So, I have articulation students coming out of my ears! I can’t even believe how many students I have found this year. I dread going into the teachers lounge, because every time I do I hear, “Hey Jen, there’s this student I want you to listen to..” Well, I have taken an RTI approach with the majority of the these new finds, and am seeing them in small groups. I want to get most of them out as quickly as I can, and in order for me to do that, I need them to really understand why they are with me.
At a recent staff meeting, my principal started talking about learning targets. She said that they are a bit different from Common Core “I can” statements, in that they are very specific about their target goal. They basically break down a Common Core goal into smaller pieces so that students can understand exactly what is expected of them. I found this quote in an article titled “Knowing Your Learning Target” by Connie M. Moss, Susan M. Brookhart and Beverly A. Long:
“The first thing students need to learn is what they’re supposed to be learning.”
This really struck me. There have been moments when I have been walking in the hall with a student after their session and someone stops us to talk. The students have been asked “What were you working on ?” Many times they know the general sound that they have worked on, but not specifically the target sound and position of the word that we worked on. How can we expect to make change in a student if they do not know what exactly we are looking for them to do?
I decided to create some learning targets for my students. I started with articulation because, as I said before, these students are coming out of my ears! Here is what I came up with:
I have made simple sentence strips that contain a learning target for each English phoneme in all positions of words. Here is my example for /s/:
I cut these apart and present them to students at the beginning of their session. I then have them repeat the learning target to me. During the session, I may refer to it, and I also have them repeat the learning target at the end of the session. I have tried two different ways of presenting these learning targets. First, I printed off a mat with the word “Articulation” at the top. I am able to place this on a magnetic white board and fit three different targets on the page. I cut up some old business card magnets that were given to me, and placed them on the back of each strip. This worked great!
The second way that I presented them was by cutting off the top of my “Articulation” mat and placing it in a sentence strip chart that I bought at Target at back to school time. I then placed each target in the sentence strip chart.
So far, this has worked great with my students. They like putting up their targets themselves. I have had some good success with them now knowing exactly what we are working on in each articulation session.
If you would like to check out these articulation learning targets click HERE.