Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Give Them Something to Talk About!!

     Welcome back everyone!  Goodrich is filled with excitement as a new school year begins.  Teachers and students are engaged in activities throughout the day with the purpose of forming close relationships that will ensure academic success.  Those of us without classrooms spend the first couple of weeks assisting classroom teachers, meeting students new to the district and helping teachers with accommodations for our students with special challenges.   It is an exciting time filled with promise for the upcoming academic year.

     We hope your children are coming home telling you about all of the exciting happenings at Goodrich.  Many children will have no difficulty telling you about the events of the day. (We know those children because they tell us about all of the happenings in your homes!)  Other children may be reluctant and/or not quite sure how to initiate conversations about objects and events that are not immediately observable.  Families can help by asking very specific questions to facilitate conversation.  Instead of asking, “How was school today?” say, “What was the funniest thing that happened in school today?” or “What is one thing that you will remember about reading this morning?” or “What is the most important thing you will remember about today?”    These types of open ended question will avoid the usual, “Fine” or “Okay” responses that we can frequently get from students.   A conversation starter can even be absurd: “Was Mr. Scaletta really dancing when you walked into your music class today?” 

     It is important to get children engaged in conversation.  Too often our children are attached to their Smart devices and are not developing appropriate communication skills. They need to learn their roles both as a listener and speaker. They need to learn how to introduce a topic, how to maintain a topic; achieve closure and how to read their listeners’ non verbal language.  All of these skills are necessary for success in both academic and social settings.   GET them talking!!!

Linda Costigan

Speech/Language Pathologist

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