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Wednesday February 24, 2016 at 12:18pm Age: 3 yrs
Category: Otisville Elementary


Overcoming speech and language challenges can be hard work, but a little fun and motivation go a long way. Grades 3-5 students in Mrs. Merlob’s speech room have been working on articulation and oral motor skills with challenging-but-fun activities and motivational games. 


Students fish for “s”-sounding words and use them in sentences to improve articulation. A jeopardy chart with facts and opinions is an opportunity to practice critical thinking. “This is just like the jeopardy game my parents watch on TV,” one student said. “Do I win any money?” asked several students. Another favorite is an old-fashion game of “pick-up-sticks” that features words with multiple definitions. Students are challenged to give more than one meaning for the words they pick up, which fosters vocabulary development. “This is the first time I ever played pick-up sticks. It’s so much fun,” one student said. Most popular and rewarding is a tongue-retracting exercise consisting of drinking pudding from a straw. It helps students improve their “r” sound by strengthening and stabilizing their tongue muscles, and the difference is quickly felt. In Mrs. Merlob’s words, “Practicing these fun-but-challenging activities in the speech room, and generalizing these skills back to the classroom and beyond, helps us to become the best communicators we can be."