Jaime Pack-Adair, Director of Early Intervention Services at Foundation For Blind Children, shares knowledge on how to incorporate environmental print for your emerging reader.
Jared: Welcome to Teaching Tips Tuesday, my name is Jared Kittelson, Chief Operating Officer here at the Foundation For Blind Children. Today, I’m joined by Jaime Pack-Adair, our Director of Early Intervention Services here at Foundation For Blind Children. Welcome Jaime!
Jaime: Hi Jared, thanks for having me!
Jared: All right, today I understand you’re gonna talk to us about environmental print for emerging readers. Tell me, what is environmental print?
Jaime: So, environmental print is essentially, print that children learn to read in their familiar environment. So, it’s reading everyday-
Jaime: -objects like logos, cereal boxes, stores, fast food restaurants–it’s learning to read all of those things that they can see around them.
Jared: [nods head] Excellent. And so, [stammers] how can a parent, or how could a teacher, grandparent…how can you incorporate environmental print, uh, at home or at school?
Jaime: The environmental print could easily be incorporated at home or at school and your first step is to identify what is your child or your student’s learning medium? Are they learning to read in braille, in large print, or in textures; and so, once you’ve identified those materials then you’re going to start labeling familiar things in their environment.
Jared: [nods head] mhm, right
Jaime: So, it might be their food, it might be their toys, it might be school materials, and you’re gonna put that braille label on, or that large print label on, or that texture on to represent that, uh, that item. You can also start to label landmarks–
Jaime: Oh sorry Jared-
Jared: No yeah, you’re good! [laughs]
Jaime: [stammers and laughs] So you can also add labels on landmarks, so that landmark may be certain classrooms, it might be their bedroom, it might be their playroom, desks, and add that print to their familiar places to their home or their school.
Jared: [stammers] So what’s a good couple tips that you could give, um, a teacher, or a parent, grandparent, to make it fun? Right, we all know that sometimes, getting, uh, our emerging readers–our preschoolers– to do something can be a little challenging unless you make it fun. What are some good ways to make it uh, a fun experience?
Jaime: If you make it sort of a scavenger hunt, and have them go look for the labels, so you can have them go and look for their favorite toy, or their favorite classroom material’s that they use, so go have them find them, and then sit there and take time to play with them and use them. You can also give them a label that you’ve already created whether that’s Braille or a texture, and then have it match to the items. You can collect those items by you and start working on matching; sometimes kids like to be the ones in charge, and so you can have them send you on the scavenger hunt.
Jared: [nods in agreement and smiles]
Jaime: And then, you can go together, and look for where those labels are and read those labels. It’s also important to involve them in making the labels, they see how they get there, they can practice making them with you, and it’s putting more meaning behind what those labels mean and what you’re doing.
Jared: Excellent. Great tip, great tip. So Jaime, I, uh, understand that you are hosting a webinar in a few weeks [stammers], tell us more about the webinar you have coming up.
Jaime: So, the webinar is designed for people working with students that have visual impairments, uh, specifically teachers of the visually impaired, and it’s really to focus on some best practices for doing functional vision assessments. And, the way that you can make that assessment effective, and meaningful, and, do what’s appropriate for your students.
Jared: All right, well keep an eye out for that, thank you-
Jaime: Thank you Jared [smiles]
Jared: Thank you for joining us, yeah, thank you for joining us, for, uh, Teaching Tips Tuesday Jaime.
Jared: All right, we’ll see you guys all next time.