Monday, June 27, 2016

The Power of the Point

As indicated in a previous post (, ASbyS songs are now being created with a song button.  

The song button allows you to incorporate a singing track thereby adding a little pizazz to the lesson  …. and it offers the additional benefit of clarifying the tune.

I typically read/animate the page first, then announce our intent to ‘sing the page’ together.
“Are we ready to sing?
“Now, let’s sing our page”
“Got your singing voices ready?”

When using the interactive whiteboard, I am using my index finger to point to the text/symbols as I lead the group singing the song. Word of caution: do not touch the board as you ‘point along’. Yikes! A touch will be interpreted as a click that will move the PowerPoint program on to the next page.

When using a tablet/computer, I have found it helpful to hand-over-hand assist the child in pointing to the text/symbols as the song is being sung. 

As the child tends to look where their finger is pointing, this is a great way to nurture joint attention skills. In contrast to the interactive whiteboard, you can freely touch the computer/iPad screen without inadvertently advancing the program to the next page.  

When using the computer, the monitor must be positioned close to the child to allow this pointing to occur.  You also want the symbols to be readily accessible for providing follow-up Aided Language Stimulation (e.g., Oh those RIDING PANTS look nice. I didn’t know you had to PUT ON special RIDING PANTS. MOSELY wants Kathryn to HURRY. See he’s nudging her … saying HURRY, HURRY I’m waiting"). Whenever the child points to a symbol on the screen, expand that communication, e.g., if the child points to the RIDING symbol you might comment, “Yes, she has on her RIDING … PANTS.”

In summary, the strategy of using the built in song track (triggered by clicking on the song button) in conjunction with a strategy of hand-over-hand assisting the child in pointing to the text/symbols as the song is being sung is a powerful way to heighten engagement while nurturing joint attention skills.

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator