Sunday, August 24, 2014

Core Vocabulary with Booklets

I don't have time to write a big post about this, so here are the main points:

I'm focusing on doing more modeling at home, because modeling is the most important thing that I can do to help Maya become a proficient, active AAC user.

I'm focusing on core words, because core words work across many environments, build many sentences, and make up 80% of what we all say everyday. (80%!)  

I'm focusing on putting phrases and sentences together, because Maya knows the location of a ton of words in her talker, but doesn't often spontaneously make the leap to string them together.

I've decided to create some little booklets, pulling the bulk of the words from core word lists that I've found and dissected online (like here and here). This book is not to teach any concepts, but rather to practice, practice, practice using core words. The more I model them, and the more we use them together, the more likely she will be to use them on her own. Tonight I made the first booklet, about Parker and things that he likes to do. Here are some sample pages:

Core words. Motivating booklet. Done quickly, without getting hung up on graphics or art or perfect margins. 

Here's the booklet file  (as a word doc, which can be totally customized)---if you print and use it, you need to draw a picture for the bugs-under-a-car page. This will print two book pages per sheet of paper (cut and staple to make the book). I put the title & ending pages first so that I could print that sheet on cardstock (for a heavier "cover") and then print the rest on paper.

(If you start making core word booklets, please come share them!)

I'm looking forward to seeing what she thinks tomorrow, and to making more of these. (And I'm selfishly hoping that you guys will create some fun ones and share them here or in the Speak for Yourself Users Group!)


Here's what she thought. So many fun things here :)

1. This is our first time exploring the plural +s.

2. This highlights the need to have interesting, appropriate vocabulary available to the AAC user. Kids like potty words. All children should be able to say whatever they want to say, whenever they want to say it :)

3. She wants to open the book, I want her to communicate something. I use a combination of waiting and prompting. We are working on phrase building (which is why I push for more after she says "open").


Mfm Sparrow said...

This is quite brilliant!

Nikki Heyman said...

Hi Dana
Thank you for your awesome ideas. I have just made a book using book creator app to teach core vocab. I am using touch chat but would be happy to share with others. I'm not quite sure of the best way to share it though - it's 12mb so perhaps someone can give me help. You will just have to deal with my S African accent because I used voice over the core word keys. :-)

DoloresL said...

Have you considered perhaps putting each picture on a separate page following the text that describes it? This was a recommendation I read a few months ago on a blog regarding teaching reading to children with Down's Syndrome by making your own booklets using common sight reading words. The rationale for keeping the pictures on their own page was that it helped keep the children focused on the words themselves if there were no pictures on the page to distract them.

I've made a few very simple books like this for my 7-year-old nonverbal grandson and am hoping to get going again with making more of them. He was shaken as a baby, so he's had a lot of things to deal with, not least of which is learning to talk.

For his books, I was just using full letter-size sheets of paper turned horizontally and stapled between front and back covers made from 20 or 24 lb colored stock.

Because he's still at the very, very early stages of reading, each page only has one sentence on it that has 3 to 5 very simple sight words or family names in it. (Type size is usually 80 to 90 pt, whatever it takes to try to make the sentence fit on one line.)

He really seems to love reading these simple books with me and gets such a big grin when he gets to turn the page and see the picture for the sentence he just read.

To go with each book, I've also made a set of "flash cards" on large index cards with each new word from the book on its own card. We try to run through those very quickly once or twice before reading the book and then again after reading it.

Good luck with the books and thank you for posting about them. I always get such inspiration from reading your blogs!

DoloresL said...

I hope it's okay to post a link to someone else's site here. I just wanted to add that where I learned about personal reading books is from Natalie Hale's "Special Reads for Special Needs" blog at . I think she has several blog entries with ideas on how to put them together that might be helpful for anyone else trying this idea.

Nikki Heyman said...

Please have a look at the BumbleBee Kids - Sentence Builder apps/videos. They are fantastic for core vocab and they are free!

Andrea said...

Just wanted to take a moment and thank you for sharing your ideas to help other children. I look forward to every new post and contribute a part of my son's success to the information I've learned from your blog. Thanks again.

khurley said...

I have put a couple of books on Tarheel Reader. Nothing as creative and fun as yours, but I use them with my very early communicators:

I really like making books in Tarheel Reader. It's free, easy, and easy to share my books with others.

Kimberly Hurley, MA, CCC-SLP

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