During my last post, I mentioned the RTI conference that I attended this past week. I was very impressed with several things about the conference and came away with several ideas for my school and my work.
One of the key speakers was Dr. Anita Archer. For this conference, Dr. Archer presented on various ways to engage students from Kindergarten through High School. She demonstrated videos on how to teach vocabulary, literacy skills, and other needed lessons. She is a very engaging speaker and well worth the listen if you get a chance…Oh wait…you will in just a bit.
Now, as some of you know, I am the only SLP in my town and work in a K-12 school. I am very involved in the RTI process in my school and we are constantly working on ways to improve things. One of the thoughts we (my principal and myself) have been kicking around is the idea of my going into the classroom (K, 1, and maybe 2) and doing phonemic awareness and/or literacy (vocabulary building) activities. As such, I’ve been perusing the internet for ideas, lesson type plans, appropriate curriculum based materials, etc. I have a pretty good idea on what I want to teach…and after the conference I have some suggestions I think I’ll incorporate into HOW to teach it.
One of the elements that Dr. Archer really drilled home was the need to engage every student every time. She used a variety of methods to do that.
1) I speak, We Speak, You Speak… (or I do, We do, You do). Basically, she said a word, they said a word with her, they said a word on their own.
2) Partner work…I’m fairly sure this is NOT what she called it, but it works. Basically count off by 2s and pair up with a 1 and a 2 in each group. Then everybody do the task, ask partner number 1 to touch partner number 2’s paper at the right spot…partner 2 does the task. Then trade jobs. What an innovative way to teach – actually engaging kids. Dr. Archer (and Dr. Randy Spreck) very strongly suggested that teachers NOT call on individual students – because the other students check out during that time.
Anyway, long story long…I came away with some great ideas for going into the classrooms. I typically don’t have a problem with classroom management, but with these suggestions, I think I’ll have even more engagement (without technology) and learning happening. Here are some great clips I want you to be able to watch… Maybe you’ll find something to help you out too. I plan on incorporating some of these suggestions in language therapy with my small groups too. I can TOTALLY see it helping. Let me know what you think!