Teacher Talk for Parents: Speech Therapy

We’ve all heard that cute little kid voice. That voice that mixes up letters when trying to say certain words. W’s for L’s. J’s instead of T’s or D’s. My cousin would call me “Wee-wah.” My niece called me “Aunt Wee-jah.” Most children are able to grow out of this phase and pronounce words correctly.

What about those students that don’t? For young students who still struggle with letter sounds, it can be isolating. “Why can’t I say that? Isn’t that what I said?”

In addition to speech therapy, this is where I believe Genius PreK can help. Not only are there fun videos and games, but we have many eBooks that focus on letter sounds. All of our letter eBooks breakdown the letter’s sound. For example, the letter L eBook, “L is for Lion,” breaks down the pronunciation of the letter. It even has an image of the letter L saying the sound.

Illustration from the eBook “L is for Lion.”

The illustration demonstrates the placement of the tongue at the back of the teeth. You can use this as a guide to help students that are struggling with L’s. The audio of the eBook also repeats the L sound, so students can hear it more clearly. For example, a page of the eBook says “L-l-lake starts with L.” This format is repeated throughout the eBook and is used in many other letter eBooks in Genius PreK app.

Genius PreK also has eBooks, games, and videos on blending sounds (two letters making one sound), as well as ending sounds. For example, “Blending Sounds: Every Letter Works Hard” uses words that feature “sp,” “bl,” “sk,” and “fr” blends. With students struggling with speech, this would be a great eBook for them to read. The audio puts the emphasis on the blend and breaks down the pronunciation for the student, just like the letter eBooks! The illustrations also highlight the blend to make it more visible to the child. Not only does it help with letter identification, but it helps show the student which letters to emphasize in the word.

Sight word Spark video made by a student and parent.

Another idea to help struggling students is creating Sparks! Sparks are our re-teaching resources made by our users. Students, teachers, and parents can create their own eBooks, videos, and more! This would be a great tool to keep track of student’s speech progress through0ut the year. It can show students how far they have come, too! Plus, what child doesn’t love watching a video of themselves over and over and over again (right, parents?). Also, students can listen to themselves with the eBooks that they make throughout the year.

Having been an educator in an integrated classroom (a class with both average performing students and students with special needs), it was always a challenge to work with students needing speech therapy. For some students, it was hard for them and their parents to know if they were actually making progress. With Sparks, I believe that it will be easier for teachers, parents, and students to track their progress with a visual representation, as opposed to standard notes and entries. In addition to speech therapy and with the support of our Genius PreK resources, students can make strides with their speech improvement! By using traditional methods and technology, students can learn and improve throughout the year in a fun and innovative way.

 

Want more blog posts like this? Let us know in the comments below! Have you had students in speech therapy? Let us know about your experiences!