Presidents Day & Community Helpers

This week in Talking Time, our Shasta class learned about presidents.  We had candidates run for class president, made campaign posters that described what we would do as president, and voted in an election.  We also read fun facts about past presidents in the book What Presidents are Made of.  What and made were our core words of the week.  You can see our theme vocabulary video and watch some inspiring Kid President videos at this link:

Our elementary classes studied community helpers while reading the book When I Grow Up.  Most of the students decided they’d like to drive the school bus someday.  Our core words of the week were who and want.  You can model these words by asking and answering who questions:

Who is at the table?  You and sister are at the table!  Who is on tv?  Sponge Bob is on tv.  You can model using want by referring to things your child wants in the moment:  For example, if you see your child reaching for a toy, you can model with a sentence like “Oh, I see you WANT Legos.”

Theme vocabulary and some Storybots songs about community helpers is available at this link:

what and made


who and want The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981-2018 by Tobii Dynavox LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.

The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981-2018 by Tobii Dynavox LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.

All You Need is Love

This week we talked a lot about love! We read the new book “All you need is Love,” which is a lovely visual representation of the Beatles song.

We talked about different things we all love including what foods we love to eat. Many students chose ice cream or donuts!

We talked about different ways we can show love to our friends, including fist bumps, high fives and smiles.

We ended the week by talking about ways we love ourselves. Students completed the sentence – I can ________. It was wonderful to hear the different things students love about themselves. They said things like, “I can be kind,” “I can help,” and “I can dance.”

We hope you all have a good long weekend, filled with love!

love and core vocab

Follow the link below to see the videos we watched this week. The students very much enjoyed dancing along to the songs!


When you plan your weekly theme for January, you certainly hope for more cooperation from the weather.  Our theme was SNOWMAN and our story of the week was There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow.  Our core words of the week were WHO and SOME.  We asked lots of WHO questions this week, like “Who do you love?”  You can ask your child WHO questions, too!  SOME is easy to work into daily routines when you ask your child if  they want some ….help, cookies, movie time….the possibilities are endless!  Here’s the link for this week’s playlist, full of new words, the read aloud version of our story, snow sculpting contests, a snowman song and even a snowman Wallace and Grommet Cartoon.  Will we see snow this winter?

Who and Some vocabulary
The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981-2018 by Tobii Dynavox LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.

Waiting Is Not Easy!

Our theme this week was waiting.  We read the book Waiting Is Not Easy by Mo Willems.  In this story, a Piggie has a surprise for his friend Elephant,  but he has to wait.  And wait.  And he waits very dramatically.  The surprise is a nighttime sky full of stars.  We looked at stars in the dark with our light box.  Our core words of the week were I, you and not.  We worked on the sentences “I am________.” and “You are_________.” using talking brix. (You can learn more about these mini-talkers here:  You can find our vocabulary words, a song about waiting, a song about stars, plus the read-aloud version of our story in English and Spanish by following this link:

I, you, not
Waiting is not easy universal core vocabulary: I, you, not

Like a Windy Day

This week, we talked about the wind.  Our book of the book was Like a Windy Day , by Frank Asch & Devin Asch.  We tried a couple of fun wind-based activities, including pinwheels and using squeeze bottles to blow cotton ball “clouds” across the blue sky.  (This is an easy activity to try at home!)   Vocabulary words, a read-aloud version of the book and some songs about wind (plus some Bill Nye, the Science Guy) are available of this playlist:

Like Windy Day Core Words: I, want, like
Like a Windy Day Core Words: I, Want, Like

Creepy Crawly Week

In our elementary classes, we read The Very Busy Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.  Our song was the Itsy Bitsy Spider and we played with our new light box.  (If you are feeling ambitious, the DIY light box instructions can be found here and are very inexpensive to make for your own home language fun!  I used an led camping light.  Our words of the week were SHE and WANT.  Links to vocabulary and song can be found on YouTube:

In our middle school class, we read the book Hairy, Not Scary.  This story was written by a Lifeskills high school class and talked about two students who wrote a report about tarantulas.  Our class then wrote their own book.  The Spider Book  Please take a peek at this great story.  We took turns reading it to each other and then lent the book to our friends in elementary school.  They loved it, too!  Links to this week’s vocabulary and some dancing spiders can be found at  Our words of the week were YOU, NOT and ON. 

Both classes really enjoyed a visit from my pet spider, Harry.  He was very polite and enjoyed the kids taking him on walks.  Everyone was very gentle and no one was scared in the least!





It’s Okay to Be Different

This week, our book during Talking Time was It’s Okay to Be Different, by Todd Parr.  We focused on the universal core words:  IT, HELP, and DIFFERENT.  A video play list of vocabulary word and a read-a-loud version of the book can be found at this link:

week 1 core words: It, help, different

Week 1 core words: It, help, different

Theme vocabulary included:

  • tooth
  • nose
  • colors
  • ears
  • wheels
  • small, medium, large
  • glasses
  • mac & cheese
  • bathtub
  • dancing
  • pet worm
  • mom
  • dad
  • friend
  • mittens
  • squirrel