Can't believe we are down to the last 5 posts for this challenge!!
Visual communication- Very few children in the mainstream schools I have worked in have been unable to communicate vocally so my practical experience of visual communication cards such as PECS is limited, however, friends working in special schools use these type of systems extensively. A story sticks in my mind from one of them that a child for snack time was always offered verbally a choice between two drinks - blackcurrant or orange - and was just expected to nod for the one he wanted and he always chose orange. My friend new to the school and a great advocator of visual communication printed out two cards she had made - one for orange, one for blackcurrant and asked him to point to the one he wanted - very slowly he pointed at the one for blackcurrant and it became clear that because of his delay in being able to nod he had always ended up being given orange!! Suddenly and for the first time in ages this child was able to communicate his actual preference! This really made me think again about using more visuals in my own classroom particularly for younger children who might not realise exactly what is being spoken about.
I'd love to know if anyone else has stories of how the simplest of things unlocked something profound for someone :)
Visual timetables - I have found these to be very useful in a classroom not only for the children who need them such as those with autism or ADHD or any other anxiety problems but also for the rest of the class - it certainly helps get rid of the problems of continual questions of what are we doing next? There are lots of websites now that offer free schedules and picture cards to download. I have found sparklebox to be a really good one - http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/blue/class-management/routines-organisation/visual-timetable/daily-timetable.html#.VTsfTCHBzGc
It is then simply a case of printing out, laminating, attaching velcro to the daily lesson strip and the backs of the picture cards and away we go & they last for ever!! This means once done each classroom can have one and they can be re-used the following year :)
Have you used a visual timetable in your classroom or do you have other ways to help children understand the structure of their day?
Vintage knitting patterns - because I am now able to do many more knitting projects I have been in search of patterns and have been extremely surprised as well as dismayed to see how much brand new single knitting patterns now retail for!!! Luckily, many talented knitters are willing to share some of their patterns on the internet free of charge and I have also found that charity shops are a good source of older patterns too. This has now led me into the world of vintage knitting patterns - some of which I obviously may use (see my H is for Hats post) but some just because they invoke such nostalgia. I picked up this Woolworth's pattern book not so long ago
I have also been given my grandmother's special knitting book I can always remember which we believe dates back to the 1940s
Let me know what you think :)
V is for Viking freebie
I made this resource in response to the situation facing another special needs teacher over in the USA, Jannike over at specialedconnections.blogspot.com who is a definite Viking!! Sometimes when things aren't going well we all need to be able to vent as well as send each other a hug over the internet.
I think once again those in special education are all struggling to square the circle between the wonderful students who keep us amazed at their grit and determination versus a school system that sees everything in terms of "academic grades" on a very uneven playing field :(
Wishing everyone a very restful and enjoyable weekend :)