Monday, January 7, 2008

"Sean Books"

I make quite a number of what I call "Sean Books". These are teacher made books that I have found to be very effective in teaching basic concepts, sight words, social and communication skills. These books use the following guidelines:
  1. the topic of the book is extremely motivating (yet age appropriate) and completely individualized to the intended "reader" (these are not intended to be used for thematic units or a formal curriculum)
  2. the book utilizes photographs and/or picture symbols relating to the topic
  3. the book is used for both direct instruction and leisure time
  4. each page of the book can be used to teach many different ideas such as visual scanning, colors, numeracy, sight words, matching, etc
  5. the book is shared between the teacher and student in a pleasant and fun environment and is never "forced" on the child
  6. the student is allowed to linger on favorite pages, especially since each page has many possible "teachable moments"
  7. the pages of the book are made durable and accessible (by way of laminating, sheet protectors, stick on dividers, "pages fluffers", etc.)
  8. a favorite page of one book can be used to create a whole new book
Below are two "Sean Books". You will see that a photograph from the first book, Roller Coasters, is included in the second book, Hats. Who knew that photo would be motivating enough to create a second book? I didn't and that is the fun of "Sean Books" - because the topic of each book is so motivating to the student you never know where it will lead.

I used Power Point, Mayer-Johnson PCS Metafiles and Google Images to make the books below. Power Point (or Switch It Maker, etc) allows the books to be presented visually with switch access if that is needed. However I have also gone very "low tech" and used cut up catalogs, flyers, and posters pasted onto construction paper with a glue stick and text glued on from Symbolate or written on by hand.

I hope these "Sean Books" give you some useful ideas.

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