Hidden Curriculum in the One A Day Calendar
Due to my son Nicholas's interest in animals we receive lots of calendars throughout the year from all the organizations. We have a calendar in each room, as well as the year in a box calendar from Cat Fancy. Nicholas likes learning new cat names from the calendar and enjoys the funny pictures. He hopes someday to submit a photo for a future calendar.
I thought the 2007 Hidden Curriculum One-A-Day Calendar: Items for understanding unstated rules for social situations would be a good addition for the year. It is unlike other boxed calendars since it is spiral bound with n need to tear out pages on a daily basis. When you finish with the book you turn it over for the remainder part of the year.
The book is all black and white with the day and date of the year in a bold font. There is either a few sentences or a paragraph for each day of the week. The first two words are in bold with the square period at the end of the last sentence in bold. The page for each month has an illustration for what that month is all about.
There are no pictures, just some thoughts, ideas, phrases to contemplate for the morning. There are guidelines with an example on how a teacher utilizes the calendar with her classroom and the chalkboard. If you have any curriculum ideas you are encouraged to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the following year is March 15th. If you have an item that is selected you will receive a complimentary calendar. There are three pages of acknowledgments in this version, so your name will get listed also.
I look at this calendar as a daily tip book filled with hints to help the person on the autism spectrum along in their daily lives and gives them something to think about while learning is in process. Many of these tips are related to common sense that could be overlooked by someone with autism. This is a good reminder for the parents, teachers, therapists and other professionals that we need to spell these out in a way that will be learned. Those on the spectrum are visual learners that may not grasp everything and take things literally.
Here are some samples from various days of this year (2007):
"Avoid talking to someone who is on the telephone. This makes it difficult to hear what the person on the other end of the line as well as what you are saying."
"If someone has something in his teeth or nose, don't announce it so that everyone else can hear. Tell the person quietly so that he can remove it privately."
"Just because someone shares her lunch with you one day does not automatically mean that she will share her lunch with you again."
"When you go to someone's house, don't kick off your shoes, lie on the couch, or help yourself to food from the refrigerator, unles the adults have given you permission to do so."
"When you are waiting for an elevator and the doors open, allow the people who are getting off to do so before you enter the elevator."
I thought all the days in the 2007 Hidden Curriculum One-A-Day Calendar were interesting and educational in a fun way. It was a chore at times to get my son Nicholas to read them, but I plan on saving this for future reference. I felt the text were like gentle reminders for a person to take note at the start of their day.
We also have the 2008 Calendar. There is an accompanying book that I plan on obtaining soon. I think a good project for a classroom, support group or social skills class would be to come up with hints for the next edition and brainstorm on what they feel is worth adding based on their own experiences. This is a great addition to any daily program that takes a few minutes to have a discussion or conversation based on the reading material of that day.
The 2009 calendar is coming soon.
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