Month: April 2016

Literacy for Students with CCN: How We Got Started!

I thought in this post I would outline the first meeting we had!  I asked one teacher and her classroom SLP and OT if they would hear my plan.

First I did a brief overview of the four block model.  Then we had to figure out how we could work the four blocks into the schedule she already had!  We also wanted to make this a co-teach model as much as possible.  And we have found that it has been extremely beneficial to have the whole team working on literacy together! Here’s what worked for us:


Morning Meeting/ Circle Time – WRITING – every student would “sign in” for the day and have the opportunity to write their name using a pencil or alternative pencil.

Shared Writing + Journal Writing – 3x per week for 30-60 minutes.  The teacher, AT Specialist (myself), SLP, and OT are all able to co-teach during this block!  It’s by far our favorite!  And I think its a favorite for staff too!

Working with Words – 2x per week for 30 minutes.  The teacher, AT Specialist (myself) and SLP co-teach this block!  Kelsey, the teacher, has come up with some fantastic lessons!  I’m hoping to have her guest post soon!  So far we have been working mostly on phonemic and phonological awareness.  Some of the students work on sight words individually.  We’re easing our way into this block so we have not started on sight word/ word wall instruction yet.

Self Selected Reading – daily for 10-15 minutes 1-2x per day.  Students are engaged by their staff during this block.

Shared/ Guided Reading – 1-2x per week.  The teacher has been teaching this block and some weeks has OT/SLP co-teach with her.  The SLP also often does shared reading with the students.

**Start at the pace that works best for you!  I’ve heard of classrooms that wanted to start with just one of the blocks and others that want to jump right in.  Ideally, we would do all of the blocks every day.  But we just couldn’t make it work with the current schedule.**

The last thing we did before breaking up the meeting was determine what each student would use as a pencil.  It’s essential to have the “WRITE” tool!  We purchased the Writing with Alternative Pencils CD to help us!  We also ended up making some of our own alternative pencils.  Stay tuned for posts about alternative pencils!


AAChronicles #8


I love to hear from parents about how their children are using AAC at home.  This past weekend I went to see a client at her house and her mom couldn’t wait to share what she said the night before!

This little AAC user has had a 60 cell communication board containing 50 core words and 10 fringe words for almost a year now.  Up until this point, she has mostly communicated with prompting or maybe one word spontaneously if highly motivated.  Her parents have been concerned because all she wants to do is ask for “Barney!”

But over the weekend, her mother was using the iPad to listen to music.  Upset because she wanted to play on the iPad, she grabbed her communication board, brought it over to mom, and said “mom stop music.” Up until this point we had seen occasional two word phrases but usually after sessions with a lot of aided language stimulation.  This completely spontaneous three word phrase really got us all excited!

We’re starting to talk about moving to something high tech and I couldn’t be more excited!