Category: Literacy

AAC at Home: Customizable Mask PowerPoint Book

As we begin to go back out into the world, it may be challenging to encourage children to wear a mask. There are many social stories already floating around and we are adding one more to the bunch.

Click on the picture below to download the book.

This book was made for you to modify as needed for the child in your life. The picture of the person is a placeholder for you to add a photo of the child, friends, family members, favorite musicians, or movie stars. The location pages can be easily changed to reflect places the child is most likely to travel to.

The animations in the PowerPoint are set to put a mask on each photo you add. When you play the Powerpoint, the mask animation is set to start on the first click. There are also Unity sequences for “put on” and “go”. Feel free to add your own or remove them as you see fit.

(more…)

AT at Home: Alternative Pencils & Greeting Card Apps

While there are many challenges posed by being stuck at home right now, one that hits especially hard is missing celebrations with family and friends. I have been using several greeting card apps to email and snail-mail my loved ones for birthdays, graduations, and baby showers. Card making is a great writing activity for any child and can be modified to include the use of alternative pencils. Below you will find a list of my favorite greeting card apps and some ideas for how to use a variety of alternative pencils.

(more…)

Literacy Presentation for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound

Today I presented a webinar for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound, the Maryland Deaf-Blind Project. A big thanks to them for including me in their webinars! Here is the powerpoint for my presentation.

In case you missed it, I discussed making reading experiences accessible with story boxes, language experiences books, and book modification ideas. I also talked about alphabet instruction, phonological/phonemic awareness, and vocabulary/ concept development. A reminder that my background is in speech-language pathology and many of my accommodations and activity ideas for children with low vision come from collaborating with a TVI.

The recorded session should be posted soon through CBSS. Here is the link for the original listing. I’ll try to update this post when there is a link for the recorded presentation!

AT at Home: OverDrive Read-Along

We think the Philadelphia Museum of Art captures parenting and working from home correctly with this meme.

We understand that one of the biggest challenges right now is keeping children occupied. If your local library uses OverDrive as a service for digital content, then you have access to books that provide narration.

These books can viewed on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Simply, log-in to your library’s website and search the catalog using the advanced search or filtered option.

(more…)

Age Appropriate Literature-Graphic Novels & Kindle

The current trend is to convert popular young adult literature into graphic novels. These can be a great resource when you are looking for age-appropriate and motivating literature for older readers. When using these in your virtual classroom or at home, Kindle Cloud and the Kindle App can be a helpful tool. Click the link below to view an Amazon list of our favorite titles.

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3RDRGQ3L7K4B8?ref_=wl_share

(more…)

AAC Story Time

First, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!  With schools closed, I’ve seen a lot of posts about AAC use at home, tele-therapy, resources for AAC users, etc.  I’m going to be doing some AAC tele-therapy and I am so excited to see my students and clients!  I am also going to be posting story time videos with AAC.  I’ll be reading books and modeling with an AAC device while reading.  My first book is one of my favorites, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!” I know some of my clients like to watch YouTube videos of books and video games and hope some of them will follow along for some aided language stimulation.  You can watch the video here.

I”ll mostly be modeling on LAMP WFL, Unity, and WordPower 60 since that’s what most of my clients use.  But, feel free to send me an email and I am happy to model with a different system!

Many of my students have vision impairments and benefit from hands on literacy experiences.  Although, honestly anyone can benefit from a hands on experience when learning language ūüôā So for my first story, I also made a second video for parents about story boxes.  You can watch the video here. Story boxes are interactive literacy experiences using objects or items that correlate to the story.  You can learn more about story boxes from this article on the Paths to Literacy website.

I hope this is a helpful resource for everyone at home!

Top Five Favorites: Alphabet Toys

Many of the individuals I work with are emergent readers.  We work a lot on letters and letter sounds.  Teachers, parents, and I often use this section from the Bridge Rating Scale with our emergent readers to see what areas of alphabet and phonological/phonemic awareness we need to work on.

Here are the top five toys that I use the most when working on alphabet knowledge and some phonological/ phonemic awareness skills.

(more…)

Using the Tell Me Program in Your Classroom

A few years ago, I heard Carole Zangari present on the Tell Me Program at a PALSS conference.¬† I was watching live with a teacher and another SLP and we immediately wanted to get started!¬† It took a couple of years until the program was available for purchase through Attainment Company, but it was worth the wait!¬† ¬† This year, I’ve worked with several classrooms using this program and have been so impressed with the increase in students’ language and AAC use.¬† Hang in there, this post is a bit on the longer side but has some great resources!

The program comprises of a ten day (two week) learning sequence revolving around one book.  The books tend to be simple and familiar.  Many have predictable pictures or text.  Each two week sequence has:

  1. Target vocabulary words and a target letter. – We decided to do two target letters per book for contrast.¬† (Check out this post by Jane Farrall where she talks about providing at least two and up to six “letters of the week” for alphabet learning.)¬†
  2. Shared Writing lessons
  3. Shared Reading lessons 
  4. Quack Quack Questions – Simple questions that can be answered using target or concept vocabulary.
  5. Dramatic play.  РThis has been a favorite component of ours and has encouraged carryover of target vocabulary into other contexts. 

