Velcro In The Classroom, An Interview With A Special Needs Teacher
We all have our uses for Velcro. It’s such a diverse product that it can be used for anything really. We spoke with a special needs teacher in South Florida about how she uses Velcro in her classroom. Here were her answers to our questions…
How do you use Velcro in the classroom?
Velcro is used for a variety of things in our school. It is used for picture symbols and schedules, making them portable and reusable day after day. It is great for keeping communication devices affixed on wheelchairs and tables. Velcro is also used to hold foam mats and other materials to walls in changing/bathroom areas and positioning areas for students out of their wheelchairs.
How has it helped your students?
Almost all of our students use daily picture schedules. Once a task is complete, a picture with Velcro can easily be removed and then setup the following day to use again. Velcro is also excellent for students working on matching and sequencing activities.
How much Velcro do you estimate you go through in a given school year?
Our school has 22 classes and we usually go through 12 cases of each side (hook and loop) of Velcro. That’s about $1,000 of Velcro each year.
Why use Velcro over something else?
Velcro is not only strong and long-lasting but it makes items easy to move around and/or only available when needed. Because we have students that may throw or destroy materials, Velcro is also helpful keeping items secure where they belong.
Tell us a story of a student using Velcro in a unique way?
One of my students is in a wheelchair and has Cerebral Palsy which severely limits her control over her arms and hands. She is verbal and extremely social, however, and loves to help in all activities to the best of her ability. Using Velcro on her wheelchair tray allows for customized participation in a variety of activities. Affixing a communication device with Velcro in just the right place near her body makes it possible for her to press a switch that can activate many adapted items such as a special spraying watering machine, a pencil sharpener, and an electric stapler. Velcro on another part of her tray, further away and more at eye level, is where we can put picture shopping lists that change weekly for when she goes into the community to purchase items for classroom activities. Velcro is helpful for all of our students as it really allows for customization and enables opportunity for more participation.