Help me give my students activities and materials that will aid in engagement, promote play and social skills, as well as make learning fun.
Hello, my name is Megan Feliciano and I am a Special Education Autism Preschool teacher. I currently have 12 students in my class. I work at a low-income elementary school. Half of our student population is made up of general education students and the other half is made up of students in our Autism program. Our focus is on the individual student and centers on their ability to gain basic learning readiness skills and acquire academic, play, social, communication, and self-help skills.
The ability to play is a major deficit of children with Autism.
Within my classroom level, I focus on the skills listed above with a major emphasis on the acquisition of appropriate play and social skills. Though it sounds simple, teaching a child how to play opens the door to using their imagination, imitating others, encouraging the use of language, and can often lead to peer reference and social interaction.
In order to maintain an effective classroom environment, it is important to replace broken items, provide new and exciting materials, and engage the individual student by catering to their preferences. Each year differs, but during this current school year, I have several students who enjoy playing with animals, dinosaurs, and mechanical toys. Some of the items I have selected (i.e. Lakeshore Learning's Snap Dinos and Lakeshore Learning's Build and Play Magnetic Animals) will assist in captivating student interest.
As a teacher, I feel it is important to allow children to learn in a creative environment that encourages them to play and socialize through the use of materials that peak their interest.
For example, for my mechanical students, I have chosen a Battat's Take Apart Toy Vehicle and Lakeshore Learning's Build and Play Dinos. These toys require tools to take apart pieces and put them back together. The pieces are large enough for their little hands and the tasks provide opportunities to work on fine motor skills. Not only will these toys work on strengthening fine motor skills, they will also assist in enhancing their cognitive, play, and social skills.
Another toy that I have selected is the Fisher Price Medical Kit. My students require support when learning symbolic play (i.e. cooking, baby dolls, etc.) and this medical kit is something that can aid in allowing them to play doctor with dolls as the patient and teaching them what to expect when going to the doctor. With any child, the doctor's office can be scary, but with children with Autism, it is often amplified. I find that parents often seek my assistance in preparing students for a trip to the doctor. I do so by way of books, social stories, and toys.
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|SE202 - Kinetic Sensory Sand - 11 Lb. • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$44.99||1||$44.99|
|PP924 - Snap-Dinos • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$39.99||1||$39.99|
|GM298 - Build & Play Dinos • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$29.99||1||$29.99|
|RR724 - Lakeshore Magnetic Fishing Set • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$29.99||1||$29.99|
|JJ247 - Scoop-A-Bug Sorting Kit • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$29.99||1||$29.99|
|Fisher-Price Medical Kit • Amazon Business||$12.96||2||$25.92|
|AR872 - Build & Play Magnetic Animals • Lakeshore Learning Materials||$19.99||1||$19.99|
|ALEX Discover Button Art • Amazon Business||$9.58||2||$19.16|
|Battat Take-A-Part Toy Vehicles Roadster Sky Blue • Amazon Business||$17.95||1||$17.95|
|Purple Ladybug Novelty Squishy Mesh Ball Variety 6 Stress Relief Squishy Mesh Balls, Including 1 LED Light Up, 2 Glitter, and 2 Color Changing Mesh Stress Balls - Great Sensory Toys! • Amazon Business||$14.99||1||$14.99|
|Fidget Dodecagon –12-Side Fidget Cube Relieves Stress and Anxiety Anti depression cube for Children and Adults with ADHD ADD OCD Autism (B3 Blue sky) • Amazon Business||$8.99||1||$8.99|
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