I first learned about PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication Systems, two years ago during my Masters program. Since then, I have noticed this mode of communication being used more and more in modern day teaching environments. I even saw this great video tutorial posted on "The Art of Ed" blog. I looked around for art room specific PECS systems online, but I couldn't really find one that was comprehensive enough to fit my art room procedures and needs. This summer, I picked up my Micron and my watercolor paints and decided to make a list of all the key procedures I would want to communicate to students in my class. I made a visual representation of each concept that fell into four categories
Traditionally, PECS systems are used for identified individuals so I made up a few clip boards with direction sequencing pages, "Today I will...." with three spaces for the student to fill in with pictures and an "I feel....I want....I choose....." Check-In sheet for a paraprofessional to use one-on one with an artist.
In the end, I decided that ALL of my students would benefit from having a visual sequence of directions so I made a large print out with the directions sequence for everyone to see. Each day when the students gather around a for a demo, two students are in charge of being extra expert listeners and they fill in the sequence in the correct order and hang it on our magnetic board. Hilariously enough, the kids love being in charge of this duty and getting it right. It's also good sequencing practice for the little guys.
Making the system took a lot of work, but it was worth it to have an aesthetically pleasing system in place that fit all of my needs. I made my system available by clicking here.
Sunny is an art teacher who is living the dream. The only thing she enjoys more than her curious students are the adventures she has with her loving husband and cat in the fabulous city of Philadelphia!
Artful Artsy Amy
The Department of Making + Doing
The Philadelphia Museum of Art