Key Skills - Communication

The Book with No PicturesEnjoying Stories
Students are learning to listen and respond to stories in order to foster an enjoyment of reading and demonstrate communication skills. Particular favourites are the ‘Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs’ series and ‘The Book with No Pictures’ as they include silly noises and can be read with great expression.

Michael Rosen’s You Tube channel where he reads a number of his own stories and poems provides great examples of expressive reading, ‘Strict’, ‘Chocolate Cake’ and ‘Gymnastics’ never fail to raise a smile in our class (links provided).

Another good site is Storyline Online (link provided) where actors read their favourite stories accompanied by enhanced images from the books, currently we are enjoying ‘Snappsy the Alligator’ and ‘The Empty Pot’ but there are many more to explore.

Key Skills - Cognition

If you have access to an ipad or switch to use with your PC Help Kidz Learn has a number of activities which students can use. You need to register but will have access to 10 free activities. Activities include simple cause and effect, counting songs and stories and games.

Visual and Audio tracking activities can be done at home using simple materials, these are great for helping to maintain and extend visual and audio fields.

Tracking is the ability to track a moving object, and the ability to switch fixation from one to the other. Visually this can be done by moving a brightly coloured or illuminated object horizontally or vertically in front of the eyes, noting when interest is lost. You can also use two different items to see which catches the eye better or is preferred.

Items which can be used to support visual tracking activities are listed below – there are also some links to suitable online videos (an example is below):
Coloured scarfs
Torches
Mirrors
Fiber-optic toys
Fairy lights

Items which can be used for audio tracking include:
Musical instruments
Home made shakers (rice, dried beans, stones inside plastic bottles/pringles tubes)
Drums made from different boxes / pans / wooden blocks
Spoons on metal jugs or saucepans

Sensory

Sensory resources are great for helping students explore their world, reduce tactile defensiveness and have a whole lot of fun. I have provided PDFs of recipes to make items for messy exploratory play such as paint, slime and playdoh.

Students also enjoy exploring suspended resources, umbrellas are great for this and can be used when in a chair or on the floor. I have provided instructions for making mobile frames either in PVC or wood (if you are feeling super adventurous), however the same can be achieved with a simple cardboard box with holes in the top and string attached to pencils (to stop them dropping through the holes).