Speech and Language Difficulties

Hello all,

In one of my classes, I was asked to put together a presentation on various speech and language difficulties. The powerpoint below shares basic facts about speech impairments as well as tips for classroom teachers working with students with various disorders.

This Speech and Language Difficulties powerpoint highlights how teachers must be sensitive to those with language difficulties and how it is not safe for teachers to randomly and unknowingly to the child ask certain students to read out loud. This act can cause some students extreme anxiety and result in them not paying attention since they are constantly trying to read ahead to be prepared for the callout.

A lot of the tips included in the powerpoint come from my personal experience.  Growing up, I went out for speech and felt very uncomfortable reading out loud since I could not articulate certain words. Instead of paying attention, I would constantly read ahead and ask my neighbor for help with words I did not know. This anxiety of being called on or reading out loud happened during round robin and anytime I knew the teacher was going to call on somebody to read.

While I know some teachers believe it is good practice for students to read out loud, teachers must understand how this makes some students feel. For one, I was not a shy student and loved interacting and performing in front of my peers; however, reading out loud was uncomfortable since all my attention went to articulating the words instead of comprehending what the text was actually saying. Although some teachers feel round robin and random picking help students pay attention, this did the opposite for me. My attention went to trying to predict when I would be called on and went to asking my neighbor words I did not know. I would literally sit there and skim the passage to ensure I knew how to say all the words that were written since I did not want to be embarrassed.

In addition, I hated how I was always forced to miss class. I was a student who hated to miss what was going on and did not per say enjoy the pull out. Although I am now thankful for the services and for all the help I received, I do understand how it can be uncomfortable for some students. I am not sure how to avoid this, but I do think it is important for teachers to keep in mind that every student sometimes pulled out of their class does not necessarily want to miss out on class time.

In conclusion, be sensitive to all students who have different learning needs and talk to the student if you feel they may be experiencing the same discomfort I felt in some of my classes growing up.



The Painting of the Accessible Icon

Step by step pictures of Dr. Brian Glenney painting the Accessible Icon at one of the parking spaces at Gordon College.

What is Energy and Where Does it Come From?: Lesson Plan


Essential Understanding:

Students will understand what energy is and that all our energy comes from the sun.

MA Framework Standard(s): 

RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Student Learning Objective(s): 

Students will be able to identify the supporting details to a main idea found in a text.

Interdisciplinary content area(s):  Reading and Writing

Materials necessary for today’s lesson: 

For Students For Teacher
Energy Packet Reading, Red and Blue Pencil, Regular Pencil, Science Notebooks Energy Packet Reading, Red and Blue Pencils, Overhead/SmartBoard,Paper

Academic Vocabulary: 

-Main Idea-what the passage is about

-Supporting details-examples and description of the main idea


Motivational and Review Procedures (the “hook”): 

Review what a main idea is and review what supporting details are. Talk about energy, which was discussed the day before.

Procedures to Accomplish Objectives: 

 “What is Energy and Where Does it Come From?” (Reading Packet)

  • Continue reading from yesterday
  • Main focus: Pointing out the main idea and supporting details
  • The first main idea was underlined in red yesterday
  • Main ideas are given by the teacher

Before reading: Have students number the paragraphs. Then have students break the passage into 3 sections. The teacher models this. Then have the whole class read the whole passage. Students will take turns reading one paragraph out loud.

1a. Review main idea “All our energy comes from the sun” with class

  • Underline details in blue (3 -4 details)
  • Model and ask the class to give one supporting detail
  • Model thinking and examples when needed

Have students work in pairs and find the supporting details for main idea 2 and then main idea 3. Then review supporting details found with the whole class. Have students from pairs answer and discuss.

1b.  Main Idea 2: “We use the energy in these fossil fuels to make electricity”

1c. Main idea 3: “There are some renewable energy sources we can use”

Throughout the lesson, use supporting guiding questions such as: How would you summarize this passage using only two words, using one sentence? This will help the students realize the main idea (although it is given) and what the supporting details should be about.

Closing Procedures:(What questions will you ask to help students review, synthesize, generalize, and apply what they have learned?)

What is the main idea? What are supporting details? How do you find supporting details? Where are main ideas generally found?

Summary Statement:  Wrap Up

4th graders, today we identified the main idea and found supporting details that describe and explain the main idea. This will help us when we make our two-column notes tomorrow and will help when you are writing a story.

Teaching Techniques:

-Direct Instruction: Definitions of main idea and supporting details

-Indirect Instruction-Helping students at desks, giving clue questions

-Experimental: Students working in partners finding the support details

-Interactive: Students will work with the text using different colors and work with partners

Learning Considerations:

Improving access to learning for all students(Hint: Consider UDL Principles) Associated Accommodations(s)/Modification(s)(Supports and Challenges)
Multiple Means of Representation

  • Visual: Blue and red colored pencils
  • Auditory: Use of vocabulary words: main idea and supporting details
  • Kinesthetic: Underlining, sheet on projector

Multiple Means of Expression

  • Visual: Blue and red colored pencils
  • Auditory: Talk to partner, talk with class, talk with teacher
  • Kinesthetic: Underlining

Multiple Means of Engagement

Students are able to work with partners and use different colors to identify the main idea and supporting details.

For students who need additional support:

  • Teacher assistance will be given where necessary
  • Students will work with partners
  • Instructions will be given twice

For students who need to be challenged:

  • Students will start their two-column notes
  • Students will be given a harder passage to read




Assessment Plan: 

I will assess student understanding….
Formative  During the lesson plan by:

  1. What is the main idea?
  2. What is a supporting detail?
  3. What color do we underline the main idea?
  4. What color do we underline the supporting detail?
Summative  At the end of the learning opportunity by:

  • Can students underline the supporting details for a main idea for main idea 2 and 3?

Record Keeping Plan:

  • Collect passages