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10 ways to use recordable talking buttons

When I was a busy school SENCO I’d often have teachers asking me for resources to help their children. I would always give them what I had from my cupboard but with a limited budget I often had to find resources that were cost effective and very, very versatile. Now as Head of Service with Rushall Inclusion Advisory Team I am still coming across the same question from the schools that we work with.

Posted on Thursday 20th October 2016

Talking points - communication

There are many recordable resources on the market such as Talking Postcards and Talking Pegs. Recordable buttons such as Talking Points offer many solutions to many classroom problems – the ten ideas below are tried and tested, though I’m sure you will come up with many more of your own!

Here are my ten favourite ways to use this versatile resource:

  1. Support pupils in following instructions: Record yourself giving instructions as you issue them to your whole class. You can then pass the Talking Point to the pupil that needs frequent repetition. They can playback and check the instructions as many times as needed without asking you.
  1. Support home school communication: Use to record messages for home such as reminders about PE kits, payments, homework or changes of plan. Adults or the pupil themselves can record the messages. Many parents and carers find it helpful to record messages rather than write them.
  1. Supporting writing: Allow pupils to record their intentions for writing. Pupils can record their idea, write it down and playback their recording to check their writing.
  1. Create interactive and accessible displays: Record captions and questions for your displays. Pupils can record their own ideas and feedback.
  1. Support pupils during ‘choosing’ time: Adults can record directions for each activity. As pupils move to each activity they can replay the prompts to make sure they are doing the ‘right’ thing.
  1. Support pupils in positions of responsibility: Pupils can record the messages that they are asked to take to other classrooms or school staff. They can then play them on the way so that they are more reliable and independent in delivering the right message to the right person.
  1. Build confidence: For pupils that are reluctant talkers, Talking Points can be used to record what they want to say and playback to their peers. This can remove some of the fear of talking aloud.
  1. Develop comprehension: Record captions for pictures. Allow pupils to match the correct Talking Point to the correct picture. This could make a fine game!
  1. Develop reading skills: Record single words or sentences. Pupils can match the Talking Point to the words or sentences. This provides several opportunities for self-checking.
  1. Develop independence: Allow pupils to create their own checklists. These could be steps to complete a task or equipment required for a lesson.

With Thanks to Beccie for writing this blog. Beccie is the Head of Service at Rushall Inclusion Advisory Team – a unique service which supports schools to ensure that their pupils with special educational needs exceed their potential across four different local authorities: Walsall, Birmingham, North Warwickshire and Staffordshire. The service offers support for individual pupils, bespoke INSET session, coaching, mentoring, SENCo support and a busy calendar of training and conference events. Beccie set the service up in partnership with Rushall Primary School and continues to enjoy seeing the service grow. The service prides itself on putting the needs of the pupils that they work with at the heart of everything that they do.

Beccie remains very ‘hands on’ in the classroom, and likes to be at the chalk face with teachers and children so she can practice what she preaches. She has over 14 years of experience of teaching children and young people with special educational needs and is a qualified specialist dyslexia teacher having gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties – dyslexia, and Masters degree in Equality and Diversity in Education. She has written ‘The Complete Dyslexia Toolkit’ and co-authored ‘Getting it Right with SEND: A Toolkit for All Primary Schools’.

Talking Point - communication