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Teacher Information

Please see below fore more information relating to the following subjects:

Developmental Norms

Communication skills develop over time, beginning in infancy. The links below contain information on when most children will reach speech and language milestones.

Each child develops at his or her own rate and if your child has not mastered all of the items at the age group it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. However, if you feel your child has difficulty with many of the items at their age level you may want to consult a Speech-Language Pathologist.

 

 

Importance of Classroom FM Systems

All K-6 classrooms in LPSD are equipped with soundfield FM systems. These systems benefit all students, not just those identified with hearing losses. They also help alleviate teacher vocal fatigue. If your soundfield system is not working properly please put in a Help Desk request to the Technology Department by clicking here.

 

Additional Resources:

The Referral Process

So you have concerns about a student’s speech/language skills in the classroom and want to refer them. What do you do?

  1. Make sure that they are not already on the speech/language caseload by checking with the EST and/or checking the cum file for speech/language reports
  2. If they are already on the caseload but you have additional concerns please contact one of the SLPs. You do not need to fill out another referral form
  3. If you are just wanting a hearing screening for your student you do not need to fill out a referral. Just contact one of the S-LPs and we will do it as soon as we can.
  4. Your child is not on the active caseload so you need to fill out the paperwork for a speech/language referral. This includes the referral form and getting the parents to sign a consent form. These forms can be obtained from your school administrators or EST. Please ensure that you provide as much information as possible about your concerns so that the SLP will be able to determine what testing is appropriate. Once the paperwork is completely filled out and has been signed by the teacher, EST and Principal/Vice-Principal it should be forwarded to Nicki Andres, Executive Assistant, at Division Office.

 

Note: Kindergarten referrals:

The majority of Kindergarten students are screened by the SLPs in the spring previous to starting kindergarten at Division Office since parents bring their children to these screenings the referral paperwork is completed at that time.

Articulation and Phonology Resources

General Tips for Promoting Speech Sound Development:

If any student says a sound incorrectly in a word, repeat the word back correctly, placing emphasis on the correct sound

If you have a student attending speech therapy in your class, find out what sounds he/she is working on and just emphasize these sounds in your own speech

Read stories containing a high frequency of words with the targeted sound(s). Click here for a list of books containing various sounds

Once your student is aware of his speech sound errors and can correctly produce the sound you can set up a ‘secret signal’ to remind the student to say the sound correctly. For example, you may choose to point to your mouth or lips in order to remind your student to say the sound correctly.

 

Additional Resources:

Grammar Resources

General Tips for Promoting Speech Sound Development:

If any student says a sound incorrectly in a word, repeat the word back correctly, placing emphasis on the correct sound

If you have a student attending speech therapy in your class, find out what sounds he/she is working on and just emphasize these sounds in your own speech

Read stories containing a high frequency of words with the targeted sound(s). Click here for a list of books containing various sounds

Once your student is aware of his speech sound errors and can correctly produce the sound you can set up a ‘secret signal’ to remind the student to say the sound correctly. For example, you may choose to point to your mouth or lips in order to remind your student to say the sound correctly.

 

Additional Resources:

Teaching Basic Concepts in the Classroom

Some general ideas for the classroom:

  • Create a mini treasure hunt using concepts as clues for finding the ‘treasure’. For example, “Look behind the chair”, or “Find the ball that is between the books”
  • Give directions involving basic concepts and have students physically act them out to provide opportunities for active learning. For example: “Stand up after you put your pencil down” or “Put the book on the bottom of the pile” or “Go sit between your friends”, etc.
  • Use and encourage “wh” questions and answers. “Wh” questions often encourage the use of basic concepts in response. For example, “where” encourages a response that uses spatial relationships and positions (behind, under) and directions (across through). “When” encourages a response that uses time concepts (before, later).
  • When teaching spatial relationships/position, pairing a sign/gesture with the concept may help the student to make the word-concept connection.
  • Use key words such as “first, next, then, finally” for sequencing concept while talking about the schedule for the day, retelling a story.
  • Pairing signs with the words for spatial concepts often helps to reinforce learning of these concepts. “Click here for some basic spatial signs.

