Thursday, August 6, 2020

Using the Hide Slide Feature of PowerPoint

The Shapes Song is a resource that highlights a variety of simple (circle, oval, square, rectangle, heart) and complex (pentagon, hexagon, octagon) shapes using the tune, I'm a Little Teapot.  

The resource provides crucial information about each shape. Later in the resource, it tests a student's ability to identify shapes using a three choice array.

As a final step students are invited to name (or find) various shapes in an array of rings and a display of objects.  The latter sets the stage nicely for a 'shapes hunt' throughout the home or classroom environment. 

This resource is optimized from tele practice. Items can be indicated by color or alternately the pen tool of powerpoint can be used to number the choices or the facilitator can perform partner assisted scanning, i.e., This one? (point) ... This one? (point) or This one? (point)

Now you might be thinking ... circle, oval, square, rectangle, heart ... yes ... but complex shapes are too advanced for my students. Rather than simply surfing through the 'extra slides', consider using the hide slide feature  under Slide Show on the PowerPoint Menu Bar. The 'hidden slide' will appear greyed in the slide listing on the left. This is definitely a 'more eloquent' solution to slide management. 

…’til the next post … 

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©2020 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Special Educator

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The ABC's of Alphabet Knowledge & Phonological Awareness

Wow!  Don't miss out on this excellent resource. Caroline Musselwhite, Deanna Wagner and Gretchen Hanser have just posted a 92 page resource chocked full of wonderful suggestions for enhancing alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness.  This resource is available through TpT  and is being offered at a spectacularly low price.  Click on the image below to link to the TpT site.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Library of Animated Step-by-Steps®?

 We are all coming up the learning curve on remote teaching/therapy.  Animated Step-by-Steps® (poems, songs, crafts, games, recipes, stories, science projects) can help to address that need allowing you to worry less about content while you concentrate  on issues of technology delivery. 

The current library of Animated Step-by-Steps® includes 233 titles

Recipe Resources                      60

Poem/Song Resources             103

Science Resources                     25

Story Resources                          6

Craft Resources                        22

Games/Literacy Resources      30

The Bloom Where You're Planted Store(TpT) has been witnessing a considerable 'uptick' in purchases … This is especially notable for Bundled Resources that offer a 20% savings. 

If you are a school/agency serving students with special needs, consider purchasing the complete library of 244 titles for even greater savings (approx. 40%).

Library Options include:

 1. Regular Library
(No picture symbols) 
$700 for 244 titles (normally retails for $1,220)  about $3.00  per title

2. Symbol-Supported Library – PCS
(Tobii Dynavox)
$900 for 244 titles (normally retails for $1,464) about $3.50 per title

3. Symbol-Supported Library – SymbolStix
$900 for 244 titles (normally retails for $1,464) about $3.50 per title

4. VI Library
 (suitable for students with visual impairments)
$150 for 49 titles (normally retails for $294) about $3.00 per title

For  illustrated listings of available Animated Step-by-Steps®, please click on the following links:


…’til the next post … 

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©2020 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Special Educator

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Mary/Joey Wore ... A Flexible Song Resource

I recently posted a revamped version of a 2015 resource, Mary Wore Her Red Dress
Being 'on a roll' I decided to also add a 'boy version', Joey Wore His Red Pants. Both versions can be personalized with photo faces of your student/class members using the instructions provided in the resource.

In many ways these resources are reflective of what I've learned in 5 years of developing educational resources using PowerPoint! Each resource offers two distinct interactive activities …. identifying colors and identifying articles of clothing. It also provides a forum for pronouns and name/ letter identification. 

General Instructions:

When using this resource I usually read the page first, simultaneously adding one new clothing item to the page/slide using the starred animations. In the process students are invited to find a particular clothing item in a three-choice array, e.g. "green socks"  "yellow mitts"

If correct, the requested clothing item will disappear from the choice array and reappear on either Mary/Joey. The item's name is announced. 

If incorrect, a mildly negative comment ('huhugh') is heard, and the student is encouraged to "try again".

Personalizing Your Resource to Heighten Student Interest

Instructions are provided to personalize this resource. If you are providing Tele-practice, personalization is  a great way to heighten interest and keep your student(s) engaged. 

Implementing Differentiated Instruction

The downloaded version offers a colored text cue, 'setting the stage' for an color matching task. If you wish to conduct a more difficult activity, i.e., identifying the item without the benefit of a color cue, simply drag the colored text 'off slide'. 
DO NOT eliminate the text … just move it to a location where it will not be seen when triggered in the animation sequence. 

The song can be sung during morning meeting. Children take turns choosing  an article of their clothing to sing about. " Jenny … what would you like to sing about today?  Your pants? Or your top?   Your pants? Okay what color is Jenny's pants? That's right! Let's sing about Jenny's red pants. Is Jenny a boy or a girl? A girl … that means we say her (not his).  A slide is included to visually support this extension activity.  Use thePowerPoint Pen tool to write in the child's name and circle the color, pronoun and clothing item. 


The revised format is more amenable to interactive tele-practice. The three choice array includes numbers to facilitate choice-making (when able to recognize numbers and unable to directly access the buttons due to distance learning). "choice 1 … or 2 ..,. or 3. You pick; I'll press"

Adding a Literacy Component

Personalize your resource with photo faces your class.  The educator can use the PowerPoint pen tool (comman p or Right click p while in presentation mode) to provide the class with a hint to guess the identity of the mystery student (that has not yet been animated to appear on the slide/page). 

