Follow

What if the game Isolator is too difficult?

The Isolator Game is designed to provide mastery level practice in speech sound isolation and sequencing. 

                          

This game requires speech sound isolation and sequencing skills that are typically developed by age 6.

But, from a developmental point of view, speech sound isolation is a mid-level phonological skill.  Children who struggle with the game Isolator may lack developmentally more basic phonological skills* and may benefit from some practice with developmentally easier tasks.

For example, before children can isolate and sequence the speech sounds in a word they typically are able to:

  • Count the number of syllables in a word.

  • Isolate just one speech sounds in a word.

In words with three phonemes speech sound isolation skill typically develops as follows:

  • The child can isolate the first sound in a word.

  • The child can isolate the last sound in a word.

  • The child can isolate the middle sound in a word.

 

Here is an idea for working with children who find playing the game Isolator too difficult:

1. Display a static picture of the Isolator Game's hologram right hand. (You can use the image above or display the image attached in the pdf below.)

2. Say a word from the child's Lexercise Word Bank.

3. Point to (or mark with a dot) the thumb as you ask the child to tell you the first sound in that word.

If the child is not able to do this, repeat this but say the word with each phoneme prolonged  (e.g., l -- a---b ).

If the child says the letter name rather than the sound say, "That is the name of the letter that makes the sound, but what is the first speech sound?"

Cue as much a necessary and repeat, fading the cues, until the child can do this task without assistance.

4. After the child is able to isolate the first speech sound in words, begin working in the same way but with the last speech sound in words. Finally, work on isolating the middle speech sound.

5. Find a way to provide daily practice!! (e.g., Send the parent a copy of the Isolator hand, a list of words to practice and train them to practice with their child for about 5 min. a day.)

6. As the child's skill improves and before you re-assign the online Isolator Game be sure you have progressively sped up your practice presentation. Mastery is not just accuracy--it is fast accuracy!  (See the Forums article, True Mastery.)

 

*****

*See this Wikipedia article reviewing the order of development of phonological skills: Phonological awareness.

2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Jessi Dolnik

    Sometimes I use different colored blocks to help kids warm up to this technique. It helps the child make the sound more concrete and tactile. For example the word c-a-t. c= red block, a=green block, t=blue block. Set the block in from of the child, say the phonemes as you set down the colored block, and ask them to repeat it back. If CVC's are too hard, I do CV words and take away a block. This can help a child warm up to the isolator technique. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Kathryn Ajaeb

    Sometimes I use different colored blocks to help kids warm up to this technique. It helps the child make the sound more concrete and tactile. For example the word c-a-t. c= red block, a=green block, t=blue block. Set the block in from of the child, say the phonemes as you set down the colored block, and ask them to repeat it back. If CVC's are too hard, I do CV words and take away a block. This can help a child warm up to the isolator technique. Hope this helps!

Please sign in to leave a comment.