Tag Archive: vocabulary instruction

Core Words, Direct Vocabulary Instruction, & The Beginning Communicator

November 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Vocabulary Instruction & the Beginning Communicator

Direct vocabulary instruction is important for all level learners.  The beginning communicator needs to learn core word vocabulary from USING the words and one of the best  ways to learn how to USE core words, is to receive specific direct instruction with many opportunities for active participation. 6 Essential Philosophies &  Strategies Vocabulary instruction involves a systematic TEACHING process.  Add vocabulary or Words as an activity on the daily schedule and then have a mini-schedule for the specific vocabulary instruction activities for that day. Initially, apply an errorless learning paradigm. Then, gradually, add comprehension checks, but do not wait for ‘proof’ of comprehension before adding new words because we often notice that the beginning communicator will demonstrate comprehension during ‘unexpected opportunities- or when you are least expecting it. Once learners become familiar with some of the specific vocabulary activities, then have some choice making opportunities as to which ‘word activities’... [Read More...]

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5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 8, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

New to teaching core vocabulary in AAC? On board with the concept? Know that it’s important but find it a little intimidating to teach? Welcome to the club! Actually, it’s quite a big club but you wouldn’t know it because lots of members are still closeted. That’s okay – no one here is going to ‘out’ you. But if you want to move forward in your AAC teaching journey, here are some things to try. Breathe and forgive yourself: It’s easy to feel like everyone else knows this but you. Not true. We tend to beat ourselves up for not being out ahead of the curve, but you know what? It’s not worth it. We’re all a work in progress, so let it go and just start where you are. As one of our favorite eminent scholars** has repeatedly said, “When you know better, you do better.” Get your own... [Read More...]

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Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 6, 2013 by - 21 Comments

Teaching Core Vocabulary

Among the many changes that the AAC field has experienced in the last decade is the notion that core vocabulary is (or should be) an integral part of any AAC system. We grew to understand the limitations of AAC supports that consist primarily of nouns and descriptors, realizing that those kinds of communication displays restricted our clients to requesting and labeling. Our field realized the inadequacy of providing only prestored messages (e.g., limited the client’s ability to communicate anything novel, not flexible enough to meet most communication needs, etc.). In essence, we realized that without core vocabulary, we were imposing a ceiling on language development. We’re thrilled to see so many communication boards, books, SGDs, and AAC apps reflect this knowledge. Having tools with the appropriate vocabulary is a big step in the right direction. But to really shatter the ceiling of language development, we have to be good at... [Read More...]

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Magic Moments in Building Vocabulary with ‘It’s Cool to be Clever’

March 12, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Magic Moments in Building Vocabulary with ‘It’s Cool to be Clever’

I had such a blast using this great (free) app that I couldn’t wait to get some time to blog about it. ‘It’s Cool to be Clever’ is about being different and uses the story of Edson Hendricks, an innovator who grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and went on to develop an early design for what we now know as the world wide web. The app is based on a book by a former teacher, Leanne Jones, and contains compelling video and some lovely original music. It was created by Agio Studios. In his own voice, Hendricks tells his personal experiences of growing up feeling different from his peers, family, and community. There are four segments to the app. The Story: Narrated version of Hendrick’s biography, written by Leanne Jones, can be viewed so that you can read on your own, or have it read to you... [Read More...]

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Another Look at Vocabulary Instruction in AAC

March 11, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Another Look at Vocabulary Instruction in AAC

5 Things to Do to See If Your Vocabulary Instruction is Effective (& 5 Things to Do If It’s Not) AACtual Therapy: Fun & Functional Vocabulary with Shareka Bentham In the Treasure Bag: Using Sharing Time to Focus on Vocabulary Why We Love AAC Language Experience Activities 5 Great Sites for AAC Vocabulary Practice Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities Vocabulary Learning Materials & AAC Strategies Explicitly Speaking: Vocabulary Teaching in AAC Choosing a Focus for Vocabulary Instruction Building Word Consciousness: Vocabulary Instruction in AAC Vocabulary Learning Using Infographics Say THIS, NOT THAT to Reinforce Vocabulary Learning How to Use Magnets to Promote Language Development Vocabulary Activities: 5 Sites for Learning with Avatars What Makes a Good Vocabulary Teaching Activity? 4 Things to Look For Ideas about Vocabulary Instruction for the Beginning Communicator 10 Things to Do in Using Focused Language Stimulation in AAC Vocabulary Teaching Tell Me About It:... [Read More...]

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Why We Love AAC Language Experience Activities

December 21, 2012 by - 3 Comments

We love hearing the ways in which SLPs are using language experience activities in their therapy. That’s why we woke to big smiles today in hearing the story of a clinician who was having fun teaching the word ALL with goldfish crackers. Her little AAC friends could ask for a cracker and get one, or ask for ALL and get a pre-packaged portion. The power of contrast works in our favor in times like these. And it could easily be done with puzzle pieces or Lego blocks or any number of things. We can highlight it when we ALL leave the room or play a game as a group. Families can get in on the action, too. They can check to see if they have ALL the items from a list in the shopping cart or if they’ve put away ALL the groceries or laundry. Repetition with variety: another of... [Read More...]

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Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

November 24, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

We love incorporating new vocabulary into fun motivating activities even when we are doing direct vocabulary instruction.  We embed new vocabulary in activities using all of the language modalities- reading, writing, talking, and listening. We use planned vocabulary instruction activities as well as unexpected opportunities to embed new vocabulary.  We like to stay within the theme of vocabulary learning but try and stay flexible in case a perfect opportunity arises that allows us to reflect back on an old vocabulary theme or mention a future planned theme.  The main goal of direct vocabulary instruction is more than learning a new list of words, it is learning robust word knowledge so that language skills can be broadened.    Consider these vocabulary instruction steps by Robert Marzano. These steps were not specifically developed for AAC users but if we add a language focus and a little more fun and active participation, they... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Learning Materials & AAC Strategies

November 20, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction Materials & AAC Strategies Title

We are super big fans of Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).   We need the PrAACtical resources that TPT offers.  In addition to paying ridiculously low prices for some great teaching materials and cool classroom resources, there are also many free options.  Check out these free vocabulary resources and have lots of fun.  As always, the materials are only as good as the teaching strategies that go with them. As we check out these awesome vocabulary resources,  we will use the following guiding principles and we will create appropriate communication opportunities for ALL learners to participate in direct vocabulary instruction. Active Participation for Everyone– Make sure all learners can make choices within the activity, respond to questions, add information, request clarification, and even ask for a break if they need it.  To do this we will need one hit message devices, visual supports, individual and group communication displays, choice boards, switches, etc.... [Read More...]

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