I teach in a low-income school full of hardworking, passionate teachers and students. My students come from diverse backgrounds. Most of my students deal with the daily struggles of life in poverty with some of them in extreme poverty. Many of them have family members dealing with substance abuse, incarceration, and disabilities.
Working with families dealing with such great challenges has opened my eyes to the needs of our city.
I strive to push my students forward so that they will see themselves as learners belonging to our school community and begin to dream big dreams for their futures.
In the past few years I have observed students struggling more frequently with fine motor skills. As technology has increased in our daily lives, I suspect some of the more basic elements of play have lessened in children's daily lives at the same time. Building blocks, manipulating small objects, and exploring different materials have always been parts of children discovering the world around them and developing both physical and intellectual strength.
I want to give my students a variety of fine motor and sensory opportunities to develop the skills they need to be fantastic, happy learners and successful people.
These materials would give them a wide range of chances to explore right within the four walls of our classroom. They can stand on the mats and see the colors blend, use their finger to push the dot through the maze, or hold tight to tweezers built just for them to grasp the letters hiding. All of these are fun ways of bringing the kids just what they need to grow.
Sensory experiences can also have a calming effect on some children. It would be wonderful to have a few more tools in my toolbox to help children settle down when emotions are on the rise.
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