To describe the students at M.T. Elementary in one word: amazing! M.T. Elementary school is located in North East Las Vegas, in a high poverty area of the city. My students receive all their meals for free, some students even get food to take home; packs of food to ensure that they will have dinner. Despite economic hardships and difficult home lives, my students walk into school with smiles on their faces and genuinely want to do their best and learn everyday.
My students in kindergarten and first grade are coming to school with less and less fine motor skills. Due to the new rigorous standards placed upon the classroom teachers, teachers have less time to work with their students on building these important fine motor skills.
As the art teacher, it is my goal to incorporate a kinetic sand unit into my primary art classes to increase students' fine motor skills.
When working with the kinetic sand, students increase their fine motor, sensory, and cognitive development through manipulating the sand in different ways.
Students build their Fine motor skills (finger strengthening, dexterity, in hand manipulation etc), work on Bilateral coordination skills (using both hands together to mold and shape), as well as strengthen Visual motor skills such as eye-hand coordination. Students also experience new sensory input different from sand, which is beneficial for students with Sensory or Tactile defensiveness and students on the Autism spectrum.
All of these great benefits are gained through play! Students learn and work on important life skills through a fun and enjoyable activity!
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