Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Visual Prompts, Schedules and Supports

WELCOME to my ROUNDUP of all things VISUAL!
VISUAL CUES!! VISUAL PROMPTS! VISUAL SCHEDULES!!!
photo of: VISUAL Learning: Cues, Supports and Systems

The photos from today's round-up are from a variety of elementary school buildings, preschools and Head Start programs from NY to FL. Many of the pictures were taken in rooms specifically designed to serve children with special needs along with their typical peers. Several of my author visits this past year were actually orchestrated by that particular portion of a program or school district. "Have guitar will travel." 
  
For ten years prior to launching my company Rainbows Within Reach and my writing and recording over 100 original songs for children, I worked as a Resource Teacher providing Arts experiences for children with special needs. That 'foundational' chapter in my professional career is very near and dear to my heart. Since that is my background and experience I am especially 'at home' while visiting programs that serve a wide variety of children as well as children with a diversity of capabilities.

photo of: Visual Schedule presented in Photographs for use in Preschool

This spring as I've made my Author Illustrator school visits, I've made it my particular focus to document and photograph the 'visual-systems' that I have seen in place, so that I can  share them here. I hope that they inspire you as you peek over my shoulder. 

Providing visual cues and supports are a good idea for all children -- but especially so for the visual learners in your midst. For young children, nonverbal children, pre-readers, English Language Learners, children on-the-spectrum and children with severe involvements and profound delays, having a series of visual prompts is often the key to communication. Outlining your expectations visually takes planning ahead and organization, but the pay off is huge!!!! Welcome to low-tech possibilities every teacher can integrate into their room.

Let's get started with some VISUAL SCHEDULES for the day. 

photo of: Preschool Visual Schedule using Photos

It's a challenge to document a whole day's schedule done pictorially. In each of these examples the 'pictograms' move across a l-o-n-g bulletin board sequentially moving left to right. In the very top photo I even numbered them for you (in the collage up above,) in an effort to explain exactly how the photos were arranged in the classroom. 

Hopefully by taking several photographs and piecing them together you get the idea of how these work in the classroom setting. 

photo of: Graphic pictures for Visual Schedule, Preschool Plan in graphics

Transitions can be very challenging for children and having an overall visual design of the day helps outline what is coming next. It is a brilliant support for children so that they can anticipate what is about to happen. It is indeed necessary to clean up if we are going to have snack time next. Comfort. Security. Planning ahead. This is not going to last forever. Playground time is hovering on the horizon. I will be going home when we are all done here. Messages that can be conveyed in pictures. Visually. 

photo of: Preschool Schedule in Visual Pictures

You can see that each program, or even each room within a program, uses their own system to convey the day's routines. I'm a big fan of taking photos of the children actually engaged in the activity, but the generic symbols work well also. I hope that its helpful to see so many different systems. 


photo of: Visual Schedule for Children with Special Needs

photo of: Visual Schedule for Children with Special Needs

Now take a look at this next idea. I'm going to call it "THE BIG PICTURE" as in what was the superlative 'memory' of the day? What 'one' portion of the day is likely to be in the highlight reel? Yesterday it was the OT lady making her visit. Today it's THE MUSIC LADY with her guitar! Tomorrow its an Art extravaganza. How much do I LUV LUV LUV getting to be the 'big' doo-dah for the day? 


photo of: Calendar BIG Picture, photographs and graphics to connect the day's main idea (for children with special needs)

Here are two images I shared months ago, in real-time, but I wanted to have them housed here together. Two additional ideas from my adventures on the road. The first is from a Head Start program in New York and the second is VPK in Florida. Yes. I am one lucky-duck to see such diversity in my journeys. 

photo of: Visual Daily Schedule for toddlers using photographs

photo of: Visual Schedule in VPK using Photographs as Cues

FIRST. THEN. 
This next idea is simply BRILLIANT and in all of my decades of professional work, this is the first time I recall seeing this system: Simple. Direct. 
First we sit at circle and then I can roll the rolling pin with playdoh. First we do our written work and then I get to play in the sensory table. 

