Thursday, March 15, 2012

Articulation Rating Scale - Picture Rubric

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?


  1. We are following Marzano in our schools and this would be a wonderful "rubric" to use. I might have the child first point to what they think they "earned" and then compare it to what I heard. I have been recording the kids on my ipad so they can hear themselves. Any chance to get a copy of this great rubric?

    1. Just click on the image to open it to full size. Then right click and save to your computer. I'm glad you like it and I hope it is helpful. I really like the idea of having the child point first. It will give me an idea if he is self-monitoring at all and how accurate that self-monitoring is.

  2. Oh my I LOVE it! I might just have to use yours instead of my silly hand drawn one! The faces are perfect!

  3. I referenced your blog and rating scale in my blog post today! I have used this rating scale with my students and I think it's great!
    Thank you!



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