I teach in a 1st grade classroom full of energetic students who come to school each day ready to take on the world. They love learning new things and then applying that knowledge through hands-on small group centers. My amazing students are kind and loving children with big dreams for the future.
Hands-on learning allows students to engage in learning through play with their peers.
It allows students to experiment with trial and error, learn from their mistakes and understand the gaps between theory and practice. Whether it's in a whole group or a small group setting, hands-on games and activities lets children apply what they have learned and see it being used.
I teach at a Title I school with a high percentage of students on IEPs. These students, especially after the academic hit from COVID-19, need a variety of ways to attain knowledge. Hands-on center games are great for kids that are fidgety, sensory seeking, unfocused, gifted and talented and anyone in between!
Specifically this year we have seen a huge drop in academics across the state. Half of the students I am teaching right now either didn't go to school last year or were enrolled in an online program that they didn't do on a regular basis or had zero help at home because parents had to work just to keep food on the table. Kindergarten and 1st grade are the building blocks for reading and if a child doesn't get and retain the knowledge during these years they have a higher chance for failure. Instead of starting our year out guns blazing on reading, we had to take a giant step back and start with letter sounds and recognition. My students range from beginning kindergarten level to mid 2nd grade level.
These hands-on games will allow students to work individually or in small groups and practice the skills they need to meet 1st grade standards or even advance to a 2nd grade level.
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