Monday, July 25, 2011

Time for Teaching

We've had some focused "learning" time in the last week or so, time for having all the kids sit together and focus in on a basic learning task.  With school starting in just 2 1/2 weeks, I not only wanted to be spending some time going over some basics of colors, numbers, letters, shapes, but even more so...

remembering how to sit in one place and take turns doing a task!!

James and Micah weren't really doing this at the end of last school year, and really right now they're still not just sitting and staying there.  But, they ARE coming back to the rug when I call them, and they're both participating and enjoying what we're doing :).  Progress...

There are so many simple activities that we're doing, and many are so simple it would be easy to make them out of household things...  Here are some of the activities we've been doing!  Feel free to post your own or make suggestions for improvement on these...

  • Containers with lids that have 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of a particular item in them. Mark the outside of the container with the number and a picture of what's inside (plastic fruits/veggies, for instance, or even coins, beans, or something similar, but best to have different things in each container).  Look at and identify the number.  Show it to each of the kids and have them point to or touch the number.  Shake the container, ask what is in it.  Identify the picture.  Open the container, take out the item(s).  Identify what they are, compare to the picture on the container.  Count the items, and have each child touch the items, counting if they are able, or with adult assistance counting (and moving their hands from item to item).  
    • For the visually impaired, hold items close within their visual field if the child has one.  Also, line up the items rather than bringing the items to their reach.  For instance, don't hand them one at a time, but put them in a row and move their hand from one to the next to the next.  That way it's easier to recognize that although the items are the same, there are multiple items, not just the same item over and over :).
  • Using construction paper, cut red, yellow, and blue pages in to the shapes you're working on.  Use them to sort by color for instance using all the circles and separating them in to 3 separate piles.  Then, use them to sort by shape by using all three shapes of one color.  
    • For the visually impaired, hold items close within their visual field if the child has one.  Also, outline the shapes with a texture such as a thick paint or glitter, or some other textured substance for working on shapes.  For colors... well... without a visual field I'm not so sure that colors will be a useful thing to teach :).
  • Using any available medium, create bean bags of different shapes.  Construction paper with tape, material sewn together, or bean bags that are square with shapes attached to them.  Identify each shape as a whole group and find a container to toss them in to.  Take turns with each child naming the bean bag then tossing it in to the container.  
    • For the visually impaired, allow them to handle each bean bag, outlining the shapes of the bags. 
    • For the physically impaired who cannot toss the bean bag, bring them within proximity of the container to allow for success as the child drops the bags in, with assistance if needed.
Those are just a few of the things we've been doing with the kids and how we've adapted them.  :)

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