Tag Archive: Marlene Cummings

4 Things to Consider When Embracing a “New Normal”

September 8, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

4 Things to Consider When Embracing a “New Normal”

It isn’t every day that we get to hear from AAC interventionists who’ve been doing this work for decades. Today, we are thrilled to welcome back SLP Marlene Cummings from Oakland Schools in Michigan.  Marlene has written several very popular posts on AAC in educational settings. (Click here to peruse them.) In this post, Marlene gets us thinking about ways to deal with change in a positive and sustainable fashion. Her passion for supporting both kids and colleagues is infectious. Enjoy! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I have the privilege, as part of a 5 member AAC Team, of supporting 28 school districts with more than 100 teams serving students with complex communication needs using AAC. The staff members and teams we support come with varied levels of knowledge, diverse experiences, and degrees of confidence. For us the new school year is just around the corner. We are already receiving calls and emails reporting... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: 5 Ways to Tell If Your Students are Becoming Competent Communicators with Marlene Cummings

July 18, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Ways to Tell if Your Students are Becoming Competent Communicators with Marlene Cummings

It’s always a good day when we get to share the thoughts of veteran AAC SLP, Marlene Cummings. In this post, Marlene  talks about the signs to look for as clients gain skills with AAC and wraps up her series of posts on her yearlong experience in providing embedded professional learning  experiences in Oakland Schools.  You can see her earlier posts on cultivating the right mindset, their framework for AAC success, her AAC implementation toolbox, and the communication environment. 5 things in our “Destination Toolbox” “Are we there yet?” or “Five Ways to Tell That Your Students are Becoming Competent Communicators” Students are: Participating in the purposes of communication by novelly generating multiple word phrases demonstrating a variety of communicative functions Taking multiple communicative turns with multiple partners in multiple environments Using words from many different word classes Using words to talk about words Using language to communicate and communicating to learn... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strengthening the Communication Environment

June 28, 2013 by - 1 Comment

How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strenthening the Communication Environment

Marlene Cummings is back to share some thoughts on creating communication-friendly environments. As an AAC consultant to the Oakland Schools, Marlene gets to support AAC implementation in a variety of classrooms with all types of learners. You can read her earlier posts here and here. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 5 Things to Consider in the “Communication Environment” The first thing we want to ask: Is language being represented visibly? We in AAC are often known by our “stuff”.  Because we need to represent language visibly and love technology, we typically have a lot of “stuff”. I, for one, currently have a large storage unit holding 30+ years of “stuff” waiting to be distributed to all my new teams since I am no longer in the classroom. Let’s start by looking around our instructional environment. It is our intention to model the use of language being represented visibly and to provide the vocabulary and opportunities for... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Marlene Cummings Shares an Implementation Toolbox

June 13, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Marlene Cummings Shares an Implementation Toolbox

Now that the school year is winding down, some of you have a little more time to read, process, and prepare for next year. We are really excited to share more ideas from Marlene Cummings, one of the most experienced AAC SLPs that we know. Those of you who have been following Marlene’s posts on the AAC implementation will be pleased to see the next part of the Framework for Success that she developed with the AAC Team at Oakland School District. If you missed her first and second posts, go take a peek at them when you can.  5 Things in our “Implementation Toolbox” When we begin the process of implementing AAC it is important to consider our “thinking”. We always want to approach every student, every team and every classroom with as much wisdom and respect as possible. One of my colleagues, Dr. Penny Hatch, from UNC Chapel Hill... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

May 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

 We couldn’t be  more excited to have a return visit from Marlene Cummings, a wonderful SLP who is currently serving as an AAC Consultant to the AAC Team at Oakland Schools. In her first post, Marlene talked about strategies for cultivating the right mindset for AAC teaching. In this post, Marlene continues sharing elements of her Framework for Success in discussing the Knowledge Toolbox, developed with the Oakland Schools AAC Team.     5 Things in Your “Knowledge Toolbox” What is already in my “knowledge toolbox” of communication, language and learning? Yes, you do have a full toolbox. You just don’t realize it. And of course there are always new and exciting things to add. You already know this stuff!! REMEMBER??? It is important to step back and think broadly about communication and what it really does. Sometimes we get caught in the details of our work and can’t see the forest through the... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Cultivating an “I Can” Mindset with Marlene Cummings

March 21, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: Cultivating an "I Can" Mindset with Marlene Cummings

As much as we love fresh new voices in the AAC community, there is simply nothing like the voice of experience. When a program has had more than 40 years of experience providing AAC services, we listen! Today, we are honored to have Marlene Cummings, an AAC SLP from Michigan, share the collective wisdom of her team. I have found that one of the joys in my professional life is asking hard questions about my present work and then figuring out ways to address those questions. Much of my 30 + years have been spent designing and implementing programs, systems and materials to support young children with complex communication needs in the role of the teacher in these classrooms. I explored ways to design environments and develop curricular frameworks and instructional materials, which would provide students with the instruction and opportunities to become competent communicators, all from the view of... [Read More...]

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