Published on December 30th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari0
In the Treasure Bag: Using Sharing Time To Focus on Vocabulary
Over the past few months, we’ve been advocating for a multi-stage process for vocabulary teaching that begins with focused (aided) language stimulation and explicit instruction. The approach we described then moves into engaging practice activities while we continue to provide exposure and opportunities for retrieval, with periodic comprehension checks. This cycle allows SLPs to make use of research-based strategies in their semantic intervention and get the best outcomes for their AAC learners.
So, when we came across this video about how to use ‘Sharing Time’ to build vocabulary, we knew we wanted to share it. It describes a classroom activity that could also be adapted for therapy groups in which students take turns bringing in an time from home to share with the class.
We love the visual support that helps the students know what to talk about. It is a great reminder that visual supports are part of good general education, because almost all learners do better when visual supports are added into the mix. In this case, the visual support adds structure to what could easily be a rather random process of guessing what the mystery item is.
We can see some prAACtical ways to adapt this for AAC learners. If you have an All Turn It Spinner, for example, you could put each of the items on the vocabulary wheel around the center and have students use switches to randomly select which question to answer. You could do the same thing with a literacy cube or DIY beach ball (sort of like these for reading) by affixing the questions to different segments and select questions by tossing it or knocking it off a laptray.
We also love the way that the teacher starts with a simple version of the visual support at the start of the year and then increases the complexity as the students gain skills. As you watch the video, think about what other prAACtical adaptations you would suggest if the teacher was working with learners who used AAC.