Happy Holidays and Summarization {Evidence Based Strategy}

Happy Holidays from Building Successful Lives (BSL) Speech & Language! I am writing from the comforts of home today as I am now on day 3 of recovering from the flu. As the year is quickly coming to an end, this is a great time to naturally reflect on skills that you have taught your students and the progress that they have made.  However, it is equally important that you teach students, especially students with language disorders the evidence based strategy of summarization. 
Summarization is a skill that requires an individual to synthesize or bring together information that they have heard, read, and learned in a simplified and organized manner. It may involve a verbal summary, written summary, or both. This strategy can be applied in all the content areas of language arts, math, science, social studies, and various specials or electives classes. Once students learn how to use this skill and practice it effectively, it will have positive implications in their ability to master academic standards as well as become more effective communicators.
Now educators and speech-language pathologists may think, “oh, I have my students do this all the time.” But do you really do this on a consistent basis? This is an excellent strategy that allows the teacher or SLP to check for a student’s understanding of curriculum relevant standards as well as their oral/written language skills. It is ideal that this strategy is paired with an age appropriate graphic organizer to aid a child’s recall and organization of content related to a particular topic. As children develop it is important to increase the expectations for them to have increasing depth of knowledge on a topic. A teacher or SLP may even use a rubric to progress monitor growth of summarization skills such as:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Oral-Story-Retelling-Rubric-819201
Teachers and SLPs of children in grades K-3 can have students summarize fiction text both verbally and in writing. Here are some suggestions for great holiday and winter themed books:
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro
Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman
Teachers and SLPs of children in grades 4-8 can have students summarize non-fiction information both verbally and in writing. They can summarize main ideas and related details learned in social studies and science content. I love having my students make metacognitive maps which are a visual representation of main ideas, vocabulary, and details on a selected topic. You can read more about that here: http://www.bslspeechlanguage.com/?p=69
Here are some examples of graphic organizers that require increasing linguistic or language complexity:
K-W-L Chart
Beginning-Middle-End/Story Train Chart: 
Venn Diagram:
*interactive computer made & printable visual: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/venn-diagram-30973.html
Make sure to integrate summarization, an evidence-based strategy into your speech-language therapy sessions and classrooms on a regular basis! You will see positive gains in your students over time!
Reference: 
Better: Evidence-based Education Magazine

Published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Center for Research and Reform in Education, Better magazine takes an evidence-based approach to figuring out what works in teaching.

  • Summarizing text: “Explicitly teach students procedures for summarizing what they read. Summarization allows students to practice concise, clear writing to convey an accurate message of the main ideas in a text. Teaching summary writing can involve explicit strategies for producing effective summaries or gradual fading of models of a good summary as students become more proficient with the skill.”   http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Better/articles/Winter2011.html
Tamara Anderson, Ed.S.. CCC-SLP
Speech-language pathlogist
Education Specialist
Writer

Literacy Website Review # 4 {Fry Sight Words}

Many
students with language disorders have co-occurring learning disabilities in the
areas of reading and writing. They need direct intervention to increase their reading decoding, sight word recognition, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. 


Students need practice to improve their automaticity for oral reading of sight words. Recently, I have been thinking of ways to support the special education teachers’ goal of improving the reading skills of students with reading disabilities and language disorders.  Sometimes the progress is slower than we would anticipate and we are eager to close the gap when the kids are reading several grade levels behind. We discussed that the students really need to improve their sight word recognition of Fry words. Research shows that students need to read the first 300 by 3rd grade and 1000 words in 4th and 5th grade to successfully read on grade level. 

I was going to make flash cards for students to take home for practice and then I stumbled across the website: http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com/Fry-1000-Instant-Words.html

The Unique Teaching Resources website is awesome because it has the Fry words flashcards for 1000 high frequency words already created! Plus, there are progress monitoring checklists for all the words. I especially like that the words are divided into sets of 10 and 20 words based on the needs of students that you are working with. 

This is an excellent resource to share with parents for them to encourage their kids to practice their sight words. If you have a literacy night at your school, this is a great website to share with parents and staff to access the FREE and beneficial resources! 

An added bonus on this website is that it includes 100 nouns with pictures. This is great to use with language disordered kids who are building their receptive and expressive vocabulary skills. 

In a special education classroom, students sometimes practice their sight words online via a power point presentation of words. However, I think is important for  them to also have access to practice their sight words with flash cards when they are on the go. They can practice reading on the bus, in the car, at home easily without having to turn on a computer. Yes I do love technology. However, I also believe back to the basics instruction is needed as well. 

Students in K-2nd generally practice their sight words with hands on flash cards or other word work activities when they are learning to read. What about students in grades 3-5 or even middle and high school who are reading below grade level? They still need intervention to improve their sight word recognition and reading decoding even though they are expected at that level to read to learn. But what happens when they still need to learn sight words? Special education teachers need to make remediating this area a priority and not just teach comprehension strategies and the grade level standards despite time constraints. Yes, kids need to learning comprehension strategies but they must learn sight word and how to decode words too! 

