Monday, June 22, 2015

Using a Planning Sheet to Assign Roles

As discussed in the previous post, Animated Step-by-Step Poems can be effectively used to stage a mini play/lesson using the interactive whiteboard to ‘glue’ the activity together as a cohesive unit. (as an aside... the roles discussed in the previous post are equally applicable to a host of children stories that incorporate a time-dependent repetitive line and/or a slot-filler format).

When your class or school serves several children with Complex Communication Needs, consider creating a range of Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) materials that can support the roles for each poem. The types of materials created are often driven by the types of ‘classroom devices’ and ‘personal devices’ available in your class/school. Don’t forget to also create a set of  laminated Dual=Representation symbols (picture symbol on one side, printed word on the flip side). 
When creating materials to support 5 Little Snowmen, for example,  I would create a laminated ‘loose version’ of the poem's slot-filler items and a flip book ‘bound version’ that allows a secondary facilitator (speech-language pathologist, OT, classroom assistant, personal assistant) assigned to a student to quickly present the corresponding symbol as each slot-filler items is introduced.

I have also found it helpful to use a Song/Poem/Story Planning Worksheet to help the team assign roles based on therapeutic need. 

The above chart (created using PowerPoint) includes the following columns that can be printed and 
  filled in during the weekly team meeting.  
  • General Roles (time-dependent repetitive lines, slot-filler items, non time-dependent lines; gross motor roles)
  • Specific Roles (lists the specific lines/content that can be assigned to students; you do not need to assign all the roles; unassigned roles are usually assumed by the adult leading the group)

  •  Performed by … (assigns students to specific roles based on therapeutic need)

  •  Performed with … (lists how each student will realize their specific role (e.g., natural speech, BIGmack, Step-by-Step Communicator, iPad, TechTalk-8).

  •  Assisted by … (lists the team member who will be assigned to assist the student in performing their role, if assistance is required, e.g., offering the BIGmack when the opportunity arises to add the time-dependent line; using a pen light to cue the child [shadow light cueing] to activate a target cell on a voice-output device; using blockers on a voice-output device to make direct selection access easier)
It is important to note that a chart (similar to the above chart) would be created to reflect the unique, specific roles for each Animated Step-by-Step Poem/Song that you own. Because the roles are delineated in advance when the chart was created, the team is able to focus their full attention on making the important decisions: who will perform what role … using what AAC equipment and supports … assisted by what team member.

In a future post, a strategy will be provided for organizing your Animated Step-by-Step files to promote frequent use within your organization. 

… until the next post    (become a follower; a new post every Monday)

© 2015 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.