Planning Worksheet for Literature and AAC Core Words of the Week
Our world feels heavy with February fogginess. Every day seems slightly greyer than the previous. The cold temperatures outside seem to be lingering much longer than I remember in previous years. Nathaniel has been sick recently. Time to plan for our homeschooling has been stolen for other higher priorities, so my homeschool lessons lack the spark that encourages learning. When I do sit down to prepare, I feel lost compared to the purposeful direction I had last fall and right after the holidays.
I teach Nathaniel, an AAC user, using eclectic sources because of who we are as individuals. I have decades of experience in home instruction using hundreds of different curricula kindergarten through senior high level. Bits of each influence me still. In recent years, I’ve explored materials for teaching children with disabilities, both in the home setting and classroom. I tend to see curriculum as a resource and love to customize everything. Nathaniel is an AAC user because a problem in his airway prevents him from speaking. He has a global developmental delay and struggles significantly with fine motor skills. He is chronically ill and often tired. He loves to be close physically and always has strength for a story. My planning for our school time starts with three things I know about us: children’s literature will be the foundation of my teaching Nathaniel, material usually needs adjusted for his various disabilities, and the right organizational tools and plan can drastically improve our daily experience.
One step to dealing with the slump we are in is to simplify how I plan so planning can happen quickly. Preparing to teach a child like Nathaniel can be overwhelming. Over the last few years I have been learning the best practices for teaching literacy to children with complex communication needs. This started by using the Tell Me - AAC in the Preschool Classroom. I am registered to attend the Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs workshop next month in March. The presenter’s names lead me on a web search, and I have spent hours learning the material at Literacy Instruction for Student’s with Significant Disabilities. All of the mentioned materials are parent friendly. However, I find it difficult to keep the different components recommended for a strong literacy program in mind when time is short to plan our homeschool week. To help with this, I made a one page planning worksheet. Would having something like this help you? Click the black bar below for a free download.
Note: I edited the sheet pictured at the top of this post to replace “Additional Writing Opportunities” with “Outdoor Activity.” Both are good components to offer with an AAC user. However, I wanted to keep the planning worksheet to one page and at this stage of life, we are more likely to take our learning outdoors than to write more.