NC DPI's Summer Institute in brief review by a slightly worn-out, wishful thinking, and sleepy SLP.
See-the-Sound Visual Phonics- 2 days of awesomeness. I don't know ASL so my hand was very sore from all the repetitive practice of the phonics signs. However, I think this will be great to try with my students who struggle with reading, hearing impairments (only have 1 at the moment), and possibly nonverbal ones too. I love that the hand signs are designed to imitate the shape of your mouth when you utter a specific phoneme. It's something that can even be used in articulation therapy to help students think about the way they are shaping their mouth, which is a great addition to my fondness for sound names/puppets. If you get the opportunity to take this course, I highly suggest taking one offered by their national trainer. She's an SLP and is really great at explaining all the different uses it has for therapy.
Letterland (Kindergarten)- 1 day of wondering what I signed up for....I guess the dreaded 2nd scenario (aka the vortex of confusion) had to hit sometime during the week. Letterland did not live up to my expectations. It felt like I was trapped in a giant infomercial where price tags and "non-essential purchases" kept hitting me over the head with a huge price wand. The characters and gestures are cute. I can see how it easily attracts attention and motivates the kids. However, I don't feel like it's very practical to me as an SLP unless it's used during a push-in session. The regular education teachers in my district don't use this program currently so my guess is that I won't be able to have that experience any time soon. Oh well....maybe I will go to love it, eventually?
Social Skills Across the Lifespans- 1 day of interesting. Social skills are probably one of my weakest areas as an SLP (after behavior) so this class was the one I really wanted to take this summer. It was a great decision. The SLPs leading the session gave great information about assessment and intervention. They even talked about relating it to Common Core! I am hoping that I can use some of their ideas in therapy this year with one of my students.
One great resource that I learned about is Social Thinking! and Michelle Garcia Winner. There's something called a "double interview" that you can do as part of dynamic assessment in one of her books. I'm planning on putting some money aside to purchase this book in the near future. (This is not the wishful thinking aspect though---that would be attributed to my insane desire to go back to school for a PhD while having no idea about what I want to specialize in.)
In other news, I managed to score a Phineas and Ferb 104 Days of Summer game for $3 at Goodwill today. I haven't looked too much at the cards. I know that it has following direction tasks and will be a way for me to help the kids learn their days of the week. You can read a review here.