Kramer's Communication
Therapy/Speech & Language

CATEGORY: Head
Elementary and Middle School

SCHOOL/DOG:
Wauseon Exempted Village Schools, Wauseon, Ohio / Kramer

AUTHOR OF LESSON:
Bobbie Simpkins, Speech-Language Pathologist, MS, CCC-SLP

TITLE/SUBJECT:
Kramer's Communication Therapy/Speech & Language

Picture of two boys (students) showing their artwork. More artwork lays on top of Kramer who is sprawled in front of them.

OBJECTIVES:

Students work on their student objectives from their Individual Education Plans (IEP's) for development of articulation, fluency, and language skills in weekly therapy.

Students work toward correction of distorted, omitted, or substituted phonemic sounds upon word production.

Language students will select the correct verb form when reading or listening for a grammatical sentence.

Fluency students will use easy onset with breath support for slowed speech rate to gain fluency when speaking in sentences.

MATERIALS:

Articulation cards with pictures of targeted speech sounds

Kramer's scarf with velcro tabs

Sentences to hear or read with a choice of correct and incorrect verb tenses written on cards

I-Pad to record student's speech

PROCEDURE:

Articulation Therapy:

Depending upon the student's needs and which therapy group, Kramer is an assistant to the students' reaching and maintaining their objectives for that group.

When the therapy group is articulation, Kramer wears a scarf, and the students each have several articulation cards that have been laminated with their target sound. Each card has a picture of the target word. The students stand in a circle with another student's cards with Kramer in the middle of the circle. The students each take turns calling Kramer to them, "Kramer come," and commanding him to sit in front of them, "Kramer sit." The student places the articulation card on the velcro on Kramer's scarf. The articulation/picture card attaches to Kramer's scarf while Kramer crosses the circle to the student who calls him and commands him to sit. While Kramer is sitting, the student articulates his card to his best ability three times. The student articulating the response critiques his articulation of his target sound as "good or needs more work." Then the student sending the articulation card and the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) critique the student's target sound in the same manner. The SLP's critique decides if the student stays in the circle or goes to the therapy table to practice his word with articulation materials. The students want to be the last in the circle so they can have some "Kramer Time" petting him. Kramer gives the last student standing two "High Fives!"

Fluency Therapy:

The students sit in a circle with Kramer lying in the middle. The SLP reads a sentence or states a question for the students to hear. A student offers to verbally repeat the sentence or answer the question with a complete thought. As he responds, he uses his fluency skills while sliding his hand from Kramer's head to his tail or tail to his head. The student can see a slow and flowing rate of speech as he moves his hand across Kramer's body. In turn, this helps the student to feel his slowed speech rate as he is internally calming himself as he talks. Kramer loves the attention, and the students benefit from the calm aura he gives by gently lying down and being close to them.

Language Therapy:

Identifying and using correct grammar is a challenge for language impaired students. The students are given the task of making a selection between two and three parts of speech when listening to and reading sentences with omitted grammar. The student is to complete the sentences selecting the correct part of speech. They have to recall the grammatical rule before making their choice. As an example, the SLP lays two to three index cards spaced out on the floor of different verb tenses. The students take turns handling Kramer from his leash and walking Kramer over to the index card of the student's choice. The student tells Kramer, "Kramer, take it," and Kramer picks up the selected index card with his mouth and turns toward the student to take the card from Kramer. Kramer is then directed to sit, "Kramer, sit." The student then says or reads the completed sentence with his verb choice, then states if the sentence is correct or incorrect and why. The task is then repeated with other students along with repetition of the grammatical rule for learning how and when to use different verb tenses. The I-Pad is used to record the student's sentence structures so they can hear their own sentences and make any corrections.

EVALUATION:

Therapy data is collected on the students during most therapy sessions so they are knowledgeable of their progress. They are given a percentage to acquire in successive attempts according to their IEP.

Kramer's evaluation is noted on the student's focus and engagement with Kramer during and after therapy. The two most used comments that students make are as follows: "Kramer makes learning fun" and "He helps me relax." Kramer prefers to work rather than lie or sit in the therapy room. He perks up his ears, initiates "high fives," and sometimes wags his tail to show that he is ready and eager to work with our students. The students love Kramer, and Kramer returns the love!

For a Printable PDF of this Lesson Plan, download this file: AP-LessonPlan-KramersCommunication

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