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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Are You Practicing Enough?

We all know that it takes many more exposures to words and concepts for our AAC users to learn them than typical students.  But do you know how to increase that exposure? Do you know how to provide repeating, on-going, opportunities for practice in your AAC user's day?

Obviously, we want to maximize the contexts in which students can practice 'their words.'  But how do we make sure all those opportunities happen?  Often the best way is by creating opportunities for modified incidental teaching.

Many of our students don't learn naturally through incidental teaching moments. So how can we modify those moments?  Take a look at some of these ideas:

"It is (size, color, shape)" - practice with objects in the environment.  A big book and a little one.  A blue pencil or a red one.

Pronoun + to be + preposition: A student on a swing = "He is on it."
"What is in the (crayon box, paper tray, rug, etc.)?" = "They are."
"Where are they?" = "On it."

"Who is washing hands?" =  "He is"
"Who is reading?" = "She is."
"Whose pants are pink?" = "Hers."
"Where is the red one?" = "There."
"What is blue?" = "It is."

Extend these types of questions to read alouds.  Ask questions while reading and looking at the pictures.  And, per Gail Vantatenhove's 'descriptive classroom,' ask questions that focus on core word responses, rather than referential questions that require a name or other fringe word that won't be needed ever again.

Try it.  And, Keep on Talking!

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