Saturday, 26 March 2022

Oral Language and Reconnecting


The Strengthening Of Oral Language programme ties in well with the reconnecting with students as they return to school and re engage into school life.  While focusing on their well being, there is no better way of helping a child than having meaningful discussions with them.  The previous few weeks have been ones of disruption to plans and having to "roll with it", but is has also been time when we as teachers have had the luxury of time to look at our teaching practises and make adaptions.

Having a visit by a Speech Language Therapist to demonstrate using the "strive for 5" techniques with both a small group and a larger class group was invaluable.  Analysing the videos of these sessions helped us to see the techniques she used to engage the children and connect at their level.  She -

* repeated or reaffirmed what a child had said (showing a child that their comments were valued)

* made relevant comments on what a child had said

* asked meaningful questions about something the child had said and

* purposefully gifted words 

Learning not only how to use "strive for 5" techniques but also how to analysis, then reflect on your teaching is a powerful tool to use to make changes.

I have thought about when oral language would best fit in with our daily activities and decided that the opportunities that present themselves in play based activities before school would be a good time for "child talk".  I also plan to read to a small group each day to see if this works better than during guided reading time.  Reading to a large class group is often dominated by one or two more orally able children so I will try to read to smaller groups to see if this helps the quiet, shy children.  One of my priorities will be to "observe, wait and listen" and be mindful of the SSCAN technique.

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