This educational literacy website is created by a teacher for other educators and it is definitely jam packed with great FREE literacy resources along with some lesson plans available for purchase. 

The website does not directly share other ideas for students to learn sight words other than flash cards. However, they can play games such as BINGO, Go Fish, and Memory to practice this skill. Dr. Edward Fry’s book is the perfect resource for this.
(Dr. Fry’s 1000 Instant Words: The Most Common Words for Teaching Reading, Writing, & Spelling). You can view a preview here:books.google.com/books?isbn=1576907570

Here is a great website if you would like to see the Fry word lists as related to the Common Core Standards for K-5th grade. http://www.k12reader.com/subject/vocabulary/fry-words/

I like that the K12 reader website reminds you to have students practice their reading sight words in contexts of sentences, paragraphs, and writing the words as well. 

Thanks for reading the blog today!

* Tamara Anderson
BSL Speech & Language

Language Processing Treatment Plan {Evidence Based }

The majority of children on my caseload have a mixed receptive and expressive language disorder. They struggle with both language comprehension and oral expression. They also have language based learning disabilities with challenges in reading and written expression. In order to remediate their difficulties, it is important to remember the hierarchy of language processing skills that will enable children to be more successful communicators and learners. 

I love the Language Processing Test Elementary by Gail Richard and Mary Anne Hanner. http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10360
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There is also an accompanying intervention book that describes the importance of providing speech language therapy services according to the following hierarchy. As a SLP, you can determine a child’s language strengths and areas of need. Then you can provide direct instruction in those areas. Remember that these skills require increasing linguistic demand or receptive/expressive language abilities. 

1) Labeling
2) Functions
3) Associations
4) Categories
5) Antonyms
6) Synonyms
7) Similarities
8) Differences
9) Multiple meaning words 
10) Oral definitions with attributes (*This corresponds with the assessment subtest. However, the treatment book includes practice with idioms and analogies instead of attributes.)
http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10438

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Although I have not yet used the specific activities in this book, I have provided direct speech-language therapy on these specific language areas of need for years. It is important to remember this hierarchy when writing speech-language goals & objectives for children and providing therapy services. Each language area requires knowledge and expressive communication abilities of the previous language skill. 

So many students with co-occurring disorders struggle with these concepts. Students may have an identified speech-language impairment (SLI) along with specific learning disability(SLD), SLI with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), SLI with Moderate Intellectual Disability (MOID), SLI with Mild Intellectual Disability (MID), SLI with Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), or SLI with Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH). Regardless of these “labels” or classifications, speech-language pathologists have the important professional task of remediating the language processing skills listed above as appropriate for each child. 

I have several speech-language therapy activities that address these skills in my TPT online store. Head over to my store and add them to your SLP time saving and effective resources. 
www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tamara-Anderson   

Thanks for reading the blog today! 

Tamara Anderson

I love Semantic Maps! {Evidence-Based Strategy}

I love any reason to use markers in speech-language therapy sessions with my students. When I demonstrate how to make semantic maps, I naturally use markers to make the terms more appealing. Who doesn’t like colorful work samples anyhow? Plus, it is a great memory aid as well.

Semantic maps are visual representations of key vocabulary words that are accompanied by definitions, pictures, and/or acronyms to help individuals learn academic content.

I provide speech-language therapy to kindergarten-fifth grade students. Typically, I use this evidence based strategy with my 5th grade students with science and social studies content. However, it is beneficial with younger kids as well.

Last year I implemented a single subject research design study for my Ed.S. degree program in curriculum & instruction. I compared 5th grade students’ receptive social studies vocabulary knowledge after instruction using semantic maps with World War I and World War II terms vs. the intervention method of flash card drill & repetition. Making semantic or metacognitive maps were a part of Dr. Caroline Leaf ‘s, The Switch On Your Brain 5-Step Learning Process system that I implemented during this research. She is a neuroscientist and speech-language pathologist. How cool is that! I met her in person two years at a conference and she is a phenomenal speaker!


http://drleaf.com/store/the-switch-on-your-brain-5-step-learning-process-dvdworkbook/

Ok, back to semantic maps. My research findings revealed that the use of the semantic map strategy increased the receptive vocabulary knowledge of 5th grade speech-language impaired students at a greater rate than vocabulary instruction using the flash cards method. On average, my students made a 35 % gain from pretest to posttest with WW I terms and a 50 % gain with WW II terms using semantic maps as a vocabulary learning strategy. When they used the flash card method during the non-treatment phase they demonstrated a  11% increase with WWI terms and a 15 % increase with WWII terms.

This year, I have reviewed key ideas about the Civil War, reconstruction, westward expansion, animal cells, and plant cells using semantic maps with my students who have language disorders and co-occurring language based learning disabilities.

Here are some more snapshots of the maps:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog today! 🙂

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Tamara Anderson

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