In the Classroom: The Wild Things
All ages and stages
The Wild Thing classroom is a room mixed with infants and young toddlers. Creating a lesson plan designed to meet everyone’s needs is important. In order to plan activities that are age appropriate for everyone, we use a teaching method called Differentiation Instruction.
Differentiation Instruction is creating a lesson plan of activities for a group of children who may require different teaching accommodations. It is important to think of activities that are age and developmentally appropriate. This can be done with the children in the classroom doing the same activity together.
In the morning "invitations to learning" are created for the children to engaged in as they arrive in the classroom. One morning, we filled the sensory table with colored bottle tops and placed paper bags in and around the table.
The young toddlers who could stand over the sensory table were invited to fill up the paper bags with the bottle tops, or anything else they could imagine doing with the materials.
On the carpet floor were the same paper bags that were in the sensory table. The infants who could crawl and use their fingers to explore were invited to discover these bags.
Creating this activity allowed for all the children to play and learn. The young toddlers were able to fill and dump with the paper bags in a way that was very skill appropriate for their age. The infants were able to feel, tear up, and mouth the paper bags, which is how they learn the physical properties of different materials.
All group activities and morning invitations in the Wild Thing’s classroom are created based on Differentiation Instruction, giving every child a meaningful learning experience.