Core Language Lessons in the Classroom!

Disclaimer: I am by no means a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist. HOWEVER.  I have the pleasure of working with an amazing one at my school as well as some outside language gurus.  I’m also constantly researching and listening to podcasts.  With all the amazing information out there, I’ve recently been incorporating as much related core language into my lessons as possible. While I work with three-year olds and everyone can use the language, these ideas can easily be adapted to other grades.  You might have to find a different app or more age appropriate visuals, but the concept is the same. 

Currently, we are working on a Community Workers theme which has been so much fun (especially for my vehicle loving boys)! To keep with the community worker theme, I recently created a vehicle board, hid some Toobs mini vehicles in some kinetic sand and paired everything with our school core board. I focused on single core words such as: play, go and see.  For example, the student finds a school bus I would say, “Wow a school bus, make it GO” or “play school bus”, “see school bus”.  Recently I listened to an excellent podcast by Rachel Madel about how many times we get stuck in an “I want” phase.  I want cookie, ipad, etc.  There are many things we can WANT and it’s easy to not truly generalize core words. Some of my other learners worked on longer phrases such as, “I see school bus” “Play school bus, make it go”, “I see a RED firetruck”.  I also loved this activity because it works on the ABLLS skill of matching objects to pictures!  You could extend even more with other learners and ask WH questions such as, “where do we find a fire truck, who drives a firetruck?” The possibilities are endless, and you want to remember to just model model model and HAVE FUN! Stick anything in a box of beans or sand and it creates immediate engagement!

 

Other Core Activity Ideas!

I took the level one language arts vocabulary pictures and made them into larger cards and stuck them into a sensory bin. With this idea you can work on identifying the noun, either expressively (student says noun) or receptively (teacher says find the eraser).  You can work on categorizing the cards once they are all found, discuss the function, sort them, use Core words, “I see an eraser!”.  Again, endless ideas!

Play time

Recently I have been taking my language lessons to the floor.  I took the dump truck and our large core board, and we worked on putting blocks “in” and dumping them “out”.  I would occasionally take the truck away and model “play again”, and then we would make the truck “go” and “stop”.  I have a few friends that LOVE the play house and have goals to model play behavior and ask others to play.  In order to do that, they have to learn to communicate!  Asking a peer, “Want play?”  and then showing them how to use the pieces is so important.  We practice, “open” with the doors and the plastic play people.

Favorite Games and apps

My love for the Lakeshore “Building Language Lotto” game is deep.  So many skills, and again that basic ABLLS object to picture matching skill.  I have a student who we have been working so hard on coming to the table to complete a task.  When I pulled out this game, I expected him to run off with the pieces and not truly engage.  The first time we ever used it he sat with me and matched ALL SIX MATS.  Absolutely amazing.  There are two different levels, one with the pictures as a guide and the back with no pictures, just the category.  Again, we use the core board in many different ways.  You can practice simply putting the objects “on” the board and taking them “off”.  You can expand into short phrases, “I have octopus” and even work on categories.

Next, these apps I found again through a podcast with Rachel Madel. They are a part of the Peek-a-boo series and I’m addicted!  I bought all five (not ashamed).  We work on “play”, “open doors”, “close doors”, “I see a brown horse”.

Finally, if you have a subscription to Boardmaker Online, you have access to these Core Books! You can print them or project onto a board!  We read them as a group in circle time and then work on them during small group time.

The possibilities with core words are endless!  Make it fun and engaging and you will be so excited with the response! Happy Core-ifying!

 

28 Comments

  1. Love this

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  2. So excited about these ideas! Thank you for sharing them! 🙂
    Wondering about your large core board- did you make it or buy it?

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  3. How did you make the giant CORE board? It appears to be one giant board and not pieced together. Love it!!

    What would you guess is the overall size?

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  4. Hi Kara!
    Thank you so much for reading! The large core board was made at Staples! It has a foam type middle as the board backing. Our special education department had them made for us! Measures at 18X23 and has a glossy type finish. Hope that helps! I love it!

    Gina

    Reply
  5. I tried to search for the Core Vocabulary books on Boardmaker Online and didn’t find them. Can you direct me what to search for so that I can find them please?
    Thanks so much!
    Kim

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  6. What is the size of the core board ?

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  7. Hi Gina! I love love how board! Can you tell me what exactly you gave to Staples for them to make this?

