Friday, 1 February 2008

I can...go out and about!

Exploring the community is fun for everyone. Try planning a field trip and encourage your students to participate in the preparation as well as the event itself. Students can also share their adventures by taking pictures and talking about them in a variety of ways.

Here are some vocabulary ideas for your student to use while out in the community:
Are we there yet?
I need to go to….
Are we taking the bus?
Where are we going?
Can you guess where I went today?
I need to call a taxi
I’d like to order a…
Do we have to go home already?
Let’s take a picture
That’s amazing!
It’s your turn to choose where we’ll eat
Watch out for the….
I’m lost!
Can you help me pack my bag?
I need some water
Here are some suggestions for making your trip out in the community a success:

  • Role Play - Talking about an upcoming trip with your students can help them prepare for the different places they will visit and people they might meet.  For example, if planning a trip to the mall, be sure to make a list of items you are looking for.  Try role-playing to give students a chance to use some of the phrases they might use while on their trip.
  • Educating Others – When taking your students out to a new place, call ahead to find out when there may be a quieter time so that students who use Augmentative Communication can be more successful in their communication. Share information with people in the community on how best to communicate with someone who uses Augmentative Communication.   
  • Review vocabulary on your student’s device or communication display – Brainstorm the situations in which the student may want to communicate.  Try using the vocabulary available and then add additional vocabulary that might be needed. For example, in a trip to the bowling alley a student may want to say “Strike!”, “Spare!”, “Gutter ball!”.
  •  Sharing the experience – Try to provide your students with the opportunity to tell others about their recent field trip.  Be sure to include some questions for the listener to help draw them into in the conversation.  For example, after a trip to the zoo a student may ask someone “What’s your favourite animal?”

No-Tech Ideas  

  • Portable communication holders provide a way to display symbols. http://www.augresources.com/vindex.html 
  • Take digital photos so that students can share their experience. 
  • Look for pre-made communication boards on the Internet! You need Boardmaker™ to print them. http://prekese.dadeschools.net/BMD/fieldtrips.html 
  • Remnant Book – collect souvenir items such as a coaster, a movie ticket, a flyer etc and display in a small photo album. Students can then share information about where they have been visiting.
Light Tech Ideas
  • Try choosing a student to act as a “reporter”. Record the events on a Step by Step™ and ask the student to report the field trip highlights.
High Tech Ideas

Resources for teachers and educators: Check out the following websites for great ideas…

Past Issues of “I Can” Newsletters are now ONLINE! http://www.tvcc.on.ca/augmentative-communication-service-handouts.htm