Monday, October 15, 2018

'How to Play' Game Resources

Games are a wonderful way to promote peer-peer interactions especially needed in Blended and Mainstream Settings. They're also ideal for targeting communication skills, while providing the scaffolding needed for nurturing friendships. In the home environment, games are a great way to further social closeness and build shared family experiences.

The Bloom Where You're Planted Store (TpT) is now adding a new line of Animated Step-by-Steps® called 'How to Play' Resources. These new 'How to Play' resources present the objectives and rules of familiar games in a highly visual, easy to understand format. They also provide some 'simulated' practice to 'set the stage' for the followup 'hands-on' portion of the training routine. 

Animated Step-by-Steps® are animated PowerPoints designed to address literacy, language, AAC and a host of academic goals and social agendas. Each page includes a series of animations. Read the text up to the star … click … and see an animation of what you just read. Symbol-Supported (PCS, SymbolStix) resources provide the symbol support after all the page animations are triggered. This strategy is designed to promote a 'literacy first' agenda so the symbols do not 'steal attention' away from the task of deciphering text. 

To date there are six resources in the 'How to Play' product line:

Each resource is available in 3 formatsRegular ( no symbol support), PCS (Tobii/Dynavox) and SymbolStix(n2y). Some titles also have a VI version.

The I Spy with My Little Eye Resource can also be used to 'set the stage' for the more traditional, environmentally-based, I Spy Game, e.g., " I spy with my little eye something that is yellow ... Is it that yellow ball?  … Nope! … Is it that yellow cup?  …. Nope, but you're getting warmer. (as they are moving closer to the mystery item). Is it that yellow J on our alphabet chart? ... No, you're getting colder (as they are moving further from the mystery item). As you can see from this script, it also provides repeated practice for language structures such subject-verb reversal 'Is it ...'  for questions.

These 'How to Play' resources can be displayed on the 'big screen'(interactive whiteboard, large screen TV using Apple TV) or the 'small screen'(computer monitor, iPad/Android tablet using the free Microsoft PowerPoint app).  I prefer to display them on the classroom's interactive whiteboard using a wireless switch (i.e., infrared, bluetooth) to trigger the animations. This option allows all the students to share the magic of activating the animations in an efficient, time-saving manner. It also guarantees greater student engagement. 

Consider initiating a  'Games Project' at your school ... providing students with structured instruction on how to play various popular games. Every two weeks a new game is added to the roster of interactive games. This would necessitate setting up AAC devices for 'task-oriented' messages (e.g. 'Crown me!') and 'relational oriented' messages (fun interactive comments that nurture social closeness) (framework derived from Dr. Erna Alant).  Initially, classroom staff serve as 'game coaches', with the long range goal of fading assistance to foster independent game playing. 

'Let the games begin!"

…’til the next post …  

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©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator