Project Core: An Overview
Participants will gain greater understanding of the multi-tiered system for augmenting language (mSAL) and the characteristics of the Universal Core vocabulary. The underlying philosophy of Project Core, the current state of the project, and additional online resources will also be discussed.
Assessing Communication Abilities
Behaviors for each level of the Communication Matrix will be discussed. After completing the module, participants will have greater understanding of how to identify and attribute meaning to behaviors of beginning communicators.
Core Vocabulary: A Universal Solution
Participants will learn about core vocabulary, the Universal Core words, formats, instructional expectations, and the value of instruction within natural environments. Participants will also be able to distinguish between words of wide-ranging and restricted purposes and plan for communication interactions.
This module describes beginning communicators and the variety of ways in which they communicate. An introduction to Project Core and its design to specifically address communication needs through the multi-tiered system for augmenting language will also be discussed.
Symbols: Myths and Misconceptions
Participants will learn common myths and misconceptions about the types of symbols and vocabulary used in communication systems. Concrete and abstract symbols, as well as activity specific and conceptual vocabulary will also be discussed.
Teaching and Modeling the Universal Core
This module discusses why and how the words and symbols in the Universal Core vocabulary are taught and modeled. Participants will practice generating words and phrases using the Universal Core and will determine multiple ways to use individual words.
Supporting Individual Access to the Universal Core Vocabulary
Available Universal Core vocabulary formats are discussed. The access needs of students, how to identify suitable formats, and the use of partner-assisted scanning and eye gaze will also be discussed.
Embedding Communication Throughout the Day
Participants will learn about identifying and incorporating the Universal Core vocabulary in their daily classroom routines by utilizing non-instructional routines, attributing meaning to non-symbolic behaviors, and expanding student messages.
Incorporating the Universal Core Vocabulary into Instructional Routines
Participants will learn the importance of incorporating the Universal Core vocabulary into common instructional routines and several principles that guide the use of core in this context. Possible reasons to communicate during science and social studies instruction will also be discussed.
Shared Reading: An Instructional Routine that Promotes Communication
Participants will learn about shared reading and the instructional practices needed to facilitate meaningful interactions. This module also discusses how to plan core-based comments to invite and support student participation.
Predictable Chart Writing: Emphasizing Core Vocabulary
Participants will learn what predictable chart writing is and how to emphasize teaching and use of core vocabulary during this instructional routine.
Alphabet Knowledge and Phonological Awareness
Alphabet and phonological awareness instruction to support the development of symbolic communication will be discussed. Participants will also learn about instructional activities associated with alphabet and phonological awareness.
Participants will review the benefits of independent reading and how to structure independent reading opportunities while incorporating the use of the Universal Core vocabulary. Accessible books for students with motor or sensory challenges will also be discussed.
The importance of providing independent writing opportunities for pre-symbolic and and early symbolic communicators will be reviewed. Participants will also learn about alternate writing tools and incorporating the use of the Universal Core vocabulary into independent writing opportunities.
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