Sunday, 1 November 2009

I can... read my book with you!

November 2009
In previous issues of I Can… we have explored the importance of developing literacy skills with students who use AAC. In this issue we take a closer look at what’s involved in adapting children’s picture books for early readers … or maybe a whole shelf of books!

Here are suggestions for core vocabulary that can be used to rephrase part of a well-known children’s story. Can you work out what the book is? Scroll to the bottom of the blog for the answer:

1. 1 little, 2 little, 3 little
5. I want to eat you!
9. Run away little one.
2. All go away
6. Ready? Here I come.
10. Away goes Big Bad.
3. Look! Here comes Big   
7.  You don’t eat me. Stop!
11. Uh oh. I see Big Bad.
4. Little one, little one, are
    you in?
8.No, no, no. You do not
   come in.
12. Here comes Big Bad again.

Help! I don’t have time to adapt books!
-    host an adapted book making party or coffee morning, to develop resources for a school library, or to get help in developing resources for your child at home. Many people are happy to help, especially when cake and coffee is on offer!
-    when people ask what your child would like as a birthday gift, provide a copy of the attached handout and a book wish list and ask them to help out by adapting a book or two
-    in schools, involve older students who can cut and laminate.

I don’t have Boardmaker software. Where can I find symbols and print them out?

-    Boardmaker is available for use in the TVCC Resource Centre.

How do I read a book using core vocabulary?

-    It takes a bit of practice to read a book using core vocabulary. Core vocabulary refers to words and messages that are used with high frequency, by a variety of individuals (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005), and across a number of different language contexts. The advantage of using core vocabulary during story retells, is that your child will get lots of practice using those words. Learning about the words “big” and “bad” may be important for language development and more useful than learning the word “wolf”, a word that is not typically used in everyday conversation.
-    Before reading together with your child, read the story yourself and think about the main ideas related to each page. Then decide what words and phrases you can use to convey the meaning of the story as you read through. Make some of these core words available to your child so that he/she can use them with you as you read. Velcro them right into the book for ease of use.

No-Tech Ideas

-     Hunt at the Dollar store to find items to use as page fluffers that can make it easier to turn the pages. 
      Many items are available in the scrap booking and craft aisles. Ensure that  page fluffers are securely
      attached as these small items can be choking hazards.
-    Create a display that allows your child to have some control over the book reading process. Include  
      messages that allow your child to start an activity (“Read it again”), change what is happening (“Get a
      different book”), stop the activity (“Let’s do something else”) or comment on the book (“That’s 
       funny!”).  Add soft (loop) Velcro to your display. Put corresponding hard (hook) Velcro spots on the
      back of the books that you frequently read together. When a book is selected, pop the board onto the
      back and flip the book over to allow your child to use it.

Light Tech Ideas

-     Use a mini-flashlight (available at stores like Canadian Tire) to draw a child’s attention to the word and
       symbol that you are emphasizing as you read.

High Tech Ideas

-      Kids love to read books over and over again – you’ll get tired of the story long before they will! Record the lines of simple storybooks into a high tech device to allow a student to “read” more independently. Some devices will allow the addition of scanned pictures from a book to increase interest, e.g. Springboard Lite.

Talking With our Mouths Full!
October was AAC Awareness Month and a group of individuals who use AAC, together with family
and caregivers, met over lunch and everyone experienced conversing using only AAC.  The turnout was
superb and everyone participated with enthusiasm. Keep an eye out for next year’s event!!!

Also, check out The Many Methods One Goal to Communicate Collection of stories and videos at:

Resources: Check out some websites ….

Information about adapted books:

The why’s and the how’s: 

Adapt-a-Lap Book Holder for when you don’t think you have enough hands to juggle everything:
or the Table Mate, available at stores such as Canadian Tire:

ANSWER: Did you guess right? The book was “The 3 Little Pigs”.