Seller Spotlight Sunday: Teacher's Time Turner

Welcome to my Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog there is a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up this week is Marina McKenna from Teacher's Time Turner!

Hello! I am Marina from Teacher’s Time Turner. I am a primary teacher in a Special Educational Needs School. I am also a tutor for children with autism. I am passionate about helping children to develop their communication and language skills. I have an advanced diploma in linguistics and a postgraduate certificate in autism studies which has helped me to understand the difficulties children in my class my face when learning.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about my work with children who have word finding (word retrieval) difficulties. It may surprise some teachers to know that this is quite a common language difficulty and that it is likely they have at some point come across a child with this difficulty in their own teaching career. Most of us have experienced this difficulty in a mild form at some point in our lives – at those times when we are struggling to think of a word and find that it is just on the tip of our tongue but we can’t quite remember the word we want. 

For children with word finding difficulties this is an everyday occurrence and can make their access to learning very difficult. Children with this difficulty will often try to hide it by either being quite shy in class and not offering answers especially in whole class groups or in other cases will use generic words such as ‘things’ when they can’t think of a word allowing for the teacher or a friend to fill in the gaps for them. Children with this difficulty tend not to store new words in their brain in the orderly connected fashion that the rest of us do. For example, when we learn a new word we often link it to other words or ideas that we already know – e.g. when we learn the word ‘tractor’ we would connect it with vehicles, farms, the countryside etc. However, for a child with word finding difficulties this filing system in the brain does not come naturally and the child needs support to learn how to file words for use.

So how can we support children with these difficulties? Well, over the years I have used games as a support mechanism to encourage children to make the connections needed to store the words effectively so that when they need them they can remember them. I use these games with all of my class and not just children with difficulties as the games themselves help children without the difficulties to make stronger connections with the words they are learning too. 

I use rhyming games, alliterative games, starting sound games and category games to help children to make as many links as they can in their brains with words. Once children are used to using these connections with simple words teachers can move on to using games with topic specific words in different lessons too.
Please take a look at my free rhyming words game to get started and if you think this would be something helpful to children you work with then 
take a look at my bundle of word finding games.

Thank you very much to Nikki for allowing me to write this blog post.  

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