Blog 1

First Blog: Rachel Griffin

One of our daily activities in my toddler classroom is to pick our “jobs.” Some of these jobs include door holder, clipboard helper, sunscreen helper, watering plants, etc. For each job, I have provided a written label and picture to assist in describing the function of that job. For example, there is a job labeled as “meal helper” and a picture of the children setting plates and utensils on our classroom table. Each child also has a picture of themselves with Velcro to attach/remove to the job board daily. I will continue to provide aided forms of augmentative communication such as these picture symbols to assist in our daily schedule, routines, and transitions. Next, I will be creating a picture schedule with a pocket folder and will include pictures of the children in our class during our daily activities such as playing on the playground, cleaning up, circle time, nap time, etc. to display in the classroom. I will add a large schedule marker that I can adjust on the schedule as we go along the day. I am also looking forward to adding further, aided augmentative communication picture symbols in our calming area of the classroom where the children can point and later practice bringing teachers picture cards that display various emotions such as frustrated, sad, happy, sleepy, etc. The children can point to the emotion that they are feeling and as we build upon this skill we can add picture cards that illustrate wants/needs such as, “I need a hug” or “I need space,” or “I need a nap/water/food/etc.”  that the children can bring or point to, to communicate with their teachers.

Two changes made to IDEA in 2004 include the start of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center and the definition of universal design. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, NIMAC must ensure that textbooks and other print materials must be free of charge and accessible to students with disabilities in schools that include blindness and other print, reading, visual disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2006). Universal Design is also included in changes made to IDEA in 2004 which discusses its research-based curriculum that meets the various and individual needs of all students in the classroom by adapting and modifying lesson plans, curriculum, and teaching strategies (ASHA). I am fascinated by UDL and excited to learn more as I find it very important to include various learning styles in my lesson plans and activities. For example, I have many children in my class that are tactile learners, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc. I always work to include these learning styles in our daily circle times, for example, providing props for the children to hold that relate to our stories, utilizing a visual felt story-board, including music and movement, and providing opportunities to discuss thoughts/feelings and ask questions during class discussions.

Sources and Citations:

Assistive Technology and the Law & AT- AAC. Powerpoint. Dr. King. Heather Coleman. June 2015.

U.S. Department of Education- Office of Special Education Programs- NIMAS. Idea Partnership. IDEA Regulations. 4 October 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.ideapartnership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=849&oseppage=1. Web.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Universal Design for Learning. Nd. Retrieved from: https://www.asha.org/SLP/schools/Universal-Design-for-Learning/. Web.

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