PrAACtically February: Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words
As we tick off the final days of the month, we’re looking ahead to ways we can highlight more of the core vocabulary words in our clients’ AAC devices and communication aids. One approach to boosting practice opportunities is to select a dozen or so core words to focus on each month. Throughout the month, we can then pay special attention to that small group of words by highlighting them with focused language stimulation, aided language input, and specific activities designed to teach or practice those words.
In previous years, we shared lists of some core words to help you do just that and every month we share some ideas for prioritizing a small set of words. You can use these materials to remind yourself which words to highlight this month, with using aided language input and focused language stimulation. What else? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Print them and hang them on a bulletin board or refrigerator.
- Laminate, cut them apart, and put them on a binder ring that you keep handy so that you can show just one symbol at a time.
- Use them to create activities that help with symbol discrimination, such as a fun, interactive matching game or scavenger hunt.
- Add them to a core word dictionary.
- Hide them in a sensory bin filled with rice, sand, or beans.
- Develop a language experience survey around one or more of the words.
- Use it as a word wall, and create ‘mystery word’ or guessing activities (e.g., “I’m thinking of a word that…).
Ready to start prepping your materials?
Our words for February are listed below.
Set 1 (2013): again, eat, get, go, happy, here, I/me, on, play, put, this
Set 2 (2014): afraid, father, girl, how, hurt, many, myself, new, school, sing, stuff, thirsty, trouble, watch, wet, will
Looking for resources to make it easier to model and highlight these words? Here are some contributed by friends of PrAACtical AAC. Much appreciation to Lisa Timm, Nancy Inman, Christy Bayley, Brian Whitmer, Bill and Lori Binko, Heidi LoStracco, Alison Wade, Russell Cross, Gail Van Tatenhove, Eric Sailers, Rachael Langley, Mimi Palmere, and others.
- Templates for you to plug in your own symbols: Set 1 Words, Set 2 Words
- Minspeak/Unity version: Set 1 Words
- PCS versions: Set 1 Words, Set 2 Words
- Lesson Pix: Set 1 Words
- Speak for Yourself: Set 1 Words
- Symbol Stix: Set 1 Words
- Smarty Symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
- CoughDrop: Set 1 words; Set 2 words
- WordPower: Set 1 words (Note: This is a large file that contains the resources for several versions of WordPower)
- WordPower: Set 2 Words in Symbol Stix and PCS (Both are large files that have sets for different versions of WordPower)
There are lots of ways to integrate our February core words into our intervention and daily interactions with AAC learners. Like all core vocabulary, these words are flexible enough to use in the sentences we say all throughout the day. Taking the time to slow down and use AAC as we say speak is one way to provide the learner with a supportive language environment. This pivotal strategy, aided language input, is something we aim to use all day long. If you are also striving for that practice, here are some sentences to get you thinking about how you can incorporate the February words as you move through your daily routine.
As we all know, story reading is a great way to highlight core words, build fluency with AAC, and support literacy development. Here are a few books that can be used to provide some extra exposure to our February core words.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst: again, eat, get, go, I/me, on, afraid, how, hurt, school, trouble
- Ask Me by Bernard Waber: again, eat, happy, here, I/me, on, play, father, girl, how
- Happy by Emma Dodd: happy, on, play, put, many, sing, watch
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen: get, go, happy, here, I/me, father, girl, how, watch, wet
- Pout-Pout Fish in the Big, Big Dark by Deborah Diesen: again, get, go, afraid, trouble, wet
- Put Me In the Zoo by Robert Lopshire: go, here, I/me, on, new, trouble, will
Don’t miss this opportunity to chat with AAC stakeholders from around the world this Wednesday on Twitter, as I host the #ATchat (Feb 1, 8:00 pm ET). If you are new to Twitter or Twitter Chats or just don’t ‘get’ how it can support professional growth, you can learn more about that here. All are welcome!
This post was written by Carole Zangari