WH Questions

What are the Wh- questions? Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?

What questions are the first Wh- questions we begin to understand. What questions ask about a thing or an action (e.g., “What is he doing?”).

Who questions are mastered next. These questions ask about a person (e.g., “Who picks up your garbage?”).

Where questions are the third Wh- question mastered. Where questions ask about a place (e.g., “Where do birds live?”).

When and why questions are mastered last, with why being the hardest Wh- question to answer. When questions ask about a time (e.g., “When do we go to sleep?”) and why questions ask for a reason (e.g., “Why is he sad?”).

Finally, how questions ask about numbers or the way something is done. They can also ask about a feeling (e.g., “How many pencils are there?” “How do you get to the library?” “How do you feel today?”). For more information on Wh- questions, and for ideas on how to practice, please visit the link below.


A video to remember the Wh questions

Please let me know if you have any questions by sending me an email at checkm@dearbornschools.org

Best wishes to you and your family!

Conjunctions (6th-8th)

Conjunctions are words that join words, phrases, clauses, etc. We will be discussing two types conjunctions today, coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.

1. Coordinating conjunctions: These conjunctions combine independent clauses. Remember, an independent clause can stand alone. For example, He is walking. This sentence can stand alone, and is an independent clause. We can join two independent clauses using a coordinating conjunction. For example, He is walking and he is running. The coordinating conjunction used was “and”.

Tip: There are seven common coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, yet, so. You can also remember these by using FANBOYS.

2. Subordinating conjunctions: These conjunctions combine clauses and show a relationship between them. The relationships they show are cause and effect, or time and place. Subordinating conjunctions that we use to show cause and effect are: for, as, since, therefore, hence, as a result, consequently, though, due to, provided that, because of, unless, as a result of, so/so that. Subordinating conjunctions that we use to show time or place are: once, while, when, whenever, where, wherever, before, after.

Look at the following clause: “because of the weather.” Is this a dependent or independent clause?

It is a dependent clause because it can not form a complete sentence on its own. Therefore, it needs to be combined with an independent clause. For example, “We can’t go outside today because of the weather.” The independent clause is “We can’t go outside today” and the subordinating conjunction in this sentences is “because.”

The following video will explain subordinating conjunctions in greater detail:

Kahn Academy video about Subordinating Conjunctions

For more information please visit: https://www.dailywritingtips.com/coordinating-vs-subordinating-conjunctions/ and https://www.grammarly.com/blog/subordinating-conjunctions/

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at checkm@dearbornschools.org

Social Skills

Many of your students are working on pragmatics (this is our social use of language such as: turn taking, initiating conversation, maintaining conversation, appropriate eye contact, etc.). This post will focus on specific skills that fall under the category of pragmatics.

Turn Taking: One way to focus on turn-taking is through play. You and your child can each take turns while building something or playing with playdough. You can also practice turn-taking while completing a craft. Once your child is able to take turns during play, and if you feel they have enough language, you can begin to build their turn-taking skills by reading stories. Take turns telling each other about what you see on each page, or asking each other questions about the story. Use the resource below to help your child self-monitor their turn taking skills and to help your child use turn-taking during conversation.

Maintaining Conversation: One way I have practiced maintaining conversation is through the “Add-a-Thought” technique taught by Michelle Garcia Winner. For more information on this technique and ideas on how to use it, please visit: https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=add-thought-teach-essential-conversation-skill

To learn more about different pragmatic skills, and ways to help your child grow them, please see the following document:

Please contact me if you need any additional resources or support checkm@dearbornschools.org – best wishes to you and your family!


Prepositions are words that tell us where things are. Many of your students are working on learning this skill. In the video below, Chester the cat will help us learn the following prepositions: in, on, under, next to, in front of, between. To help your student learn these terms, pause the video while you are watching and ask your student to repeat where Chester is. For example, pause the video when you see that Chester is in the box and ask, “Where is Chester?” Give your student some wait time, and if they don’t answer correctly, model the answer by saying “Chester is in the box.”

Additional ways to practice would be playing a hide and seek game, where you hide items throughout the house. Have your child find the items and tell you where the item is using a preposition term. If your child is just beginning to learn these terms, only start with a few items.

You can also practice this skill using play dough or any other object you have at home. Put the play-dough behind you, in front of you, under a table, on the table, in a box, etc. While you do so, tell your child where the play dough/toy is (e.g., “The play dough is in front of me, you try!”). Have your child repeat the action that you are modeling and tell you where the play dough is. When your child becomes more familiar with these terms, you can model only the action and your child can tell you where the toy/play dough is.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Thank you all for all of the work that you are doing with your students during this time!


1. Present Progressive Verbs (-ing): these are words we use when an action is currently happening. For example, “She is sleeping.” Many of your students are working on using these types of verbs. One way to practice is to ask your student about what someone is doing in a show, book, or picture. An additional way to practice is to perform an action as ask your child about what you are doing (e.g., Pretend to sleep and ask your child “What am I doing?”). If your child does not use the correct “-ing” form of the word, model it for them by saying, “I am sleeping.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=896NibRambw

For more ways to practice present progressive verbs, and for more information please visit: https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/teach-present-progressive-ing/

Song to practice present progressive verbs

2. Past Tense Verbs (-ed): these are words we use when talking about things that happened in the past. For example, “I walked to the store.” There are two main types of past tense verbs regular past tense and irregular past tense. Regular past tense verbs end in -ed (e.g., walked, skipped, hiked, etc.). Irregular past tense verbs do not end in -ed. You can find a list of the most common irregular past tense verbs here: https://www.esl-lounge.com/reference/grammar-reference-most-common-irregular-verb-list.php. To practice, ask questions about what happened in a show, picture, or book, and model the correct grammar. For example, if you ask your student “What did he do?” and your student replies “He fall,” model the correct grammar by saying “You’re right, he fell down” and have your child repeat the phrase, “He fell down.”

For more ways to practice past tense verbs, and for more information please visit: https://www.esl-lounge.com/reference/grammar-reference-most-common-irregular-verb-list.php

Song to practice regular past tense verbs

If you have any questions, please comment on this post or email me at checkm@dearbornschools.org

Pronouns (Grades PreK-4th)

This post is all about pronouns, which are words that take the place of a noun (i.e., a person, place, or thing). The two pronouns that we will be talking about today are subjective pronouns and objective pronouns.

Subjective Pronouns: words such as I, he, she, they, and we act as the subject of a sentence. This means that they perform the action. For example: “He went outside.”

Objective Pronouns: words such as him, her, them, us, and you act as the object of a sentence. This means they receive the action of the verb. For example: “Give it to him.”

You can find more information about pronouns here: https://www.factmonster.com/features/grammar-and-spelling/pronouns-subjective-objective-possessive-demonstrative-more and I will include a visual example at the bottom of this post.

A great video to help your students learn about pronouns

For extra practice, try this chair activity with your family at home! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UeRiPgNJMY

Sentence Types (Grades 4-8)

In conversation, we often use many different sentence types. Your students may be working on identifying and expressing different sentence types when speaking and writing. These sentence types include: simple, compound, and complex. Therefore, I wanted to share the resources we have used during therapy to help learn about sentence types.

For additional review, please watch this video.