Everyday we have at least a 20 minute time where we get the kiddos up and moving. We are very fortunate to have gotten some great gross motor items to use in the classroom from Donor's Choose a few years ago. Some of the items our kiddos love and are great for their gross motor needs as well as their sensory needs, which will help your kiddos focus and be able to complete tasks and learn more!
Meet sensory needs, increase coordination, core strength, balance, increase strength of small and large muscles, Helps with social (taking turns, conflict resolution, talking to peers), emotional and cognitive development. Also, helps to increase student's language skills.
When the weather is nice we do get outside. However, for some of the students the playground is way too much stimulation. As soon as we get outside they just run around the playground and run into other students and/ or hurt themselves because they are running to fast. Due to this sensory overload (24 students, too many options for them to choose from) we made a visual schedule for them. Initially I put the pictures of the item choices up, but after a couple of days they would do all five tasks and then would go back and put up five new ones themselves. Even some of the other students like to go over and say I am going to do the monkey bars and go do it. It keeps all of our kids safe and gives them a task to do rather than just running.
Encourage appropriate interaction with peers when playing. Encourage students to try something new because some of the kiddos like to only do the same activities. Know what the students need to improve and provide those materials.
We have objectives that the students are supposed to meet and that they are supposed to know about. In the past I have put them up on the board and not really referred to them again. Last year I decided to make it more meaningful for my little ones so I started using I can statements with visuals. I currently am using tacky to keep the pictures up on the charts, but you could also use velcro. Before we start table time or circle time, etc. I say we are going to... and show them the pictures. It gives them a visual of what we are going to do but also helps me make sure I am meeting all of my objectives. This year I have also included my objectives written out for our admin to be able to see.
It has been fun to see because some of my kiddos has started to point to the picture when they are doing it. For example at circle time if they are singing they will point to the picture of singing or if we are doing calendar they will point to the picture of the calendar. I am glad that they are starting to make the connection that this is what they are doing during different times of the day.
Literacy is integrated into the majority of our day. From the moment the students walk in and start table time there are literacy activities whether it be lacing abc beads, using magnets on the magnetic board, or building the letters. During circle time we have a letter of the week and review that as well as all of the letters then too. This is also when we read a book whole group. Literacy is also incorporated into our fine motor center (writing their name, identifying letters that they put on their chicka, chicka boom boom tree) and into the academic center. Every Wednesday we do activities directly related to our letter of the week. You can read about the specific activities I do on Wednesdays here. I also do lots of vocabulary and literacy activities at my center daily. Many of these activities are teacher directed.
Increase language skills to be able to express their wants and needs.
Improve cognitive development and to be able to answer and ask questions.
Socialize with their peers and teachers.
In ECSE we are trying to improve their pre-emerging literacy skills (letter identification, letter sounds) in preparation of reading and writing.
Increase comprehension and to be able to follow directions.
Recognize signs and different environmental print that is important to the child.
Introduce students to different types of literacy (books, activities, environmental print, etc). Offer many opportunities for students to learn literacy in a variety of settings. Make sure to incorporate all learning styles into literacy so all students can be reached.
This year we are still working on lots of matching and sorting and increasing our fine motor skills.
My kiddos love sorting tasks and they are easy to make!
Below there are sorting pom poms by color, sorting spools by size, sorting straws by color, sorting shoes by color (find that freebie here), sorting zoo animals and ocean animals, and a sorting seasonal items.
My kiddos will also be matching abc blocks in the ice cube tray.
I got this puzzle at Target.
Lace the pieces of felt on to the ribbon to make snake.