I had the opportunity to observe an amazing lesson in Kerry Thompson’s classroom at TSBVI. As it turns out, many teachers on campus are dedicating part of their Friday mornings to facilitate a weekly review with their students to help them recap and communicate about their week at school. Collaborating with other teachers, Kerry created and documented the routine, and much of the information below comes directly from that lesson plan.
Kerry has four secondary aged students in her classroom during this activity. These students are visually impaired and have additional diagnosis. Kerry’s students communicate orally with support and use tactile and object symbols as their primary literacy medium. Some students in Kerry’s class are using symbols paired with braille letters and words.
Kerry identified the following intentions with The Weekly Review routine:
- Encourages each student to reflect on their week in a meaningful way.
- Provides opportunities for choice making as it pertains to the student’s favorite activities during the week.
- Develops functional daily scripts that students can generalize to other environments as each student participates in asking and answering 5 questions with peers.
- Allows for additional communication opportunities and literacy development in the student’s preferred medium.
- Creates a tangible artifact to help students engage in conversations at home with families and caregivers.
This is how Kerry has chosen to implement this activity based on her student’s goals and objectives. For additional ideas, see the section on adaptations and extensions.
- Pair each student with adult support as is appropriate.
- Using a copy of the student’s weekly schedule, engage the student in a conversation about the activities or classes that take place for each day of the week. Oftentimes, students will have favorites that they choose to focus on.
- When it’s time to make a selection for the day, ask the student to select WHEN the activity took place, choose WHAT activity was their favorite, and choose WHO was with them during the activity.
- Focus on conversational skills during your time with the student, and remember to use hand-UNDER-hand support when manipulating materials.
- Record each selection in a binder, folder, or in a sequence box.
Adaptations and Extensions
- In addition to object and tactile symbols, this activity can be done using print and pictures or braille. Consider a combination of literacy media for scaffolding.
- Adjust language as appropriate for communication needs.
- Consider reducing the amount of tactile or visual information on a page by creating a book that would allow for reflection of one day per page.
- Create an array of symbols on a page for the students to explore and choose from rather than providing just two options.
- Add or remove the number of “Wh” sentence expanders as appropriate for your students. Consider adding “WHERE” the activity took place. “On Monday, I had O&M with Carolina at the grocery store.”
- If no immediate peer group is available, consider facilitating the activity 1:1 with the student or support them to travel through the school to interact with other staff.