Magic Room and Multi Sensory Learning
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Magic Room and multi-sensory learning | by Ben Annett, Advisory Teacher
Charlton Park Academy (CPA) has recently provisioned a new building – Mulberry Tree House. It contains a residential facility, alongside several teaching spaces for CPA classes. The students based in the building have a range of needs, including PMLD, ASD and SLD.
The students have access to the latest sensory equipment and so benefit from multi-sensory learning.
The students have access to the latest sensory equipment and so benefit from multi-sensory learning. Many of us will remember sitting in lectures, but how much of the content can we recall many years later? We’re more likely to remember the feel of the carpet in story time in our infant class, or, if you’re as old as me, the sound of the chalk on the blackboard. For students with sensory impairments, additional thought needs to go into the creation of environments that meet their needs and staff in Mulberry Tree House have enjoyed integrating Magic Room from Sensory Guru into their routines and classroom environments.
The adaptable system allows teachers to create responsive environments, combining voice recognition, switches, a display, and lighting to deliver accessible and involving environments tailored to individual needs. It is highly customizable and supports all the existing access devices including eye gaze devices, tablets, phones, speech, breath and more. It allows teachers to enhance shared moments, such as the beginning and end of the day. Students can contribute to the sessions using whatever access method works for them so that all members of the class community can participate, including by using the breath or activating a switch. The activities are projected onto a screen, but additional projectors can project them onto the ceiling, or they can be cast onto a tablet screen allowing students to participate in the sessions from an Acheeva, floor or from the main teaching space as needs dictate.
The activities are projected onto a screen, but additional projectors can project them onto the ceiling.
Teaching staff have only just begun to explore the potential of the system. Karen Panter, a CPA teacher, says that students and staff have found the activities fun and involving. She uses a display projected onto the classroom ceiling to engage students even when they are out of their wheelchairs and laying down. She uses the system for regular routines in the school day, each with its own song, images, and room lighting set-up. Empowering students to have more control over starting and stopping songs has increased engagement throughout the day, evidenced by an increase in vocalizations and facial expressions.
As Karen says, the possibilities of activities that could be created with the system are limitless. It is easy to incorporate video and images and they are highly configurable. As the system becomes embedded into the teaching of Charlton Park Academy teaching, we cannot wait to see what the teaching staff come up with as they continue to explore the possibilities!
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