 

Additional Resources:

 

The following resources are available by request from the Speech Language Pathology Department:

  • Listening for Basic Concepts All Year Round, (LinguiSystems) ages 5-8
  • Just for Me! Concepts, (LinguiSystems) ages 3-6
  • Just for Kids Basic Concepts, (LinguiSystems) ages 3-7
  • Exercises For Basic Language Concepts, (Academic Communication Associates) ages 4-10
  • 100% Concepts Intermediate, (LinguiSystems) ages 10-14
  • Teaching the Language of Time, (Great Ideas for Teaching) Grades K-6
  • The Language of Math for Young Learners, (Great Ideas for Teaching) Grades K-3

Teaching Categorization in the Classroom

Categorization requires associating words by common shared features. Students with problems in categorization may demonstrate limited vocabulary, faulty word retrieval, and seemingly poor memory.

Some ideas to work on categorization in the classroom:

Sorting items into categories – sort students in the classroom by hair color, boy/girls; in the kitchen center sort food items into fruits and vegetables

Naming the category in which items belong – if doing a transportation unit in the classroom ask “A car, a bus and a plane are all…”

Naming items that belong to a particular category – if doing a unit on animals in the classroom ask “What are 3 animals that live in the zoo?” To make it harder add a second feature. “What are 3 zoo animals that live in the water?”

Naming an item that does not belong in a group of items and explaining why – “Underline the animal that does not belong: parrot, robin, turtle.”

 

Additional Resource:

  • List of categories **Source: Language Remediation and Expansion: 100 Skill-Building Reference Lists

 

The following resources are available by request from the Speech Language Pathology Department:

  • Category Cut-Ups, (Super Duper) Grades pre-K-3
  • Say & Glue Photo Classifying Fun Sheets, (Super Duper) Grades K-3

Teaching Describing in the Classroom

The importance of describing:

  • Allows the student to be specific about the different attributes of an item
  • Can help with comparing and contrasting
  • Can be carried over into using details when writing
  • Can be used if a student is having trouble recalling a specific word
  • Increases student’s vocabulary, particularly with adjectives

In the classroom, you can work on describing skills using vocabulary items from the curriculum:

  • Discuss the various characteristics to be considered (category, function, parts, where you would find it, what it is made out of, color, size, shape, etc.)
  • Model describing skills by providing clues for the students to guess what the item is
  • During Show and Share have the student who is sharing provide a description of their item before they show it and have the other students try to guess what it is
  • If you have an extra few minutes during the day play a game “I am thinking of something that is …”
  • Use visuals to help students provide more elaborate descriptions of items: Describe It Map and Describing Chart
  • Use Barrier Games where students have the same objects/picture scene on either side of a barrier and students take turns describing an item and where to put it for their partner. Students are allowed to ask for clarification if they are not sure of theirs partner’s description/directions. Once game is over, barrier is removed and student’s check to make sure they have the same scene. 
  • Commercial games such as ‘Headbanz’ and ‘Guess Who’ are great for getting students to provide specific information about items
  • The Expanding Expression Tool is classroom-based and can be used with all students from kindergarten through high school

 

The following resources are available by request from the Speech Language Pathology Department:

  • Find Your Way with Words: Fun Activities for Clear Communication, (LinguiSystems)
  • Descripto Bingo, (LinguiSystems)

Comparing and Contrasting in the Classroom

These are important skills as they are used often in the classroom when comparing/contrasting various concepts in the curriculum. Explaining similarities requires the student to compare two items and determine common traits. Difficulties in this area may result in expressive language being disorganized, inefficient, redundant and imprecise.

Explaining differences requires the student to contrast two items and determine unique traits. It is important that the student identify primary, rather than obscure, distinctions. Difficulty in discriminating differences may become apparent when a student is attempting to distinguish between features of specific items.

