Posts Tagged ‘teaching tips’

January 15th, 2014

Ready for S-step one

As with all sounds if your child can imitate it by itself, he’s ready to start.  The first step is not as easy as it sounds because all children are different.  You have to decide where to begin.  Will it be at the beginning of words, at the end or in blends? ( I never start with sounds in the middle of words-too hard.)

Let me show you what this means for S:

  • at the beginning of words-  sat, sun, sing etc.
  • in the middle of words- passing, bossy, messy etc.
  • at the end of words-gross, miss, rice* etc.
  • in blends (2 consonants together)- stop, slip, spell etc.

The reason you have to decide where to begin?  Some children can say the sound easily at the beginning, some at the end and some in blends.  I never know what it will be when I start.  Just ask your child to imitate some S words and see what happens.  If you say “sun” and he says “tun“, then you say “Look at me, sssssun” and he still says “tun“, you’ll know not to start with those words.

If I had to guess, I’d say S blends and plurals are the easiest for most children I see.

* Notice sometimes the letter C sounds like S.


1. Print the attached sheet of plurals or use the template to make your own.  Even I figured out how to search for images, save them on my computer and put them in the squares , with a little help.  I have to thank my webmaster Janine for the template.  One  website I used for some of the pictures had lots of free simple line drawings:

2. Make as many copies as you need so your child gets lots of practice saying the words.  Cut them up to use as flashcards or leave one sheet to use as a matching board.

3. Short sessions (5-10 minutes) that are fun are better than long boring sessions that you both hate.  That way you’re more likely to be able to fit them in daily.

Plurals Worksheet




June 29th, 2013

Play’s The Thing

Now that summer’s here it’s time to have fun.  Learning and play go together when you’re a child. Some parents think kids need to sit at a table and do flashcards to learn new words or sounds, but that isn’t the case. Repetition is important, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  If you enjoy the game, your child will too. One mother had an ah-ha moment when she realized her 3 year old had the words  to many songs memorized because she played them (and probably sang them) in the car everyday.  They had fun.

My advice is to keep it simple.  Kids will want to play if you think it’s fun. Don’t be too serious about rules.

Activities:  Use index cards (you can find them at the dollar store).  Draw your own pictures, have your child draw the picture or cut them out from newspapers and magazines.   These are some ways to make it fun:

  • Pretend the cards are fish. Put a paper clip on the card.  Tie a magnet on the end of a string for a fishing rod to. Say the word when you catch the fish.
  • Put the cards on the floor under pretend lily pads made out of paper.  Jump from lily pad to lily pad.  Say the word when you jump on it.
  • Pretend you’re mailing the cards.  Use on old coffee can.  Cut a hole in the plastic lid big enough to fit the card through. Say the word as you mail it.
  • Put the cards under bowling pins.  Say the words under the pins you knock down.


May 28th, 2013

Getting Started

This blog is intended to help parents and teachers who are looking for basic information about speech therapy.  If you have concerns about a child or student you should seek professional help.  Speech and language delays are sometimes signs of more serious disorders.

Speech therapists can be found in schools, community health clinics, child development centres and hospitals.  There are also private speech-language pathologists.  Links to the American Speech and Language Association (ASHA) and the Canadian Speech and Language Association(CASLPA) are on this site.  You can find private speech-language pathologists listed there.  In Canada the provincial association will also list therapists who do private practice.  For example; there is a website for the BC Association of Speech-language Pathologists and Audiologists and the Ontario Association of  Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

It’s not always easy to sort out where to start. If your child/student can’t imitate the sound at all you will need help. That said, it doesn’t hurt to try.  Some children pick it up very quickly with a little teaching.  You might try these ideas first:

  • Make sure the child is looking at your face.  Say the sound and feel what your tongue and lips are doing.
  •  Ask him to imitate you.  For example; “Say rrrr”.
  • Sometimes it helps if you look in a mirror together.
  • R is often the most difficult sound to teach, so start with an easier one if your child isn’t ready for R.
  • Look at the post titled, “The Bear Facts”, June 20, 2010 for more information about starting speech therapy.



March 28th, 2013

R is for Easter-More Sentences

The original request for more sentences asked for  words that had R at the end.  Research tells us we pronounce R a little different depending on the vowel that comes before it.  Because of this, I teach R a little different than the other sounds.  Instead of lumping  words that end in R all together, I group them based on the vowel sound that comes before it.

Look at the previous paragraph and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve highlighted words with R after a vowel.  Sometimes it’s at the end of a word, e.g. “for“.  Sometimes it’s in the middle of a word, e.g. “different“.

TIP: Don’t let the spelling fool you. Lots of words are spelled different but sound the same. The words “herd” and “bird” have the same vowel sound, so  teach them together. Sometimes they’re spelled the same, but sound different, e.g. “word” and “for“.

Some children can say “er” words, but not “or” words, so  start with what’s easiest for the child. Go to previous blogs if you want more information about basic techniques.


  1. Easter is always on a Sunday.
  2. Many people decorate eggs.
  3. Sometimes the egg is hard boiled.
  4. Some places have a parade.
  5. They wear fancy hats.
  6. The bunny delivers the eggs.
  7. Some people call it a hare, not a bunny.
  8. He has long ears.
  9. Sometimes he hides the eggs outdoors.
  10. He carries the eggs in a basket.

ACTIVITY: Materials: small pieces of paper, plastic Easter eggs. Write the sentences on a piece of paper and hide the eggs. You’ll get bored before they do.