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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Friday, May 22, 2020

Literacy for ALL with Readtopia and LessonPix!

 Literacy for ALL with Readtopia and LessonPix!

WHAT:  1 hour webinar, LIVE on YouTube and Facebook!

WHO:  Bill Binko of LessonPix will be interviewing:

Dr. Karen Erickson, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who recently authored "Comprehensive Literacy for All" with Dr. David Knoppenhaver.

Dr. Caroline Musselwhite Ed.D., CCC/SLP is an assistive technology specialist with more than 40 years of experience working with children and adolescents with significant disabilities, and author of materials for students, family, and educators.

WHEN & HOW:  Thursday, May 28th at 5 pm EDT

Follow These Links to Watch Livestream Via Facebook or YouTube!


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Science Experiments and AAC: Let’s Blow Stuff Up and LEARN!

Science Experiments and AAC:  Let’s Blow Stuff Up and LEARN!

 WHAT:  Science experiments and AAC is . . .

A book (128 pages), available at Teachers Pay Teachers:

Caroline's Store

A Webinar:  The webinar includes:
- 1 hour training
- The book Science Experiments & AAC
- Slideshow handout
- Link to dropbox with a new experiment every month until July 1, 2020

The webinar is $10 until July 1, 2020.  Register using the link below:
Link to Science & AAC webinar

AAC PASSWORD - A Great Game to Support Vocabulary!

AAC PASSWORD:  A Great Game to Support Vocabulary!

WHAT:  Vocabulary Password (Musselwhite, 2017) is a great way to support students who use AAC.  This is based on the work of Gail van Tatenhove, who suggests using the ‘Descriptive Teaching Method’ to help students understand low-frequency or fringe words, also called Tier 3 words www.vantatenhove.com  For example, you could pick a fringe word such as ‘metamorphosis’ and use simpler words, including core words, to define it (CHANGE FROM ONE FORM TO ANOTHER).  We make this a game, collecting fringe words during reading, and using simpler words to explain them. 

I like to say . . .
HOW:  Harvest words from your reading that are not on the device, but you can explain.  Use simple words to explain each word, modeling on the AAC device.  For example, litter = TRASH EVERYWHERE.  Write the words on a whiteboard or an app such as Doodle Buddy. 
Paddle Board from Dollartree
Doodle Buddy app


Now go back to the words and give the clues.  Students can answer using direct selection, eye-gaze, or partner assisted scanning.
This is a great activity to support the vocabulary assessment with Readtopia® (http://www.donjohnston.com/ ).  After students match the word to the picture, you can play password, giving clues using the AAC system(s) of the student(s).  The examples below used the Doodle Buddy app with stickers.

 Vocabulary Assessment, Dr. Dolittle:
Krista, an adult who uses AAC, is a tutor for Alyssa, a teen who uses an eye gaze communication device.  Krista uses her device to give clues:
Vocabulary Assessment:  Gold Bug:
Note the use of stickers with the Doodle Buddy app. 
This vocabulary assessment presents words and pictures to match.  Think of clues (using high frequency words) for each image:

Check out the password tip at the 
AAC Intervention website.
Tip # 3, 2017 

View this tip as a downloadable pdf:

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Lesson Pix Readtopia Vocabulary Set!

Lesson Pix Readtopia Vocabulary Set


Lesson Pix (https://lessonpix.com/) has created a vocabulary set to support the Readtopia curriculum from Don Johnston, Inc. (www.donjohnston.com) for students who use AAC! It is set up with a universal core set plus flip pages for fringe.   Language for fringe sets (e.g., bad actions, traits, bad events, good events) was selected by Dr. Karen Erickson and Dr. Caroline Musselwhite.
Such great work by Beth Witorsch Poss in creating this set!  Lesson Pix is allowing FREE access through this link at this blog. 



Download the set and create a light tech flip set.   If you get a Lesson Pix subscription (only $36 per year), you can edit the set.  You can use this set for:
Modeling:  Model key words during Readtopia discussions, and during shared reading.
Student Discussion:  Encourage students to use these vocabulary sets to talk about the books during  activities such as:  conversation during shared reading, while working on Anchor/Read/Apply activities, and planning for descriptive and argumentative writing activities.


