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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Friday, March 3, 2023

This is the Voice!

At Fletcher Miller, we’re always looking to increase ways our students can engage meaningfully with their AAC at school and AT HOME.  At home, many of our Miller families report that they like watching shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice” as a family.  To set students up for success using their AAC at home during these important family times, we’ve included fun events like our own “Fletcher Miller’s THE VOICE” to allow students a fun and engaging opportunity to practice using their AAC for such activities.  

To do this, we:

  1. Practiced being “The Voice” judges in our classrooms:  On our Mimios, we played re-runs of episodes of the “The Voice.”  Students were positioned with their backs to the screen.  Just like the celebrity judges in the show, the students were asked, “do you want to turn your chair?” as they listened to the contestants sing.  At the end of each contestant’s performance, we counted the number of students who turned their chairs for the performance and entered that number on a ten-frame.  We then encouraged our students to give the contestant some feedback, just as the celebrity judges do on the show.  Their responses varied from polite to scathing– and that made it all the more fun!  We compared the scores of the different contestants on ten-frames to determine which contestant won that round.

    1. >

  2. Next, we got prepared to host our own “The Voice” competition at Miller.  We worked hard and  rounded up some local, home-grown, in-school talent.  Some of our competitors took a little convincing!!  Luckily students were able to use their AAC to persuade and build up the confidence of our staff contestants.  One classroom even used their AAC to help build, guide, and critique their teachers’ song-and-dance performance of “The Bear Necessities.” (This performance, in the end, was a student FAVORITE, of course!)

    1. Performances in Miller’s First Annual “The Voice” included Gregory the Facility Dog (a.k. G Ice Swagg), a nose-flute performance by Ms. Leslie, a P!nk song by our facilities manager, Ms. Marie, “The Bear Necessities” by Ms. Megan’s Class, and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by various Miller staff.

  3. Next, it was time to prepare our celebrity student judges:  

    1. Student judges assembled their celebrity looks using the free YouCam app.  AAC was used by students to pick their hair color, styles, makeup, accessories, etc…

    2. Once they had their celebrity look, they needed to develop their celebrity persona.  AAC was used to help students name their hit song and life motto.

    3. Lastly, we accessed several free “rapper name generators” online to create a celebrity stage name.  This was great practice in using our alternate pencils to sign in with our names online!

      1. Above:  B Tang is ready for “The Voice!”

  4. When the big day came, we gathered the school audience in our auditorium.  One by one we introduced celebrity judges to the student audience.  With their backs to the performing contestant, our student celebrity judges were asked if they wanted to turn their chair for the performances.  They were also asked to give feedback using their AAC.  As they worked on their feedback, the student audience did the same and even used our favorite feedback report method, shown here:

  5. After feedback from judges was given, the ten-frames depicting the points of how many of our judges turned their chairs was compared and a “Miller’s The Voice” champion was crowned.  It was a great culminating moment for our hard work– and a TON of fun!

We shared this experience with parents and families and encouraged them to seek feedback from students while watching “The Voice” at home!

A NEW season of “The Voice” premieres on NBC March 6th!!!  We’re looking forward to hosting a Spring edition of “The Voice” at Miller.   It’s gonna be hard to top a rapping dog, a nose-flute, a pitchy rendition of Shania Twain, and a troop of dancing teacher bears –  but we’re up for the challenge!!!

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