Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Colors Would You Like In Your Rainbow?

Looking for a new "center" to keep the students engaged while the school year draws to a close?  Two of my early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers concocted this stand-up color exploration table for the kiddos.  When you stand up to draw and look at items your perspective is different; plus, everyone around you is standing up, too, and it's okay to walk around and check out what your friends are doing.

Notice the variety of materials left out on the table--a magnifying glass, preschool-size plastic nuts and bolts, plastic color filters, bears of different colors and color-themed sturdy books.  You can set out a wide assortment of writing instruments such as markers, scented markers, crayons of different widths, pudgy crayons, and maybe even WIKKI STIX!  Did you know that Staples sells Wikki Stix lookalikes now?  My teacher friends just bought some this week at a great price--look for them under a different name, though. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Handwriting Ideas

Wikki Stix are so great.  If you want to firmly plant letter formation on your student's brain map, use a variety of materials with which they can form letters.  In addition to the Wikki Stix, try using cut-up plastic straws, blunt-end toothpicks or even tiny pegs from those DLM sets tucked far away in your department's supply cabinet.  Try using a wide loop of masking tape, placed on the table, as a "fence" to keep the runaway toothpicks or pegs securely in place as your student forms letters.  Begin with "tracing" the written letters with your chosen manipulatives, then take away the guide letters and have them form them without a visual cue.

Be sure to let me know what new manipulatives work for you!