Heads Up!: This app is super fun for people of all ages. To play, one person holds the phone up to her forehead (so that the screen faces the rest of the group). The teammates - or in my sessions the rest of the group members - describe the noun on the screen. The 'guesser' can tilt the phone up to pass on a word, or tilt down to move on after a word is correctly guessed. After the timer runs out, you can look at (and practice) all of the words that came up. You can't single out targets that contain /r/, however, it is a common enough sound that there are usually plenty of opportunities. Because of the variety of decks available, it's easy to make sure the options match the crowd. Each deck has different topics, and some have variations on the rules. For example, in the Animals Gone Wild deck you must get your teammate to guess the animal by describing it or acting it out (animal sounds encouraged). Download the Just For Kids deck for free to access gems like Selena Gomez, and a bunch of cartoons that I have never heard of.
*Bonus* The app records the people guessing with the selfie cam, so afterwards you can watch the mayhem (which kids tend to love doing) and also listen for those /r/s.
- Lately, I have been focusing less on describing the articulation for /r/, and more on the sounds surrounding it. For example, when you say "tr", your tongue starts at the alveolar ridge and then shoots back for the /r/. For "pr", on the other hand, while your lips take care of the /p/ your tongue can already be poised for the /r/. If nothing else, it gives you - and the students - a little bit of variety in the feedback.
- Teach them more than just the basics. While Raffi and memory match are long lost to older students, they have gained an ability to understand and value different things. Students may be open to simplified discussion about the neurology behind motor memory. Information can be empowering, and understanding the process in some way just might help them take ownership, which becomes increasingly critical as time goes on.
- Have them practice describing what their articulators are doing. I realize this is an old trick, but it's a good one, especially once they hit that perfect production. By having them repeat it and focusing on what it "feels" like, you are helping them attend to sensory feedback that is complimentary to, if not better than, your description.
- Once a group seems to have developed a good rapport between participants, have them try to help each other. See if they can give their peers feedback for improvement. Meta = betta!