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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Thursday, December 8, 2016

AAC in the Desert Conference 2017

AAC In the Desert 2017

WHO:  Speakers include:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite, Dr. Gretchen Hanser, and Erin Sheldon, MS.;  This conference is open to parents, teachers, therapists, and others interested in supporting communication and early literacy for students with significant disabilities.

Download the flyer here:  AAC in the Desert Flyer

Register here:  AAC in the Desert Registration 

Mini Adventures Apps - Great Photos and Videos!

What:  New Reviews of old apps!  These three apps are free or very inexpensive ($ .99), and include hundreds of photos and videos on three topics, sorted alphabetically:
- Mini Adventures - Let's Go (Transportation)
- Mini Adventures - ABC Animals
- Mini Adventures - Music

Where:  Look for the reviews at the Spedapps2 wiki:

Reviews for these apps are posted under:
  Letter Names
 Ideas for using these apps for letter exploration,, and beginning to use Alternative Pencils

Social Skills / Pragmatics 
Ideas for using these photos & videos to support commenting

Inspiring Writing
Strategies for using these photos and videos as writing prompts

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Julia & Gene's First Thanksgiving - A Funny Story!

This powerpoint tells about a very fun family story.  I used it as an opportunity for students to predict, then write a response. 



Julia and Gene's First Thanksgiving

Here is a sample story response from 2 of my students, using PicCollage

Thanksgiving - Shift of Perspective!


Fun Thanksgiving activity.

I had students watch 2 videos, and read a poem.  All looked at Thanksgiving from different perspectives:

1) Mary Chilton, Young Girl from Plymouth Colony:

2) Plymouth Rock (yes, the actual rock tells the story)

3) Point of View Poem by Shel Silverstein (From the turkey's perspective!)

It would be great to add the perspective of Native Americans re: the 1st Thanksgiving - please share with me, if you find a good one.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sound Deletion Fun - T is Terribly Important!!

Jane Farrall started what I hope will be a great trend when she wrote R is Really Important.

Find it at Tarheel Reader:
R is Really Important

The book uses 'phoneme deletion' (sometimes called sound deletion), where one phoneme is removed, leaving a different word.  The classic test is: What is left when you take /s/ from 'smile'?  Answer?  'mile'

Jane made this a fun activity, and I've been exploring it with students.  We finally published our first sound deletion book.

T is Terribly Important 


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Reaction: Wheeling by Reed A Booke

WHAT:  This book reaction is from a newly developed Communication Circle supporting individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  The group responded to the  Tarheel Reader book Wheeling by Reed A Booke.

To find this book, go to www.tarheelreader.org 

NOTE:  This book is rated C for Caution, so be sure to change the rating to 'Any Rating'.  Then type in the title, Wheeling, and it will show up!

WHERE:  Courtney's Place is a day center for adults with disabilities.  It has a great location in Scottsdale, AZ, and  a very active calendar,   The staff was very supportive in starting a Communication Circle.

WHO:  Today's circle included three young adults who use AAC via direct selection, eye gaze, and auditory scanning with 2 switches.  Two individuals use Unity software on a Prentke Romich device and one uses Touch Chat on an iPad.    Two speaking young adults also participated, helping to provide verbal models.

HOW:  1) First we started by showing a 'Tic Tac Talk; (from Musselwhite's Communication Circle CD).  The sample vocabulary set includes 8 comments.  We tried to find these or similar comments on each student's communication system.  For example, one young woman has VERY GOOD instead of GREAT.  Another chose to use AWESOME instead of GREAT. We practiced these words for about 5 minutes. 

2) Next, we used a cube with Post-Its such as Feelings, Positive Comments, Describing Words, Colors, etc.   When we rolled the cube, each person had to find a word on the communication system to match that category.  Speaking partners helped call out ideas for their peers.  For example, when we rolled 'Describing Words' one woman called out "pretty" and all device users found that word on their system.

3)  Next, we read the book Wheeling.  I paused often to see if the adults wanted to call out responses.  Below are some of their comments.  You can see that there was a big mix of positive and negative comments, descriptions, and feelings among the group, and they were very excited to participate!
I used the PicCollage app to visually share their responses to three of the pages.

Try this.  It's fun.