We are working on Michael's interdental /s/ production. His standard production is a visually distracting interdental production that sounds like a clear /s/. When asked to keep his tongue behind his teeth, he gets a lot of lateral air escape making the auditory result more like a /s/-/sh/ hybrid. When he is coached, is paying attention, and is not fatigued, he can occasionally produce a crystal clear /s/ with appropriate placement.
His production varies widely from repetition to repetition and I was having trouble giving him appropriate, useful feedback quickly and efficiently without disrupting the flow of practice and slowing us down significantly. Then I saw a post on The Learning Curve about an articulation rating scale she had made. I thought making something similar scaled down to the toddler/preschool level might help me give Michael more consistent feedback.
So I made this:
When we sat down to use it the first time I explained that this was going to help us with our /s/. I reminded him that making the /s/ with his tongue sticking out was incorrect and told him that if I saw him make it that way I'd point to the stop sign. If he made a beautiful clear /s/ sound (I demonstrated) I'd point to the smiley face with the fireworks. If the /s/ looked good, but sounded mushy (again, I demonstrated) I would point somewhere in between. He grasped the concept immediately and loved using the chart as a feedback tool. I was able to give him feedback instantly and quickly without needing a lot of words to explain what needed to be corrected. Every time I pointed to something below a 5 he was able to self-correct with no other cues needed (Until he got fatigued. At that point I just couldn't get any more clear /s/ sounds.).
The chart could be used in a similar fashion with any phoneme production that needs to be shaped. You could also use the rubric for just about anything with small children because the stop-sign to smiley face progression makes sense to little ones. You could use it to show children how well they cleaned up a room. You could use it to show a child how close his written "A" matched the one he was trying to copy. It's a really flexible visual scale.
As a funny side story, this is version 2 of the rubric. The first one I made had this:
instead of the stop sign. I was pretty pleased with my rubric and was showing it off to my husband. He thought the sobbing face was a bit harsh for little ones and suggested switching it for something else. I granted him the point and switched to the stop sign. Sometimes a second opinion is useful.
Any other ideas for how to use the scale?