PrAACtical Introductions: Meet…A Year of Core Vocabulary Words – School Edition (by Michaela Sullivan, Beth Lytle, & Alisa Lego)

August 29, 2020 by - 11 Comments

A Year of Core Words-School Edition
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Much has changed since we first wrote about the Year of Core Vocabulary Words and began publishing monthly word lists, symbol cards, activity ideas, and book suggestions. It is gratifying to see the concept and these resources being used by teachers, clinicians, and parents.

Today, we introduce an expansion of that concept with a specific focus on school-based AAC support. Say hello to the School Year of Core Words series. Conceptualized and created by AAC SLP Michaela Sullivan, and two pre-professional SLP students, Beth Lytle and Alisa Lego, the series begins with this introduction to the Level 1 and Level 2 words, and some information about what to expect as the series progresses. It will be followed by monthly posts with ideas, resources, and materials. The series follows a US academic calendar, running from August through June.

You can learn more about the School Year of Core Word series creators, Michaela, Beth, and Alisa, at the end of this post. But first, let’s get acquainted with the School Year of Core Words structure.

Welcome to A SCHOOL YEAR OF CORE WORDS

by Michaela Sullivan, Beth Lytle, & Alisa Lego

To the parents, teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Para Professionals, friends, and other curious professionals or communicators: If you’re looking for resources on core vocabulary, you are in the right place! Welcome to our first School Year of Core Words posting. You are amazing. You hold so much power. Connection is a two-way street. Thank you for joining us in helping to make this world easier to understand for our students with Complex Communication Needs. As a Speech-Language Pathologist and two second-year graduate students, we continue to be completely inspired by Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and all of the ways we can reach each other with these life-changing strategies and supports. 

There are two separate word lists for the School Year of Core Word series. Levels 1 and 2 contain distinctly different sets of words.  Level 1 is a foundational compilation of 158 words and Level 2 contains 161 words that build upon and beyond the foundation. The monthly word lists were selected to follow not only the school calendar but also support the needs of students, expanding communication functions in natural and more structured activities and settings (daily routines) as well as themes/holidays. We reviewed Browns’ 14 Morphemes and previous A Year of Core Vocabulary Words postings from PrAACtically Speaking published in 2013 and 2014 while considering our selections. We are so excited to share our passion project with you.

Here are some of the things you’ll find in each of the monthly School Year of Core Word posts. 

  • Word Lists: List of Level 1 and Level 2 words and blank charts to add your own symbols
  • Smart Charts showing the AAC symbols for each word using several of the most popular AAC symbol sets/systems. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every symbol type. 
  • AAC Strategy of the Month handout
  • Data collection forms for Level 1 and Level 2 words
  • Activity Sheets: Each core word has an Activity Sheet with implementation ideas for use in therapy and instruction.
    • Communication functions that can be targeted with that word.
    • Examples of phrases and sentences that you can use to model the word and/or elicit from the AAC user
    • Suggested ways to integrate the word into:
      • Routines and daily schedules
      • Play
      • Reading
      • Social interactions (with video modeling)
      • Sensory-motor activities
      • Structured activities
      • Videos, music, and animated shorts
      • Art and science activities
    • Ideas for using the word with apps and other technologies
    • Ways to utilize Word Walls

Now let’s look at the words that will be featured in these posts.

A School Year of Core Words-Level 1

A School-Year of Core Words-Level 1 is a compilation of 161 words and some pre-programmed phrases found on many Speech Generating Devices (SGD’s)/AAC apps with semantic targets organized on a monthly basis within a school-year. Some months have fewer words due to vacation(s).  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, (and some words/phrases may not be available on the communication system), but such items were selected based on a variety of underlying principles of language development and the use of communication functions, previous year of core vocabulary choices and posts, (in PrAACtical AAC), topics in school, holidays and themes.

  • August: I/me, hi/hello, bye/goodbye, help, stop, go, want, play, that, out, in, more, all done, bathroom, take a break, wash
  • September: you, eat, drink, yes, no, put, see, sit, like, on, off, finish, name, do, read, what
  • October: my/mine, turn, listen, don’t, up, down, feel, there, happy, sad, sick, tired, a, scared, mad, who
  • November: your, get, look, stand, sing, need, work, make, hurt, not, walk, cut, today, day, color, where
  • December: it, am, and, good, bad, love, give, take, watch, excited, open, close, the, please, thank you
  • January: he, she, is, sleep, come, all gone, can, big, little, this, tell, show, again, fun, you’re welcome, when
  • February: we, are, fast, slow, wait, hungry, thirsty, write, draw, cold, hot, great, tomorrow, sorry
  • March: they, live, place, ride, dress, ask, question, these, change, hear, front, back, loud, quiet, silly
  • April: our, call, let’s, here, nice, mean, have, for, away, hug, clean, dirty, because, yesterday, why
  • May: now, ready, to, with, push, pull, same, different, top, bottom, some, all
  • June: say, think, soon, later, together, understand, proud, favorite, how

You can download a document with the month-by-month word list for Level 1 words here.

A School Year of Core Words-Level 2 (Intermediate)

A School-Year of Core Words-Level 2 is also a compilation of core words and some pre-programmed phrases found on many SGD’s and AAC apps with semantic targets organized on a monthly basis within a school-year. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, (and some words/phrases may not be available on the communication system) but such items were selected based a variety of underlying principles of language development, previous year of core vocabulary choices and posts (in PrAACtical AAC), themes and topics in school, holidays and overall student benefit.

