Speech Class Rocks!!!

What is in store for 2019!

It has been a fabulous start to the school year in Speech Class!  I have been trying to combine as many classroom exercises within my speech lessons as possible and I'm noticing nice, gradual progress already.  For the first half of the 2019 school year, we have been working on several high interest projects together such as creating our own Super Social Heroes, role-playing our favorite Halloween stories, designing/creating seeds, and writing Thank You cards to Donors Choose for pur flexible seating options. It is my philosophy that a student's speech and language skills ultimately improves when being able to discuss highly motivating topics with others. There will be several photos and lesson summaries to follow throughout this school year. I’m excited to share more updates soon because Speech Class and all of my students truly rock!!! 

Practice with asking detailed questions.

Role-Playing scenes from students’written Halloween stories!

Interactive Storybooks!

Higher Order Thinking Skills!

Empowering Students With Flexible Seating Options!

I am thrilled to inform everyone that my project "Empowering Students With Flexible Seating Options" has just been funded through the DonorsChoose.org.  I will now have several options available to suit each student's individual learning style.  I am very grateful for all of the donors who generously contributed to this project.  I will make sure to include pictures and updates on both this speech website and the Donors Choose website.  This is already a wonderful start to the school year 2018-2019!

Create A Scene!

Motivating Visual Tools!

Elementary school students often need engaging activities to help sustain their level of attention. One such activity involves using two copies of the same magnetic picture board (Create-A-Scene or Colorforms). The teacher places a border between her/him and the student and then proceeds to give directions. These directions should be clear and detailed in nature (e.g., colors, sizes, attributes,  specific placements, etc). At the end of the activity, the teacher and student can remove the border and compare the location of all magnetic pictured items. The goal is for both picture boards to mirror each other. It  can also be very fun and empowering for each child to be in the driver’s seat and practice giving directions to the teacher.  Enjoy these border activities with your children. It is an excellent way ro practice following directions and strengthen expressive language skills! 😊

Visualizing Techniques When Following Directions.

Repeat and Picture Spoken Information.

When listening to directions and spoken short stories, it can sometimes be difficult for  a student to recall all of the details. That is why I often implement various visual strategies. One technique is called “Repeat” and “Picture”. By having the student slow down to imagine all of the details, it helps to cement the information within the memory. You can ask the student specfic questions about his/her image to ensure true visualization is taking place (e.g., “Is the dog you are picturing tall or short?).  In my professional experience, most students perform better at processing verbal information when taking the time to use this important visualing strategy.

Fluency Strategies

Fluency Strategies Are Effective Speech Tools!

These visual fluency picture cards serve as very effective tools!  I have used these with several of my students who stutter.  This helpful strategy reminds them about using their smooth speech techniques.  These tools include taking breaths between phrases or natural pauses, speaking at a slow rate, streching out particular sounds, and using light articulatory contacts (light touching of the lip, tongue, and vocal folds when producing a sound). Parents can feel free to schedule a separate meeting with me, so that I can demonstrate these fluency strategies for home practice. 

Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers are an excellent way to work on a few different skills at the same time. Not only does the student improve his/her ability to recall and retell the main events of a story, but it also helps a student to increase executive functioning skills by enhancing the ability to organize tho

Motivating Sound Games!

Practicing speech sounds can sometimes feel a bit monotonous when carrying out the same kinds of routine exercises. That’s why it is so important  to try to vary the activities for elementary school children as much as possible to keep them engaged and motivated.  Try to make 2 copies of each picture that contain a targeted speech sound.  In the example above you see speech words that start with the /K/ sound.  You can play games like “Go Fish”, “Memory”, “UNO”, “Hidden Pictures”, and “Twister” with your speech words.  It takes a little extra work for teachers and parents, but a lifetime of fun memories and mastered speech skills for each child! 

Speech Driver and Learning to be Independent!

Sometimes just a simple visual cue is all a child needs in order to self correct.   I created this simple visual chart to help my students self monitor their own speech skills. The main goal in the end is to have them in the driver’s seat and in charge of their own speech goals.  One way to do this is have your child tape record his or her own speech. When the student plays back the recording, he/she can rate each of the 3 main areas above (rate, loudness, clarity of sounds) on a scale of 1 to 5. Once the child starts obtaining consistent “5”s on their charts with your rating approval, then those great speech habits start carrying over into spontaneous conversation! 

Staying on track!

Keeping on track with a given activity can be very challenging, especially when a child is distracted.  By having a type of token system and even rule cards in place, this helps the child follow a structured activity and lets him/her see there are only a certain number of items left to complete until theyo earn their reward.  By seeing there is an “end to the means”  and a motivating reward og game time is in sight, it can really help motivate the child to complete the activity.

“WH” questions during story time.

Pairing “wh” visual question cards that match your spoken question can really help students to gain a better understanding of each question. Try to gradually fade these cues over time when possible.

Braidy Story Grammar Program!

“Braidy”, a story bookmark!

Students have been using “Braidy” the Story Braid Puppet and bookmark during my speech classes to help them organize and recall the events of a story.  Significant progress has taken place when my students use graphic organizers and story puppets like these to help them recall the correct sequence of events.  Progress has increased from 70 to 86% accuracy when using these visial aides  before retelling the story.   Copies of the the “Story Braid” bookmark will be included in the student’s speech folder for home practice as well!