Why classroom visual supports help

I use visual supports for lots of things. I have students with visual schedules, reinforcements/rewards, and even on my anchor charts. It’s the first thing I look for when walking into a classroom—to support students. Many of my students need as much structure as they can get but in my building like many don’t have tons of extra support. Visuals provide that for them. You can never have to many visuals.

Visual supports can be very powerful tools to help increase independence and supporting students. Remember students not just those with autism have communication deficits they cannot express themselves effectively. Language difficulties may make it difficult for these students to understand what is expected of them. They may be confused about what is happening. Visual supports can reduce problem behaviors and increase effective communication interactions for students.

Visual supports have proven to be a huge success with my students when helping to mainstream them into their general education classrooms. Visual supports will allow students with special needs access to the general education curriculum and will help with the inclusion process. For some students, their visuals are almost a lifeline to help them through their day.

I often laugh at my observation that many times an adult is the one who is causing the problem for a child who is having a meltdown. One day, I just could not figure out why one of my students was literally
in tears heading to music class. Oops! Forgot his visual schedule! For this particular student, his visual schedule book helps him understand the rules and expectations in music class. He knows exactly what he needs to do and for a child who has such a severe language impairment and therefore cannot communicate like other students, his visuals help him connect with everyone else. A brief jog back to his classroom to grab that book and he was all ready for music with a smile on his face! Whew!!

I am often shocked at the unwillingness of some teachers to implement visuals for students who could benefit from their support. But when I take a step back I realize what we all know is true: change is difficult and if we are going to put in the effort to implement something, we want results! Like anything, visuals are going to take time to TEACH.

A student will not be able to use them successfully their first day, or even their first week. But, with continued exposure and explanation, visuals will help students. And the great thing is – visuals have not only been shown to be successful for students with disabilities but with ALL students.
If you create a classroom for a student with autism, you have created a classroom for all students to thrive in. Visuals should be part of that classroom!

Not only can you create a visual schedule for the day, but you can create a visual sequence of events for different activities in you class. For example at the art table, you can have a set of pictures or written rules with step by step directions for the project.

I'd love to hear, what kind of visuals do you find that you and your students can't live without?

Building Number Sense

WHAT IS NUMBER SENSE?
Number sense involves understanding numbers; knowing how to write and represent numbers in different ways; recognizing the quantity represented by numerals and other number forms; and discovering how a number relates to another number or group of numbers. Number sense develops gradually and varies as a result of exploring numbers, visualizing them in a variety of contexts, and relating to them in different ways.

In the primary and intermediate grades, number sense includes skills such as counting; representing numbers with manipulatives and models; understanding place value in the context of our base 10 number system; writing and recognizing numbers in different forms such as expanded, word, and standard; and expressing a number different ways—5 is "4 + 1" as well as "7 - 2," and 100 is 10 tens as well as 1 hundred. Number sense also includes the ability to compare and order numbers—whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers—and the ability to identify a number by an attribute—such as odd or even, prime or composite-or as a multiple or factor of another number. As students work with numbers, they gradually develop flexibility in thinking about numbers, which is a distinguishing characteristic of number sense.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Number sense enables students to understand and express quantities in their world. For example, whole numbers describe the number of students in a class or the number of days until a special event. Decimal quantities relate to money or metric measures, fractional amounts describing ingredient measures or time increments, negative quantities conveying temperatures below zero or depths below sea level, or percent amounts describing test scores or sale prices. Number sense is also the basis for understanding any mathematical operation and being able to estimate and make a meaningful interpretation of its result.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN?

In teaching number sense, using manipulatives and models (e.g., place-value blocks, fraction strips, decimal squares, number lines, and place-value and hundreds charts) helps students understand what numbers represent, different ways to express numbers, and how numbers relate to one another.

When students trade with place-value blocks they can demonstrate that the number 14 may be represented as 14 ones or as 1 ten and 4 ones. They can also demonstrate that 10 hundreds is the same as 1 thousand. By recording the number of each kind of block in the corresponding column (thousands, hundreds, tens, or ones) on a place-value chart, students practice writing numbers in standard form.

My favorite way is to play games during guided math small groups. The games below, my students love playing. They are print and go--toss in some dice and your good to go! These games build number sense by having them work with Base Ten, Number Identification, and Subitizing.





February Pinterest Pick 3 with Vocabulary in Mind

 The last couple of weeks, I've had some problems moving pre-readers into solid DRA 1s. When I went back to look at there running records, I noticed that it was the vocabulary they were getting tripped up on. That got me looking for some new ways to build and strengthen their academic vocabulary knowledge. Plus, it had to be something that would give me great bang for my buck as I only see them for 30 minutes. (Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link)






Who doesn't love games. I don't have a word wall but I do have time for word cards and games. With a group of boys, I have to learn to watch my fingers. They love anything with fly swatters. I loved the fact that these games increased the number of times they saw words. Some of them I used pictures as well as the words but these are among the games I'm asked for each day. I love I can change out the words depending on running records or the text they are going to read. Love that pre-teaching!



This uses environment print but I see it as an opportunity to create a visual word wall to match any book vocabulary for students. As pre-readers, pictures rule! For them to understand what the beginning letter and sound is for vocabulary is just as important for getting them to write. Tying their reading with writing makes things easier-then they know where to find the word.



Games that build language and vocabulary are a wonderful addition to small group time. This one is super simple but requires some planing to pull the pieces together. Oral language is a strong predictor of future literacy success. Children say the word way before they can read the word. Therefore, if they do not have the proper language, particularly ELLs and pre-readers, reading success may be limited. By stating the name of an object and the context in which it is used in, provides students with the word and use of the object. A fun little game to promote the student's oral language! 

 To help my pre-readers learn and practice with new vocabulary I created four interactive books. I did this because these students spend most of there time in class and these books give them something special to read in class and share with their peers. Enjoy--click on the picture to get your freebie.








About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
Instagram

I contribute to:

I contribute to:

I contribute to:

I contribute to:

I contribute to:

Instagram

Followers

Follow by Email

Search This Blog