My students attend a Title I school and are from diverse ethnic/cultural backgrounds, namely Bangladeshi, Chinese, Hispanic, and French. 95% of them are Latino and African American. The rest are sparsely mixed with other ethnicities. In my classroom, there are students with a range of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, autism spectrum disorder, and specific learning disabilities.
My students are an adorable, active bunch who like to explore with their hands, and that includes playing with play dough.
They enjoy the sensory feel of the dough between their fingers. Squishing, rolling and patting the play dough has a calming effect on them while they play.
Many of my students are tactile learners and learn though sensory stimulants. Therefore, getting this project funded will really help them to not only foster their creativity but also to help them develop a love for learning.
Bringing play dough into a learning center is a basic need that offers a variety of educational opportunities. It is a great, inexpensive educational tool that can be used to foster creativity, literacy, and math skills. The dough tool set will be used to help carve and define their creations. Using the alphabet and number stampers is a hands- on way to help them to practice number and letter recognition.
My students will use the dough in a variety of ways, such as for letter and number recognition, shape recognition, name identification, matching numbers to sets, and practice simple addition/subtraction problems.
It will not be used just for academic reasons. It will also help to relieve stress in many of my students, igniting conversations and imaginations among them and their creations, and it can help to strengthen fine motor skills; the very skills needed to hold a pencil.
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