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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Where Do You Practice Core Words?

If you know me, or follow this blog, or have seen my TPT resources, you know that I focus a lot on teaching core vocabulary use - along with a healthy dose of appropriate, individualized fringe words - to AAC users.

Recently I found an author whose books just cried out for teaching core words.  Tracy Corderoy’s books, “NO!” “More!” and, “MINE!” just begged me to use them in teaching resources for core word users.

In the first two books, a hapless little rhino named “Archie” discovers new words - one at a time.  He starts out as a sweet, happy little rhino until he learns the word, “No!”  Then, he becomes the terror we know all toddlers to be when they discover that powerful word.  

Archie says, “No!” to everything - bedtime, bath time, end to playtime, and more.  Right up until the class gets cupcakes.  Oops.

Then left out on the playground because he said,  “No!” to going inside he gets soaked in the rain.  He’s a very unhappy little rhino.
He goes home and almost says “No!” to a big hug.  I won’t tell you what happens next.

In the next book he wants , ‘More!” of everything.  More toys, more food, more, more, more.  Invited to a costume party Archie’s costume is more of everything.  More streamers.  More glitter.  More over-the-top and much admired.  Until he has a hard time running and playing with his friends in his “more” big costume.  Again, I won’t tell the ending.

I’ve made interactive practice books to go with each of these 2 books, so students can use the core word to re-tell the story.  And, as always, I include a simple story frame for narrative practice, too.

I’m working on “Mine!” which uses a different character who, of course, does not want to share his favorite toy.  Stay tuned.

There are many opportunities to practice using core words throughout the day.  During home and school routines basic core words pop up often, and are best-used in these familiar routines and their scripts, which are predictable and comfortable for your child/student.

Adding this practice to story reading, play opportunities, and simulated ‘real-life’ experiences in structured settings provides the 200 opportunities per day emergent communicators need in order to learn to use their AAC systems.

How do you get your 200 opportunities each day?

More to come next week.  In the meantime, keep on talking!


  1. Hi Susan,
    I haven't heard of the "200 opportunities per day" statistic before. Do you have a reference for this? It would be very helpful to share with parents and teachers.

  2. Amanda, I can't seem to find the articles I have right now. Caroline Musselwhite talks about it a lot, one of the articles is hers. I'll keep looking.

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