November Snapshot - Sensory Efficiency Skills

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

E.C.C. of the Month: November 2020


For me, November begins the start of the holiday season where tastes, smells, sights, and sounds become more crisp and carry so many emotions and memories... a perfect month to highlight our Sensory Efficiency Skills as part of our Expanded Core Curriculum for VI.


When I think about Sensory Efficiency, it's about working smarter, not harder. And how can we be using all of our senses to experience the world around us in more meaningful ways?


What are Sensory Efficiency Skills?

Sensory efficiency includes the use of vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. It also includes the development of the proprioceptive, kinesthetic, and vestibular systems. Learning to use senses efficiently, including the use of optical devices, will enable students with visual impairments to access and participate in activities in school, home, and community environments.


Sensory Efficiency Check-In

One of the things I will do during November is to make sure my learners that have optical devices have one both at school and at home. I make sure parents know what devices have been prescribed and to work with our state agency to request devices if needed. I also take the time to evaluate their efficiency in using the tools.

The EVALS kit from TSBVI: There are optical device skills-checklists that are very helpful

Tactile Discrimination: If you have an early braille reader, this would be a great opportunity to look at strengths and needs with tactile discrimination. The Oregon Project has some great resources here.

E.C.C. Workbook: I love using the workbook pages this month because it really guides the learners to stop and think about how they use all 5 senses.


Sensory Efficiency Lessons & Fun

These lessons are some of the most fun to plan, and I love finding ways my learners can be around each other to see each other using their tools. This is really empowering and motivating. It's also a great opportunity to take photos to share with parents so they see all the different locations and opportunities their child could be using their tools. Covid-19 makes this a bit different, but we will make it work!


Tactile Race: I plan to have learners race to find hidden everyday objects in a bag (delivered ahead of time) over Zoom using their tactile senses only.

Sensory Efficiency Bingo: We will play Bingo over Zoom with a few learners who will need to find tools (Free resource on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Name that Sound: We will play name that sound on Zoom with a few learners as a chance to explore how we use our listening skills and then discuss how we can use our listening skills in real life to help us be more aware of and efficient in different environments.

Real Life Tools: I love planning real-life experiences where learners can use their tools. If we are able to walk to Starbucks and read the signs behind the counter with the telescope, we will! These lessons are best when individualized, then documented for parents to see how and where the tools are helpful

Search & Find Puzzles: Search and find puzzles are fun to do with a CCTV or magnifier, practicing systematic scanning. These are great activities to pull out during November for learners who have mastered these tools but may not use them often.

Tactile Squid Puzzles: These are a go-to for fun tactile puzzles for braille readers that are easy to pull out for 5 minutes before a lesson. I like to pull these out in November to get our creative and tactile juices flowing.

Listen to a Podcast: I love listening to Kid Nuz for a 7 minute podcast each morning as we pack up supplies at the end of a lesson. This can be a great Compensatory skill for listening comprehension, but in November, I like to up the ante and start increasing or listening speeds.

Explore Sensory Preferences: For my sensorimotor learners, I love using the Sensory Response Record from the Sensory Learning Kit from APH for finding motivating objects and preferred sensory channels. Here is the google form I use to collect this data.

{Learner plays bingo under a CCTV}

Sensory Efficiency Wrap-Up

One of the things I love about the E.C.C. of the Month approach is that we have a chance to celebrate each of the 9 areas one at a time. A month gives enough of a chance to notice all the ways our learner is succeeding or struggling in this area. I take as many photos as I can for the digital portfolios with notes for parents at home.


How will you work on Sensory Efficiency Skills this month? Follow along with our E.C.C. of the Month November activities in real time on Twitter: @stacey_tvi!


Happy E.C.C.-ing!

Stacey

 

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