It could be adapted for use at home. With teenagers. First you finish your term paper, then you can go to the mall. You get the idea. 

I think this could be especially helpful for plenty of children who defy a simple categorization. Take pictures of the things that are 'high motivators' and have images of things that need a carrot for encouragement. The absolute simplest, low-tech, available way to spell out expectations. FIRST. THEN


photo of: Visual Positive Behavior System for Children with Special Needs

Here is another way to help a child in their acceptance of  a new and perhaps frightening experience. This is a personalized picture book for Isaiah entitled, "Isaiah Goes to Gym." These are just a few of the highlights of his book, showing the physical space and the new adults he encounters there and reminders to take turns.

This book was sitting on the classroom bookshelf with editions by Lois Ehlert and Eric Carle -- demonstrating that Isaiah's story is equally important. 

photo of:Personalized Picture Book to help child with special needs overcome unknowns and fears

I recently had a round-up post of all sorts of classroom rules, many actually handwritten by the students. I LUV'd pulling that one together, too. I saved these next images for more specific use here, because of their visual elements. Take a look at several different classrooms and the manner in which they are conveying these 'circle-time' expectations. 

photo of: Visual Set of Listening Rules for Preschool Circle Time

photo of: Visual Reminders for Expected Behavior at Circle Time, Classroom Rules in Preschool

photo of: Visual Cues (Photos) for Circle-time Rules in Preschool Classroom

photo of: Visual Rules for Kindergarten Classroom using photographs

photo of: Visual support 'pictograms' for expected behavior at school

photo of: Visual support 'pictograms' for expected behavior at school

photo of: Positive Behavior for Classroom -- for Visual Learners

Here's a few for personal hygiene and especially the washing of hands. How about this one above the bathroom sink? 

photo of: Hand Washing Reminder using Visual Cartoon style

photo of: Visual Prompts for proper Handwashing (Children with Special Needs)

photo of: Visual Prompts for Lining up at the Door

photo of: Visual Cues for Preparing to Leave School: Coat and Backpack

photo of: Visual Outline for Learning Centers in School Setting

I LUV'd seeing these 'ideas' spelled out visually in the block center at Sutter Park Elementary. They provide suggestions and guidance to an otherwise open-ended block building center. These are ideas to get building started. 

photo of: Visual Learning in the Block Center, Photographs of beginning block structures

photo of: Visual Directions for Snack Time

These 'personalized' strips had an individualized schedule for each child to be able to determine what their own expectations were for the morning. The individual cards are on velcro and could be carried from the planner to the specific center when launched. This strip serves as 'home-base' for what comes next. 


photo of: Visual System for Individual student to plan their school time

photo of: Individual Visual Planners for Children with Special Needs

Here's a 'real-life' picture of the extra images used to create the individualized activity planners. None of these photos was 'fluffed' for my benefit. There's never time for such adjustments. I thought it might be helpful to see how the teachers 'store' the extras. 


photo of: Visual Choose-a-Song Center, Visual Images for Song Selection

This next image is another brilliant piece of insight. The statement "I feel like" is followed by three classic cartoon images: Tigger --  with its implication of being all bouncie + springy + full of wiggles, Winne-the-Pooh -- who represents just right and Eeyore -- sluggish + glum. The child is directed to identify how their body is feeling and then select the type of activity that might help to bring them back to Winnie-the-Pooh status of being just right

photo of: Self Assessment Leads to Self Regulation (Visual Cues RoundUP via RainbowsWithinReach)


photo of: Self Assessment Tool for Children: Spectrum of Activity in Winnie-the-Pooh Characters


photo of: Self Assessment and Self Regulation System for Children with Special Needs


photo of: Visual Support for Reading Books for Young Children with Special Needs

I will conclude with some 'picture symbols' assigned to children and then used on their artwork and papers as a 'signature' of having done their work. Pre-writing. Symbol recognition. 

photo of: Visual Symbols for use on  Children's Artwork

Keep in mind that these ideas are from a myriad of rooms, from a variety of teachers working with a whole cross range of children. Hopefully there is something that you can use in your setting -- or pass the 'pin' along to someone who may benefit from seeing the numerous examples. This post has taken me for-ev-errrrrr to pull  together. I'd be so grateful if you'd pin one of your favorite suggestions. Thanks ever so much. Do you use something similar? I'd LUV for you to leave a link in the comments to your blog if you have additional ideas to share.



