Friday, August 18, 2017

Accessible Number of the Day Board

Happy back to school friends! I hope all the back to school plans are coming together nicely. I've become quite a preschool super fan as I have been working with our new preschool teachers to get them ready. I've read a TON about our core standards, ECC early childhood skills and general education preschool. One of the activities that I collaborated on was an accessible number board. I started this project last year with one of our preschool teachers but was able to get it off the ground successfully in all of our preschool classes for this coming school year. This idea came from number of the day activities that happen in general ed preschool.
This number of the day board is easy to make accessible for preschoolers with vision impairments. I have to give major props to our faithful para who helped cut out fabric and worked to make this come to life. We took the APH Carousel of Textures and some fabric with good texture and cut out the numbers. Below is a picture of the numbers 1-9 in a variety of different textures. This is for our low vision students to feel the shape of the large print numbers. Note: number 6 is in a crazy visual pattern. This was from our prototype of numbers. Be careful with fabric patterns so they are not too overwhelming!
  

A ten frame with velcro (in each frame) and a Braille cell with velcro at each of the dot positions allow students to interact with each of the items. The picture shows orange and green smiley faces and stars that can go on the velcro spots for counting on the ten frame. The Braille cell has velcro attached so the teacher can attach dots to make different numbers in Braille. It also allows our Braille readers to make different numbers according to the selected number of the day. 

The picture below are the numbers in word form with bright colors and bold letters for contrast. 


The picture below is of sign language numbers. Now I know what some of you are thinking---why do we have sign language letters for students with vision impairments?  Well, as many of you know (or are learning...), some of our students with multiple impairments/ASDVI/deafblind use sign language to learn and/or communicate. That's why we added ASL numbers because we do have students that use sign numbers. 


Our next picture below is our large print numbers in print (so there is the line going through them as if writing on lined paper). That is for practice as our students with low vision can trace with white board markers and for addition or number play. We made sure to use a nice bold number large enough that is easily read by our students with low vision. 


The last two pictures are of a traditional number line and an area to practice tally marks. We added yarn using hot glue for a textured number line with Braille labels over each number to make is accessible for our students with no vision. The tally marks area allow our students to practice tallying. We also used Wikki Stix for our students with no vision so they can do tally practice, too. 



Lastly, we used our trusty Invisiboard (I swear I have a million purposes for this thing!) to put it all on. We cut off one of the folds. The black background made the perfect backdrop for our board. We added velcro to the back of all the number items so we can easily interchange the numbers and items. Remember to keep the layout the same each time you change the number to make it easier to anticipate each activity of the number board. I also made a print out with bold lines (for contrast) that my teachers print out this year so each student can do desk work with the number of the day. The longest part of this activity was cutting out letters BUT you can also use a Cricut and it takes no time at all! I made sure that I brought mine down so we can whip it out for all my teachers since so many will be making these. We laminated everything (be careful with laminating as sometimes it makes for a nasty glare). You can also use non-glare laminate (I have purchased it and it works pretty nice). Happy back to school! Good luck! I'll post more ideas from back to school prepping soon. 

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