Sequencing. Time. These concepts are tricky ones for so many kids, yet they’re a critical skill. How can you hope to relay your experiences into a cohesive narrative if your listener can’t follow the trajectory of your story?
Inspired by a presentation at ASHA 2014 (I can no longer locate which session now—sorry!), I adapted an idea for a speech journal for my kiddos working on sequencing skills.
With these students, I make sure that our therapy activities (3-5 planned) are discrete entities even if they relate to one another. This means a clear taking out/cleaning up of materials even if that’s only a paper and pencil and even if we are taking them out again for the next task. At the end of each session, we write down a short sentence about each one.
I prompt and take the dictation so the work load is manageable for even my Kindergarteners. Once we have it down, I have the student sign it—recognition and ownership that, yes, this is what I did today.
I’m noticing it not only makes a difference in both their ability (given time) to verbalize the sequence of events, but also in their awareness of the sequence of actions as we’re working. Kind of a dawning “oh, now that paper is done which means we can move on to blocks and once those are cleaned up we’ll do a story.” Because our sessions are short (typically 30 min), it’s more realistic to hold on to this information than a whole, “what did you do today,” that leaves so many kids unable to answer with anything other than the very last item they did.
It will provide a nice written record at the end of the year too. I don’t send this journal home during the week, but I do share it during conference times.
Anyone else using a similar kind of speech journal? Let us know your method.