Tag Archive: classroom

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 - 4 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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5 Visual Supports for the AAC Classroom

October 24, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Visual Supports for the AAC Classroom

Looking for some additional ways to support learners with AAC needs in educational settings? Here are some visual supports that you may want to explore. Emergency Drills from The Success Box  Morning Meeting Binder  from Central/South AT Center Social Narratives and Other Visual Supports by SET-BC  “When I’m Upset” by File Folder Heaven  Tri-fold Displays with for conversation and behavior regulation by TASN 

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Site of the Month: Core Word Classroom

October 10, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Looking for materials that you can use to support AAC in educational settings? AssistiveWare’s newest venture, The Core Word Classroom, may be just what you are looking for.  While the materials align with their AAC app Proloquo2Go, the concepts, activity ideas, and planning tools have broad applicability. Jennifer Marden and Amanda Hartmann, who created most of the content for this new venture, introduce us to the site. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The AssistiveWare Core Word Classroom is a resource for anyone who is implementing a core word-based AAC system. The materials focus on teaching using core words, as well as expanding communication beyond requesting to all the reasons we communicate, and helping AAC users use the full grammatical possibilities of language. The classroom materials are built around a framework called the 3W’s:   WORDS – the core words that could be used for an activity   WHYS – the many different reasons why we communicate... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Apples

September 22, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Apples

We are so happy to welcome back SLP Karen Natoci who graciously agreed to continue writing about how she uses interactive book reading to build language skills with beginning communicators. You can see her earlier posts in the PrAACtically Reading series here. In this post, she shares activity ideas for two books on apples. You can learn more about Karen and download her materials toward the bottom of the post.  Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Books:  Apples by Ken Robbins and Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum               Adapted and simplified Powerpoint Book Apples by Karen Natoci Core Vocabulary focus: here, in, where Additional Vocabulary focus: Body parts; red, round, yellow, green, COMMUNICATION Matrix (Rowland, 2009) Level:  I-VII (all levels!) ————————————————————————————————————————————- It is September and apple time! I chose to feature these books from which to adapt material suitable for students with complex communication needs. I have a simplified power point... [Read More...]

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Goodbye, Summer! A Clinician Preps AAC Materials for the New School Year

August 8, 2016 by - 6 Comments

Goodbye, Summer! A Clinician Preps AAC Materials for the New School Year

Here in the US, many SLPs who work in educational settings are getting ready to head back to school. In today’s post, we hear from Elizabeth Levy, an SLP at Wasatch County School District in Utah. Elizabeth, who earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Towson University in Maryland, worked in early intervention for several years before joining the team at Midway Elementary two years ago. She has always had a passion for working with children who are nonverbal and require AAC, and is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Group 12 (AAC). She also serves as part of her district’s AT team. In this post, Elizabeth shares a little bit about how she used the summer to gear up for an initiative to provide additional AAC support for students with significant learning challenges. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: This year, with a new team, I have a great opportunity to go big and... [Read More...]

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