Joanne Laflamme & Valerie Downs- Speech and Language

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!  Your preschool Speech and Language team has been busy sharing fun and learning with your children.  As always, we are committed to supporting you and your children as they develop and achieve their speech and language goals.

We have enjoyed getting to know your children, learning about their interests, and practicing speech and language together.  The home to school connection is so important when fostering language development, and there are many ways you can encourage speech and language development in your  daily routines.  Some ideas include labeling items in your home, talking about what you and your children are doing, and encouraging them to make choices.  

This page of the Killingly Public Schools website is a great resource for books, fun activities, and parent strategies that encourage communication, language, and speech development.  However, the most important tool for encouraging communication remains engaging your children in play and conversation.  So, be sure to enjoy some time exploring their interests and sharing toys and books.  Use the maroon buttons on the right to access the resources we shared.  

Again, welcome to preschool!  If you have any questions, please reach out to us at  It’s going to be a great year, and we are happy to be here supporting you and your children.    

Best regards,

Joanne Laflamme, M.S., CCC-SLP                                           Valerie Downs, C-SLPA

Winter Books and Activities

Click on the underlined book titles for read aloud experiences.

Pete The Cat Snow Daze by James Dean

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Collandro

No Two Alike by Keith Baker

Picture Fun Folder - use this link to a colorful, printable activity you can use for articulation, categorization, vocabulary, following directions, and much more.

Scavenger Hunts for Speech and Language

Fall's cooler weather and vibrant colors open a whole new set of things to see and do, and you can even take language learning outside.  Scavenger hunts are very popular with preschool students, and doing them together provides many communication opportunities; having a conversation, investigating nature, and labeling new fall items.  You can include articulation, vocabulary development, comparing and contrasting, answering “wh” questions, and more skills in the activity.  Click the buttons below for directions and  printable scavenger hunt sheets to use in this fun and versatile activity. 

Scavenger Hunting at Home for Speech

Scavenger Hunting in Nature for Speech

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness - A Foundation for Communication

When houses are built, they need a solid foundation.  If you think of language and communication as a house, phonemic and phonological awareness make-up its foundation.  They need to be strong, or the best efforts to build the house will fail.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and use individual speech sounds.  Phonological awareness goes one step further to also include hearing and playing with larger units of sound like syllables, repeating beginning sounds, and rhyming to form meaningful language and communication.

Many traditional games and activities for young children focus on developing phonemic and phonological awareness in your child.  Think about your child's favorite games, songs, and activities, and you will likely find a tool to teach skills like rhyming, alliteration, and breaking words into syllables.  

Communication Temptations They Can't Resist!

Ever just couldn’t resist that delicious looking cookie?  That is temptation in action, and you gave in!  Communication Temptations are specially constructed situations that encourage, or tempt, your child to communicate – not grab a cookie. 

Simple things throughout your daily routine can become too tempting for your child to ignore.  For example, leave a step out of a familiar routine; fix a favorite snack, but leave it out of reach on the counter; or put a favorite toy inside a clear, difficult to open container.  Your child will be tempted to communicate about the situation with a preferred means – verbalization, vocalization, gestures, facial expression, eye gaze, picture exchange, or talker.  They’re all good!


Books That Encourage Communication

These five books have features including repetition, opposites, sequencing, following directions, and vocabulary words that support speech and language development and your child's IEP goals and objectives.  Click a button for a read-aloud of a book.

Goodnight GorillaBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?What's Up Duck?Little Blue TruckGoing On A Bear Hunt

Mrs. Laflamme

Speech and Language Pathologist

Mrs. Downs

Speech and Language Pathology Assistant