We work on the floor! Manipulatives in the building area require that we lay or sit on the floor in order to use materials to build with, such as floor puzzles, train tracks/trains, cars and blocks. As our skills increase and we work together with peers, the need for space on the floor increases.
This class consists of special needs, early childhood students, ages 3 to 5 years of age.
Students include a range of disabilities from autism to developmental delay and are moderate to severe. Some children are in the program for two years if they enter at age three. When children transition to kindergarten, some go into a regular kindergarten classroom; some go to a special day program (more restrictive) and some go on to regular kindergarten classroom with support. All of the students are adorable and work hard to reach their potential in all areas of development. The program is in California at a regular elementary school setting.
Learning occurs at its most rudimentary level when children can manipulate objects to build concepts. This is even more true for children with learning delays. Activities such as connecting train tracks to bridges, maneuvering tracks to go around, up and down offer children a vast range of learning opportunities in language development, social development and cognitive development. In doing so, children spend time laying or sitting on the floor to carefully plan, manipulate and problem solve the use of their materials. As a 'child-directed' activity, this is the one time of day that they choose the area they work in, and is important to them. Children who are able to work comfortably on the floor are better able to work successfully.
By providing a rug in the building area, the classroom environment offers young children the opportunity to work in an age appropriate manner on the floor, with the space and comfort they need to focus, learn and reach their fullest potential.
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