teacher with mouth model

TUFSD Speech Language Therapist Stephanie Bussard paid a visit to Ms. Blume’s second grade classroom this morning to teach everyone about the TH sound. Did you know there are two ways to say TH, using the same mouth position? With the tongue sandwiched between the teeth, there is the noisy way (“that or this”) and the quiet way (“thank you or theater”). The only difference is whether or not the vocal cords are utilized to make the sound. It may sound a bit confusing but don’t worry, Ms. Bussard has a “bag of tricks” to help guide us.

First up are mirrors, so students can see how it looks when they place their hands over the vocal cords and make the TH sound. Then comes a rubbery mouth puppet so Bussard can emphasize what it looks like to push the tongue past the teeth. And finally, a jumbo mouth model which allows students to visualize the perfect TH sound. As Bussard walked around the room, students giggled as they clenched the gigantic jaws over the large plastic tongue and let out their best “TH TH.”

Bussard’s classroom visits at George Grant Mason Elementary benefit students and teachers alike. “Its an opportunity to see everyone’s smiling faces,” says Bussard, while Blume says she enjoys collaborating on these important phonics lessons.

Speaking of smiling, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) and Bussard is looking forward to celebrating it! “I want all to understand how the tongue and teeth play a significant role in the production of the sounds that make up our speech.” Bussard has even arranged for a local dentist to visit several of our GGM classes in a few weeks.

As for our second graders, THey were THrilled to say THank you to THeir classroom guest as she left THe room.