Students had an opportunity to see what is inside the October Sensory Table today…
The children immediately wanted to know how I made the colored pasta. I told them I would share the recipe here on the blog so that they can make it at home.
For our independent activity during reading centers, I hid spiders with pictures on the back in the pasta.
Once students unearthed a spider, they were to say the name of the picture, like “fan”.
Next, students identified the vowel sound in the middle of the word. They then recorded the vowel on their worksheet.
Check back for more sensory table fun soon!
I introduced the sensory table to the kindergarteners today.
They couldn’t WAIT to get started! So why is it important for children to use a sensory table? Here are the top five reasons!
5. Sensory tables help children relax. Objects in the table capture children’s attention and engage their minds. Students are presented with items like rice, beans, paper strips, or pompoms, that have a calming effect when they are manipulated.
4. Sensory tables help students develop socially and emotionally. They are playing together and engaging with each other in a positive way.
3. Sensory tables are another tool we can use to help young children strengthen their fine motor skills. Did you notice the tongs they were using to pick up the pompoms? The use of tongs turns the sorting activity into a fine motor building activity as well!
2. The sensory table builds cognative skills. Students interact with items by counting, sorting, organizing, matching, or labeling.
1. Sensory tables make learning FUN!!!
(Exploring the pompoms using their five senses!!)
I rolled out the sensory table today. Thank you, Mr. Surber, for loading it on the U-haul truck and bringing it to our temporary classroom! I filled the table with a new item and thought it would be fun to have the students guess what that item was….
Beans! 50 pounds of beans! What better to dig in for our dinosaur unit, then beans! Today, the students dug in the beans to uncover double tens frames.
They counted the number of squares that were colored in and found the corresponding number on the worksheet.
Have you ever had an idea that you thought was amazing until you actually tried it? I have….and it’s the November sensory table filler! Last summer as I was ordering supplies for the school year, I compiled a list of items to purchase that would fill the sensory bin each month. Pasta, puff balls, sensory sand, shredded paper, dried beans, rice, and FEATHERS. How wonderful would it be for the children to dig through mountains of feathers to find the items I had hidden in the sensory table?! The feathers would add a colorful and festive touch to the classroom learning environment. Students would feel the softness, smoothness, and pokey edges.
Well…..that all sounds great, but once the sweet students began moving the feathers around in search of the bats and spiders I had hidden beneath, they became covered with feather fluff! Feathers went everywhere….on the floor, on their clothes in their eyes….what a mess!!
Thankfully, these students have really great senses of humor! They completed the high-frequency word matching activity with positive attitudes.
See how excited they were?!
A mess is a sign of fun learning, right?
Needless to say, the feathers have been put away and the new, and hopefully less invasive, sensory table filler is ready to be explored.
I brought out the newly restocked sensory table this morning. What could be better for November than feathers?!
For this morning’s activity, I added CVC word puzzles to the feathers for the students to dig out and match. (CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant.)
Getting these puzzles out of the feathers proved to be trickier than I had originally imagined!
The thin pieces of laminated paper stuck to the feathers! The students demonstrated persistence and grit as they sifted through the fuzzy feathers.
But, they still enjoyed the sensory experience!
And the classroom is now more colorful too!
The students have been learning about three-dimensional shapes recently. We discussed the difference between the words two-dimensional (flat) and three-dimensional (pops out!), and students completed a cut and paste activity to demonstrate their knowledge of these shapes. Next, students were introduced to the names of the three-dimensional shapes. We did a sorting activity on the Smart Board.
I showed students some three-dimensional shapes made from foam. We talked about the number of faces and vertices each shape has. I then asked students to sort these shapes into coodinating bin.
This activity helped prepare students for a different shape sort that I had planned…
using the sensory table!!
I covered many three-dimensional shapes with the rice and asked the students to uncover the shapes and sort them into the coordinating bins. You should have seen the excitement in the students’ eyes and the smiles on their faces!
A student places a 3D shape in the coordinating bin.
This was a great way to reinforce students’ learning. Next, we will focus on learning the names of these tricky shapes.
When the magical month of May begins, so does our unit on fairy tales! A new unit means a new sensory tub. Once again the students participated in making the sensory tub filler. This time, we took a 50-pound bag of rice and had fun making magical fairy tale rice! Here’s how:
First, each student measured four cups of rice into a large Ziploc baggie.
The students added an orange scented essential oil….we have to make the rice smell amazing after all!
Next up was color! Students chose from turquoise, purple, or fuchsia liquid watercolor to add to the rice.
Then it was time to shake, shake shake!
Look at those bright colors!
Time to play!
Last month, I shared the ocean sensory tub idea I introduced to the kindergartners. It was SUCH a success that I decided to make the sensory tub a permanent fixture in the kindergarten classroom. AND I decided to purchase a sensory TABLE instead of a sensory tub!
It is GIGANTIC!
The first thing we had to do was fill it up! Since we are still in the middle of our ocean unit, I decided to add more water beads to the new table. This became a math lesson on capacity and measurement.
We measured the amount of beads.
Added the necessary water per teaspoon…
and then spent some time looking at the beads and turning them into different items in our brains….
When we opened the table a few hours later, the beads had grown and created this …..ironically…a fish!
Sensory table activities will no longer just be a part of Choice Time, as students will have the opportunity to use the sensory table during reading and math centers as well. Here is an example of an activity:
Students are fishing for ocean animals that have high frequency words on them for the students to read aloud!
I am excited about this recent addition to our classroom and already know what it will be filled with during the Fairy Tale Unit!