Monday, October 17, 2016

Around Town Roundup--Interactive Visual Schedules



One of the best aspects of being a part of the Miami Valley Autism Coaching Team is that we get to spend tons of time in a variety of classroom settings. Many times we see awesome evidence-based practices already in place before we even start coaching! We wanted to feature these teachers and strategies in our new blog series "Around Town Roundup"! 




The ACT Team is a BIG fan of the evidence-based practice of using visual supports in the classroom. And one of our favorites is the use of interactive, visual schedules. 

Interactive schedules provide students with clear expectations and a structure that allows the student to anticipate what will happen next, reduce anxiety by providing the student with a vision of his/her day and promote calmness between transitions. Even if you feel like the student knows the routine, it is a tool that the student can fall back on during times of confusion or anxiety.


An interactive schedule can look very different depending on the needs of the student and the classroom. Regardless of the style of the schedule, it is important that the student is interacting with the schedule.  If it is just posted on the wall or lost in a desk, the student may not connect with it.  Encourage the student to interact with the schedule regularly by having them move each picture into a “finished” area, take the schedule card to the designated location, or put a check next to each event as it is completed.

Sometimes, especially in classrooms of younger students or in self-contained resource rooms, the whole class may follow a consistent schedule and therefore a class-wide schedule can be used. 
Becki Schwab, Eastmont Elementary in Dayton

Brittany Bush, Spinning Hills Middle School in Mad River Local Schools
 In these two examples, the teachers use a pocket chart. One way to increase student interaction with a class-wide schedule in a pocket chart would be to assign a helper to take out or flip over the schedule strip after completion. This helps students see the passing of time throughout the day. 


Another way to increase student interaction with a class-wide schedule is having students take turns removing the schedule cards and placing them in a finished pocket seen here under the door handle.
video
Emily Ottmar, Stevenson Elementary in Mad River Local Schools 
Sometimes when a whole group schedule is used for a majority of the day, it may be necessary to have individual schedules only for a centers block when individual schedules can vary.
Brian Frimel, Bradford Elementary, Bradford
For students just learning the concept of a visual schedule or who are beginning to transition to their own individual schedules, a First/Then board may be the first step. Many times this will also act as a Work/Break sequence as well for students who need a high level of reinforcement.
Anne Rosenbaum, Orchard Park Elementary in Kettering
Laura Brown, Perrin Woods Elementary in Springfield
Jennifer McGowan, Smith Middle School in Vandalia
Once a First/Then board is mastered, many times teaches will gradually begin adding more schedule icons to build independence and help students get a better sense of the extended schedule:
Rebecca Lemons, Miamisburg Middle School in Miamisburg

Some other examples of individual schedules are below:
Rebecca Lemons, Miamisburg Middle School in Miamisburg


Anne Rosenbaum, Orchard Park Elementary in Kettering

An interactive schedule is a visual communication tool that clarifies where the student should be.  Using a location-based schedule is a great way to help students with transitions because they take the schedule card off of their schedule and take it to the designated location which is marked by a corresponding picture and has somewhere for the card to be placed. 
Emily Ottmar, Stevenson Elementary in Mad River Local Schools
Kate Tipple, Helke Elementary in Vandalia
Jennifer McGowan, Smith Middle School in Vandalia


video
Taylor Ruef, Stevenson Elementary in Mad River Local Schools
Sometimes a location-based schedule is not necessary because the student is able to transition independently. In these cases, a designated "finished" location for schedule cards should be used so students are still able to interact with the schedule and so they can see the passing of time/completion of scheduled activities. Many times our students are very motivated by getting closer to that bus or car icon to signal it is time to go home!
Kate Tipple, Helke Elementary in Vandalia
Emily Ottmar, Stevenson Elementary in Mad River Local Schools
Laura Brown, Perrin Woods Elementary in Springfield
Other times, transitioning to the schedule in order to check whats next can be a concern. To increase independence in her classroom, Laura Brown uses color-coded name strips which she hands to students so they can take it to their schedule and place it in the library pocket on their schedule. 
Laura Brown, Perrin Woods Elementary in Springfield

A common concern for teachers is how to manage and organize all of the schedule cards needed for schedules. Look at these great organizational ideas!
Brian Frimel, Bradford Elementary in Bradford

No comments:

Post a Comment