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September Snapshot - Compensatory Skills

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

We've started to settle into the new school year, new classrooms, and new subject material, so it's a perfect time to assess and highlight the compensatory skills needed to get the job done. With many of us learning virtually, there may even be new complexities in the process.

The E.C.C. of the Month approach to tackling the E.C.C. gives me an opportunity to take an assessment of compensatory skills, target a few skills through planned lessons, and communicate to families about the strengths and needs of this E.C.C. area. I love to take pictures and share learning with families all month long and document in or digital portfolio.

What are Compensatory Skills?

At the start of the month, I like to make sure my learners know what "Compensatory Skills" means and what skills they are currently using.

Compensatory skills are the skills necessary for accessing the core curriculum, including concept development, communication modes, organization and study skills, access to print materials, and the use of braille/Nemeth Code, tactile graphics, object and/or tactile symbols, and audio materials.

Compensatory Check-In

Where do we stand? Have we regressed on braille fluency or abacus skills over the summer months or need new tools for a new classroom setting? The E.C.C. Workbook gives an opportunity for the learner and family to weigh in on strengths and needs. Here are some other tools I may use this month:

Basic Reading Inventory - Jerry Johns:

EVALS checklists from TSBVI: https://www.: .edu/curriculum-a-publications/3/1030-evals-evaluating-visually-impaired-students#toc

Google Form Compensatory Learner Check In:

Compensatory Lessons & Fun

This month, I will plan at least one specific lesson for each of my learners or gather in a "Zoom" group to target some skills together. Here are some things we have brewing...

E.C.C. Book Club - I have a group of 4 learners who read the same book, reflect on it, and pass it along. It's a fun way to work on literacy skills and share about our compensatory tools.

{image of learner writing a reflection on slant board}

Celebrate Braille - I love braille every month of the year, but I make a special point to play some extra fun Braille games and celebrate this important compensatory tool. We love braille Uno, braille memory cards, a handmade color by number. If we haven't already, we may take some time to explain to our new classmates more about braille and tools we are using.

{Image of learner holding braille textured flashcard}

Compensatory Pic Collage: I love catching my learners in action and snapping pictures of all of the different tools and strategies they use. We can create a pic collage or add to our digital portfolio. I find that parents love seeing the different ways materials may be adapted in class, and they love seeing their child using tools successfully.

Abacus MasterClass: I have an abacus guru - I plan to have him give an abacus 101 to some of my younger learners via zoom. In the past, he's recorded some How-To-Videos. These videos can also be helpful for parents to have at home.

Organization Round Table: I plan to have a group zoom with some of my older learners to discuss our organization tricks, tips, and struggles. Keeping up with virtual work and zoom schedules may be an extra challenge this year.

Story Box: I love creating a new story box to share with my sensorimotor learners in their classrooms. It's a great opportunity for me to model hand-under-hand exploration of objects and a concept development activity in a concrete way.

{Learner explores objects that accompany a book}

Compensatory Wrap-Up

I will wrap up the month with a short group email to parents letting them know ways we worked on Compensatory Skills this month and a reminder to check their digital portfolio.

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

Happy E.C.C.-ing!


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