Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Task Tuesday

"Can you make something from this?"   {handover pile of random buttons, stickers, clothespins, and other small items}

That was the response I got when I asked how I could help in one classroom.  There was no other instruction given.  When I asked what the teacher wanted, the response was "it doesn't matter".  When I specifically asked if I should focus on reading, math, writing, fine motor, put in...I just got a blank stare.  I have asked a few times what needs the students/classroom have and the response is always "we will take anything".  I think that the teacher is good with the kids, but as far as what they are learning...well I'm not to sure.  I can't decide if the teacher is just so far in the weeds that she doesn't know what she needs or if she doesn't really care.  Either way, it's not good.  Initially, I was just offering my services to create tasks...now I'm worried.  But for right now, I'm just going to create away.  In the meantime I hope that I can help in other ways in the not too distant future.

This week's tasks are focusing on combined fine motor & educational tasks.  I figured that some of the tasks might need to double team on some skills.  Here is what I created...

1:1 Correspondence; Color Matching

Number/Number Sets; Fine Motor

Matching Number Sets; Fine Motor

Puzzle: Number Sets

1:1 Correspondence; Color Matching

Number to Number Sets

Skip Counting by 5s

Puzzle Jig
(pieces are color coded and separate)

Counting by 2s

1:1 Correspondence; Visual Discrimination

Visual Discrimination

Visual Discrimination; 1:1 Correspondence

Number/Number Sets; Pincer Grasp

Number to Number Sets

Shape discrimination

Size Discrimination

Puzzle Jig
Pattern Recognition; Pattern Continuation
(This task has 2 sets of cards--one for each skill)

I had a lot of fun creating tasks this week, even though I was limited by the pieces that I was given.  I hope the teachers are able to readily incorporate these tasks into their classroom instruction.  More tasks to come soon!

Mentor Session

What a fun day!  I was able to spend time today with a new teacher who knows a lot, but doesn't realize how much he knows.  We spent some time today discussing a student who has been a challenge for him.  Not the physically, mentally exhausting child; but the sweet, gentle kid who hasn't shown any any proclivities or interest in classroom activities.  What skills does this child have?  What tasks do you have this child work on? You know there is something in there, but how do you get it out?

I forgot how much I enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle!

When I asked the teacher what skills the child had, he said "I just don't know".  But when we got down to it, he did know.  He was able to brainstorm a few things that are strengths, as well as a few things that need to be addressed.  

By the time I left, he had a plan worked out on a few new tasks to create as well as a few new ideas for approaching 1:1 time and group times with the student. For our next session, we are going to tackle data collection. Can't wait to see what he does with his rediscovered knowledge!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Adapted Books

Adapted Books are one of my favorite classroom resources.  I am a firm believer that students need to read, read, read.  Unfortunately, in some of the classes that I have observed in, books are rare; Kids read with the teacher sure, but reading for enjoyment is often nonexistent.  I always made a point to give my students free-reading time.  In 2 of the classes that I have been working with, there are no books for the kids to read independently.  That is going to change...

One of my favorite resources for creating adapted books is the website Readinga-z.com. The books are easy to print in a variety of sizes.  They are also super easy to modify for a wide range of kids.  I frequently adapt the same title for more than 1 reading level/skill level.

Here are a few of the books that I created this week.  Some are from Reading A-Z and others are books that I had in the charity box that my personal kids had outgrown.

Label pictures or simple comprehension

This book is for a student whose IEP goals are to unscramble sentences.  I made it somewhat of a self-correcting task in that the velcro pieces alternate on each page.  The hook strip is under the page on one side; The other side is loop.

 (I apologize for the following sideways photos, they keep turning themselves every time I upload them)

This was a book that I reprinted from my files on BoardmakerShare.  The cards are for 2 different skill levels, matching images or comprehension.

This book was one in my box of "I know I can do something with that later" stuff.  One of the kids in the level 2 class is able to read, but struggles with pincer grasp.  I taped a flap on each page to see if it would make it easier for her to turn the pages.

Matching photo to photo
I didn't create words, but it could also be set up for the kids to match word to word.

These books were bound in a few different ways.  Since the teachers I have been working with have not used adapted books, I want them to try a variety of bindings.  That way they can determine their preference for how they want them bound or which works better for the kids.  On one of the books, I stapled the binding and then duck taped over the staples.  Others are board books that once I added the velcro, the pages were spaced making them open easier.  Other books are bound with 2 different spiral bindings.  

I hope you find these helpful, more adapted books to come soon.