Tag Archive: education

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

June 1, 2017 by - 18 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 ASD Classroom: Shared Reading

October 31, 2016 by - 3 Comments

We are pleased to have a return visit from special educators Lauren Pawlowski and Amy Devin with ideas for supporting AAC learners in the classroom. Amy and Lauren, who work in the public school system in Michigan, taught in resource rooms for years and have been teaching in self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms since 2009. At that time, there were few classrooms who were integrating  core language instruction, but they didn’t let that stop them. Currently, they use manual communication boards, large instructional core boards, and individual AAC devices with their students. They are passionate literacy teachers and, in today’s post, tell us about their approach to shared reading lessons. Their video is chock full of tips to help you make these lessons successful. Enjoy! Shared Reading: It’s Not What They Know, It’s What They THINK! Happy Fall AAC users and facilitators! This month we would like to share some of our tips for... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Little Tips for Big Core

April 4, 2016 by - 6 Comments

PrAACtical Teaching: Little Tips for Big Core

Special educators Lauren Pawlowski and Amy Devin are back with tips for making AAC work in the classroom. In their first post, they talked about using a large communication board that is rich in core vocabulary for aided language input and AAC instruction. Today, they share some of the things they’ve learned to make this more manageable in a busy classroom. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: We hope that many of you were able to make your Big Core boards for group instruction.  Now what?? Using Big Core can take a while to get used to.  Even after using it for several years, sometimes we still struggle with finding the words quickly.  Don’t worry about this because our students can’t always find words quickly and it is good for them to see that everyone struggles with language at times.  It can also be empowering to them if you ask for their help! The... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Apps Across the Curriculum

December 16, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Apps Across the Curriculum

For some learners, AAC is essential in order for them to have access to the curriculum. Access, though, is a bit of a low bar. What we REALLY want is for them to have the supports they need in order to learn and achieve. In this post, we feature a trio of videos to help us look further into apps that will do just that. Thanks to the Center on Technology and Disability, and AT Specialists Diana Petschaue and Luis Perez for these wonderful webinars. http://www.ctdinstitute.org/library/2015-11-06/apps-across-curriculum-and-platforms-support-struggling-learners-series

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AAC in the Classroom: Presentations You May Have Missed

August 25, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC in the Classroom: Presentations You May Have Missed

It’s so gratifying to see the growing number of AAC presentations that are being offered around the country. If you serve school-aged children, here are a few presentation handouts that might be of interest. Building Classroom Communities to Support AAC Users by Ashley Robinson AAC Implementation Strategies by Vicki Clarke and Jenna Coyer Making AAC Work in the Classroom by Ann Kuhlmeier  

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How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

May 18, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

In honor of ASHA’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, we’ve invited clinicians who use AAC in their schools to share a bit about their work here on PrAACtical AAC. Today’s post is from Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert, two school-based SLPs in New Jersey. For the past 8 years, Kaitlyn has worked with children who use AAC. She earned her Master’s degree from Ithaca College and remains passionate about AAC, and helping each student communicate to the best of their abilities. Rachel earned her Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2013.  She eagerly keeps abreast of the latest advances in AAC, which help her to deliver the most positive outcome possible for her students. Both Kaitlyn and Rachel currently serve students at Larc School. Beyond Requesting: PrAACtical Ideas for Building Language in the Classroom To take one student beyond requesting during snack time we implemented a core language board... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Progress Monitoring for AT

April 22, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

If you work in educational settings, there’s a good possibility and you and and your colleagues have had many conversations around the topic of progress monitoring. Progress monitoring in an approach to assessing student performance and evaluating the effectiveness of instruction. How does that apply to students who use AAC and other AT? Today, we hear from Elizabeth Panek on that very topic. Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and PaTTAn for making this available.

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PrAACtical Resources: Developing AAC Policies for Schools

October 7, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Developing AAC Policies for Schools

As much as we appreciate spontaneity, it is sometimes true that well-conceptualized policies and procedures help things run more smoothly. Today, we head to the UK where the ACE Centre has developed a comprehensive guidebook to help schools develop good AAC policies. Obviously, the specifics will vary based on the locale, but there is much to be gained from this thoughtful approach. Take a look. http://acecentre.org.uk/Websites/aceoldham/images/Resources/policydoc_8_285.pdf  

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How I Do It: Cooking in the Classroom with Carol Goossens’

September 4, 2014 by - 3 Comments

How I Do It: Cooking in the Classroom with Carol Goossens'

There is something about fall that puts us in the mood for cooking. Today, we are honored to learn from an AAC pioneer, Dr. Carol Goossens,’ who is an SLP and special educator based in the New York City area. She has consulted extensively in a variety of classrooms serving the full spectrum of children with special needs. Carol has presented both nationally and internationally about her collaborative work with teachers, therapists and families. She is known for her ability to seamlessly integrate technology in the classroom and for developing innovative ways to help children learn …while having fun doing it! In this post, she shares one of her latest projects, making animated recipes for using in cooking activities in the classroom. Cooking appears to be motivating for most children … the magic of putting together ingredients that ultimately become something delicious to eat. Teachers, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and occupational therapists (OTs) often use food preparation activities... [Read More...]

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