Editor's Note: In the future I start creating Directories for Pinterest. If you're a big fan of this article chances are you're in the world of helping those with special needs. I'd LUV for you to add yourself to the Pinterest Directory for those who pin from a Special Needs perspective. Click right here and follow the directions. We need you! 


photo of: Pinterest Directory for Those Pinning from a Special Needs Perspective (Hosted by RainbowsWithinReach)
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Pinterest Parade!!

Chances are very good that you 'found' this article via Pinterest. Would you help out a fellow pinning-peer by pinning FROM this article? Pinterest is my main source of traffic and this article is one of my absolute favorite RoundUPs on my entire blog. Thanks for your pin!

I am now an Amazon 'Affiliate.' Whenever you click to Amazon from my blog you are helping support my 'retirement' account. I have done some window-shopping for you already. Thanks for your support! 


-- Debbie --
Editor's Note from the future: I have now opened up a little store at TpT. My original songs for children are uploaded in zipped files with Mp3s. Come over and get your freebie!  
Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

This post has been added to the Sunday showcase.

Cheerios and Lattes

A Little Magic

36 comments:

  1. You've got some great ideas here! I might try this wil some of my centers this year.

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    1. Thanks so much for your feedback. In pulling this post together I hoped to offer a range of ideas that might be helpful in a variety of settings.

      I'm very grateful for your thoughts.

      Debbie

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  2. So wonderful! What an excellent collection! I shared this on Delicious, DIGG, Reddit, Fb, and StumbleUpon (so far). Thanks so much, Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn -- you are the absolute QUEEN of the social media. I am very grateful for your efforts on behalf of this post. I know that it will be helpful to a range of parents, teachers and other professionals seeking to communicate with children. You're the best!!! Thanks so much.

      Debbie

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  3. Love, love, love the pictures and schedules. I have one in the bathroom too. I'll have to take a picture of it and send it to you.

    Mandy
    http://aspecialkindofclass.blogspot.com

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    1. Mandy!!!! I would LUV to add some images that you use in your setting. By all means send me some pictures and I'll add them in. Or maybe I should make this a linky and you could write a blog post? Let me know what would be easier. I know others would benefit from your insight and expertise.

      Debbie

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  4. Thanks for this post! We actually use a visual schedule at home with our three children ages 3,5,8 here's the link http://karasclassroom.blogspot.com/2012/05/visual-schedule.html

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    1. Kara, I really appreciate your leaving the link. I know that others will be appreciative of your 'system.' Nice to meet.

      Debbie

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  5. Very neat ideas thanks for sharing. I wanted to be a teacher at one point and then preschool homeschooled my daughters and was going to homeschool them full time but wasn't able to . I still do some teaching at home plus I'm a Girl Guide leader working with ages 5-11. I also attend playgroup with my son 3 times a week and love bringing new ideas to the teacher and discussing learning with her.

    Also wanted to stop by and say thanks for joining the Biannual Blogathon Bash!

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    1. Kathleen/Callista. Nice to meet you! I look forward to learning in the Bash. I am just beginning to get the hang of how to build content that is helpful and I look forward to growing under your guidance.

      Debbie

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  6. Thank you!! Very nicely done with so many good ideas!!

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    1. You are very welcome, Allison. It takes me such a long time to sort through the thousands of pictures when I am searching for a specific theme, but I was VERY motivated to fill this with lots of images that I see in my travels. I know that they will help others to create fantastic supports for children.

      Its very kind of you to take the time to leave a comment. It makes it all worthwhile -- hearing from readers.

      Debbie

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  7. This is brilliant. Some amazing ideas. Your classroom must be such a visually stimulating place.

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    1. Rebecca, these are indeed amazing ideas. I only get credit for capturing them during my Author travels into these amazing classrooms. My work now is of a consulting nature. No classroom for me during this chapter. I appreciate your feedback and hope that you can pass the ideas on to others who may be searching for support.

