Do you remember how much fun it was to jump in puddles when you were young? Do you cringe at the sight of soaking wet shoes as student’s file into your classroom after a springtime recess? Oh, do we have a fun and functional S.M.A.R.T. Space for you to re-create!
Cassie and Chrissa, educators at Winona State University Children’s Center, created spring-like S.M.A.R.T. activities in the hallway between their classrooms. The Hopscotch became the puddle jump! Blue construction paper “puddles” with numbers written on them were placed in a Hopscotch pattern and sealed down with contact paper. Students got to take off their shoes (optional!) and go jump in the puddles.
The “rainbow” helped to keep students’ bodies down low as they Alligator Crawl underneath it. The “rainbow” is just a table with steamers from a party store.
The Creep/Slap Track can be a great activity to review color words. For the younger students, these teachers opted to write the color word in that particular color. Older students can review color words written in black (or if you’ve been to a S.M.A.R.T. workshop you know we like red!). You can also add spring vocabulary or simple spring sentences to the Creep/Slap Track. Hint: You can download color word cards by looking back to the March S.M.A.R.T. newsletter under Time Saving Tips.
At the Rebounder, the teachers hung Learning Ladders the students had created using paper strips, linking them together to make a rainbow. They added a cloud to the bottom for fun (and fine motor practice in the classroom!). Students at this center called out the colors as they jumped on the Rebounder. What a clever way to engage students and welcome in spring!
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K CORE Program Guide page 42, 44, 47, 50
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K MORE Program Guide page 108
S.M.A.R.T. Curriculum Guide page 59, 61, 66, 69, 246
S.M.A.R.T. at Home
Isn’t it true that children find everyday objects, like those in your kitchen, just as exciting as their toys? Use this to your advantage and make a quick vision game for your child using items you already have at home!
For younger children, you may trace each shape without any overlap on larger paper.
Older children can work on more complex visual perception skills by working on matching objects that have been overlapped. As you trace objects onto paper, trace them in such a way that the outlines are overlapping with each other.
Matching the object to its outline aids in developing visual perception skills. These are the skills that a child uses to make sense of what he or she sees. These skills are necessary for success in school tasks such as reading, writing, and math. Children must be able to recognize letters and numbers, match shapes, etc. Visual perception also helps children find a toy in a full toy box or to recognize the difference between the letter b and d!
Are you interested in additional information regarding Visual Perceptual Skills? Check out this blog from an OT Mom who helps put these skills into perspective.
Time Saving Tips
Do you have your S.M.A.R.T. course set up as stations? Natalie from Kasson-Mantorville Elementary incorporates a return activity in her stations. When students are using the Overhead Ladder, Natalie has them do Hopscotch as a way to transition back to the ladder. It is as simple as placing a Hopscotch rug next to the Overhead Ladder.
Return activities are a great way to add to the amount of stimulation and to sneak in more core minutes. Think about what activities are done quickly in your rotation. Could you add in a S.M.A.R.T. core activity as a way to transition back to the beginning?
That's One S.M.A.R.T. Teacher!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
S.M.A.R.T. teacher Lindy
Shares her spring Loop de Loo!
After creating sheets for the students to use, have students draw a continuous line under each row, looping each picture you indicate.
For the sheet Lindy provided, you might say, “Loop the rabbits,” or “Loop the letter E.”
Older students could be looping around a sheet of spring vocabulary words or identifying letters in spring-related sentences.
Another S.M.A.R.T. Teacher, Priscilla in Oakdale MN, uses plastic page protectors to save a tree! She slides her Loop de Loos sheet inside and has the children trace on the plastic with a Dry Erase marker. What a super S.M.A.R.T. idea!
Download Loop de Loo (PDF)
S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K CORE Program Guide pages 76-77
S.M.A.R.T. Curriculum Guide page 155