We’ve been talking ALL SUMMER LONG about visuals. Not only did visuals have its own fully dedicated week of posts but visuals also crawled its way into our week on schedules. It even popped up in class structure, work tasks, and communication. We talk about visuals almost constantly and for good reason – they are so dang important. They are so dang important because most of our students struggle with processing. Their ability to understand receptive language is still developing and we cannot rely on our uber loud teacher voices to get our messages across. We also can’t rely on our students picking up on social cues and group behavior. While the rest of the class is sitting nicely on the carpet ready for story time, our sweet learner is still in the play area throwing books in the air having a grand ole’ time and completely not realizing he is the only one that isn’t where he is supposed to be. We need visuals to teach routines, back up our verbal cues, and show our students what to do. Visuals help our students become independent because they can use these visuals without us.
The start of the school should be focused almost completely on teaching routines and rules. And don’t think that beautiful individual student schedule that you prepped is the only routine. Within almost every area of our day – right down to washing your hands – there is an embedded routine. And you need to teach each and every one of those as well!
Don’t feel overwhelmed! I know you don’t have 45 teaching assistants to help you at every turn so turn to visuals to help. Check out my Visuals for Common Classroom Routines. It’s editable (!!!) and includes 25 pre-made sets of visual step by step routines.