How do I weave together main lesson block work and outside “assignments” from a speech pathologist?
Good question. First, determine whether you should weave main lesson block work together with assignments from the speech pathologist or if they are better kept separate. Everything depends on the nature of the assignments, and the time that should be spent on them.
Recall that language arts main lesson blocks feature a certain archetype, one variation of which is shown below:
Main Lesson Archetype from The Roadmap to Literacy by Langley and Militzer-Kopperl (page 56)
|Main Lesson Archetype for a two-hour main lesson class grades 1–3|
· Opening: 12-15 minutes
· Skills Practice: 20–40 minutes*
· Introduction and/or Review: 10–25 minutes
· Bookwork: 15–35 minutes*
· Story: 15–20 minutes
*Transition activities between segments: 3–5 minutes
Speech assignments from the speech pathologist could be scheduled in the Opening segment, Skills Practice segment, or the Transition Activities between segments.
Opening segment should open the school day. It warms up the students for the language arts instruction that is coming. It usually features some speech work (reciting a poem, singing, and/or saying a tongue twister, etc.). It also should take no more than 15 minutes. If a speech exercise fits the parameters, it would be very appropriate to schedule it in the Skill Practice segment.
Skills Practice segment features exercises to teach the students language arts skills. It features practice of sight words, exercises and games to develop phonemic awareness (or the ability to hear all the sounds in words and manipulate those sounds), etc. If a speech assignment fits these parameters, include it in this segment.
The transition activities are times to give the students a quick break and to help them move to the next segment of the lesson. If the student has been sitting, include active exercises. If the student has been active, include activities that will help him/her quiet down. If you have a short speech assignment, it could be scheduled here, if it fits the bill.
The content of speech assignments can sometimes be woven into main lesson content. For example, tongue twisters could be the basis for Memory Reading if the student is in first grade and is practicing reading from familiar texts such as tongue twisters, poems, and song lyrics. However, if the assigned speech work does not fit into the main lesson, do not try to incorporate it. Instead, schedule the speech assignment in a different part of the day. It could be done in a Practice Class after main lesson or it could be done before or after school.
Whenever the speech assignments are scheduled, make sure your student practices regularly. The work you do is highly important for the teaching of language arts skills, particularly encoding (spelling) and beginning reading.