"Twister" might be a stretch, but it was the best name I could think of that is similar to the same concept idea as this game.
In New England this is the time of year people either love and embrace the winter, or hibernate and count down the days to spring. It can be 50 degrees one January day, and then -5 degrees the next. So, with the unreliable climate comes the inevitable indoor recess for our elementary students.
Braille "Twister" is a fun way to practice braille literacy skills while incorporating movement with students who are blind or visually impaired. This can be played in an inclusive setting with sighted peers at recess or individually to practice dot configurations.
In a previous post about fall craft activities, I mentioned making a book about a fall pumpkin book based on the experience of the fall craft activity. Today the student created the book with the speech therapist and me. Creating it with the student makes the book more meaningful to the student and creating it with the speech therapist means the verbiage is on the student's skill level. Win, win for all involved!
This tactile fall pumpkin book uses real objects, braille and large print to discuss the experience of making a fall pumpkin book with students who are blind or visually impaired.
As my students learn about the different seasons, I like to do a craft along with all of our research and stories, as we learn about the season. The craft is not only fun, but allows for great conversations about the topic. For example, we did this fall craft activity this week. It's quite simple with fall leaves, a pumpkin, spiderweb netting, and plastic spider. The total cost is probably 5-6 dollars, as I bought the items in bulk.
This fall holiday craft for students who are blind or visually impaired includes extension activities related to literacy, language, science, and technology.
When I first started working as a TVI, I was under the impression that my students would want to work with me -- just like I wanted to work for my teachers when I was growing up. The first braille learner student I worked with was a dual-media student who clearly preferred grinding her teeth over touching the braille I prepared for her.
I've been working on creating some books for some of my younger students who are prebraille readers. The latest book I made is a book for a young student who has CVI (cortical visual impairment). I chose to create a shape book that included a black background, shapes that were both contrasting in colors but also fun to touch (and would make sound when "scratched"), braille and large print. This book is smaller in size, as a lot of work I do with him is with a small table-like working space.
My goals for him right now are for him to:
Older students can practice their braille literacy skills while also enjoying the feeling of helping others when making books for pre-braille readers.
This was definitely a “think outside of the box” moment for me. Transformations are difficult to understand in the beginning for many students, sighted and visually impaired alike. Making it hands-on simplifies it a bit and builds the foundation of understanding for students. Before you try to incorporate higher level technology for graphing, it is important first to teach the foundational concepts using graphics and tactile materials.
What are Transformations?
The different transformations when graphing are:
Strategies to teach graphing transformations to students who are blind or visually impaired using a graphing board and push pins to make the graphs accessible
To reinforce and practice a new skill, teachers often use worksheets with their students. It is important for students to have opportunities to strengthen skills with repetition. I want to share 4 different ways I have created "worksheets" for my son Liam (age 9, deafblind). I wanted worksheet-type activities that would not only allow for practice of a set skill, but that would be motivating, quick to create and support independent work.
Interactive "Wheels on the Bus" is a great way to engage children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities through more meaningful and active participation. I noticed that my students with significant multiple disabilities were often unengaged when the rest of the class was singing this song and I wanted to find a way to make it a more meaningful activity for them, where we could work on some of their goals. I made a cardboard school bus with moveable parts for students to move with the song.
Interactive Wheels on the Bus is a great way to engage children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities through more meaningful and active participation.