Core Vocabuary Boards

So this year the speech path in our building went to a conference about the core vocabulary board. Before being introduced to this we were solely trying to use the PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System) and with only myself and an aid in the room regularly it was challenging to initially teach the students how to use it. So after she attended this conference she said this may be a great supplement to PECs and may be easier to use with just two adults regularly in the room. 

After only trying this system for a couple of days I not only found it WAY easier! I also noticed more of my students looking at the pictures and trying to point to the pictures and trying to use it. Since I am not totally familiar with the location of all the pictures and I was not sure about how to go about teaching it to my kiddos this last month of school was kind of spent experimenting with it and I have been learning with them. 

So how did I go about getting this in place?

First, I blew up the board she provided into a poster size and put it on my rolling chart holder so that it can easily be moved around the classroom. Whenever possible throughout the day I try to refer to the board when I am talking.  I love using the big poster board because I can use the cards from the PECs book to fit into the spaces. I am planning to make flip charts for the top with our most used words.

I also started to do some activities with it to get the students familiar with it. 
 Here are a couple of the activities I did:

1. I gave each child a beanbag and had them identify the color and/or shape. The child would point to the word I see ____. When doing this some I just had to model it, others I had to take their hand to point to each word. 

2. We also did building a potato head. Students would say I want (the piece) and I would give it to them or depending on the group they would be able to go find that piece in the box. 

3. We have been requesting snack with the board. I want...

4. We went fishing for numbers and then said I see (number). 

5. Identifying new vocabulary words. I gave each student a card and they said the sentence I see (picture). 

6. I have made individual boards for students and am in the process of making pictures for the top row that we frequently use. I also made one with snack pictures that will be used for their placemat next year so they can point on that. 

For this year we just used the basic board to become familiar with one or two words.

Next year we are going to...

Bind the top and students can flip to one of the strips seen below. Again, we are gradually going to introduce this. We are going to start with snack and then depending on each individual child increase the strips. 

 How to use the core vocabulary board is going to be shared with the parents to implement at home at our fall open house. I cannot wait to dive into this next year.  I saw an improvement in my students' communication and overall behavior in a very short time and I think next year will be fun to see the growth that they make when we start using it from the start! If you have any experience with it I would love to hear about it!


  1. Please tell me you have copies of this vocabulary board that you can share!!! We just started to introduce a core vocabulary book at the end of our school year, but never thought of having it blown up into a board/chart! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Unfortunately I received the vocab board from a conference and am not able to share it. If I come across one though I will make sure to.

  2. I love this Kate! Are you able to share this template?


    1. Unfortunately I can't because I received it from a conference I attended.

  3. Tons of great free resources and training modules at-


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