 Follow this link to download the FREE Readtopia vocabulary set!

Mystery Puzzles: Animated Step-by-Steps®!

Mystery Puzzles:  Animated Step-by-Steps® 

by Dr. Carol Goossens

Mystery Puzzles are Animated Step-by-Steps® designed to provide students using direct selection, with practice recognizing letters/numbers in sequential order.  If the child is using a switch, alphabet/number knowledge is not required; across slides a switch click removes one puzzle piece while simultaneously providing stimulation by announcing the number/letter of that puzzle piece being removed.  Please note this resource does not target scanning but rather targets motor practice in accessing a switch.

Each puzzle size (e.g. 4-piece puzzle, 9-piece puzzle, 16-piece puzzle)
has a series of slides, each targeting the 'next' letter in the alphabet sequence.

For example:
Slide 1 -  "Find a" in the lettered puzzle array
Slide 2 -  "Find b" in the lettered puzzle array
Slide 3 -  "Find c" in the lettered puzzle array . . . etc.

Whenever the child using direct selection selects the requested correct letter/number, that puzzle piece is removed revealing the portion of the underlying picture; the letter/number name is heard. If the child is using a switch for access the process is errorless. They hear the command 'Find a' and a click of their switch removes the puzzle labeled "a".

Whenever the child, using direct selection, touches the wrong requested number /letter, a mildly negative  "huhugh" is heard; the underlying portion of the image is NOT revealed.
This is not an issue with children using a switch, as the process is errorless.

When the picture is fully revealed … the child is rewarded with a cheering sound effect.

Instructions are provided for using photos from a picture library that is included with the resource. Instructions are also provided for using pictures of your choosing, e.g., 'mystery' photo faces of classmates, therapists or family members. How fun is that?

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Doodle Buddy & Stick Man!

Doodle Buddy & Stick Man:  Teletherapy Learning and FUN!

WHAT:  DoodleBuddy is one of my favorite FREE apps! Stick Man is the game where one person thinks of a phrase, and others try to guess the word.  When they get it wrong, you get to add a body part.  If you build the whole 'Stick Man' before they guess the phrase, you win!

WHY:  This activity is great for students who are early writers because they have to think about how words are spelled, what words go together, etc.  But it's also wonderful for emergent writers who are learning the alphabet.  They can use an 'alternative pencil' (Hanser, 2020) to pick a letter.  

Doodle Buddy:  Get a solid background.  Pick the chalk in a high contrast color and start playing!

Partners make a big deal:  
'You picked a D.  That represents the /d/ sound.  Let's see if there's a D in my sentence.  Yes!  There is a D right here <writes it> and here <writes it>.  D was a great guess - there are two Ds in my sentence!'   
Or, 'An E you say?  E is a vowel.  It represents the /e/ sound.  Uh-oh, there are no Es in my sentence.  I get to add a head!'

Connecting your iPad:  You can do this several ways:
1) Share Screen:  I prefer to connect my iPad or iPhone with the USB cable, because then I don't have to worry about both the wifi signal and bluetooth!!
2) Use a Document Camera:  You can also use a document camera to show your iPad screen.  



Monday, April 6, 2020

Communication Circles At Home Webinar

Communication Circles At Home Webinar

When:  Thursday, April 9, 2020, 8 pm EST
- If you sign up, you can watch on-demand later

How Much:  $5 until June 1, 2020

Who:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite, CCC-SLP

Where:  Register Here

We have been doing communication circles in schools for decades.  Now is the time to get them going at home.  This webinar will give ideas for supporting everyone in the family – parents, siblings, cousins, and grandparents – in learning your child’s communication device, and getting better at modeling and being a great communication partner.  This will include activities for:  exploring the communication system, playing games with the communication system, and learning how to model all day long.  Participants will have access to a drop box with a new idea shared every week for 2 months.