The type of clues provided can be tailored according to student needs.
e.g. Our mystery student's name starts with the letter 'R'  (Randy)
e.g. Our mystery girl's name starts with the 'mmmmm' sound  (Maggie)
e.g.  Here's a hint …. B __  __ t (Bret)
e.g.  Our mystery person's name rhymes with 'fan'  (Sam)

I then invite students to sing the verse using the song button to set the pace. As we sing the page/slide, the facilitator follows along, pointing to either the text or the symbols (depending upon the version purchased). 

As always there are three versions of these resources: Regular, PCS and SymbolStix. Resources can be displayed on the 'big screen' (interactive whiteboard, large screen TV using Apple TV) or the 'small screen'  (computer monitor, iPad/Android tablet or iPhone using the free Microsoft PowerPoint app specific to each). 

…’til the next post …  

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©2020 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Special Educator

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Games, Games, Games! Tele-Practice Anyone?

During these difficult times, families are grappling with how to use their time together productively … and enjoyably. Some of my fondest childhood memories were playing board games in the evening with my siblings and Dad. In addition to being fun, games like Connect 4, Dominoes, Checkers, Rock Paper Scissors, Go Fish, Beat the Clock, WarI Spy With My Little Eye, Tic Tac Toe and even Pig Latin, provide a wonderful forum for teaching a variety of skills (numbers, colors, matching, foresight, letters, memory and spelling to list a few).

Animated Step-by-Steps® are animated PowerPoints designed to address literacy, language, AAC and a host of academic goals. Each page includes a series of animations. Read the text up to the star … click … and see an animation of what you just read. If you purchase a symbol-supported version, the symbols will appear AFTER all the slide animations have been triggered. This strategy is designed to promote a 'literacy first' agenda. Once the symbols appear they can be used to conduct Aided Language Stimulation. 

Over the past few years, I have gradually added How to Play Animated Step-by-Steps® to the vast library of animated resources. This 'How To Play' Series is designed to teach the rules of various 'family-orientated games'. In addition to outlining the rules, they also provide practice trials to ensure that children understand the rules. 

In the home, these resources can be displayed on the 'big screen'(large screen TV using Apple TV) or the 'small screen'(computer monitor, iPad/Android tablet or iPhone using the free Microsoft PowerPoint app specific to each). 

Please visit the Animated Step-by-Steps blog for further information on the creative use of these educational resources.

In the hands of a creative parent, specific adaptations can be implemented to allow children to participate more fully in these games using an eye-gaze frame, a communication device or even a switch to trigger the sequential animations that make up each resource. 

They can even be shared via Tele-practice! The rules of the game are systematically shared using the share screen feature of a program such as Zoom, Skype or Google Team.  Communication training can set the stage for an interactive game. The child's communication device can be programmed with messages to mediate the game. 

These teaching resources are available through TpT. They can be purchased individually or bundled.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Animated Step-by-Steps® and Tele Practice!

Currently Speech Language Pathologists are grappling with how to conduct tele practice with their students with special needs. Many are exploring the use of apps like Zoom, Skype, Facetime or Team Google to mediate their therapeutic practice. 

Animated Step-by-Steps® are animated PowerPoints that can serve a role in tele practice. Imagine … sharing your computer screen to read an animated book that paces the child through a shared story, making pudding, constructing a Baggie Butterfly  or Making Play Dough, conducting the Bean Experiment or learning how to play Go Fish (assisted by a parent or older sibling). 

Some ASbySs are guessing games with a literacy component. With these resources, you would use the pen tool of PowerPoint (command p when in slide show mode) to provide the letter hints necessary for guessing the mystery object's name. The child at home might be using their electronic communication device to offer their guesses (i.e., animal page, fruit page, vegetable page).  

My Backpack (song button)
Mystery Animals
Mystery CVC Balls
Mystery Fruits & Vegetables

Some ASbySs provide a structured way to introduce the child to various 'family-oriented games' … 
a great past time when 'sheltering in'. Resources highlight the rules and provide the child with some practice to ensure they know the rules.
Connect Four
Poles & Ladders
War (card game)
Rock Paper Scissors
Go Fish
Beat the Clock
I Spy
The child's communication device can be programmed with scripted messages to mediate communication during future games. 

Some ASbySs are designed with choices that must be made as the resource is read and animated. The therapist could then use partner-assisted scanning ("This one? … This one? …). For some students the choices can  be supplemented  with numbers/letters that that can be used as an alternative to partner-assisted scanning. 
Mr. Potato Head (choosing body parts in keeping with the 5 senses)
My Little Wagon
I Spy (clothing)
I Spy (backpack contents)
Weather Bear (clothing)
Cars in a Row (patterning)

Several ASbySs reflect variations of the interactive B-I-N-G-O Song which has a fun singing and literacy agenda. 
B-I-N-G-O & Friends
B-I-N-G-O Weather
B-I-N-G-O Zoo
B-I-N-G-O Planets (See Caroline Musselwhite's TpT)

There are many ASbySs that are counting songs working on number concepts. Again, the pen tool can be used  to highlight subtraction as an academic focus.

And last, but not least ... there are many ASbySs that lend themselves to being personalized with photo faces of your students and their classmates/family members thereby heightening the child's interest in watching the screen. Similarly, Mystery Puzzles – Letters and Mystery Puzzles – Numbers that can be personalized with photo faces of the child and their classmates/family.

To view the entire Library of Animated Step-by-Steps® download the Illustrated Listing of Animated step-by-Steps® a free resource available from the Bloom Where You're Planted Store on TpT.

Happy Tele Practice!

…’til the next post …  

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©2020 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Special Educator