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

December 11, 2019

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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