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    Collaborating with your preschool teachers so that language groups are fun

    and IEP goals are addressed!

    Lori Skidmore MCD, CCC-SLP

    Jennie Baker MA, Collaborative ECSE

  • What does research say? Children with Disabilities:

    • Can make significant developmental and learning progress in inclusive settings (Grisham-Brown, Pretti- Frontczak, Hawkins, & Winchell, 2009).

    • Experience greater cognitive and communication development than children with disabilities in separate settings (Green, Terry, & Gallagher, 2014; Nahmias, Kase, & Mandell, 2014; Rafferty, Piscitelli, & Boettcher, 2003).

    • Are more socially competent than peers in separate settings. They have more social interactions and a larger network of friends (Katz & Mirenda, 2002; Justice, Logan, Lin, & Kaderavek, 2014).

  • Children without disabilities:

    • Can show positive developmental, social, and attitudinal outcomes in inclusive settings (Diamond & Huang, 2005).

    • Are capable of demonstrating greater compassion and empathy, and develop a better understanding of human diversity (Odom, et al., 2004).

    • Benefit from the learning and developmental supports provided by teachers skilled in meeting the needs of individual students (Odom, Buysse, & Soukakou, 2011)

  • But do we have to?

    Our Indicator 6: Preschool LRE mandate from OSEP is the percentage (the State target is at least 53%) of special education students receiving the MAJORITY of their special education services in the regular early childhood environment. This Indicator is part of each LEA’s Performance Profile and plays a part in the LEA’s determination status (meets requirements, needs assistance, requires intervention), and ultimately can affect their money.

  • When OSEP says it, suck it up…. There is also a January 9, 2017 OSEP Dear Colleague letter ( that reaffirms & strengthens 2012 letter. It says its purpose is to “… reaffirm the position of the U.S. Department of Education that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs where they are provided with individualized and appropriate supports to enable them to meet high expectations.” There is a huge body of research that points to increased efficacy of special education services when they are provided in the classroom with typically developing peers. So many benefits! For students just beginning with artic., for example, resource may be appropriate, but when it comes to carryover and any language/DD type students should be seen in the classroom to the maximum extent appropriate for that individual child. The letter also speaks to this: “Under section 612(a)(5) of the IDEA, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, must be educated with children who are not disabled.” This includes preschool students.

  • My structure of language group

    1. Good Morning Song

    2. Greeting to each student with picture or printed name

    3. Color of the week

    4. Book

    5. Shape of the week

    6. Letter of the week

    7. Book about concept

    8. Song

    (Adjust this as needed depending on your books and songs)

  • Incorporating music in language groups:

    Music intelligence is as important as logical and emotional intelligence. This is because music has the ability to strengthen the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. - Howard Gardner psychologist

  • 1. Good morning song

    It’s our time to sing together

    It’s our time to sing together

    It’s our time to sing together

    Sing hello, hello.

    It’s our time to pat together

    It’s our time to pat together

    It’s our time to pat together

    Pat hello, hello

    It’s our time to clap together

    It’s our time to clap together

    It’s our time to clap together

    Clap hello, hello

    *Start circle time with this every single day.

    *Use sign language

    *Switch up the patting and clapping once the children know the song. Cross midline.

    *Keep the tempo the same

    *Tell my students WHY we always start off this way: to get our MINDS and BODIES READY!

  • 2. Greeting each student

    Good Morning ______.

    Good Morning ______.

    Good Morning ______.

    We’re so glad you’re here!

    Do you know my friend’s name, my friend’s name, my friend’s name? Do you know my friend’s name? Yes his/her name is ________! (to the tune of “Do you know the muffin man?’’)

    Is ______ here today? Is ______ here today? Jump up and Down and dance around if _______is here today! (“Farmer in the Dell”)

    Velcro board

    Pictures of each student

    Put 3 on board

    Pull a picture out of the bag and that is the way you sing. (ex. Cowboy, Elsa, Ninja Turtle,cat, etc)

    Put pictures of yourself and teachers, paraprofessionals, etc.

    Tell the kids it is important to call their friends and teachers by name!

    Write names on notecards.

    Use pictures or notecards.

  • 3. Color of the week  Have a box with different items and pictures of that color.

     Ask what each item is.

     Describe the item and see if they can guess.

     Super fast round! Hide item, count to three and pull it out.

     Sing color song and incorporate signs.

     Use a super talker or choice board for your children who are nonverbal or limited.

  • 4. Book related to color Red: The Big Red Barn, Llama Llama Red Pajama

    Orange: 5 Little Pumpkins

    Yellow: I Feel Sunny

    Green: Go Away Big Green Monster

    Blue: Little Blue Truck

    White: Pete the Cat and His Brand New White Shoes

    Brown: Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?

    Black: Pout Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

  • *Black box: Hold 4 items in front and tell the child “Point to Gorilla.”

    ALP.1.2.3 Point to and/or name requested picture from a group of 4.

    *Sing “Spider on the floor” song. Say “Put your spider on your head, leg, etc.”

    ALP.1.3.2 Attend and respond to simple commands.

    LL.P.1.1.2 Follow a one-step direction.

    LL.P.4.5.5 Attend to songs/rhymes/finger plays

    *Book: What is this? This is a ___ What is he doing?

    LL.P.3.1.1 Spontaneously name pictures, objects or actions.

    LL.P.3.1.2 Imitatively….

    LL.P.4.2. Responds to questions

    LL.P.4.3 Engage in conversation

    LL.4.6.2 Fill in missing words in stories based on predictions. (ex. He was scared and alone in the dark. What do you think he is going to do?)

    LLP.1.2.2 Listen to and look at entire book being read

  • 5. Shape of the week

    Frog Street Press Song

    Shape box by Lakeshore

    Google images of things that are that shape.

    Song: Wave your color shape in the air. Repeat 3 times. Put your color shape on your body part. Repeat 3 times. To the tune of: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

  • 6. Letter of the week Letter boxes from Lakeshore

    Letter Big Book

    Show them where they make the sound and get them to repeat it.

    Song related to sound if possible. (ex. Conversation Station, Drills On Wheels)

    Song related to letter if possible. (Bringing home a baby bumblebee, Tiny Tony, etc)

    *If you are losing the interest of your students, sing the book to the tune of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” *I ask my PK teachers to go in order of how the sounds are developed. Start off with /w, p, b, m, h, n, t, d/...

    A few of my favorites: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake If you Give a Dog a Donut If you Give a Mouse a Muffin If you Give a Pig a Pancake

  • 7. Concepts Ask your teachers if they have specific concepts they are working on that week. If not, some good ones to address in PK are:

    seasons, holidays, how to treat our friends, feelings, community helpers,

    jungle animals, ocean animals, insects, farm animals, etc.

  • 8. SONG/closing

    End with a song or activity that is fun!

    Ask them what they can tell their mommy/daddy/Grandma/aunt that they

    learned in circle time today.

  • Paraprofessional/teachers DO’s and DON’TS during language group?

    DO…. Most to least prompting with students

    Quietly, provide positive reinforcement

    for appropriate behaviors

    Support and assist with communication devices, pictures etc.

    Redirect students attention with a gesture or visual cue

    Support students with physical needs


    Talk or socialize

    Have a “side conversation” with your student

    Reprimand a student who is not sitting immediately next to you

    Answer out loud for student you are assisting

  • Weekly Concepts August Week 1 Theme: Back to School Color: Blue Shape: Circle Letter: Bb

    Week 2 Theme: Choices Color: Red Shape: Square Letter: Pp

    Week 3 Theme: Choices Color: G


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