With so many routines to introduce and practice with your students, don’t forget to prepare for emergency drills! Many students benefit from visual supports and social stories to help reduce the anxiety and upset that emergency drills can bring.
That’s why I’d like to share with you my picture card sets for five main emergency drills: Fire Drill, Bus Evacuation Drill, Tornado Drill, Lockdown Drill and School Evacuation Walk to Another School. These sets can be directly downloaded for printing or they can serve as examples from which you can create your own personalized sets with Boardmaker.
As you can see in the example picture, some of my students just needed a sheet or strips of pictures/steps to follow, while a few needed to have the individual picture cards on strips of velcro.
These drills can be loud, jarring, unpredictable (by nature) and distressing.
1. Practice with a smaller group of students, or individually, prior to a whole school drill.
2. Use a social story in conjunction with the picture cards and read it with your student(s) several times/days prior to a whole school drill.
3. Discuss and practice behaviors during drills: Quiet Mouth (explain the rule of no screaming/yelling so they can hear the teacher), Hands to sides (not on ears), and Calm Body (this is just a practice, we’re O.K.)
Being prepared with the right visual supports can make or break your student’s day. Be the hero for them and your team by having all of your visual supports organized and ready to go with the Success Box. Plus, it’s colorful, lightweight, spillproof design will have your colleagues envious and your boss impressed!
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