My classroom is an Early Childhood Special Education classroom serving preschool age students (ages 3-5) with special needs. This means they have varying degrees of developmental delays in cognitive skills, speech, language, adaptive behavior skills, social/emotional skills, behavioral skills, sensory processing, fine and gross motor skills, vision, or hearing. Each and every one of my students can do amazing things when given the resources and opportunities to succeed! Unfortunately, our community is made up of a large number of low income families who struggle to find the resources and opportunities to succeed.
Despite this, my students have wide range of abilities, NOT disabilities!
I try to highlight students' abilities and help them succeed no matter where they are in their development or how many areas of delay they have. I have students who come to my classroom for a few hours a week from full-time regular preschool classrooms to work on individual goals, as well as students who only come to my classroom 2, 3, or 4 half-days a week who are working towards the goal of coming to school full time, 5 days a week.
Many of my students with and without Autism have a variety of sensory processing needs and enjoy exploring their senses to learn. A Color Changing Light Center will be a great way to do just that. They can "play" with different kinds of manipulatives to enhance their learning in many different areas of development. The center itself is a round light up platform that can sit on a table or on the floor. I chose this one specifically because I have a student who is mobile only by crawling and cannot yet stand to play at a table.
How the items chosen to go in the center will impact students:
1. Light Table Pegs and Pegboard set- Students can increase fine motor and math skills by putting the pegs in the board, sort by color, and create designs, and patterns.
2. Nature Up Close! Light Table Slides- The full-color slides have a variety of animals pictures and close up views of fish scales, cheetah fur and more! This light center will also serve as a science center for my classroom so these cards will be a perfect addition.
3. Crystal Climbers- These unique see-through builders let kids create cool, colorful designs that "climb" in all directions. Students will increase math and fine motor skills when building creatively with these builders.
4. Translucent Letters- Students can practice naming ABC's, matching them, and building words and early literacy with these see through letters.
5. Crystal Building Blocks- These are Lego-type blocks that snap together and come with a variety of colors. My students enjoy regular blocks like these so adding these to our light center will be a huge hit and are great for building fine motor skills!
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