Speech, Speech, and More Speech

I rethought the way I was teaching Robert about time.  Yesterday, I prepared for him three worksheets.  On each of them he was supposed to rewrite the time using words.  The first one  listed times that were five minutes off the whole hours: 3:55, 11:55, 7:05, and so on.  At the beginning I opted for Robert using words “to” (five minutes to 4) and “past”(five minutes past 4) . Soon, I realized that it would be much more useful for Robert to practice with ” before” and “after”.  Those were the words Robert was using on two other worksheets which had times that were  10 and 15 minutes off the full hours. “Before”, and “after” are much more universal than “to” and “past”.  Practicing them in this context might improve Robert’s understanding of those concepts.  Judy Clock allows to connect temporal understanding of “before” and “after”  with the spacial one. We will continue the same approach today.

We also practiced proper applications of “was” and “were”. The goal of the practice was to overcome Robert’s tendency to utilize ABAB pattern whenever there are only two possibilities. I noticed that when Robert knows something very well, his reliance on ABAB pattern decreases, but the smallest hesitation might lead to loosing focus and he returns to ABAB formula for his answers.

We worked on a  few sets of Fun decks card from Super Duper School Company.

1. What Mrs. Bee See?  Just five cards.  Robert was describing five scenes in 4-8 sentences.  I did not provide any verbal cues, just moved my finger over the characters and Robert followed with sentences. Today, I would encourage Robert to move his fingers over the picture.

2.Where? Questions. Robert read one question for me to answer, I read the next one for him.  The goal was to have Robert say a part of the question while NOT reading but looking at (even for a fleeting second) me when he was asking.

3.Auditory Memory for Riddles.  I divided cards into two stacks for Robert and myself. I read one riddle, Robert read another one.  Unlike with Where? cards, I did not see what card Robert was holding.  That was the whole point as it forced Robert to pronounce words clearly enough for me to understand.  It was very hard for him, and even harder for me.  He had to read three short sentences and very often I did not understand any of them.  Because making his speech understood was so difficult for Robert, whenever I understood him, I answered.  Robert knew all the answers to the riddles, so teaching them was not a purpose of this activity.

With the help of five pages from No-Glamour Listening Comprehension, Robert and I practiced just that, listening comprehension.  I made copies of those pages because I wanted to separate two sentences of the text from the picture. (I cut pages, gave pictures to Robert and I held the part with the text and four related questions.)  I did not want Robert to read.  I wanted him to listen.  I did not just read the sentences.  I went over the picture with Robert, pointing to the main character and repeating his name a couple of times, telling and retelling what the character was doing.  Only then I read the sentences and asked questions : Who, What (did), Where, and When. It was very difficult for Robert to answer two out of four questions.  So I made modification.  I asked Robert to repeat each sentence as soon as I read it.   He still needed more prompts.  One was to reread him a sentence while omitting a word that constituted the answer. For the question, “When did Ethan go to the doctor office?”  I read, ” Ethan went to the doctor’s office….. ”
Surprisingly, Robert  finished without hesitation, “Yesterday.”

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