Boardmaker Activities-to-Go: What is it?

by Maureen Donnelly M.Ed October 17, 2018

Boardmaker Activities to Go

You Asked: We Answered...

Greetings from the Boardmaker Curriculum Team! Across the last several years, we began a Listening Tour to find out what our customers really want in pre-made curriculum. We visited schools, clinics, and districts across the country. We held focus groups at our offices in Pittsburgh and national conferences. We even had individual conversations in person and via teleconference, with those familiar to Boardmaker and those who had never heard of it, to hear about the challenges, opportunities, and needs that you face every day. Once the data was collected, the dilemma was clear: parents, teachers, and clinicians have more work to do every year yet the same amount of time in which to do it. And that’s where we, The Boardmaker Curriculum Team, come in.

We created our newest curriculum product in response to these conversations. Three key design principles quickly emerged as we reviewed the data. First, you wanted activities and lessons that are printable so that you can quickly download, print, and go. Check.

Second, you need instruction that is meaningful, thematic, and organized around the topics that help children build world knowledge. In particular,  you want support in the content areas like science and social studies and in areas like functional life skills. We identified 12 themes, one for each month of the year, that would address common standards within these realms. Check.

Third, the students you support are extremely diverse, from how they access curriculum, to how they communicate, to their individual learning needs. You asked for meaningful instruction that is differentiated to ensure that every one of the students in your class or on your caseload has access to meaningful curriculum. Check.

Then, there were a couple of things that you didn’t ask for but that we, the Boardmaker Curriculum Team, wanted to provide. First, we are acutely aware that school and family budgets are tight. We wanted to provide you with activities that require little in the way of planning and nothing in the way of your wallet. We were determined to make our newest offering free. Check.

Additionally, we were dismayed when we looked at the state of adapted curriculum in classrooms today. Black and white line drawings (or symbols!) just don’t provide the kind of appeal we think our students deserve. We wanted to use only high-quality photosin our solution, both because we know from research and our practice, that they provide a context and convey information in a way that no symbol or simple drawing can. Check.

And now, finally, we’d like to introduce you to Boardmaker Activities-to-Go—a series of free, printable, and thematic activities that support students in K-12 in learning about the world.

What are Boardmaker Activities-to-Go?

It’s a monthly series where each unit equals a week’s worth of engaging activities that are differentiated at 3 levels. Each level has 10+ activities, that provide the kind of repetition with variety that we know our students need, including:

  • A book written at the just-right Lexile level for your student or group.
  • An activity schedule to support behavior and manage the activity flow.
  • Speech and Language activities to address common IEP goals.
  • Communication supports including a core board.
  • Behavior supports to keep groups and individuals engaged.
  • A hidden picture or web to activate background knowledge.
  • A vocabularyactivity to build knowledge of high-utility words.
  • A matching activity to reinforce concepts and vocabulary.
  • A fun activity to celebrate with a theme-based recipe or craft.
  • Games to cement learning through play.

Where can you find Boardmaker Activities-to-Go?

This is the most important part! You can access the latest collection of Boardmaker Activities-to-Go on or on Teachers Pay Teachers.

You can stay abreast of the latest happenings when you join the Boardmaker Activities-to-Go Group within Boardmaker Online. And don’t forget! Chat us in the Boardmaker Facebook Groupto access free giveaways and to show us how you use Boardmaker Activities to Go in your classroom.

What next?

Download and print Boardmaker Activities-to-Go and start driving student! Next month, we’ll return and share some easy, evidence-based tips for using Boardmaker Activities-to-Go in your classroom. Happy Teaching! We can’t wait to hear from you. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Maureen Donnelly M.Ed
Maureen Donnelly M.Ed

Maureen Donnelly, M.Ed, is an early childhood educator who currently holds the position of Curriculum Manager at Tobii Dynavox. Before this, Maureen contributed to the creation of numerous products that support emergent readers of diverse abilities and ages. Maureen lives and works in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in an office stuffed with children’s books.

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