Three cool things – blog post #1 2014

Hi everyone,

Three Cool Things: blog post #1

Welcome to this first blog post about 3 cool things I did this week. In an effort to share my “secret genius” (stealing these now famous words from Kevin Honeycutt), I decided that regular blog posts dedicated to share the big, the little, the random, and the totally cool stuff I get to do. Luckily, that is easy, because I get to do COOL things in my work all the time! CAUTION: It’s not totally GENIUS stuff, but it will be fun and practical and I can see all educators using this stuff in their classrooms, or therapists in their clinics, or parents in their homes. Anyone can do this stuff! So do it! Share it!

1. Text innovation (one of my favourite things for language and literacy building).

This week I used this book: “The cat, the rat and the baseball bat” by Andy Griffiths: Which is fun and fab and engaging.

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Its at an early reading level for those kids with literacy difficulties, but cool enough to still be age appropriate.

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After shared reading of the book, we brainstormed some new vocab words to re-write the story. My student came up with “The dog, the chicken and the cricket bat”. Then the writing began! We used Clicker Docs to support his writing, with the text-to-speech, word banks and word prediction, this is just what he needs to gain confidence in writing! The writing was fun and fast and the student loved the WHOLE process!

And here’s what he wrote: (so cool)

The dog, the chicken and the cricket bat.
The dog was sitting on a tractor.
The dog saw a chicken.
The dog jumped down and chased the chicken.
The dog chased the chicken around and around and around the tractor.
The chicken said stop, I do not like it.
The chicken got a cricket bat.
Now, the chicken chased the dog.
The chicken chased the dog with the cricket bat, around and around and around the tractor.
And then, whack.
The chicken squashed the dog with the cricket bat.
The dog never chased the chicken again.
The end.
by Christopher.

2. Sound manipulation

Here’s one of the things I do all the time, with students with literacy delays. Think of those P-3 students that need extra work on phonics and sounding out and playing with sounds in words. These things will help the development of efficient reading and spelling skills. The task: Basically – its word chaining – change one sound in the word to make new words, eg. I might say “If that says ‘clap’, show me ‘flap'”, :”Out with the ‘c’ and in the ‘f'”; “Touch and say the sounds”…etc. You can do this two ways easily…

Low-tech: I print out Phonic flashcards (from my Reading Doctor software)

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High tech: Use the Word Builder app by Reading Doctor.

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More info on Reading Doctor here.

3. Roll the dice

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Easy language building activity this week. I have one of those cool velcro fabric dices, and this week, I had body part symbols stuck on each side (but, who knows what it will be next time!). So, we roll the dice to get a body part, which we then draw to create a person. I supported choices of colours for drawing with Proloquo2Go core word vocab and also modelled core word language building for sentences such as “Draw legs on the boy”. For some students I also used Key word sign – signing key words as we did the activity.

My 3 cool things this week: 1. Text innovation; 2. Sound manipulation; and 3. Roll the dice! Hope you try one of these out! Would love for you to leave me a comment if you do! And follow me on twitter to keep up to date with all my blog postings! @AmandaHartmann8 Thanks for your support. Amanda

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About Amanda Hartmann

Amanda is a Speech Pathologist with over 17 years experience. She has worked within educational settings, as an Inclusive Technology Consultant with Spectronics , and currently focuses her time on her busy private practice.

Amanda is a Key Word Sign/Makaton Presenter, an official Proloquo2Go trainer and an official expert TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. She is also a certified Apple Trainer and regularly runs iPad workshops to help schools integrate iPad technology into the classroom, for all learners.

Amanda has a special interest in supporting and developing communication, literacy and learning for a wide range of diverse learners, often through the use of visual tools, sign language and technology. She has spent many years providing therapy support and teacher/parent training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for students with complex communication needs, due to disabilities such as: Cerebral palsy and other Physical impairments, Visual impairment, Hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Impairment, Angelman Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and others. She also has specialist knowledge to support the literacy learning of students with learning difficulties, language impairments and other diverse learning needs. She is passionate about providing interactive and engaging presentations to educators, parents and therapists.

5 Responses to Three cool things – blog post #1 2014

  1. Bec Casey says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing Amanda.

    Ive been doing EXACTLY number 1 (with a different book) all day today, thanks to the new Clicker apps I have here from ILT2014 :)

    I want to subscribe to this blog. Well done!

  2. Kaye Hotton says:

    Awesome results with the use of technology apps. I have trialed the use of apps for students who needed additional support for their language development. A small cohhort of of 6 year old students in Transition, used the following apps,for example hairy legs, OZ phonics and eggy alphabet has been a cataylst for students knowledge of letters/ sounds/ phonics. Conseqeuently their speech and reading levels have improved in a short amount of time. Thank you for sharing the three cool things you did this week.

  3. debbie petropoulos says:

    Thank you so much Amanda, these are brilliant ideas. I am going to try them all. thank you

  4. Meg Reynolds says:

    Thanks not-so-secret Genius! Great ideas! I already have a(borrowed!)text innovation lesson in mind. Did you use a pre-made Clicker Doc word bank, or did you create one to reflect the text you chose?

    • Amanda Hartmann says:

      Hi Meg! THANKS! We generate the word bank based on our brainstorming and planning we do, before we start writing. I often have the child circle the “tricky” words in the plan (ie. identify which words might be hard to spell) and we use those.
      Cheers, Amanda

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