Today, let’s talk artic. Students with articulation needs make up a major portion of an SLP’s caseload. We sit and drill, play games and drill, and drill and drill and drill. Depending on how long your sessions are this can be exhausting, especially for those little ones. So what can you do to help keep sessions quick, students engaged, and progress trending upwards? My answer, 5 Minute Kids. This is a program my district got for us about 2 years and totally changed how I do my therapy.
A Little Background
5 Minute Kids is an evidence based articulation program. Evidence Based…it is like music to my ears. Their study showed that students time in speech therapy for articulation is almost cut in half when using the method this program has established. It is very simple, students are seen in 5 minute blocks anywhere from 2-4 times a week depending on severity.
Now I know what you are thinking, ‘What the heck can you get done in 5 minutes?’ The answer, a lot. You are doing straight drill therapy, trying to get as many productions as possible. Keep in mind it is not a race, you want those productions to be good, or at least have the student trying to use their strategies. Now if your next thought is, “What fun is that for the kids, how will they stay engaged?” than you and I think a lot a like. Those were my questions when we first discussed getting this program in my district. Students are so focused on making productions that playing a game isn’t really a big deal. But, there are games included in the program to use. The program really gives you everything you need, and I do mean everything. It walks you through how to set up your system, i.e. a folder for each student, etc. There are books for all major sounds where developmental issues occur: r, s, z, f, v, l, sh, ch, th, k, and g. These books have word lists for all the sounds listed in all positions of words and at all levels, games, data tracking forms, etc. This definitely takes the headache out of learning a new program.
|This is one of the games in the program. I laminated all the pages and cut out the pictures. Then each game is in its own envelope.|
How it Works
You can have a cart or some type of mobile system that houses your books and folders. When it comes to scheduling I found it easiest to block out 30 minute chunks of time before lunch and after lunch to see my kids. Then, you travel from room to room and pull those students into the hallway. I usually just sit with my kids on the floor outside of their classroom ( not all of our classrooms have table areas outside the rooms ). They don’t mind being pulled into the hall either. It is usually quiet because everyone is in class. Then you GO! My kids have learned what my expectation is when we are working on artic. This program is great for my little ones who really can’t sit and work through a 25 minute artic session. The teachers in my building really like ir too because the kids are not missing big chunks of class time. It is the same amount of time that it takes them to go to the bathroom and come back.
|Cart is from Super Duper|
Home Sweet Home
There is an ‘at home’ portion as well. Students are to say a list of ten words anywhere from 2-10 times. These homework lists are in each book, for each sound, in each position. My students just pick how many times they want to do their list at home and work until all the boxes ( 2-10 times) are filled in. When they bring back the filled in chart they can pick a prize from my bin and I give them a new word list. Now I don’t know about you, but the majority of my students sadly to do not their speech/language homework that I send home, but at least I tried, right? With this program if they don’t do it and miss getting that extra practice it’s ok. Instead of only seeing a student once a week for 25 minutes and then waiting a whole week to see them again to work on their articulation, you see them several times a week ( depending on their minutes ).
This year I got an iPad and starting use Articulate it! by Smarty Ears to help with data tracking. Since this app has all the sounds I need I do not bring my cart with my that much any more, instead, I use the iPad with the 5 Minute Kids model. I do still use the books for the homework pages and games. I have found sending the games home is great practice for the summer and a fun way to get the whole family involved speech. 5 Minute Kids has definitely made my day easier as an SLP and my students and their families love it too 🙂
Do you use 5 Minute Kids? What do you think about it?