I have 20 kindergarten students in my class. This year I have the opportunity to serve all three sections of our kindergarten classes meaning this project will impact three times the amount of students. I have students that come in at varying levels of readiness. Some have been exposed to preschool experiences and many have not. Some of my students have high needs and some are above average and crave to be further enriched. My students are diverse, with several of them being English Language Learners.
My students are all different in their own way but the one thing they have in common is that they all come to our class eager to learn!
Many of my students do not have access to high quality books or learning materials at home, especially my English Language Learners. School is where they come to access these things and it is my job to provide these tools for them.
Technology and digital tools enhance learning in many ways. However, when overused at a young age they can hinder a child’s fine motor development. My students are coming to kindergarten with less developed fine motor skills and many struggle to correctly hold a pencil when they come to our class for the first time. These skills need refining in order to be able to write correctly.
Giving low income students quality tools and materials will increase their fine motor skills and lay the foundation for their success in kindergarten and years to come!
Not only will these materials boost their fine motor skills, but they will further their academic achievement. These dual purpose activities focus on fine motor capabilities, letter and number skills, sorting, and creativity.
The activities will be placed at the students’ tables when they enter in the morning as a form of daily morning work. This way students have a purposeful task as soon as they come in with little to no instructional time lost while I am doing morning tasks. Letter beads will be used to string their name in order, large letter stamps will be used in kinetic sand for matching uppercase and lowercase letters, and the create and design drill will allow students to foster their creativity while refining their pincer grasp.
As the year goes on students will be able to use these manipulatives in independent centers while small group guided reading instruction is happening. These particular materials allow for learning objectives to change as the year goes on. For example, at the beginning of the year students can use the letter stamps and beads for matching uppercase and lowercase letters and name building; then as the year goes on students can use those same activities for building sight words.
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