Thursday, August 8, 2013

Launch into Literacy

The beginning of the school year is an ideal time for speech language pathologists, teachers, students, and parents to intentionally launch into literacy. We are surrounded by the four essential areas of literacy on a daily basis: listening, speaking, reading, writing. I wonder how many moments a person could be observed engaging in one of these four domains. I'm sure the number would be quite high. Imagine what it would be like to have a literacy pedometer that counts how many "literacy interactions" you have everyday. Hmmm...something to ponder! Ha!

Anyhow, I love assisting my students who have speech language disorders and other special education needs improve their literacy skills. I love using children's literature in my students' speech language therapy sessions as they practice their receptive and oral language skills. Books are a great way to target most if not all speech language areas of need. I also encourage my students to practice their oral story retell abilities with fiction and nonfiction narratives. 

The first week of school, I always ask my students to tell the language group about an exciting or interesting event that they experienced over the summer. I encourage them to describe the event using as much details as possible. A SLP or classroom teacher can gather baseline data of students' oral language abilities during their story retell. You could use a rubric to determine the level of mastery of specific skills.  Here is an example:

The SLP or teacher could extend the activity by having them write and record their story using an I Pad, I Phone, or other digital recorder.  Here is a realistic fiction story I wrote and recorded today inspired by my recent vacation to Mexico. I am a firm believer that SLPs and teachers should provide models so that students have a clear example of the desired outcome. 

Coming soon....once I learn how to upload a file to my You Tube channel that I created! :) The title of the story is: Yikes! I saw a Barracuda! A Summer Snorkeling Adventure.

Other oral and written language samples can be taken during the school year and rubrics used by the educator to measure students growth or mastery of skills.

Tamara Anderson, M.S., CCC-SLP
SLP Back to Work

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