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I plan to do posts on the following topics in more detail over the next couple of weeks:

Eagle Books (Parent Communication Notebooks)

Posting and reviewing a daily schedule
Morning Work/seatwork Ideas
Circle Time Activities
Gross Motor, Fine Motor and Sensory Activities
Sensory Bins
Music Math
Exercise Ideas
Teaching Children how to play
Teaching Routines and Procedures

Here is my basic schedule for last school year:

8:15 Teacher and assistant arrival. Set up classroom.
8:40 Assistants to bus area.
9:00 Coats, bookbags, Eagle books (Parent communication notebooks)
9:05 Breakfast in classroom We were hoping to eat breakfast and lunch in the
lunchroom next year.
During breakfast, I try to begin our day. At the beginning of the 2010 school year, I taught a
lesson during breakfast because it was about the only time I could get the students to focus on
me. Its during this time that I also sing the schedule and review our activities for the day. I
also review our behavior plan and goals. I am usually running around the classroom getting
things ready at this time, as well as reading parent communication notebooks. My students got
used to this. Fortunately I had two assistants who were able to assist with breakfast.

9:35 Restroom break

9:30 Morning Work Folders at desks It took us several months before we were
ready to work at desks. I have always found it best to give any papers I want the
students to do first thing in the morning. I give very few worksheets, but if I do they are

usually writing, such as tracing, coloring, name-writing and onto basic writing, math
and so forth.
9:50 Morning Circle Time Incorporates all subjects and varies daily but always
Exercise with music
Daily name recognition and sign-in
Lunch Choice
Songs and finger plays
Read Aloud
(Assistant One 15 minute break during this time)
Other things circle time might include are: calendar skills, felt board or Boardmaker
activities, lessons on various subjects, obstacle courses in the classroom and more.
10:30 Recess (we went out by ourselves 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes
in the afternoon because my students had a very hard time sitting still for very long at all
even though my classroom is very active)
10:45 Restroom and juice snack My students drank their juice from
breakfast at this time.
11:00 We called this Group Time and included Gross, Fine Motor and Sensory
Activities combined with pre-academic skills. This is also the time when three third
grade peer mentors came over to join our group time activities. This is also the time of
day when Assistant Two goes to lunch for 45 minutes so the activities had to be fairly

At the beginning of the year, we changed activities about every five minutes. By the end
of the year we could do a 30 minute activity.
Group Activity Examples Art activities, play doh, sensory bins, obstacle courses,
dancing and singing, A read aloud with a follow-up activity and so forth.

11:45 Restroom and morning reward. Toward the end of the year, I started giving a
reward at the end of the morning and afternoon for everyone who was on green we
only have green or red Ill get to that later. Usually it was mini-trampoline, vestibular
swing or one of our favorite finger plays to act out Ten in the Bed.
12:00 Lunch in the classroom My lunch (30-45 minutes)
12:30 Educational video, independent books at desks, and restroom.
12:45 Music Math Group This became a very challenging time of day for us.
Assistant Two went to lunch (12:45 to 1:30) and I tried a lot of different activities to keep
the children interested in Math. I started using the Super Simple Songs CDs to teach
math skills and the children loved it! We sat at one big table and it worked well.
1:30 Exercise On Mondays and Wednesdays we had Adapted P.E. at this time. On
Tuesdays and Thursdays we did physical activity of our own. We love the Move N
Groove video or I would come up with exercises of my own.
2:00 Recess
2:15 - Snack
Assistant One goes on afternoon break
2:30 Play time and clean up At the end of the day the students who have been on
green in the afternoon are permitted (I should say encouraged because I believe so
strongly in play) to play with toys. I keep bins of toys and they rotate. The children just
dump them on the carpet and play. We had to teach them how to play. They had no
idea how to play at the beginning of the year.
Monday farm animals and barns
Tuesday baby dolls and kitchen set (housekeeping)
Wednesday cars, gas stations and the like

Thursday musical toys we do these all on one day Drives us crazy but the kids love
Friday Blocks or something different I bring in to share.
3:00 Clean up and teacher does communication notebooks The tv is on for a few
minutes at the end of the day. At the beginning of this school year, they wouldnt even
watch t.v. so the fact theyll watch it for a few minutes is a blessing at times.
3:25 Busses I had to help get the children to the busses because we had some who
were uncooperative.

Multi-Sensory Books

Note that they include sound, textures, movement, bright colors, and other
multi-sensory elements.

Exposure to Literacy Experiences

It is important to modify the environment using visual, tactile, and sign
language alphabets, and by creating access to materials. Labeling the
environment for students is another way to expose them to literacy, through
braille, large print, or tactile labels. Any early childhood classroom has labels
on desks, tables, cubbies, etc. and it is crucial to make this information
accessible to students with multiple disabilities.

Name Symbols

Accessible name symbols for each individual student are an important way to be able to
label their chair, locker, and other personal spaces, as well as to use during attendance,
morning meeting and other activities. Name symbols may include a combination of a
photo, print, braille, and a tactile symbol.
Note in this photograph how each student's flower pot is labeled with a different tactile
symbol, as well as with braille.

Similarly in the photo at the right, the child's chair is labeled with a shape (green triangle) that
matches the same symbol at his or her place at the table. Braille and print labels should also be
included. Note that ideally the symbols should have meaning for the child, but should not be
something that is found everywhere. For example, it is better not to use a lego block as a
symbol, if there are lego blocks throughout the classroom, as it may be confusing to the child.

Book Handling Skills

Children should be exposed to basic positional concepts holding a book, including top/bottom,
left/right, front/back. They should also have practice turning pages and examining what is on
each page. Visits to the library, as well as creating a personal library, can be helpful ways to
reinforce these skills

We hope you will explore the options outlined here and share your ideas for other books
and activities!

Language Experience Books

Object Books
Predictable Books

Accessible Books
Power Point E-Books
Modifying Books
Adapted Adapted Literacy

Experience Stories and Tactile Books

Experience stories, tactile books, and object books all provide an

entrance to the world of literacy, using concrete materials relating
to the child's own life. In general the language used is simple and
based on key vocabulary within the child's own experience.
Pages usually have braille, print, and real objects or partial
objects attached to each page. It is often helpful to use a threering binder, as pages tend to be thick.
What are Object Books?

Object books are similar to Language Experience Books, but may be more general
than one specific experience. They can be used to explore routines (bath time, meal
time, gym class), teach counting, or to reinforce concepts, such as big/little, short/tall,

As the name suggests, object books are made using real objects, which should be
taken from the student's daily activities and experiences. Whenever possible, students
should be included in the creation of the object book. It is important to begin with the
part of an object which is most salient to a child and which represents her experience.
For example, when choosing an object to represent the playground, a small piece of
wood chips that the student touches on the ground may better represent the experience
than a miniature plastic swing.

An example of a book about routines

In this object book a student helped to place soil in a

ziploc baggy to describe the steps involved in
planting a plant. This type of approach can be used
to tell about something after it happened, as well
as to prompt others or to serve as a reminder when
doing the same activity.

Predictable Books

Predictable books are characterized by structured patterns that allow

the reader to anticipate upcoming events in the story. Usually these
books have repetitive lines, plots, refrains, rhythms or phrases.
They also contain supportive pictures that help tell the story. (For
ideas on how to adapt story illustrations see story boxes) Here is a
short list of predictable, early literature. I hope you enjoy these
books as much as I do!

What is an accessible book?

Accessible Books are popular childrens books that have been recreated
through the use of scanning and recording to enable the non-reader to access
them via technology. The graphics and text of a selected book are displayed
on the computer screen with narration added through either digitized (human
reader) or synthesized (computer speech) speech. These books are created
using software applications with graphics and speech capabilities that enable
switch and adapted access methods.
Accessible Books are generally at the emergent through early conventional reading
levels, from pre-primer to approximately the grade 3 reading level.
Books for the Accessible collection are chosen based on the following criteria:

Where text comprehension is enhanced through pictures.

Where there is good childrens literature.
Where curriculum content is at early reading levels.
Where there is locally relevant conten

Watch this video from British Columbia to learn more:

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make a Power Point E-Book

E-Books are relatively simple to make. On this page I will provide a quick and simple recipe to
create electronic books using Microsoft's Power Point application. It is included in Microsoft
office, it is a presentation tool that can combine graphics, animation, sound effects and speech.
Sorry guys, these instructions apply to Mac users only, although if you are a PC user you should
be able to follow along without too much difficulty

1. Open PowerPoint
2. 2. Click on the square with one horizontal bar at the top of the page with the
rest of the square blank, then OK
3. 3. Click on the Blank slide (it looks like a plain box with a border), then OK


4. Under Format, click on Background

5. Click on More Colors, pick the color you want and then click on Apply
6. Under Format, click on Font, pick your font style, size and color, then OK
7. Congratulations, you just made the first page of your book!
8. To add more pages, under Insert, click on Duplicate slide for as many
slides (or pages) you want to create. If you want to know how many slides
you have look at the bottom tool bar (3 of 3 slides)

Get ready to create!

9. Go to your first slide, this will be your title page, just slide the bar on the left hand
side to the top to find a specific slide. Highlight Click to Add Title, and start
typing in your story text.
10. To add graphics: You have two choices, you can use pictures from Microsoft Art
Gallery or you can use one of your own files. Under Insert, click on Picture, then
click on ClipArt. Find the picture you want and then hit Insert. Resize the picture
(hold the mouse on the white squares) to the size you want and place it where
you want it ( hold the mouse down and move it.)
11. Or you can add a graphic or digital picture you downloaded, scanned or created.
Under Insert, click on Picture, then click on From file. Find the file you want,
and then hit Insert.
12. You can add sound or you can record your own voice to narrate the story.You
must have an external microphone to record sound. Under Insert, click
on Movies and Sound. To record a sound click on Record Sound and start
talking. To use a sound from the Microsoft Gallery, click on Sound from gallery,
to add a sound you downloaded click on Sound from file, find your file, and then
click Insert.
13. To advance to the next slide, click on the downward arrow in the left hand tool
bar. Repeat all the same steps until you have finished creating.
14. To activate your book, Under Slide Show, click on View Show, put the mouse
anywhere on the screen, and with one click, advance to the next page.
15. Congratulations, you have just created a talking book!
16. For the adventurous, you can add animation, change the transition between
slides and all that jazz. Under Slide Show play around with the Preset
animation, Custom animation and the Slide Transition feature. One hint for

those who want to play with the animation feature, you must highlight the graphic
first, otherwise PowerPoint doesn't know what you want to animate.

Modifying Books for Students with

Multiple Disabilities
Because many commercially available books are not accessible to children with multiple
disabilities, it is often necessary to adapt the existing book according to the needs of an
individual student. Books may be purchased with braille text, but additional
modifications may be necessary to make the book interesting and meaningful to a child
with additional disabilities.
There are three basic ways in which to modify books:

modification to the text

modifications to the pictures
modifications to the book itself

Before You Begin

The first step before adapting a book is to determine the purpose of the book. Begin by
asking yourself the following questions:

What are the educational objectives for reading this book? (e.g. concepts,
specific vocabulary words, braille or print recognition, book handling skills, social
What are the child's interests?
What are the challenges the child faces in reading the book, including vision,
hearing, cognition, and physical abilities?
Where will the child read the book? (at home, at school, with friends)
Will the child be reading this book alone?
Are other students in the class reading the same book?

Modifications to the Text

Make the text accessible by using braille or large print.

Increase the contrast.
Simplify the content.

Simplifying the content and using symbols the student recognizes are helpful
in adapting age appropriate materials, such as magazines, to an individual's
reading level.

Support the print with picture or tactile symbols

Modifications to the Picture

Simplify the background. Take out busy or low contrast background and replace
with a solid, high contrast background.
Highlight the main idea of the picture.
Highlight the picture with a preferred color so the childs eye is drawn to the
picture. (This may be especially helpful for students with Cortical Visual
Provide tactile enhancement of the picture
Use an object in place of the picture

Modifications to the Book

Children with multiple disabilities may have difficulty holding the actual book or turning
the pages, especially if they have a physical or motor impairment.
Make the pages thicker using cardboard.
Place tactile markers to help the child to locate specific parts of the book, as on
the buttons pictured to the left.
Add "page fluffers" These are simply small squares of foam or cardboard
attached to the corner of a page to make them easier to flip without skipping

Mount the book on a book stand on a table.

Re-bind the book so that the book stays open more easily.
Laminate pages or place in protective sheets.
Create an electronic version of the book.