As SLPs working in the school system, we are charged with supporting the curriculum and standards. According to ASHA’s Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in Schools, SLPs level of expertise in the area of language allows us to aid in the linguistic and metalinguistic foundations of learning the curriculum. These SLP roles must be created with a workload approach in mind and take into consideration the roles of all other educators and the range of student programs and services.
Ok, so what does that really mean for us? I mean, have you looked at the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? There are a lot of standards! There is a lot of overlap across grade levels with maybe one slight change in wording! There are a lot of assumptions made that students will come into their respective grade level with underlying skills. And don’t get us started on the developmental appropriateness of some of these standards.
Have you considered the amount of language skills required to even begin to learn, let alone master, some of these standards? Wow! It’s truly unbelievable. Imagine if you went through all the standards and pulled the ones that require foundations of language…and identified the specific language skills necessary. Here’s a secret (ssshhhh!) – we’ve done much of that work for you for CCSS and a selection of Early Learning Standards for preschoolers. You can find it all in the recently published book IEP Goal Writing for Speech-Language Pathologists: Utilizing the State Standards. You can find the book and sample pages at Plural Publishing Inc.
Let’s consider a fourth grade reading informational standard (CCSS 4RI3): Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Can you identify any prerequisite language skills that a student must have in order to work toward this standard?
I think it’s fair to say that in order to explain anything a student needs to possess some describing skills…would you agree?
What about being able to identify the main idea and supporting details? Would they need these skills in order to figure out what happened and why using information from the text?
Sound like some skills you work on daily with any of your language impaired students? Maybe you didn’t even know this standard existed! But you’ve been supporting the standards the whole time, haven’t you?
In addition, every language skill has its own set of prerequisite skills (we’ll talk more about that topic in another post!).
We as SLPs have always known language was the foundation of all learning but there is no limitation of proof when you dive into those CCSS (or any state standards you may be using).
Do you as the SLP teach the standards? Nah, let’s leave that job to the teachers!
Do you as the SLP support the standards, Heck yea! And more often than not you do it without even thinking about it during every session.
Does anyone ever question how or if you support the curriculum and standards? How do you justify the goals you write and the lessons you create (or download from Teachers Pay Teachers)?
It’s not that hard to do!
Comment below and tell us, how do you conquer the core?