Cindy O’Connell is a Teacher of the Visually Impaired with 36 years of experience working with students who are visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. She has served as a mentor and a consultant in the field both nationally and internationally.
Cindy’s Corner shares activities that have been adapted to meet the needs of these students. The activities have been developed to be used by teachers and families alike. Each month, Perkins' Educator Series e-newsletter will present a new hands-on activity that will provide students with a fun way to work on meaningful skills.
Here are some ideas on how to create a predictable environment in the classroom, with tips on classroom organization and management.
Use a pizza box to make a solar oven that gets hot enough to cook s'mores! (Adapted from Family Fun Magazine)
This article offers charting behaviors and desentizing strategies and techniques that are found to be effective in the classroom.
Hands-on Dr. Seuss-themed activities with adaptations and thoughts on how to make them concept-based.
Valentine activities provide meaningful ways to work on basic skills and concepts in a functional setting.
Start the New Year off with a super motivating activity by setting up a weekly pizza parlor offering “ready to cook” pizza for family or staff.
Centering class projects on holidays can be a good way to reinforce seasonal time concepts and create a sense of group.
Cranberries are a good example of how to use seasonal produce as a teaching tool.
Break the concept of a month down into its components, using simple, meaningful language with concrete supports.
Think of a timeline as an organized alternative to posting things on your bulletin board or refrigerator door!
Bring back memories of the beach as you develop memory skills and work on basic concepts, such as, matching, discrimination and same/different.
You can easily adapt this fun cooking lesson to teach a wide-range of levels, concepts and hand skills.
There are countless and creative ways to make use of a watermelon for educational purposes.
Making ice cream is a fun way to demonstrate basic scientific principles in a meaningful context (Physical Sciences / Chemistry: States of Matter).
A flea market theme can generate multiple related activities and provides a natural environment to work on classification and money skills.
Decorating the schoolyard, or your backyard with winter sun catchers is a fun way to incorporate ELA, Mathematics and Science concepts.
Crayon Hearts is a motivating, holiday-based activity that can be used to teach Mathematics, Science & Technology, basic concepts and more!
Making bird treats includes a range of basic concepts, action-related vocabulary, and purposeful hand skills.
The simplicity of the recipe makes it a perfect activity for developing memory skills and independence.
Here’s a nutritious idea from Family Fun Magazine, called “Salad on a Stick,” with simple tips on how to adapt it for children with multiple impairments.
This simple activity is a motivating hands-on activity that can be used to teach basic concepts, functional hand skills and introduction to a microwave.
A hands-on recipe that I have used in my classroom to run a weekly dog treat service. It addresses many skills and concepts on multiple levels.