The following list describes areas of weakness for a 10 year old child and how these areas could affect performance in literacy skills.
Phonological awareness is an area of difficulty for the child that is important to literacy because it is an important prerequisite for reading and spelling success. All of the components (i.e., rhyming, sound blending, and phoneme segmentation) that fall under phonological awareness are interconnected in some way. For example when looking at a written word a child must be able to remember the sounds that are represented by each letter in the word and then blend them together correctly to read the word. If a child has difficulty retrieving the sounds for each letter, he/she could become discouraged to continue with the task. This could resort in he/she memorizing the words instead of taking the time to learn the sounds that make up the words. Phonological awareness is also important because it facilitates other important language skills in the area of semantics, morphology, and syntax. Some ways a teacher can assist with increasing a child’s phonological awareness skills include:
· Increasing students’ awareness of sound segments in words by using tokens or something tangible to represent them.
· Reviewing spelling rules and then applying those rules to a class-related activity such as journal writing.
Phonological memory enables children to maintain an accurate picture of the phonemes associated with the letters of a word. This allows children to recall verbal material in a sequential order which is important when reading and vocabulary acquisition.
Rapid Naming affects word recognition and learning to read. Children with problems in this area have difficulties accessing, storing, and interpreting various phonemes represented by letters in words. The child may exhibit difficulties with fluent word reading because formulating whole words quickly is challenging for the child. The classroom teacher can incorporate activities where different pictures are put up on the board related to a book. The teacher could give each student a clue and he/she has to name the character, scene, action quickly.
Syntactic skills can affect decoding and listening comprehension when reading. If readers are not able to use this it inhibits the reader from noticing when a word fits the representation of the text. It also decreases a child’s spelling performance.
Difficulties with receptive language skills make it hard for a child to process speech sounds in reading and when writing. If a child is not able to understand what he/she is reading or writing it will be difficult for him/her to participate in class discussions based on writing assignments or reading comprehension questions from the book.
Expressive language skills are important because it serves as one of the keys to unlock the doors to reading and writing development. Each person has a vocabulary bank that he/she uses in conversation and in writing. If a child is unable to find the appropriate words to convey meaning based on a given topic then he will have difficulty writing because he/she will be unable to retrieve the appropriate words to include in his/her writing. Spoken language and written language have a reciprocal relationship because they share the same structure, sound system, and vocabulary. For example if a child has difficulty with the sounds that form the spoken word “convey” than he/she is still going to have difficulty with the letter sequence c-o-n-v-e-y. The meaning of the word convey is the same, whether writing, reading, or talking. The structure of sentences in written and spoken language remains the same. The spoken sentence “The girl will convey the message to the boy” is represented in print the same way (The girl will convey the message to the boy). This all means that a child could continue to have these difficulties unless he/she learns these various components that are a vital in excelling in literacy .
Long-Term Goal #1: The child will determine and analyze important ideas or messages from narrative texts. (based on the child’s school curriculum)
Short-Term Goal #1: Using visual cues (i.e. story map/graphic organizer) the child will determine critical elements (i.e., setting, characters, plot, problem, resolution) of a short story 3 times per session.
Sample Lesson Plan:
In small groups each person can have a sign with the words setting, characters, plot, problem, or resolution. Students will take turn reading the book and, if they hear whatever they have on their sign within the story, then they have to hold up their sign and tell all the other students. For example if a student has the setting sign then when they hear the setting for the story they will raise their sign. At the end of reading the story, a story map will be filled in to help organize the story. Students can rotate signs for different stories. This can be performed by the classroom teacher in a class setting or with the speech language pathologist in a small group.
Long Term Goal #2: To increase expressive and receptive vocabulary.
Short-Term Goal #1: The child will fill in the blank of sentences with target words, when given the definition from the clinician with 80% accuracy.
Sample Lesson Plan:
Students will be provided one note card with a fill in the blank sentence. There will be a definition on the back of each student’s card. The teacher will start with a definition and if the student has that particular word then the student has to say “I have ______ the word is_________”, then the next student will proceed to read the definition on the back of their card and the next student that has the correct word will continue with the same process until there are no more words left. The word list should be written on the board.
Long Term Goal #3: To increase vocabulary knowledge
Short Term Goal #1: To demonstrate understanding of antonyms and synonyms found in readings 8 out of 10 times.
Sample Lesson Plan:
One student will have a synonym card or an antonym card and that student has to go around the room to find other cards that are either similar to his/her card or different. Then the other students will decide if that person picked the right cards. After that game is played a synonym/antonym worksheet can be distributed to all students.
Some other ways in which the classroom teacher can target these goals to help the child and others in his/her classroom are as follows:
- Using visual references when communicating
- Using props and maybe even acting out some of the parts in the story in order to engage the children in the story and make reading fun.
- Using buddy reading
- Have children draw out a picture to represent a story that was just read and each of them can describe a scene to the class.
- Ensure working space is clear of distractions.
- Seat the student closer to the teacher
- Make eye contact with students frequently
- Use the Chatter Box to engage students in discussions by amplifying your voice.