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Moondog, need some PT help please!

(68 Posts)
working9while5 Wed 17-Nov-10 17:55:46

Hi there

I have just been in to begin handover with my mat leave cover. In one of my secondary settings, they took a baseline of 20 curricular words at the beginning of term which they are working on with the Year 7's.

I want to PT these words now as I want to specfically focus on the fluency/repetitin aspect. However, my memory for PT is a bit shaky. I've had a look at the SAFMEDS stuff and the basic principle I get, but am not sure how to chart it as this asn't something I did back in the day. We used to simply fill in data sheets which senior staff charted so I am not sure what to do?

Any help gratefully received.

working9while5 Wed 17-Nov-10 17:58:28

Sorry - I was "arses" (forgot namechange) so am SALT at SLI unit in case you are wondering!

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Wed 17-Nov-10 20:27:44

I don't think she comes by that often any more, but you might be lucky.

moondog Wed 17-Nov-10 22:59:21

You can fill in a basic data sheet.It doesn't have to go straight onto a Standard Celeration chart (I only introduce those after I have got someone confident about taking basic data or they would run screaming in opposite direction.

On a data sheet you don't get that lovely continuous line (which hopefully goes up) but it is still readable.

I can share my handouts/data sheets with you if you like.

Are these kids fluent readers as i only do whole word reading with kids who are rock solid on individual letters and corresponding phonemes or it is largely meaningless whole word reading.

Also how long are they pl;anning to work on these wors and what is your criteria for mastery? Key to PT is its very high expectations. Those kids should, with pracice be reading over 35 words a minute in a few weeks as a rough guide (and with sufficient practice.)

bubbles22 Wed 17-Nov-10 23:10:19

Can I ask guys, can you do this with multiplication? DS is really struggling to get his head around it.

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 00:00:30

Gosh yes Bubbles!
It's easy peasy to sort thato ut in a few weeks.

Have a look at these links

Details on SAFMEDS from the master John Eschlemann plus some video footage

Precision Teaching Wiki Hub

bubbles22 Thu 18-Nov-10 00:16:43

Ta. After the thread we had on precision teaching the other week (have name changed since), I taught DS his morning routine in this way. It has worked a treat. After a year of trying!

wasuup3000 Thu 18-Nov-10 00:17:59

That maybe part of his possible NVLD as well Bubbles. We have tried loads of methods for our daughter over the years just for her to retain the basics and she still struggles.

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 00:18:01

How did you do that exactly?

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 00:18:58


With SAFMEDS and PT we have kids learning in weeks stuff they haven't mastered in years.
It's utterly mindblowing.

wasuup3000 Thu 18-Nov-10 00:25:35

I'm going to have a look at this properly tomorrow it sounds great!

Non Verbal Learning Difficulty.

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 00:39:42

I don't really hold with labels because people then tend to think kids can';t learn because of some mysterious condition with a fancy name.
Some kids can't learn because they aren't taught properly.

Oneo f the best mantras in PT is this;
'If the child hasn't learnt, the teacher hasn't taught'

working9while5 Thu 18-Nov-10 08:28:06

Hi moondog, many thanks for getting back to me. Data sheets would be great!

I'm not 100% on the Year 7's skill levels at present (as they got places/started since I was off), though I did observe them in their primary unit when I first started in the Trust so have an idea, and would expect that most of them should be reading.

Reading comp is not the goal here as basic literacy shouldn't be an issue, it's more to learn/understand/recall key curriculum vocabulary to understand lesson content/be able to retrieve for written answers etc.

So, to learn about particles, the basic content they would need to know might be like the following:

�� A particle is a very tiny bit
�� Everything is made of particles.
�� In a solid, the particles are very close
�� In a solid, the particles are in a neat pattern.
�� In a liquid, the particles are further apart
�� In a liquid have a less regular pattern.
�� In a gas, the particles are far apart
�� In a gas, the particles have no pattern.
�� Solids and liquids are more dense than gases.

So the key words might vary on the student - solid, liquid, gas might need to be separately defined as underlying knowledge for some, say.. but if this was secure, the key words would be particles, close/far away, pattern, more dense.

In an activity like this, there would be multiple levels of knowledge to target. So, say we have three matching columns - solid, liquid, gas - we could sort multiple pictures of the particle patterns into each column (for quick visual recognition, as an exam paper may ask them to label a diagram as solid, liquid or gas). They need to be able to read the word as accurately as they can as they won't store it in memory if they don't have a stable phonological representation e.g. part-tick-kuls. They need to be able to produce the word They also need to be able to fill in a cloze type answer e.g.
In a gas, the particles have _______ pattern
They would also need to be able to orally explain and write the explanation in their own words and give an example.

What I would like the PT to do is to speed up all of this as sometimes, 5 words a session is a stretch and I find the pace slightly infuriating. I also want them to be revisiting all their vocab all the time vs doing 5 words and then not seeing them again for four months and - surprise surprise - then not remembering them. Not sure what is realistic in terms of goals in this context?
Do I do separate drills for each component? Keep all Science key words together? Keep all English key words together? Group by topic? Maximising the frequency of targetting words would make a huge difference.

We do have high expectations for our students as it is, always have done. One of our GCSE students in recent years had been disapplied from SATS English for his dyslexia in primary and obtained a higher level C in English at GCSE (would have got a B if he could have been bothered to do any revision instead of bunking off when the weather got good hmm) but we are working on 1-2 sessions a week with so much to target. They come daily at the beginning, middle and end of each day, so if I could transfer quite a lot of the vocab work to these short sessions (20-25 mins total in the day), it would free up our sessions for more targets.

