Do Not Fear Making Mistakes: Only Not Correcting Them: Common Errors

Do not fear mistakes

Making mistakes are part of life. My dad always told me to look at pencils they come with erasers as everyone makes a mistake. However sometimes knowing a mistake another person has made helps to prevent us from making the same one.

In working with children in speech therapy and observing graduate students practice their craft here are some of the common errors that I see.

  • Orienting visuals so that they are at the child’s eye level
    • Make sure the schedules are where the child can see and manipulate them. If you misjudge the height of the child then adjust.
    • If you are giving a test or having a student read or look at a material make sure that the material it is straight in front of them. This might mean maneuvering your seating so that you are next to them.
  • Timing;
    • This can be the hardest thing when we are planning a lesson. It is always better for you to have more activities than time.
    • Make sure however that your ‘breaks’ are not longer than the ‘treatment’. I find if I can either make the ‘break’ activity something that is good for treatment, or put a timer on, or see how long something might take ( 2 rounds of bowling, 5 jumping jacks).
    • Have some kind of cueing so that the student knows the time not just you. This could be a phone timer with a buzz, a clock or time timer that visually shows the time or the number of turns.
    • It is better to have too many activities rather than too little. Pace the lesson and plan it out so that you have some idea of how much time each thing will take. As you are doing them if there is a difference adjust ( do more trials of an item if you need to stretch it or take something off the schedule if you need to shorten the session).
  • Testing materials
    • Testing materials can be tricky so do a trial run with them so that you know how to manipulate the test booklet or scoring manual.
    • Use sticky notes to help you remember how many you need for a basal or ceiling.
  • Reading material
    • Make sure that you have something at the child’s reading level if you are asking them to read the material. There are many ways to find the reading levels. I have a blog that has this.
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