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Using ‘First, Then’ (also called Now/Next) boards
- A ‘first, then.. ‘ board help the student to become aware of the basic sequence of activities during the pupil’s day and show him/ her what will happen next. This can also be used to show the pupil that a preferred activity (one which he/ she finds motivating) will happen, but after something else, e.g., ‘first work, then snack.’
- It is a good idea to point at the symbols and talk the pupil through ‘first, then..’. The board can then be placed near the pupil so he/ she can refer to it.
- Once the ‘first’ activity is finished, encourage the student to take the symbol from the board and perhaps have a place where it can go, or turn it over to indicate it is ‘finished’. Then look at the board together, point to the next symbol and tell him/ her what it is.
- This can also be used portably, for example, in the playground to indicate that ‘playtime is finished, now it’s time for ……’
- The next stage could be to use a 3 part ‘now, next, then…’ schedule to increase attention and focus.