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What visual aids does your nursery/foundation stage use and how do they use them?

(7 Posts)
lingle Thu 16-Jul-09 11:06:17

My nursery used choice-boards and first/then boards for DS2 but he doesn't need them any more.

I've suggested a visual timetable for the whole class and got a positive response.

SALT suggested a home/school "this is what I did today" sheet. Nursery are reluctant to take DS2 out of groups for 1-to-1. They feel he gets good 1-to-1 from me at home and benefits more from practising peer group interaction when he's there.

What I'd like to achieve to reconcile these approaches is a much more visual-learner friendly classroom next year and in reception the year after. SALT is very keen on this but she can be a bit "can't see the wood for the trees" - she doesn't have to run a classroom full of verbal little girls!

My primary school teacher friend tells me that visuals should really be good practice in all classrooms.

Thoughts? positive experiences?

I think I'd like to talk to the head about it all.

Widemouthfrog Thu 16-Jul-09 11:32:58

DS had his own visual timetable in reception. They also introduced a whole-class visual timetable that was displayed down the side of the whiteboard - it showed morning activities up until lunch, and then was updated for the afternoon.

He also had a choice pad in reception, with two options on, as he had real difficulty selecting freeplay activities. he no longer uses this

There is a wall above his workstation that shows his visual timetable, and reward charts. He also has a staff timetable so he knows what teacher will be in class when to help him - not necessary on a normal day, but has been invaluable when staff changes have had to occur.

He uses a 'now and next' to motivate him to complete work which is followed by a 5 min reward - usually sensory play. Work is then place into a 'finished' tray.

We have a home-school diary, which I encourage DS to share and add to.

Other visual schedules have been used for specific routines - coming into school, getting changed for pe, using the toilet.

Many of these he is outgrowing, but he likes the reassurance that they are still there if he is getting overloaded or anxious. They have made a huge difference to his ability to access the classroom.

He also has a 'help' card which he can put on the desk if he is getting anxious, as he cannot always verbalise this - this was on a stick that he held up in reception. teachers use a wait card that they can hold up and show him if he is demanding attention and they are dealing with something else.

TotalChaos Thu 16-Jul-09 11:36:11

DS's school/nursery never used anything special for him, as apparently they believe that all the kids benefit from visual aids to learning, so they try and use visual stuff a lot as routine. They've never been very forthcoming about the specifics, but they do have a lot of computers and whiteboards etc.

Nyrrem Thu 16-Jul-09 11:44:28

Hi Lingle,

My DS starts school in September. We run a weekly schedule board at home and preschool have been pretty good with visual support. Have been quite pleased with school so far. The classroom is very visual-learner friendly with a visual timetable for the whole class. They have also provided a social story for every child with pictures of school, teachers, support staff etc. Behaviour is also managed in a visual way, every morning each childs name starts on the cloud and can move with good behaviour to a star or bad behaviour to a thunder cloud.

I have been asked to provide notes for a "communication passport", which will detail his tendency to take things very literally and his echolalia and stims etc. I'm also going to try to include some notes on sensory triggers. This will be available to everyone including the lunchtime and lollipop staff.

I'll let you know how we get on.

lingle Thu 16-Jul-09 14:26:25

These are very helpful. I've emailed the headmistress as follows:

"Moving forward, I suspect that DS2 will continue to have a very "visual" learning style throughout Foundation stage (at least). The speech therapist has a wealth of suggestions about visual aids, but Miss X and I are concerned that these be implemented in a way that enhances, rather than reducing, DS2's opportunities to interact with his peers. I feel the solution is to make the whole classroom more "visual learner friendly" through increased use of techniques such as visual timetables, calendars, visual records of time spent,etc. The key is to have many non-transient visual sources that children can look at several times without them "finishing" or "disappearing" in the way that speech and sign do. Could we have a chat about this in September?"

She has replied saying "yes to talking in September".

I think that the staff find the whole visual learner thing very counterintuitive, so I think I'll need to keep (respectfully) pushing on this one.

coppertop Thu 16-Jul-09 14:26:28

In Reception ds1's class had a large visual timetable which had all of the day's activities on them. His teacher said that she thought the whole class would benefit from it.

When they had several activities set up at the same time ds1 used to flit from one to the other. They gave him his own personal timetable with one or two of the activities on it so that he wouldn't get overwhelmed by having too much choice.

Interestingly his KS2 class has a daily timetable up too. AFAIK it wasn't set up with ds1 in mind so presumably it's something that is thought to have benefits for the class as a whole.

Ds2 also had a class visual timetable in Reception.

mysonben Thu 16-Jul-09 14:32:29

They use a visual timetable which has all the nurserys' activities on it. They also have an album photo of all the teachers and children, they use makaton to support language.
That's it i think.

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