November 04, 2014

Role Reversal - Let Students Be the SLP!

having your students be the SLP for one session is a a quick and fun way to see how well they understand their speech therapy goals

This year one of the QR codes in my student reward system allows students to "be the SLP" for their next session. It has turned out to be one of the best rewards in my whole system - for myself and my students. Allowing my students to be the SLP for the day enables them to be in charge, which helps them "buy in" to what they are learning, and gives me a nice way for me to assess how well they actually understand what we have been working on. A type of formative assessment if you will.

Typically during these role reversals, we start with a quick review of the concept or vocabulary we will be using that session. I am still in the teaching role at this point. Basically, I review the learning target for that session and prepare them for what we will be doing. I also make sure to have all the materials ready to go. That way we won't be using up precious time searching for board games, books, or flash cards.

Then we switch roles (Freaky Friday style), and I'm now the "learner"! I always throw in some incorrect answers or inaccurate sound productions from time to time. If I get an answer wrong, that allows me to see if my student can recognize my mistake and help me correct it. It shows a higher level of understanding on their part. If they don't catch my error, I will step out of my "learner" role back into the "SLP" role and make sure we both understand the error and how to correct it.

While I'm being the "learner" I can never quite fully stop being the SLP. I make sure to take note of any terms or concepts that my speech therapy students seem to struggle in "teaching" me. At the end, when we switch back to our regular roles (me as SLP, student as the Learner), I go back and review those tricky concepts and follow-up with them again the next time we meet.

So far, my students have had a blast being the SLP! They really get into their new roles and make sure all the rules are being followed. They're not afraid to give behavior warnings or remind me to listen with my whole body! It's a win-win situation for both of us: they have fun taking over that leadership role and showing me what they know, and I benefit from seeing what they have mastered and what still needs to be worked on further.

Have you ever let your students teach you? What have you learned from them?

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