad” option) as well as appropriately gauging their moods.

Many sets contain additional short stories with questions that focus on making inferencing, critical thinking as well as interpersonal negotiation skills.  Select sets require the students to create their own stories with a focus on the reasons why the person in the photograph might be feeling what s/he are feeling.

There are on average 12-15 questions per each photo.  Each page contains a photograph of a person feeling a particular emotion. After the student is presented with the photograph, they are asked a number of questions pertaining to the recognition of the person’s emotions, mood, the reason behind the emotion they are experiencing as well as what they could be potentially thinking at the moment.  Students are also asked to act out the depicted emotion they use of mirror.

Activities also include naming or finding (in a thesaurus or online) the synonyms and antonyms of a particular word in order to increase students’ vocabulary knowledge. A comprehensive two page “emotions word bank” is included in the last two pages of the packet to assist the students with the synonym/antonym selection, in the absence of a thesaurus or online access.

Students are also asked to use a target word in a complex sentence containing an adverbial (pre-chosen for them) as well as to identify a particular word or phrase associated with the photo or the described story situation.

Since many students with social pragmatic language deficits present with difficulty determining a person’s age (and prefer to relate to either younger or older individuals who are perceived to be “less judgmental of their difficulties”), this concept is also explicitly targeted in the packet.

This activity is suitable for both individual therapy sessions as well as group work.  In addition to its social pragmatic component is also intended to increase vocabulary knowledge and use as well as sentence length of children with language impairments.

Intended Audiences:

  • Clients with Language Impairments
  • Clients with Social Pragmatic Language Difficulties
  • Clients with Executive Function Difficulties
  • Clients with Psychiatric Impairments
    • ODD, ADHD, MD, Anxiety, Depression, etc.
  • Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Clients with Nonverbal Learning Disability
  • Clients with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Adult and pediatric post-Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) clients
  • Clients with right-side CVA Damage

Areas covered in this packet:

  1. Gauging Age (based on visual support and pre-existing knowledge)
  2. Gauging Moods (based on visual clues and context)
  3. Explaining Facial Expressions
  4. Making Social Predictions and Inferences (re: people’s emotions)
  5. Assuming First Person Perspectives
  6. Understanding Sympathy
  7. Vocabulary Knowledge and Use (pertaining to the concept of Emotional Intelligence)
  8. Semantic Flexibility (production of synonyms and antonyms)
  9. Complex Sentence Production
  10. Expression of Emotional Reactions
  11. Problem Solving Social Situations
  12. Friendship Management and Peer Relatedness

This activity is suitable for both individual therapy sessions as well as group work.  In addition to its social pragmatic component is also intended to increase vocabulary knowledge and use as well as sentence length of children with language impairments. You can find it in my online store (HERE).

Helpful Smart Speech Resources:


  1. Brinton, B., Fujiki, M., & Powell, J. M. (1997). The ability of children with language impairment to manipulate topic in a structured task. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 28, 3-11.
  2. Brinton B., & Fujiki, M. (2012). Social and affective factors in children with language impairment. Implications for literacy learning. In C. A. Stone, E. R. Silliman, B. J. Ehren, & K. Apel (Eds.), Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.
  3. Cloward, R. (2012). The milk jug project: Expression of emotion in children with language impairment and autism spectrum disorder (Unpublished honor’s thesis). Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  4. Ford, J., & Milosky, L. (2003). Inferring emotional reactions in social situations: Differences in children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46(1), 21-30.
  5. Fujiki, M., Spackman, M. P., Brinton, B., & Illig, T. (2008). Ability of children with language impairment to understand emotion conveyed by prosody in a narrative passage. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 43(3), 330-345
  6. Harris, P. L. (2008). Children’s understanding of emotion. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Feldman Barrett, (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 320–331). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  7. Salovey, P., Detweiler-Bedell, B. T., Detweiler-Bedell, J. B., & Mayer, J. D. (2008). Emotional intelligence. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Feldman Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions (3rd ed., pp. 533-547). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  8. Spackman, M. P., Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., Nelson, D., & Allen, J. (2005). The ability of children with language impairment to recognize emotion conveyed by facial expression and music. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 26(3), 131-143.
  9. Thompson, R. (1994). Emotion regulation: A theme in search of definition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59(2-3), 25-52

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APP Bundle Review and Giveaway from Communication APPtitude

Today I am having fun reviewing and giving away, not 1, not 2 but 3 vocabulary apps from Communication APPtitude to one lucky winner.

InferCabulary™ and InferCabulary 3 are vocabulary apps for middle school and high school students, which teach them definitions through concrete explanation and visual support (photos).

A third app WordQuations™ assists the students with learning the meanings of subtle verb synonyms through visual support.

