For my students working on articulation skills I have found three things imperative to their success and quick mastering of target sounds.
1. Drill-focusing more on the students having the maximum number of trials per session verse focusing on whether they had a lot of fun while learning (ex. games). Recently I switched from articulation games to articulation drill activities. At the end of the drills the student gets a couple minutes to earn a reward while I write down my data.
2. Make sessions two or four 15 minute sessions rather than one or two 30 minute sessions-I found that seeing them more throughout the week reminded them (and the teacher) of their goals and helped with carryover into the classroom. For a few of my students it also helps with staying invested for the whole session.
3. Knowing their progress each session. Students tended to be more invested when they knew what they had mastered and and what they still have to work on.
#3 is the one that stood out the most to me this year and that is when I came up with the Articulation Mountain Climb Bulletin Board.
I first saw the visual to the left (www.heardinspeech.weebly.com) in the summer and was so excited to use it with my articulation therapy session at the start of the school year. I loved how my students knew exactly where they were and where they had to go to graduate from speech therapy. I put one in each of the student’s speech folders that they take out and look through every session. After about two sessions I came up with the idea of making a bigger visual. I wanted the students to see how they are comparing to others, how many people are working on sounds just like they are and how far they have to go to get to the top.
When they get to the top they get to put their name on the flag/make their own flag. I also make them a certificate of completion. Both of these visuals have worked so well with my students. They understand more about why they are coming to speech. Each session they like to look to see if any of the other climbers have moved up/made it to the top. I have to say that this year I have exited more students who are working on just articulation goals from speech services then in previous years and know it is a direct result from implementing the three items listed above.
Please share your successes with articulation therapy!
-Here are is the two climbers that I have the students color and cut out.
-Put their names on the back (respecting confidentiality). This way you remember whose is whose.
-Allow the students to move their own as they master each step.
Climber pictures from: http://printablecolouringpages.co.uk/?s=mountain%20climbing&page=1