I work with a 4-year-old girl in a mainstream setting, and she is totally blind. She is included with the regular preschool for all activities. Each morning the class does the calendar and also works on a patterning activity. We have adapted this for her, so that she can be an active participant with the group, while individualizing the materials to meet her needs.
- classroom calendar with braille
- individual calendar with braille numbers
- clipboard for personal calendar
- patterned shapes or figures to attach with velcro to individual work board
Add braille to the classroom calendar, so that the student can participate along with sighted peers. The classroom calendar has different shapes with the date on it, and students take turns placing the correct number on the date, while also following and continuing the existing pattern.
Create an individual calendar, so that the child can work with it in front of her, while the other children are working with the large calendar. Since our student is very small, we find that a small clipboard works well for this. Each day she adds the braille number for the date on her personal calendar.
Create a small board with velcro strips for the child to follow a pattern, just as the other students are doing. For April, we used an Easter egg, a bunny, and an umbrella. Following patterns is a great way to develop tactile recognition of shapes, as well as cognitive skills of identifying which one comes next. Materials with greater contrast should be used for students with low vision.
A similar activity could be done with children with low vision, using individual calendars with large print numbers.