As an Infants and Toddler’s Special Education teacher, I follow a coaching model and everything since March has been completely virtual. I understand the challenges of virtual teaching especially with children birth to 3! Being cognizant of different home situations is extremely important to me and I wanted to share some of my favorite activities that have worked both virtually and in the classroom BC (before COVID).
Digital and Adapted Christmas Books
When we went completely virtual, I was so sad that one of my favorite activities was not as accessible to my students and families. I love adapted books and the Easy Matching Weekly Workbooks. The fact that these resources are now available in a digital format is incredible! Very rarely do my families have all of the supplies needed to create the workbooks so having the resources digitally has been wonderful. I created boom accounts for my students and can easily assign the workbook decks. Sometimes they complete one of the decks when they have time with their families. Other times while we are on zoom, they will complete a set so that if needed I can coach the parent on how to support with language and prompting. You can find the Christmas adapted digital books here.Find the Easy Matching Weekly Workbooks Christmas Edition here.
Hands on Activities
My next favorite are these big and little sorting and cookie decorating activities. When we work on the big and little sort in school (or if the parent has the activity at home), I’ll put the pieces in a bag and emphasize core language such as “more” and “my turn”. You can also add the pieces to a sensory bin of beans and rice and bury the pieces inside to add a level of engagement. The next activity is differentiated with two different visual levels. If your kiddos are super young and just learning to complete tasks, I would let them request and put on whichever pieces they want! Next level would be level 1 where they use the visuals on the cards to follow which pieces go on. Level 2 has words mixed in with visuals and you could have your student read the sentence and follow along!
Bird Seed Peanut Butter Houses
Whether in school or virtual, some of my most successful language lessons were tied around cooking or creating something. I have loved coaching families on how to do this at home as many of my young kiddos are still exploring with their mouths and using different supplies can be daunting for some. I thought this simple peanut butter bird seed feeder was easy and fun! I used graham crackers, peanut butter, and some bird seed in the video however, my nephews recently did this activity and used gingerbread houses! It looks like the squirrels loved this feeder just as much! Happy Holidays!