Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DIY Tactual Books

Tactual Book Project

Book One: Graduated Pages Book
5 different types of (texture) fabric (smooth, soft, rough, silky, etc.)
Hot glue & glue gun
Sewing machine
Folder/sturdy book back for each book

How to assemble the graduated pages book:
Take each of the 5 different sizes and cut them to size:
10x10 square, 8x10, 6x10, 4x10, 3x10
Assemble fabric (with 10x10 on the bottom, stacking each size up so that smallest is on top).
Sew up the left edge (“spine” of the book).
Place inside folder with hot glue at the spine.

 graduated pages book

 book making fun

Book Two: Fabric Squares Board
5 different types of (texture) fabric (smooth, soft, rough, silky, etc.)
Sturdy foam board cut into a large square (18x18)
Cut fabric into 9 equal pieces (like a Tic-Tac-Toe board)
Glue fabric onto foam board (like a Tic-Tac-Toe board)

Book Three: Giant Square Book 
5 different types of (texture) fabric (smooth, soft, rough, silky, etc.)
Foam board
Large rings
Exacto knife
How to assemble this book:
Cut fabric to 11x14. All uniform cut. No frayed edges. Edges can be sewn or burned for finish.
Cut foam board to 11 ½ x14 ½
Cut two holes at the top of fabric. Fabric should lay horizontal with holes punched at top (See picture).
Punch two holes at the top of the foam board. Punch holes in the exact same places as in the fabric so that both foam board holes and fabric holes line up.

all of the squares cut, then assembled and hot glued to foam board

Tips to remember:

  • Patterns count so be watchful for aggressive patterns.
  • Shiny red sequins (that are sturdy) are always a good find
  • Put contrasting fabric types together. Although I always say you can't understand blindness by simply closing your eyes, for this one close your eyes. Feel for strong contrasts like burlap and silk.

A New Level of Service

 Wow, on November 10, 2012 my students took service to a whole new level! As many of you know I am part of a group of teachers that are advisers for a group of my students called Student Advisory Council (aka SAC). We did a community service project for over 70 youth and welcomed them into the vision impairment community. In addition to my stellar students rocking the house, we also had Fidelco guide dog school and Silver Lining Technology come and round out the cast. We spent almost 6 hours welcoming our new friends into our community and the results were awesome! The morning was spent dividing up the youth into three groups: orientation & mobility, assistive technology and Braille. We shuttled our youth into these groups and had them do sighted guide technique, make some edible Braille and have some hands-on time with AT devices.

My super awesome students!!
I am blogging about this because not only am I super proud of my students but this was an amazing experience for the community. I also want to empower other students to do the same thing! This was great for the community. What I loved the most was watching the youth "get it" about our kids. They saw our students for who they really are. Each group was led by one of our fab teacher advisers. We have two mobility instructors, two TVIs and me! We all split up and headed a group. 

My family and our friend learning about guide dogs with Fidelco.

My tech loving students presenting with Stephen Deltatto of Silver Lining Technology
  The other treat to our community outreach project was that we all worked together and made tactual books for our preschool and special services division. We made three different types of books. You can also do this too!The directions and pictures are in a separate post.
Service project work!!
Michelle and other SACker Gannon instructing goalball

My students, Jose and Michelle, teaching goalball

Youth Mackenzie doing edible Braille

Jimmy also came out as a junior SAC member and taught about Braille

Our teacher advisers leading the discussion on Braille
 It truly was a great community outreach event. The youth leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints supplied the materials for our tactual books and worked with me on setting up the dates and other details.  I still get positive feedback from the youth about this outreach service project. I had a handful of my super stellar students work this. They worked their butts off and changed the way over 70 youth view students with vision impairments. I call that a success! Yeah, another great day for me as a teacher. I look forward to a million more with my students for sure!
My student Kacper and his new friends :)
Everyone took home their name in Braille

Fabric and table set up for the service project

Thursday, November 8, 2012

See you at NE/AER!

Hey New England professional friends--
I will be presenting at the pre-conference for NE/AER this year with the fabulous Betsy Bixler (from Perkins). Betsy is presenting a really good presentation on self-determination and I am presenting on recreation & leisure. Both presentations are for children with multiple impairments/deafblind. I am super excited to present with Betsy. If you are at the conference, please come over and say hi!

Winter Cane Swag

Hi friends,
Again, week's post comes from something new and cool that floated around my agency. I am always thankful for the generosity of my colleagues to let me blog about fun finds, resources and our latest new cool thing. This week I am sharing something that was made by a parent and shipped over to us.

Hello cane swag! Check it out!
 Thanks to Gail J (preschool teacher) for modeling in the storage room :)

I don't know why I couldn't rotate this one.
 I did it like 5x and it STILL wouldn't rotate--sorry for the sideways reading!!

Now I know to a teenage cane user this might not come off as the coolest looking thing ever. HOWEVER, I get super cold hands quite easily so I would do just about anything to keep my hands warm!! This might not be for every kid but I thought it was a pretty nifty idea and I give total snaps to the Interfaith Stitchers for this idea. See picture above for credit info. 

We just got snow yesterday (which inspired this post) as I was outside shoveling off my car. These came in a variety of colors so I am sure you could get a coordinating one for your little one too! Stay warm!!