Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. is a family-focused speech language pathology practice. We provide articulation, language, oral-motor/feeding, and AAC services to our patients.
Welcome back to our ongoing series on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools for the classroom! In Part Two, we’ve chosen three more of our favorite communication supports for your classroom: Classroom Communication Box Display, All Turn It Spinner and TD Snap: Core First AAC Application
A fantastic way to integrate AAC into your classroom is by using everyday materials in novel ways. An example of this was shared with us many years ago by our friend, Amanda Inman. We’ve helped many teachers put the Classroom Communication Box Display into place over the years and think you might find it useful as well. All you need is a large shipping box, the kind that schools frequently receive, and you can transform it into a dynamic communication board. Here's how:
1. Wrap the Box in Felt: Use adhesive spray to attach a large piece of felt to the box. You can simply spray the adhesive on the box and then quickly wrap it like a present. Staples can help secure the felt. This creates a Velcro adhering and visually appealing surface.
2. Attach Picture Symbols: Use the felt surface to display picture symbols of items and concepts often used in the classroom. Cut your picture symbols out, laminate them or cover in contact paper and place a small piece of hook Velcro on the back of each picture. Next just organize and place them on the display! You can include symbols for:
- Time and Weather Concepts
- Colors and Sight Words
- Hygiene Items
- School Supplies
- Cafeteria and Snack Foods
- Photos of Students and Teachers
This approach not only recycles materials but also creates a large, interactive learning tool that's both fun and educational. Picture symbols boards in categories are available on our TPT Store: 3" PCS Picture Symbol Displays for the Classroom-DTA AAC Flipbook 2.0
Mid-tech AAC tools can offer more interactive features while still being relatively simple to use. A great example is the "All Turn It Spinner."
This device can be modified to include symbols around its 'clock face.' It allows students, regardless of their physical abilities, to activate the spinner. This tool can be used for:
- Making random selections during writing activities, classroom activity selections
- Playing inclusive classroom games (“rolling” a dice, “drawing” a card).
The spinner's adaptability ensures that every student can participate in these activities, promoting inclusiveness and engagement.
Incorporating high-tech AAC solutions can significantly enhance the learning environment. One such tool is the TD Snap application, which is among the more affordable robust language AAC systems.
Using TD Snap in the Classroom
- On Classroom iPads-TD Snap can be installed on classroom iPads for individual student communication support.
- Creating an AAC Inclusive Environment- Adults can use the application to model AAC communication, fostering an inclusive atmosphere.
- Printed Communication Support: The app’s print screen option allows teachers to create and print communication grids for various purposes, which can be used across different activities.
This high-tech solution provides a versatile and comprehensive approach to AAC, accommodating diverse communication needs.
Stay tuned for more ideas on building your AAC Classroom Toolkit! In our upcoming entries, we'll explore more innovative tools and strategies to support communication and learning in your classroom. Remember, the key to successful AAC implementation is creativity, inclusivity, and adapting to the unique needs of your students.