Special Educators often have particular needs for different types of disabilities. There are a variety of commonly used resources for these different needs. One of the more commonly used techniques is the incorporation of visual aids. Visual representation of an action is a great tool that can provide a great amount of support to both the educator and the student. A popular visual aid in classrooms all over is a First Then Board.
First Then Boards are also known as If, Then Boards. They are often used in special education classrooms. Students with behavior and language difficulties (receptive and/or expressive) benefit the most from this type of visual aid. The creator of the boards can be teachers, therapists, and even parents of the student/ child who needs it.
First Then Boards are a way for the student to have a visual representation of what comes first and what comes after - a visual sequence. They typically display only two tasks or items at a time. Occasionally, they will be used for students who can handle three items at a time, but that is not as common. First Then Boards are designed to be basic, as to not overwhelm the students.
Visual boards are most frequently used in schools or therapeutic settings but they are not limited to just those two. Parents and caretakers can also take advantage of these types of boards in the home.
Here is an example of a First Then Board for home:
The most popular use for this board is to represent a student’s schedule. It will show the event that occurs first and the event that occurs after.
Many children can learn a routine rather quickly; in fact, many children (and adults) thrive on routine. These boards are great for strengthening the routine, but are also a way to prepare students for a non-routine event soon to occur.
Storyboard That is an excellent resource for creating these types of visual boards for both classroom and home use. Our Traditional layout provides a natural representation to create the boards without a lot of reconfiguration. Plus, our image library is vast and always expanding!
These boards are very simple to create within Storyboard That. You can copy the templates above or you can create your own with your own preferences. To do so, simply follow these steps:
If you want to add or remove cells, simple select “Add Cells”.
With these types of visual aids, simpler is better. Basic images are less likely to distract your students and allow them to keep focused on the information being displayed on the board. Of course, as the teacher, therapist, or parent, you know the children best and will know what type of visual representation works best for the individuals. Storyboard That allows for endless customization!
Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!