Let’s begin with InferCabulary™.


The app has 3 options: Teach, Definition Games, and Word Games.

In “Teach” the student sees a word on the screen (arranged in alphabetical order) as well as 5 photos which describe the word’s synonymous meanings in context (below). A pull out menu to the left (contains all the 100 words in case you want to teach/arrange the words in a different order). There’s also a “more” button where students can learn more information about each word.

In “Definitions Games” there are 4 options: “Novice”, “Speed”, “Sudden Death”, and “3 Lives” of varying level of complexity.

In “Games” mode the student gets 2 photos, each one with a specific caption (“She is the best at her job”; “I did it! I finished my degree!”) and 5 definitions describing the targeted word.  The student must choose the best definition matching the captions under the two photos in order to win. If they make the right choice, they go on to the next word. If they make the wrong choice, it will add another picture for a clue.

In contrast in Word Games which contain the same 4 levels of complexity as “Definition Games” the student is given 5 photos with captions and asked to identify the targeted word

The app  contains 100 Tier II vocabulary words (in alphabetical order) from middle school literature such as Lowry’s ‘Number the Stars’, Tolkein’s ‘The Hobbit’, etc. You can find the list of words HERE.

Similar to InferCabulary, InferCabulary 3 is set up in the exactly the same way with the exception that it contains 100 Tier II vocabulary words from high school level books such as Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ and Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. You can find the list of words HERE.

Both apps contain audio that verbally highlights the words, definitions, captions and “more information” panel. And I hear that an InferCabulary1 for Elementary age students will be coming out this month (March 2015)

Now let’s talk about WordQuations™. Here you begin by choosing a base word: Drink, Eat, Look, Put, Sit, Talk, Think, Touch, Understand, Walk or Write.

Next choose a speed. Then, choose a heaviness, volume or intensity.

After that, choose a motive or em0tion the click on the synonym – there may be one or more than one. Finally read the definition and play the video to see the actors demonstrating the synonym.

I liked all three vocabulary apps because they use great visuals and clear explanations. The one thing I wish the developer did differently for the InferCabulary apps is to arrange the words based on relationships or semantic clusters to create a scheme vs. arranging them in alphabetical order (Marzano & Marzano, 1988).

You can find these apps in the iTunes stores (link to all 3 HERE), or thanks to developer’s generosity you can enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a bundled version of all 3 apps.

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Review and Giveaway: Healthy Heart & Language Mart Tier II Vocabulary Words

frenzy pictLast February I did a product swap and giveaway with the fabulous Rose Kesting of Speech Snacks. It was entitledWintertime Wellness:Language Building, Problem Solving & Reading Comprehensionand was aimed teaching students aspects of health and wellness as pertaining to the cold and flu season.

This February, I am at it again, reviewing her “Healthy Heart & Language Mart” companion for middle and high school students.  As I’ve mentioned in the past Rose runs a fun and unique blog. In her posts she combines her interest in nutrition and healthy cooking with her professional knowledge as a speech-language pathologist.  

Rose created the “Healthy Heart” packet as a way to help create a greater awareness of good health, nutrition and fitness while improving language skills during American Heart Month in February. Now I know what you are thinking, Tatyana its February 24th, why are you giving away this packet when there are only 4 days left in February?

Simple really! It may be the end of February but the topics of “good health, nutrition and fitness” do not end there and are just as important during the cold month of March.  Furthermore, many of our students are limited in their choices of physical activity during the winter months due to lack of opportunities or resources, which is why this packet continues to be relevant and useful vocabulary-wise long past the month of February.

Main Packet Contents:

Vocabulary Cards, Definition Cards, Synonym Cards, Question Cards, Sentence Writing Page, Sentence Writing Worksheets, Grammar Correction Worksheets,  Figurative Language Cards, Problem Solving Photos, Reading/Listening Comprehension Cards as well as Shopping Cart Game Mat/Grocery Bags Game.

Packet Overview:

One of the most hugely impressive parts of this packet are the diverse types of Tier II vocabulary words pertaining to health, wellness, and fitness.

Rose created 24 vocabulary cards to match the 24 definition cards to introduce the vocabulary for the students. She placed the key words or context clues in BOLD font to assist students in determining the correct answer. Similarly, she created 24 synonym cards with matching definitions to further improve the student’s knowledge and use of health-related vocabulary words.

LM 1

After that to reinforce the students’ knowledge Rose created comprehension questions cards (Beating Heart Bonus) pertaining to the above vocabulary words to ensure understanding of presented information.

I also like to pair the above comprehension question cards with pages 28-31 from Rose’s packet which contain 8 health-themed passages. These passages contains 2 sets of questions: factual and inferential to differentiate the question complexity. While many students are able to easily answer factual text-based questions they may  present with significant difficulty producing responses to inferential questions, so this may be an area on which SLPs can spend additional time working on in sessions.

