Saturday, December 26, 2009

PCI Environmental Print: My First Reactions are Positive

PCIenvirogif I have not yet had a chance to use these materials with my students but have spent a bit of time in the past week since it was delivered taking a look at it and I'm excited to try it out in our room.  I think it will work great for several of our students and also feel confident that I could use it for the whole class if that is the way I wanted to use it.  Right now I'm looking at using it with 4 students over the next year or so. 

I will know more about it as I start to use it but right now some of the things that I'm really like about it include:
Characters in the stories are teenagers or young adults (in assisted work placements).  Love this as the students I'm using it with are also teenagers or young adults.  It is hard to find print material that is this basic in content that is also age appropriate.

Non-verbal response activities: the curriculum includes a response matt (that would be easy enough to make as it just has "yes", "no" and "I don't know" on it but all the same its nice to already have it) and response cards for questions.  So, for example when you ask the question "What was the story about?" there are response cards and you can grab out two of them that have someone bowling and someone swimming on and the student would indicate which one the answer is.  Love this as so many of my students are non-verbal and this cuts down on the time that I have to spend making response cards.
The content is applicable to the "real world".  When working on things like comprehension questions you are also working on community safety awareness, functional vocabulary, community concepts...etc.  It is easy to reference this stuff back to my student's life.

There are many opportunities for community outings worked in to the curriculum as one of the lessons is to go out in to the community and find thes signs.  I like that the signs are grouped in a way that you would be able to find the group of signs in one location. 

I like the way of the concept of "title", "main idea", "main character" and "location" are worked in.  The features of the main character could be a bit more varied but the concept is there.
Some of my initial thoughts on things that I would like to see or things that I'm concerned about include:
"Walk" and "Don't Walk" on traffic lights are not included.  I understand this is the first level of the curriculum but I would rank these signs as some of the first ones that should be taught.  The concept of a traffic light is not even addressed in regards to red meaning stop, green meaning go...etc. 

It would be nice to have some sort of switch adapted materials to go along with this curriculum - a switch activated book, a power point, some kind of switch activated response program...etc.

Some of the signs are signs that will not always be the same in the same location (please wait to be seated for example) and there could be  a level of confusion there.  I will be taking pictures of a variety of similar signs to show students that these can be different.  I have not yet looked ahead enough to see if the curriculum addresses this or not.  They may already have it covered.

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