Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to school means core words with BOOKS!

It's back to school time! In honor of this very exciting and frantic time of year, I decided to post some boards made specifically for books, because let's be honest, aren't they just the best? Sure, most are made with paper (*gasp!*) and are not digital (*what?!*), but we can still use technology to enhance them. Pairing the use of low tech boards with books and/or with high tech devices to talk about the books can turn fun leisure activities into more meaningful language opportunities.

Some of my first topical boards were actually for books, and I have decided to leave some of the more convenient features available that I have used since my very first boards, e.g., the "quick chat" icons for "read", "listen", "look", and "turn the page." Having these words handy for my book boards have made my students contextualize and at the same time diversify the use of these powerful core words. Although these boards are not organized with the core/ fringe words as some of my newer boards have, there is still a heavy focus on core words while allowing the content related to the book to be easily accessible.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such a classic, isn't it? I see this book adapted at so many of the different schools I visit each week. However, most adaptations are focused on the fringe content of the food items. While exciting to talk about food, I find it more functional to repeat the simple comment "eat more" or "it eat more." So many of the pages allow opportunity for the use of this phrase, and we all know, practice make perfect.

Some other functional phrases one might focus on "it/caterpillar  big", "it/ caterpillar sick", "it is hungry", stop eat", "no eat more",  "no eat that", "eat that", "it go there" (meaning he goes to the leaf, goes through the hole in the book, etc.) and finally "look!  caterpillar change butterfly."  When excited about a page, it is always fun to throw in a "look!"

If you are unfamiliar on how to use these boards, I typically point to icons as the student learns them.  The student can either vocalize as they point or use each icon as a guide to use their talker/ AAC device.  As they get more familiar, the student can use the boards or point on his/ her own. For more information, please see the post on how to use topical boards.

A teacher today showed me "Dear Zoo," which I had never seen before. I immediately loved this book for all it's language opportunities, especially asking questions such as "what is it?" before you take turns to "open it" and say "it is frog" or more specially "jumpy frog," or "it is jumpy frog." It's fun to take turns opening each too "you open/go," "I open it," etc. Then you can comment: "no want it!"

I have also written about the "Go Away Big Green Monster" app. The same board can be used easily for the book!

So, next time you head over to the book corner with a kiddo, consider making or taking a low tech board with you to enhance the experience!

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