Thanks again for your input.

working9while5 Thu 18-Nov-10 08:29:12

Sorry - those funny numbers were bullet points. We don't teach meaningless strings of numbers!

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 09:02:13

I'm amazed your PCT has a salt working with kids at this level.
Ours wouldn'r countenance (ir have capacity) to provide such a level of expert support.

If I get you right then, you have three things to deal with

1. Fluent reading
2. Filling in a cloze type answer
3. Giving oral definition

Pretty easy

1. Reading practice within a given time (on SAFMEDS with just written word on one side only. Much more fun than standard PT practice to read off one sheet-great level of satisfaction in chomping through cards.Adult administers-they go in one pile if read correctly, another if hesitation or errors.You must be ruthless with this. If it's not there straightaway it's not fluent so doesn't go in corrects pile but rather the 'learning opportunities' one (handout I will send will explain this more.) Note data on corrects and LOs. Repeat a few times a day and note best score.

2. SAFMEDS with definition on one side and the correct word/phrase to fill in the gap on other. Child self administers in a given time period. Reads out the front, supplies missing phrase/word and immediately checks the back to see if right or a 'learning opportunity'. This is most common form of SAFMEDS with answer on back for self administration but I have adapted as per 1.) as a lot of our kids can't manage this yet (but will.) Repeat several times a day and note best score.

3. Provide tight oral definition within given time period Repeat several times a day and note best score.

Does this make sense?

You just need to define your task and repeat as often as possible in a given time period. Then the behaviour becomes fluent.

Research has demonstrated that once a person can do something fluently, they are able to retain the information longer, use the information in new ways, learn related information quicker and become more resilient to distractions (Binder, 1996; West & Young, 1992). However, in order to succeed, you must follow the rules for using SAFMEDS, which are easy to remember:

What is your email address?

bubbles22 Thu 18-Nov-10 09:33:53

Moondog - I cut out cards and wrote the four things he has to remember in the morning:

water bottle
lunch choice

then we practised doing them in this order against the clock.

we also practised them in action outside the class in the same order.

He couldn't do it at all to start. But he got quicker.

Mow if you ask - what's your morning routine? he chants it back . He also does it without thinking in the morning.

I also laid the cards out on the table as a game and took away a card and got him to guess which one had gone.

bubbles22 Thu 18-Nov-10 09:35:35

I hope that means it's moved into his long-term memory now. I'm hoping to do the same with multiplication!

Would you work one times table at a time with say;

3x3 on one side of the card and 9 on the back

wasuup3000 Thu 18-Nov-10 09:46:17

Moondog, I don't hold with labels either but unfortunately its part and parcel in our area of whether a child gets support or not.

working9while5 Thu 18-Nov-10 11:18:31

I don't know how long it will last, moondog. Contract is fixed-term until August so, who knows about next year? Have tried to keep statements tight but... Like all trusts, we have huge variation across specialisms. Some are very specialist, some not so much so. People dependent, isn't it? There is a full time equivalent specialist secondary post in our area when some have no secondary service at all.. yet I know we are patchy in other areas.

I've just set up an email (to avoid identification on the off-chance I've inadvertently included info identifying my trust.. given that I am doing such a specific job) and because my own has my name in it! It's:

working9while5 at

I needed a new one for ages so you've provided me with a good opportunity!

blueShark Thu 18-Nov-10 12:14:33

could I please get the links/material on precision teaching? Missed the thread the other week. Thanks

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Thu 18-Nov-10 17:05:21

bubbles Brilliant that your ds' morning routine has begun to get better. It's brilliant isn't it, when you find a way IN.

'They' too often tell that 'he finds it hard', 'It'll take a LONG time', 'He'll need support in this for ages' and then we spend some time thinking about it and solve what is supposed to take years overnight.

I've been doing it for a while and 'they' all hate me.

But, I'm not pretending it is easy. I feel the guilt for the times I 'don't' do things, need a rest from problem solving etc. I'm not an educationalist, an OT, a SLT. I don't always know 'what' should be taught and once I do, figuring out 'how' is tough sometimes.

But the most valuable lessons I have learnt is:

'Have high expectations and don't give up'
'If it isn't working, break it down some more and try again - repeat'

dammitjannette Thu 18-Nov-10 18:05:43

Good advice Stark....I have him to myself most afternoons from Monday, so let the fun begin!

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 21:56:37

Blue, I've linked (post of Nov 18 00:00)

I've looked at Youtube but surprisingly no videos of people doing SAFMEDS ( I need to put some on) aprat from one bloke doing something weird called 'fours' which he seems to have made up and which should be avoided at all costs.

Bubbles, that is fab. You are a precision teacher. Now if you had used a standard celeration chart, you could link to it and we would digest it in 20 secs flat!

You can also put on an aim star showing the child graphically where you want him to be and when.

What was your time span, how often a day did you practice for from start to finish and what was your starting (ie lowest) time and finishing (ie highest) time.

9-5, I'll pass those on.

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 21:59:05

'Have high expectations and don't give up'
'If it isn't working, break it down some more and try again - repeat'

Yes, that's it in a nutshell.

Crux of PT is that we don;t out a ceiling on the child's performance. Once we ensure behaviour is free operant (ie as many opps as possible with no limitations for them to practice over and over, they can amaze.

Amongst myriad other things, PT has transformed mine (and many other kids I work with) writing. Her cursive writing now better than most kids her age.

moondog Thu 18-Nov-10 22:25:08

9-5, my email to you has bounced back.

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