Group activities in the classroom can help form skills for school, home and life.

August 18, 2021

8.17.21 Washing Hands, Staying Seated, and Tolerating Others

Q. What do hand-washing, staying seated in a group, and tolerating others have to do with each other?

A. These are three of many skills that are part of group work in the classrooms.

Handwashing is important for kids to learn to do, and it is enforced before and after all activities. Over time with lots of practice, the students get used to doing this throughout the day. You can see that “A” is enjoying the help he’s receiving to help to reach the sink.

Staying seated is necessary for maximizing focus – both for the child and his/her peers. We all know how it feels to be part of a group where someone is up and down, in and out – it is distracting and can be frustrating. We all know, too, how it feels to be in a group and have trouble staying seated – it can also be frustrating, and take some time to develop the ability to attend to a teacher, or to a task. This age group, in particular, shows so many gains over the course of a year; as you can see, “E” and “T” have this skill down solid!

Tolerating others is something we all need to work on, young and old, and perhaps one of the hardest things in life! For our children, it can be super-taxing to learn to share space, toys, and attention, and it’s something that’s part of every group lesson! Room 7 has made so many gains this year!

7.29.21 Kinetic Numbers

Well, the numbers aren’t REALLY kinetic, nor are the letters, but they FEEL that way because the SAND is kinesthetic. Here’s a cool YT video to show you how the sand moves when you play with it.

Room 8 definitely was having fun with this amazing substance and finding letters, numbers, and shapes in it. The students practiced with pincer fingers and jumbo tweezers. Lots of giggling was heard along with the learning.


7.23.21 – All around the Campfire

Room 2 has been enjoying a camping theme lately, and one of their activities recently was absolutely adorable. Here’s what Ms. Katie, the classroom lead teacher, had to say:

” We practiced fine motor by lacing pipe cleaners through holes in a toilet paper roll making a campfire for our camping theme this week and then enjoyed some campfire songs. “ Katie Schwartz



12.14.2020 – Penguins hatch from eggs!

Room 8 is learning all about penguins. Where they live, what they eat and that when they are born they hatch out of eggs. This activity had the class working together to cut out the eggs and place their baby penguins inside. This group gave students the added benefits of getting lots of practice with cutting, and working with glue sticks. They also did some great work of labeling and following teacher directions.


10.9.2020 – Let’s talk about feelings!

Learning to label feelings is one thing. Learning to recognize them in others is another. This group activity gave the participants a chance to practice both!

Emotions can be a tricky subject for people young and old alike. They can feel good or bad, cause us to act in ways that are accepted by others or not, and stay with us for better or worse, sometimes for a long, long time.

For the crew in Room 11 and other kids, finding ways to express emotions is important. Feeling words like happy, sad, mad and scared are some obvious ones to start with. This group went beyond the basics, getting into feelings like surprised, embarrassed, lonely, worried and grumpy. 

Teachers acted out the emotions with facial expressions and body language, challenging students to guess the emotion being portrayed and then find it on their Bingo Boards. They were encouraged to use the words as well.

A related activity book activity was used to give students access to situations and how they might feel experiencing them. Each page presented a “how would you feel if…?” scenario. Students added art and words to the pages of their own books, and were encouraged to share with each other, which they did.

Great job, Room 11!

12.11.2019 – A class that writes together, delights together!

The task of letter writing can be daunting, and teaching it even more so. What better way to teach kids about the concept of writing to communicate to someone, and the skills of selecting words and developing sentences, than by writing to Santa?!

Room 12 recently embarked on a letter writing campaign to our jolly friend in the North Pole. This classroom has many assistive technology devices being used, so while verbal communication is already a challenge being worked on here, written communication adds yet another layer to the mix.

Teachers spent time working with students to read books about Santa. This helped kids think about who Santa is, and what it is that he does every year. The group spent time addressing that writing to Santa would be a nice way to thank him for his hard work, and also to let him know if there was something they were hopeful to receive this year.

Into their discussion they reviewed those things that each child wanted to ask for, and then the teachers created a page with word choices so that each child’s items could be included. Students also included in their letters something they hoped their parent|s would be receiving! Kids could also select from greetings – ie Dear Santa, Hi Santa, Hello Santa – and from closings – Love, Bye, From, Sincerely. This introduced some different ways to begin and end a letter properly.

When done, the students addressed their envelopes and mailed them off to the North Pole!

This is a great example for using a group to help teach. The kids were able to share ideas and excitement!

8/12/19 – How to teach the direction of giving something to someone.

Group activities in the classroom can help form skills for school, home and life, and this post gives a tip for a specific skill that can be practiced in a group. It involves literacy development, social skills, and language and communication.

It’s a little bit tricky to teach young children to give a certain item to a certain person, but this is a skill that is definitely useful throughout life. It requires understanding of the object by its name and of the person by his or her name, as well as the action directive of going to the person and handing the item over. Imagine that trying to teach that within a classroom might be a formidable task?

Here’s a practice that Room 3 has built into their letter of the week time, to give their students mastery of this skill in a group setting.

After a few other activities to learn the letter of the week, Ms. Melissa has her students practice giving an item representing the letter to a classmate. She names the item, talks about its qualities, makes the sounds of the name of the item, and anything else that they may be working on at the given time. Then she picks someone in the group to start with and gives the named item to her or him, saying the name of the object and of the person. Next she directs that student to give the item to another student, again verbally reinforcing the names of each.

This routine continues until everyone has a turn. Teachers in the room provide prompting when a student gets stuck with who was named or what they are supposed to do with the item.


Yes, students are learning to pass an item in turn, and at first glance, it is a simple activity of turn-taking. But a closer look reveals that these children are also learning the names of objects, the names of their classmates and grasping the instruction of giving something requested to someone requested, which is often difficult to understand.   Great job, Room 3 and a treat to see!


2/6/19  Group activities in the classroom can help form skills for school, home and life.

All over the school, classroom group activities engage students in learning a host of skills.

Whether in preschool classrooms or school-aged ones, group activities are implemented to share theme activities as well as age appropriate lessons that can benefit the group.

Working in groups helps develop skills both for school and for life. Children learn to collaborate with others and communicate as they work together on common projects.

By engaging in group, kids improve their abilities to interact and attend. They learn to follow directions, model leaders – both peers and adults – and plan out projects for time and product or outcome. 

When a group is singing and moving to a song, they are modeling their teacher for movements and lyrics as well as each other for sitting together in a group for the activity.

Daily group activities include circle time, when the kids learn and practice calendar skills, the pledge of allegiance, and the weather.  Art groups allow children to practice fine motor and O.T. goals at the same time that they are addressing colors and literacy skills.

Involvement in classroom group activities gives children opportunities to make connections with things they already know, and to be introduced to diverse perspectives, and challenge assumptions. Children learn to take on roles in groups, and develop responsibilities.

Click below for a very short Wheels on the Bus clip!

Short Wheels On the Bus Clip

This is beneficial both in school, at home and someday in the jobs they’ll hold.

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Progressing towards goals with ABAA Grant from CAP COM