Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Really cool idea ALERT!

Ohhhh, I LOOOOVE when I stumble across a really awesome idea.  I get all giddy and excited because not only do I get to put the idea to use, but I also get to share it with anyone who will listen!

Today's idea comes from a Special Education teacher at the school I work at.  

There is a student in my class that has struggled every day since the beginning of school in August to remember how to start class - the routines and procedures that have been in place since Day 1.  Now, this student is completely and utterly lovable, but we are wanting him to get to a point where he is more independent on getting started with each class (because they rotate through 3 different teachers). 

Up until this point, this student would just sit there at his desk and be afraid to ask "What am I supposed to be doing?" So, in pops that Special Education teacher like a Fairy Godmother!

I was referred to her by my Principal because she has worked with students like this in the past and has many, many, many ideas and strategies to help them manage their days.

The strategy that we decided on for my little kiddo is a "How to Start Class" folder that he will carry with him to each of his teacher's classes.

There are 4 parts to our students' days at my school, so she broke it down in to 4 sections:

1. How to start.... My Morning - arriving at school and listening to announcements
2. How to start....My Writing/Social Studies Class
3. How to start....My Reading/Science Class
4. How to start....My Math Class

She put the task lists in order from the beginning to the end of his day and in order of what he's supposed to do first, second, third, etc etc in each class.

Wondering what it looks like???

OBSERVE....

 

























The COOLEST part about this little folder is that it is made with Velcro, which makes any task list immediately better!

There are 2 lines of Velcro.  If his task is sitting on the left line of Velcro, it is a "To Do," and as soon as he has finished that task, he moves it over to the line of Velcro on the right, which is aptly named the "Done" column.

What I love even more about this idea is that I am able to share it with his mom with the hope that she can find a way to tweak it to her needs for all of his routines at home. She and I have had many talks this year about what a struggle it is to get him to follow a morning routine.  She's created checklists that hang on the wall, she's done picture checklists, she's done verbal lists - calling it off 1 item at a time.  Basically, she's done everything she could think of and was, ultimately, getting nowhere.

My hope is that she can create something like this for him at home so that there is a sense of consistency for what to look for to know what to do.

I also let her know that, due to our students moving in to Middle School next year, it would be a great tool for her to tweak and re-create for an increased number of teachers and, hopefully, help him achieve a higher level of  independence.


I'm hearing Velcro rip somewhere...and it's a beautiful thing,

the craft rookie

16 comments:

  1. I love that you referred to you speial education teacher as your fairy godmother. :) I teach special education and I know how much I love to share ideas with my general Ed teachers. Glad to hear that this strategy is working. I use a modified version of a picture schedule with my kindergarten students with special needs. Keep up the good work!

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    1. I taught SPED last year too (as an Aide, though), so I know how it is when you see an idea that works and you just want to shout it from the rooftops! Thus, my blog :) I share ideas, educational and otherwise, that I've seen and love.

      Today was my student's first day of using that folder, and it is the first day since August, that I have not had to remind him to do something. It was such a blessing to know that he was able to manage his morning without needing me to walk him through the process!

      So, yes - she's my fairy godmother!

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  2. I am wondering how the items get moved back to the To Do side. Who moves them? If it is the child, I'd be concerned that the items get mixed up.

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    1. Michele - it depends on the day. Some days, he does it himself, and other days, I do it for him. He had to turn it in to me at the end of every day, and I would check it to make sure it was all correct.

      In order for that process to go smoothly when he moved the items back on his own, when I first gave him that folder, I modeled for him how to move the items to the Done column and how to reset it for the next day, too. We never had a problem with a lost or misplaced task item.

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  3. This is a terrific idea, and I appreciate you sharing it. My daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder, and getting her to focus on tasks can be an issue sometime. She's very kinesthetic and while dry-erase type check lists are wonderful for her, she does better when I use a variety of strategies. This will be perfect for us to try this summer!

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    1. So happy to hear that! Can you give an update? Did you love it!?

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  4. Thank you for sharing! This is exactly what I was needing for one of my students.

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  5. Merci pour cette magnifique idée! Elle me servira dès les prochaines semaines. Thank you!

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    1. Je vous remercie pour vos aimables paroles! Espérons que cela se traduit bien :) Je suis heureux d'entendre que vous serez en mesure de mettre cette idée à bon escient!

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  6. What a wonderful visual add. I am sure I will be sharing this with many. Thanks

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    1. So glad you like it! Thanks for commenting, Kay :)

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  7. I can also see this idea working with preschoolers who need a little encouragement...mom and dad will come back after....I think I will try this! Thanks!

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    1. Great to hear you're taking this idea and making it your own :) Thanks for the comment!

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  8. As soon as I saw this I made one for my daughter and extra for her teacher. However we are having a horrible time getting the Velcro to stay on the cards when they pull them off to put them on the done side. They are laminated and I have used super glue, a hot glue gun, and lactate stick n seal. Any suggestions?

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    1. I truly never had this problem with mine, so I'm sad to say I don't have knowledgeable suggestions. I can give some ideas, but can't guarantee they will be the solution. Have you tried Industrial Strength Velcro? It can be found at most home improvement stores - Lowes/Home Depot, etc. The other option is switching up which side is down on the laminated card and which one is on the pieces that get removed. If I remember correctly (as this folder was utilized a few years ago) the teeth were on the laminated folder and the fuzzy side of the velcro was on the pieces that got moved from "To Do" to "Done."

      Not sure if those ideas will help to solve your problem, but I'm really happy that you found this idea useful and are still wanting to use it despite the early setbacks.

      If anyone else sees this comment and has some thoughts, please feel free to contribute!

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