Special Education Teachers as Speech/Language Support--Who Knew

If your like me, you have students who need more language support than your speech/language pathologist has time for. In Colorado, I have two speech/language learning disabilities that cross over from speech to academics but knowing what to do if half the battle.  My plan/hope over the summer is to find ways to build language into my lessons. 


Oral expression pertains to the use of words and includes the ability to formulate and produce words and sentences with appropriate vocabulary, grammar and application of conversational rules.
A student’s oral expression skills are essential to their learning and academic success.  Oral expression problems in students may result in literacy problems.  Students with poor oral expression, may not perform at grade level because of their struggle with reading, difficulty understanding and expressing language, and the fact that they may misunderstand social cues. Oral expression is about the student’s ability to express ideas, explain thinking (critical in math), retell stories, and contrast and compare concepts or ideas.  

Characteristics of Oral Expression

The following may be exhibited by those children who demonstrate oral expression difficulties:
  • Difficulty with the grammatical processes of inflection, marking categories like person, tense, and case (e.g., the –s in jumps marks the third‐person singular in the present tense), and derivation, the formation of new words from existing words (e.g. acceptable from accept)
  • Learning vocabulary
  • Difficulty formulating complete, semantically and grammatically correct sentences either spoken or written
  • Difficulty explaining word associations, antonyms/synonyms
  • Difficulty with retelling, making inferences, and predictions

Definition and Implications of Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension refers to the understanding of the implications and explicit meanings of words and sentences of spoken language.  Listening comprehension often seen with difficulties in written language and in the auditory processing of oral information. Students with problems processing and interpreting spoken sentences frequently can experience difficulties in mastering syntactic structures both receptively as well as expressively. Although students appear to perceive and interpret the words used in spoken sentences, building oral language is important to ensure they build sentence level comprehension.
Characteristics of Listening Comprehension
  • Children experiencing listening comprehension difficulties may exhibit the following:
  • Difficulty with following directions for seatwork and projects
  • Difficulty remembering homework assignments
  • Difficulty with understanding oral narratives and text
  • Difficulty answering questions about the content of the information given
  • Difficulty with critical thinking to arrive at logical answers
  • Difficulty with word associations, antonyms/synonyms, categorizing, and classifying
  • Difficulty with note‐taking or dictation  
Intervention and Progress Monitoring
The speech‐language pathologist can provide both direct and consultative services in collaboration with the classroom teachers, resource teachers and interventionists in developing intervention strategies that will include explicit skills‐training in the areas of oral expression and/or listening comprehension as key to some students’ access to the curriculum.

Providing structured opportunities for students to participate in social interactions, such as giving them “helping” roles or having them “talk through” an activity involving a successfully learned skill, reinforces oral expression skills.  Working on beginning, middle and end to organize narratives as well as in the retelling of stories fosters oral expression development.

The direct teaching of listening strategies is important to improving listening comprehension. Particularly effective is cuing the student to keep their eyes on the speaker, make a picture in their head, ask for clarification, and internalize directions by repeating them to themselves.  Modeling and demonstration is essential with students of all ages.

An example of progress monitoring of an oral expression and/or listening comprehension intervention would be correct identification of picture cards of specific targeted vocabulary being taught.  The desired result should be that the student’s correct labeling/identification of the target vocabulary increase with each collection of data to be analyzed (progress monitoring).  
The targeted intervention needs to be systematic and explicit in its delivery and progress monitoring.

I'm planning to reach out to my SLP this summer, to beginning co-planning how to target our more intensive students.  We are hoping with deliberate programming, we can make big strides with this kiddos. Stay turned for some fun short ideas that you can use in your groups!

May Show and Tell

  This week I'm linking up with Forever in 5th Grade to peek inside my room and what I have my students doing before Summer Break. 

Many of the projects they are working on are ideas for next fall. More district is wanting students to have more control over their learning while still making gains to meet IEP goals. (yes, I do know this idea is nuts-but...) The thing about personalized learning is working smarter not harder.
This was a fluency idea where students read a the photo app on an iPad. When they are done they send it to me by AirDrop, I upload it, and then they get to create the QR code on to add to their fluency data sheet. Each time they assess their learning. I have some that added a SMART goal to their reading fluency on top of their IEP goals--others do this to meet the goal of reading accuracy.

