February 6, 2015
February 6, 2014
One of my absolutely favorite blog and web resources is PrAACtical AAC. Created in 2012 by two master professors of speech and language pathology: Carole Zangari and Robin Parker. Sadly, Robin Parker passed away in July 2014. But her work lives on in this wonderful blog with and in the “Robin’s Tree of Learning” resource page at CARD which stands for the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities which is based at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University. There are over sixty webinars cataloged here on a variety of autism-related topics, including assistive technology.
You may have noticed some links to PrAACtical AAC in previous posts. There are a wealth of resources about the importance of core vocabulary as well as ideas for lesson plans and implementation. A fabulous resource for helping to implement strategies for the learning, practicing and using of core words all year long are the downloadable resources of A Year of Core Words 2013 and Another Year of Core Words 2014. Both blog entries contain a downloadable word document complete with grid communication boards and targeted words for each month of the year. Each grid is a template grid so that any choice of symbol set from your AAC user’s communication system can be used, be it PCS, SymbolStix or otherwise.
There are also some of the monthly grids available complete with symbols in the PrAACtical AAC tools resource page. Thank you Carole and Robin for the wonderful resources you have created for the AAC and AT community!
February 5, 2015
February 5, 2014
Crick Software out of the UK has been making Clicker software to aid in reading and writing instruction for many years. You can actually try Clicker free for 30 days on PC with a download of their trial version. Writing, Sentence Building and more literacy activities are now available for iOS with their series of apps: Clicker Sentences, Clicker Connect, Clicker Books, and Clicker Docs.
Before the availability of the iOS Apps, we used Clicker 5 at home and at school to write a daily note about what Mags would do each day at school. It was a very successful way for Mags to understand sentence structure and it provided her with a literacy support of a word and symbol bank to help write her daily note.
I was so excited when Crick started to release their iOS apps. My favorite for emergent literacy students like Gilly is Clicker Sentences. It sells for $30.99 on the app store. Recently, apple has now started giving developers the option of selling several apps together in a bundle. Clicker Sentences, Clicker Connect, Clicker Books, and Clicker Docs bundled for $89.99 is a good value. Schools can save even more when purchasing any of the Clicker Apps with the Volume Purchasing Program.
I created a sentence building activity for Gilly with some of her favorite Sesame Street characters. It incorporates the core words is and a / an into a simple sentence structure about each monster’s color:
Here is another Clicker Sentences activity using see and a about farm animals. In this screenshot you can see that a sentence model is also provided on the grid below the writing window.
Clicker Sentences allows you to scaffold the difficulty of the writing task by various options for Model Sentence and Word Order. In Model Sentence for each grid, you can select None, On Grid, In Pop-up or Spoken for the sentence model. In Word Order for each grid, you can select Alphabetical, Random, Sentence Order, or Guided Order for the word buttons.
Clicker Connect can also be used for emergent sentence writing and can do more complex writing tasks. Here is an example of a sentence building activity using has and use.
It is very easy to find and use your own choice of pictures for writing activities in Clicker Apps. Use the camera to take your own pictures, or use an image search engine such as google to easily find photos for your writing activities. For example, look at the all of the pictures that instantly come up when doing a search for “boy holding ball” via images.google.com:
You could also pair any of these activities with the student’s dedicated AAC device or second iOS device, Encourage them to also build the sentences on their device or in their AAC app to match the sentences created in the Clicker app.