  • August: us, had, meet, went, funny, outside, inside, better, beside, next to, run, hear, hang, okay, awesome, How are you?
  • September: was, did, jump, talk, smile, cry, spell, angry, laugh, nervous, easy, hard, win, lose, those, What’s up?
  • October: them, someone, no one, fix, use, will, learn, clap, paint, messy, glue, party, dance, break, Wait a minute
  • November: thankful, fine, cool, taste, dry, wet, copy, pour, mix, stir, cook, bake, bored, smell, safe, How’s it going?
  • December: her, him, choose, shop, leave, wrap, drive, fly, ask, believe, wish, fold, carry, bring, decorate, buy
  • January: own, touch, hit, hold, wave, hurry, light, dark, strong, heavy, middle, between, know, at, surprise, I don’t know
  • February: hers, his, share, beautiful, special, imagine, dream, hope, few, less, first, then, Excuse me
  • March: early, late, agree, disagree, stay, leave, communicate, speak, hide, find, full, empty, pick, important, grouchy, grumpy
  • April: grow, climb, slide, skip, swim, score, race, kick, follow, around, fall, over, under, throw, bounce, step
  • May: few, many, below, above, through, really, comfortable, uncomfortable, terrible, wonderful
  • June: near, far, long, short, small, medium, large, excellent, rest, last, See you later

If you’d like to download a document with these Level 2 words, click here.

Symbol Charts

Level 1 WordsSchool Year of Core Words

Level 2 Words

We would like to invite you to join our Core Community to share your ideas with us as we post and share them with others.  These are unprecedented times where we all rely on the help of others. Our Core Community is all about helping one another by providing monthly resources to help support you and your students.  To join our Core Community please contact one of us with your ideas and resources and you will be recognized as a featured contributor.

This posting is dedicated to all of you SLP’s, parents, educators, and therapists who are making a difference every day! 

Together, we can!! We’re all in this together! 🙂

We’d like to acknowledge Carole Zangari for providing us with this opportunity and a shout out to Rachel Madel who generously shared her favorite animated shorts for communication. Thank you to Jane Odom from PRC who provided us with permission to share the free activities from the AAC Language Lab. We would like to recognize Coughdrop and Avaz for helping us create their device specific Symbol Charts. Lastly, we would like to thank and acknowledge the many hours Danny Auerbach supported us throughout the project. Thank you for making us laugh, keeping us on track, formatting our Symbol Charts and for editing our letters and documents. 

You can check out Month 1 for the School Year of Core Vocabulary Words here.

Meet the School Year of Core Vocabulary Team!

The School Year of Core Vocabulary is authored by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, and Beth Lytle. You can learn more about them here.

PrAACtical Introductions: A School Year of Core Vocabulary WordsMichaela Sullivan is an SLP who specializes in the fields of AAC and AT. She currently works within the San Francisco Unified School District on the AAC Support Team where she supervises graduate students, works in a transition program and on special projects. Ms. Sullivan is also an AAC and AT Team member within the San Mateo Unified School District where she developed an AAC Mentorship program. Ms. Sullivan also has a private practice. She has been a presenter in the field of SLP and AAC at state and national conventions.   She serves as a board member and volunteer for the Nika Project, providing services, supports, resources, training, and repurposed equipment for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and internationally. 

PrAACtical Introductions: A School Year of Core Vocabulary WordsAlisa Lego is a second-year graduate student and candidate for Master’s of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Francisco State University.  Alisa is specializing in AAC through San Francisco State University’s federally funded Project Building Bridges.  Alisa is also a candidate for the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate.  Through Project Building Bridges, she has joined the Nika project and is providing resources for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and across the globe. You can follow Alisa on Instagram at @newfriendscollective.

PrAACtical Introductions: A School Year of Core Vocabulary WordsBeth Lytle is a second-year graduate student and candidate for Master’s of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Francisco State University.  Beth is specializing in AAC through San Francisco State University’s federally funded Project Building Bridges.  Through Project Building Bridges, she has joined the Nika project and is providing resources for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and across the globe.

 

 

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

11 Comments

  • Stephanie Ash says:

    Thank you, this is amazing!

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Stephanie, thanks for taking the time to comment and share this positive feedback. This team is passionate about supports for core vocabulary and they’ve spent a ton of time creating these materials. Stay tuned for their monthly posts with the first one set to publish tomorrow.

  • Roxanne St Peter Reese says:

    Is there a subscription fee to get up coming month materials as they are published or a purchase fee? Thank you

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Roxanne, thanks for your question. All of the materials on PrAACtical AAC are free. You can download and use the files however you wish. Hope you enjoy using them!

  • Radmila says:

    I work with students who use Caughdrop, LAMP, Wordpower, and Unity. This is an amazing resource! The Activity Sheets – soooo helpful! Thank you so much. You are in my bookmarks bar.

  • Karen Z says:

    This is great! Are the September activities posted or do we need to join by subscription?

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Those are free and will be posted in the next few days. Thanks for your patience. It takes a lot of time for them to put these resources together.

  • ACJ says:

    I am not able to find September, 2020 core word activities? Also, if within a class, students do not have devices, does it matter which symbols are used for low tech core boards? Depending on funding, they may receive a device with different symbols, would that be confusing?

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Those are coming in the next few days. You asked a really good question. It is not ideal to use one set of symbols for no tech core boards and then another set of symbols when they get a high tech SGD or full-featured AAC app. A lot of people go that route, but for the most efficient learning it would be helpful to keep the symbol set and layout consistent.

  • Tracey says:

    Hello
    Will these be released month to month?

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Yes. They are finalizing the resources for this month and next right now. Eventually, we will post these at the end of one month so you can get set up for the upcoming month but it will take a little longer to get there. There’s a LOT of work involved in creating these resources.

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