For a Kindergarten teacher living in an area where it’s cold and snowy – it means MUCH more time dedicated toward outdoor play. For me, when I taught Kindergarten, I had to set aside at least an extra 20 minutes for each time we had to go outside AND for home time. “Ms. Kaley, what do I put on first?” “Ms. Kaley, I put on my boots before my snow pants! Now I have to start all over!!” And the list goes on.
Students in Kindergarten are just starting to become independent and sometimes their motor skills for getting themselves ready are still developing. When you break it down, you need your gross motor skills to get dressed (snow pants, jacket, boots, etc) you need fine motor skills to put your hat on, mittens on and of course do your zipper u and your executive function to remember the order and to stay on task! Put it all together it’s a big job for these little people!
To make our lives easier, I’ve created winter themed checklists for getting dressed and undressed. These will help students develop these motor skills while also developing their independence. I’ve included sequencing activities to further develop their skills as I’ve found that sequencing activities are critically important when learning how to complete a multi-level task.
For students in Special Education, English Language Learner and English Second Language, the sequencing activities are SO helpful to create a clearer direction towards what they need to do to get ready. For many students, it can be overwhelming enough to remember all of these steps, and for many more students it’s even more challenging to do these tasks with noises, kids voices, and other people around. For these students, I like to cut out the pieces of each item, laminate them and put Velcro on the backs so that students can have the kinaesthetic, tactile piece of being actively involved in their learning and development.
Please let me know any other routines and activities that are stressful and/or time consuming in your classroom where a checklist approach might be helpful! I always like to hear from you!