It's Not Rocket Science: Planning Language Lessons from Core Standards

Students who use AAC typically receive much of their language intervention in the classroom.  Given this, it is important to teach vocabulary and language concepts as well as academic content when delivering curriculum. In order to achieve this, often the curriculum may need to be modified and the essence of the core standard identified to match the abilities and learning styles of the students.

This class focuses on using backwards planning as a method to create authentic and meaningful lessons for emerging communicators. The sample lesson will include: identifying a Common Core standard, reframing that standard into a child-friendly learning target, planning for assessment, and determining the activity, instructional materials and lesson plan. Science lessons are used for the examples; however, this process can be applied to any content area. Video of educators and emerging communicators who use AAC will be shown to demonstrate the various stages of creating a lesson using backwards planning.

This class is intended for people who educate students who use AAC in a classroom setting.

Thu, Jan 19, 2017
2:30pm - 4:00pm
Eastern Standard Time


Not Rocket Science

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This class is taught in Eastern Standard Time

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:
  1. Explain why you need to teach language during standards-based instruction for students who use AAC.
  2. Create a child-friendly learning target out of a national or state standard.
  3. Start and end a language lesson by stating the learning target and reviewing the target vocabulary.


5 minutes - Introduction and housekeeping
15 minutes - Setting the stage for language intervention in the classroom
15 minutes - Choosing vocabulary and language targets
45 minutes - Using Backwards Planning to create meaningful lessons
10 minutes - Summary and Q and A

Michele Boruta, AT Specialist, SLP

Michele Boruta is an AAC and education consultant in Boulder, Colorado. She taught special education and AAC in Oakland Public Schools for 10 years, and has consulted both privately and with the public schools for 5 years. Michele has a BS in Biology and Psychology from the University of Puget Sound. Her Masters in Special Education and AAC endorsement are from San Francisco State University. Michele has a growing record of publications and presentations on language and literacy instruction for students with AAC needs. Her areas of interest include curriculum design, language and literacy intervention, and personal narrative for students with AAC needs.

Financial: Michele Boruta is contracted by the Prentke Romich Company.

Nonfinancial: No relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

Profile Picture of Kara Bidstrup

Kara Bidstrup, M.S., CCC-SLP

Kara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University and completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Speech Pathology in August of 2003 at Northern Arizona University. Since receiving her Masters, Kara has specialized in the field of assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication serving both children and adults who use speech generating devices and other assistive technology. In her most recent position, she was responsible for developing and teaching a middle school special education classroom for orthopedically impaired students using speech generating devices to communicate and access their educational curricula. Kara has experience providing training and technical support to clinicians, teachers, and families of device users.

Kara holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has a California Speech Language Pathology License, and holds a California Professional Clear Clinical and Rehabilitative Services Credential. Kara is also a member of the ASHA Division 12 (AAC division) and a member of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Prior to joining PRC, Kara received the Clinician of the Year award from the Arizona Speech-Language and Hearing Association and, since working with PRC, has become a member of our marketing committee.

Financial: Kara Bidstrup is a salaried employee of the Prentke Romich Company.

Nonfinancial: Kara Bidstrup is an employee-owner of the Prentke Romich Company, is a member of ASHA, ASHA Special Interest Group 12 (AAC SIG), International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC), has a California Speech Language Pathology License and holds a California Professional Clear Clinical and Rehabilitative Services Credential.



Instructional Level


Content Area


Submission Deadlines

ASHA Information

Participants wanting ASHA CEUs for a multiple day training must attend all days.

An annual ASHA CE Registry fee is required to register ASHA CEUs. ASHA CE Registry fees are paid by the participant directly to the ASHA National Office. The annual ASHA CE Registry fee allows registration of an unlimited number of ASHA CEUs for the calendar year. Contact the ASHA CE staff at 800-498-2071 ext. 8591 for CE Registry fee subscription information:
The Prentke Romich Company (PRC) licenses a patented technology that is in PRC products trademarked as Accent, NuEye, ECO, ECOpoint, SpringBoard Lite, and Vantage Lite. Because there are no other like-kind products available, course offerings will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of the above-named products.

This presentation will focus exclusively on Accent, NuEye, ECO, ECOpoint, SpringBoard Lite, or Vantage Lite and will not include information regarding other similar or related augmentative and alternative (AAC) communication devices.
Most of our presenters are salaried, employee-owners of the Prentke Romich Company. A few of our presenters are contracted presenters.


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For PC-Based Organizers and Attendees
  • Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000 (Linux is not supported)
  • Required: Internet Explorer® 7.0 or newer, or Mozilla® Firefox® 3.0 or newer, or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled). If needed, download Java here.
  • Recommended: Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM (2 GB of RAM for Windows Vista)
For Mac-Based Organizers and Attendees
  • Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®), OS X 10.5 (Leopard®), OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard®)
  • Required: Safari™ 3.0 or newer, or Firefox 3.0 or newer; Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript and Java enabled)
  • Required: PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel processor, 512 MB of RAM or better recommended

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