Wow, wow, wow. At the start of term three our teachers and children have been so busy with lots of new activities, as well as making sure activities like reading are consistent and not forgotten.
We kicked off the term with two major activities. The first was our Sponsored Readathon. In order to raise money for new books to expand our library, our children engaged in a variety of reading activities from learning sounds, to blending sounds to read words, to listening to storybooks, to reading picture books and sound books and more. Friends and family were asked all over the world if they would like to sponsor the children and we had a great response. The kids were able to learn more than just reading and concepts of reading, as they also developed skills in social interaction, concentration, visual discrimination and more.
At the start of the year children in zebra class are usually climbing on the tables and bouncing off the walls, many of them having had no or little intervention or therapy and no experience of school. By term 3 we have evidence that when taught the right way, the way that is right for them, these children can learn to concentrate better and show interest in lots of new activities. Picture reading, especially books with touch and feel sections or sounds are a great way to engage these children and develop their concentration.
The second major activity that kicked off term 3 was the ‘Learning Without Worksheets Challenge’ developed by a teacher in America who invited schools all over the world to participate. It was a challenge issued to teachers to spend 1 week engaging children in the classroom in a variety of learning methods and activities that did not involve worksheets or writing. We are so proud of our teachers and how they embraced this challenge.
From nature scavenger hunts to sorting the items found into categories,
pasting colours and patterns, learning my name without writing it down, doing
experiments to learn about weight and concepts of heavy and light, the teachers conducted the activities given with enthusiasm and even thought of their own creative ways to add to the learning process. The feedback was amazing as the teachers reported the children were smiling, they were active and engaged and it helped them to learn the concepts taught faster and easier.
Visual aids and hands on learning activities are the best way for children both with special needs and without to learn and engage in school. The teachers requested to continue the challenge throughout the term by coming up with some of their own ideas and we are seeing positive results in the children.