Parents can provide you with valuable insight and support. Maintaining a written Communication Book that goes back and forth from home to school is a standard means of keeping everyone informed, but including students in the communication process can be a valuable educational tool and a perfect opportunity to develop meaningful communication and language skills.
• Multi-step switches, with voice output, are a good example of a simple way to include your students.
• Use language support strategies to structure the recorded message as needed, e.g., open-ended sentences, fill in the blanks, phonemic cueing or carrier phrases ("On Monday, I __.").
• Talking Scrapbooks also make good interactive devices for communication. They are battery-run, with voice output and pages for inserting Mayer-Johnson pictures, photographs, or small tangible objects (Attainment Catalogue).
• Incorporate choice making by providing a selection of items on a tray that reflect the week’s activities so students can reach out and touch what they want to talk about. The accompanying script can be recorded by the student with language support or programmed in by staff.
• A tangible diary (a remnant book) is also interactive and can be an effective means of communicating the week's events to families.
• Photographing classroom activities and compiling them into scrapbooks is also a good way to communicate.
• Import the pictures onto the computer (or use Mayer-Johnson pictures) to create teacher-made experience stories with voice output.