Learning with LiPS

Posted by Nikki Rankin on 11/18/2016 7:30:00 AM


During the first week of September, I had the opportunity to attend a training provided by Franklin Community Schools for The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LiPS). This was a four day training for special education instructors and assistants, teachers, and speech pathologists, where we learned about speech sounds, how they are made, how they feel in our mouth, and then how we can incorporate this knowledge into helping our kiddos blend, segment, read, and rhyme!

Through this training, I learned that by using LiPS early on, we can not only target reading struggles, but we can teach strategies and methods in pre-readers to combat those later struggles with reading. With a caseload of preschool through 4, I knew that the LiPS program would be applicable for some of my students, but not all of them. I was mainly concerned about the fact that the LiPS program sounded great, but some of the card matching, letter identification, and sound matching require more knowledge than some of my preschool, kindergarten, and first graders might have. However, after introducing this program to two kindergarten twin boys with speech-only IEPs, I realized that not only was I teaching them all about their ‘speech sounds’ and how they are made and feel, but they were learning to read!

I enjoyed taking a step back and learning how to think about sounds and speech from a ‘back to the basics’ standpoint, but I also enjoyed learning how to teach this to some of my younger students. The LiPS program uses some of the fun “lip pooper” and “tongue cooler” labels with sounds, which make it easier to teach and appealing to some students, but unlike some other phonemic awareness programs that only go as far as teaching students to make the sounds, LiPS then teaches students how to USE them. While I have had some exposure to phonemic awareness programs, I had not witnessed a program that could be carried over into a high school student’s curriculum for reading.

The LiPS program is also based off of a ‘learn as you work’ approach, in that everything that is learned by the student through the program is first ‘discovered’ by the student. Instead of instructing and lecturing, professionals using the LiPS program are taught to allow students to discover what you are trying to teach them on their own. This concept alone taught me a lot about the learning process, and how we can allow students to be more incorporated into their own growth and learning. I learned about the discovery process as it relates to speech sounds, reading fluency, rhyming, and even error strategies.

After the training, while I was mentally drained, I was professionally motivated to look at speech as it relates to reading through a new lens. As a speech and language professional, I highly recommend attending any LiPS training that may be in the area. While I may not have been as open to the program in the beginning, I learned way more than I anticipated, and my perspective on speech sounds and reading was definitely broadened. For more information on Lindamood Bell and the LiPS program, visit http://lindamoodbell.com/program/lindamood-phoneme-sequencing-program!

BT Britani Turner, Speech-Language Pathologist