Many times we meet teachers who are eager to start using AAC in their classrooms, but are not sure where to begin.  Integrating core vocabulary into your daily routine is a perfect start to give students access to "powerful" words for communicating across all of your typical activities and environments! From Morning Meeting, to Center Time, the Restroom and Cafeteria, students learn to tell us "go," "stop," "want that," "not that!" "When is it?" and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
Core words are the 200-400 most frequently used words in our language. Because of their frequency, we often target these words for instruction- more "bang for the buck!" If students can learn to use these words when they communicate, they can communicate across all environments and activities, for a wide variety of purposes.  When students learn to combine these words into novel phrases and sentences, they can say almost everything they want to say.  ​Core words are typically verbs, adjectives, pronouns and adverbs; pretty much all forms of vocabulary except nouns.

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Teach the Teachers!

Ideally students will learn to communicate during REAL interactions in their classrooms.  One of the best  Partner Strategies  we can use to help students begin communicating using their Core Vocabulary Words is for the adults to START TALKING using Core!  We have to have "buy in" from all of the adult instructors to make this work, so a Core Word Classroom Training (or several) will help get the whole team on board!

WEBINAR:  Intro To The Core Word Classroom

Let's get this party started! You've heard about Core Words in AAC, but what does that really mean? Is it really cute book that repeats the word "go" on every page?  Is it a poster of 36 symbols  we use to decorate our classroom walls? We are exploring the meaning of core words, why we teach with them and how we can begin to immerse our students in a school that "speaks" their language.  Gather your team together, pop some popcorn, and let's talk about the Core Word Classroom! ​

Length:  53 minutes

Development Resources

Without question, Project Core is the premier place to go to learn all about core word instruction for students with complex communication needs. This website gives you access to core word displays which are accessible to ALL of your students, including those with vision, hearing and motor challenges.  They also have professional training modules to help you learn all about core words and how to teach them.  They have tools you can use to plan for a Core Word Approach to your entire school district, including all the information your administrator needs to consider.  You will find data collection tools as well!  Staff can earn certificates of completion for each training module so you can track your progress!

Assistiveware Core Word Teaching Strategies:
Assistiveware developed a website to help us learn all about core vocabulary.  On this site there are resources to use, training materials and discussions to help you get started! This is a great page to start understanding and using core word strategies in your classroom.

Core Vocabulary Word Lists:


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