Great PD at your fingertips

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Who Doesn't Love a Sale?

Hurray!  A bonus day for the TPT sale.  Now I can go and grab whatever I missed from my wishlist the first sale days earlier this month.

But, because I try not to post too much sales-y stuff here, rather than helpful information and tips, I am going to join the Frenzied SLPs’ linky party and talk not just about 1 resource of mine, but why I made it, how I use it, and how you can benefit without even buying it!
Tantalized yet?

OK, here goes.
I am excited to start this school year off with my 10 Weeks to 40 Core Words for AAC Users resource.  

Periodically, people who have purchased any of my 6 Core Words book sets ask if I am going to expand them, and make the interactive books for all of the basic core words.  
Now, that could be anywhere from 32 to 100 words, depending on how you think about core and what population you’re working with.  

40-50 core words gives you enough to start to build some phrases and language skills. 100 words account for about 50% of what we use as adults.  From those 100 core words one can create a tremendous number of phrases and both simple and complex sentences.

I chose to use 40 core words that were originally delineated by Dr. Karen Erickson's DLM work group at UNC-Chapel Hill.  I broke them down to groups of 4 words, and suggested targeting 4 words per week; but that can be per month, too, if that fits your group of students better.

For each 4 words, I created an interactive book to read with the students, games and routine activities in which to model and use the words, and suggested phrases.  

The resource provides and/or suggests activities for each 5- day week.

Years ago we created aac systems and boards with phrases we thought the user would want to say.  The problem, according to aac users now who can - due largely to improved technology - tell us what they want to say and how they want their words organized is that those messages were all too often not at all what they wanted to say.
“I want an apple,” is helpful as a request.  But what if what I want to say about the apple is that it fell, or it’s bad, or someone took it, or I actually hate apples.  I can’t tell you that something is wrong, or that I have an opinion, or use any other function of communication.  I can only make a request.

Now, we know that most of the words we use are core words.  And so, in keeping with research, we switched to systems that are based on core - high frequency - vocabulary.
However, as Carole Zangari pointed out in this post;    we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Those “fringe” words that are important to each individual aac user ought to be on their systems, too.  They still need to talk about apples, or doll clothes, or monster trucks.  They just need more single words with which to build their messages.  
Generating our messages from single words is what language - communication - is all about.  We call is SNUG - spontaneous novel utterance generation.  

If your aac user doesn’t have his or her own robust aac system with sufficient vocabulary just yet, you can find one in my TPT store here.    
Or, try any of my free core word-based communication boards.

To help you with your purchases, I am throwing a giveaway of a $10 gift card from TPT here*.  The giveaway includes a resource from my store, too.

*(This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.)

Want to read more about core vocabulary?  Try this previous post.

Have a good school year and…….Keep on Talking.


  1. It is amazing that only 100 words form the core of most of our utterances. Your set to teach these looks amazing, too!

  2. Your explanation for core word choices makes sense and your materials look great!

  3. Thank you, Tracy. And thanks for reading