Friday, September 14, 2012

Class Project---Making an adapted Fall Leaf Counting Book

My patio today---fall is here!
There has been a lot going on this week!  Five days of school, a middle school football game (Alana is a cheerleader!), a 5K to get ready for, and the other usual household things to do.  Blogging has not been up to speed. 

Today, though, I did a really fun project with our primary EC classroom.  We created a Fall Leaves Counting book.  Each child made a page, I put it together, and I then added a few icons with velcro to make it interactive. 

Here are the nuts and bolts of this activity.
a.  I created visual directions on the iPad using Pictello which is like a talking picture album.  The children took turns turning the pages on the iPad and touching the pictures to activate the text to speech voice.  Pictello is great because I can then export the directions in pdf and share.  
 Click here to download the directions in pdf format.
screenshot of the pdf directions

b.  Due to the skill level of the children, I pre-cut the leaves and tree trunks.  In the future, I would love our OT  to cotreat  to better integrate the fine motor piece, but she hasn't actually started working yet at Ephesus.....she's coming Monday and I'm so excited about that!

c. I always use a core functional communication board to target words such as 'go', 'finished', 'want', 'more', 'open', and a few others--the same board for all activities, lunch, snack, and playtime. 

d.  In addition to the core vocabulary, I used a content vocabulary board with words specific to the activity.  In this case, the fringe or content words were the craft items, and the numbers 1-6.  We have used simple voice output devices in the past, but not today. A couple of our kids are still at the PECs level, and one uses signs (having little idea of any functional use of pictures---she's new here).  Sometimes, adding devices confuses the kids when the activity is busy.  (I'll upload the core and content vocabulary boards on Monday when I go back to school.)

e. When doing an activity with a group of kids in the classroom, I always use a visual schedule, with a predictable routine.  The activities change week to week within the routine, but the format is usually similar---
       1. gathering music or video on my laptop (2 minutes)
       2. reading an adapted book together
       3. related craft activity
       4. game or really fun thing to do

f. For each of the above activities, I keep in mind that the craft is not the goal.  Communication is the goal, and I provide a means to communicate, and scaffold the experience to elicit language.

Shots of the final project is below.  This book will be a great addition to the shared reading library in the classroom!  

Title---children's names are 'grayed' out

 Icons for the adapted book (only up to number 6)
are here in pdf
and here in boardmaker

Within this routine, I see progress over the year, and the teachers, who are with me during this, incorporate these techniques into their own teaching. Obviously a lot of planning and prep time is needed, so hopefully you all can take this pre-thought idea and use it with your own classes, perhaps saving a few steps.    Happy fall!


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