In today’s highly competitive world the top priority of every school district is to make education accessible to everyone, irrespective of their financial or cultural background. For the recently hired Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools, Xavier De La Torre, one of the main jobs is ‘to provide leadership for improving education, especially for poor and Latino children…’ Hands-on education has long been recognized as a superior medium for improving education as it engages students in learning.
Homeschoolers, students in classrooms and after school programs, as well as children with special needs benefit from hands on education. Says Gayle Mayekawa, a RAFT member & an early education specialist, “According to the brain research and studies, hands on activities are appealing and effective learning tools.”
Gayle is one of the instructors at the upcoming Early Education Special Needs Strategies workshop held at RAFT Redwood City. The focus of the workshop is to help educators create a successful learning environment for children with special needs in an inclusive preschool classroom.
This child development instructor at Foothill College, along with Lisa Shaanan, a pediatric occupational therapist will address environmental stimulations and different sensory needs of kids with special needs. Says Gayle, “We will be working on three make and take activities. Each activity focuses on different needs, like the decorated cardboard tube that would help children, who need visual direction, to focus on the face and voice of the teacher when the environment over stimulates them.”
Adds Lisa, “All of the strategies we discuss at the workshop will be effective for all children, but they will have a bigger impact on students with special needs.” The workshop is divided into three sections that will address the overall learning environment, specific activities and skill development. The structured program also challenges attendees with problems to solve in real time with the help of RAFT materials.
Lisa feels RAFT is a great asset to special educators, “I am able to create unique activities using RAFT materials that basically allow us to individualize each activity to the student needs. When it comes to students with special needs, if you are selecting an Activity Kit you need to think of the challenges faced by an individual child and address that.”
Join us in discovering strategies for designing a learning environment that motivates a child to participate. Click here to sign up for this workshop today!
Do you have activity ideas that address the requirements of children with special needs? Share it with us by sending us an email or comment below.