Wednesday, June 1, 2011


 One of the first activiites was to watch a video and see if they could figure what conversation page in their system would be appropriate to act that conversation.  On the spot coaching allows the facilitator or "Coach" to answer questions on the fly in the midst of a lesson.  This provides instruction to everyone in the room. Eliminates the need for unnecessary meetings and clears up instructional issues immediately.   While not always appropriate it can be a time efficient method to provide on the spot modeling.

Video Monitoring is another method I used within this classroom to help monitor progress from a distance. The teacher in the classroom created a vimeo account which is a video storage area. It has a free membership with limited storage space or a paid membership for larger storage space.  All videos can remain private and password protected.   Sharing videos of class activities so that I can see what is happening in the classroom from a distance allows for quick feedback.  The teacher can use the account to ask student specific questions and/or lesson questions or show off her good work!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Modeling in the Classroom or at Home

Modeling with the classroom

Scripting can be used to teach the" Language of Teaching AAC" in the classroom.  Scripting helps staff such as resource room staff, paraprofessionals and parents know how to introduce, model and communicate with students. The concept or idea is that rather than provide pieces of communication such simple choice boards related to topics the students or children are provided with a comprehensive communication system.  Addressing Conversation Language and Literacy.  Depending on the scenario and availability might depend upon if you use light tech communication books, the iPad or higher end devices.   Starting from day 1 children are expected to communicate and everyone is expected to use the books.  The example below is how lessons are scripted to introduce language, literacy and other curriculum instruction.  All instructional lessons are taught in this fashion including communication/social lessons, curriculum lessons, math and literacy lessons. Scripting is vital to the success and use of any AAC system where the partners are new or unfamiliar with the students system. The Script below is based upon the Dynamic Communication Book( ages 10+) for Tobii & Boardmaker ( soon for GoTalk Now for iPad )  the C.L.A.P for Go Talk Now on the iPad Tobii & Boardmaker ( ages 3-10).

There are two parts to scripting:
1.Introducing the lesson, page, event:
How to use the system, what to say, and what to do.
 Say: "Were are going to start at the start page."   
 Do: Point to the START page.
 Say:  "I are going to say each of the choices out loud. I want you to look and listen first. 
 Do : Point to or pull off each symbol and say it out loud... 
Lead Say:  "Now it is time for you to make your choice.  Use your best yes to tell us what you want to say." Do: Pull off each symbol and pause allowing students time to tell you what they want.
2.Responding to the student
What do you do when the student makes a selection.  What do you say?
What do you say when the student makes an appropriate selection.
Reinforce their response by responding to the student "Hi, well Hello Amanda!"
What if it is something inappropriate?  "Bye, Well we are just starting to talk that is silly!" Do:  Point to the different hello choices as you say." Look here there are many ways that you can say hello to someone.  Pull off and say choices.  "Let's try it again.  Hello Amanda!  Do: pause and allow student to respond.
What if the student is still struggling?  Model the appropriate response and move on.

This instruction is a form of Responsive Teaching.Responsive teaching is the idea or concept of any response given by a student is viewed as teaching opportunity.  As a teacher you are never looking for that right and wrong answer but rather how to move the child to the next level in learning. In other  words, your response is always positive but informative to the student so next time he might make the correct selection. In the class all teaching staff including paraprofessionals  learned along with the students.  In this classroom children were given 6 weeks to use the communication books and focus on conversation first this was unique in that everyone was learning about communication.  If  a student appears to not understand the system or is overwhelmed then it is time to modify the system.  If everyone is new to the system I suggest 6 weeks and then modify.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You don’t need a yes and no to communicate.

For the students in this classroom  finding a” yes and no” signal that was consistent proved to be difficult and almost impossible for  the children. Movements and efforts were too laborious and often took away from valuable learning and communication time.  For students in this classroom, the student’s “best yes” was used as a means for them to navigate their communication system.  Each student had their own unique yes and in some instances students had more than one way to say yes.  For some students we asked them how they were going to say yes and used that method in communication activities.  For other students we used positive movements, eye contact to shape their “yes” response.  Stay tuned for video of the system being used in the classroom!

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