Category: TpT

Core Word Practice: Verbs

I don’t know about you, but I have so many students that are working on either adding vocabulary to their expressive repertoire or using a variety of phrase types. With that in mind, I made four sets of Boom cards that target common verbs that can be used in a variety of phrase types.

Over the past year, I’ve been working really hard to make sure I target a variety of phrase types in my activities. I went to a presentation by Dr. Binger and Dr. Kent Walsh at ATIA in 2019 about their Word by Word Language Intervention and it made a big impact on how I do therapy. I highly recommend reading their article, which can be found on ASHA. My main takeaway from their presentation was that we have AAC users who receptively understand a variety of phrase types, but can’t expressively use them. Why? It’s often because we’re NOT targeting them! Though I have never been a fan of and rarely have used carrier phrases, I definitely did activities that targeted the same phrase type over and over and over. Sound familiar? I now try to target 3-4 phrase types throughout a session and it has made a HUGE difference in student gains.

These Boom Cards don’t perfectly target 3-4 phrase types in each set, but they do have variety. You’ll primarily find subject + verb, verb + object, and verb + locative phrases. I’ve used these cards at the one word, two word, and three word level with many of my students. Each card has one gif depicting a specific action and a sound clip to play. (The sound clips have been a big hit!) Students can choose the correct verb from a field of 5 and practice saying the word or phrase on their AAC system. I’ve had some students really surprise me by expanding the phrase on their own or using a different relevant phrase!

Check out the freebie here. Or check out our discounted bundle here.

Virtual Taste Test with Core Vocabulary

Do you love to have taste or smell tests with your students/ children/ clients? We do! It’s one of our favorite in-person language activities to work on commenting! Over the past couple of months we’ve worked on finding a way to make this fun activity appropriate for virtual therapy sessions! Our students and their families have loved this activity so we’re making it available with a new product!

Many of our students use the Unity® symbols on an Accent device or with the LAMP application, so those are included in our product. I often use the PASS software from PRC to model on my computer during Zoom sessions. I’ve also modeled on my iPad for my students with the LAMP app or I’ve modeled using a PDF low tech version of Unity from the AAC Language Lab.

Here’s how our 30 minute sessions look when we use this product:

  1. Model and practice target core vocabulary words.
    • SLP, Teacher, or Caregiver models the target core vocabulary word.
    • Student practices the core vocabulary word on their AAC system or verbally!
    • Watch a GIF that illustrates the core vocabulary word! (SLP, Teacher, or Caregiver may model using the target core word in a simple phrase based on the GIF.
  2. After modeling and practicing the target core vocabulary, watch a YouTube taste test video. You’ll find links for silly taste test songs and videos of children trying different foods. Pause during the videos to practice making comments!
  3. The student may participate in a taste or smell test at home and practice commenting. OR you may play a game that directly relates to the video watched.

Check it out here on Teachers Pay Teachers!

And don’t forget to check out our doggie taste test on YouTube!

Letter of the Day Instruction and CVI

As we launch a series of products to support Enhanced Alphabet Knowledge (EAK) instruction for our students with complex communication needs, we’re eager to support our students with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI)!

Last year I discovered that one of my students has CVI and at 16 had never received that diagnosis before. Once I began to collaborate with a teacher of the visually impaired (TVI), I realized that the likely reason she had never made progress in learning to read despite years of targeted IEP goals, was that we were not providing the right accommodations. We began to talk about the salient features of letters and use bubble words to emphasize that when letters are strung together, they form distinct words. I provided daily instruction for months while we were in person and twice weekly since we moved to virtual instruction. She is now reading some sight words, segmenting and blending to read CVC words, and reading simple sentences. The change has been incredible!

With her in mind, we have been working hard to customize instruction for all of our students with CVI with regards to Enhanced Alphabet Instruction (EAK) and reading. Our first step was to make sure we are using consistent language to describe the salient features of letters across the school. We created a list of salient features based on language used in Handwriting Without Tears since we also use that program at school.

We’ve uploaded a new resource to Teachers Pay Teachers for free that comes with a salient feature description chart for upper and lower case letters. We also put all of the uppercase letters in one document! You can copy and paste these letters into your own resources or print and use with a lightbox! Check out our favorite low cost lightbox here!

Letter of the Day Instructional Resources

We’re launching a series of products to support Enhanced Alphabet Knowledge (EAK) instruction for our students with complex communication needs. EAK and letter of the day instruction emphasizes identifying the letter name and sound, recognizing the letter in text, and producing the letter form.

As described in Jones et al., 2012 and Comprehensive Literacy for All, our materials move away from letter of the week instruction to focus on letter of the day instruction. There are several reasons to do this; though we think the most important for our population of students is the need for repetition and practice! If we only target one letter per week, it will take 26 weeks or until March in a typical school year before we can circle back to letters that were not acquired!

Many of our students have Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) and/ or use Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC). With this in mind, we’ve included resources such as salient feature letter descriptions, tips for using AAC and alternative pencils, and tips for teaching inner voice.

We work with many Spanish speaking students and their families. While teaching virtually, we have been trying to find ways to make our teaching more inclusive so that these parents know what we’re doing in the lesson and how they can help their children. With that in mind, we’ll have an update to our lesson plan next week that includes instructions in Spanish for you to share with families.

We’ll continue to upload resources to support EAK instruction both virtually and in person!

This resource includes:

a sequence for instruction for each of the six cycles

salient feature description for each upper and lower case

articulation tips for letter sound production

writing tips for using alternative pencils

tips for teaching inner voice

tips for providing feedback

data sheets

an instructional script

a daily guide for each letter that includes basic keywords and customizable keywords for remembering letters and a visual form of the mouth for articulation of the letter sound

We’ve loved seeing some of our students start to get excited about learning the letter of the day! Last week, a parent reported that her daughter has been looking for the letter of the day long after the lesson is over. To mom’s surprise she has started phonetically spelling words to see if they have the letter of the day in them. Mom said she has never seen her daughter segment and blend words to phonetically spell them!