When learning a skill, some children need as many visual cues as you can give them. Below, I will demonstrate how I reduce visual cues for a student (non-reader) who is working on producing complete sentences answering the question "What can you do in the Spring?". The clues are pictorial; however, the same sequence would be applicable when using signs.
I am using Spring Interactive Books ($4.00 for a bundle of 3) from Speech Universe. I've also used the same progression with Emergent Readers.
1. Max Cues
Smarty Symbols (sometimes I'll use Lessonpix) so that the student will know how to answer the question "What can you do in the Spring?" with a complete sentence. To begin with, I put the verb in the sentence; after a week or two, the student will choose the correct verb.
2. Reducing Cues
3. Reducing Cues Even Further
4. No Visual Cues