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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Books for Core 8 Set: DON'T THAT GO DO

Books are always a fun way to explore core language.

But REMEMBER - just enjoy reading the book, pointing at and talking about the text, THEN use light or high tech communication sets to talk about the books, pointing out the core words.  This should not be a test, but a fun social interaction!!

Tarheel Reader:  Existing Books

Search for the core words to find books that use the target words that will be engaging to your students!  For example, my middle school Communication Circle enjoyed the book, 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' by the Suite Kids.  Link to the book below:
Should I Stay Book

The Circle used their devices to comment on the pages, such as:

New Books for Tarheel Reader

I didn't find a book that I loved for DON'T, so I wrote a few, with special consideration of older students, who might want their books to include humor or edginess.  These books were co-written with a student, Ev, who shared ideas via her device, and also used Yes and No to choose her favorite topics to add (or remove!)

Don't Do That.  This book highlights things that annoy Ev (landscaper making loud noises, dog chasing her cat, cat eating her artwork), and ends up telling what she loves, saying DO THAT!  MORE, MORE, MORE!!
This would be a terrific book to download as a powerpoint, then change the pictures and text.  You could use:
- PowerPoint on your computer
Keynote, Explain Everything, or Pictello on your iPad
Link to the book on Tarheel Reader below:

Don't Do That book

Don't Go There.  This book is a play on words, with Don't Go There meaning:
a) not to go to specific places that might be dangerous (busy street)
b) places that are personal or private (backpack, room),
c) also the more subtle, teenager meaning of 'Don't talk about that' (boyfriends, homework), 
d) and finally the meaning of don't go (pee!) there!!
Link to the book on Tarheel Reader below:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Direct Selection Light Tech Alphabets

WHAT:  Direct selection light tech alphabets simply refer to paper version of the entire alphabet.  Many teachers provide a strip across the top of the desk for beginning writers, so that they can be reminded of the forms of each letter.  Other students might need more supports.  This post shares two very simple alphabet charts. 
• Alphabet Order:  In this chart letters are presented from A - Z, with vowels on the left side of the chart in red   

Download  ABC AlphaBoard Below:
ABC AlphaBoard
• Qwerty Order:  This chart presents letters in the format of a computer keyboard.

For each alphabet, it is recommend that lower case be on one side, with upper case on the flip side.

Download Qwerty AlphaBoard Below:
Qwerty AlphaBoard

WHO:   Light tech alphabets can offer great support to students who are unable to write using traditional pencils, but also for students who struggle with traditional pencils (or markers, crayons, etc).  When students are struggling to form letters, they are using much of their cognitive energy on what should be the simple sensorimotor act of letter formation.  That means that they will have less ability to engage in the cognitive-linguistic processes of generative writing!  So, while many students will continue to engage in handwriting instruction and practice, for the purpose of generative writing, using an alternative pencil - including a simple direct selection light tech alpahabet - might be helpful.

Download  ABC AlphaBoard Below:
ABC AlphaBoard

MegaBee Eye Gaze Support

WHAT:  The MegaBee is a mid-tech AAC (augmentative and alternative communication device).  This is a partner-assisted device.  That is, when the individual looks at a letter cluster, the partner presses a button, lighting up a LED.  Text characters can be seen on a screen, to keep track of a message.

WHY:  This is a great device for:
• Teaching individuals how to use eye gaze with the alphabet
• Provide a highly portable backup system for a person who uses eye gaze with the alphabet

WHERE:  This device was developed in the UK, but is available in many places including: