PICTURES AND WORKSHEETS
By: Carmen Willings
Special attention needs to be given when selecting worksheets and materials for students with low vision. Students with low vision need to be provided with the highest quality worksheets and materials that provide good clarity and are accessible and appropriate for the student's unique visual needs.
Pictures are used regularly in classrooms to convey information, illustrate points and make materials more visually appealing. Frequently text is dependent on the picture for meaning in early literacy books. When pictures are used that are critical to the text, it is important to pair the pictures with objects or models for students who have significant reduced vision and are unable to view pictures even when using low vision devices. A raised line drawing can be used if the student is able to understand two dimensional forms.
Selecting Worksheets and Pictures
For students with low vision, consider the quality of pictures when selecting worksheets or materials to use. Worksheets should be of good quality. In other words, if the lines are faded or the pictures are abstract, either use a different worksheet, or verbally identify the pictures for the students. Avoid worksheets where the ink has faded or print/ink has bled through when making copies of thin paged originals. Care also must be taken to be sure that students are provided with enough space to complete math computations or write their responses with larger print size.
Similarly, be sure to use teaching materials that are in a simple, bold font and of good visual clarity. Some older memory games and alphabet cards are still in circulation in many classrooms. These older games and cards frequently use obscure pictures of unfamiliar items to today’s students and consist of line drawings that are visually cluttered.
Look instead for uncluttered pictures with simple drawings or preferably photos of the object. Be sure that there is a good contrast and avoid dark printed letters on dark colors such as black on dark blue. Most phonics manipulatives are in a simple font and appropriate for students with low vision.
Avoid figure ground activities (hidden pictures, word searches, etc.) unless they are part of a lesson in visual perception or using low vision devices to visually scan and locate pictures. Reading maps can be a challenging activity. The student may need an adapted map that only includes pertinent information.
Selecting Picture Books
Select books with clear pictures and good visual contrast. Books should be colorful with simple pictures rather than pictures that are visually cluttered. If the book uses photographs, try to select books with a matted finish instead of glossy to reduce glare. Also look for books where the print is not written across the pictures, but instead, is placed on a solid background.
I like the Word PlayHouse kit from APH to teach beginning phonics and reading skills. The tiles are constructed of a durable plastic yet I have found some students, who are so inclined, can still bend the tiles. For those students, I use letter tiles commercially available, as they can be adapted by adding braille letters without obscuring the print. I then add Velcro to the back of the tile and present it on an APH Velcro board for high contrast and reduced clutter.
The Tri-fold Board from APH provides a great background to place words on for a word wall. I also like to use the Picture Maker Felt Board and texture strips when creating build-a-word and build-a-sentence activities. If you do not have access to Quota Funds, you can create your own felt board by purchasing foam back cloth (material you find on the ceiling of cars) from auto supply stores. This material is great as it doesn't get fuzzy like many flannel boards.
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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