Monthly Archives: March 2020

PrAACtical AAC Website

This website has so much great information about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC is all the ways we share ideas or feelings without talking. People with severe speech and language difficulties may need a form of AAC to help them communicate with others.

This was taken from their website description:

“PrAACtical AAC supports a community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties. It was founded in 2011 by two SLP professors, Carole Zangari and the late Robin Parker, around a shared passion for AAC.”

Daily vocabulary and learning strategies for Kdg-8th grade

Vocabulary words are listed by grade level and there are 5 days of words per grade level.

When we teach vocabulary in the therapy room we are not teaching your child to memorize random words, rather are teacher strategies to apply to unknown words when reading to help learn and retain the meaning of those words. Here are some strategies to use when learning new vocabulary words:

  • Use catchy and engaging songs (you can even come up with your own short jingles) such as those on Flocabulary.
  • Draw pictures to help retain visual meaning of words (if your vocabulary word is “leap” you might draw a picture of someone leaping through the air)
  • Examples! Come up with lots of examples for each vocabulary term (if you word is “courteous” you might think of examples such as holding the door open for someone else or saying please and thank you)
  • Create Word Maps- come up with antonyms, synonyms, and use words in your own sentence (this helps students create connections to the word being taught to words they already know.)
  • Use flash cards (have students write the definition in their own words on one side and the vocabulary word on the other. Use both sides for teaching! One time you’ll show the definition to your child and they will have to come up with the vocabulary word and then the other time you’ll show the vocabulary word and they will come up with the definition.)
Grade Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Kindergarten Tangled Leak Protect Follow Bumpy
1st Divide Alone Rescue Enormous Divide
2nd Proof Shelter Feast Doubt Invent
3rd Predict Examine Reverse Limit Brief
4th Reduce Prefer Ascend Routine Severe
5th Aroma Reliable Seldom Intense Bland
6th Hoax Retrieve Composure Precise Beneficial
7th Abrupt Ponder Hospitable Consult Notorious
8th Proficient Forfeit Attribute Benign Rubble

What is vocabulary?

Vocabulary consists of all the words we use and understand. It is all the words we use in various situations, subjects, and settings. We continue to learn new vocabulary throughout our lifetimes.

Speech-Language Pathologists often talk about vocabulary in terms of receptive and expressive vocabularies. Receptive vocabulary is what a person understands when someone is speaking. Expressive vocabulary consists of all the words someone uses to speak and express an idea, thought, or opinion.

How can we organize vocabulary?

One way we practice organizing vocabulary is through naming category labels and naming objects in a category. Practice naming objects in your house and naming the category they belong to. This is a great language activity to practice and help with organizing information in your child’s brain!

Below are some categories to get you started:

  • Colors
  • Body Parts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Farm Animals
  • Furniture
  • Things you read
  • Kitchen Objects
  • Hot Things
  • Cold Things
  • Bathroom Objects
  • Pets
  • Ocean Animals
  • Vehicles
  • Sharp Objects
  • Yellow Objects
  • Types of Buildings
  • Toys
  • School Supplies
  • Clothing
  • Loud Things
  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Drinks
  • Breakfast foods
  • Sports
  • Musical Instruments
  • Desserts

What other categories can you think of? How many objects can you name for each one? How quickly can you come up with 5? Or even 10?!

Idioms: It’s all Greek to me…

What is an idiom? Are they important? Do we even use them?

An idiom is a group of words that are used together but might not mean what it sounds like it means. Well, that’s confusing. Here are some examples:

You crack me up means you make me laugh!

I have a frog in my throat. Hopefully, not literally! I have a frog in my throat means that your voice is hoarse or cracking. Those are three common idioms that you’ve probably heard or maybe even used before.

Here are some more idiom examples.

Here are 25 more common idioms and their meanings. Try to use the idiom in a sentence. Look for idioms in books or movies. Look for pictures or draw a picture to explain the meaning. They are more common than you think and it can be a little confusing if you don’t understand the meaning.

  1. A piece of cake- something is easy
  2. A slap on the wrist- a mild punishment
  3. A toss up- the decision could go either way
  4. Actions speak louder than words- it’s better to do something than just talk about it
  5. Backseat driver- people who criticize from the sidelines
  6. Back to the drawing board- when an attempt fails, start over
  7. Baker’s dozen- 13 items
  8. Beat a dead horse- keep talking about something even after the topic has ended
  9. Bend over backwards- do whatever it takes to help
  10. Between a rock and a hard place- stuck between two bad options
  11. Once in a blue moon- a rare occurrence
  12. Iron stomach- someone who can eat anything without any problems/issues
  13. Charley horse- a leg cramp
  14. Chew someone out- verbally scold/yell at someone
  15. Crack someone up- make someone laugh
  16. Cut to the chase- leave out unnecessary details and get to the point
  17. Devil’s advocate- someone takes a position for the sake of argument
  18. Down to the wire- event ends at the last minute/seconds
  19. Dropping like flies- a large number of people falling ill/dying
  20. Every cloud has a silver lining- being optimistic that every bad situation has a positive side
  21. Hit the nail on the head- do/say something exactly right
  22. Icing on the cake- when something good gets even better
  23. Kick the bucket- die
  24. Loose cannon- someone unpredictable and can cause damage if not in check
  25. Out of the blue- something unexpected happens

Get your head out of the clouds and go find some more idioms!

See what I did there….

Sound Loaded Stories

Reading is a great way to target speech and language goals. This particular website lists ideas for books to read that are loaded with a particular sound. These kinds of books are especially great for articulation practice. Check your child’s IEP to find out the specific sounds they are targeting in therapy. If you’re still not sure, contact your child’s Speech-Language Pathologist to find out what sounds your child is working on.