PrAACtically March: Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

February 29, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtically March: A Year of Core Vocabulary Resources
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Why spend valuable intervention time teaching words that relate only to one specific activity or environment when you could be teaching words that the learner can use all day long? Building competency with a robust base of 300-500 core words gives people the vocabulary they need to function in any environment. (Try that with AAC systems that are mostly nouns and action verbs!).

How can we continually increase our clients’ competence with core words? A few years ago, we decided to approach this by focusing on 12-16 core words each month. Each month, we would highlight those words in our conversation (aided language input), direct intervention, and home programming activities with AAC learners. The repeated experiences with those 12-16 words helped the learners develop new skills, and kept the team focused on the same things. An added bonus: We were less likely to be overwhelmed.

It’s gratifying to see many of you using this approach, whether it is with our word lists, or one of your own. As we prepare to turStrengthening the Core: Getting Ready for March Core Vocabularyn the page on our calendars, here are some resources that may be helpful. These resources are available thanks to the generosity of Bill and Lori Binko, Heidi LoStracco, Alison Wade, Russell Cross, Gail Van Tatenhove, Eric Sailers, Rachael Langley, Danielle Maglinte, and others. Many thanks for sharing your work with us!

Set 1 (2013): away, bad, come, good, it, make, now, off, read, there, thing, where

Set 2 (2014): baby, dirty, easy, friend, finish, home, loud, mother/mom, next, red, sleep smart, teacher, toy. win, wrong

  1. Templates for you to plug in your own symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
  2. Minspeak/Unity version: Set 1
  3. PCS versions: Set 1; Set 2
  4. Speak for Yourself version: Set 1, Set 2
  5. Symbol Stix version: Set 1
  6. Lesson Pix: Set 1 Words

Use these materials to remind yourself which words to highlight this month, with using aided language input and focused language stimulation. What else?

  • 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…).

One terrific thing about core words is that they are easy to combine in sentences. We can model these words as we talk throughout the day. Here are some suggestions to get you started (Thanks, Danielle!).

PrAACtically March: A Year ofCore Vocabulary Resources

Need more? Here you go!

Set 1

  • That’s GOOD!
  • READ IT.
  • COME here NOW.
  • Let’s go AWAY.
  • That wasn’t BAD!
  • Turn IT OFF.
  • Take IT AWAY.
  • MAKE a BAD joke.
  • WHERE is IT?
  • MAKE IT go AWAY.
  • We can READ NOW.
  • WHERE do you want to READ?
  • Is IT A GOOD THING or a BAD THING?
  • Do you want IT OFF?
  • That is a BAD THING
  • THERE is my GOOD friend.
  • IT is A GOOD THING.
  • IT is GOOD to READ.
  • THERE is WHERE we are going.

Set 2

  • SMART cookie!
  • It is EASY.
  • She is too LOUD.
  • Shh! The BABY is SLEEPING!
  • My FRIEND is SMART.
  • My MOM is HOME.
  • The BABY is all DIRTY.
  • Give your FRIEND the TOY when you are FINISHED.
  • That TEACHER is SMART.
  • I am FINISHED with the RED one.
  • MOM said it is time to go to SLEEP.
  • What TOY should we play NEXT?
  • Your TEACHER said you FINISHED all your work!

Reading is such a fun and easy way to provide targeted exposure to core words. Here are some book suggestions compiled by Danielle Maglinte for some of our March words.

There are lots of ways to target these words beyond storybook reading. Rachael Langley has, once again, put together a lovely calendar of suggestions.

PrAACtically March: A Year ofCore Vocabulary Resources

Thanks again to all our kind friends who generously shared their resources. Do you have ideas or materials for the Year of Core Words? We’d love to hear from you!

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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