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Object Selection for a Tangible Calendar System

Assessment, Planning, and Instruction Initiative

Hi, this is Rose Moehring from the SD Deaf-Blind Project. I have a question about object selection for a young student who has just begun to use a tangible calendar system. The student I work with is involved in the following activities with the following staff in an early intervention setting for half days. I know that the objects selected in the calendar should be the object that is most meaningful to the student as part of whatever activity he is involved in. My question is, does it make more sense to label the activity or label the person who is involved, when thinking about what objects should be in the boxes. For example, we could use a ball to indicate gym or should we use an item that labels the teacher such as the rubber wrist bracelet she wears daily. Once he gets to gym, he could access a tangible calendar that depicts that routine.
Speech Language Therapy (concept development/categorizing with bins, listening activity with voice/music, naming object/function/play). Occurs outside of classroom
> Gym (ball and other activities) Occurs outside of classroom
> Teacher of the Visually Impaired (O&M, Braille) Back to classroom except for mobility
> Snack Time In the classroom
> Teacher Time (teddy bears almost always used in at least one activity) In the classroom
> Toileting Outside of the classroom
> Bus/home-Leaves classroom
> Thanks in advance for any feedback you might have!

Rose Moehring
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Comments (4)

A team I work with had the activity or person debate a couple of years ago and we decided on activity for consistency, and also because frequently different people worked on the same activity and we wanted to be clear about what was going to happen. We had each therapist develop a special greeting for the student which is done at the beginning of the activity. They made name symbols for the classroom teachers and students which are used in morning circle time and hope eventually to add related service providers to the name card system so we can cue - table work with Ms Smith, but the student is not quite ready for that yet.
As to ideas for symbols - I'm with Dinell- find out which activity during the lesson is most motivating and use an object from that. One team I work with uses a small digital recorder switch playing the child's favorite song from morning circle for the cue. I've always thought that as long as you cue it consistently and make the association when you start the activity (by matching the symbol to another one at the door, or with the materials at the table, WHAT object you use is less important than the INTENTIONALITY of your communication about the cue.

Martha Veto

Posted Apr 15, 2014 by Martha Veto

Teresa has great points!!! Connecting it all to literacy is the direction to move for learning communication skills.
As for your second question about what to use to represent speech therapy, shat about using a "box" since you said that they name objects from a box? I would also think about using an object that the child is motivated to want to do. Therefore, if naming object in the box is the kid's least favorite activity, and he resisted it and really didn't like to do it, then I would not choose that one :)
We always used something that represented "Communication" since that is what our focus was on when we went to speech. For my daughter, she used a laptop, so we used a picture of a laptop for her.

Dinell Smith

Posted Apr 14, 2014 by Dinell Smith

Thanks Teresa, this makes sense to me. So to go one step further, does anyone have any suggestions for an object for speech language therapy., where the following activities occur:
Concept Development-sorting with plastic bins and objects (shapes, animals, etc.)
Listening activities with voice and music
Naming objects in a box (i.e. airplane and then act function or how it works-could be considered a play activity). Since she uses bins, we could use that, but then if we label it work, that was the same label we were going to use for teacher time with the bear symbol (which she uses).

Rose Moehring

Posted Apr 9, 2014 by Rose Moehring

HI Rose,
I would label the activity because that leads to literacy connected to what the child is actually doing. It promotes the pre-literacy, and literacy skills of that student throughout the day. I see the people information you described as additional information to assist the child in "knowing the person"---that identification piece. So in a day, the teacher/others, I am sure, are saying who they are as they interact with the child and sharing their name, and then they use the identification object for each person during that time. When the child moves to the routines of the day or the routine of the activity, the object (familiar) is introduced before they learn the activity/routine. Hope that makes sense....smiles.

Teresa Coonts

Posted Apr 9, 2014 by Teresa Coonts

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