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Sunday, February 19, 2017

3 Fun ways to use Assistive Technology in Special Ed. Classrooms

Assistive technology (AT) is super important in special ed classrooms because it gives kiddos the ability to communicate and access the curriculum. Although AT is important for academics, I love to use AT in fun interactive ways to encourage kids to communicate and work with each other.

Greetings are an important social skill for all kiddos to learn! I like to use a GoTalk9+ with students' pictures for kids to greet a specific kiddo/ staff member. We also use a BigMack (or any single switch) to record a single greeting. I change out the BigMack greeting daily and change the GoTalk greetings on a weekly basis. My students love when I say the greetings in silly voices and when I use fun/ silly greetings like:

  • Waaaz up?
  • How you doin'?
  • Hey girl, hey!
  • Hi/ hello in different languages (Hola,  Guten tag, Ciao, Namaste, Bonjour, etc.)
  • Sup?
  • How's it goin'?
  • What's shaking?
  • Yo!
  • Good day, mate

Jokes are so fun for the kids AND staff in the classroom! For kids who are non-verbal, I use a TwinTalk or BigMack  to tell jokes. For my students use a TwinTalk to tell jokes and we focus on sequencing the "first" and "second" part of the joke (the first part of the joke is recorded on "1" and the punch line is recorded on "2"). You can use printed jokes with picture supports for your kiddos who can read.

SymbolWorld has a TON of free jokes you can download and print. You just have to create a free account. (To get to the jokes, click on "entertainment" and then "jokes".) You alsofind ideas ando download 20 free jokes for free from BreezySpecialEd here.

I was recently in a 3rd grade general ed classroom when I saw the students giving peers fun little cheers. I loved the idea and how excited the kids were, but I had to find a way that my students could participate in the cheers. Since most of my students are non-verbal, I started using a GoTalk4 to record cheers. It's so fun because now my students can give other students cheers when they're working hard or got an answer correct!

You can find some of Dr. Jeans amazing cheers here. Sugar Blossoms also has great cheer ideas with video examples!

What are some fun ways you use AT in your special ed. classroom?

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