We live on visuals in the special ed world. You want to use them all the time, but how? How do you make them easy to use? I’ll show you! Here are 5 steps to becoming a master at using visuals daily!
#1: Make a set for each staff member
The first step is to make a set for each staff member in your classroom. In order to be effective, everyone needs to use them! You can find the visuals I use on our keyrings here! At the beginning of the year, I make a new set for everyone, as well as a toolkit with the other essentials we’ll need throughout the year: edible reinforcer box, timer, click counter, pens, fidgets, and more!
#2: Wear them!
The next step in becoming a master in using visuals is to wear them every day. They need to be readily accessible at all times for you to use them. I wear mine on a lanyard. Each year, I get a new lanyard and put my visual keyring on it. I have also worn them on a retractable reel. It is all about personal preference and what is most comfortable for you!
#3: Use them, use them, use them
This one may seem self-explanatory, but it is the most important step. When you find yourself verbally prompting a student, stop and use a visual. Visual prompts will help your students build independence. Use a click counter on yourself for one day. You’ll be shocked how many verbal prompts you give your students. Try swapping those out for visual prompts instead.
#4: Make a keyring!
You need to use visuals everywhere, not just in your classroom. The easiest way to do this is to put them on a keyring. This makes using them quick and easy when you’re on the go. You’ll need them at lunch, recess, specials, inclusion, really anywhere! This is also a more discrete way to prompt your students in the general education setting. Quietly show them a visual and continue with your day!
#5: Give your students access to visuals
Use visuals all around the school. Give your students access wherever they go. I have tons posted all around my classroom and around our building. They help our students access their environment and be independent throughout the day. From visual schedules, visual supports, visual task analyses, and more, all of our students benefit from using visuals.
Are you ready to become a master at using visuals daily? These 5 easy steps will get you on your way in no time! Grab your own visual keyring here! If you want more tips on using visuals in the classroom, check out Alyssa’s post here! Happy visual prompting!