Thursday, January 26, 2017

Generalizing Rote Skills

There's a small possibility that topic might have you scratching your head. While rote skills come VERY easily to most of our students on the spectrum, there are usually a few who they don't. I have one student in particular who is working on identifying capital letters, lowercase letters and numbers more consistently. Student appears to know them, but does not identify them on a consistent basis.

To address these skills we're doing discrete trial training with flash cards and a strong reinforcer for each skill. Each time the student correctly identifies an item they receive a reinforcer. If it's incorrect, no reinforcer. Each time we use flash cards they are shown in random order. The student can count and sing the ABC song so if we showed them in order it would make it appear that the students does in fact known their letters and numbers.

Another key component to making sure that these skills are generalized is that we use multiple sets of flash cards. It would also be easy for our students to learn the skill but only in the context of the flash card if we're using the same set each time.

I wanted to make sure that I was using different sets of cards while working with my student so I went ahead and made multiple sets of cards so I could easily grab a different set each time we were doing trials. I made 3 different sets for capitals, 3 different sets for lowercase, 1 set of each with a picture cue and 3 different sets for numbers 1-30.


I used these photo storage cases to store each set. This keeps them together and makes it really easy to grab whichever one I need.


The mixed bag cases are where I combined different cards from each capital set, each lowercase set, and each number set to make a "mixed bag" set of flash cards.


I also created a data sheet that allows me to keep track of how many letters and numbers the student has been identifying on each trial. I can fill in the date of the trials at the top and also mark which flash card set that I used.

*This is not an actual students data- duh.

When I met with the parents of the student they were surprised to know that at school their child was not consistently identifying letter and numbers. They practice them at home all the time and the child is able to identify. Through our discussion we found that they were using the same set of cards each time. We talked about generalization and I pointed out to the parents that they needed to use multiple sets of cards.

Through frequent trials at school and at home said student can now identify 26/26 capital letters and 24-25/26 lowercase letters! I am so excited! I even went 3 weeks (that time includes winter break) without assessing him and upon our return from break he hadn't lost any progress!

Next on our agenda: focusing more on number recognition.

Need some flash card sets? You can grab a pack from my TpT store that includes all of the sets that I made. Click {here} or on the photo!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Differentiated-Letter-and-Number-Flash-Cards-2975583
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1 comment

Taylor Thomas said...

I literally came across this problem yesterday for the first time but with sight words! One of my kiddos "knows" 35 sight words at home with the same flash cards but only 3 consistently at school and in books! I'm going to set up a fluency station like this just for him! Any chance you would share the info about those beautiful bins?

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