Picture this - you are given two different menus for lunch: one with pictures and one without pictures. Which one would you prefer to order from? You would probably choose to order from the menu with pictures because it is easier to "read" and find what you want. Now I want you to picture yourself as someone who is able to recognize an image, but unable to express what you see or want into words. How would you feel - frustrated? overwhelmed? sad? This is how my students feel on a daily basis.
Visuals and/or pictures paired with words help make learning more concrete for my students, and give them a voice and confidence that they otherwise would not have had before.
My students are very diverse in their interests, abilities, and goals. Some of my students are learning to read, write, and count, while some of their classmates are still learning how to hold a pencil or recognize their name. The one thing they all have in common is their love of learning, and the feeling that comes along with understanding what they are learning.
Being able to provide my students with a variety of ways to communicate and express their voices will be a life-changing experience for them. For them to finally have a voice and feel confident when speaking and making choices is something that I want so desperately for them. The iPad will be a great tool to teach my students how to write and say the names/sounds of the letters.
Visuals are a huge part of learning for students who are non-verbal, have very little language, or need guidance with their language.
Being able to create more visuals for them will provide them more opportunities to use their voice. Lots of ink, laminating sheets and accessibility to a small, thermal laminator are a huge part of making those visuals. The velcro and tablet stand will be used to organize those visuals in a way that will promote better communication from all students.
As a special education teacher, I have discovered that many every day storage products can be used in a variety of different ways. The photo storage boxes, specifically, are the perfect size to store extra visuals that are not being used on a daily basis and make it easy to find when needed.
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