The impact of deficits in the areas of Similarities and/or Differences may be apparent when the student is using language to define terms, draw conclusions, compare and contrast in discussion, problem solve and make verbal explanations. Competency in these areas is critical to academic success.

In the classroom, you can work on explaining similarities/differences using vocabulary items from the curriculum:

  • Discuss the various characteristics to be considered (category, function, parts, where you might find it, what it is made out of, color, size, shape, etc).
  • For similarities, take two items that have something in common (ex. two animals, two seasons, two foods, two sports…) and discuss how they are the same. Use the chart of characteristics to help you focus on various features. Decide what the most important similarities are.
  • For differences, you can do category exclusion activities. Have groups of 3-4 items where one item obviously does not belong with the others (e.g. car, bus, bird, train) and have the student tell which one doesn’t belong and why it doesn’t belong. Then make the item that doesn’t belong less obvious (e.g. plane, bird, snail, kite) and have the student do the same thing. If the student has trouble, prompt with the feature to consider (e.g. think about what it does, where you see it…..). Remember that when doing exclusion tasks there can be more than one right answer for which item does not belong, depending on the reason you give!
  • Use Venn Diagrams to discuss how items are the same/different.

Answering Questions in the Classroom

Children ask and answer questions to acquire information/wants and to share information. Some children may not ask many questions and/or may have trouble answering questions appropriately.

Why do children have trouble asking questions? They maybe do not know how to form a question. They perhaps do not know how to ask questions to get the most information from their listener.

Why do children have difficulty answering questions? This is often because they do not understand what type of answer is required by the ‘wh’ question word. For example, a “when” question requires that a child have some concept of time.

Children learn to ask and answer questions in a sequential order:

  • Yes/no
  • What
  • Where
  • Who
  • Why
  • When
  • How

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

 

The following resources are available by request from the Speech Language Pathology Department:

  • Ask and Answer “Wh” Fun Sheets, (Super Duper) Grades preK - 5
  • Wh Bingo, (Super Duper) All ages

Teaching Multiple Meaning Words in the Classroom

In order to successfully give multiple definitions of words, your student must have the general knowledge that a word may have more than one meaning. By defining words in more than one way, your student demonstrates not only the quality and quantity of his vocabulary, but also his flexibility in using this vocabulary. If your student is unable to adequately give multiple definitions, it may be because:

 

  1. He/she doesn’t understand that a single word may embrace several different meanings
  2. He/she is stimulus-bound to the first meaning he/she thinks of
  3. He/she has word-finding difficulties or
  4. He/she has significant vocabulary deficits

 

**Source: WORD Test Elementary – 2 manual

 

Some strategies to work developing knowledge of multiple-meaning words include:

  • Use pictures that show the different meanings that a word can have (eg. bat – baseball bat, animal bat, action of hitting a ball)
  • Play games like Pictionary or Charades by featuring multiple definition words. Once a word has been guessed, discuss other clues that the player could have used to elicit other meanings of the word.
  • Collect jokes, riddles, and puns that rely on the double meanings of words for their humor. Discuss how these jokes use the contrasting meanings of words to evoke the humor.
  • Have students create and discuss their own novel puns (e.g., Did you hear about the tree surgeon whose business was so good that she opened up a branch office?)
  • Play the Dictionary Game by rewarding points for how many actual definitions teams of students can think of for multiple meaning words.
  • Act out a humorous skit for a visiting class to observe with the narrator describing the action aloud and the student players purposely misperforming their parts in respect to multiple meaning words in the narration.
  • Books from the Amelia Bedelia series are filled with misinterpretation of multiple meaning words. Have students go through the books and find the multiple meaning words and explain why Amelia was misinterpreting what people were saying.

