TRANSITIONS BETWEEN ACTIVITIES
By: Carmen Willings
Updated November 4, 2017
Transitions between activities within the daily schedule can be a stress producing time for students with visual impairments as they are leaving the familiar and moving to the unfamiliar, whether it is a different setting/area or the materials are changing.
Provide the student with verbal prompts in a calm voice and at the student’s level to prepare them for transitions. Keep in mind that students with visual impairments tend to be more resistant to change in general than their sighted peers. Change means going from the known to the unknown when you don’t have the advantage of seeing the signals that prepare you for what will happen next.
Prepare the student prior to the transition to help him get used to the idea, even if he doesn’t like it. Try to actively involve him in the process so that he feels that he has more control over the situation. It can also be helpful to incorporate transition songs (either sung or on a CD), clean up time songs, hello and good-bye songs, and provide reminders that an activity is about to end.
As the student explores, describe everything with variety, quality, and richness. Be sure to avoid over-protection. Remember that all children get bumps and scrapes occasionally. Safety is important, but over-protection can be just as detrimental to a student as under-protection. Also keep in mind that students need to learn natural consequences. Allow students to run into corners, walls and furniture, but be sure to soften the blow by placing your hand or body in between them and anything that could hurt them. You do not want the student to get hurt, but they do need to learn there are natural consequences for not trailing, using proper protection techniques or proper cane skills. Remember to NEVER let a student get hurt and be particularly careful on stairs and bleachers.
Learning Opportunities Through Transition
Incorporate speaking and listening skills into the transitions by listening for, identifying, and imitating sounds in the environment. Take advantage of transitions and down times (like waiting to use the restroom or waiting for all students to enter or be ready for instruction) to work on following directions, and to play word games, puzzles, riddles (if I say up, you say ___) and to incorporate concepts such as like/different, in/out, up/down, over, wide/narrow, depth, thick/thin, hard/soft, front/back, numbers and shapes. Transitions are also a good time to work on following one step and multi-step directions.
Students’ needs and abilities will generally vary greatly within your classroom. It is important to provide a wide range of learning opportunities that are scaffold and multi-leveled for the population you serve. Think about the individual needs of each student when considering adaptations and the depth and level of instruction. Many of the adaptations that are beneficial and needed for the visually impaired student will also provide concrete experiences for the other students in your classroom. Also, using real materials is a way to make instruction more age appropriate for older students.
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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