Sarah McNeil is a Kindergarten Teacher at Verde Elementary who has been using CKLA Listening & Learning, as well as Skills, since August of this school year (2017-2018). Sarah created a Braille activity for Kindergarten Domain 2, The Five Senses for Lesson 7 on Ray Charles.
Q: What inspired you to create this Braille activity?
A: I wanted my students to be able to experience a hands on version of Braille, in addition to seeing a picture of it. Braille is all about using your sense of touch, so I thought it would be beneficial for the students to be able to feel the texture of the dots for each letter.
Q: How did your students use the cards? What was the activity?
I found a print out of the Braille alphabet (from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading) and on the bottom it had the sentence "My teacher's name is..." The students helped me find each letter based on the dot pattern. Then, they cut out the words "my name is" as well as the letters in their names.
After the students pieced together their sentence, I put glitter glue on each dot and when the cards dried I passed them back to the students. They explored what it would be like to read that sentence using only their sense of touch.
Q: How did your students respond to the activity? Any surprises?
A: They thought it was awesome. Many of them closed their eyes and used their fingers to "read" the sentence, as if they could not use their sense of sight.
Q: Do you have any creative ideas you're planning for upcoming domains?
A: I am currently teaching Domain 3: Stories. I have been making little stick puppets for each story and acting them out as I read. Then, for the extension activity, the students also receive character pictures and retell the story to a partner. I have had groups go in front of the class to "perform" the stories for us as well.
Q: Anything else you want us to know?
I am enjoying CKLA Listening and Learning and the students are not only learning, but also applying, so many rich vocabulary words and phrases into their everyday conversations. Adding "extras" is my way of keeping them engaged and getting them to, hopefully, internalize the material.
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