Monday, December 26, 2016

Another Great Literacy Component

Where Does Milk Come From? is a reverse ‘farm to table’ tale, tracing milk back to it’s origin, the udder of a cow (Where does milk come from? ….a refrigerator? …. a jug or carton? … a shelf in a supermarket? … a milk processing plant? … a truck and a farm? … a cow on a farm? … the udder of a cow!). This resource is available on the Teachers Pay Teachers site in three formats: Regular (no symbol support), SymbolStix (n2y) and Picture Communication Symbols (Tobii/Dynavox). 

After completing this journey, students are invited to 'weigh in on' which is faster .... milking by hand or milking by machine. Students are then guided through the steps for conducting a simulated milking by hand activity using a disposable glove filled with warm water tinted white.

I’m always searching for ways to creatively engage students in the learning process. Animated Step-by-Steps® strive to heighten engagement by allowing students to trigger animations that support what was just read. They also strive to incorporate opportunities for problem solving to promote more active learning. In the Where Does Milk Come From? story, for example, numerous ‘fill in the blanks’ are designed to build in suspense and provide problem-solving opportunities, e.g. Calcium. Good for your _______ (teeth).  Good for your ________ (bones). Yikes!  What happens when the child correctly guesses ‘bones’, but ‘teeth’ is the first animation in the animation sequence?  

To circumvent this dilemma, each blank is offset with an initial letter cue. e.g., Calcium. Good for your  t________  (teeth). Good for your b___________ (bones).  This initial letter cue is crucial to maintaining the correct animation sequence,  but it does have the added benefit of providing a nice literacy component for students working on letter-to-sound identification. After the ‘mystery word’ has been successfully guessed, the remaining letters appear in the blank and a supporting visual animates on to the scene, e.g., y______ (letter cue)… yogurt text enters… yogurt photo enters … ‘yogurt’ spoken word is heard.

I was raised on a farm with cows that had to be milked each day. And yes, one of my favorite childhood memories is Dad milking the cow and squirting milk at the cats!

’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