Thursday, March 30, 2017

Around Town Round Up-- Play and Leisure Visual Supports

A great way to work on communication skills is through giving students the opportunity to communicate about their favorite toys or activities. In many classrooms, these opportunities are built in to the daily classroom routine during play and leisure times such as reinforcement breaks or recess. 

One effective way to provide visual tools for play and leisure times is using pocket charts where students find their name card and move it next to the selected item. Pocket charts can be easily modified to limit or change choices with little need for restructuring which makes implementation easy.


Another way to display student choices that can be easily changed or modified is through these unique cookie tray magnetic boards. 

Emily Ottmar, Mad River Local Schools

 Using basic "I want" sentence starters and a few options may work better for some students when choices are more limited and/or stay the same consistently for that location.

Choices can also be incorporated as an anchor activity after work is completed while students are waiting for peers to finish. This small bin has a communication support on the front with choice visuals. All available items are located in the bin for easy access and so that the bin can be brought to the table to limit additional transitions and distractions for peers still working.

We have seen many great examples of choice boards for YouTube or GoNoodle videos which many of our students find very motivating.

Rick Wical, Beavercreek City Schools

One student had difficulty understanding when it was inside recess, when it was outside recess and blacktop only, or when it was outside recess and she could swing on the swings (got to love our Ohio weather!). This great visual helped communicate when they would be outside. Staff could use a dry erase marker to cross off unavailable options. Additionally, a portable STOP sign could be hung on the gate to signify when swinging wasn't allowed. 

Sometimes students need additional communication supports once they have selected their leisure activities in order to participate. Here is a great example of a taking turns book for puzzles.

Emily Ottmar, Mad River Local Schools

On our BoardmakerShare site we also have this great template that can be adapted for use with board games or modified for other play and leisure activities. Click the picture to access the template!

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