Multi-Textured Tactile Experiences: Exploring the World With Our Hands
Help me give my students sensory toys that will spark their curiosity, and a cool DIY sensory mat that will allow them to explore the different textures and tactile surfaces that make up our environment and our world!
Hi! I am a second year educator teaching in a vibrant community in the East Bay. The culture of our school is one of tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion; our students are beacons of light for a future that will work and play alongside those who are different from themselves, and will celebrate the beauty of the diversity they see within their communities.
I teach a class of seven amazing Kindergarten through Second graders; my class is made up of students who are each fun, interesting, spirited, curious, and for at least one reason or another struggle to access curriculum in a general education setting.
While my classroom is labeled as containing students whose disabilities range from "moderate to severe", these labels do not lower our expectations. In my experience, when you set your expectations high, your students will rise to meet them.
My students are an incredible group of kids who put a tremendous amount of effort into their education; they come to school every day ready to rise to the challenges that we set for them, and to engage with the various media that we utilize in our lessons toward the mastery of both academic, and functional skills.
All of my students, and especially those with visual impairments relish the opportunity to interact with and explore their classroom using their sense of touch.
Texture differentiation is an early braille learning tool, and this project will help my visually impaired students to use their sense of touch to become more involved in their learning and in all our class projects and routines.
I will be creating a set of interlocking tactile boards using items such as marbles, feathers, satin flowers, faux fur, stretchy fidget toys, squishy sensory balls, buttons, foam tubes, and metal rivets to introduce a tactile experience that will help enrich stories, and solidify concepts for my students.
We can learn about birds while touching our feather board, count buttons on our button board, or take turns touching our furry board while we read a story about a cat. Each of these will offer a unique sensory experience that will provide engagement beyond simply what my students can see. This will also offer a fun and varied way to introduce the concept of different textures like bumpy, soft, rough, smooth, and squishy.
These boards can be placed on the floor for my physically and visually impaired students to explore, as well as for students to walk along like a sensory path when they need a break or cool down activity. They can also be placed around the room for a fun “texture scavenger hunt”.
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