      Debbie

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  8. Great ideas! As an ESL teacher I used so many visual prompts and really appreciate all these great ideas! I will pass these along to all my teacher friends! Thanks for sharing this great post on Saturday Show & Tell @ Cheerios and Lattes last week! :) Hope to see you again this weekend! :)
    Mackenzie

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    1. Mackenzie, I am so grateful for your feedback and hope that you can get the link to your friends who may need these types of inspiration. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share thru Cheerios and Lattes!

      All the best.

      Debbie

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  9. I love this idea for my little ones. Their school is set up like this and I am working on a few sets, like schedules, for them, so they have an idea of what is coming up in their day, even if it is something small, like time to brush their teeth, etc. Thanks for sharing at the Kids Co-op :-)

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    1. Thanks for swinging by Chrissy. I think I would benefit for a day's outline for my 'unstructured time'..... I know that they benefit children -- helping them know what to anticipate next!

      Debbie

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  10. Wow, love all the visual ideas! Found you on the moms library. Now following via google friend. Would love a follow back www.cumminslife.blogspot.com

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    1. Kathryn, I'm glad that you found me! This blogging connectivity is so much fun! Keep up your good work.

      Debbie

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  11. Hi Debbie, this is a great example of what others do in their classrooms. I like the hand washing sign, it made me laugh. I was thinking about it, and the adult world has a lot of visual cues too. Their are signs everywhere and this helps children recognize and read them. Thank you for sharing at Mom's Library!

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    1. Yup! Environmental print is often the precursor to gen-u-ine reading. It certainly gives confidence. So glad that you 'found' me here.

      Debbie

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  12. Visual cues and procedure signs are such a great way to help manage your classroom. Thank you for sharing so many pictures (I love pictures!) and linking up with us!

    ~Stephaine
    Teaching in Room 6

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    1. Stephanie, thanks so much for hosting such an amazing link-up. I have plenty of new traffic due to your efforts on behalf of all of us. Extra kind of you to make your way around and leave encouraging comments!

      Debbie

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  13. Amazing variety of visuals. Thanks!!!

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    1. You are very welcome. I am so glad that you found this article. Thank you for leaving your supportive comment.

      Debbie

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your pics n thoughts.
    Giving me ideas how to make it for my son.
    I'm trying to make it my own at home.

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    1. Tria, providing 'insight' to others is the entire point of my efforts to blog. I hope that these ideas prove helpful in your own home. All the best as you seek to provide support in your day. Your comment inspires me to keep my eyes open -- in an effort to share.

      Debbie

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks, sweetie. I'm so grateful for your encouragement, Cheryl.

      Debbie

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  16. Debbie I don't know how I missed this post! I just saw it on Pinterest and it is a great one! I'll be pinning it for sure. As a pediatric SLP I have used visual systems from day one and yes, FIRST, THEN is something I am always teaching parents to use with their children and I always use this with my clients (and my own children) either verbally or visually.

    Great post!

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  17. Hi Debbie,
    I love all of the wonderful's ideas! Are we able to print them out?

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  18. that's a awesome collection, much helpful for a not skilled mom like me, lol.
    kingdom hearts costumes

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  19. hi....nice to look and learn useful tips and arrangements from your blog....just start a brand new methode in our developing school, in Bogor, West Java....

    Juliana Serijati

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  20. I just found you via Pinterest, and pinned about 5 more things. Thank you for this collection! I recently made a series of little posters for our first grade classroom bathroom, featuring various children doing the step-by-step instructions of using the bathroom. Since I hung the posters, I have a huge uptick in kiddos who wash their hands, throw the paper towels in the right spot, and even put the seat up/down. When they see themselves reflected back doing the correct action, they usually do it!

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  21. Thank you SO much for this post!!!! I especially love the self-regulation visual support!! I teach in a preschool disabilities classroom and so we use a lot of visuals (schedules, PECs, social stories, behavioral cues, etc.), but it is always great to see visuals that teachers from other schools are using!!

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