Tag Archive: literacy

Literacy, AT, & Students with Significant Disabilities

March 19, 2013 by - 5 Comments

Earlier this year, we shared some articles about supporting students who use AAC in general education settings. Although we don’t have data to back this up, our estimation is that most children who use AAC are not in inclusive classrooms. Nonetheless, they all learn literacy skills. In this post, we share an article about literacy learning in students with significant disabilities by Karen Erikson, Penny Hatch, and Sally Clendon. We love the way that it addresses a comprehensive approach to learning to read and write and how AT can be used to support the learning process. You can access that article here.   Erikson, K., Hatch, P., & Clendon, S. (2010). Literacy, assistive technology, and students with significant disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42,5, 1-17.

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5 More World Book Day Ideas & Resources

March 4, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 More World Book Day Resources & Ideas

                   World Book Day is just 3 days away.  Check out these PrAACtical ideas for celebrating.  Just add AAC displays, aided language input, language facilitation strategies, and enthusiasm and World Book Day will be a special celebration. Dia Diversity in Action for 2013 Children’s Book Day- This blog post provides recommendations for a diverse Children’s Book Day (April 30th), but there are some  great ideas that can be used for World Book Day. Exploring Children’s Literature through Book Trailers Great blog by K-5 teacher librarian who has been successful using book trailers as a way to connect readers with books. Think of how many learners would be excited and motivated by a video trailer about a book. Caught in the Act of Reading– a photo idea by Pragmatic Mom that we think would be a great classroom or therapy center activity for... [Read More...]

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The Joy of Reading- World Book Day.

February 26, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

The Joy of Reading World Book Day

Get ready for World Book Day ! Help spread the love of all things about reading. This is a day about the joy of reading more than the instructional aspects of reading. We are sure everyone has their own ideas about the fun in reading but we picture comfortable spaces, favorite books, favorite authors, and special times reading with someone special or even alone. World Book Day is all about books, authors, illustrators, and of course reading . The idea is to celebrate reading and all that reading has to offer. March 7, 2013 is the 16th annual World Book Day.   Check out all of the resources, contests, and books available  on the official World Book Day website. With the thought of reading as a celebration, here are some great resources for ALL readers 50 Fabulous, Fun, Ideas to Encourage a Love of Reading for World Book Day & Every Day of the Year by NutureStore... [Read More...]

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14 Valentine’s Day Activities: Love, Literacy, & Learning

February 12, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

14 Valentine's Day Activities

14 Valentine’s Day Activities for Love, Literacy, & Learning  Valentine’s Day is a theme that seems to take precedent in February.  When we use this theme, we like to focus on it before, during, and after February 14th because then there is a lot of opportunity to talk about it before, during, & after the holiday.  This is like conversation which involves so much more than talking about the ‘here & now’. For the Computer: Use Heart Generators                 http://www.cryptogram.com/hearts/ http://acme.com/heartmaker/ http://www.bobarmadillo.com/sluggyv-day/ Use Word Clouds Taxedo Wordle Image Chef Practice Valentine’s Day Spelling Words Research Valentine’s Day & Write Key Fringe Vocabulary Create sentences with core words using multiple hearts Write word poems using heart generators Have students take turns telling you or another student what to write on the hearts Apps Special Valentine Day Apps First Words Valentines– Free-  learn and spell key Valentine’s Day vocabulary. Nice errorless learning... [Read More...]

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5+ Ways to Make Page Fluffers and Spacers

December 26, 2012 by - 4 Comments

Sometimes the pages of communication books can be hard to turn, particularly if the pages are stiff or laminated. Here are some tried-and-true methods of putting spacers between the pages to make the books easier for unruly hands to handle. Use a small square of soft Velcro to a corner of the page. The adhesive-backed Velcro makes this a quick and easy fix, and it’s a good way to use up leftover scraps. Foam stickers from a craft or dollar store work well if you only need a small amount of separation between the pages. We love that you can get them in a wide variety of shapes and themes (e.g., dinosaurs, soccer balls, princess crowns). Great way to personalize the book based on your client’s interests. Colorful pom-pom’s can be hot-glued to one end of a paper clip. Use the other end to clip the fluffer to the page.... [Read More...]

