SENSORY TABLE ACTIVITIES
By: Carmen Willings
Although a sensory table is sometimes overlooked, particularly in the older grades, it provides a great opportunity for conducting early experiments with math and science concepts such as conservation of volume or cause and effect.
Keep in mind that many students may resist touching new or different textures for several reasons. Some students seem to be particularly sensitive to tactile stimulation and may be more easily irritated by certain types of textures. Others simply don’t like messy activities. The benefits of helping the student build up a greater tolerance for things will allow him to learn more about his world. Help the student to develop tactual and fine motor skills by encouraging the student to feel a variety of textures and provide opportunities for “messy”play. You may need to start with something like finding toys in a bowl of beans before playing with something“gooier”. Vary the materials placed in the table/tub. Alternate wet and dry. Add textures, scents, and sparkling confetti to make it more visually interesting. Use bright colored tools, toys, and objects that contrast with the sand, rocks, etc.
While the student is exploring materials in the dry or wet sensory area, encourage them to not only explore, but also transfer items. Demonstrate how to transfer wet items with sponges, basters, etc. into another container. Similarly, demonstrate how to transfer dry items. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop coordination and hand strength and dexterity.
To encourage concept development, make available materials that encourage the student to think about what an object will do, such as: sand that is sometimes wet and sometimes dry, requiring the student to think about whether to mold it, pour it, or sift it. Encourage students with low vision to use their vision to look at the movement of water splash in water table; water during experiments with sinking and floating; and fill different containers and see how long they take to sink.
Students can learn about measurement and tools when you provide measuring cups and measuring spoons. Challenge students to guess how many scoops it will take to fill a container or to think about which will fill the container quicker. What tools are best for the various materials?
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable templates, handbooks and handouts on the Printables page. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings