This Teachable Moment provides a brief overview of the use of a multi-step object system for students who are ready to move on from a single object system. Megan demonstrates several adaptations to aid in gaining visual attention and describes how the use of calendar systems aids in the development of literacy skills.
CONNAUGHTON: Hi! I'm Megan Connaughton. Today, I'm going to be talking about a multi-step object calendar system.
This system is a great idea for a student who is ready to move on from the simple, one-step calendar system.
NARRATOR: Megan Connaughton stands behind a desk, on which a multi-step calendar system is displayed.
From left to right, the system consists of two rectangular, green, plastic bins labeled number "1" and number "2", and a red, finished bin labeled with a Meyer-Johnson picture communication symbol that illustrates the sign for "finished".
CONNAUGHTON: For this particular system, we've simply added a second green "time for" bin and kept the red, "finished" bin at the completion of the sequence. This calendar system is a great opportunity for students to be able to anticipate multiple activities throughout their day.
When using this system, you can use objects for students who work well with objects, and it can also be adapted to be used for more abstract symbols, such as photos and object-photo combinations.
NARRATOR: In a tight shot, we see the objects in the calendar bins. In bin number "1" is an illustrated book titled "Bedtime". In bin number "2" is a large, blue plastic disc.
CONNAUGHTON: When using this system, you first start by placing the first activity in bin number "1", followed by the second activity in bin number "2".
When using this particular example, the student would look in the system and find first, "I have books!" They'd take the object, complete their activity, and move it to the "finished" bin.
When they return to the calendar system to see what's next, they would next find, "Oh, there's nothing left in bin number '1' (and) move on to my next activity."
This particular symbol is a computer switch cover, which is meaningful to a student.
It represents the "activity computer". They would take that object and move on to their next activity.
The system can also be adapted to be used for students who are ready to move on from objects to a more abstract form of representation.
To do that, you can take the object and mount it on a piece of black foam board, with a text or Braille label as well as a photo, depending on the individual visual and tactile needs of the student.
NARRATOR: Megan holds a rectangular, black card, approximately 9 x 12 inches, made from a sturdy material.
In high-contrast, white print, is a label that reads "books".
Below the label is a small photo of the book "Bedtime".
The actual book can be attached to the card with Velcro.
CONNAUGHTON: From there, the system works the same way: place the first activity in bin number "1", followed by the next activity in bin number "2".
This calendar system is a great opportunity for working on pre-literacy skills with students.
It not only allows them to work on anticipating multiple activities throughout their day, but allows them to practice left-to-right comprehension, as well as simple sequencing.
And that is today's "Teachable Moment"!