There are many other components to the program, but these are the ones that we have been most successful in implementing!

I saw a post on Facebook about how the amazing mom from the “Hold My Words” page, created a chart book to go along with the program.¬† You can check out her video post¬†here.¬† She used a few pieces of poster board to create her chart book and it seems ideal for home schooling or individual sessions.¬† However, using the program at school, we needed to create something that could be easily replicated for several classrooms.¬† With that in mind, we created a visuals book that has the target words on the front and pages inside for the song, who poster, what poster, story map poster, letters of the week, and quack quack questions.¬† For each of the eleven books in the program, we created a unique visuals book that we printed on tabloid paper, laminated, and bound.¬† After the eleventh book, another teacher and I came up with a generic template for the book and visuals.¬† You can download our template for the book and icons!¬† You can also see the book and icons we made for the “I Went Walking” book.¬† If people are interested, I’m happy to share the visuals from the other ten books!¬† You can email me at amandasoperslp@gmail.com for access to the rest.

We also put together a dramatic play kit for every unit.  We make sure to include accommodations for our switch users!  This is a great time to work on language carry-over using the words of the week!

Let us know how you use the Tell Me Program in your classroom!

Adapted Book Kit – Bill the Duck and the Ladybug (CVI)

bd

I recently saw an awesome post on the Paths to Literacy Website from Deena Recker about books for students in different CVI phases. Check it out here. ¬†It’s a great post as she outlines different characteristics for Phases I, II, and III. ¬†She also provides free downloadable books to be used for students with CVI. ¬†I downloaded this fun one, Bill the Duck and the Ladybug. My SLP intern and I decided to make this into one of our adapted book kits!

We adapted/ included a few things in this kit. ¬†First, my intern put the story on a black background. ¬†Next we found a rubber duck and a light up ladybug (it’s Easter time so CVS is packed with tons of little spring light up toys like this). ¬†My intern has been reading this with one of our students who has characteristics of CVI Phase I. ¬†He’s been very clearly looking at the pictures in the book and saying “turn” to ask her to turn the page with his talker! ¬†She also reenacts the story using the story props.

bd1

Next we made a simple counting book to go along with the story. ¬†We followed the same guidelines and kept the text on one page and the picture on the other. ¬†We kept the background black, used bright text, and added some glitter to our spots to make them more visually attractive. ¬†On the last page of the book, we made a ladybug with removable spots. ¬†The Velcro on the ladybug is painted red so that it blends in. ¬†We did this so that it would not get confusing when counting “spots” on the ladybug if there were less than 5 black spots on. ¬†Then we made black spots with some glitter on them (again to make them more visually attractive).

bd2

We provided teachers with a few ways to work on numbers and counting while using this interactive activity. ¬†We included ideas for labeling numbers on a student’s talker, following directions with numbers, and counting.

bd3

You can find the PowerPoint with the instructions for our adapted book kit here.  Enjoy!

Adapted Book Kit – Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

gn-book
It’s been forever since I posted! ¬†Things have been pretty crazy this school year but I think I’m finally getting back on track. ¬†More posts to come ūüôā ¬†I recently have been doing a lot of individual sessions with some of my more complex kiddos with a focus on AAC and literacy. ¬†I frequently use the Bridge Protocol to assess where my students are with regards to emergent literacy. ¬†I love this tool because it really breaks down emergent literacy skills and allows you see progress in smaller increments. ¬†It also has helped the teachers and paraprofessionals that I work with to have a better of idea of where their students are at and what skills they need to provide more opportunities for. ¬†(I was getting pretty sick of everyone only writing goals for “turning the page” as an emergent literacy skill with NO other ideas!)

A few weeks ago, I was at Barnes and Noble I spotted this sound story version of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.  I am in love with it because it has a cute, quick story that goes along with the sounds on the side.  So often, sounds books are either short (in pages)and have no real story line or they have a story line that makes sense with the sound symbols but it is SO LONG.  This one is perfect!

I looked at the Foundations of Reading and Oral Language areas of the Bridge Protocol to keep myself on track while adapting.  I really wanted to work on how my students handle/interact with books and increase their engagement.

foundations-of-reading-bridge-protocol oral-language-section-bridge-protocol

With that in mind, I decided to texture adapt the sound symbols to give students (with and without vision impairment) something more to interact with. ¬†My SLP intern and I tried to be very purposeful with what we chose and worked hard to make sure the textures make sense with what the symbol represents. ¬†Here’s what we came up with.

gn-whats-adapted
gn-1gn-2

 

 

 

 

 

We also decided to include the plush toy that goes along with the book to encourage interaction for some of our students who have not yet discovered a love for reading!

gn-kit

You can find the PowerPoint that goes along with the adapted book kit here.  Enjoy!