Showing posts with label Great Books SLPs Will Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Books SLPs Will Love. Show all posts

Great Books SLPs will Love to Read: 'They All Saw a Cat'


SLPs love to read great books! The featured book this week is 'They All Saw a Cat' by Brendan Wenzel.

They All Saw a Cat is a great book for teaching perspective taking.

Teaching kids to take the perspectives of others is a difficult task for all parents, and part of the work we do to help them become caring individuals.  Autistic children learn to be kind and caring easily enough, but seeing things from another’s perspective can be hard.

Pictures can help! It is a concrete way to start showing our students on the spectrum that people can look at things in a different way. The illustrations in this book can be used for a variety of age levels.

‘They All Saw a Cat’ by Brendan Wenzel is a great book for this! See if your library has it!

They All Saw a Cat is a great book for teaching perspective taking.

Tips for Mixed Groups:


Describing:

Students describe what each cat looks like and try to provide an adjective that best suits that cat.

Perspective Taking Skills:

Look at the pictures of the cat and talk about who saw the cat that way.
Did they all see the cat the same way?
Who saw the cat as scary?
Who saw the cat as furry?

Explaining:
How did each character see the cat? 
Why do you think they saw it that way?

Syntax:
Students working on past tense can say the repetitive refrains using ‘walked’ and ‘saw.’

Speech:
Have your articulation students fill in these repetitive words or phrases.
R- ‘whiskers, ears and paws’, ‘through the world’
S- ‘saw’

Until next time, enjoy!

Tips for Using Books with Students Who Don't Read



Books! Most of our students will say that they don’t read and that they don’t like books, but they need this exposure, believe me! Reading (and listening to books) builds vocabulary, linguistic structure, and knowledge of story plot elements. 

It is  important for SLPS to support development of literacy skills.

There are so many books to use in therapy for young children.
It is easy to make mixed groups work is by centering therapy around a great book. In preschool, it was easy to find a book that coordinated with the theme (usually seasonal) that the teacher was using in the classroom. 

As students get older, it is not quite as easy. When I’ve tried using classroom books, there was too much my students didn’t understand and the pace was too fast for therapy twice a week to keep up with the plot.

Then I tried using books by Chris Van Allsburg and my students loved them - even my middle schoolers who struggled with curriculum! The plot is in-depth enough to address multiple goals, the books are short enough to do in a few sessions, and the pictures are fantastic! They are beautifully drawn and not babyish, so the books can work for older kids.


Getting Started with a New Book

Tips for how to address varied goals using literacy activities.

👀 Read through the book and figure out where to take breaks.

👀 With simple sequential narratives and younger attention spans, that is the beginning, middle, and end of the story plot.

👀 Divide longer books into complete episodes, if it is possible. 


👀 Use sticky notes to remember where to take breaks and the kind of speech/language goals that can be elicited at that point.

For older students, look for:


👀 Interesting pictures, art or photographs that give clues to the plot without ‘giving it away.’

👀 Stories that have multiple plot episodes to keep your students engaged while still being able to finish an episode in each session.


👀 Stories which provide background knowledge and vocabulary that supports classroom topics or themes.


Use an Organizer


Organizers are great tools for literacy skills.

Start with your most mixed group, or most behaviorally difficult group, and fill in an organizer with the group goals and the targets that you can elicit at that point in the story. 

You can use my free story organizer or fill in the needed information on any organizer your students will fill out after the book is done.


Write a set of questions on a sticky note for asking at various points while reading. This keeps each student participating at short intervals of the story. 

This helpful strategy keeps students with short attention spans, poor working memory, or processing problems engaged. (It is also great for tired SLP overload and memory issues!)


Then add in any other goals or student needs you want to have prepared. 


Tips for Eliciting Goals


Articulation goals


These are the easiest!

👀 Just identify the words, phrases or sentences in each section that you want your student to read aloud.
👀 If there aren’t enough, make a question list that will elicit those words.

👀 Or challenge your students with a homework assignment where they have to find and pronounce the words with their sounds in a story passage.

Story question goals


👀 Have you tried using story grammar? My students showed great success when questions were paired with story grammar symbols. The visual cues helped reduce processing time and enabled students to look back in the text for the requested information.
👀 Try placing the question words or a story element on a popsicle stick for your students to pick out of a can and answer when the story is done.

Occasionally put in one sticky note that has something fun, like 2 free minutes on the computer or a no homework pass, and your students will always want to finish the activity

Grammar goals


Eliciting target structures in sentences is easily achieved.

