Tuesday, December 11, 2012

“Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ― Dr. Seuss

Greetings world! Blue W and Strong R are pleased to meet you. 
I love tricks that come to me at the spur of the moment, particularly ones for articulation. I love articulation therapy. It's a challenge that never gets old as kids can do some pretty funky stuff with their sound errors. 

Challenger= /r/ initial placement with two kiddos in the same group.

Normally, I have a peer in the group model the correct production of /r/ for them to start off. We use the mini mighty mouth to talk about how our tongue gets ready for the sound (I have found that putting playdoh on the roof of the mouth helps them understand just how far back their tongue is supposed to be when it touches the roof of their mouth) and the mirror. This has helped, but I am getting sick and tired of the old "talk like a pirate" example when the productions aren't good. So, I came up with the brilliant idea  of telling them that the /r/ sound is heavy. Like really, super-duper, awful heavy...They have to be strong "muscle men" to lift the /r/ with their tongues. It started with me "attempting" to lift the table while I said the /r/ in isolation. I lifted it up just a touch when I said the correct production and struggled when I said a /w/ instead. It surprised them to start with, but the words "muscle" and "strong" quickly invoked some sort of manly competition. 

Make that /r/ strong!!! You can do it!
P.S. "Mouthy" is a .25 cent find from Goodwill that I let the kids share while I use my mouth puppet 
I had them practice their "strong" /r/'s by lifting random things in the room while phonating. Glue bottles and tape dispensers seem to work fairly well. When they are ready to attempt the task without the tactile cue, you can just visually cue them by pretending to lift something heavy or pointing between your designated "strong" and "weak" production symbols. I use the action figures but you can easily use pictures. It has worked like a charm so far.

P.S. I totally told my kids that Santa watches them from the cameras in the hallways today. It seems like every group has been fighting over whether Santa is real or not except for my kindergarten groups. The Santa cameras cured the problem real quick. Yay for being able to focus on speech again! (Though I do feel somewhat bad for lying...lol.)


  1. I love your strong R idea! I'm am going to try it with my kiddos ASAP:)

    1. Thank you! I hope it works as well for you as it has for me. :)

    2. I tried it this morning!! I wish you could have seen the surprise in the child's face this morning, when he make the "AR" correctly!!! So cute, he knew right away he had finally gotten the sound right. Awesome!

    3. I;m so glad to hear it! :)