 

Additional Resources:

Multiple Meaning Word List **Source: Language Remediation and Expansion: 100 Skill-Building Reference Lists

Information on Hearing

Possible Signs of Poor Hearing: 

  • Frequent ear aches
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Complaints of ear noises such as ringing or buzzing, lasting over a long period of time
  • Frequent colds
  • Speaking too soft or too loud constantly
  • Lots of speech errors: omission of ending sounds, omission of sounds such as ‘s’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘f’
  • Frequent requests to have words or statements repeated
  • Turning of one side of head towards speaker
  • Appears unaware when spoken to, if not watching the speaker
  • Poor general school progress
  • Difficulty following directions

 

The school SLP automatically screens the hearing of children referred for speech and language assessments. However, if you have concerns about a student's hearing, a screening can be completed at the school upon your request. You can contact the SLP to make the arrangements.

Please note that a hearing screening is not diagnostic. It is used to provide an indication of which children would benefit from additional hearing testing from an audiologist.

 

  • If the child passes the initial screening no further referral is required
  • If the child has some difficulty during the first screening a second screening will be completed to determine if the results are consistent
  • If the child has difficulty with the second screening it is recommended that the family doctor check for possible middle ear infection/fluid. Following that a hearing assessment by an audiologist may be recommended.

 

 

Additional Resources:

Information on Auditory Processing

A person with an auditory processing disorder has difficulty understanding or making sense of the auditory information (sound) present in an academic or social situation. The person has normal hearing sensitivity. That is, he can hear quiet sounds in a quiet environment and can understand words and follow instructions in a quiet environment, and generally has age-appropriate language skills. However, most of our listening situations are not quiet and calm.

A child with an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) has a central nervous system that is not efficient at sorting and processing the meaningful sounds in his world. His behavior can reflect this, causing him to become frustrated and bewildered, not knowing why he has trouble completing tasks that seem easy for the other children in his class.

Children with APD have difficulty listening and understanding when there is noise in the background, when sounds are muffled (as in a poor quality recording, teacher speaking with his back to the child), when there is more than one person speaking at once, in a room which echoes (perhaps a gymnasium).

Some of the following behaviors may be exhibited by children with APD (however, some of these behaviors may also be exhibited by average children and children with other diagnoses):

 

  • Difficulty following verbal directions
  • Poor memory span for numbers, words, sounds
  • Difficulty spelling words that are spelled the way they sound
  • Difficulty discriminating between similar sounds or similar-sounding words
  • Unusually poor musical skills
  • Noticeable difficulty learning a foreign language
  • Noticeable difficulty learning phonics
  • Frequently asks, “what?”
  • May be very quiet in class
  • Has a history of frequent ear infections

 

As a child gets older, his auditory system may continue to develop and these symptoms may lessen. However, in some cases APD can last a lifetime. Therefore, it is important to develop strategies that will help make the learning environment easier for the child with APD to handle.

Some students with APD do fairly well in kindergarten through Grade 2 because they have developed coping strategies to help themselves (such as using a strong visual memory to compensate for poor spelling skills). As well, content in the lower grades tends to be more concrete. About third grade the content becomes more abstract and the student may experience more academic difficulty.

Classroom soundfield FM systems have been shown to significantly help students who have been diagnosed with APD. Please refer to the section on the importance of Classroom FM systems for further information on this area.

 

Who Assesses APD?

SLPs in LPSD can do some initial screening for auditory processing disorders for students seven years of age and older. First the student must pass a hearing screening in order to complete any further testing. Next the student must pass an auditory attention test. If the student passes both of these then a screening test for auditory processing disorders can be administered. Other testing may be administered if deemed necessary (ex: auditory memory, phonological awareness, receptive/expressive language).

Note: If the student does not pass the auditory attention test, this test is usually re-administered in one year.

 

Depending upon the results of the auditory processing testing: 

  • A student may be dismissed if all areas are in the average range
  • Recommendations may be provided to the school
  • Recommendation that the student see an audiologist who can make a definitive diagnosis

 

 Additional Resources:

 

 The following resources are available by request from the Speech Language Pathology Department:

  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder: Strategies for Use with Children and Adolescents, (Communication Skill Builders)
  • The Source for Processing Disorders, (LinguiSystems)