Analysis of LiPS Program

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Analysis of Program

Is this program research based?

The LIPS program has been analyzed by several institutions. One particular study was done by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). The study consisted of 150 first grade students, in five different elementary schools. Some students had the LIPS program implemented in their classroom, while other students were left as the control group. This organization found supportive evidence on how the program is indeed effective and had a positive impact on elementary students with their alphabetics and comprehension. For both the alphabetics and comprehension sections, students had significant improvements; alphabetics on average improved by 17 percentile points, while comprehension on average improved by 6 percentile points. Although, the study did not consider the comprehension improvements significant, there was still a slight overall improvement found. The WWC has reviewed other reports their results are consistent with other discoveries across studies.

Are literacy skills integrated or taught in isolation?

The program is designed for teachers to work with students in a whole class or in small group and one-on-one settings. The program developer recommends that instruction last for four hours a day, making this is a very intense program to learn and teach. It is up to the teacher’s discretion where she/he would like to implement this program with their students using it. Based on the student’s case, integration of this program in a whole classroom setting may be too distracting for the student, so smaller group settings may be necessary for success. Many times this program is executed in learning centers, dedicated to teaching the LIPS program.

Does the method incorporate skills in a developmental progression?

The LIPS program is taught so students can progress in their literacy skills. In the activities, students must excel at certain types of word structures before moving onto the next step. For example, the student learns word-blend digraphs before going onto word endings. Students are taught letter sounds and the mouth formations used to say the sound. Once students have internalized this processing of labels and sounds, then the letter symbol tiles associated with the phonemes are introduced. Once the student has a proper introduction of letters, then they will have an understanding of phonology. The student must progressively understand each letter sound and the mouth formations before taught more challenging information and phonemic strategies.

Does the method provide structured teacher-directed instruction?

While performing the program exercises, the teacher is giving direct strategy instruction to the student(s). The teacher works with the student so they have a full understanding of the mouth actions which produce speech sounds. Instructors help students confirm sounds within words. They teach students how to self-correct in subjects such as reading, spelling, and speech. However, while the student is being taught, activities are incorporated which allow the student to be an active learner and participant in the lesson. When students are working with letter sounds and mouth formations, they must match these activity tiles to each other. Also, the students must be able to form the mouth actions themselves. This makes the lesson interactive for the student.

Does the method provide multi-sensory instruction?

During the LIPS program, students use various senses during the activities which help them immerse themselves in the lesson materials. While the teacher shows pictures of letter sounds and the mouth actions, she is also showing how she does them in real life. Having pictorial and real-life visuals aids the student to better understand how it is done. The student is also learning through a tactile approach because when they are working with the letter and mouth action tiles, they must move the objects to match them properly. Lastly, the teacher is reiterating certain speech sounds the letters make when they are said. The student is able to hear the sounds, see the sounds, and move them around to form words. Having a more holistic teaching approach for the student will increase their chances of excelling with the material.

Does the method provide opportunities for practice and learning to master?

After the student is taught certain word sounds and their mouth formations, then they move onto forming whole words with their learning tiles. Students can do guided activities with the teacher so they can form and say words more independently. Teachers can give the students nonsense words to look at and the student must compare and correct it on their own to form the correct word formation. The teacher should have the students say the nonsense, fix the word, and then say the correct words after. This procedure helps students practice the sounds they have discovered, compare words, and ultimately build the foundations for reading and spelling actual letters. After guided activities are given, students can be given the opportunity to practice with these tiles to form words on their own without the assistance of the teacher.

Does the method include strategy instruction, development of self-regulation/metacognitive skills?

The program focuses on the strategy of learning how to make appropriate mouth formations to form certain sounds. These skills are eventually used in decoding words and spelling. The program helps students become more aware of how the sounds are made with their mouths. When the students read, they can use this knowledge to self-correct themselves when they are reading.

Is the method related to/coordinated with any general education literacy curricula?

The program is related to phonemic awareness but there is nothing like this program that is implemented in the general education curriculum.

Does the method include an assessment component to screen for placement, and/or monitor progress?

There are five different levels included in the LiPS program. Once the student has mastered the skill at the current level they move on the next one until they have progressed through every level. The first level focuses on establishing an atmosphere for learning. The second level highlights identifying and classifying speech sounds. The third level teaches students how to follow speech sounds in sequence and how to associate the sounds and symbols with the sequence. The fourth level emphasizes sound-symbol associations. In the last level spelling and reading skills are introduced.

What kinds of texts and materials are used?

There are various manipulatives used in the LiPS program. The materials included in the program are: colored felts, nose and ear felts, colored plastic blocks, letter tiles, and static cling letters and mouth pictures.

What group size is recommended?

The LiPS Program can be used in a whole class setting, small groups or one-on-one. Since the recommended amount of time for using the program is three hours per day it would be best if LiPS was used in an one-on-one setting.

What kind of training is necessary for teachers who implement this program?

There is intensive training for teachers who wish to implement LiPS in their classroom. The Lindamood Bell Learning Center offers a 3 day workshop that run from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The cost for this workshop is $789 per person. The workshop provides the teachers with instruction on the steps of LiPS, videos of student-teacher interaction and sessions of guided practice. The workshop also includes the LiPS teacher manual, Workshop Mentor Support, and credit options.

Could this program be used in an inclusive classroom?

This program would be challenging to use in an inclusive classroom. Although this program can be used with larger groups of typical students and students with special needs, this program is most beneficial for a small group or individual setting. If there are numerous learning differences within the inclusive classroom, it will be challenging for the instructor to make this program meaningful for all students. The parts of this program build off of one another. Students would be required to use this program at relatively the same pace as their peers within the classroom if the number of instructors is limited. Furthermore, if financial resources are limited, this system would be most cost efficient to use with smaller groups of children.

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