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5 Things We Love for Supporting Literacy Learning by People Who Use AAC

December 10, 2012 by - 2 Comments

The joys of being able to read and write should be made available to everyone. No matter what the type or extent of disabling condition, it is now known that we can be effective in teaching real literacy skills. While not every learner gets to the same point in the journey, all augmentative communicators have the right to high expectations and quality instruction.  There are lots of wonderful literacy support programs that have emerged in the past decade. Here are five to to take a (second) look at. Bookshare: An accessible book service available without charge to US students who have disabilities that impede their ability to use print effectively. Schools and other organizations can also register. This video says, um raps, it all. Some of our favorite people with AAC needs grew up in an era where they had no legal right to attend public school or did attend... [Read More...]

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Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

December 6, 2012 by - 8 Comments

Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

The holidays are prAACtically here and depending upon the holiday traditions you celebrate they may be closer than you realize.  Time seems to fly after Thanksgiving and before you know it, social norms seem to dictate gift exchanges, lots of invitations to people’s houses, and of course many gifts for friends and family.  An easy way to accomplish gift giving is to ‘gift an app’. You can give apps that are pure fun, educational or a combination of both.  To top it off, it is easy to stay within budget, avoid traffic, avoid crowds, and save tons of time (no need to wait for it to arrive). Before you think it’s too complicated, check out these ‘Gifting an App’ instructions by Cult of Mac.  The process could not be simpler and you can email the recipient(s) or print out a gift certificate (if necessary right before the gift is needed).... [Read More...]

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Avaz AAC App & Vocabulary Learning

November 5, 2012 by - 1 Comment

PrAACtical Thinking Avaz AAC App and Vocabulary Learning

We originally talked about Avaz, the first commercially available AAC app developed in India, back when we introduced PrAACtical AAC in January of 2012.  At that time, one of the primary developers, Ajit Narayanan, was recognized by the MIT Technology Review through the prestigious TR35 List, which applauds 35 innovators under 35 years of age. We were congratulating the team at Invention Labs and thinking that they would continue to improve communication for individuals with disabilities throughout 2012. They have succeeded.  The Avaz team has worked this year seeking feedback from AAC professionals throughout the world. They have listened and have made many updates to improve the communication and language options of the Avaz App. We thought this was a great time for some follow-up information because many of the modifications and added options relate to vocabulary, which just happens to be our strategy of the month. Pre-loaded vocabulary has... [Read More...]

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Loving Literacy Resources

October 25, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Loving Literacy Title Post

For AAC Awareness Month, we would be remiss if we did not think about literacy.  It is a form of communication and language that supports AAC use.  Sometimes literacy is difficult for our students, other times it is actually easier and it helps conversational communication and even natural speech. Either way, reading, writing, talking, and listening (understanding) are all modalities of language.  There are so many great resource lists  for supporting literacy: Jane Farrall’s Letter of the Week: Resources for Older Students, Spectronics Apps for Literacy Support, Melissa Taylor’s 24 Educational iPad Apps for Kids in Reading and Writing, and 25 Great Children’s Apps to Stimulate Literacy, Learning, & Creativity just to name a few.   We wanted to share a few additional resources for literacy with general education apps that approach reading through fun with words.  And any literacy discussion could not be complete without some seriously great literacy information, theory, and supports... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Making Decisions about Reading Accessibility Options

April 30, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: Making Decisions about Reading Accessibility Options

It’s easy to daydream when you’re sitting in the sun. It is a stunningly beautiful day here in south Florida. “Too nice to stay indoors,” my mom would have said, and so I’m sitting outside with my laptop working away. Before long, my mind starts to wander. – Ever think about what you would do if you weren’t an SLP? For me ‘reading teacher’ would be pretty close to the top of the list. – I was one of those kids who spent hours in the children’s library just devouring books. Melinda Cox Free Library was my home away from home, and In those days it was run by the Edgar sisters, Miss Martha and Miss Alice. They tolerated no nonsense in ‘their’ library and the adult books were strictly off-limits to young people. We were confined to the Littleton room, a well-stocked children’s section, where I spent most of... [Read More...]

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