Do you feel like everywhere you turn you are hearing about the EET? I feel that same way, and I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned about the EET, or Expanding Expression Tool, in the past couple months. I love it, and I think you will too!
According to the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) website, “The Expanding Expression Tool provides students with a hands-on approach to describing and defining. As a mnemonic device, it provides visual and tactile information which facilitates improved language organization. The kit itself is designed to allow you to follow a hierarchical approach taking student’s expression from words to paragraphs to reports. Therefore, it can be used by a variety of ages.
The kit consists of the Expanding Expression Tool, a manual, stickers for written expression, object cards for describing activities and a poster.
The Expanding Expression Tool is color symbol coded. Students learn the code and from this code are able to provide detailed descriptions including the following elements: the category the item belongs to, the function of the object, the appearance, what the item is made of, the parts of the item, and it’s location.
This tool has been classroom tested in both regular and special education classes.”
I love it because it gives my kiddos a framework to describe and define items or words. If you’re tired of saying things like “Let’s think of other ways we can describe that.” or “Hmm… I’m not sure what you’re telling me about. Where did you see it?” then YOU NEED THIS TOOL.
Curious about the research behind it? Click here to see pretest/posttest results and learn about the research supporting the use of the EET.
Personally, I can attest that not only do my kiddos enjoy using the EET (we like to call it “the caterpillar”), but it has really helped organize their language when describing things. It’s multisensory, which I think is what makes it so successful.
Now that you know the basics of what it is… how about I show you around what comes with a kit when you buy it?
First, the kit comes in a handy little box that just happens to fit perfectly in my therapy bag that I carry around with me at all times. It even has space to throw it worksheet/activities that I use consistently with the EET (more on this later).
When you open it, it looks like this:
Included is a large EET strand (the basis of the program), stickers, foam dice, a visual stand-up board, cards, and a book containing worksheets and information about the program. I’ll go through each below:
First, is the book which explains how to use the Expanding Expression Tool AND provides tons of worksheets. The one thing I wish about the EET is that this book came with a CD to print the worksheets.
Next, is the EET strand. You will probably use this the most of anything else in the box. My younger kiddos call it “the caterpillar”. Each bead slides up and down the string:
Another way to make the EET fun and interactive is to use the included dice. For some reason, dice really get my kiddos excited:
There is an entire deck of cards included, with simple pictures you can describe AND cards that outline how to use the EET for higher level skills like summarizing:
Last, there is a handy stand up poster:
This is what my box looks like:
I like keeping extra worksheets and visuals inside so everything EET related is in one place since I don’t see kids in one room or office:
The worksheet shown on the right above is part of a packet I made that works super well with the EET (or without it). Click here if you’re interested! You can read more about how I teach the EET on the blog too.
And below is a picture of EVERYTHING:
Below is an example of the EET in use. I like to use my worksheets, the visual poster, a card, and the EET all at the same time. So much multimodality support going on here!
When you go to order the EET, you will be given the option to add on several items that increase engagement with the idea and open the door to tons of fun and interactive treatment ideas. One of the fun add-on options is the EET Steppers. My puppy likes them too 🙂
They are also great as puppy pillows apparently:
So how do you use it?
Basically, for the younger kiddos, you find a simple object to describe. Each bead on the strand helps your kiddos remember various ways to describe objects. To teach the EET, I like to start one bead at a time. After your kiddos know each bead, they can simply slide each bead over as they describe the item in that way. For example, the top green bead reminds your kiddos to describe the group (green=group) and the next blue bead reminds them to describe what the object does (blue=do). It’s fairly easy to teach and I love that the large strand can eventually be faded to a visual using the included stickers that can be easily kept on a student’s desk.
Does it work?
YES. After teaching each bead, my students need substantially less support to describe items and are now able to describe them much more completely. If you don’t believe me, ask ANYBODY who has an EET and I’m sure you will hear the same thing, this thing works!
How do I get one?
I hope by now you are convinced to buy an EET. Because it is copyrighted, please purchase the kit and do not attempt to make your own. CLICK HERE to check out the website. There are very compelling videos and an online ordering form. From the site, you will be able to add on extras such as the