This year our kindergarten class has 23 students. It is a very strong mix of personalities, and special needs, both physical and emotional. Many come from broken and/or difficult home lives. Many kids in this classroom have poor fine motor skills, which makes writing with a pencil a very difficult task.
As the Math support teacher, I am in this classroom for an hour everyday co-teaching this very active bunch of students.
We have found that in order for them to learn we have to toss the textbook aside. They are a highly tactile, physical group of students who must be fully engaged in interactive experiences to benefit.
They need materials that will serve multiple purposes- helping them learn basic, necessary math skills, while increasing their fine motor skills, and holding their attention long enough to keep them engaged in active learning.
We co-teach Math in a guided math format. With 23 4-5 year olds this is a challenging, yet rewarding method of teaching. Children participate in 2 center activities, as well as having two teacher led group lessons during their Math block. This particular group of students has a diverse range of needs, many being highly tactile, physical children. What has proven most successful is activities that keep them both engaged and keeps their hands busy. Pencil and paper activities are simply not an option. We have been designing activities that involved using dry erase markers, because it is much more interesting to use than a pencil, dice - because it keeps their hands busy and off of others, bingo dabbers because it allows them to demonstrate their skill in a fun engaging way, and Play-Doh because it allows them to learn and work on their fine motor skills all in one. The clear plastic sleeves allow us to save resources. We do not need to copy 20 pages in order for children to practice skills.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Walling and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.