I was so excited when I heard about Core First Learning – a programme of work designed to help build the key vocabulary necessary for functional communication. I thought I’d better start putting some lesson plans together…but wait, they’ve got that covered too?! A solid base of differentiated activities and ready-to-go plans; as a teacher looking to save time while creating the best learning opportunities, I was already sold!
From early trials of these new wonderful resources, I knew they would be a big hit for pupils and staff and I wasn’t disappointed! For example, one child, who I had heard utter but a few words, was already repeating the core word in his first encounter with a CFL book. Several children were motivated at doing work on the iPad but the added bonus was the level of engagement, which kept them focused on the task at hand rather than trying to access games apps or the internet to watch their favourite videos.
The resources are fantastic for teaching small groups and individuals. I started building on the existing resources to encourage further repetition of the core word. As one-to-one teaching is quite a rare luxury, I combined different approaches in order to address a variety of communication methods while using Core First Learning as a foundation; i.e. using symbols, Makaton signing, PECS, Colourful Semantics strategies and written words in activities to complement the books provided through Core First Learning. The book tie into many topics and communication opportunities.
The more I work with these resources, the more I see how effective they are and the more staff are keen to buy into Core First Learning, figuratively of course, as the cherry on top is that it is all free with our Boardmaker Online subscription!