Monday, September 21, 2015

I Spy With My Little Eye - Promoting Peer-Peer Interaction

I Spy with My Little Eye is a great activity to promote peer-peer interaction in self-contained, blended and regular education classrooms. Children with special needs, however, sometimes experience difficulty understanding the task requirements for this common interactive game. This version of the I Spy With My Little Eye activity is designed to lay the foundation for understanding the principles of the game, while simultaneously working on clothing and color concepts.

Students are provided with a color label,  i.e., “I spy with my little eye something that is …. (orange) and are invited to find the requested color from an array of five items (e.g. the orange socks must be selected from an array that includes green, purple, pink and red socks.  When a student successfully touches the requested item, the program speaks the correct answer, e.g. “orange socks”. If the student selects an incorrect item, the program provides a simple negative response “huhugh’. Across several pages the activity addresses 10 colors and 10 clothing items.

The original downloaded version is a matching task, by design. The requested color always appears as an oval at the end of the spyglass, thus providing an additional cue. The activity can, however, be made more challenging, i.e., with no color cue provided. 

You must first change the downloaded show version (.pps) into a design version (.ppt or pptx) (information is available in a previous blog post, 03-02-15 Adding PCS Symbols), then drag the color ovals ‘off page’.  The ovals will still fade in, but will be fading in ‘off screen’ where they can’t be seen. Now the required task is no longer a matching task but rather a color identification task.

Both Mary Wore Her Red Dress and I Spy With My Little Eye use the same type of clothing items. This duplicity is very much intended.

Whenever I am using the Mary Wore Her Red Dress Animated Step-by-Step Song™ I always add the chant, “I spy with my little eye something that is …… (program announces the color) while the page is loading the clothing item and its color label. There is ‘method in my madness’.  I’m actually introducing this phrase to eventually segue to the I Spy Game in the future. 

You will recall, the Mary Wore Her Red Dress Song includes an extension activity that invites students to sing about an item they are wearing to school today.

The I Spy with My Little Eye Game lends itself to a similar extension activity in which the mystery items are items the children are wearing that day, e.g., "I Spy with my little eye something that is  … green."   Children are guessing the mystery item based on what their peers are wearing.  “Is it Jason’s green shoes? … Is it Andrea’s green barrette? …. Is it the green dinosaurs on Ishma’s running shoes? Is it Hasad’s green ring?

To help students make the transition to the way the game is traditionally played, i.e., using all the objects in the room, the I Spy Animated Step-by-Step™ offers a simple extension activity encouraging students to select a color which then navigates to a page that allows them to explore the labels of similarly colored objects (with a few incorrect items thrown into the mix to provide some contrast). Whenever an item is touched, it’s label is announced, e.g., yellow apple, yellow banana (yellow page)…. blue plate, blue scissors (blue page).

Eventually the class can transition to a fuller array of mystery options throughout the classroom. As children wander around the room looking for that mystery item “… something that is … green”, additional location clues may be provided …. “You’re getting warmer.” or “Nope, now you’re getting colder (as they move away from the target object).

There are three versions of the I Spy with My Little Eye Animated Step-by-Step™ Game and the Mary Wore Her Red Dress Animated Step-by-Step™ Song: Regular, SymbolStix, PCS symbols. These titles are available for purchase on the Teachers Pay Teachers site.

…’til the next post  (new posts every Monday!)

©2015 Carol Goossens’, Ph. D.
Augmentative Communication Specialist
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator