Communication Repair

May 25, 2017


CR Cover

Do your kids with hearing loss say “Huh?” when they miss information?  Are you looking for some fun activities to help them learn to use other responses?  I finally finished  Unit 4  for the Interactive Self-advocacy Notebook on Communication Repair available in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.



Here is a preview of some of the activities:


There are two different sorting activities for the repair strategies.  Here is one:Slide13

My students have really enjoyed these activities and I know yours will, too!  Check it out on TeachersPayTeachers!

FM Lapel Mics


Recently one of my students complained that he didn’t like using his FM system because of the “scratchy” sounds.  I listened to it and did not hear any scratching.  Then he explained that the mic flips over when the teachers are wearing it.  I asked “What should you do when that happens?” and he sheepishly gave me the correct answer.  Then we role played with me being various teachers.  Later the idea came to me to create a visual reminder for  teachers.  I sent it to all teachers of students on my caseload who use lapel mics.  I actually got several positive responses from teachers thanking me for the reminder!  Please feel free to grab the photo and use it!

Do-Don't FM Mic

Check out Unit 3 – Amplification!

April 2, 2017



The latest unit in the Interactive Self-Advocacy Notebook is available here.  I hope you find it useful!  It includes a Rationale – have you ever been asked at an IEP meeting why a  student should be pulled out of class to learn this information?  Here you go!


What is included in this Unit?

Contents Unit 3 Border

Here are some sample activities:


3 benefits FM 2 slides cropped





Please let me know what you think about Unit 3!

Progress Monitoring


I have a question for anyone who works with deaf/hard of hearing students with self-advocacy goals on their IEPs.  Our state recently required that all IEP goals be progress monitored 7-10 times per quarter.  This is easy to do with many types of goals but not so easy for self-advocacy goals.

For goals related to wearing and managing hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems a chart can be used for the student to check off on a daily basis.

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I love these mini clipboards!

But for a goal such as “The student will self-select appropriate preferential seating for the on 4/5 occasions.”

OR  “The student will use a variety of unspecified and specified ways to request clarification when information is not understood on 4/5 occasions.”

OR “The student will independently advocate for her accommodations on 4/5 occasions ”

For most of my self-advocacy-only students, I see them 3-6 times per quarter for pull-out services and 2-3 sessions in the regular education classroom.  Previously, I combined what I observed with the teacher’s feedback to get my data for quarterly progress reports.  But, I am at a loss as to how to get 7-10 data points.

One idea I had was to ask a different teacher each week using art, music, PE, special ed, etc for elementary students and then academic subject teachers for secondary students.

If anyone has any other ideas, please send them in and thank you!

Unit 2-Anatomy of the Ear- Interactive Self-Advocacy Notebook


slide1    Have you ever had anyone ask you “Why do you need to remove that student (with a hearing loss) from classroom instructional time to work on learning about the ear?”

This is a very common question and the answer is the very basis of self-knowledge.  I’ve had students tell me they feel stupid because they misunderstand what people say.  In schools students will be challenged usually  unintentionally on the use of their accommodations.  Knowing the basic facts about hearing loss will help them deal with these situations.  


Consider the unit as a menu of activities.  You may do one activity now, leave blank pages in the notebook and come back to complete another activity at a later time.    You may not need to do all of the activities with all of your students.  Just pick and choose what you need for a particular student.

Here is a video example of one activity – a 2nd grader explaining the normal hearing process and how his is different.


Check out Unit 2 in TeachersPayTeachers.  Don’t forget to grab Unit 1 – it’s FREE!


Self-Advocacy Interactive Notebook for Kids with Hearing Loss


What is an Interactive Notebook?

As a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, I had little exposure to Interactive Notebooks until I noticed them in the regular ed classrooms that I’m frequently in.  There they are used across many subjects.  Why?


For my purposes I see two important reasons.  First, they are brain-based learning activities where the teacher uses interactive and engaging instructional methods to captivate students with the content, assess their understanding through self reflection, and help them visualize and demonstrate understanding.  thinking brain clipart for kids thinking brain clipart for kids ability clipart clipart panda free clipart images 476 X 450

Second, Interactive Notebooks emphasize the idea that every learner is different and that all students benefit from multiple ways of learning.  Students work at their level using their multiple intelligences to make their learning experience fun and exciting.

An additional benefit is that Notebooks enhance general learning by involving writing across the curriculum, personalization and metacognition strategies.

As I saw the widespread use of Interactive Notebooks in my school district, I began to think of the benefits they would have for self-advocacy skills for students with hearing loss such as:

  1. Serve as a resource for students to use and refer to during one or more school years.
  1. Be a concrete record of facts, reflections, assessments, guides and connections that can be viewed, discussed and referred back to on multiple occasions.
  1. Serve as a Self-Advocacy Portfolio or a culmination of work and knowledge throughout a school year.
  1. Serve as instructional lessons for designated units.
  1. Source of activities that have immediate connections to the “real” world.
  1. Source of recommended books to be read with the students and where to find them.

Last summer I set to work on creating a Self-Advocacy Interactive Notebook for Kids with Hearing Loss.  I had no idea the amount of work that would go into its creation.  AND I am still working on it.  I decided to start releasing the units that are completed so the Introduction-Unit 1 is now ready to go and it is FREE.

As many of you know, I absolutely love the book, “I’m the Boss of My Hearing Loss” by Amy Kroll, AUD.          img_01181

This book will set the tone for the Self-Advocacy Interactive Notebook.  In the book a little boy describes how he proactively deals with his hearing loss daily.  The drawings are cute and the story is informative and fun. You must have the book to complete Unit 1. You can easily pick it up on my website.  I suggest taking a photo of your student holding the book up in a #Bookface pose and using that photo as the front cover of their Interactive Notebook.  (I prefer using composition books for my Notebooks.)bookface-jpg

Each unit is designed to stand alone.  Consider whether this unit is  appropriate for your student(s).  Think of the units of the Interactive Self-Advocacy Notebook as a menu.  You can choose the units to focus on and the activities to do for each student.  However, I do recommend starting with Introduction-Unit 1 because it primes the mindset for the remainder of the Notebook.

AND if you like this book and want more ideas on how to use it, check out my Book Booster.  It contains 25 literacy activities based on the content of the book that are appropriate for Grades K-5 in the areas of vocabulary, phonological awareness and comprehension.  It is available as a download from TeachersPayTeachers.

Please let me know what you think of my first unit and anything you think I forgot!

ASHA 2016


I know that I’m a little late in posting about ASHA.  (Has anyone seen my energy lately?  I seemed to have misplaced it about a year ago.)  Anyhow, I want to share an incredible find in the Exhibit Hall.

This is called the Starling.


The child wears it and it counts words spoken directly to the child.
The word count is sent to the parent’s phone along with feedback and activity tips.

I think this is an exciting tool for Early Intervention Programs to help parents receive immediate feedback about their language input.  I love that it uses the parent’s phone since we are all checking our phones frequently.  I think of it as a Fitbit for words.

I think the Starling would be a great tool to train babysitters, childcare providers and preschool teachers on how to provide language stimulation to their charges.  Additionally, it would be useful in speech-language pathology and deaf education training programs to instruct the students in language development.

Please check out their website and let me know what you think!