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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Gearing up for Valentine's Day at Fletcher Miller

February is almost here and that means LOVE and FRIENDSHIP are in the air!!! Are you looking for a little inspiration to find some new fun, motivating, and age-respectful activities that promote and celebrate the authentic use of AAC??  We’ll share a few ideas of activities in the works at Fletcher Miller in February.  Comment below and share yours, too!  What better way to get your kids engaging meaningfully with their AAC than talking about those they love and admire the most!??  

  1. Create a Valentine’s Day playlist-  Is your school/class planning a dance?  Have your students use their AAC to make a rockin’ playlist.  Students can nominate songs by using their AAC or use their AAC to critique popular love songs and say whether or not they make “the cut!!”  Easily assemble your class’ Valentine’s Day playlist on youtube to share with families, friends, and even use at a school dance.  Share via an email or social media post your students create using their AAC!

    1. Elliot’s song review-  will it make the cut for our Valentine’s Day playlist??

  2. Hot or Not-  have students compile a list of popular celebrities, activities, characters, trending topics, etc.  Students use their AAC to rate the selections and whether or not they think the celebrity/character is hot/cool or not– and why!

    1. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/1PubLJL8OWk

  3. Plan a “Galentine’s” Day!-  at Miller, we’re getting the gals together for a morning of girl-talk, Valentine’s Day sticker nails, chick flicks, and maybe even a few surprises from the gentlemen of Miller.  The ladies will use their AAC to girl-talk, select their nail art, request and comment on the chick flicks, and comment on their surprise from the Miller gentleman.  Everyone around these parts loves a good Galentine’s Day!!

    1. Below: Miller’s Mr. Jason doing a student’s nails during the Winter Holiday Galentine’s Party at Miller:

  4. Let Students Plan the Party!!  Have students use AAC to plan the Valentine’s Day party using their AAC.  Break off into sub-committees and plan the party in further detail as driven and directed by students’ AAC use.  We can’t wait to see what the sub-committees have in store for us?  Photo Booth??!!  We’re IN!!!

    1. The AAC-created Valentine’s Day party plan in Ms. Anna’s class:

  5. Celebrity Crush- have students (and staff!) use AAC to share their favorite crush.  Have them spell out names, share the characteristics of their celebrity crush, and/or tell why they chose that person.  Expand this activity to make a game– “Who is your celebrity crush?”  Have students match their classmates to their celebrity crush using their AAC.

    1. Below: a student’s celebrity crush revealed!

    2. Staff celebrity crushes revealed:

  6. Beaded Bracelets-  beaded bracelets with sayings or personally significant words are all the rage!  Have students use their AAC to select words or create sayings that are powerful to them or their friend.  Encourage them to make an “artist statement” on why they chose that word(s) for themself or their friend.  This is a great way to show self-love and empowerment– or make a bracelet for a friend!

    1. What’s trending now/current events tie in– “Little Words Project” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nRj1BAwyNI

    2. How to make the bracelets video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTnQdtU9gX0

  7. Speed “Connections”- think “Speed Dating” but without the pressure!  Have students practice using AAC to connect with classmates and peers by engaging in brief conversations and rating whether or not they felt a connection with others they conversed with.  This is a great way to practice social skills and pragmatics using AAC to introduce themselves, ask questions, and respond to questions and comments from a communication partner.  Finally, use AAC to comment on their perception of their communication partner and whether they felt the spark of friendship ignite!

    1. To help build that background knowledge of “Speed Connection,” check out this clip beginning at the 1 min mark:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7IW6PQnZIg

  8. A special Valentine’s day note to mom/dad/caregiver saying WHY the student loves them so much- Let students use AAC to request materials, colors, etc they wish to use to create the perfect valentine for their loved ones.  Use AAC to create the perfect message for their special someone.

  9. Valentine’s Day Mad Libs: Work with a partner and use AAC to complete Valentine’s Day Mad Libs.  Use a free printable or create your own using AAC!

    1. Free printables here: https://www.mamasmiles.com/printable-mad-libs-for-kids/

  10. Staff Treat!  Whip up a sweet treat for staff and leave a personalized message with each sweet treat using messages from students using their AAC.

Have fun and enjoy!  Don’t forget to comment below and share your own AAC-rich Valentine’s Day activities!!

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Fact or Crap!

Looking for a fun activity to promote the functional use of AAC?  Miller’s secondary students LOVE a good game of “Fact or Crap?!”  (If this title might raise some eyebrows, feel free to call it “You or Boo??!!”)

In this game, students use their AAC to create several truths and several lies about themselves.  At Miller, we made a special gameshow out of Fact or Crap and pitted our three secondary classrooms against each other.  Students’ AAC-created statements were presented to the two opposing teams.  For students with a variety of sensory learning needs, we also worked to include tactile and auditory “Fact or Crap” statements.  So interactive and fun!!

Pictured Above:  Fletcher Miller’s facility dog, Gregory, gets in on the “Fact or Crap” fun.

Students worked as a group to determine if the statement was, in fact, a FACT or CRAP.  Each team cast their vote using hand voting signs depicting FACT (check mark) or CRAP (poo emoji).  This turned out to be the students’ favorite part!!  Audience members even got in on the action with their own Fact or Crap hand voters.  It was a blast!

After each class had cast its vote, the statement was shown again– this time with the checkmark (fact) or poo emoji (crap).

Pictured Above:  “Gregory’s Arch-Nemesis is Lamb Chop” is….. CRAP!!! (He LOVES Lambchop toys)

If the class’ answer was correct, they were awarded one point on their ten-frame.  The first class to fill their ten-frame won! (A great way to sneak in some emergent math skills, right??!!)

Comparing ten-frames!

Students loved creating their “facts and craps” and especially loved being the center of attention as their AAC-created statements were shared with the audience members and contestants.  They also enjoyed using their AAC devices to do a little friendly competitive “trash-talking” before, during, and after the Fact or Crap game (we’re a super competitive school, it turns out!).

This could be a great on-going activity for a variety of groups and classes.

What games are motivating for your students using AAC?  Comment and share below!

Follow us on Instagram! @fletchermillerschool