Once that knowledge is solidified, students get an opportunity to write sentences with the presented vocabulary words.

LM 4


Finished writing? How about some good old-fashioned grammar work? Students can work on identifying run-on and simple/compound sentences as well as work on expanding sentences to increase their written output.

Then have some fun with figurative language by identifying idioms and applying them in action.

LM 3

Then move on to Problem Solving activity by answering questions based on real-life photos that involve real-life scenarios. I love the fact that besides identifying the problem the student must provide two possible solutions  to the problem. Here I also asked my students to provide justification for their solutions in order to solidify their knowledge as well as to make sure that they are producing coherent responses. 

Finally, finish up with the Shopping Cart Game Mat/Grocery Bags Game, which my students love. We play it as a game of chance. I distribute the definitions cards (face down) and mats to the students and then draw a vocabulary card from the pile, which I then read to them. The student who has the correct definition gets a ‘grocery bag’ to put on their mat. The first player to collect all six grocery bag categories is the winner! (Don’t forget to make copies of one shopping cart and one set of grocery bags per player).

Also don’t just use this packet for one or two sessions. Research indicates that students with language impairments need much more exposure to new and challenging vocabulary words in order to be able to use them in a proficients manner. So I’ve been actually using portions of this packet (which I had since last year’s FB Frenzy) with my students for WEEKS.

Again as with all of Rose’s products, I found this packet to be incredibly useful because of how multifaceted it is.  It is connected to the common core with respect to topic (health and wellness) and content areas (vocabulary, comprehensions, figurative language, etc).

The information it has is timely and relevant and is useful not just to address language goals in academic setting but also contains real life application (students need to know this information in order to engage in healthy lifestyles).

But what I really like about her product is that she uses research recommended evidence based strategies to teach students with language impairment new vocabulary words.

My students really enjoyed working with this packet and didn’t feel like it was a chore because of all the new words they learned in an interactive format.

You can find this packet in Rose’s TPT store HERE for $7.00 or you can enter my Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance of winning your own copy.

But wait there’s more!!! Rose is doing a review of my product “Treatment of Social Pragmatic Deficits in School Aged Children“, so if you head on over to her BLOG and read her review you’ll be able to enter both giveaways!

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Review: Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KLBA)

Recently I had an opportunity to use the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment published by Speech Language Literacy Lab with a classroom of kindergarten students 5-6 years of age.  The KLBA is the screening and progress monitoring tool which tracks the development of appropriate early language skills and helps support the RTI model.


This tool is comprised of four sections: auditory comprehension, following directions, categories and  narrative language, which are correlated to future reading success and academic competence. It is intended for monolingual and bilingual kindergarten children 5 to 6 years of age. It yields a raw score for each skill area and requires a very short administration time (around 5-7 minutes) .

The kit was created by Naomi R. Konikoff, MS, CCC-SLP and Jennifer Preschern, MA, CCC-SLP. It includes an administration manual, testing book, and 25 protocols.  Each protocol allows for 3 administrations (Winter, Spring, Fall) to monitor language growth in kindergarten students over a period of a school year.

Subtest description:

Auditory Comprehension subtest assesses the students’ ability to respond to -wh-questions based on short stories 3-4 sentences in length

Following Directions subtest assesses the students’ ability to follow 1-2 step directions.

Categories subtest assesses the student’s ability to receptively identify the similarities between 2 out of 3 presented items and then coherently verbalize their connection

Narrative Language subtest assesses the students’s ability to produce simple stories in order to determine their use of relevant story grammar elements.


While there are a number of uses for this tool (RTI, to reduce over-identification of Limited English Proficiency students, evaluation of effectiveness of early language instruction, etc.),  since I’ve had it for a fairly limited time I used it as a screening instrument in order to determine whether a full comprehensive language testing was needed for the kindergarten children who were currently not mandated language services.

To confirm its reliability I also used it with children with known language impairment on my caseload, to determine how sensitive it was to detecting already existing language impairments.

The KLBA had indeed proven to be a reliable screening tool with the children I had tested. It cleared the children with typically developing language abilities (as per teachers reports and personal observations). In contrast when used with language impaired students on my caseload, KLBA had reliably identified their areas of weaknesses.  Children with language impairments were able to do quite well on several KLBA subtests due to the fact that they had already been receiving language therapy services. However, they invariably did poorly on the following subtests: expressive categorization and narrative production, which research has identified as being most sensitive to language impairment.


Given the research behind the KLBA I find it to be another useful tool in my material repertoire. For more information on KLBA check out Speech Language Literacy LabTo purchase KLBA from their site click HERE.