Sunday, 2 December 2012

Low Tech Tools

Post It Notes-available from Dollar Stores or almost any other store. Use them to mark pages in a story, color code important activities or leave reminders for the student, or, if you are the student, to yourself. They make good tabs, too.

Use modeling clay to make a pencil grip. Use a good size chunk, depending on the size of the child's hand. Soften it and then wrap it around the pencil. Using hand-over-hand, position the child's fingers in the right position and push them into the clay. Let the clay air harden, making the indentations semi-permanent. The child's fingers will automatically fall into the write/right spaces on the pencil. Easy to recycle, too.

Magnetic letters and numbers are great for manipulation, letter recognition, forming words/two or more digit numbers, rhyming, word families, spelling, upper and lower case recognition, simple messaging and almost anything else you can do with letters.
Key Chains-for students who have visual needs and use the aural support. Some also have mini-recorders in them so that simple self-messages can be left. Look for ones with built-in flashlights to be used for highlighting words or images.
Dry Erase boards and markers are available for as little as $1.00 at a Dollar Store. These boards support the need for text creation, repetition, self-correction, highlighting, illustrating,  and quick response. Using various colours allows the writer to identify word parts, letters and most word elements.

Magnifying sheets-They do just what they say they will do, enlarge text, illustrations, diagrams, and numbers.

Binder clips can be used as page turners for reading or as page markers to indicate pages where students are to give their attention. You can also use stir sticks lightly taped to the pages to allow readers with fine motor control needs to work with text more easily.

Use a variety of textured and coloured balls for gross and fine motor skill development. I noticed brilliant orange balls in Wal-mart for 97 cents. Balls with holes make them easier to catch and toss.

Shower curtain rods can be attached to items which certain students with grip or mobility problems may have difficulty with. Simply tape the ring to the item so that the student is able to insert his/her finger into the open, allowing the item to be picked up and manipulated.

Electronic student dictionaries can be inexpensive and very useful for word and sentence formation.