If Only I Could Get Professional Development Hours For Following Blogs: SYNTAX!

Welcome to day #1 of "SLP Professional Development."  Today's topic is syntax!  

If you work in a school setting or with school-aged students, you probably have students that have syntax goals.  If not, you address syntax informally while working on vocabulary, verbal/written expression, and answering questions.

Over the last year+, I have posted TONS of freebies and TpT products that can be used to address syntax goals.  Here is a list of them if you do not recall:
and so much more!

What are some strategies I use in my speech room to address difficulties using grammatical structures?
  • Model!  It is so important for students to hear and see visually the correct grammatical structures.  
  • Restate!  Restate their messages using the correct grammatical structures.  You can spend every session correcting your students.  If you are not working directly on grammar skills, just restate what they say with the correct forms to model it for them.
  • When working on written expression, point out their errors.  Make them say it out loud so they can hear it for themselves.  Make them re-write using the correct structures.  Use dry erase boards to let them practice using that exact grammatical structure in a variety of ways.
What are some DIY activities you can use to teach, practice, introduce, or reinforce syntax goals?
  • Have students practice identifying correct and incorrect grammatical concepts/structures.  Use buzzers/bells/signs or just let them raise their hands when they hear incorrect sentences.  
  • Take a reading passage and substitute all nouns and/or verbs with the incorrect tenses.  Can your students identify what you did?  Can they fix the errors?  Let them rewrite/type the passage with the correct forms.
  • Sort!  Have students read sentences or words and sort singular/plural, noun/verb/adjective, past/present/future, conjunction/article, etc.
  • Visuals!  It can be on poster paper, dry erase board, or even on a post-it on the table!  Remind your students of the rules/strategies to assist them in recall!  Once they start mastering, remove the visuals and see how they do!

Are you wondering what your other favorite bloggers do and use in their speech rooms?

  •  "I like to use sentence strips with blanks (e.g., "If I had a ___, it would be __" or whatever sentence construct I'm targeting). Then we add picture cards and add them to the blanks (e.g., noun cards for the first, adjectives for the second). Sometimes the sentences make sense and sometimes they're very silly, but that's what makes it fun!  The commercial product I like to use is Grammar Gumballs!"~Carrie from Carrie's Speech Corner and visit her TpT store by clicking HERE!
  • "I use "Sentence Workout" app (from Virtual Speech Center) to target sentence structure. My students love and are entertained with this app."~LyndaSLP
  • "For my older elementary students, I like to break them up into teams and give them worksheets on a specific skills, such as "conjunctions". Then, they have to work together to figure out how to identify the conjunction, or create grammatically correct sentences. It helps when my groups have varying skills, so I can team up a stronger student with someone who isn't as high. That way I can teach one lesson. By making it a competition to see who can get the most correct, the students are motivated. I also try to find games on Quia.com.  For my little ones preK and K, I try to find ways to play activities or games while bombarding them with grammatical structures such as building with blocks. I can have them say She is building, I am stacking, or I want a blue block."~Felice from The Dabbling Speechie 
  • "For teaching question forms, I like to use SPARC for Questions. Using this book, you can address yes/no and wh-question forms."~Gold Country SLP
  • " For preschool through elementary, I love doing barrier games. Another favorite of mine, is story wiring. For little ones. I obviously write out the story FOR them as they tell me, while working on the grammatical goals of the child, while older kids do the writing as we work. They then can illustrate the stories either between turns (in groups) or at home, if we run out of time.  I also use barrier games."~Katie from Playing With Words 365
  • "For elementary students I've been using the app Grammaropolis. It plays fun songs as an introduction to each featured topic. IE: conjunctions. This is a quick way to pull the kids into the lesson each week and remind them the key ideas. Then we can get into direct instruction and practice."~Jenna from Speech Room News
  • "I like to use Grammar Gum Balls and Grannie's Candies from Super Duper. I also use magnetic sentence strips with wet erase markers so the students can't erase them. I have preprogrammed sentences, and the students can fill in the correct responses with a dry erase marker."~Jess from Figuratively Speeching (you can view her TpT store HERE)
  •  "I use something reminiscent of the old Fokes Sentence Builder. Many AAC systems use one of two color-coding schemas to organize vocabulary. This comes in handy when teaching syntax because you can teach color patterns (yellow green orange for SVO, for example). There are some visual supports for the two most popular color coding systems in this post (free download)."~PrAACtical AAC
  • "I like to use flashcards or pictures of children performing actions along with the sentence cues from speakingofspeech.com ("He is ___/She is ___", "___ are ___", "___ is ___", etc.), then eventually fade the cues."~Jessica from Consonantly Speaking (view her TpT store HERE)
  • "I also use the visual cues I printed fromwww.speakingofspeech.com and pictures I printed and laminated using google images...I also eventually fade the cues."~Christy Jones
  • "To start, I use a lot of gross motor activities for marking syntax structures. For example, to teach future tense forms I may have a child move forward on a balance beam. To teach the past tense forms I would have them move backwards."~Speech2U (view TpT store by clicking HERE)
  • "I use a program called Colorful Semantics to give my students visual supports as they're learning the parts of speech. Once we get through nouns, verbs, and adjectives, I start connecting Colorful Semantics to madlibs and other cloze paragraphs so we can see the color patterns in longer pieces of text."~The Thrifty SLP
  • "I like to start by seeing if the kids can identify correct vs. incorrect syntax, so I will provide several examples and we discuss them."~Teach Speech 365 (and check out her TpT store HERE)
  •  "I like using Post-Its in different colors for parts of speech to create sentences and then changing them around to form questions. But you can also do it to work on adding details, combining sentences, etc."~Jenn from Crazy Speech World
  • "For my elementary kiddos I will have them give me words that I write on index cards, then they have to put them in order to create sentences. I also like using Jumbled Sentences for Kids, it is a free app."~The Speech Bubble

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  1. So much good information and ideas! I use Quia also, Yesterday's Verbs from Super Duper and several of their cd-roms.

  2. To work on grammar and concepts, I use TPT products as well as other picture card, games and books.

  3. I love using fill in the blank sentences for grammar practice. I also like to substitute words out in sentences and see if my students can fix my error.

  4. I use a worksheet or no glamor grammar software.


  6. This past year, I used a lot of TPT products, Super Duper BINGO, picture cards and sentence strips.

  7. I use Tpt products, no glamour grammar book, and plan on trying "Colorful Semantics" with some of my kids who need more basic practice with more structure.

  8. Thanks for all of this helpful information! I mostly used sentence structure games/building sentence activities from TPT, Granny's Candies, and picture cards.

  9. I use lots of manipulatives and have the students place the items in crazy places around my room. I also like the Hear Builder Concepts software.


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