Monday, April 25, 2011

Ahhh...I SEE!...Visual Prompts Part 1: Social/Behavioral Reminders

Part 1:  Visual Prompts for Social/Behavioral Reminders:

Around my classroom I have various visual prompts placed in strategic areas (both of the photos shown here are from our group time area).  Now, for the children in my classroom currently, these visual prompts really have just become a part of the room (for most of my children, we are just getting to a point where they would be useful).  However, for children I have previously had in the classroom, those same visual prompts were reviewed and gone over daily at various points in the school day.  For many children, these small reminders help the child become more independent and confident in his/her abilities. 
*Try starting with a black and white line drawing on a colored background as these are.
Make the size relatively large at first and add the words to the picture.  Example:  "sit on
bean bag chair","hands to self", "look".
All of the prompts shown were created using Boardmaker software.  If you don't have access to a software program to create these, you could certainly experiment with various clip-art or photos. 

If you are going to use photos, remember to place the object you are taking a photo of on a solid color background; as you want to avoid background clutter that may be confusing and distracting to the child.  If you are taking photos of people, be aware of the background.  If possible, stage the photo against a solid color wall or use a solid color tri-fold display stand.  When I take photos of objects, I simple place them on top of a solid black foam board and take a photo.

I haven't used these on this board for some time- but realized as I looked at this photo
that this is not the greatest place for the picture prompts!  These would
be very difficult for a child to attend to since there is so much visual distraction
beneath the pictures.  Take this into consideration when you are placing the pictures.

I just posted the visual prompts in the first photo for a little guy in my classroom currently. We have not yet used them...but will be soon!  For this particular child...and for many children, we will need to take just ONE prompt off the board and present it to him.  We will verbally remind him of the prompt "sit on bean bag chair" as we show him the picture prompt.  When he is pretty consistently responding to this, we will then simply point to the picture prompt on the board without removing it, and verbally remind him "sit on bean bag chair".   Eventually, we will probably be able to simply point to one of the prompts on the board to remind him. 

This offers a very simple and discreet way to help children remember simple social and behavioral rules!  In this way, the child can feel competent and part of the group while still working on some of those social and behavioral rules he/she may struggle to learn.

(*If you are interested in more information on visual prompts, stop back tomorrow for Part 2!)

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