• Wecolme to our blog!

    speaking volumes

     

     

  • Train Your Brain

    Posted by Kellie Cullen on 12/19/2018

    Try out these fun activities to warm up your brain and increase Brain Function!   

    Brain Games

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help me please
cooking rosemary
  • Nature Trail Tacos and more

    Posted by Debbie Manning on 4/17/2018 10:00:00 AM

    This morning the high school cooking class helped each other cook and assemble Nature Trail Tacos.  Since we had found rosemary yesterday in our Nature Garden, we took the leaves "off" and "turned" them in a skillet with a little bit of oil and salt.  Next we topped "off" our Nature Trail Tacos with a tasting of rosemary.  Everyone enjoyed what we "find" in nature! Cooking is always a great time to use our Words for Life icons and expand our Word of the Week. Easy to do at home, as well! 

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  • Cleaning "off" the counter

    Posted by Debbie Manning on 4/17/2018 11:00:00 AM

    Some of our nature leaves missed the skillet and were "on" the countertop.  We wiped "off" the counters and "put in" the trash.  Core words are wonderful because we can use them during any cooking and cleaning activity at home or at school.

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wiping off the countertops
  • Ms. Tiya's class talking and writing about nature.

    Posted by Debbie Manning on 4/16/2018 12:00:00 PM

    During the months of April and May from our WOW Word of the Week calendar (https://www.fwisd.org/Page/13147), we love to talk and write about nature. In this activity, students have sticks, rosemary and small plums to choose from.  Once they get their piece of nature, with help, they trace around their object.  Tracing is a prewriting skill that helps students recognize symbols, focus on the activity and engage with the person helping them. Labeling and writing about the objects expands students' expressive language and writing skills.   All this while we have conversations about what we "get, find and watch" in nature using our Words for Life core words. This can be a great outdoor activity for families to do at home.

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What we watch in nature.
  • Show Not Tell

    Posted by Kellie Cullen on 4/3/2018 11:15:00 AM

    We thought we would have some fun and send you a visual reminder to use less verbals with students and more visuals.  As verbal communicators we often rely on our oral speech too much when prompting and cuing students.  Often we "tell" our limited communicators what to say, thus reinforcing echoed speech and inhibiting initiation of communication.  May is "Better Speech and Hearing" month; in an effort to encourage better communication with our students---work with your team to limit your own verbal speech, increase visual prompts, use more wait time and document how much your students verbal skills increase!  Finish strong this school year!!!

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  • Insert yourself in the picture!

    Posted by Kellie Cullen on 4/3/2018 11:15:00 AM

    show not tell

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  • Print me out as a visual reminder!

    Posted by Kellie Cullen on 4/3/2018 11:15:00 AM

    Show don't tell

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  • Ms. Grant's LIFT class

    Posted by Debbie Manning on 4/16/2018

    Watch as this talented educator teaches a class at LIFT Transition Program a lesson on conversation starters.  As a group activity she reviews communication and social skills.  Then she preteaches the target vocabulary words using a script developed with NuVoice Writing with icons.  Have fun!

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  • Directing Actions with WFL

    Posted by Kellie Cullen on 12/5/2017

    M.L. Phillips is making some fun with core words and directing actions with Mrs. Shannon's PPCD class. Each one of her students were given a Words for Life manual board to complete a simple and fun movement activity. Mrs. Shannon modeled "go up", "go down", "go fast" and "go slow". The students were then told to give their friends directions using only the manual board. Mrs. Shannon then called each student up one at a time to give the other students directions using only the big Words for Life Manual Board on the Prometheuim Board. All the students were actively involved (even the non-verbal) giving each other directions. Everyone had fun and thought of it as a game. They laughed and laughed!

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  • Cooking on Tuesdays

    Posted by Debbie Manning on 11/29/2017

    Watch this video as students have plenty of opportunity to communicate by making choices and commenting during a cooking activity--all with a smile on their face! Sublime!

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  • My dirty mouth

    Posted by Wayland Scott on 10/6/2017 4:00:00 PM

    yuck

    Sometime after having eaten a wonderful burrito bowl I’d purchased from our fabulous Bistro :), I noticed one of my students with limited verbal skills gritting his teeth every time I walked by.  I didn’t think much of it, because he does this sometimes -or, that's the excuse I give myself for being oblivious.

    “I think he’s trying to get your attention,” Ms. Cory, one of my assistants says.  I wasn’t getting the message.  Next time, with an eager voice, my student says, “smile.”  That’s pretty cool!  So I do send a shallow smile back at him, but that doesn’t seem to ease his nervousness.

    “Maybe he’s trying to tell you something about your teeth,” Ms. Cory says.  I don’t know.  I go about my business.  Meanwhile, my student continues giving me eye contact.

    Several minutes later, when I return to the back of the room, my student has decided enough is enough; he gets out of his chair, grabs a small mirror from the wall nearby, stands next to me, and smiles into the mirror.  This time I got the message.  Sure enough, there was a black bean covering up an entire bicuspid. 

    Clearly, what I hadn’t even noticed or thought to investigate really seemed to bother him…  so much that he’d go to great lengths and execute critical thinking to communicate his thought to me -even though he couldn’t find the words.  That he figured this out on his own was remarkable.  Even better, he was successful in delivering the message.

    The true hero of this story is Ms. Cory, who was fully aware of my lack of hygiene, and had the foresight to provide my student the opportunity to challenge his ability to communicate rather than point out what my student had noticed.  I’d like to point out that although Ms. Cory is new to our team and has only been teaching a short period of time; her instincts are amazing, and this story is only one example of the amazing work she’s accomplished so far.

    cory

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  • Milestone moments

    Posted by Wayland Scott on 9/12/2017 3:00:00 PM

    Sometimes there is no denying a change has taken place in the mind of a student.  We may want to take credit for these positive changes, but sometimes the changes are so incredibly big you have to take it as a miracle and press on.

    These are the breakthroughs, the milestones, where a non-verbal student makes that connection that their voice has meaning; that words can get you things.  What I’m talking about here is the kind of milestone where an already frustrated, physically aggressive student with limited speech somehow finds the exact right words to get the thing that he or she wants.

    I’m a bit frustrated myself in this story, because it is the end of the day and I’m attempting to wrap things up.  My student has earned the computer, but he’s having trouble operating the mouse.  I know he can’t use the mouse well, but I want him to learn, to be independent –so when he says, “help…  get it…  get it…” I tell him he can do it, and to use the mouse.  “Great job asking for help,” I say.  I know that on a normal day asking for this much so late in the day could be a really bad idea, but I did anyway.

    Some background on the student in question.  He doesn’t like waiting.  He speaks in one or two word phrases.  He has a real problem processing frustration without being physically aggressive, and right now he really, really, really, likes Batman.

    But he has been waiting.  And this time he doesn’t charge, grab, or hit me.  Instead, about three minutes later, this frantic student comes to me with a look of determination in his eyes and says slowly and articulately, “LEGO BATMAN MOVIE…  THE DOCTOR ONE.”  I could scarcely even believe it.  Then, looking at the PC, I knew exactly what he meant:

    lego movie

    So, did I honor his communication?  You bet I did!  I even used the mouse for him.

    Certainly we have an environment in my classroom that fosters communication.  Still, only three weeks into the year, I would never have expected an initiated response this descriptive and appropriate with this student and under these circumstances.  I can’t help but think that a victory of this magnitude so early in the year will raise the bar for what he expects the power of his words to do.  Meanwhile, I’m expecting to witness more milestones from him in the days to come.