Friday, August 5, 2016

Shakin' it up with Mrs. Shannon: Sensory Table


A few weeks ago I was a guest blogger over at Kindergarten Chaos and thought I'd share the info here too! 

Today we are talking sensory tables! We had always had two sensory tables available at my school but I had never really used them.  One had water and one had sand (that may have been there since I was in school). They got used usually once per year when I would do outside centers at the end of the year I would set up the water table.  The other kindergarten teacher used hers more, but still not tons. At the end of the 2014-2015 school year I knew I wanted to make some big changes for the 2015-2016 school year one of them being that I wanted to do a different sensory table each week.  I knew it was going to be a challenge (and costly!) to get it going but I knew with risk also comes reward.  


I AM SOOOOOOO GLAD I DID IT!  

I loved it and more importantly the kids LOVED it!  

I based my sensory table off of my reading series (as much as I could) so the first thing I did was write out what each three week theme was and then see what each week specifically was. For example one might be How do things grow? as the overall theme but each week could be flowers, trees and farm.  So my sensory table was specific to the week.  I used the graph pages from my Erin Condren planner to write out what I wanted to do.  






These were either extra ideas or ones that didn't exactly fit a specific theme.  
After I figured out what specific ones I wanted to do I made a list of supplies I needed.  I was able to buy some supplies through school and asked for some from people I knew or parents that asked if anything was needed.  Yard sales and Goodwill were also great for a lot of it.  I also needed a way to organize allllll of the supplies I would have so I bought some totes for storage.  

Most supplies are in the smallest totes but some are in medium totes as well.
Here is a complete list of the sensory tables that I did:

  • Colors (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • Shredded paper with student names (match names to student picture)
  • Color Mixing
  • Nuts and Bolts (different sizes)
  • Attribute blocks
  • Bugs in shredded paper/ tweezers/bug box
  • Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer
  • Puzzle Pieces
  • Dirt with Flowers
  • Snow (instant or real!)
  • Valentine (flower petals, red, white, pink and purple "stuff")
  • Red, White and Blue (America)
  • Halloween
  • Straws
  • Flour
  • Lids
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Noodles (cooked or uncooked)
  • T-shirts

So you can probably figure out that I didn't get to do one every week, but it was close! And some weeks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) were short weeks so I didn't do a new one then, but I am planning on adding more this year so I do have one for each week! I was really pleased with how it went since it was my first year implementing it.   

Some of the activities had true standards attachment... finding and ordering alphabet, and numbers, rhyming, cvc words, colors, color mixing, etc.  Others were just purely for exploration... kids need that too!!! 

Each group was given a pack of straws to cut up and then a couple days to explore and lace.

Red, white and blue with numbers 1-30.

Color mixing. Each student had 6 cups.  3 were filled and 3 empty and a pipette.

My sister-in-law from Dear Fav gifted me some t-shirt scraps so we just had some fun cutting and ripping (strengthening those hand muscles!)

Flour!  This was probably my (and several kids!) favorite.... not so sure about the custodian ;)

Halloween!  

I obviously missed taking pictures of a few most of my sensory tables but again... something to work on for next year!  

I am so glad I decided to implement this into my weekly routine.  We often forget that these little people we work with are kids and need time to have fun.  This was one way I found it could be implemented.

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you have any questions please feel free to email me at shakinitupwithmrsshannon@gmail.com.


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