Maximizing Responses and Repetitions

A challenge we all face when working with groups is eliciting the maximum number of responses or repetitions from each student.  Here are some ideas you might want to try:

“Gimme 5, then 3 More” for Artic Drill:   When playing a quick and simple game, like the Stick Game (mentioned in previous post) or Feed the Kitty, each student has to say his/her stimulus word 5 times, then the whole group repeats it 3 times in unison.  This allows me to hear the first student solo, so I can make corrections as needed, then gets the other kids “in gear,” keeping their attention and keeping them involved, even when it isn’t their turn, and giving them extra repetitions, too. (Click image to learn more about Feed the Kitty.)
Roll the Die for Artic:  Using a real die or one on my iPad (Make Dice or Game Tools), students say their target word according to the number they roll.  Since this may not yield too many repetitions per roll, you can use 2 dice, have the students add them together (math standard!), then say the target word that many times, or say that many words from their word list.

Drop It In for Phonological Awareness:  I’ve been doing this for years for phonological awareness tasks.  Each student has a laminated card divided into 2 or 3 sections, with a small medicine cup on each, kindly supplied by the school nurse. (Note: I often put up barriers between the students so that I’m sure their responses are their own). The 2-section side is for speech sound discrimination.  I mark the target sound on one section, a circle/slash or sad face on the other.  Students drop a chip or small theme eraser into one of the cups, indicating they heard the sound or they didn’t.  The 3-section side has a train engine, box car, and caboose, and is used for discrimination of the position of the target sound. Again, students drop the chip into the cup to signal their answer.  In this way, all the students are making a purposeful choice with each trial, and it’s easy for me to see and collect data on responses.

Alternate Response Modes for Language:  Some of these ideas come from my friend and uber-presenter, Linda Seth.  A master at getting kids involved, Linda is a strong proponent of having all kids respond to every question.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

Write it, Show it:  Laminate a white piece of card stock and give students wipe-off markers.  Students write their answer on the card, hold it to their chest, then show them on command.  The SLP, teacher, or TA can quickly take data;  the SLP can give the correct answer and correct any error responses in a general way, without singling out and embarrassing anyone.

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down:  Each student gets a pair of cards depicting thumbs up/thumbs down.  The SLP phrases all questions as yes/no;  students hold their cards close to the chest, then reveal their response on command.

Multiple Choice:  Similar to Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, students are given 4 cards each (either numbered 1-4, lettered A-D, or color coded).  An answer code can be posted;  for example, if working on identifying parts of speech, 1=noun, 2=verb, 3=adjective, 4=adverb.  Again, the students hold all cards close to their chest, then reveal their answer on command.

The aforementioned ideas are great for small groups, but also work very well in classrooms.  For a crazy fun alternate response method for individuals and small groups, check out the use of “Speech Lights” from Jenna Rayburn’s Speech Room News Blog.  Can’t wait to get to the dollar store for some of these lights!

How do you maximize responses and repetitions?  Please share your ideas by posting a comment below!

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