What is an Alternative Pencil?
Anything that provides a student with access to all 26 letters of the alphabet.
Why use alternative pencils?
Alternative pencils allow students with significant physical, cognitive or linguistic challenges a way to write and/or explore the alphabet while focusing their cognitive energy on text production.
Examples of some alternative pencils:
- Alphabet and eye gaze frame
- Single letter flip chart w/braille
- Letter flip charts
- Eye gaze alphabet board
- Students do not need to know their letters in order to write with an alternative pencil
- Students need access to all 26 letters of the alphabet in order to learn about the alphabet
- No one is “too anything” to begin writing with an alternative pencil.
- Choose an alternative pencil and start now!
- Choose an alternative pencil that has the most potential for a student to easily use.
- Provide student with a purpose for writing.
- If needed, model and assist student with the alternative pencil.
- Read back what student wrote.
- Provide meaning to the student’s writing.
Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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