The STEM craze has swept the education world within the past few years. Students are becoming little engineers in their classrooms, putting together crazy cool buildings and systems, but what about our special education students? With fine motor issues, as well as difficulty with more “open-ended” activities, how can we provide STEM opportunities to our little loves in our special education classrooms without stressing them out?
I decided to create a small maker space area in our classroom to open up a door into some connecting and building activities to introduce my students to STEM. Really, my goal for this area has been to get my kiddos comfortable with manipulating different pieces, so we can build on those skills as the year goes on. I went to Oriental Trading to get a lot of the materials to start me off with. I chose materials that are easier to put together to give my students practice with putting different pieces together to build. I am not having them build anything specific, I have just been wanting to give them the opportunity to explore the different materials and become comfortable with items other than Legos (which are huge reinforcer for a lot of them).
Jumbo Pipe Connectors
So far, these are the favorite. I must admit I even enjoy sitting and building these connectors with my students.
Puzzle Shaped Block Set
Interlocking these puzzle pieces serves as great fine motor practice for my students. They also have to rotate the pieces to fit, so it does require a bit of thought. We love them!
Cool Crazy Connectors
These connectors are just as described in their name – cool and crazy. They are so much fun to build with!
Add some velcro and let them create! You can use these popsicle sticks to work on letters, numbers, shapes, and even 3d objects.
Easy Stick Blocks
There blocks are classic and do require some concentration to build them together. This little guy said he was building a chair.
Please note: While I did receive these item at no cost, all opinions in this post are 100% my own.
Do you prove STEM opportunities for your special education students? I would love to hear about them! I am always looking for new ideas.