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  8. Hi Bethany!
    I’m so happy you love the board, it’s one of my favorites! Here is the design link, you can upload an image and have anything printed on the foam board!

    https://www.staples.com/foam-board-posters/product_2274747

    We had the size 18X24 and had it laminated. There are more add ons for additional prices 🙂

    Reply
  9. Hi Perri!
    It’s an 18X24 and there are more sizes available. We also had ours laminated which I recommend!

    Here is the design link, you can upload an image and have anything printed on the foam board!

    https://www.staples.com/foam-board-posters/product_2274747

    There are more add ons for additional prices 🙂

    Reply
  10. Thank you Gina! Where did you get the image you used? I really like that board and how it is set up. And what about the super big one pictured by the dollhouse? What size is that? Sorry for all the questions–I shared this with my EC teacher and she wants both sizes too:)

    Reply
  11. Hi Gina!

    My EC teacher and I really want the exact core board you used–it is amazing for play! Did you make it in Boardmaker?

    Thanks!

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  12. I love the core board! I have not been able to find the board using the links provided here. Can you please help me figure this out? Thanks so much!

    Reply
  13. Hi Bethany!
    Yes these were made with the Boardmaker program! You can use whatever symbols are best for your students! Here is a link to a video I made about designing the board:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOpeN3kF_4A

    Hope that helps! Thanks for reading – Gina

    Reply
  14. Thank you Bethany! So the “big” board by the dollhouse is actually the same one in the other pictures and is 18X26! I’m sure you can make them as large as you want but this size is big enough for me personally so it’s up to you what size works best. Thank you for your questions! Check out this video for more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOpeN3kF_4A

    Gina 🙂

    Reply
  15. Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Hi Susan!
    So the “big” board by the dollhouse is actually the same one in the other pictures and is 18X24! I’m sure you can make them as large as you want but this size is big enough for me personally so it’s up to you what size works best. Thank you for your questions! Check out this video for more:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOpeN3kF_4A

    Gina 🙂

    Reply
  17. Hi kim!
    I will be making a short video on Instagram about this on Friday, March 14th however when you go to your homepage in Boardmaker Online, Click on “Curriculum” , Boardmaker Core First Learning (I realized this might also depend on what subscription you own however it will tell you if you own these rights). If you do have the rights, click “use” it and then UK or US English. On the the left side you will see “set 1, 2, 3” and a dropdown arrow. Here you will find all the books, activities and more! Hope that helps!

    Gina 🙂

    Reply
  18. Gina,

    To get these core boards do I need to recreate them in boardmaker or do you have a link specifically for the ones shown here and in your videos? If we have to recreate them, what size do you make them? Do you upload the smaller version to Staples and then Staples creates the size ordered? Just trying to understand how to get these– your links only show the 13.99 board at Staples – not the design of the pictures on the board itself. Please point me in the right direction!

    Reply
  19. Great ideas! Love and use Core Vocabulary in the classroom and in therapy. Where can I find the lime green iPad case w/ stand? its fantastic, I must get a few….

    Reply
  20. Thanks for reading! These iPad cases and stands are my FAVORITE. Incredibly durable and appropriate! They are by the company “Big Grips” (just google the name!). If you are getting several you can always ask for a school discount! 🙂 Good luck!

    Gina

    Reply
  21. Hi Wendy!
    For these specific images, they are created in Boardmaker Online and you would need a subscription! Whatever size you make them in Boardmaker, they will automatically be enlarged to whatever size you pick at staples. You just upload the regular image that you create and then pick the size you would like. I hope that helps! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

    Gina 🙂

    Reply
  22. I love your site and have purchased resources from you. I love the enlarged core board that you have pictured on your blog! Do you know where I could find a copy? Thank you, Chris

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  23. Gina got it on Boardmaker share and printed it on 11X14 paper at staples!

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  24. Where can I print the Core Board from?

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  25. You can print these Core Boards from Boardmaker Online!

    Reply
  26. Hi, I love your post! I know others have asked but I still don’t see an answer: I have a Boardmaker account. How can I find this board on Boardmaker? I see a ton of Core Boards on there but I really like the organization of this one and that it includes the emotions. I also like the choice in verbs and prepositions. Is there a link or search words for this specific board? Thank you!!

    Reply
  27. Hello!
    Thank you so much for reading and for your question. I am currently trying to find the file for the Core Board as I only have access to physical copies. Our county SLPs developed this specific board and arrangement for our staff! Thank you!

    Reply

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