First of all, if you’re in a rush and need some quick /f/ and/or /v/ words right now, scroll down to my free /f/ and /v/ words lists! I combined these two into one post because errors in /f/ and /v/ usually go hand-in-hand!
If you want to learn more about my articulation therapy, including my favorite, evidence-based way to target sounds, read on for a little more info!
Errors with the /f/ and /v/ sound can be all over the place. Sometimes children have difficulty with voicing, meaning their /f/ sounds like /v/ or vice versa (since the only difference between /f/ and /v/ is turning on the voice). Other times, you might hear a substitution, such as using an /s/ or “sh” sound instead of the /f/ sound. A /b/ for /v/ substitution is another frequently seen speech error. You might see this in speakers of other languages such as Spanish because of the phonetic inventory of the native language. Make sure you are considering the influence of other languages for our multilingual kids!
If the only error is a voicing error, we need to step back and determine if this is a disability or just a difference. /V/ is a less common sound in the English language. It’s possible that /v/ sound errors might not make a significant difference in the child’s ability to be understood.
If you have a child who is frequently substituting hard sounds like a /t/ for an /f/ sound, they may still have the error-pattern known as stopping in their speech. Stopping is part of normal development, but we expect to see it fade over time.
If there are other pattern-based speech errors present (known as phonological processes), you might want to consider using the cycles approach for speech therapy to rotate through errors and maximizing your speech therapy time.
During my traditional articulation therapy sessions, I prefer to use no-nonsense high frequency words. My goal is to maximize the number of correct productions my students make in a session (the golden number is 100 productions!). The best way I’ve found to do this is to drill words and I like to drill high frequency words. These are the words that my students have the most reinforced error motor pattern. They’ve been saying these words all day long, but all wrong for their whole lives! So I want to make sure we get these words down!
I created my No Prep V Articulation Activities Using High Frequency Words for /v/ and No Prep F Articulation Activities Using High Frequency Words for /f/ products to make it easier to get to those 100 trials, using functional words your kids will be saying all day long! You’ll find all the easy, no-prep worksheets and words you need to target words with /f/ and /v/ at the word, phrase, sentence, and conversation level.
So you agree that 100 productions is a worthy goal, but you don’t want to sacrifice all the speech therapy fun?
There are actually a bunch of ways I can make the high frequency worksheets into a game. My students love using tally counters to count their productions. Or we use dobbers or bingo counters to cover up trials on worksheets as we go. You can see in the picture above that I’ve used these worksheets on an iPad for some no-print easy therapy, and it’s motivating for my students to use a stylus to mark their work.
This works especially well with older kids. We really need to have efficient therapy for the older kids so we can get them back in the classroom ASAP!
But younger kids (and some older kids!) might need to be a bit more playful. A little articulation game might be just what they need!
Some materials work great no matter what sound you are working on!
I like to use my Mini Articulation Cards for Speech Therapy for easy targets of all speech sounds that I can use in just about any activity, even crafts! These have little pictures too, for your non-readers or visual learners.
Finally, when I’m ready for some sentence level or conversational articulation practice, I like to use my Articulation News and Articulation Menus, which both feature target-rich stimulus materials based on specific speech sounds. Students love to pretend to be newscasters or ordering at a restaurant and will need to make their target sound lots of times while having fun!
Bigger groups who need a little bit of movement might love doing articulation centers. I set up my room so I get to spend a little one-on-one focus time with each of my students and they get lots of lots of repetitions! My Speech Therapy Centers for Articulation give you everything you need to set up fun stations in your therapy room.
I like to work on phonological awareness skills with my articulation students because the research shows that the majority of these kids will need it! My Daily Phonological Awareness Questions and Reference Lists for Speech Therapy include lots of general phonological awareness activities, and include sheets that target both literacy skills AND speech targets for maximum efficiency!