Thursday, July 23, 2015

Writing Buddy--Assistive Technology Low Tech Flip Book for Inclusion

Writing is one of the most challenging areas for students with special needs, and often an adult has to sit one-on-one with the student to eke out every word and letter. I created "Writing Buddy"  to enhance independence for the early primary writer by providing an extensive word bank which is organized by who, what, when, and where concepts along with other categories. I used Smarty Symbols for the awesome graphics (commercial license).

 A long time ago, I went to a workshop where a talented mother, Inga Smith, presented on an assistive technology low tech flip book which she called "Journal Jogger".  I bought the CD for this, and we created some of these flip books at our school.

She offers this product online here.  Even though the website mentions 'passwords', I had no problem going directly to it. It's free, and many, many pages long.  If you own Boardmaker, you can download it all!

The problem that I know many of you have is that Boardmaker is expensive.
The other problem with "Journal Jogger" is that the flipchart that it becomes is big with 26 pages of pictures/words.  My kids get lost with all the words.  Bigger is not better.

I have taken the same concept, but simplified it, totally reorganized the vocabulary, eliminated many pages,  and used Smarty Symbols rather than Boardmaker.  Although "Journal Jogger" was the inspiration, this product is totally different from the original with a different type of child in mind.  "Journal Jogger" was designed originally for high functioning children with extensive vocabulary.  "Writing Buddy" is designed for more linguistically challenged children who deserve their seat in the mainstream, too!

This is a low tech

assistive technology accommodation

for students to use during inclusion

in a regular primary class.

Page 1—Title

Page 2 –People and verbs

Page 3—Adjectives or descripters

Page 4---Nouns (food, drink, toys)

Page 5– Where; prepositions and places

Page 6—Numbers and fractions

Page 7—Colors

Page 8—Calendar concepts

Page 9—Feelings

Page 10—Sentence starters

Page 11—Kindergarten high frequency words 

Page 12—Steps to writing visual

This example is printed in black and white. It's very nice printed in color, but both ways work.

Take a look at this flip chart online here.

I hope you all are having a good summer.  My ESY experience just ended.  Vancouver, BC is next!



  1. Thank you, Ruth. I am in a funk because most of my colleagues don't believe in writing instruction for my students, so it is hard to know where to start. This is perfect!

  2. I am excited to share this with my Multiple Disabilities teacher! Some of her students may benefit from the more complex Journal Jogger, but the link appears to be broken? I tried googling Journal Jogger, but only found a webinar.

    1. Seems like the whole website is down or gone. I'll try it again later. Thank you for pointing it out to me.