By: Carmen Willings
Putting together an appropriate program for all students begins with creating a consistent and predictable daily schedule. Creating a consistent schedule will help the students anticipate what is going to happen next. By developing patterns for regular activities, the students will anticipate events and thereby be less startled by them.
A consistent schedule will help prevent inappropriate behaviors by helping the student anticipate the change. The schedule will help the student to recognize, understand and apply vocabulary knowledge of object, picture, symbol, and words. A consistent schedule will help teach the structure of space and the sequence of time. For students who require sensory input, you will also need to embed opportunities for students to have their sensory needs met in order to prepare them for the next task. There are additional considerations that are unique to students with visual impairments that can help them access all areas of the routine schedule along with incorporating concepts that will benefit all students in your program.
Prior to Student's Arrival
Until you become familiar with the morning checklist, if your mornings can be chaotic, or if you have any distractions in the morning, it is VERY helpful to have a morning checklist. This is also helpful for substitutes! Prior to the student's arrival:
Planning the Schedule
When creating the schedule, it is important to create a balance between teacher-directed and child-initiated activities. It is also beneficial to alternate large group, small group, and independent activities.
Make a point to greet the students and tell them any expectations outside of their normal routine. If the student needs assistance getting from the bus or carpool lane, ensure the student's safety, yet encourage them to travel as independently as possible following the guidance and direction of the Orientation and Mobility Specialist. The goal should be to provide fading support in order for the student to learn independent travel skills.
Once in the room (or other designated area), encourage the student’s to hang up their coats in their own cubicles, hooks or lockers. Morning arrival can be a hectic time of the day, but it can also be a great time to naturally work on many skill areas. Encourage students to discriminate their own name on cubicles or their locker number from that of others. Promote independence by encouraging the students to practice disengaging fasteners to remove coats and locate hood or loop to hang on hook within their locker or cubicle. Have the students unzip their own backpacks and remove communication folders, etc and either have them deliver them to you or place them in a designated file with their name.
Once the students have removed their coats and unpacked their backpacks, have the students sign in on a sign in board or attendance chart. Depending on student’s ability, the student could match their name to the name on the chart; copy the letters in their name by printing or using letter tiles or magnets; or signing their name. Students can practice matching letters to form their name (or developing a signature) as well as practice independence in activities of daily living and early work skills. This is a natural time to practice signatures which is important for future responsibility and independence. For students with low vision, have the student’s name in bold print. You may want to use another association such as a texture, color, or shape. For students that are blind or functionally blind and not yet reading braille, use a texture and shape paired with their name in braille.
Prior to departure, encourage the students to pack their own backpacks including placing any communication in their folders. Expect the students to put their coats or jackets on with as much independence as possible. This is another natural opportunity to work on engaging zippers, snapping snaps, buttoning buttons, placing arms in sleeves and putting hats and mittens on. When the students leave, have the students sign out by moving their name back to “out”.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings