Real pictures in the classroom. Do you use them? Are you exposing students to real photos? Or just clip art and symbols? Making the real world connection is SO IMPORTANT in our students learning, and real photos help them make than connection.
I had a revelation the other day. We as teachers worry so much about symbols and supporting students with visuals. But we REALLY need to worry about how we are pushing them to generalize the skills they are learning.
I was talking with my Mom. She works in a collaborative school in a behavior based classroom that also has students with physical needs. A students family asked that the student learned all the words for his equipment…. duh why don’t we do this regularly? He should know what AFO’s are. He should know what his gait belt is called. So the staff made cards with symbols for these things. He was getting them all correct every day. Until the PT walked in and asked what “this” (HIS gait belt) is. And he did not know. He wasn’t making the real world connection. He wasn’t generalizing the skill. He needed real photos. He needed real objects. He needed more than symbols.
So I got to work. I want to get more REAL PICTURES into classrooms. To start I created these WH question books. My all time best seller in my tpt store are WH question Flip books… and I needed to have something similar that met the needs of those who need real pictures.
Then I wanted to put a focus on vocabulary. I have SO MANY file folders in my tpt store. But no real pictures. That had to change. So I created a basic skills set that uses real pictures to help students generalize once they have mastered the basic skills set that uses symbols.
The basic skills set focuses on things your students may be labeling or matching vocabulary wise.
BUT they use real pictures that make you dig deep and think. Like these emotions file folders open so much conversation about how someone may be feeling based on their facial expression.
Basic skills file folders are perfect for independent work. If they are easy for your students, they are perfect for them to work on their independent skills while completing them. If your students have not yet mastered these skills… use these during 1:1 work to help build stamina and then move them to independent work as they begin to master each topic.
The life skills file folders focus on vocabulary that our students are seeing or using every day.
Once students have mastered the file folders, ask them to label the things in real life to further the generalization, like the student my Mom was working with.
Life skills file folders are great for life skills classrooms. The real pictures make them appropriate for children of all ages. There are not many resources for these vocabulary topics with real pictures for your students to begin generalizing the environment they life, work, and play in. This is the perfect place to start.
Use the image above to pin this for later! You never know when you will end up teaching in a life skills classroom. It is never young to start life skills!
I have a long list of real picture resources to add to my store. Do you have any requests? Comment here or email me!