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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Poetry Power Permeates Language, Literacy, and Life with AAC

Poetry Power Permeates Language, Literacy, and Life with AAC

What:  A webinar by Deanna Wagner, Caroline Musselwhite, Katie Yonker, and Mary Anne Barno

Where:  Zoom Webinar

When:  Monday, March 8th, 5:30 - 6:30 pm, Mountain Time

How Much:  $15 (reduced!), which includes

- Poetry Power Overview book from TPT

- Certificate

- Drawing for a 1:1 Poetry / AAC coaching sessions with the speakers / moderator

Poetry Power Registration Link 

Download the flyer here:  Flyer Link

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Wheel of Names

 Wheel of Names.  

 by Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite


  What.  Who doesn’t love a spinner?  And I especially love a spinner that you can quickly change, that includes customizable music, and shows the choice clearly!  That’s what you get with Wheel of Names.  For FREE!!


Who.  I’m using this spinner with a range of students from very young to adults.  The music makes it a joy to use!


How.  The most important feature is to customize it!  Here are some features you can change:


1.Make Your Wheel:  Add your own choices.  Remember to save your list to use again.  Yes, you can use names, but you can also change to include:

a.     Core Words.  For example, you can quickly type in your 10-12 core words for the month, then save the list to use multiple times (Read more about this in Core Word Fun, coming soon to Teachers Pay Teachers).  

b.     Character Names.  We have done activities where we compare characters, describe characters, etc.  This is a fun way to pick the characters to talk or write about.

c.     Categories.  Pick a category for device practice, on-the-fly Mad Libs, etc.

d.     Words to Sort.  This is a great follow-up to Making Words, but can also be used for phonological awareness activities such as judging rhymes and odd one out. 

e.     Activity Choices.  Sometimes you have multiple activities that you will do during a class / session.  You can put them on the wheel and use it to pick the next activity.

f.     Actions for a Song:  We added visual choices to the actions of the song, I Have a Friend (Musselwhite, 2019, Singing to Learn CD/dropbox).  Students spin to pick an action. 

2.  Customize Your Wheel.  This is where the engagement features are set up.  Choose many features such as:

a.     Dark Mode.  I always keep dark mode on because it blocks out distractions, and makes a dark background on which I can make annotations such as typing words.

b.     Music to Play During Spin.  The default sound is ticking (boring!)   Luckily, there are many interesting music choices to pick from.  

c.     Length of Spin.  Another ‘during spin’ choice is the length of time.  The default time is 10 seconds, but I typically prefer 5 – 6 seconds.  That’s enough time to enjoy the music without eating into my teaching time!

d.     After Spin Choices.  You can set up choices for after spinning.  My default choices are shown in the picture.  I typically keep these and do not reset them. 

e.     Background Colors.  I have chosen primary colors, as seen on my image.


f.   Image in Center.  You can use an image from their gallery or upload your own image.  For example, I uploaded a picture of a car for the middle of a wheel to play ‘judge the rhyme’.  Spin a word, then judge if the new word matches ‘car.’

3.  Enjoy Your Wheel!  I’m finding that this helps to add engagement and ‘zing’ to our sessions, plus modeling print.  Hope you enjoy it too.  Leave a comment!