Have your students:
👀 tell what just happened with correct sentences.
👀 describe the story pictures.

👀 ask a peer a question.

Receptive / expressive language goals


Pause at sections for students to:

👀 sequence the events so far.
👀 retell the story.
👀 summarize the last episode.
👀 tell how a character feels.
👀 infer what they could be thinking at this point.

👀 make a prediction about what will happen next.

For goals that are difficult to target during a story:

👀 Address them in a follow-up activity at the end of the session
👀 Use games as the cohesive element on some therapy days.
👀 Figure out ways to pair up student goals in activities for a smoother flow.

Managing the needs of mixed groups in therapy is a common SLP concern.

Have you found a great way to use books to organize mixed groups in speech/language therapy?

5 Reasons to Assess (and improve) Narrative Skills

Checking students' narrative skills is on the top of my list for back to school assessments! Whether you do this orally or in a written format, there is so much information you can gain to help your students make progress over the year! Why do this routinely?

Many speech/language skills are incorporated in narratives.


5 reasons you should be assessing the narrative skills of your students.
Beside the fact that this is an essential basic skill for conversations, discussion and writing, you can see:

1. how well they retrieve and organize 
information while staying on topic.

2. if there are word finding issues.

3. what is their level of sentence 
complexity.

4. if there are grammatical errors.

5. how well they carried over skills 
from the previous year, including 
articulation or fluency skills.


Being able to tell a narrative is necessary for school success.


If your students are not able to relate familiar events in a sequential, understandable manner, how will they develop the discourse skills necessary for classroom discussions and written work?

Getting Started with Narratives

There are so many ways to get started, but here are a few of my favorites. Whichever method you choose to use, remember to save your students' first attempts so you can see their progress over the year.

Tell a Story

First, of course, check to make sure that our students can relate a personal experience. Why not do this using your computer?

If your school uses Macs, this is quick and easy to do! Let your students think about what story they want to tell. The less input you give, the more natural their story will be.

It is easy to record a student narrative on a Mac!
Then, open up QuickTime on your computer, following the steps in the photo.


Your students can make a movie of their story and QuickTime lets you save it! What a fantastic pre/post assessment!






Maybe your students need some guidance.


Try these ways to work on student narrative skills from Looks Like Language!
What I did over my summer vacation is a school standard, but how about this idea that I found at Activity Tailor? Telling what you didn't do over the summer has a nice twist, keeping your students engaged and letting them be creative! You also will see right away if they understand negatives.

Maybe your students would like creating their own comic strips. Mine loved Make Beliefs Comix! You can save their creations on your computer, or even print their strip to let them write the narrative for it.

Create a Story


Use unusual photos to spark a story!
Can your students create a story when given a topic? Teachers use story starters all the time, but I like using unusual photos. There are so many sites, just try searching words like ‘unusual’, ‘strange’ and ‘weird’ photos to find some that appeal to you.

Retell a Story


Creating and retelling stories in speech/language therapy.
Book reports are a classic way that teachers use story retell. Help your students practice doing this with online sites that have quick stories to read and retell.

Younger kids may like the ones here.
And how about stories written by kids? You will find many choices for all ages at StoryBird.

Making Stories More Descriptive



You can use online story sites for other speech/language goals, too!
Maybe you have some students in your group who have basic narrative skills. Don’t leave them out! There are ways to incorporate other speech/language goals into stories, too!

Build vocabulary and parts of speech using photos at PicLits. Work on descriptive skills with the stories at Fun English Games. Of course, you can find ways to work on carryover of articulation skills at these sites, too!


Using online resources builds technology skills, too.


Are books a vital part of your planning? I can't imagine doing without the physical format, personally, but teaching your students internet literacy is just as important. If you teach students from disadvantaged homes, they may not have the same level of access to computers, so they especially need it included in every aspect of school life to gain digital skills.

Using online books and stories also lets us see if our students engage with them before purchasing the book. YouTube is a wonderful resource for checking out books before you buy them.

There are so many fun, free websites at all levels of skill that can help you improve your students' narrative skills with a little planning! Check out this post to get even more ideas.

If you need to justify this use of your time to school administrators, check out the results of this study by Ron Owston et al.  In their study called Computer game development as a literacy activity, they found that "Field notes and teacher interview data indicated that game development helped improve student content retention, ability to compare and contrast information presented, utilize more and different kinds of research materials including digital resources, editing skills, and develop an insight into questioning skills."

What are your favorite resources for books and narrative skills?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...