Anticipation calendars teach the concepts of immediate future and immediate past. An anticipation calendar uses a basket or other container to hold an object that represents an activity that the child and teacher or intervener will be doing. The object should be one that has been part of the activity and thus is familiar and meaningful to the student. Touch cues, actions and vocal cues can provide additional information to the student regarding the activity. In addition to the basket or container used to introduce the activity, an anticipation calendar includes a different shaped container used to indicate an end to the activity. These are usually called "finished" baskets. The two anticipation calendar containers must be distinctive because they represent different time concepts. A portable "finished" container is effective for a student who is learning the association between an object and the end of an activity because it can be taken to the student.
Infusing IEP Goals Into an Anticipation Calendar
The calendar provides a variety of opportunities to teach communication. A student's communication IEP goals and objectives can easily be infused into a calendar routine. Communication IEPs will probably contain goals to support the development of topics, representational forms, communicative functions and sociable interactions. Some possible goals for these areas are:
- Comprehend signals (e.g., objects, vocalizations, touch cues).
- Request or reject interactions, people, or objects.
- Develop anticipation.
- Act on objects.
- Establish topics for interaction.
- Maintain joint attention.
- Take a turn in an interaction by acting on objects.
- Develop bonding/trust.
Significant portions of this module are adapted with permission from Calendars for Students with Multiple Impairments Including Deafblindness by Robbie Blaha.