As we have already discussed, fading prompts is crucial if we expect students to be functional in life and their community. There is one more step, though. We need to ensure that our students are able to use their skills anywhere they are needed. In other words, we need to plan for generalization of skills. So many of our students struggle with transferring their skills across people, items, settings, etc. Here are some ways we systematically target generalizing.
To help students generalize their skills, we need to purposefully plan to use skills in different ways across the day, settings, people and materials. Once you start brainstorming you will find it is easy to come up with different ways to practice those skills we work so hard to teach students. However, it isn’t always easy for our students to LEARN to generalize their skills. Here are some examples of how we help students learn to become functional with their skills.
Counting is something we practice every day in multiple ways. Think of all of the ways and times you need to count in your day. You count the kids in your class, you count papers to make sure you have enough copies, you count out the number of plates you need when setting the dinner table, etc. It’s a skill our students need to be able to do accurately and in different ways. Here is how we practice using that skill in different ways with different materials and for different reasons.
We practice counting the the days of school daily. With this chart we practice counting by ones and tens. We also count out tens frames sets in a variety of ways. We do it as a group with magnet counters (above) and on our own tens frames like in our Native American Tens Frames (below).