three circles with image of 2 children in right circle

Speech and Language in the Classroom

The Blog

Friday, 24 April 2015

Teacher CPD training on 1st May

Not long now until our last CPD teacher training event of this academic year.

Supporting Language in the Classroom: An inclusive approach.

This training day aimed at teachers will be held in Newcastle on 1st May.

This whole day, interactive seminar for teachers aims to:

-help identify children with SLCN

-encourage critical appraisal of the classroom environment

-practise strategies for supporting children with SLCN

-incorporate strategies into whole class teaching

Find out more here, or ring our Help Desk for more info or to book a place! 0845 257 5084

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book review: Target Ladders - Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Top of the pile at the moment is ‘Target Ladders: Speech, Language and Communication Needs’ written by Susan Lyon et al. (2013)

“A fantastic resource, one that every Senco should have on their desk.”

This book is simple to use and provides easy to follow guidance on setting targets for speech, language and communication needs for your pupils.

The first few chapters provide background information on identifying SLCN, and describe the seven aspects of SLCN covered in the book, what they are and how they develop. Reading these chapters can help you with deciding what area to focus on.

You can then choose targets for your pupils. First, you identify the area or areas causing most concern for the pupil. There are seven to choose from. These are: early communication, attention control, play and social interaction, comprehension, expressive language, social communication, and phonological awareness, auditory discrimination & speech.

You then go to the relevant target ladder in the book and track through the ladder, identifying what the pupil can do, and what steps are missing. These missing steps provide you with targets for that area, for example, ‘names 20 animals’ or ‘uses some adverbs’.

The book comes with a CD. From this you can print your chosen ladder, and highlight targets, this can then form part of the pupil’s intervention record. There is also a ‘record of progress’ sheet to photocopy for parents, a place to detail strengths, targets, and next steps. There’s advice too about how to record and monitor progress.

Within each section, there are suggested activities or strategies to support the development in that area, for example, activities for supporting play and interaction.

Overall, it’s a very useful book that takes the guess work out of target setting for SLCN. If a pupil has a therapy programme in place from a speech and language therapist, this will always be your default setting, however do discuss this book with them. There will be ways it can be used alongside any provision already in place. It would also be great for those pupils who have mild to moderate SLCN but who are not on the speech and language therapist’s caseload.

One of the main focuses of the new SEN code of practice (Sept 2014) is the involvement of parents/carers and the child themselves in target setting. This has always been encouraged, however schools will now need to show clearly how they have collected this information. To make the most of the target ladders, as suggested in the book, discuss targets with parents/carers and the pupils and choose those which they want to work on or feel are most important.

As with any intervention, you will need to use your professional judgement to pick appropriate targets from the ladders for the child you are working with. You will need to consider the resources and time available, the interests of the child, and how realistic the targets are for the child.

The authors are paediatric speech and language therapists working for East Coast Community Healthcare CIC. Susan Lyon is their team leader.

The Target Ladders series also includes books on Autistic Spectrum, Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties, and Dyslexia.

Target Ladders series editor Kate Ruttle.

Available on Amazon

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Some simple Easter themed Speech & Language Games!

Here's some simple games you can play in your speech & language sessions in the lead up (and after!) Easter!

Working on Speech Sounds

Egg Box - using an old egg box, either write or stick a sound in each egg compartment. Take turns to throw a coin into the box from a distance. The child must practice the sound they land on.

Plastic eggs - using those plastic eggs that break apart, fill each one with a speech sound, or a small toy which has the child's sound in it (e.g. if working on 'k' you could use a cat, king, key, sock). The child must pick an egg, open it up and practice their sound or word.

Feed the bunny - Draw, colour in and cut out a large picture of a bunny's head, and cut out a space for their mouth. Stand the bunny's head up using a separate piece of card. The child must feed the bunny their sound or word cards. You could combine this with the previous task, so the child must feed the bunny with the egg containing their practiced sound or word. Here's a good one I found on Pinterest!

Easter egg hunt - Hide the coloured plastic eggs around the room, filled with sounds or words to practice. The child must hunt for the eggs and practice the sound or word they find.

Working on vocabulary skills

Word matching - Cut out an egg shape on coloured paper, then write two words that go together on the egg, one at the top and one at the bottom (or you can draw pictures!) For example, mouse-cheese, hat-scarf, pen-pencil, bed-pillow, etc. Cut the eggs in half, and play a matching game, talking about how the words go together.

Working on following instructions

Hide the egg - give each child an instruction to hide the egg, for example 'Hide the egg under the box'. You could ask one child to hide the egg, send the other children on a hunt for the egg, and when they are all back together, ask the child who found the egg to tell you where they found the egg, for example 'The egg was under the chair'.

Working on memory skills

Feed the bunny - You will need a soft toy bunny and some picnic food items. Ask each child to feed the bunny. You can vary the complexity of the instruction. For example, 'Feed the bunny the apple', 'Feed the bunny the apple and the cake', 'Feed the bunny the apple, the cake and the sausages'.

Have fun!! Happy Easter!

Labels: , , , , ,