Back to that idea of personalized learning and a very difficult rubric to work with a  special education teacher,students are integrating technology, goal setting, and assessing their own learning.

My teacher rubric highly suggests learning should take place within the 4 Cs-Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication. In talking with my evaluator, he would like to see students pick their own IEP goals to focus on as well as make their own goals to meet the IEP goal. Wow! This is a month full and a lot to take on. This is been what several students have been playing with. This is the third version of this idea. The technology was added because of a specific line item on the rubric. This idea was created to kill as many line items from my rubric as possible and not overwhelm me at the same time. 

I had one student who decided she wanted to add reading fluency to her work. Which is the overall goal the district wants all students to do. She gave me the idea to take the fluency video (from above) and connect it to QR codes to track progress and create an artifact that could be shared with parents and administration. This idea as lends itself to having students be more active in IEP meeting even in the grades of kindergarten. It would note be overly difficult to help them create a slide show or some kind of presentation to share. Not sure about this idea but its coming.

I write all of my iPad menus with the app picture from the device. I helps me spend less time being the technology teacher and more time being a special education teacher.

Robert Marzano is someone that I get classroom help from when I'm looking for a way to move my students. The Checking for Understanding posters can be found at my Teacher pays Teacher store (Ocean Theme and K-2 Theme).  I use these to get students to tune into their own learning and help them to internalize the understanding of the learning target.

My summer reading list or should I say pile. Perhaps it's closer to wishful thinking I'll get through all of them.

-How to Plan Rigorous Instruction
-Visible Learning for Literacy
-Intentional Targeted Teaching: A Framework for Teacher Growth and Leadership
-Learning to Choose; Choosing to Learn
-The Art and Science of Teaching
-Conferring with Readers: Supporting Each Students' Growth and Independence
-DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence

Have a great week! Be sure to check everyone's May Show and Tell Blog Hop for more peeks into classrooms.

May Pinterest Pick 3

I think Colorado has decided its time for Spring. Or maybe its just this week since by Thursday it's going to be 80. I'm not sure though.

As its the end of the year, I'm thinking ahead to the fall and things I want to change. The big thing is--creating pathways to personalized learning.  This is a big on my teacher rubric. This is not a small idea because I also need to integrate technology into this grand plan. Oh, I almost forgot IEP goals still drive instruction.

One thing that is big with my teacher rubric is student goal setting. The point being the instruction is student driven. I'm not sure if the IEP goals and student driven learning go hand in hand but I'm game to take it out to play. I like this idea because it's a SMART goal minus the SMART goal language. Students can focus on an IEP goal and set a short term outcome. The hard part is right know I don't have tons of extra time but next year the team is looking at moving to a three week instruction with the fourth week being progress monitoring. This idea is used with out SLPs this year but I'm thinking it may be worth trying next year. 

I'm not a fan of handing student's an iPad just to have them play a game or something else that's just plug and play. Student's have to do something with them--technology has to be a jumping off point to something even better. SAMR provides that. A big piece of the teacher rubric in students using technology in a meaningful way. I see students of a limited time. Students have to use them but I want them to do more than just replace a task for a task. Tat's harder than you may think. These guys have tons of apps but not clue what any of them do. Yup-fun times. So, as the year winds down they are going to become familiar with different apps and what they can do with them. Of course, they love this idea but they have not seen a rubric attached to their work.

The big push is coming in the form of personalize learning. I'm not totally sold because I'm not sure how this meshes with IEP goals and the like. However, with the reading I've done it doesn't seem to be a totally bad idea. This is something I will play with this month before leaving on break. I really like that this idea is ground in differentiated instruction. Any more its the hallmark of great things regardless of who is watching.

Just in case you didn't know, the TpT site-wide Teacher Appreciation Sale is this Tuesday and Wednesday! Everything in my store will be 20% and you can get an additional 10% off by using the promo code CELEBRATE at checkout. This a great time to load up on bundles as they are already discounted, so with the sale you save...well, a bundle! You might also want to check out no-prep Interactive math picture book or my Errorless Sentence Stems.

Have a great week. Happy shopping.

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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