Welcome back for part 2 of getting started with the core words of the week approach! In this post, I will be providing tips for how to implement this program in functional and meaningful ways. Our words of the week for week 2 were "I" and "Like."
HOW TO INCORPORATE CORE WORDS ACROSS THE DAILY ROUTINE:
Arrival: When students arrive in the morning, model the word of the week. For this week’s words (I LIKE), we modeled compliments such as “I like your shirt!” or “I like how you put your folder in your cubby.”
Independent Work: During independent work, students are given tasks that they can complete independently. Some students sorted “I” and “like” words written in different fonts. Others sorted food items into 2 categories: foods they like and foods they do not like.
Circle Time: Teachers created smart board activities to highlight the words of the week. Students were invited to come to the smart board and create a sentence to indicate what they like to eat. When requesting songs, staff modeled “what song would you like?” When a student was dancing to a song, staff modeled “I like this song!”
Snack/Lunch: When making choices for food items, staff asked “what would you like?” When a student made his or her selection, staff commented “I like that, too”! After lunch, students were asked if they liked their food.
Speech Therapy: During speech therapy, students were given the opportunity to indicate their preferences by telling me what they like and do not like. I used a student-led approach to ensure that students were able to authentically communicate about their interests and preferred items/activities.
Transitions: Staff modeled specific praise during transitions such as “I like how you are walking in the hallway!” or “I like gym class, let’s go!”
Leisure: During recess and leisure activities, students were able to indicate what toys or activities they would like to engage in. “I like it!” was modeled throughout activities. If a student pushed an item away or otherwise communicated disinterest, staff modeled “I do not like it!” At the playground, students activated buttons saying “I like it! while being pushed on swings or during other play routines.
Sensory: During a group activity, we used water play and shaving cream to explore different sensory textures. Some students really enjoyed it and said “I like it!” and others indicated they did “not like it.”
Writing: Some students produced poems and other predictable chart writing to describe their likes and dislikes. Other students wrote down things they would like to do during speech therapy. Students practiced writing “I” and “like.” One student wrote a book about all of the things he likes!
Reading: We read a book called “Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In a Ball” by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge. Some students really enjoyed the book, so I modeled “I like” throughout the story to comment on the plot and illustrations. Other students seemed disinterested so I modeled “I do not like” and put the book away. It is so important to be observant during activities to gauge students’ level of engagement!
Thank you so much for reading! We are having a great time with this approach and I hope that this information is helpful! In upcoming posts, I will be posting reflections on how we might improve this approach as well as some success stories from our classroom!