Sunday, December 15, 2013

One Of My Favorite Teaching Tools... BUTTONS!

I remember as a kid, my sister and I had a button collection.  I don't remember if they came from my grandmother, or the rummage sale my grandmother helped with, but I do remember those buttons.  My sister and I spent many hours playing with those buttons, and I myself would play with them alone as well.  Button store was one of the best games.  Sorting the buttons was somehow endlessly fun.

A few years ago I ordered some buttons for crochet projects, and ordered, well, many more buttons than I would ever need for that purpose.  That was when I remembered how much I just love buttons.  It was also when I realized I could bring them to work and use them there.  Buttons, I have come to realize, make amazingly versatile and affordable materials for ABA programs.  Here are some of the ways to use buttons.

  • Colors.  Buttons come in every color under the sun.  
  • Big/Litte.  Some buttons are HUGE and some are tiny, and they come in every size in between.  Not only can they be used for big and little, but medium, ordering by size, etc.
  • Shapes.  This one requires more than just the usual button types, but buttons come in all sorts of different shapes.
  • More/Less, Few/Many, Empty/Full.  As long as you have enough buttons!
  • Counting and Quantity.
  • Patterns.
  • Same/Different.

Not only can they be used as materials for teaching all sorts of concepts, they can be used as reinforcers, for kids who really like buttons.  Along those lines they also make effective tokens.  I used to use them in a group setting where the students earned buttons throughout the time and cashed them in for free play at the end.

Get creative!  Buttons have many uses.


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