My students need a portable sand/water table because we have no water supply in the classroom, and I need to be able to wheel it to the bathroom in the hall to fill it up and empty it.
I am a teacher in a self-contained autistic classroom. My students are in grades 1 - 3 and range in age from 6 to 8 years old. 6 of the 7 students come from homes where Spanish is the dominant language. All of my students receive free lunches and many times I bring in clothes, toys, and pay for field trips and treats because the parents don't have the money.
The three cornerstones of autism are problems with communication, socialization, and idiosyncratic behaviors. Four of my students are nonverbal, and the other three can articulate words but have difficulty expressing themselves beyond one or two word sentences. One of my objectives as an educator is to work on their social skills encouraging them to interact with other people and to increase their verbal communication.
I am requesting a sand/water table, because I am confident that this will address their social and communication deficits. While the children are playing with the sand/water they will be interacting with other students and need to communicate to get the toy that they want or to play together. My students also have many sensory needs, and the sand and water are very good for them. I have taken them on field trips, and when there is a sand/water activity all the children gravitate to it and there are a lot of smiles and sounds coming from that area. The sand/water table will also present me with a visual and hands-on opportunity to work on the identifying and writing of letters and numbers, not to mention science topics (sink/float, shapes, cause and effect,etc.)
Your help in filling my wish list will give my special needs students hands on opportunities throughout the school year to communicate, socialize, have sensory experiences all within a context of fun. Knowing that the children love to play in sand/water, your generosity will allow me to teach them in a very positive atmosphere. I can't personally afford to purchase the requested items, and the school's budget doesn't allow it to purchase this kind of equipment for my class since we are not preschool. PLEASE be kind enough to help my students learn, so that they will be able to function better socially and communicate more effectively.
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