Monday, May 25, 2015

SymbolStix-Supported Animated Step-by-Steps have Arrived!

Animated Step-by-Steps were initially designed to provide a vehicle for  infusing  a greater literacy component into recipes, crafts, songs, poems and science projects. When symbols were added they had the additional benefit of creating a forum for exposing students with special needs to the symbol set being used on their communication device. In keeping with this original dual intent, I just posted about 50 symbol-supported Animated Step-by-Steps (everything so far … except the obvious seasonal files which will be converted by Fall). 

My first installment of symbol-supported files uses SymbolStix, a symbol set used extensively in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication and used in the Unique Learning Curriculum offered by n2y.  It is hoped that the Animated Step-by-Steps will prove to be a great additional resource for educators vested in using this curriculum with their students with special needs. In the Teachers Pay Teachers Store symbol-supported files can be distinguished from the regular files by a circular SymbolStix trademark icon. Use the custom category SymbolStix (on the left) to view just the subset of SymbolStix-supported products.

As mentioned in a previous post (04-06-15) I’ve opted to have the symbols for each page automatically appear AFTER  the animations for that page are complete. This strategy is primarily  designed to avoid having the symbols ‘steal attention’ from an emphasis on literacy.  Intuitively this makes sense as it allows you to focus on the literacy and comprehension components first … then allows you to review what you just read and saw using the symbol supports, e.g., “Now let’s re-read the page using our picture symbols.”  This layered approach is reflective of Universal Design for Learning  and has the additional benefit of  minimizing ‘visual overload’ (an aspect that is sometimes overlooked in the design of educational materials)

Here's hoping the addition of symbol-supported versions of the Animated Step-by-Steps will greatly enhance your ability to provide differentiated instruction in the classroom.

... 'til the next post

© 2015 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.