Materials for accessing general education standards

I listed some of my favorite materials for accessing standards in a previous post, here are some others that I love from Mayer-Johnson (the company that makes Boardmaker). They have several books that are great at tying literacy, math and science/social studies together very neatly. I have (and frequently use) all of the following and highly recommend them:

All About Animals - WONDERFUL resource, including counting activities, spelling, sentence writing, and patterning activities (and more) all focusing on animals. There are activities to sort animals according to how they move or where they live. The best part is that there are four levels of EACH activity - Let's use, for example, the sorting activity I mentioned. The lowest level has pictures already on the chart (sorting by two) and the student simply matches the pictures. The next level has small pictures at the top of the chart as a cue to where each picture goes. The third level has words at the top of the chart and the hardest level doesn't have any cues.

Hands-on Reading - Another great resource. Each volume is associated with several popular and readily-available picture books organized into units based on common classroom themes. For each book there are multiple communication boards and several activities (cooking activities, songs, cut/paste, take-home books) and comprehension questions with picture choices.

Simple Symbol Stories has stories for long and short vowels. Each story is written with Boardmaker symbols along with the text. There are comprehension questions for each story.

Math Exercises for Nonreaders and Step Up to Math both have excellent math activities using boardmaker symbols. Math Exercises has lots of activities for identifying "more", counting pictures, connect-the-dots to practicing numerical order, and math problems based on grocery shopping. Step Up to Math includes sequencing and patterning activities, number recognition, counting and identifying same and different.

Curriculum Experiences - I use the primary and elementary levels, there is also a high school level available. These include original stories (using Boardmaker symbols) addressing different science or social studies topics (see an example of a Thanksgiving story at my class blog). Following each story are math and literacy activities. These are *great* ways to focus on (mostly social studies) topics that the general education classes are studying at a level that my students can understand and actively participate. (They do address a couple of science topics like grooming and forest animals - but for science I prefer ...

Step by Step Science, which has lots of very simple science experiments that my kids find fascinating (like "How do you make mud?"). Each experiment includes pictures of the materials you need, a page for making a hypothesis (they call it a guess), instructions for the experiment and charts for the results. There are also games, songs, and other activities as well.

Health Units for nonreaders is another science resource for health units. There are stories (written with Boardmaker symbols along with text) about different topics followed by questions (also with symbols) about the story (with picture choices for the answers).

Stories About Me is a good resource for addressing writing standards. The stories are written with picture symbols and the student fills in the blanks to write stories about activities and events relevant to their life (for example, participating in Special Olympics or going on a field trip).

And finally, Boardmaker's Curriculum Companions. These are software programs that provide activities related to general education standards. I have only recently purchased two of these and haven't used them yet in class, but from my initial experience previewing the activities it looks very promising! There are reading and writing activities that can be adapted for all levels. The software tracks student progress and the teacher can print progress reports, which is always great!

As a final word, just to reiterate - I love these resources (and many others from Mayer-Johnson) because they are created specifically for students with communication disorders and lower cognitive skills. They focus on the "big idea" of the general education standards using activities that my kids can do and actually *get* something out of. I don't have to do much adapting or modifying (like I do with most other activities) because it's already done!

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