NOTHING (Not Even a Clever Website) Can Replace an Effective Teacher!!!

Websites offer great calendar activities that can be used with a smart board.  Students are often mesmerized by the “show” as calendar activities are presented and played out with minimal interaction required.  It may be a time when all students are engaged thus easily managed in a larger group.  But……NOTHING (not even a clever website) can replace effective teaching from a real live teacher!  So save the smart board for when you really need it….when staff members are at lunch.  Let your students play an ACTIVE role in updating the calendar!

Below are a few suggestions for how you can use your FABULOUS teaching skills and CREATIVE teacher-made materials to provide even MORE opportunities for students with autism to practice language.  This is just one of many activities that can be done with a daily calendar.  Tell us about your ideas and we will share them!

  • Request for “pointer” (to touch each piece as they go through the pattern)
  • Label each color as they go through the pattern
  • Guess the next color in the pattern
  • Vocal imitation (“Say red.”, “Copy me – white.”)
  • Identify the colors (“Find a piece that’s white.”, “Touch a piece that’s red.”)
  • Label yes/no (“Is this piece white?” – “Yes”)
  • Follow direction (“Touch the spot where the next calendar piece goes.”)
  • Request for the calendar piece (“Can I have the white square?”, “White square”, etc.)
  • Follow direction (“Put the calendar piece in the correct spot.”)
  • Answer question (“What color will be next/tomorrow?”)
  • Label (“What color was yesterday’s calendar piece?”)
  • Answer question (“What is something that can be red?” – apple, crayon, etc.)
  • Answer question (“How many pink pieces do we have so far?”)
  • Answer question (“What’s missing on the calendar piece?” – a number)
  • Request for “pointer” (to touch each number as they count)
  • Follow direction (“Count”)
  • Fill-in (next number)
  • Answer question (“What number goes next?”)
  • Request for “marker”
  • Follow direction (“Write number ___ on the calendar piece.”)
  • Answer question (“What are you doing?” – writing)
  • Label (“What color is number __ on?”)
  • Label (“Tell me some numbers that are on red pieces.”)
  • Identify numbers (“Show me number 3.”, “Point to number 7.”)

One of the biggest challenges in the public school setting is to meet the needs of a heterogeneous group.  Suggested targets within this teaching tip are for illustration purposes only.  ALL suggestions may not be appropriate for all students. Opportunities given to practice functional language should be developmentally appropriate and based upon individual student needs.


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