Tag Archive: classroom

How I Do It: A Year of Core Words in Action

June 15, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: A Year of Core Words in Action

Some of the best resources are the ones that we can modify to use in ways that fit our own specific needs. In this post, SLP Kim Hurley, a graduate of Indiana University, shares her experiences in experimenting with the Year of Core Vocabulary approach. Kim has spent the past 15 years as a specialist for students with moderate and severe disabilities or complex communication needs in educational settings. Currently, she is employed by Forest Hills Special Education Cooperative, serving students in rural Monroe and Owen Counties in south central Indiana. Enjoy! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: For the past 15 years, I have been working as an SLP serving public school students who have moderate to severe disabilities or complex communication needs.  Several students benefit from various forms of augmentative communication, and in my years of work I have come to appreciate the flexibility that a robust, core word based system provides.  However, when... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Breaking Down Barriers to Inclusive Education for AAC Learners

June 14, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Breaking Down Barriers to Inclusive Education for AAC Learners

How can we help our AAC learners become cognitively engaged and participate fully in instructional activities? What can we do to support social connectedness and help them make contributions to classroom learning experiences? In this week’s featured video, which is embedded in a fuller AT Internet Module, Erin Sheldon helps us answer those kinds of questions and shares a framework to help us plan for full participation in learning experiences. We’re grateful to Erin, OCALI, and AT Internet Modules for creating and sharing these wonderful resources.  

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AAC In the Classroom: Considerations for Modeling Core Vocabulary

June 12, 2017 by - 2 Comments

AAC In the Classroom: Considerations for Modeling Core Vocabulary

Here in the US, many schools just let out for summer vacation but some special education teachers and SLPs are already thinking about things they want to prepare over the school break so they’ll be ready for fall. Some are contemplating changes to the ways they support AAC in the classroom. We’ve heard from several who are planning to prioritize modeling of core vocabulary using aided language input. Before we start making large core boards and other support materials, though, it’s helpful to stop and think through some important issues. A little planning now will save time and effort in the long run. If you’re planning to do this kind of prep work over the summer, here are some questions for your team to consider. Does each student with complex communication needs have access to an AAC system that includes core vocabulary? If not, why not? In some cases, the students... [Read More...]

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AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills

June 1, 2017 by - 12 Comments

AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills

Today, guest blogger Sarah Mueller, a special education teacher in Rochester Michigan,  shares her thoughts on supporting core vocabulary learning while working on functional life skills. Sarah, teaches high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and strives to embed language and communication throughout her students’ entire school experience. Sarah helps her students become strong self-advocates as they prepare for adult life. Marlene Cummings, Sarah’s colleague and mentor, introduces the post. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::           I (Marlene Cummings) had the pleasure of meeting Sarah 2 years ago as a new teacher in one of my districts. She immediately engaged in our county level professional learning opportunities in AAC and Literacy. The AAC focus presented strategies to support AAC and language learning including: core vocabulary, aided language input, vocabulary instruction and opportunities. The literacy focus was designed to create and implement a comprehensive literacy program taught by Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver. The outcome:... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Teaching in the Autism Classroom: Instructional Activities for Core Vocabulary

March 2, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #9: February 2017

“But I don’t have just one student who needs AAC in my class – I have a bunch! How can I work AAC teaching into an already hectic day?” Teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski are back with real-world suggestions for situations like these. Last year, they introduced us to Big Core, gave us tips for implementing it in the classroom, and explained how they integrate it into shared reading lessons and predictable chart writing activities. Today, they’re back with prAACtical information on how they provide explicit instruction on core vocabulary words. Amy and Lauren are public school teachers in Michigan who began teaching in resource rooms and moved to self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms in 2009. There was not much talk about core language when they started teaching and even less about incorporating into classroom lessons. AAC devices have changed a bit over the years, too. Initially, they worked with a 32-location core board on... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Environmental Communication Teaching

March 1, 2017 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: Environmental Communication Teaching

Back in the late 1980’s when I was doing my doctoral work at Purdue University, there was exciting research going on in classroom-based AAC intervention. Environmental Communication Teaching (ECT) has been through some changes in the past 25+ years, but it is still a powerful approach to helping teams support learners with complex communication needs. In today’s video, we feature Kelly Fonner discussing ECT as part of a webinar made possible by the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia. You can download the accompanying handout here.  Enjoy! Many thanks to the  Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia for making this available.

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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary

December 29, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom

We are closing out the year with a bang by combining two of our favorite things: working on AAC and literacy. In this post, Michigan-based teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski return to discuss their strategies for building communication skills in the context of writing activities. Enjoy their detailed descriptions of how they implement a 5-day writing sequence in their classrooms! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary If writing with your students is something you are apprehensive about, then Predictable Chart writing is a good place to start. You get a lot of bang for your buck, as you can work on many different concepts as you are instructing through the week.  Some areas you will be able to work on is location and meaning of core, concepts about print, print awareness and fine motor skills. Prior to starting your Predictable Chart Writing, you have to have a plan on which... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: AAC in the Special Education Classroom

December 5, 2016 by - 2 Comments

At the ASHA Convention last month, I chatted with an SLP about her secret longing: To take a sabbatical and travel the world to see AAC in action. Wouldn’t that be exciting?! In the meantime, we’ll have to live vicariously and peek into AAC practices through the words and pictures of dedicated professionals. Angi Pearce, a teacher at Kowhai Special School in Hastings, New Zealand, was kind enough to help us out and share her experiences in increasing AAC use in her classroom. Angi is the team leader for the Junior School classes (ages 5-11) and graciously prepared this post with support from SLP Michelle Roberts. As you’ll see, Angi is a highly experienced educator but new to the world of AAC and not afraid to take risks and embrace change. Let’s take a look at how a veteran teacher stretched herself to incorporate more AAC into her classroom. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC IN THE CLASSROOM My... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: A Collaborative Approach to Implementing Core Language within a School-Based Setting, Part 2

November 10, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: A Collaborative Approach to Implementing Core Language within a School-Based Setting, Part 2

We’re excited to welcome back SLPs Lori Sanzeri and Chelsea Collins, creators of Core City, to tell us more about implementing this approach. They both work for the NYC Department of Education and created Core City to promote classroom-wide support of AAC.  Last month, they introduced us to Core City. In this post, they share some of the ways that they get everyone involved in using and teaching AAC.   STAFF TRAINING The most difficult part of training all staff is finding the time. We are fortunate to have a supportive administration that understands the importance of communication and works to find time to allow us to meet for professional development.  If you are not afforded this time, our experience has shown us that the most successful staff training occurs by us modeling our strategies while we are working with the children in the classroom.  We encourage the following strategies to... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: A Collaborative Approach to Implementing Core Language within a School-Based Setting, Part 1

October 27, 2016 by - 7 Comments

How We Do It: A Collaborative Approach to Implementing Core Language within a School-Based Setting, Part 1

Nothing makes us smile like seeing teams in which professionals serving students with AAC needs work together to ensure that those students can use and grow their language skills. In this guest post, we learn about an approach that has worked for one such team, Lori Sanzeri and Chelsea Collins. Lori Sanzeri, MA CCC-SLP, TSHH, received her B.S. in Speech Language Pathology from SUNY Cortland in 2003 and M.A. from St. John’s University in 2009.  She has worked for the NYC Department of Education since 2003 and teaches AAC and phonetics at St. John’s University. Chelsea Collins, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD, received her B.S. in Special Education from Seton Hall University in 2009 and M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University in 2012.  She has worked for the NYC DOE since 2012 and specializes in AAC and early intervention. They are on Instagram as @thelanguageladies and have a Facebook page as... [Read More...]

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