I thought I was going to have a break for a while but I find myself working in an elementary school again. There is a high need for substitute SLPs in the schools here and I couldn’t say no. On the bright side, it provides opportunities for blog post topics.
So now you are wondering how Pass the Pigs has anything to do with communication board software. Well this is a recent game I added to my collection and so I did not have a communication board or access to software to make one. Before thinking of making a purchase I started on a quest to see what was available on the web. I found Picto-Selector. I was surprised to see the possibilities with this free program. A donation is encouraged. Best of all sharing was not prohibited as long as you made sure you provided a link back to the site for recognition. The site is here: Picto-Selector. You do need to download and install a program but it didn’t take long and I was happy it passed the virus check on my computer. For a free product, I found the program to be quite flexible and user friendly. A library of pictures is available within the program. You can use their grids but I chose to use my Power Point program and make my own grid. I was able to drop pictures from the program and size them on that grid. This also allowed me to insert my own pictures of the pigs. I am happy with the results. You may want to give it a try. The board at the top is an example.
As I have said before, I found that providing communication boards and game activities not only aids nonverbal students but add structure for building sentences and listening skills for some of our students with language processing difficulties. Games can be used to reinforce turn taking and handling disappointment for those having difficulty with social skills. Deep breaths and dot pressure anyone?
Here is your warning for a topic change. Recently I have I used Pass the Pigs as a game reinforcement. I was surprised to find my youngest students at the elementary school found this game appealing. A cup with 2 rubber pigs doesn’t seem that enticing to me. They were more then willing to give it a try though. As with most of my games, I adapted it for my purposes. Most of the students worked toward their goals as a prerequisite for taking a turn. This game was ideal for short turns. I simplified scoring for my youngest students. The score sheet that was included with the game was difficult to follow and we spent too much time figuring out pig positions for a score. I put the new scoring on a communication board for easy access. I also have some students who had a hard time dealing with the “pig out” score which meant they lost all points. I switched it to zero points which is difficult enough for some students to handle. I also switched the scoring to if they got 2 pigs with scores above 5 they could add them together for the score. It was just easier to know that then trying to look up the variations. Each student was allowed one roll instead of going until they decide to stop. This was so turns remained short. No one knew the original rules so I didn’t have complaints.
I joined the February blog link up for special education. It will bring you to similar blog sites.