Have you used Power Cards with your students? These are a game-changer!
Power Cards -Strategy 2.0- by Elisa Gagnon and Brenda Smith Myles
The Power Card strategy is evidenced-based under antecedent-based interventions and visual supports. Using the strategy has been shown to be effective in activities such as increased engagement time with peers, improvement in following directions, improvement in transitions, and other areas.
Power Cards are short and written in the first person. They use a child’s hero or area of interest to solve problems. Power Cards can assist in a variety of areas: behavior, communication, self-regulation, skills needed at school, and skills needed for home. Power Cards can be used in all settings with students in all grade levels.
That’s all well and good but how does it work, you might ask? Do you have students that have difficulty understanding they have choices? Power Cards can help. Do you have students that need prompts to remember what to do? Power Cards can help. Do you have students with difficulty following directions? Power Cards can help. Yeah, yeah, I know. You get the idea. Now what?
The book will walk you through the steps of using the strategy, so I will review the basics. I have used Power Cards at home with my son and in my classroom. They worked amazingly well in both situations. When my middle son was 3 or 4, he was diagnosed with a sleeping disorder and ADHD. He would sleep from about 2:00 am to 6:00 am. This was very hard on me. Power Cards to the rescue! At that time, he had an imaginary friend named Jack and he wanted to be a fireman. Fireman Jack allowed this momma to sleep. My son’s Power Card was about the size of an index card and I placed a picture of a cartoon-like fireman on the top. We called him Fireman Jack. Each night we reviewed the three things Fireman Jack needed to remind Chris of. (Chris is 25 now, so I do not remember the three things but I do remember it worked.) This was a lifesaver! Because of the card, he was able to remain in bed for longer periods of time.
Another example is using Power Cards in my classroom. I worked with students with moderate to severe disabilities in a high school setting. One of my students, whom we will call Rhett, would take papers away from other students and tear them up. Rhett really enjoyed watching wrestling, so that was our area of interest. The wrestler’s picture was on the card with three different statements. 1. Stop and take a breath before walking to my seat. 2. Think in my head about only touching my belongings. 3. Go to my seat without touching other students’ papers.
Those are both simple examples of ways to use Power Cards at home and in school. I have lots of other examples but the book has even more! It has many suggestions on how to create cards and ideas of what could go on the card. This is definitely a must-read. Good luck with empowering your students!
Affiliate link to the book: Power Cards
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