Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Structure and Predictability Part 1

 Today, we will begin to set the stage for accommodations and strategies for many diverse learners.

We want to look at structure and prectability. Structure is the manner something is built or arranged.  Predictability is the ability to know what will come next.   Learning different children need a framework to give them the ability to predict what will happen. Why? It lessens anxiety, increases productivity and helps fill in the gaps with any deficits in organizational and executive skills.

Structure and predictability are achieved through various ways but we will consider the first today; organization of the physical environment. A schedule that is visually displayed helps a child predict what will happen and when. It takes away the anxiety of "what do I have to do?" It communicates information in a way that is a lasting reminder of what to do.

   For free resources online, check out my pinterest boards of visuals.
http://pinterest.com/rsonepiece/labels-visual-directions/  http://pinterest.com/rsonepiece/sharing-the-agenda/

Verbal instructions often get lost as the instructions "evaporate in the thin air" with no lasting reminder of what is coming. Other visuals can help communicate expectations, rewards and consequences in a way that brings understanding. 

Designated work areas also provide a structure of what will be done in a certain location. This will decrease negative behavior once the structure is learned. The structure provides a framework were learning happens easily. Think of it as when we teach the "structure," the child is learning "how to learn.'  He must learn the structure before he can learn skills.