Category Archives: K-12

Guess Who?

guess-whoRemember this game!? it has been around since 1979 and is still going strong! For those of you who aren’t familiar, here is the gist.

Guess Who is a 2 player game, where each player starts the game with a board that includes cartoon images of 24 people and their first names with all the images standing up. Each player selects a card from a separate pile of cards containing the same 24 images. Players alternate asking various yes or no questions to eliminate characters, such as “Does this person wear glasses?”

I LOVED THIS GAME!!!guesswho-old

The good news is that is has evolved from 24 white people with chubby cheeks and towards  little more of a diverse crowd. This game is a great game for developing skills like asking questions, but also visual referencing and comprehension. It’s manipulative nature and little words also makes it vary accessible to a lot of the kids that we work with.

Because of this, we incorporated this game as an activity in our “ALL ABOUT ME” unit, which we implemented at the beginning of each year…with one little modification.

IMG_3374Who says we need to ask questions about chubby white people, when we can ask questions about EACH OTHER.

We changed every person on the cards, into a person in our school. Our Guess Who game went from a generic boring irrelevant game, and into a situated, authentic and fun way to learn more about each other, while still developing some of the skills mentioned above.

The student love seeing pictures of themselves on the playing cards. We just took pictures and taped them directly to the cards.

For students who need communication support, with a visual board developed specifically with the students features in mind.

IMG_3375 copyWe included both students, educational assistants, teachers and administrators on the board, with the intention that this game would also help students with conversation starters when interacting with people in real life.

An easy activity, that the students LOVED! AND you can often find these games for cheap at second hand shops or craigslist.

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Goals: Asking questions, turn-taking, visual referencing, processing/analyzing, process of elimination, learning names, matching, word work, reading

Unit: All About Me!

Activity: Guess Who?

Other All About Me! Activities:

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Are your hands clean?!

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.39.16 PM 1In a safety plan meeting last week, we discussed how this student, B., has a lot of behaviours that escalate, into a power struggle  when staff ask him to wash his hands before eating, or before using technology.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.38.51 PMAs a team, we decided to add hand washing to his list of behaviours to teach in his program plan. B., his team, and I had a photo shoot and we got to work creating him a book he could read, as well as build a consequence map. These resources were used by both B. and his team, to use as a teaching tool, and a reinforcement strategy.

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BookHands

Target Behaviour: Washing hands

Literacy Level of Text: Transitional

Target behaviour:

The Doors.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.19.03 PMStep 1 of inclusion is teaching skills to help students be a part of the physical community of a classroom or school!  This book is one of a series created to teach behaviours around being at school and in classes specifically for a student named A. A. is a grade 8 student who loves doors! As A. walks down the halls of his school, he likes to open and close doors…which, as you can imagine… drives both teachers and students nuts. So rather than just never letting him walk in the hallways, A. and I wrote this book together.

A and I had a photo shoot and together, as a part of his program, him and his staff read it together and practice. We used a visual consequence map to help, which his staff carried around with them in a binder, to help A. when he was stuck. Or as a reinforcement tool, in case he exhibited the behaviour after it was taught.

Book: Me and My SchoolScreen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.19.23 PM

Target behaviour: Opening and closing doors

Literacy level of text: Transitional

What do I already know?

Explicit Instruction: Literacy

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There are great resources already out there in terms of age appropriate and interesting texts at levels accessible to all types of learners. One of those resources is News2You. News2You publishes a weekly unit on engaging topics and current events. Based around differentiated texts, this resource also develops extension activities. One additional aspect that I wanted to include, however, was a lesson that helped me see what my students already knew about the topic. With many of them having so many gaps in their learning, a background knowledge lesson also helped calibrate the group and get everyone on the same page.

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In keeping with the inquiry theme, I tried to develop a prior knowledge activity adapted from the KWL strategy (What do I know, want to know and what did I learn).

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Using the pictures as visual supports, students chose  pictures that finished the sentence, ‘I know that Monarch Butterflies…..’ At its most basic, this was just a choice activity. But as I scaffolded the lesson, picture boards contained additional distrators, or students had to find pictures and words on their own. If additional challenge was needed, I asked students to think of their own responses without visual prompts. Once each student had a collection of pictures and words to describe their thinking, they made a title page for the unit. By the end of the lesson we had a compilation of title pages filled with words, pictures, symbols which all met the same goal!

Goal Area: Literacy-Activating prior knowledge

Literacy LevelEmergent

Support Link: News2You

SuperHeroes!!

Explicit Instruction: Literacy

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Peter is in Grade 10 and his team wanted to work on developing his literacy skills. Being a BIG FAN of Superheroes, we made a theme incorporating this interest. We started with a book of his favourite characters and then built on from there. Because peter is an emergent reader, we included super hero toys as a support to help Peter interact with and engage with the pictures and word in the text.

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As an extension word work activity, Peter used letter stamps and match letters to spell out each super hero name. Individual stamping boxes were used to support his reference matching, but we hope that we will eventually not need them. In the template attached, I have included both the letter and the word boxes. We used stamps, but yo could use markers or glue and sparkles!

Goal Area: Literacy- motivation and engagement, joint attention, matching, print referencing

Literacy Level: Emergent

Text: Superheroes book

Extension Activity: SUPERHEROES word work